Tag: music

Cardio Playlist (beta)

I’ve put together a cariod workout playlist, which I plan to beta test as part of my new cardio routine beginning tomorrow. The list is below. I’m open to suggestions of songs that you’ve found work well in your own workouts. (Note: I list them in their default order, but I always play the list on random to mix it up a bit.)

1. Jump. Van Halen
2. Bad Day. R.E.M.
3. Goodbye–Goodbye. Oingo Boingo
4. Mrs. Potters Lullaby. Counting Crows
5. Kickstart My Heart. Motley Crue
6. A Little Respect. Erasure
7. Demolition Man. Def Leppard
8. On Through the Night. Def Leppard
9. Run Riot. Def Leppard
10. Come On Eileen. Save Ferris
11. Whiplash. Metallica
12. Call Me. Blondie
13. Walk Like An Egyptian. The Bangles
14. Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky). Bill Conti
15. Surfin’ U.S.A.. The Beach Boys
16. I’m On My Way. The Shimshaws
17. American Girl. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
18. Mess Around. Ray Charles

New music Tuesdays?

Why Tuesday? Why are new books and music (and DVDs) almost always released on a Tuesday? I’m sure there is an answer to this, but while I’m curious enough to ask the question, I’m just lazy enough to avoid searching for an answer. Besides, I suspect the answer is precisely what an old math teacher of mine used to say about why things were done a certain way in mathematics: by convention.

Too much music?

There may be a downside to having a lot of music. I have over 2,800 songs on my iPod and in iTunes. Back in January, I ranted about some difficulty I had figuring out a song from just its lyrics. The song, regular readers will recall, was ultimately discovered to be “Tiny Tears” by the Tindersticks.

This evening, I wanted to listen to the song, and so I did a search of my library in iTunes for it.

And there were two instances of it.

Turns out, I had the song all along, as part of Soprano’s CD that I got a while back. And I didn’t even know it. Too much music? Maybe, especially if I have stuff that I’m unaware of. But on the otherhand, maybe I just don’t care enough. I have nearly 1,000 books, for instance, and I can tell you instantly without checking a database if I have a particular book in my collection. But no music. Oh well, it only cost me $0.99.

This time.

Oh what a night

No snow so far. At least, none that has stuck to the ground. The weather reports are still calling for heavy snow warnings, with threat of up to a foot of snow over the next 24 hours. I’m still somewhat skeptical. I think we’ll probably get snow, but I’ll be surprised if it turned out to be a foot of it.

In any event, I’m not venturing out this weekend. I was going to head to to meet Trevor so that we could visit a used bookstore (I have yet to find a good used bookstore out here), but because of the weather, decided to postpone. I am planning on getting a fair amount of reading and writing done, however.

I woke up this morning with a song in my head that somehow got omitted from my autobiography playlist, even though it clearly belongs in the early years. It took one quick google search of some lyrics that I knew to find the song–and it’s available on the Apple Music Store, so I’m adding it to my autobiography playlist today. The song: December 1963 (Oh What A Night) by the Four Seasons.

How tired I am

I think I mentioned earlier that I woke up feeling pretty sleepy. I didn’t get to take my usual nap at work today either. So today, for the first time since November, I did not read on the train home. I decided to listen to my iPod instead. Specifically, I decided to listen to some Metallica, and I had been wanted to listen to Kill ‘Em All again for a while now. So that’s what I did. I listened to Kill ‘Em All on the trainride home.

And fell asleep.

I fell asleep, listening to a phenomenal heavy metal album, playing at obnoxiously high volume. It happened somewhere between Mount Vernon Square and U-Street. I was out like a light. There I was, waiting especially for “Whiplash” and by the time I woke up again, the song was already over. I just couldn’t believe it. To fall asleep during that album? If you’ve heard the album, you know what I’m talking about.

Singing in the Rain

The last week or so, I’ve been stuck singing the same set of songs in the shower (I am an inveterate shower-singer). They are fun songs, and for some reason, I just keep singing them over and over. I did it while at the hotel in L.A. and again this evening after working out. Since we’re all friends here, I figured I’d share the 11 songs I’ve been repeating with some minor commentary.

1. Change Partners (Bing Crosby)
This was Fred Astaire’s signature song, I beleive, but this version is a solo by Der Bingle. It’s a very smooth and even song, good for getting started out. I should probably mention that I have no musical talent whatsoever, but I can carry a tune pretty well, if I do say so myself. In any event, I like this one. It reminds me of Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.

2. Hello, Hello (Kay Thomson and the Williams Brothers). I sing the Williams Brothers parts. For some reason, I love the part of the song when they sing their names: “Dick Williams! Don Williams, Bob Williams, and Andy Willaims!” It’s a silly song, but it’s fun to sing. Incidentally, Kay Thomson sounds a lot like and older Judy Garland in this song.

3. You Gotta Start Off Each Day With a Song (Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durante). Admittedly, my voice isn’t quite scratchy enough to do Jimmy Durante’s parts (I can usually mimick whoever I’m singing pretty well) so I sing Bing’s parts on this song, which are a humorous backup. I can never get through this song without bursting into laughter because Jimmy Durante is so funny in it. This is the way stand-up comedy should be.

4. Clancy Lowered the Boom (Bing Crosby and Dennis Day). I heard this song once in an Irish bar in Alexandria, and forgot about it until I got a CD of Bing Crosby’s old radio show. This is a great drinking song. No matter how many times I’ve tried, I can never get all of the verses in this song right. Usually, I know a song after hearing it once, maybe twice (my memory is weird that way), but not this song. I keep trying to learn it, though, in case I am ever in a bar an Irish bar again and people start singing this song.

5. They All Laughed (Bing Crosby). This would be my theme song, were I to ever have a theme song. These is a smooth and easy song to sing. I like it because you gotta love any song that mentions, Thomas Edison, and Orville and Wilbur Wright, and Guglielmo Marconi in the same song.

6. Far Away Places (Bing Crosby). This is a sentimental song that I real like. I based a whole story around this song, several years ago. It’s a slow song but good exercise.

7. Dear Hearts and Gentle People (Bing Crosby). This song reminds of showering after going for a run in Studio City. This is a summer song. In the dead of winter (like now) I sing this song in the shower and (in my mind) it is temporarily summer.

8. Play a Simple Melody (Bing Crosby and Gary Crosby). I used to sing Bing’s part on this song, but I’ve been singing Gary’s part this last week. It’s a little more challenging, especially when the two are singing different parts (I know there is a technical name for this, but it escapes me).

9. Sam’s Song (The Happy Tune) (Bing Crosby and Gary Crosby). I sing Gary’s part. I love the quick and witty lyrics and whenever I sing this song in the shower, I have to do it either before or after I shave, otherwise, I’ll cut myself. I challenge myself each time to sing Gary’s part perfectly and usually I can do it. I love this song. I sometimes find I’m humming it to myself at work.

10. Gone Fishin’ (Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby). Another summer song. I sing both parts in this song. I can do a pretty good Satchmo–at least recognizable. Plus, he usually got the better parts to sing. This is just a great song. It reminds me of fishing in Vermont.

11. Now You Has Jazz (Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong). From one of my favorite movies, High Society (ah, Grace Kelly! Sigh!) The musical arrangement is just awesome in this song, especially when the piano and trumpet comes in. There is a great duet at the end of the song between Bing and Louis and I always sing both parts.

So there you have it, probably more than you ever wanted to know about what I sing when I’m in the shower. So what do you sing in the shower?


I have a terrible secret.

For reasons I can simply not explain, I really like that song “Tessie” by Dropkick Murphy.

This song was most recently featured in the movie Fever Pitch and it is probably better known in the Boston area as the theme song of the Boston Red Sox. The Boston-Fracking-Red Sox! This is my secret shame.

To be honest, I think I enjoy the song because of it’s pacing and it is one of those rare rock-songs about baseball–and you gotta love rock songs about baseball, Boston or not. It’s also got a great chorus. I just downloaded it from the Apple Music Store. Listening to it now makes me forget, for a moment, that I’ve been sick for the last couple of days and makes me feel like it’s the beginning of baseball, spring has sprung, and summer is just around the corner.

DirectTV and XM radio

DirectTV now has XM radio for it’s music channels way up in the 800 range. I discovered this little fact when I was at Eric and Ryane’s last weekend and I tried it out here at home yesterday and sure enough, it’s true.

So I’ve been listening to channel 804, which the 40s music station–continuous commercial-free music from the 1940s. I don’t know why I like that music so much, but I do. It puts me into a good moon

Richard Cheese

Eric was playing some hilarious music in the car today–by a guy named Richard Cheese. This guys takes popular songs of all genres, rock, metal, rap, r&b, and makes them into “lounge” songs. He’s got a great band backing them and a clear voice that brings out the absurdity of some of the songs he sings. I checked and three of his albums are available on the Apple Music store. When I get back home, I’m going to get a few of the albums as they are incredibly funny (especially “Do Me” off the Apertif for Destruction album.

The frustration of false information (Or: searching for song lyrics)

There is a great song in the middle of Episode 12 (“Isabella”) of the Sopranos. It’s the scene where Tony Soprano goes out to buy a paper and some juice and nearly gets shot and killed by the two guys paid to kill him. I had the tune of the song in my head, but didn’t know the words, the name of the song or who sang it.

So this evening, I set about doing a search for the song so, perhaps, I could buy it and download it to my iPod.

It’s a pretty straight forward thing to do. I did a search for “Sopranos music” and came up with a number of hits, all of which listed songs by episode. Here are the songs that are listed for Episode 12:

  1. Tipsy – “Ugly Stadium”
  2. Thornetta Davis – “Cry”
  3. Garbage – “Tempation Waits”
  4. Tindersticks – “Ballad of Tindersticks”
  5. Al DiMeola – “Milonga del Angel”
  6. Cream – “I Feel Free”

I then proceeded to check for each song on iTunes and listened to the preview. And would you believe that none of the songs sounded like a match to what I had in my head? I thought perhaps there were different versions of the songs so I also listened to previews on Barnes & Nobel.com. Nothing sounded right to me.

I popped in the DVD and watched the scene to make sure I’d remembered it correctly, and sure enough, I had. But it didn’t match any of the songs on the lists. I went to the source, the Official Sopranos website on HBO.com. They had a music list by episode and that list was also identical to the one above.

To me, there were only two possibly explanations: either the list was wrong, or it left off a song.

So I listened carefully to the lyrics in the scene, and picked out a what I thought was a good sample, and typed those lyrics into a google search.

And I got a perfect match: Tiny Tears by the Tindersticks.

Now this is the interesting part. All of the song lists, including HBO’s “official” list, for that episode list a Tindersticks song called “Ballad of Tindersticks”. Clearly someone entered the wrong song. But all of these other websites probably never checked their facts, or even confirmed the lists were correct. They all took for granted what was there and reproduced it without question–which just goes to show you how useful the Internet can be for disseminating false information.

There is a happy ending, however. “Tiny Tears” was available on the Apple Music Store, and I’m listening to it right now.