Tag Archives: Music

Saturday Soundtrack – Brought to You by The Child

17 Mar

Today’s Saturday Soundtrack is a quickie, because I’m heading out to try to make it through two hours of classes at the gym. Cross your fingers for me that I don’t die.

image from stereogum.com

I’ve loved Wolf Parade since the release of their first album Apologies to the Queen Mary. Still, their single from that album, I’ll Believe in Anything will always and forever remind me of my littlest sister, The Child, as we almost always listen to it when she’s around.

For fans of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Modest Mouse, and Arcade Fire.

I’ll Believe in Anything by Wolf Parade on Apologies to the Queen Mary (2005)

Saturday Soundtrack – Brought to You by The Perfect CA Road Trip Song

10 Mar

My mom and I are in SoCal visiting my littlest sister, The Child, this weekend. Originally being from here, Southern CA has my heart. We’ve been having gorgeous (albeit windy) weather all over the state this week, the kind of weather that makes you want to rent a convertible and drive for hours with the top down, singing at the top of your lungs.

This Saturday Soundtrack is a little different, because instead of highlighting a particular artist and their song, I’m sharing three versions of what I think of as the ultimate song for taking a road trip down the California Coast.

Don Henley‘s original version of The Boys of Summer came out the year after I was born. In high school it became the soundtrack of my summers spent in Huntington beach with my family. It’s the most melancholy of the versions, and made me feel nostalgic for childhood even when I was 17. It’s got a banging music video that it everything I love about the 80’s, and is, by far, my favorite version.

DJ Sammy came out with his version the year after I graduated high school. The Boys of Summer along with Heaven were played on repeat as I drove my closest girl cousins around Arizona the summer I went to visit them. I felt worldly and cool as the oldest cousin, the only one graduated from high school and the only one with a drivers license. They sang along with the radio while I added harmony, and we all felt young and wild and free.

The Ataris came out with their version as I was moving out of my all-black and fishnet stocking punk phase. I still dug the music, but was starting to add color to my wardrobe to combat the grey skies in San Francisco. I got so angry when I heard they changed the lyric “I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac,” to “I saw a Black Flag Sticker on a Cadillac.” They said they did it to be more relevant, I saw it as violating a classic and a sell-out move to appear more punk than they were. Still, the awesomeness of the song won my heart in the end, and the driving, almost angry beats of this version are what I turned to as I turned twenty and had to face the reality of not being a teenager with an endless summer of possibilities ahead of me for the first time.

So pick your version, click on a link below the title for Don Henley and DJ Sammy, as dailymotion doesn’t like to let you embed videos directly. I recommend listening to your favorite while driving down a windy road next to the beach with someone you love.

For fans of summer, nostalgia, and feeling young and free.

The Boys of Summer, a la Don Henley on Building the Perfect Beast, 1984

Don Henley – The Boys Of Summer by rvdgu2006

The Boys of Summer, a la DJ Sammy on Heaven, 2002

DJ Sammy – Boys of summer by Stella78

The Boys of Summer, a la The Ataris on So Long, Astoria, 2003

What’s your perfect road trip song?

Saturday Soundtrack – Brought to You By Zen-like Dance Beats

3 Mar

When I was in high school, my color guard instructor came in to practice one day and said, “Girls, this is the best song I’ve ever heard. You’re going to freak out.” She popped The Next Best Thing‘s soundtrack into the cd player (high school, people. iPod was still in its first generation and nanos had just come out.) telling us how amazing Madonna looked in the movie as she did yoga to the song that would become our new warm up music. Ever since then, Boom Boom Ba by Métisse has been my companion whenever I feel like moving, dancing, working, or just plain feeling good. It’s the only song I’ve ever played over and over on repeat, and it was the first song A saw me dance to. I picked it for today’s Saturday Soundtrack because after a nine-year hiatus, today is the day I re-take up yoga. And just like Madonna, this song makes me want to stretch it out.

Métisse blends the Irish and African influences band members Aida and Skully bring to the table for a perfectly balanced Soul/Electronica sound. This harmonious blend of sound and cultures inspired the name Metisse, which is the French word for ‘mixture.’  Somehow the music comes out as music that infuses me with energy and makes me swing my hips at the same time that it makes me feel inexplicably peaceful

My Fault, Métisse’s inaugural album was released in 2000, and they have had one other album since: Nomah’s Land (2007). Their website’s brief about page leaves fans with this simple teaser:

So, where do Métisse go from here? The important thing for Skully and Aida is always to do what they do best..make beautiful, intelligent and modern music that comes from the heart.”

As one who has had their beautiful, intelligent, modern music playing as the soundtrack to some of my best memories, I truly hope they continue to do what they do best.

For fans of Lamb, Imogen HeapJemFrou Frou, and Coldplay.

“Boom Boom Ba” by Métisse on My Fault (2000)

Saturday Soundtrack – Brought to You by The Queen of 90’s Rap

25 Feb

In honor of Black History Month, I’ll be featuring African-American artists who have helped shape the way we do music in America. Enjoy!

Queen Latifah has been on the music scene long before she appeared on the silver screen. She started beatboxing professionally in 1988 and put out her first album in 1989 at the age of nineteen. The 90’s were a huge decade for Latifah; she put out three albums and appeared in eleven films. She had a major role in the rise of women in rap, and combined a silky voice with hard-hitting beats. In 2002 she was brought to the forefront of popular media by starring in the film adaptation of Chicago. Since then she’s appeared in over 20 films, but music continued to be a huge part of her career, evidenced by her putting out three albums in the 2000’s and seeking out roles in which she could show her diverse talents.

I’ve admired Queen Latifah for a long time – she was one of the first strong, confidant, curvy celebrity figure I ever saw. She always struck me as a woman who is uncompromising, who knew how talented she was, and just waited for the rest of the world to get a clue.

For fans of Lauryn HillJanet Jackson, Nina Simone, and Etta James.

“Just Another Day” by Queen Latifah on Black Reign (1993)

Saturday Soundtrack – Brought to You by The Candy Man

18 Feb

In honor of Black History Month, I’ll be featuring African-American artists who have helped shape the way we do music in America. Enjoy!

Sammy Davis Jr. was an amazing vocalist, broadway star,soap opera star, Rat Pack member, and activist. He apperaed in 38 films, including the original Oceans 11. He used his voice as a force for change, as he recognized that music could reach people whose ears might otherwise be closed to him because of the color of his skin. In his early career he was welcomed to perform in major venues, but  entertain, but could not stay at the hotels he performed in, gamble in their casinos or patronize the hotel restaurants and bars. As his fame grew, he started to refuse to perform at segregated venues, pointing a spotlight on the problem of racism.

Sammy’s 1962 version of “What Kind of Fool am I?” got him inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and that’s the song that’s brightening up my Saturday. I hope it brings joy to yours.

“What Kind of Fool am I?” recorded by Sammy Davis Jr. in 1962.

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