Summer Playlist!

bondi_beach_swimwear_1950sSummer is here! Actually, here in Texas summer never left. But I’m not gonna let that get me down. No sir. So what if it is 85 degrees at 10pm with 75% humidity? (barf) I’m going to enjoy my summer anyway. So ladies, get out those sundresses, and get a cute haircut because this summer is going to sizzle!

I have put together a playlist of songs that are perfect for long summer days. There is a little something for everyone – some soul, some funk, some pop and some punk. I hope you like it. And if you don’t, at least you get to watch Beyoncé dance around in tiny shorts and stilettos. Enjoy! And remember: Stay cool, stay cool, stay hydrated and above all, stay HAPPY!

  1. Summer in the City – The Lovin’ Spoonful 
  2. The Doors – Love Street 
  3. That Summer Feeling – Jonathan Richman 
  4. Neil Young – Unknown Legend 
  5. Small Faces – The Universal 
  6. Ho Hey – Lennon and Maisy Stella 
  7. Crazy in Love – Beyoncé 
  8. Not Just Knee Deep – Parliment Funkadelic 
  9. Surrender – Cheap Trick 
  10. Beautiful & Dangerous – Desmond Dekker and the Aces 
  11. X – Motel Room in My Bed 
  12. Ramones – Rockaway Beach 
  13. Mr. Tambourine Man – The Byrds 
  14. Next to Me – Emeli Sandé 
  15. There’s a Break in the Road – Betty Harris 
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Thanksgiving Playlist

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t like Thanksgiving. For me it is nothing but overeating and sloth sprinkled with a few family fights over silly things like politics or who has to wash the heaping pile of dishes. Ugh. No thanks. This will be my first Thanksgiving in America since 2005 so I am trying to be a little more positive. I am going to bake some soft, frosted Pumpkin Spice cookies and get a new fall outfit to sooth my dampening spirit.

I am thankful for so much. I am thankful for my boyfriend who makes me happy everyday. I am thankful for my job and the cute little brats I get to hang out with and teach. I am thankful for books, music, pizza, pancakes, boots, coffee, my penguin slippers and the new warm blanket my mommie sent. I am thankful for all that I have – everyday. Here is a playlist of gratitude. Play it while you bake some pies.

  1. Little Old Wine Drinker Me – Dean Martin 
  2. The Slackers – Thank You 
  3. Beans and Cornbread – Louis Jordan 
  4. Caveman – Thankful 
  5. Homeward Bound – Simon & Garfunkel 
  6. Making Pies – Patty Griffin 
  7. We All Want To – A La Mode 
  8. Nothing Short of Thankful – The Avett Brothers 
  9. Everybody Eats When They Come to My House – Cab Calloway 
  10. Talking Turkey – Electric Six 
  11. The Long Way Home – Tom Waits 
  12. Maximum Consumption – The Kinks 
  13. Charlie Parker – Carvin’ the Bird 
  14. Eat It – “Weird Al” Yankovic 
  15. Alcohol – Bare Naked Ladies 

Six Songs Of Me

Everybody likes music. Everybody might not like the same music, but everybody likes music. My mother and father had a huge record collection that was housed in the white built-in cabinets in our living room. Our record player was there also. It was one of those cool credenzas that disguised the record player behind a push panel. It also served as the Millenium Falcon for my Star Wars action figures more than once, but that is beside the point. The point is, I still remember exactly what records I listened to in that living room, and it might have shaped the rest of my life – musically speaking that is. There might be a reason besides my superior taste in music that I like Frank Sinatra and Nina Simone more than Kanye or Depeche Mode.

The idea that music matters to every person on the planet no matter what culture or climate you come from is the base of this cool website called Six Songs of Me. The site is set up so to help them gather as many personal playlists as possible by having visiters to the site answer six easy questions

  • What was the first song you ever bought?
  • What song always gets you dancing?
  • What song takes you back to your childhood?
  • What is your perfect love song?
  • What song would you want at your funeral?
  • Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you?

Fun right? And the more I thought about it, the more I realize that the records I listened to on that credenza in the living room, and later on my own stereo turntable in my bedroom really did shape the way I see (and hear) the world. Below is my “Six Songs of Me” playlist. Some of those questions were hard, as in hard to choose just one song… but thems the rules. Now go and make your own then share it in the comments. I am curious!

What was the first song you ever bought? 

What song always gets you dancing? 

What song takes you back to your childhood? 

What is your perfect love song? (It’s this or “Love Me” also by Elvis, but I couldn’t find a good video) 

What song would you want at your funeral? 

Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you? 

The Best Song of the Summer

I know a lot of you are jamming to the sweet, sweet sounds of Justin Bieber, or doing “funny” lip syncs of that “Call Me Maybe” song this summer, and that’s cool. I mean if you like that kind of thing. Me, I like something a little more classy and thought provoking. Some of my past Summer Jams have included “Who Let the Dogs Out”, “I Just Had Sex”, and “The Thong Song”. I like songs that have a little more to offer the world than just a beat you can grind to. I want depth. I want meaning. I want a song that Coldplay WISHES they had written.

Then it happened. I was chillin’ on the couch, watching perhaps the best television game show ever (The Price is Right) relaxin’ in my comfy gouchos when I heard it. I was stunned. What was this simple, melodic tune I was hearing?  Who was singing it? The answer has been stuck in my head all week. It’s The Hoveround song.

The Hoveround is a scooter for old folks similar to the Lark I remember from my youth. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is this: 

And BOOM! I’m obsessed. His name is Michael LeLand, and he is brilliant. I want him to cover the Al Jarreau song book, or perhaps do a duet with Aaron Neville.I want The Hoveround guy to put out an album of America’s Favorite commercial jingles. I think he could slay with the Slinky Song, or even the Meow Mix tune. I could even see him as a future judge on Idol.

Here is a remix for you. 

 

 

Transition

Everybody goes through transitions every once in a while. It might be something small like a change in the bus route or a new co-worker to break in, or it might be something fairly major like getting married or moving to a new country or state. I am going through a few of the at the same time… again.

As of today I have 15 days left in my home of the last six years. I have said good-bye to my job and to my flat, and now all that’s left is to say goodbye to my friends and my Prague family. It’s a difficult thing to do, but I am trying to keep a positive outlook. It seems to me that when we go through a transition phase we can either embrace the changes as opportunities or we can grasp on to the past with fear and regret. I choose to look at this time of transition as yet another chance for me to leap feet first into the great unknown with wild abandon. And what could be more unknown for a California girl who has been living in Prague for the past six years than to pick up and move to Texas?

It’s easy to get bogged down in sentimentality. I have found myself near tears thinking about all of my friends here and the life that I am giving up. But when those thoughts creep in I try to remind myself that it’s time for me to move on – at least for the time being – and try out a new life. I am ready for a life that doesn’t involve trips to the Foreign Police, or wasted study abroad kids. I am ready to meet some new people and start a new chapter in my life. Here’s to transitions – may they be plentiful and smooth as peanut butter.

Transitions Playlist:

  1. Dixie Chicks – Ready to Run
  2. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Home
  3. Dar Williams – Traveling Again (Traveling 1) (Sorry, can’t find a good link for this song)
  4. The Goodnight Loving – Ain’t it Weird
  5. David BowieChanges
  6. The Five Americans – I’m Feeling Okay
  7. Fleetwood Mac – Never Going Back Again
  8. Foxy Shazam – Freedom
  9. Cat Stevens – On the Road to Find Out
  10. Bill Callahan –Too Many Birds

5 Most Embarrassing Songs to Have Stuck in Your Head… in Public

* I decided NOT to include links for these songs. If you are curious please feel free to google them at your own leisure. Thank you.

So I was at the gym yesterday, running to nowhere as usual, when I was surprised by one all time favorite songs. I had my ancient ipod on shuffle, so it could have been 1 of about 4,675 songs. I had all but forgotten about it because it wasn’t on my usual workout playlist. I guess I should share with you the fact that I tend to sing along when I am listening to music just about anywhere I am. I have to consciously think about NOT singing when I am in public. Anyway, the song that came on was…

  1. “Pussy Control” by Prince – I love Prince, and the nastier the better. But getting caught singing this little ditty out loud someplace could land you in a heap of uncomfortable situations. I mean, the song starts out saying “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, boys and motherfucking girls…” and goes on from there. Let’s just say singing along to the chorus while on the treadmill might land you in some trouble.
  2. “I’m Black/Colored Spade” from the musical Hair – Want people to think you are a racist asshole? Then sing this song in your car at the top of your lungs. This song is just a list of racial slurs for black people, that when taken out of context could seem like a horrible thing to listen to. My BFF and I actually really like the musical and we used to sing this song rollin’ in her Chevy Sprint until the day we got some really strange looks from a neighboring car.
  3. “Sit on My Face and Tell Me That You Love Me” by Monty Python – I think this one is pretty self explanatory.
  4. “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” by Toby Keith – The mere fact that this song exists is embarrassing enough, but I would be mortified if I were ever caught singing the lyrics ‘And you’ll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A. ‘Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass, It’s the American way’. Is it? I don’t really know much about this Toby Keith dude, but I know that his ridiculous song about being a stereotypical American douchebag is beyond embarrassing. If you actually own this song go ahead and delete it from your library. I’ll wait. 
  5. “Pop That Coochie” by 2 Live Crew – 2 Live Crew is a cornucopia of embarrassing song lyrics. It was pretty hard for me to choose between this song and the infamous “Me So Horny”. But when I thought about walking around town singing the chorus, this song was by far the winner. Eww. 

Top Movie Scores of All Time Ever in the World!

I’m sitting here in my new flat while the guy who came here to change the locks and broken windows is having a nice conversation on the phone. I could be here for a while. So, instead of stalking people on Facebook or reading more about the debt ceiling, I will give you a new list! A few of you have expressed “WOO!” after reading my lists, and lord knows I like making them so, here you go.

I chose film scores because I love movies. If a movie is done well, the score will add to it and be just as memorable (ala Jaws. Would that shark have been half as scary with out the famous “Da dum Da dum…” ?) In no particular order, here you go!

1. Star Wars – John Williams Duh. I know it is an obvious choice, but the music in this movie is seriously bad ass. It has seeped into our collective brain and we all know what it sounds like when Darth Vader is on the move. I walked down the aisle to the Imperial March.

2. Pather Panchali – Ravi Shankar A beautiful movie about love, family and redemption. It is highlighted by the sitar music throughout. It made me fall in love with the film. 

3. The Godfather – Nino Rota I had to do some research about Mr. Rota, and I’m glad I did. It seems he is responsible for some of my favorite movie scores! Aside from The Godfather, the Italian composer did such gems as 81/2, La Strada, and Romeo and Juliet. The Godfather score is hands down the winner, but they are all awesome. Give a listen.

4. The Mission – Ennio Morricone I saw The Mission in the theater when I was 12 years old. I didn’t understand everything that was going on in the film, but the music stayed with me. The score is haunting and inspiring. The movie is pretty bad ass too. Sure I could have gone with “A Fist Full of Dollars”, but I thought for once I’d be a little classy. You’re welcome.  

5. Escape From New York – Alan Howarth & John Carpenter Ok, granted – this is not one of the best film scores of all time, but it is awesome. Maybe I just have sentimental feeling for the movie, but every time I hear it I feel that time is running out! It sounds like all of Carpenter’s score’s – simple, keyboards, and momentum. Say what you will, I still like it. 

6.  Amélie – Yann Tiersen The music is so much a part of this film that it is hard to separate the two. Both are full of personality and life. I am a sucker for piano, and add a little accordion to it and I am sold. It’s quirky and beautiful, just like the film. 

7. Gone With the Wind – Max Steiner All of Max Steiner’s scores are full of drama, and I love music that is full of drama! Thus my love for Meatloaf, show tunes, Barbara Streisand and films from the 1940’s. Gone With the Wind is one of the most famous scores of film history and one that sweeps you away. Every time I hear it I want to watch the movie.

8. American Beauty – Thomas Newman Another haunting piano driven score. The music in this film was perfect, and it is a nice distraction to the man hammering in the next room. Newman, take me away! His music in Road to Perdition was a close second. Actually his entire catalogue is spectacular.

9. El Mariachi/Desperado – Los Lobos Just awesome. I dare you to listen to the “Mariachi Suite” and not fall in love with it. The movies are pretty bad ass as well. 

10. Buckaroo Banzai – ??? This is a toughie. I have always had a soft spot for the music in this film, but it seems that you just can’t find it anywhere. If you are interested in hearing “The Glory Walk” which makes me smile every time, check out this article. But here it is: 

11. Cannibal Holocaust – Riz Ortolani Have you seen this? Probably not. It is an Italian “Horror” film that is so graphic it was dubbed as a “snuff film”. Either way, the music that goes with the blood and guts is so calm and beautiful it makes the EWW factor that much more icky.

12. Harold and Maude – Cat Stevens One of my favorite films of all time wth one of the best soundtracks ever. Steven’s wrote two songs just for this beautiful love story. It all works. Maude is my hero.  

And that’s all folks. I could write about Jaws and Psycho, but what’s the point? You all know that the music from ET is great, Wizard of Oz is timeless, and that the score from “Lawrence of Arabia” is legendary so I thought I’d throw you a couple you might not have heard. That’s all for now. I’m going to go walk around the other room and see if dude is going to finish before I go gray.

30 Days of Song… all at once

There is a thing going around the Facebook right now called, “30 Day Song Challenge”. You are supposed to choose a song that fits a certain category for 30 days. It reminds me of those old MySpace quizzes that I publicly mocked yet secretly enjoyed doing. But, I have been looking at this “challenge” and noticed a couple of things. First, it’s not much of a “challenge”, and second some of the categories suck. SO – I am going to change it up a little.

The following will be my own “30 Day Song Challenge” – except I am going to post the all at once and I am going to change the lame categories (“Song that makes you feel guilty” What?!) to cooler, more Alicia-centric categories. I like all sorts of music so hopefully this list will be both fun and informative for you. Or just something to peruse at the office til you get done with work. Oh, and there won’t be 30.

  1. Your Favorite Song – Yeah… I can’t really choose ONE favorite song. I think for most people as they grow and change, so does their favorite music. So, I’ll give you two.. or three.  Also “What’ll I do” by Judy Garland
  2. Your LEAST Favorite Song – Pretty much anything by Morrissey, but if I have to choose from his horribly whiney collection it’s gonna have to be this gem – “A light That Never Goes Out”. And all you get is the link cause they suck.
  3. Song that makes you happy – Again, here there are just too many to choose from. SO many songs make me really happy! I am choosing “This Time Tomorrow” by the Kinks because it is just awesome and really does make me happy. 
  4. Song that makes you sad – Best Sad Song – I don’t “get sad” listening to music. But I can feel the pain when I hear this song. 
  5. Song that reminds you of someone – Ambiguous much? TONS of songs remind me of different people. So you get this, from one of my favorite bands. And no, you don’t get to know who. 
  6. Song that reminds you of somewhere – This song will always say “Prague” to me. “LOVE TODAY” – Mika
  7. Song that reminds you of a certain event – Lame. How about a song that makes you wanna DANCE! – And this one is a no brainer. “SINGLE LADIES” – Beyonce
  8. Song no one would expect you to love – Since I HATE Depeche Mode, most people find it odd that I adore this song. It’s just beautiful. 
  9. Song that describes you –  OR “Stephanie Says” by VU
  10. Song from your favorite BAND – Another hard call, but I am gonna have to go with the Rolling Stones. And my favorite song of theirs. RAUNCHY BABY! 
  11. Sexiest Song – “I Wanna Be Your Lover” by Prince or “I Want You” by Elvis Costello. This song is what longing, sex and fierce desire feels like. I LOVE how it builds and builds… just awesome.
  12. Song that makes you laugh – Aside from Morrissey? um… 
  13. Song about where you are from – So very many to choose from, but I am going with this one  OR “Walking in LA” – Missing Persons
  14. Song from your childhood – This is not only a good show, but a bad ass song! 
  15. A song that inspires you – 

Soundtrack of My Life…

So, while searching the Blog-o-sphere I have come across a few blogs that I enjoy. I found a few by some cool women who live in the same town i will be moving to in August. This was on one of them… Pretty neat. Now you are supposed to play this game by selecting Random…but I am going to choose my own little playlist…I like to control the outcome. hell, I used to cheat at Choose your own Adventure books. Anyway. Check it out.

1. Open your library of songs, such as Itunes)
2. Select Random play mode
3. Press Play
4. For each question, respond with the song you’re listening to
5. When you go to respond to the next question, press Next

THE SCENES
• Opening Credits: Kahlua by Percy Faith
• Awakening (how your day begins): Don’t Rain on My Parade by Barbara Striesand
• First Day of Classes or Work: Rudie Can’t Fail by The Clash
• Kissing Scene: I Want You by Elvis Costello or Love Me by Elvis Presley
• Fight Scene: This Day by The Epoxies
• Breaking Point: Where is My Mind??? by The Pixies
• Graduation: One Day at a Time Theme song
• My Big Blowout: Down, Down, Down by Tom Waits
• Mental Shock: Where Does the Good Go by Tegan and Sara
• Song for Driving: Born to Run by Springsteen
• Reconciliation: Tear in Your Hand by Tori Amos
• Flashback: Baba O’ Riley by The Who
• Wedding: Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley
• Birth of My Child: Into the Mystic by Van Morrison
• Paying Dues: Children of the Revolution by T. Rex
• Moment of Final Triumph: You Can’t Always Get What you Want by The Stones
• Final Battle: Sheena is a Punk Rocker by The Ramones
• Death Scene: Down with the Sickness by Richard Cheese
• Funeral Scene: Cabaret by Liza Minelli
• Final Credits: This Time Tomorrow by The Kinks