I’ve been obsessed with: White Guy With Acoustic Guitar Songs

You know, impassionate ballads that’re either cocky, compensating for something, or both. These songs usually suck, and I kind of love them.

Hey Soul Sister by Train is a perfect example, singer trying way too hard to be cool, stating things in stupidly unorthodox ways, and kind of oversinging? (“My heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest” and “Lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left-side brains” respectively) How could you not love it? It’s a beautifully inept song that hit the pop charts extremely hard. It does, however, deserve an honorable mention on my post about music with art references, because the chorus references Mr. Mister, and one of the verses references Like a Virgin by Madonna. I can’t believe I missed that, I’m disappointed in you, N…

N-yway, there’s also songs like I’m Yours by Jason Mraz, that pretends to be more than it is, that being a shallow love song talking about checking your tongue in the mirror, and other such absurd phrasing. Half of this song is scatting, as well, and it’s decent, but not the best, Jason Mraz is a singer first, scatman second. 

There’s also 7 Years by Lukas Graham, a band named after the front man, Lukas Graham (how pretentious). This song does not have an acoustic guitar, but it is still simplistic, with constant oversinging, a tonal problem of the gods, trying to be more than it is, and odd, over the top lyrics just to name a few. Being a white guy with an acoustic guitar is a state of mind. You could be an Indian woman playing an Accordion, and still be a white guy with an acoustic guitar if you had that state of mind.

These can be good songs, and I actually really enjoy two of these. The third is 7 Years. What do you think of my rambling? I have read every comment thrown my way thus far. On that note, maybe I can get my first ever comment this post?

I’ve Been Obsessed With: Music with Odd References To Other Art

You guys know Breakfast at Tiffany’s? The song about a couple that’s falling apart, without anything in common, but that desperately try to find something to relate to. That thing being that they both kinda’ liked Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the movie. Not to be confused with the book Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or the song, also called Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which they are singing. This is a song written in the 90s based around a 1960s film adaptation of a 1950s book, and that got me thinking, what other allusions to other media are found in pop songs?

Now, of course there’s She’s So High by Tal Bachman, which has a reference to Aphrodite, but that’s boring, and way too common place, goddess of love, and all. Why focus on the boring when you have All Summer Long by Kid Rock? All Summer Long has been described as a mixture of Werewolves of London and Sweet Home Alabama, using some Frankenstein instrumental ripped off from both, and even mentioning Sweet Home Alabama by name as a song they sing all summer long. Coincidentally, these ties to great songs do not make this, in my opinion, sub par song great, it just makes me crave those great songs, instead, therefore, not wishing to listen to All Summer Long.

And finally, of course, I couldn’t write a post like this without mentioning the least creative, and least affectionate love song I’ve heard, Love You Like A Love Song by real life witch, herself, Selena Gomez. I do not like this song, it’s essentially saying, “Hey, I love you. How? Listen to a love song, I love you like that. Which love song? Why any, you picky bastard. :)” I may be a little cynical, but this is how the song acts, I’ve never liked the song, but it has to be on here, because, not only does it fit the criteria, but it’s so lazy about it. Breakfast at Tiffany’s has a thematic reason, She’s So High and All Summer Long do, too, and I could even forgive this song if it said something like, “I love you like If You Like Piña Coladas.” Or, “I love you like Rico… Suave…” because then, at least, there’d be a reason in song for these, to give the song context. And yet, I still have this song stuck in my head, and it’s kinda catchy, so obviously it does something right.

I’ve Been Obsessed With: Weird 80s One-Hit Wonders

“Geez, N., running out of ideas already?” I imagine you saying, looking at the oddly specific topic, but I have odd music kicks that no one understands but myself. This recent obsession came from a freshly uploaded One-Hit Wonderland episode from Todd in the Shadows, where he talks about a little ditty called Mexican Radio by ‘Wall of Voodoo’.

Mexican Radio is an odd little number, especially considering the time period, where country hadn’t seeped into the new-wave scene, but somehow, we got this glorious little piece of incongruent beauty, a 1980s New-Wave/Country Group. How could you go wrong? The lead singer had a voice inflection like ‘They Might Be Giants’, but with even less restraint, a drummer that rarely played the actual drums, and synth-harmonica, a beautiful mix for a song that I just had to teach myself on my ukulele.

There’s also the all time classic, Turning Japanese a song about masturbation. I don’t know how that connects with turning japanese, but damn if it isn’t catchy. This song is something that needs to be remembered for years to come as an odd piece of musical history that we can learn from, grow from, and love. 

There’s Come On, Eileen, an all time classic, remembered to this day about learning to break free from shackles, grow up, and be happy; The Safety Dance, a song about the world’s safest (and most boring) dance, written to combat the negativity put toward mosh pits when they were first created; Even ‘A Flock Of Seagulls’s I Ran, a song about aliens, where the most alien thing is the lead singer’s hairstyle, I’ve found a love for the weird decade of one-hit wonders that the 80s was, what with the birth of the music video, and such. 

So, that’s what I’ve Been Obsessed With this week, tell me what you think about it, and please, suggest some music you’d think I’d enjoy in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for reading this week.

I’ve Been Obsessed With: Ska

The sounds of those trumpets, the frat boy attitudes, the casual take at serious subjects, I love ska. Recently, I’ve been ever so completely obsessed with this genre. One part blues, two parts reggae and rock, a beautiful recipe to make delicious songs. Take the Big Bad Bosstones’ The Impression That I Get, a song all about being fearful of doing anything because things might go wrong, never having to knock on wood, that fear making the life worse than if bad luck had consumed them, never having been tested, but if he was, he’d like to think he would pass, but, he doesn’t know, he’s never had to knock on wood.

Or, another one, look at Reel Big Fish, and their songs like One Hit Wonderful a song about the frivolity of being a one hit wonder, like these guys were, how no one really cared about them, only that one song that happened to be popular, ironically, a song about the frivolity and falseness of being a celebrity with a big record deal. Another one I’ve quite enjoyed is She Has a Girlfriend Now, a self deprecating, humourous look at something that’s happened to a good deal of guys, being a beard, dating a lesbian. It’s quite possibly the closest to home of any of these songs, but I digress.

There’s something about this music that brings a smile to my face, and makes me think, it’s lighthearted drama, a painful reality tied up in a candy coloured packaging. It’s upbeat, optimistic, and yet sad, thought provoking, and cynical. Ska truly is a wonderful genre.

Update

I have made the decision to make this a lot more casual, as the serious (and let’s be real, pretentious) tone of the previous posts last year caused me to burn out quickly. The pretentious toned posts will still be there, for sure, but I’ll have not only more posts (or posts at all, I’m sorry I haven’t updated), but more of an insight into my life, things like genres and albums I’m listening to, songs I’m teaching myself, shows I’ve been watching, and the like.

A Fairytale of New York – Obligatory Christmas Special

The bells are ringing out, so it must be Christmas day. This song is a tradition in and of itself in my life, it’s a song that tells a glorious story, full of loss, pain, and realization, but I’m getting too far ahead of myself, now aren’t I?
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Skinny Love-A Skinny Tight Rope to Walk

My my my, my my my, my-my my my, what have we come across here? Skinny Love was originally written by an American Indie Folk band called Bon Iver, and is not only able to show how a song can create more feelings beside happiness, but also a testament to how white my music taste is. It’s a song that I learned about from a good friend of mine, her being more familiar with the cover by Birdie, a song which I will touch more upon at the end of this post. So, without further adeu, I must start with how I do every other post, the song and the lyrics. Continue reading