All-time favorite and expanding list of favorite song lyrics

Posted on July 2nd, 2007 in Music by mynagirl

Now here you are with your faith
And your Peter Pan advice
You have no scars on your face
And you cannot handle Pressure
Pressure, by Billy Joel

Funny how my memory skips
While looking over manuscripts
of unpublished rhyme
Drinking my vodka and lime
Hazy Shade of Winter, by Simon and Garfunkel

I have my books
and my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room
Safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock
I am an island
…and a rock feels no pain
…and an island never cries
I am a Rock, by Simon and Garfunkel

I mean… I mean… I’m sitting here on the Group W bench, and you wanna know if I’m moral enough to join the Army, burn women, kids, houses, and villages… after being a litterbug?
Alice’s Restaurant, by Arlo Guthrie

You call her home
And you want to move in
But a house is not a home
And a home is not a house
When there’s not enough room for you
She, by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians

The whole world is festering with unhappy souls

The French hate the Germans

The Germans hate the Poles

Italians hate Yugoslavs

South Africans hate the Dutch

and I don’t like anybody very much

The Merry Minuet, by The Kingston Trio

All I hear is

“Lyrics, lyrics,” constant controversy

Sponsors working round the clock to try to stop my concerts early

Surely hip-hop was never a problem in Harlem

Only in Boston

After it bothered the fathers

of daughters starting to blossom

White America, by Eminem

and I’m living off of grass

and the drippings from the ceiling

It’s okay to eat fish

Because they don’t have any feeling

Something in the Way, by Nirvana

Standin’ on the sidelines waving and grinnin’

You fondle my trigger then you blame my gun

But when I think of it my fingers turn to fists

I never did anything to you, man

But no matter what I try you’ll beat me with your bitter lies

So call me crazy, hold me down, make my cry, get off now baby

It won’t be long before you’re lying limp in your own hands

Limp, by Fiona Apple

Well I never been to England

But I kinda like the Beatles

Well, I headed for Las Vegas

Only made it out to Needles

Never Been to Spain, by Three Dog Night

You been playin’ where you shouldn’ta been playin’

And you keep thinking that you’ll never get burned

I just found me a brand new box of matches, yeah

And what he knows you ain’t had time to learn

These Boots are Made for Walking, by Nancy Sinatra

For somebody who don’t drive

I’ve been all around the world

Brand New Key, by Melanie

Your day breaks

Your mind aches

You find that all her words of kindness linger on when she no longer needs you

And in her eyes you see nothing

No sign of love behind the tears cried for no one

A love that should have lasted years

For No One, by The Beatles

No short-haired, yellow-bellied son-of-Tricky-Dicky’s gonna Mother Hubbard soft-soap me with just a pocket full of hope

Money for dope

Money for rope

Gimme Some Truth, by John Lennon

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be

All You Need is Love, by The Beatles

He went out tiger hunting

Wedding Songs

Posted on February 2nd, 2006 in Commentary,Music by mynagirl

Some songs are so sweet, so romantic, so personal, you just have to imagine how great they would be as a wedding song. Here’s my personal list as I run across them:

In My Life, by The Beatles — I’m partial to this one since it was at our wedding
Into the Mystic, by Van Morrison — you have to hear this song if you’ve never heard it before. It is so beautiful and wonderful I tear up every time I hear it.
When I’m 64, the Beatles — Just wonderful.

Lyrics to “You Are Worthless Alec Baldwin”

Posted on March 2nd, 2005 in Music,Television by mynagirl


You Are Worthless Alec Baldwin

Words and music by (presumably) Trey Parker and Matt Stone:

I was sent from planet Xiron to conquer the earth
I had a terrific plan — I thought it would work
Tried to get the Earthlings all to kill each other you see
But it all went wrong and now I must decree…

You are worthless Alec Baldwin, you are worthless Alec Baldwin
You failed in every way and now my stock in you has fallen
Your career is stallin’ and you’re worthless Alec Baldwin
That’s why I blew your head off and your children are all bawlin’

Planet Xiron is inhabited with Xipods like me
But also with Balmacs who are giant bees
The Xipods and Balmacs are at constant war
So we wanted a new home and that’s what Earth was for

But you are worthless Alec Baldwin, you are worthless Alec Baldwin
You fucked up my whole plan and now Xiron is smeared with Balmac pollen
Your garbage needs some haulin’ and you’re worthless Alec Baldwin
Now I must return home a failure — I’m afraid the pit of Kryrok is callin’…

Bruised Apple: The iPod on Windows Experience

Posted on February 1st, 2005 in Music,Product Reviews,Technology by mynagirl

Don’t Stop the Music

I am a listen-to-music-at-work kinda person. Ever since I’ve had a job with enough autonomy and desktime to allow it, I listen to music via headphones while I work. And since I don’t like to have any extraneous apps running on my workstation (much less keep music on a corporate machine), I like to have my music on a device that is disconnected from my actual PC, so I always have something to play my music with. Also, as a former runner, I used to take stuff with me on the hoof. So, I’ve had a few MP3-playing devices in my day.

My most recent device was an iRiver — most specifically, an iRiver 400-series CD player that will play MP3s burned onto CD. (I also have some familiarity with the iRiver solid state MP3 players, having bought the G-I-R-L one for running). The iRiver has a somewhat daunting and extremely tiny interface, but it’s highly customizable once you figure it out. The CD player has limitations, though — a CD can only fit about 200 or so MP3s on it, and after having that same CD at work for a few weeks you get pretty tired of that same mix. Plus, if you buy a new CD and rip those songs into MP3s, you have to re-burn a new MP3 mix CD just to add the 1 or 2 new songs you want to add into the mix. It can be a drag.

Before that I had (and actually, prior to the iPod, still used for exercising) an ancient RCA Lyra device and it’s really unusable — MP3s have to be custom-encoded with specific software in order to get transferred onto the Flash memory through a parallel-port flash reader that’s REALLY SLOW. It’s literally a 30-minute process. You can imagine how often the songs get changed on THAT device… not much incentive to do a 30 minute session on the elliptical when you’ve got the same 15 songs you had 6 months ago waiting for you and your workout.

Under My Thumb

At Christmas, the G-I-R-L (whose Indiana parents use a Mac) came down to visit with an Apple iPod in tow. Although we often had to pry the earbuds out of her ears to get her to actually join family events, I eventually asked her for some details on the little machine and (despite myself) got intrigued. I mean… 20 GB of music right there in such a tiny package is pretty enticing. Plus, we have an auxiliary jack in our Honda Element and the iPod hooks right up to it to put tunes into the car. (The iRiver CD player can do the same thing but it’s much more cumbersome to try and stuff the CD player into the glove box and hook up a power cord, etc).

And I gotta give it to Apple, the clickwheel is a really innovative interface. It feels a bit like an Etch-a-Sketch at first, but it’s a GREAT way to turn the

The Ten Albums on the Jukebox if I Were Marooned on a Deserted Island

Posted on February 1st, 2005 in Music by The Donkeys

Police, Synchronicity

Eagles, Greatest Hits Volume I

Garbage, 2.0

Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine

Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life

Prince, Purple Rain

Jet: Get Born (**½)

Posted on October 21st, 2003 in Music by mynagirl

This is the resurgence of garage rock, hunh? I’m no expert (couldn’t tell a Hive from a Vine if I had a bad case of both), but I have to say, if you’re going to listen to non-groundbreaking musical stylings, I find that straight-up, just-one-shade-above-playing-at-a-local-bar type rock-and-roll ain’t a bad way to go.

So far everything about this CD experience has been nearly straight out of the late 70’s. I bought it low-tech: I heard their song once on the radio, thought it catchy, and went right out to Best Buy to get it without hearing / researching any further (“How retro,” comments engineerboy dryly). The album looks low-tech: I’m convinced the cover art might actually be the “Stillwater” album from Almost Famous. Either that or Jet found the guy who did the cover art for my mom’s album The Best of Bread, circa 1976. The sparse liner notes don’t even contain lyrics and are remarkably free of any shout-outs to their homies. Even the couple photos of these guys are of a taken-on-the-subway-with-a-shaky-35-mm quality. However, later during the day I buy the CD I realize the song I like is one of the tunes on the new iPod for PC commercials… so it’s not all throw-back, I guess.

The rock on this album (we’ll drag that concept out of the dustbin) is straight-up and fun, if not exactly revolutionary. I can name about five bands that might want to consider suing Jet for too closely resembling their sound — they are a remarkable blender combo of AC/DC, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Clash, and Golden Earring. Oh, and I think the Bangles might even have a quarrel with the tambourine intro to “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”. (Ok, so maybe I’m missing the point of garage rock, but stiilll, synthesize your own sound at least a liiittle bit). Nitpicking aside, when the songs rock, they rock. The current hit tune is a fun blast, “Rollover DJ” is kicky and exuberant, and “Cold Hard Bitch” (the most AC/DC-esque of the bunch) is excellent. Makes me wanna don my Nascar tank top and head to an ice house. As a matter of fact, if this album had more of its rocking songs on there, I’d give it a higher rating. There are a few too many Beatles-inflected piano intro songs on there… I’d make a joke about the Kiss pioneer power ballad “Beth”, but it’s low-hanging fruit — the last would-be-soulful tune on the CD is called “Timothy”, so the joke’s just too easy.

All in all, though, it’s an enjoyable if uneven ride. I can skip past the slow tunes pretty easily, and the rest is unchallenging and unpretentious. If you think modern music is pretty much crap since, oh, 1983 or so, then this is the album for you. Mynagirl says, “Rock on!”

Weird Al Yankovic is a Genius

Posted on August 2nd, 2003 in Music by mynagirl

One of the wonderful things about a friendship and relationship is the glorious dance of discovery and compromise that comes about as you mix and match your preferences, likes, and dislikes with those of your mate. Often, your similar likes are what bring you together in the first place: a shared reverence for the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique album, the ability to quote from The Princess Bride, a fondness for wry humor and a well-turned phrase, a love of technology.

Then, as you get to know each other better, you find that some of your tastes don’t always match up. I remember being a bit taken aback when I first learned Scott found my morning staple of NPR pretentious and tedious, and instead revealed that he had been a Howard Stern listener. I was surprised by his look of pained endurance (much like a faithful hound dog getting a medical procedure) as we watched one of my favorite all-time movies, the Burt Reynolds / Dolly Parton musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. In turn, I’m sure he was disappointed when we watched one of his favorite movies, What’s Up, Doc? and I was irritated and impatient with the female character’s nasal voice and intrusive meddling.

However, this experimentation also leads both parties to the wonderful broadening of experience and taste as you are exposed to things your mate likes that you also find delightful. I now love the movies So I Married an Axe Murderer (“We’ve got a piperrr down!!”) and Doctor Strangelove (“I do not avoid women, Mandrake… but I deny them my essence.”). He and I now both watch his favorite show of Seinfeld together constantly, and I even loved Howard Stern’s movie Private Parts. Similarly, Scott now listens to Eminem and Busta Rhymes with me and even enjoyed 8 Mile after we saw it together. He loves the short-lived cartoon show The Critic that I introduced him to and watched The South Park Movie at my urging (loved it).

Over the years of our friendship, relationship, and marriage, Scott has always loved Weird Al Yankovic. God forbid the Coolio song “Gansta’s Paradise” be played, lest Scott feel the need to belt out Weird Al’s parody, “Amish Paradise”:

It’s hard work and sacrifice

Living in an Amish paradise

We sell quilts at discount price

Living in an Amish paradise

That parody annoyed the hell outta me! First of all, I liked Coolio’s song, and the Stevie Wonder song on which it was based. Weird Al’s song spoiled it for me! Because, after enough repetitions of Scott singing or playing the Weird Al version, I would hear the Weird Al lyrics in my head even if I was listening to the Coolio version.

Years ago, when Scott bought the album “Running with Scissors” and played the song “The Saga Begins” (about Episode One of the Star Wars series), I thought the lyrics were mildly clever but I wasn’t a big Star Wars fan, so it didn’t really do much for

Play That Funky Music

Posted on April 5th, 2003 in Music by EngineerBoy

(Note: The songs in this rant have hotlinks to pages at music sales sites (Amazon, Barnes & Nobles) that have audio samples. This does not imply endorsement of these external sites or their products, but are presented simply as a convenience for you, the reader.)

I adolesced in the ’70s, in a small, coastal Texas town. My available music selections were country (ubiquitous), rock (one fuzzy, whiny AM station from Houston), pop (2 hours a day on the local station, one station out of Victoria), and whatever records or 8-tracks I could afford to buy (or borrow from my sister). And unlike many of my peers, music was not central to my teenage years. I mean, there was music that I liked, but I didn’t live/breathe music, or worship any bands, or scrimp and save to get the money to buy tickets for concerts in far-off, exotic places like Corpus Christi and San Antonio. I listened to some music, did a little country dancing, and that was about it.

Then I went off to college, at the University of Houston. College being college, many things changed for me, including my musical tastes and perspectives. For instance, I finally matured to the point where I began to get a glimmer of an understanding of the greatness of the Beatles. I realized that I wasn’t angst-y or disaffected enough to relate to punk rock. I heard the first twangs of the nascent new-country sound, and found it repugnant. I also started getting very tired of hearing ever-more-generic disco songs.

And I also discovered something else. I found that there were some core songs and groups, labeled as disco by most, that I not only never grew tired of, but that I grew to like more and more. And as I explored this predilection, I found that while disco was the colorful, thin, wispy candy shell, the chocolate inside was nasty, groovy funk.

That Was An Epiphany
It all started one evening during my first year of college. I was in the University Center (UC, sort of a student center), and I could hear the thump-thump-thump of music being played loudly in one of the large conference halls. The beat and sound were very appealing to me, so I wandered over and found that one of the local fraternities was having a fundraising dance. I paid my $2 and went inside and found that I was the only Caucasian in the place, as far as I could see (and, being 6’5″, I could see pretty far). The dance was being put on by the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, which is a primarily African American fraternity. You may know them as the fraternity that brands (or branded, I don’t know if they still do it) their pledges on the shoulder with the Greek letter Omega.

Needless to say, I felt pretty out-of-place. I mean, I was a tall, white, 17 year old country boy come to the big city, so this was a very new experience for me, to say

Why I Like Eminem’s Music

Posted on November 23rd, 2002 in Entertainment,Music by mynagirl

I like Eminem’s music. A lot. I bought “The Eminem Show” when it came out, and it’s been in nearly constant CD player rotation since. Even my favorite I-listen-to-classic-rock older guy is starting to find it interesting and catchy. (Although I have to admit I didn’t even try to expose him to the music until after he saw and liked 8 Mile).

My first introduction to his music was from my nieces and nephew controlling the constantly-on TV during summer family gatherings. Eminem was a relief after what seemed like a solid week of Real World histrionics. The video was “What I Am” from his disc The Marshall Mathers LP. It seemed catchy and at least somewhat interesting, lyrically. When the “The Eminem Show” was released, I bought it on spec. Let’s see if this guy actually has anything to say, I thought.

Before I launch into any blisteringly insightful analysis of why I like Eminem’s music, I should provide you with my general taste requirements for music:

Marie’s Grand Musical Requirement Number One
It’s interesting, musically. I know this sounds self-evident, but my main requirement for liking something is that it has a good bassline (“I Wish” by Stevie Wonder), interesting harmonies (“Mrs. Robinson” by Simon & Garfunkel or anything by Gillian Welch), a great beat (um, somewhat embarrassingly, I offer “Jukebox Hero” by Foreigner), or a relentless but interesting hook to keep me, well, hooked (“Jump Around” by House of Pain or “Insane in the Membrane” by Cypress Hill epitomize this category).

Marie’s Grand Musical Requirement Number Two
It’s interesting, lyrically. I am a play-it-super-loud-until-it-wears-out kinda music listener. (I think I get this from my dad, who shares my penchant for sternum-rattling stereo volume in one’s car). I’m also in the Car Singer’s All Time Hall of Fame. This means that I end up knowing every single word, breath, and nuance of a song when I play it for even a few number of repetitions. So… if it’s lyrical drivel, I just can’t tolerate it for too long, even if it’s decent, musically. (Witness my short infatuations with a Britney Spears song or N*Sync – well produced pop songs, all right, but not very compelling). Songs I would consider lyrically amazing include:

• “The Boxer”, also by Simon and Garfunkel:
I have squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises

• “Strawberry Letter 22” by Shuggie Otis, a little more well known by the Brothers Johnson:
Stained window, yellow candy screen
See speakers of kite – with velvet roses diggin’ freedom flight
(See, it doesn’t even have to make sense to the non-mind-altered, it just has to be interesting!)

• “Barroom Girls” by Gillian Welch
Oh the night came undone like a party dress
And fell at her feet in a beautiful mess
The smoke and the whiskey came home in her curls