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Friday, May 13, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

Finally Friday…  and never has it been more welcome.  Ok, there have been many times it has been more welcome.  But after a week that saw my daughter get her first cast, some work turmoil and dread, the Spring school concert, I am beyond ready for the weekend. 

And since I mentioned my injured superstar I devote today’s music selections to her.  Below please find the latest tracks she has either purchased, sung along to or otherwise mentioned over the past few weeks.  Yes, I have a hipster 3rd grader.  How pretentious does that make me?  Before you judge take a look at the 97 Nissan Altima parked in my poorly paved driveway.  The defense rests.


For weeks I have either skipped over or ignored Paper Tongues’ hit “Trinity.”  Now that the little one digs it I have found myself addicted as well.  It is the old Costanza “By Mennen” theory.  The more often I have sat through it I began to tolerate it.  Soon I was confident enough to ask for a 1st date.  Having seen the video recently, and learning they are managed by American Idol’s top dawg Randy Jackson I do feel a bit like a tool recommending this…  but nonetheless.  Hailing from Charlotte and looking all of 15 years old, they have a certain something.  Co-stanza.  And again, excuse me for rolling up the windows in the car when I am rocking out.

The Kaiser Chiefs have been around for a few years now.  In fact, they formed in 1997.  Their big hit, ‘Ruby” from the 2007 album “Yours Truly, Angry Mob” was a nice bit of pop/punk fun.  For some reason their song “I Predict a Riot” has been hitting the airwaves more frequently of late.  Taken from their first LP, back in 2004, I like it mainly for its catchy refrain.  As my daughter will be quick to tell you…  “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.”  Find your inner English soccer hooligan and have a blast with it.  It is the weekend after all.  And who doesn’t like a good night of wilding??  I can just see Guy Ritchie ruining this song in one of his awful, unintelligible movies.  High time I get working on that screenplay so I can beat him to it.   Also, please take a look at “Never Miss a Beat”  More groovy neo punk clearly inspired by Sex Pistols/Ramones/Drunkeness.  A big fan of the line “It’s cool to know nothing.”  Finally, vindication.

Everyone had a song they got psyched up to prior to the big game back in the day.  Funny mine, at the tiniest of West Jersey parochial schools was, Grandmaster Melle Mel’s cautionary tale of cocaine abuse "White Lines"(  When I think back at us lily white kids coming out from the locker room with that bass line beating I am both horrified and amused.  These days en route to either soccer or softball, the soundtrack is decidedly different.   If Bruno Mars or Lady Gaga does not do the trick these next few picks have caught my young one’s attention.

“Second Chance” is Swedish duo Peter Bjorn and John’s biggest hit since 2006’s infectious and then ubiquitous “Young Folks.”  Much like Paper Tongues’ ‘Trinity” I had a hard time warming up to this track.  No longer.  This is yet another catchy, fun pop tune.   Like many newer acts you have to learn to take these guys at face value.  I have no desire to see them perform live.  However, the production they bring to a single song is flawless.  I can appreciate the skill required to mix and over-lap beats, vocals, etc…  If you do something right stick with it.  Why do you think I am such an accomplished listener and watcher.  I know my strengths.  Oh, and did I mention agitator?  First team All State 38 years running.  Back to the point…  take a look/listen: 

California based rockers Airborne Toxic Event had one of my favorite tunes of the past 5 years, 2008’s “Sometime Around Midnight.”  Full of angst, and doubt married nicely with melody and gasp, strings, I could not get enough of this song.  Maybe now that I read of band leader’s tragic background:  (Initially a writer and essayist, Mikel Jollett began seriously writing songs with an acoustic guitar following a week in March of 2006, during which he underwent a break-up, learned his mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and was himself diagnosed with a genetic autoimmune disease that led to the development of two cosmetic conditions: Alopecia areata and Vitiligo) I have found myself liking them more.  Their 2nd LP, “All at Once” brings us the joyful and optismistic “Changing.”  This is the type of song every 8 year old should be stretching to prior to the big game.  What, you expected “Whip My Hair?” 

Now I am off…  can we please put an end to Will Smith and ALL of his family members???  No more Jayden singing with Bieber?  No more bastardizing cherished movies!!!  No more exploiting your daughter for the sake of bad music.  And please, for the love of God, no more Jada Pinkett talking on Oprah’s couch like she was African Royalty!!!  I will never forget he was once spouting about how parents just don’t understand w/ Jazzy Jeff.  Go away please!!!  And take your hangers on with you.

But anyway…  for less annoying stuff (in my humble opinion) check out this small sample from Airborne Toxic Event: 

Got more, but I will save for next week.  Will also try to get back to film/tv if and when I see some quality.  A big if/when indeed. 

Peace in the mideast.

take a look at for my other blog postings.  They relate more to my town, but the one I wrote on sportsmanship (“Play Nice”) has generated a spirited response.  Would love others to join in the discussion.  Have a great weekend and sincere thanks for reading.

Hank B

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