csberry: (Default)
Things were just too busy on Friday and Saturday...and then I woke up sick on Sunday, so I'm having to post my final entry in this series a few days later than it should have been. I know, you were all anxious about this.

Looking back at my music posts a year ago, my big addiction at the time was Friendly Fire's album. Of those songs, "Skeleton Boy" was getting the most spins. Here's the video for the song. And any parents that watch this will instantly see a similarity to how the lead singer of Friendly Fire dances and how Elmo dances.

csberry: (Default)
I'll keep this simple. The first 45 that I bought (Yes, I'm old enough to have started my music collection on vinyl!) was "Ebony & Ivory" by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

csberry: (Not Naughty)
It took much gnashing of teeth to think of a song to fit and then took myself a while to decide to be open and share the song and the reason why it makes me feel guilty. There isn't anything about the song itself that makes me feel guilty, it is how I once used it.

There was a woman (who shall go unnamed) that I had become every emotionally attached to in college. As someone with a certain flair for Hollywood-dramatic gestures, when I left her apartment upset about how our relationship was going...my brain dialed up the appropriate teen movie reference. I hopped in my car and blared Peter Gabriel's "Blood of Eden" (since I had my cassette of Us in the car) outside her bedroom window that faced the parking lot. About half way through the song, she came out, told me to turn off the damned music, and come back inside. Yes, it was a horribly sappy and contrived thing to do. I feel guilty and embarrassed for doing it and forcing her into that scenario. Although I really think Us is a great album, I rarely listen to it because my whole body just cringes when I get to "Blood of Eden" (which, admittedly, is a beautiful song).

csberry: (Clean horn)
I have a fantasy world where I know how to play the saxophone. While I could go a bit overboard and state I would like to play "Giant Steps" or some other John Coltrane song, I'll keep things a little less lofty. I'd like to be able to play sax in a Steely Dan cover band, so I think "Deacon Blue" is probably a good pick.

csberry: (Clean horn)
For a couple of years in high school, I decided to learn how to play bass. It didn't take very long for me to learn that my love for listening to music just wasn't motivating me to work hard on learning how to play bass. Other than tutoring I took from a college student while I was in high school, I mostly just noodled around. There are a few things I can play (such as "Louie, Louie" and "Iron Man"...which should give you an indication of how elementary my bass playing skills are).

While the bass line isn't complex, it seems to impress people when I state I can play bass to Yes's "Owner of a Broken Heart." The "bass solo" at the bridge is easy enough for preschoolers.


And I will maintain control over my urge to also post a video clip of MST3K analyzing the various comparisons inspired by the lyrics from "Owner of a Broken Heart." OK, here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5OzF-ZT6QI
csberry: (green mammal)
As a youth, I would have responded to this entry with either Ray Steven's "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" or a "Weird Al" song. In high school and college, I would have put a They Might Be Giants song here. But, now, I instantly think of Belle & Sebastian's "Step into My Office, Baby." Both the song and video are quite witty, cheeky fun.

csberry: (May not get to death)
After the success I had with the wedding reception soundtrack, it seemed obvious to me that I needed to put together a playlist for my wake/funeral. Once folks have gathered and someone has stepped forward to do an introduction, the music will start and the drinking and storytelling will begin. The obvious first song to me was "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince. The spoken introduction and song were an obvious fit, IMO, for a wake.


...and, for the curious, the current status of my wake playlist is back here. )
csberry: (Manhattan)
I'm already married with no plans for another wedding. For JD's and my wedding, I decided to skip paying a DJ and mix the reception music myself. How? After compiling a list of songs between the two of us and my testing out arrangement and segue blends, I went into one of the production studios at WSM/WTN one weekend and did a live mix of the songs to DAT tape. Set on "long play," I was able to fit 4 hours of music onto a single tape. I plotted out about when during the reception we'd want to cut the cake and put in a cue for us (Cake - "Stickshifts & Safety Belts") and when it was time for us to leave the party for our hotel room (Etta James - "At Last"). I then put some softer, more background music on the playlist for the next 15 or so minutes. Soon after, I recorded a "thank you" message to our parents and segued to the dance club portion of the evening.

I now have the reception soundtrack on a 4CD set that we listen to frequently. In retrospect, I wouldn't have gone for the recorded message to mess with my parents. My putting that on the soundtrack determined when we would have to leave...because...it would be odd having that announcement come on and us still be around...right? Anyway...it is in the past.

Cory & Jennifer's Wedding Soundtrack )
If I had to pick one song that would HAVE to be on the wedding reception playlist if I were to flashback to that time...I'd pick "This Must Be the Place" by Talking Heads. It has the power punch of music I absolutely love and lyrics that speak exactly how I feel.


Lyrics )
csberry: (Beard)
I don't really have much explanation for this selection other than George Michael's Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 is a great pop encapsulation of a man struggling to understand himself and what lies ahead for him. Of the tracks on the album, I tend to gravitate toward "Cowboys and Angels" or "Something to Save" when I've felt lonely, sad, or introspective. "Cowboys and Angels" is probably the more appropriate song for this entry, though.

csberry: (Dance-YoGabbaGabba)
Admittedly, there is a whole collection of 70's bubblegum pop that I could use for this entry. Everything from Alan O'Day's "Undercover Angel," to Starlight Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight," to most anything by ABBA jumps to mind when I'm happy. But over the past few years, the song that is most likely to get selected first is Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died." I can't start that song without chanting along, "Daddy was a cop...on the easssstside of Chicago. Back in the U.S.A. Back in the bad old days."

csberry: (Idle gun)
My "angry album" used to be either NIN's Pretty Hate Machine or Metallica's Master of Puppets. I don't know if it is a sign of decreased testosterone, mellowing with age, or what, but I just don't stay "angry" long enough to warrant an album. Yes, I get frustrated, annoyed, or stressed...but I find no catharsis in listening to those albums when I feel that way. When I'm mad now, I turn to a single song to scream the emotion out of me - Ministry's "TV Song." I bought the CD single for "Jesus Built My Hot Rod" when that song came out and "TV Song" (alternate version of "TV II" that was released on the album Psalm 69) was also on that CD single.

JD has a labor rehearsal CD that is silent except for the moments when the imaginary contractions happen. The song snippets on that CD start off distracting, but not obnoxious...and a sample of "TV Song" is the final, most aggravating contraction at the end of the CD. Give the song a listen to learn why.

FYI - First off, NSFW. Secondly, I couldn't find the CD Single version online, so here is the slightly different version that appears on Psalm 69.
csberry: (Cory(smile))
My favorite album is Aja by Steely Dan (it swaps w/ the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds as the two albums I would want to have if stranded on a deserted island). One of my favorite tracks from the album is "Peg." It is a great, uptempo song with a jazzy swing, bouncy bass, and the layered vocal stylings of Michael McDonald. Below is a clip from a DVD about Aja from the Classic Album series. You get to see Becker & Fagen behind the board analyzing the various tracks and the recording of the song (along w/ interviews with the engineer and some of the session musicians).

csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
THE #1 artist that no one knows that I really want everyone who likes folky, pop music to listen to is Chris Kowanko. I've tried to track down ways to reach him so I could let Chris know how much his music has meant to me over the past couple of decades. His debut album, Kowanko, was love at first listen to me. It received next to no marketing and the label went under within a year of the album's release. I love the album so much that I bought extra copies for proselytizing and spares if my regular copy was lost/busted (still have one left). The album is out of print, can be found used for a few bucks online, but I'll gladly give you a copy if you ask.

His second album, Spell, is just as good (the Chris Kowanko link above goes to the site set up to promote Spell). Since that second album, he's been in a band, Monsterbuck - a band that has a minimum of web presence and I've only heard a few songs of theirs. But those two Chris Kowanko albums are some of my favorite to listen to.

The song I've selected is the song that was released as the single from the debut album. "Grey Crayon" is a bit different from the rest of the album. This is the only song with strong backing female vocals and has a slightly tighter, more produced sound than the other tracks. While I'd definitely put several tracks on a sampler for the curious, if I had to pick a single song that would grab the general public's attention on the radio, "Grey Crayon" is it.

I really hope you will give the song a listen and let me know if you would like to hear more of his music. I'm more than glad to share the great songs Chris Kowanko has made.

csberry: (Default)
Goodness knows it is impossible to listen to a classic rock station in Alabama without hearing "Sweet Home Alabama" daily. However, there is a song that has greater station penetration thanks to special 80's lunches or weekend dance mixes. While I've always liked the original of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love", it seems that I always hear the version (or very similar version) with "Where Did Our Love Go" added at the end instead.

csberry: (Idle gun)
There are plenty of songs I've lost interest in, but the song that comes to mind that I used to love but now skip whenever I come across it is "Give It Away" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I still will listen to tracks from Mother's Milk on occasion, but generally avoid anything after that (other than my liking "Road Trippin'" for a few years after it came out).

csberry: (Turkey Volume)
This is the second hardest entry of the month. I'm still not thrilled with my choice. Of course, my lack of lyrical knowledge extremely limits the amount of songs I know of that could be used to describe me. While it was tempting to do Steve Miller Band's "The Joker," XTC's "Love on a Farmboy's Wages," or Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly," they all seemed to only identify certain aspects of how I see myself. What is a Gemini to do? Go enigmatic but cling to one particular portion of the lyrics as justification that the song isn't a cop-out but an accurate description of how I see myself was my decision.

Do you know me as the quiet guy watching the group or the one on center stage? Do you see the Eagle Scout or the nonconformist prankster?

"Zebra" from the John Butler Trio is filled with contradictions and opposites, but I do definitely agree that:

"I can be anything I put my mind to, boy,
All I gotta do is give myself a half a chance."


Lyrics )
csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
Admittedly, my musical tastes are so scatter-shot on the music spectrum, that I honestly don't know what it would take to defy expectations of what people think I like. I don't care for country music that much (outside of the roots country/Americana sound), so I've decided to go with what I consider a country music guilty pleasure - Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine." Of her catalog, this is the only song that I really enjoy. I remember when this first came out, I got excited about liking country again...then was turned off with the over-exposure of her style of pop country within a year of this song's release. That's fine, I soon discovered BR5-49 and Junior Brown.

csberry: (say rack)
What can I say? They are a manufactured group that consists mostly of voices that are great in a choir but should not have lead. They were eye candy that grabbed the attention of tween girls and older men in equal measure.

While "Wannabe" was the Spice Girl's break-thru hit, I've always enjoyed "Say You'll Be There." The video is just as delightful, so I've gone through the trouble of tracking it down to embed since YouTube has had all the ones there disabled for embedding.

Ginger Spice 4 Evar!!! *Cory shorts out keyboard from excessive drool*

csberry: (May not get to death)
It was so easy picking out the band I hate - Nickelback. That band does absolutely nothing for me. They sound like a good bar band, but I don't find anything interesting about their music. And yet I constantly see references to them, people seem to enjoy the band, and I know they aren't suffering from lack of airtime on the radio.

I dislike Nickelback so much that I have succeeded in keeping myself very ignorant about the band. I know the lead singer's name is Chad (thanks to that song he did for one of the Spiderman movies). But I honestly couldn't name any of their songs, hum a bar from one, or answer any Nickelback 101 trivia questions.

For this entry, I've chosen to post the most recent video of theirs that I'm aware of. I only know this video because I caught it on VH1 earlier this summer and thought it was a new Weezer video at the beginning. When searching for this video on YouTube, I didn't know the name, so I had to look for the screencap with the house party. But thanks to WMG's contempt for the public, I had to look up the video for "This Afternoon" from elsewhere for a video I could embed on LJ.


Nickelback - This Afternoon from Nickelback on Vimeo.

csberry: (xtc autograph)
My favorite band is XTC (followed by Steely Dan, Prince, Talking Heads, and the Pixies). I have selected "Making Plans for Nigel." A song I love so much I named one of my sons Nigel.

Unfortunately, like many other XTC and early 80's videos, this one is pretty painful to watch.

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Cory Berry

June 2016

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