Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for...

...U2
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


I was introduced to some of U2's earlier music in high school by a few friends, but none of the songs really integrated into my daily mix. U2 was probably too cool for me to be quite honest. In the spring of 1987, my high school graduation was looming, The Joshua Tree was released, but I still hadn't found what I was looking for. 1988 brought Rattle and Hum with a bit of Desire, Pride and there was something about Angel of Harlem.

When Achtung Baby was released in November of 1991, six months after I graduated from college, and by then I had finally been exposed to enough U2 to know I should buy the CD. That was absolutely not a mistake.

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for...

...Thompson Twins
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


I figured this would be an easy one because, despite Thompson Twins being the first band that flew out of my mouth, I only associated them with one song. Curiosity led me to a quick google consult that only gave me two more readily recognized possibilities. I asked DJ Jazzy Husband if I knew any of the other songs displayed and just didn't realize it. His response, without even looking, was the obvious choice. It was not on the greatest hits list, but that means nothing. Enjoy the song, love the moment*...




*Especially you, Kari, future curator of the John Hughes museum (and celebrator of a birthday this week!)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

S is for...

...Styx
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


The fourth pillar holding up my vision of essential rock in the early eighties. My one year of colorguard in eighth grade had me maneuvering my banner flag to Too Much Time on My Hands...most excellent (even if not as cool as my friend Vicki who twirled a wooden rifle).

Babe, Come Sail Away, The Best of Times - decisions, decisions!

Friday, April 21, 2017

R is for...

...(The) Rolling Stones
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


Well, well, well...here we are at the letter R. R as in REO Speedwagon, one of the four groups I considered to be the pillars of rock when I was a young teenager, along with Foreigner, Genesis and a band to be named tomorrow. Instead, Mick Jagger came strutting by with his Jumpin Jack Flash that is so hard to ignore. That still works though!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Q is for...

...Queen
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

I know there are no surprises with this one, unless you suspected that I pondered Quarterflash on a daily basis. There may not have been a lot (no disrespect to any there were) to choose from, but by no means does that make this letter a cop out. Queen...QUEEN! So many songs that make one want to stand up, be proud and brave, shake a fist in the air, or simply sing so loudly - in a voice you know cannot compare.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

P is for...

...(The) Pretenders
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


In the eighties, from my perch in front of MTV, I was not much of a Pretenders fan. I can only imagine what fabulous video I was impatiently waiting for while I suffered though Brass in Pocket, or worse still, Back on the Chain Gang. I figured I did not like The Pretenders, but perhaps it was more that I had just grown tired of those two overplayed songs.

In trying to decide which video to post, I played Back on the Chain Gang (prepared to be instantly turned off). Not only did I appreciate the song, but my daughter started humming along. She has no idea why she knows the song. My husband shouted in that his favorite is The Wait, but I am not familiar with much beyond their greatest hits (which I do actually enjoy).

I am sorry Pretenders, I will put one of your cd's in the car today!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

O is for...

...OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark)
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


If you leave, don't leave now, this won't take long! This is one of the few bands that I will actually shut up and listen to the beauty of (sometimes...for a few songs). The chorus on this song though leaves me helplessly joining in...

Monday, April 17, 2017

N is for...

...Neil Diamond
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


No NKOTB, no N'Sync. Instead I had two Neils duking it out in my head. (Sorry Neil Patrick Harris, you were not one of them.) Neil Diamond Gold, on 8-track, in my grandfather's maroon Cutlass Supreme. This song might be everywhere, and completely timeless, but my memory always takes me back to the seventies.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

M is for...

...Melissa Etheridge
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

When singing along with the power of the Indigo Girls just doesn't leave your voice quite raw enough, when you feel like you might have some emotions left to air out...there is Melissa. In concert, on Sesame Street, from the car speakers - that voice. Even when she speaks, it sounds like that energy could burst into song at any moment.

Friday, April 14, 2017

L is for...

...Lionel Richie (????)
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


Here we are - Friday! The letter is L, so maybe some Loverboy? Workin' for the Weekend? Perhaps a...

Hello, is it me you're looking for?

Lionel Richie? Is that you? Truuuuuuly, truly surprised to hear from you. Sorry if I am not Dancing on the Ceiling, I guess I was expecting someone else. I cannot deny my love for you though (nor the number of songs in your catalog with the word "love" in them).

Thursday, April 13, 2017

K is for...

...KISS
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


My cousin was a huge fan. I admit that the makeup, and Gene Simmons in general, just sort of creeped me out. Yet here we are. Maybe I just didn't understand KISS, or even the simplest and most obvious of their lyrics. Case in point? I want to rock and roll all night...and PART of every day. Yes, I thought they were claiming to be such avid rockers that the fun could not be contained in just one night, but rather carried over into the next day, but just a portion of it.

Maybe it is best if we pretend I did not just admit that and move on to a different song...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

J is for...

...(the) Jackson 5
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


As a tv watching kid in the seventies, I often wondered who would win a sibling showdown - The Jacksons versus The Osmonds! A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll and then some more...so much more.

Sometimes it is difficult to revel in the beginning without thinking about the end, to celebrate the rise without considering the fall. I could try to think of more to say about the Jacksons, but seriously, wouldn't it be more fun to just get right to the music. Go ahead, try to sit still...



I just saw that J. Geils passed away...angel is the centerfold...RIP

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I is for...

...(the) Indigo Girls
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


A friend introduced me to the Indigo Girls, by way of a mix tape, when we were sophomores in college. Strange Fire and Closer to Fine both made appearances on side two of the cassette. I was immediately hooked, and purchased two of their albums that I played on a seemingly never ending loop in my car for quite some time. I was singing what I thought was one of my finest Indigo Girls melodies when a passenger asked me if I was tone deaf...and not in a kidding kind of way. Excuse me, but are we not all legendary artists in our showers and cars, devoid of critics? 

Much like how I ended up listening to hours of Genesis on Saturday, today will be Least Complicated, and then some. The CD is going in the car right now, and any passengers can just ride at their own risk! Here we go...

Monday, April 10, 2017

H is for...

...Harry Belafonte
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

Sure, we could be talking about the Huey Lewis concert I went to with my mom and aunt, or even my father's Hootie and the Blowfish phase, but those musical H folks did not occur to me until yesterday. Instead Harry Belafonte's name flew out of my mouth, as his face and voice filled my mind.

Day-o! Oh, how this man fascinated me when I was a kid. The beauty of his voice and just his being. My fandom was solidified when I saw Mr. Belafonte on The Muppet Show-fantastic! I wanted to be there, on that stage, in the presence of so much greatness.


This immediately filled me with joy to see after a long time. I hope you enjoy it as well!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

G is for...

...Genesis
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

I made perfect sense to me that Genesis would naturally follow Foreigner. There was some kind of comfort in the familiarity of Genesis songs. I can't say that I was a huge fan of their entire body of work, but there was nothing I disliked either. Of course now I want to listen to them all day today.

I was all set to include In Too Deep, but then I remembered Misunderstanding, still keeping in line with my usual observance of angsty songs, right? However, as I was pulling up the videos, there it was, a song I had not thought about in quite some time, but sounded like yesterday. Today we can celebrate the other side of young love, where hope wins!

Friday, April 7, 2017

F is for...

...Foreigner
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


I was eight years old, singing some Hot Blooded, on the school playground..."Check it and see, I got a fever 103". There might have been an inkling that the song had implications of people playing doctor, but I am certain that had no idea what that actually meant. Then Urgent, Cold as Ice, Head Games - so much angst!

The first Foreigner album I owned was 4. Remember how the covers from vinyls gave you something substantial to hold onto? I used to pour over those covers, reading every bit, and hoping the inner sleeves had the lyrics printed on them. This right here is the Foreigner song I want to fill my ears with at this moment.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

E is for...

...Earth, Wind & Fire
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

Seriously? Earth, Wind & Fire? I am not sure what this bizarre item in my quasi word association test means, as I would have thought the Solid Gold part of my brain was housed a little deeper. The titles of songs by this group were far more elusive and buried. Rules are rules though, and despite shaking my head as I was uttering their name, today we celebrate these elements! I asked my friend Google for some help, and there was one obvious choice. Get your disco/funk/jazz groove on for today's taste of nostalgia...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

D is for...

...(the) Doors
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


I never had any of my own Doors albums, but that doesn't mean I never got to hear them. As a kid in the seventies, the music was just around, sort of lingering in the background. I was thinking "sure I know some of the obvious songs", then surprised to see just how long that list is.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

C is for...

...(the) Cars
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

I didn't have a particular song in mind when "The Cars" came flying out of my mouth for the letter C, just the image of Ric Ocasek. So many fun tunes to sing along to, whether one could figure out the correct lyrics or not. I pulled up the song list for the album with the lady at the steering wheel on the cover to see if I could confirm that it was the one I had, and just like that, my mind very quickly played each song on the list. That was the one-for sure.

Monday, April 3, 2017

B is for...

...(the) Bangles
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.


My list was found! I was delighted to see that the letter B was going to land on this particular day of the week. Don't get me wrong, I love to Walk Like an Egyptian as much as anybody else, but I can't escape the obvious...

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A is for...

...A-ha
My theme for this year's a-z challenge is off the top of my head-the first musical group to pop into my head...not necessarily my favorite, just the first to show itself.

Wow! Here is it April first. I have quite a bit of brain clutter these days, and up until a few days ago didn't think it wise to add any more. However, I also weighed the potential for disappointment if I left the alphabetical musings of April behind. I knew I wanted to do something music related, but some of the themes I considered would have actually taken a bit of planning and (gasp) effort. 

I told myself that if I could come up with a list of groups in less than five minutes, I would go with it. No cheating, I would go with my first thought, like a word association test. Of course I was driving at the time, and by the time I pulled over to jot down my list, I might have changed a couple. I am pretty sure I then accidentally threw out the list, which is one of the dangers of using the back of a grocery list for official business. At least I know it will take a very short time to reconstruct, especially since I think most of the lineup is taking up space in that "very useful information" part of my brain needed for things like my actual grocery list! 

Remember, these are not necessarily my favorite groups, or ones I deem most important to the world of songs. In fact, some of what was blurted out was rather amusing (to me). With that lengthy introduction out of the way, we can get to the first letter...

A-HA...as in "A-ha, perhaps I can do this!" I admit to knowing nothing at all about this band, other than the obvious, but is more than that really necessary?