29 February 2012

29 February 2012 - Miley Cyrus with Johnzo West - You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go

Leave it to Leap Day for me to admit to something I NEVER thought I would -- I really like a Miley Cyrus song. Sure, Party in the USA was a fun cheesy pop song, but to admit to full on liking it? Yeah. Not so much.

Then last month, Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs Of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years Of Amnesty International was released. While I haven't heard the whole 4-cd set yet, I can assure you there are some amazingly talented performers...and Miley (I kid) paying tribute to Dylan. Admittedly, it's pretty hard to screw up a Dylan song (although I have heard a few stinkers over the years), but I think Miley nailed this one (it's all in her sweet and vulnerable vocals). So, yeah, I like a Miley Cyrus song...Give it a shot with an open mind, you may dig it too.

28 February 2012

28 February 2012 - Jessie J Featuring B.o.B. - Price Tag

Sometimes, you don't know when a guilty pleasure is going to hit you.  For me, it was on a drive with my daughters.  It was a simple song, that was clearly not written to be a pop song.  And yet, that's the beat that was on this song.  And even though I had no idea who B.o.B. was (and still don't), Jessie J's vocal is so simple and the lyrics so noble, I could not help but like this song.

By the way, she's a songwriter.  And she wrote this song.

As is customary for me when such a thing exists, I wanted to share a rendition of the song that isn't poppy.  Even sweeter, but still good as a pop song.

26 February 2012

27 February 2012 - Rancid - Fall Back Down

I've been a HUGE Rancid fan since the mid 90s.

I have to say though that 2003's Indestructible was a head scratcher. While it had some great tracks (see: below the video box) there was one song that almost killed them to hardcore Rancid fans like a former coworker of mine. At least twice a week I'd walk by her desk either humming or singing the incredibly hokey chorus of Fall Back Down: "If I fall back down, you're gonna help me back up again, if I fall back down, you're gonna be my friend." She would then throw an item off her desk at me for getting that FN' song stuck in her head. Of course it would be stuck in my head, but it's a small price to pay when you're trying to annoy your coworkers.

Much like last Monday, I decided to present the good with the bad. So after you check out the bad here, go to Your Forgotten Favorite 2000 today to check out a much better song from Rancid's Indestructible.

26 February 2012 - The Weakerthans - Tournament of Hearts

On the day that this is posted, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts - the Canadian women's national curling championship, and the greatest women's curling competition in the world - comes to a dramatic conclusion.  Team Scott from British Columbia will be taking on Team Nedohin from Alberta in the final, from Red Deer, Alberta.

So what better time to post the greatest song about curling ever written?  The Weakerthans are a nice little band from Manitoba.  This video was taped at a curling club - you can see a lot of old-time curling footage in this video, and even a Scotts Tournament of Hearts banner or two - it has recently been rebranded the Scotties.

And even though there is a lot of curling jargon and imagery used  in the song, the song is about a lot more than curling.  It's about a guy who is hiding from a conversation with his significant other.  He just happens to be hiding at a curling club.

Why this song wasn't a huge hit, I'll never know.

Now, for those who read my other blog, American Curler - I do need to update it, but I promise you that I will very soon - here is a bonus video from this year's Scotties provincial qualifiers.  Jennifer Jones, 2010 Scotties champion (and 2012 bronze medalist) is one of the best in the game.  Enjoy her shooting.

25 February 2012

25 February 2012 - Taio Cruz - Dynamite

I'm not really a clubber.  I've only been to clubs a few times in my life.  But every time I go, this guy is there.  You know - the guy who wants you to see how he is dressed and has the moves.

Even though I hate that guy, I love this song.  It's confident, and has a good dance beat.  And, it was everywhere a couple of years ago.  Taio Cruz hasn't done much since this song, at least on a hitmaker level, but he'll always have "Dynamite".

24 February 2012

24 February 2012 - Loverboy - Hot Girls In Love

I hadn't heard this tune in probably 20 years when it came over the speakers at the bar a few night's ago. As soon as I heard it I said to myself, "Hair Metal Friday." And yeah, Loverboy is hardly hair metal, but I think we can all agree that this song fits the spirit of the day.

23 February 2012

23 February 2012 - Jenny Morris - Body and Soul

Jenny Morris is probably best known in the United States for.... well, she isn't really well known here, is she?  But in Australia, people know that the native New Zealander was a backup singer for INXS.  She also had a successful Australian solo career.  As luck would have it, in the studio, her backing band was INXS on this song.  They also produced this album, although I don't think they appear in the video.

It sounds like an INXS song, and it looks like Alannah Myles is singing it.  I know this.  Don't hate. Just enjoy.

22 February 2012

22 February 2012 - Rascal Flatts (with Natasha Bedingfield) - Easy

OK, I'll admit it. I had no clue what to post today. Figured why not piggy-back on Tony's Natasha Bedingfield post from yesterday.

I never really got into Rascal Flatts. The singer's voice kind of annoyed me (still kind of does, but whatever). When their last record came out, my mom sent me a copy of it (yeah, my mom sends me music...I'm 38) and said I should check out the song they do with Natasha Bedingfield. I liked it, but wouldn't admit it after years of mocking Rascal Flatts and changing the channel every time one their songs played on the radio, which is quite often actually...good thing there are two country station's in my market. Anyway, I gave the rest of the record and some of their back catalog some listens and started to soften my stance on the band. While they aren't close to being a favorite of mine (yet), I no longer turn the channel when one of their songs plays on the radio. Progress.

21 February 2012

21 February 2012 - Natasha Bedingfield - These Words

First of all, welcome to all of you coming from elbo.ws.  So happy to have you in our little blog.

Ms. Bedingfield was living in the shadow of her less talented brother, Daniel.  He had a minor hit.  VH1 in the US, however, heard this little ditty, and picked it up, and it became a minor hit.  Of course, Natasha followed this song with the far bigger single "Unwritten", and this simple song that names its chord progression (D-E-F) and inspirations (Byron, Shelley, Keats) was forgotten.  By everyone except this blog!

The video for this song is charming, too.  The boomboxes are simply drawn to Natasha!  Oh, wait.  You mean this wasn't the video you saw for this song?  That's because it was released for the US only.  The rest of the world saw this video, which was equally clever in its use of table settings and multiple Natashas.

20 February 2012

20 February 2012 - Jewel - Intuition

Again, I'd like to start a post with this qualifying statement: "While I'm a HUGE [insert artist] fan..." So, while I'm a HUGE Jewel fan, nothing frightened me more than seeing this video when it came out in 2003. What happened to that sweet sounding folkie from Alaska/San Diego that I saw touring for Pieces of You? WGP TANGENT No. 576: She opened for Neil Young...went to see her and Afghan Whigs and left after about 45 minutes of Neil and his "jams."

Anyway, I REFUSED to buy 0304 when it came out. Six years later, I decided to give it a shot, along with another "frightening" pop record by former indie goddess Liz Phair, and actually found both to be enjoyable. Times change. I blame Kelly Clarkson's My Life Would Suck Without You for softening me up to pop music.

BONUS...So in a show of solidarity, the tremendously good, handsome and modest folk at Your Forgotten Favorite 2000 (me) is paying tribute to Jewel with another video. So after you get your shame on here, go here.

19 February 2012

19 February 2012 - Sunny Sweeney - If I Could / Kasey Chambers - Goin' Fishin'

Speed country!

This song, a cover of a country classic, is brilliantly covered by Ms. Sunny Sweeney.  This was an early single of hers, and she has gone onto a great career. Great singles, great albums, and it all started with this great single.

18 February 2012 - Fiona Feat. Kip Winger - Everything You Do (You're Sexing Me)

Thank (and blame) Lita Ford for this one.  Once she started becoming a hitmaker by sexing up her songs/videos a little bit, a lot of other "rocker chicks" popped up.  Fiona (Flannigan) had been around for years, making serious rock music, but her only hit - or, at least, near-MTV hit - came when she teamed up with cheese metal prince-of-the-week Kip Winger.  And tarted up her music a little bit.

The sad part? Kip Winger might look just as pretty as Fiona in this video.  However, to her credit, she really did have a powerful voice, and it shows in this song.

17 February 2012

17 February 2012 - Ugly Kid Joe - Everything About You

I always thought these guys were kind of goofy. Regardless, this may be the best guilty pleasure video that has not one, but two blow-up dolls in it.

16 February 2012 - Kelis - Milkshake

Perhaps the most clever song ever written about boobs in the first person.  Kelis took a classic theme, and put an interesting spin on it, with a little help from The Neptunes. I thought it was an awful song when I first heard it.  It was sexist, even though a woman was singing it.   It was a cheap chuckle.  That's all it was.

But I changed my mind.  First of all, Kelis really sells the song with a clever analogy.  She has a very sultry voice. The song itself is really sparse, featuring her vocal abilities well.  And she does offer to teach her tricks, even if she has to charge.

What really sold me on the song was Kelis performing it on Saturday Night Live.  Truth be told, it showed me how serious a song this little ditty about Kelis's boob shaking really was.  She put on a terrific performance - one of the best SNL performances I have ever seen.  Because I care, I have brought this performance to you.  Enjoy! (Update: 18 December 2020) Replaced with a performance on Carson Daly's show that was just as good, if not better.

15 February 2012

15 February 2012 - Fuel - Hemmorrhage (In My Hands)

In the late 90s/early 2000s I spent many a day listening to the DC area's legendary WHFS in my office. At this point, the station had strayed away from it's mostly free-form heyday years and "grew" into the template for pretty much all corporate modern rock stations (which likely led to the station's downfall in 2005...it returned last August and it's pretty good when I can get the signal in my town).

Anyway, my indie snob friends (I mean that in the nicest way, I kind of was one at the time, but cast a much wider net amongst music genres...it's obviously WAY bigger now as this blog has shown) used to mock many of the bands played on the radio. Fuel was one of those bands. I never quite got why as I enjoyed those first two records. So, here's one of my favorite tracks by this Tennessee band.

14 February 2012

14 February 2012 - The Corrs - Breathless

For Valentine's Day, I had to go with something somewhat... sweet.  So, I went with the Corrs.

How this band is a one-hit wonder in the United States is beyond me.

Actually, no it isn't.  Before this song, the band relied on their musical talents, which were (and are) substantial. For this particular video, the three ladies (and one man) - all siblings, by the way - turned up the sex appeal and seductive poses.  And hung out at a hot desert airport.  Sex sells, people.

By the way, Corr really is their family name.  Andrea Corr has a pretty successful solo career.  But they haven't broken up.  I'd expect to hear something from them this year.

Oh, and lest you think I was kidding about their substantial talent.... here's the same song, same musicians, less airport, all acoustic.  It really is a well-performed song.

13 February 2012

13 - February 2012 - Fall Out Boy - Sugar, We're Going Down

When the bass player marries Ashlee Simpson (WGP's first inductee), you know your band has hit guilty pleasure status. I kid. Fall Out Boy was a guilty pleasure for me (as well as a punk zine/message board punchline) long before that failed marriage happened. None of that matters though as they had some pretty damn catchy songs. Here's a video for one of them.

12 February 2012

12 February 2012 - Adele - Chasing Pavements and that other song (Special Grammy Edition)

In 2009, Adele won the Best New Artist Grammy, largely on the strength of this powerful song.  Then, she was forgotten for a couple of years.  That's pretty typical of a Best New Artist.  48 of the last 50 Best New Artists have not gone on to ever with Record, Song, or Album of the Year.  Norah Jones and Natalie Cole, by the way, are the two notable exceptions.

I first heard this song when she performed it at the 2009 Grammy awards, and I was instantly hooked.  What a powerful voice!

I'm not going to say that Adele will be breaking that so-called curse, but she is nominated for all three awards at tonight's Grammys.  And there was this little ditty that I am sure none of you have ever heard....

In all honesty, I was such a huge fan of "Chasing Pavements" - and all of Adele's 1st album - that I had a lot of trouble accepting Adele as a big hitmaker.  And although there are some gems on it - like this song - I still say 19 is a better album than 21.  Having said that, in 2011, 21 sold three times more units than any other album, worldwide AND in the US, and 19 was the 7th best selling worldwide, so others are discovering her first album, too.

11 February 2012

11 February 2011 - Madonna feat. Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. - Give Me All Your Luvin'

If you watched the Super Bowl, you know that this is Madonna's new song.  If you watched the Super Bowl coverage afterwards, you know that M.I.A. is the one who flipped off the camera.  She went with the finger gun in the official video, where Madonna really doesn't have to move much.  It's really kind of a fun song, and I am happy to see Madonna still making fun music. I've been a fan for a long time, and this won't be her last appearance here.

Also, I think that if M.I.A. wanted to get attention, perhaps she should have done her performance while nine months pregnant... Oh.  Wait.  She already did that.

10 February 2012

10 February 2012 - Warrant - Down Boys

So in an act of guilty pleasureness I saw Warrant play a free show in Virginia Beach a few years ago. To say it was a car crash is putting it very mildly. Singer Jani Lane was wasted beyond belief. On two separate occasions he insisted that a roadie strap an acoustic guitar around his shoulder. He would start to strum and then mumble something like "I don't know how to play this FN' thing" and then put it down. TWICE. I felt bad for the guys in the band as they sounded great. Lane, meanwhile, struggled to remember the words to fan favorite Cherry Pie. Days later, Lane would be kicked out of the band for the last time and two years later he died of alcohol poisoning at a Comfort Inn. A sad end to a once promising musician. But let's forget all of that and remember when Lane and Warrant was at the top of their game.

09 February 2012

9 February 2012 - Leighton Meester feat. Robin Thicke - Somebody To Love

So, I am sure you are all getting over the shock that a song by Blair Waldorf and Alan Thicke's kid has made this blog.  But hear me out.

This song is never going to be a Grammy contender.  Leighton Meester has a recording career not because she can - she can, but that's not the reason - but because she's on Gossip Girl - itself a guilty pleasure of mine (and not badly acted).  Whether or not she can sing, this song doesn't stretch her talents all that much.  The video is more about what Universal Music is trying to sell when it comes to Ms. Meester.

Robin Thicke is a decent vocalist.  He's got quite the vocal range.  Sure, every song of his pretty much sounds like any other cheesy come-on he's sung in the past - and this isn't the last time you'll hear from him on this blog, by the way.  This song - at least, his part of it - fits right into that genre.

Somehow, these two vocals together just work in this song.  I don't understand why.  But it's a fun song with a fun beat, and I refuse to apologize for including it here.

08 February 2012

8 February 2012 - Black Tape for a Blue Girl - The Pleasure in the Pain

As far as music genres go, goth is pretty freaking silly (with the obvious exceptions of the Cure, Bauhaus and Siouxsie...and even those bands had their moments...another day maybe). Despite the silliness, I have my share of goth records including three by today's band. Musically, they are pretty cool, but the lyrics are remarkably cringe-worthy. Remember this skit on SNL?

Well, pretty much every song by Black Tape for a Blue Girl is like that. Some people buy comedy cds, I buy goth records.

07 February 2012

7 February 2012 - Vitamin C - Smile

Once upon a time, there was a woman named Colleen Fitzpatrick, who was the lead vocalist of a very cool rock band named Eve's Plum.  (Yes, they did get their name from the actress who played Jan Brady, but that's another story).   They didn't have much commercial success, and so their record label dropped them.  Frustrations following that broke up that excellent band.

So, Colleen Fitzpatrick decided to something different for awhile.  She took on a stage name - Vitamin C - and went a lot poppier.  This brought much commercial success and paid her mortgage.

Anyway, although I didn't like all her Vitamin C stuff, I did, and still do, love this very happy, cheerful song.  It fits with my optimistic personality. I hope you enjoy it as well.

So you have the frame of reference, here is an Eve's Plum video.  Notice the harder edge.  Frankly, I think the poppier sound suited Ms. Fitzpatrick better.... and I liked Eve's Plum.

06 February 2012

6 February 2012 - Toby Keith - Red Solo Cup

Before I start, I just want to say that I'm a HUGE country music fan. And while many people reading this would think of that as being a guilty pleasure, I don't. That said, today's song has become my most recent guilty pleasure.

I've never exactly been a fan of Toby Keith's music and when my local country radio stations started playing Red Solo Cup I couldn't change the channel quick enough. What a dumb song I would yell out (Note: I'm sure there was a cuss word between dumb and song). But something strange happened...I started to actually like it. Then it got to the point where I couldn't stop singing it every time I saw a red solo cup (which is surprisingly often...in fact, I almost snapped a photo of my grandmother drinking out of one on Christmas Eve...a twitter post to most certainly entertain, well, me). And now in the present, I find myself turning the volume up every time I hear it and actually watching the video when it plays on CMT. So crank it up and PROCEED TO PARTY!

05 February 2012

5 February 2012 - Katy Perry - Electric Feel

I promised you a tune that you could listen to without guilt.  Here it is.

Katy Perry did a live in-studio cover of the MGMT tune "Electric Feel."  Before I heard this song, I couldn't stand Katy Perry.  After this, I enjoyed almost everything she did.  It's that well done.

Long time readers of my blogs know that this isn't the first time I've gushed over it. Sadly, there still isn't a real video of this song, recorded in a 2008 BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge session.  However, the audio is so good, I still think you'll enjoy it.


 I think Katy's version even beats the original. By a mile.  However, I'll let you judge that for yourself.

For me, the original gets even more enjoyable with this video.

04 February 2012

4 February 2012 - Katy Perry - Firework

OK, here's my final Katy Perry post (thanks for indulging us this week, we'll be back to as normal as we can be on Monday). I really liked Firework when I got Teenage Dream, but this stunning video brought my fandom to another level.

03 February 2012

3 February 2012 - Katy Perry - Last Friday Night

Normally, this is Hair Metal Friday, brought to you by Scott, but this is a special week, so that calls for special circumstances.  And for the two of us, it came down to which songs we wanted to share with you.

And I, who has well-documented adoration for all things Friday, HAD to post this song for you.  So many guest stars in the video, the song itself the second-best tribute to the day when we gotta get down.  Why yes, that IS Rebecca Black, playing herself.  And Uncle Kenny! This is the best thing Kenny G has ever done.  Bar none.

It's a fluffy song, but it's a fun song.  Enjoy it.

02 February 2012

2 February 2012 - Katy Perry - Ur So Gay

Katy Perry's first single, contrary to popular belief, was not "I Kissed A Girl."  It was this scathing rant against metrosexuality.  For me, this is a really hard song to like - I mean, it is, on the surface, homophobic, which I am completely opposed to. If you dig into the intention of the song, and not just the title, you'll see that it really wasn't intended to be homophobic - just funny.

The video is brilliant.  And it shows Katy's actual musical talent - she plays guitar.  Is there any guitar in this song? Yeah, there's a little.

In order to allay some of the guilt I have over posting this song, I felt I should add this PSA. I don't quite think this is what Katy is doing, but I don't want any of you to get the wrong idea.

01 February 2012

1 February 2012 - Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

Wicked Guilty Pleasures' week-long tribute to Katy Perry rages on with what I think is her most infectious song.

While Katy's version of Teenage Dream is pure pop perfection, California indie/folk quartet The Rescues went in another direction on their cover of it. Gotta dig those harmonies.