Some 2016 Songs I Like

One of my few constants in the garbage fire that was 2016 was the music. There were some good damn tunes. This post is going to feature random jams that had a good combo of feels, beats, or an interesting video. But mostly feels. The feels ruled 2016! If you want the complete list of songs I loved last year, check this playlist:

 

On to the videos…..

Purple Lamborghini by Skrillex & Rick Ross

 

What the hell is this ridiculous crap and why do I like it? Well, as the Beach Boys said, God only knows. I think the beat is a bit infectious, and I stay awake at night imagining a car “lurking”. It makes me laugh. I think of…

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I don’t know. Also, the video for this song is pretty funny. Jared Leto doing his hipster Joker thing with Skrillex & Rick being video stars in front of him. ROZAY!

 

It’s Quiet Uptown by Kelly Clarkson

I love that Kelly is basically all of us, trying to sing along to a song in the car that brings so many feels that we lose our shit and have to adjust our makeup/composure at the next stoplight. Quit staring at me, guy in the pickup truck – I’m singing along to a song about a couple who lost their teenage son! And I’m singing along with the singer who was pregnant with her kid while she was singing this song! DON’T YOU GET IT?

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4 Degrees by Anohni

Why doesn’t this song have an actual video? It could be so devastating I might leap from the first edifice I find, so… never mind. The song itself is enough. Between the global warming themed lyrics to the agonizingly melancholic voice of Anohni, we’re all doomed.

 

The Greatest by Sia

Oh jeez. I started with a goofy assed rap song and spiraled into the depths of emotion, didn’t I? Well, SORRY NOT SORRY. I’ve been on the Sia tip since last year, and the lady knows how to meld her incredibly powerful voice with the most incredibly expressive tween dancer, Maddie Ziegler. The choreography makes for some beautiful art. An empowering tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, this song/video punches you in the heart and makes you want to celebrate being a human in all its weirdness.

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One more and you can go blow your nose or eat some ice cream or hug your cat.

Million Reasons by Lady Gaga

I had some options in terms of which version of this song I’d post, but this one was it, considering Gaga doesn’t require extreme meat dress fashion craziness to prove her fucking point. I loved the theatricality of her previous endeavors, but the Joanne album (along with the Tony Bennett collaboration and some fantastic performances the year prior) has proved she has WAY MORE going on. She’s an incredibly gifted singer and can craft a pop song. The Lady has learned that channeling her passion into plain ol’ good songs is just as kickass as being extravagant and… ARTPOP-ish? Do your thang, Mother Monster. I will bow down either way.

 

 

Okay, I have messed with you enough. Go get a massage and listen to the Spice Girls or something.

Happy New Year + The Indian Rex

Welcome to 2017, folks. This year is going to be insane. Who knows what will happen. How many celebrities will die? Will our new asshat President start a thermonuclear war with a fucking Tweet? One can only wait and see. I’ll do my best to write more and keep this place free of cobwebs.

 

In the meantime, I’ll share what I did yesterday during the blizzard my area experienced. I got a T.Rex costume for my birthday last year (like most 42 year old ladies, right?) and have only used it twice. Once was for the sketch comedy writing class I took, and, well, here’s the second time, for your viewing pleasure.

 

 

 

 

 

The Laugh Makes The Voice

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Voice Work.”

I read a lot of books. Not as many as I would like, but sadly I am not wealthy enough to stay home and allocate the majority of my waking hours tearing through tons of them. The idea of listening to audio books is an appealing one. I enjoy many different podcasts on my work commute, so why not get some “reading” in too? It’s always been a fascinating tidbit for me to find out who reads these versions of books I’ve already devoured, so why not get into the spirit and actually listen? Well, I’ll do it eventually. Who wouldn’t want to hear the intelligent, gentle tones of Stephen Fry read the Harry Potter series? Or Johnny Depp narrarate Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Wait a minute! I’ve had a thought!

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Don’t worry, Rust, I’m not going to get all “time is a flat circle” on you. That’s your job. Anyway, what if I wrote a book? Who would read the audio version? I wouldn’t read it myself, because I can’t stand my dorky sounding inflection. Ick. I would choose two narrators!  A boy and a girl! How they’d tag team it, I don’t know. I’d let them decide. Or my publisher. Whoever is in charge of that sort of thing.

The male reader would be Ricky Gervais. I worship the English accent, and Ricky’s is adorable, earnest, and lovely all at once. He can express all of the feels. Like, crying;

But my favorite, is laughing. Ricky has the best laugh on EARTH.

That’s who I want telling my stories of getting my period for the first time, while wearing a white skirt. AMIRITE? Maybe the lady-woman should read that bit. Scratch that. So who is that lady-girl? Why, Amy Poehler, of course. Because she ALSO has the best laugh on EARTH.

Ms. Poehler also has that earnest quality about her voice, with a faint hint of New England thrown in. I come from Massachusets folk, so it’s comforting to me.

I Can Has Autumn?

As I type this, the month of May is almost over. Summer is upon us. Sunshine, beaches, barbecues, shorts, tank tops, flip flops, all that stuff. Stuff I hate.

The heat, my god, the heat! Who wants to roast like a pig on a spit? How is heat and humidity a nice feeling? I do not enjoy sweating at all. It’s a shame, since in my older years I’ve become what some people call a “Sweaty Betty”. Any little rise in temperature starts the swirl of dampness around my pits and forehead. Then paranoia sets in. Do I have B.O.? Do I look like I just ran a marathon? And don’t get me started on what the hot air does to my hair. Curls turn into a frizzed out clown wig in seconds. Give me the cool, crisp, fall surroundings. I feel fresh and so clean, clean. Hair’s on point and my armpits are dry and smell like lavender (thanks, Secret!).

Beaches? I don’t need no stinking beaches! Sure, I live in a city that has the word Beach in it, but that doesn’t mean I’m at the oceanfront in a swimsuit (horrors). That sand gets everywhere, even if you take a barefoot stroll fully clothed. Somehow, it will end up in your butt crack, I’m telling you. I love the ocean and all the critters in it, but I’ll view it from the deck of my lovely Cape Cod mansion (imaginary, naturally). At dusk, in mid-October. No grains of sand in my butt in that scenario.

When you don’t eat meat, barbecues are a drag. Unless I’m hanging out with my tons of vegetarian/vegan friends and we’re grilling tofu burgers and veggie shish kebobs, but I don’t have tons of those friends. And I don’t have a grill. So I’ll enjoy some tater tots and a burrito in my heavily air conditioned (imaginary) Cape Cod mansion. Followed by some dairy free ice cream.

Summer attire is the worst. The WORST! I’m 41 years old, not in the greatest shape, and am as pale as a White Walker in Game of Thrones. My legs are always dry. I could soak them in a giant vat of cocoa butter for three hours, and they’d still look like rhinoceros skin. Who wants to gaze at those things? Wearing shorts hurts my soul. And tank tops? I can deal with them slightly better, since it’s an excuse to show off my sweet tattoos, but the ink is attached to pasty, freckly arms. In constant fear of getting burned by the evil yellow orb in the sky. Give me sweaters! All of the hoodies! Jeans! Boots! Converse! Layers upon layers of clothing to keep my fragile white skin safe from society!

I Feel Bad For The Woodpecker

Remember that amazing photo that turned into a “hilarious” meme? The weasel riding the woodpecker? Here, look:

WeaselPecker031

It came from amateur photographer, on a lovely walk with his wife, who wanted to show her a Green Woodpecker. He got his wish, he snapped this picture when he heard its distressed call, and that turned into stuff like this:

gandalfwoodpecker

Comical, right? Well, not really. Sure, it’s an incredible wildlife shot, the kind of stuff you’d never normally see, unless Sir David Attenborough was narrating in the background on your television. I understand that something so magnificent does things to the Internet. It inspires creativity and whatnot. But it’s not cute or laughable to me. When I look at it, honestly, it reminds me of this:

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I’m not comparing weasels and woodpeckers to a monk self-immolating in protest, I’m saying my emotions were jarred looking at both photos for the first time. I saw faith and sadness and selflessness looking at the above picture. When I looked at that woodpecker’s horrified eyes, I felt its terror. There was a predator on its back, trying to snap its neck and it was fleeing in a desperate attempt to save itself.

Animal photos and videos are a major staple of the internet. They can be adorable, funny, mean, goofy, and everything in between. However, things can be misinterpreted. I don’t think it’s funny or viral when there’s an animal in distress featured in a video or photograph. Here’s another example:

A Cute Cat With A Funny Meow? No, that cat is clearly upset about something and I don’t think it’s amusing.

Not everyone can realize when a critter is scared or reacting negatively to something. It’s not a perfect world, but I wish humans would educate themselves about our fellow citizens of Earth. They are going through some tough things too.

 

 

Top Ten Madonna Songs, AKA Hard Decisions

Before I get to what the title of this post indicates, I want to say I tried out the new live streaming app, Meerkat, yesterday, and it was pretty fun. I have no idea if I’ll use it on a regular basis, but I streamed a short bit, chatting about Madonna and the songs I’ve picked for this list. I had five people watching at one point; one from Mexico and another from The Netherlands. It seems like a pretty cool “on the go” way to stream something and interact with other folks. If you’re reading this because you watched my goofy stream, thanks and hello!

Well, let’s get to it. Madonna has a new album out, Rebel Heart. As you probably know, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone has been the queen of pop music, fashion, reinvention, and provocation since the early 80s. It’s hard to remain relevant for such a long period of time, but, despite a few bumps along the way, Madge has managed to do it. Rebel Heart is a pretty decent pop album, more so than the previous two (Hard Candy and MDNA). When a legend releases a new album, however, we like to think back to the beginning. Us music lovers want to compare and contrast the new stuff to the old stuff. Instead of doing that, I began to think about the songs that have meant the most to me over the years. Should I make a top 20 list? Top 10? Ugh, THIS IS HARD! There are so many songs! Seriously, so many. I have a Spotify playlist of 44 favorites, for Pete’s sake!

I grabbed a pen and my trusty notepad, and made a damn list. Because I am an adult and I can do this! *deep breaths* I’ll probably change my mind in the future, or wish the order was different, but who cares. For the most part, these Madonna tunes give me the feels and/or the urge to dance around the room.

10. Don’t Tell Me

The standout track from 2000’s Music. I love the guitar sample at the beginning. I love the strings and the emotional, sweeping ending. The lyrics are great, as well. And who doesn’t think Madonna looks fab in a cowgirl outfit?

 

9. Hung Up

Does this make you want to bust out a leotard and get to grooving? If not, you might be a weirdo. Between the sample of ABBA’s Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) and the actual pounding beat, Hung Up is one of the greatest dance tracks ever. I dig the breakdown towards the end; just that beat and the ticking clocks. A strange thing I love about this song is the way Madonna enunciates “hesitating”. Alrighty then! Fun fact I learned about the video – it was shot only a few weeks after our queen had a horse riding accident and broke some bones. The woman has some determination.

 

8. Beautiful Stranger

Madonna. Austin Powers. Could that combo be wrong? Nope. This uptempo number has a great feel to it. It’s a total ear worm, too. The swingin’ 60s sound mixed with the late 90s production is a win. Let’s talk about the video for a second: How can Madonna make a pair of khakis sexy? I mean, they seriously look like something I sold when I worked at Lerner back in the day. But somehow she throws on a pair of heels and dances like she does, and those pants become HOT.

 

7. Causing A Commotion

This was one of my favorites as a kid in 1987, and has remained so. Back then, I don’t even think I knew exactly what a commotion was, other than it rhymed with motion and sounded fun. I recall memorizing the dance moves and wishing I had a conveyor belt in my living room. I recently learned this song was written about Madonna’s marriage to Sean Penn. Which makes sense.

 

6. The Power of Good-Bye

One of Madonna’s best ballads, for sure, from the Ray of Light record. Perhaps this is a companion to Causing A Commotion? I’ve read rumors that this one was about ol’ Spicoli as well. Regardless, it’s a lovely, sad, but hopeful tune about a breakup. The electronic bleeps and bloops blend well with the guitar. Since we also have to discuss the video as well as the song, how sexy is Goran Visnjic? Talk about hubba hubba. I adore the blue tint of everything, as well. Matthew Rolson always makes things and people look gorgeous in his videos.

 

5. Rain

Damn, this song is pretty, hiding among all the sexy songs on the Erotica album. That awesome crescendo, though! So good. I also love the homage to Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles. I could do without the spoken word part, however. As for the video, it’s beautiful. Madonna in short black hair and perfect eyebrows? Yes please.

 

4. Deeper And Deeper

Put this track on and you are guaranteed to see me start boogying. It’s super fun to sing, too. Deeper And Deeper also gets cool points for referencing Vogue. I have a soft spot for artists dropping their previous hit song lyrics into new songs. Why? Don’t ask me. I have to say that the video for this song is…. weird. I get the Andy Warhol references, but I thought he was weird too, so there you go. Udo Kier is a total creeper and watching Madonna fawn over him disturbs me. At least she looks badass in an afro wig.

 

3. Ray Of Light

Ray of Light is Madonna’s best album, in my humble opinion. The title track blew me away the first time I heard it. It was like she rose like a phoenix from the ashes of a naughty pop princess and became an electronic Mother Earth. The beat is so fast paced, I don’t know if I want to dance or start a mosh pit. The video has that same crazy frantic feel. Brilliant!

 

2. Oh Father

Madonna at her most vulnerable can be incredibly outstanding, and this song is an example. It tells a story about loss and coping with that loss, breaking free, and coming to terms. We all know this is autobiographical. Madonna lost her mom at a young age, and had difficulty with her father as well. The odd sounding violin arrangement complements the melody extremely well; it’s my favorite part of the song. As for the video, there really isn’t much to say, since it’s a perfect representation of the song.

 

1. Live To Tell

This will always be my favorite Madonna song. Period. It was the first song I heard of hers that hit me in the gut. I was 12 years old and had no idea why a man would tell a thousand lies, but I knew that holding a secret until the death was some powerful grownup stuff. I remember being impressed that Madonna could release a serious ballad – she wasn’t just a sexy minx for us girls to admire and the boys to drool over! Now that I’m an adult, the song still packs an emotional punch. I love her soft and simple look in the video, as well. I never did see At Close Range, so I’ve no idea what the hell is going on with the movie scenes. Christopher Walken’s mustache is scary to this day.

 

What did you think? Could you list your favorite Madonna songs? Feel free to leave your list in the comments. I’m curious! I’m glad Madonna has graced us with so many tunes, and I’m proud that she continues to do so.

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