I Love A Playlist. Even Better When It’s Personal.

I challenge you to make a playlist based on these questions and share it with a blog or social media post of your own. I’m on Spotify, but if you have another platform, do it that way. Share in the comments. I love listening to personal playlists, yo. Here is mine, with the questionnaire/answers below. Oh, and if it looks weirdly alphabetic, you’re like Sherlock or some shit. I used my massive shuffled playlist as a reference. I need things to trigger my old and beleaguered brain.

 

1. A song you like with a color in the title:  Back in Black – AC/DC. Black has a lot of meaning for this song. Brian was introducing himself after Bon Scott’s death, and even though I’m not a huge fangirl of the band, I’m about to rock almost 90% of the time, so I know when to respect it, and be saluted for it. That and the iconic guitar riff.

 
2. A song you like with a number in the title4 Degrees – ANOHNI. Fuckin’ A, this song is POWERFUL. Climate change is real and depressing, and when I first heard this tune full of emotion and realness, I almost died of emotion. It’s so cinematic. And I don’t mean that in a Disney way, I mean montages of awful destruction. Like those slo mo shots of a dead animal decomposing.

 
3. A song that reminds you of summertime: Freeway of Love – Aretha Franklin. I was thinking this tune reminded me of the summer of ’84, but after doing research, it came out a year later, so there’s middle age for ya. It’s kind of silly, but also perfect for an 11 year old kid who really hadn’t acknowledged the power of Aretha yet. Plus American Idol’s own Randy Jackson played bass on it.

 
4. A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about: Good Time – Counting Crows. The last dude I hooked up with before I met my wonderful partner of 16 years liked Counting Crows, and Hard Candy was their latest one back then. He was a waiter at TGI Friday’s, and we had sex with a tarantula in the room. YIKES. Nothing really against him, but I’d rather not recall doing it with a large spider close by.

 
5. A song that needs to be played LOUD: I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys. COME ON. When this jam comes on I crank it and pretend I give a shit about boy bands. This is a good song and you can’t sing along unless it’s super loud.

 
6. A song that makes you want to dance: Hey Ladies – Beastie Boys.  Do I need to explain this?

 
7. A song to drive to: Mother Nature’s Son – The Beatles. In my cinematic mind, I picture myself in some sort of convertible vehicle, or a Volkswagen Bus, with my hand out of the window, making waves.

 
8. A song about drugs or alcohol: Gimme Some More – Busta Rhymes. Yo Spliff, where the weed at? Also, remember when Flip Mode was the greatest?

 
9. A song that makes you happy: Finally – Cece Peniston. There has NEVER been a time when I heard this song and didn’t smile, or pretend I was a drag queen, or remembered Cece’s adorable face in the video.

 

 
10. A song that makes you sad: I Just Shot John Lennon – The Cranberries. Why would you make this song, Cranberries? Shit, it made me sad for obvious reasons back in the day, but now that Dolores is gone, it makes me want to cry even more. Ugh.

 
11. A song that you never get tired of: Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. A masterpiece of a song. Harmonies, catchiness, and did I mention HARMONIES?

 
12. A song from your preteen years: Victims – Culture Club. I kind of want to pat myself on the back for appreciating songs like this when I was 11 or 12.

 
13. One of your favorite 80’s songs: Boys Don’t Cry – The Cure. I caught on to Robert Smith and the gang in the late 80’s, thanks to some junior high pals and some weird Half Hour Comedy Hour skit on MTV (does anyone know what I’m talking about?).

 
14. A song that you would love played at your wedding: On My Mind – Damone. I was married once, and our wedding song was a good one. It sucks that it’s attached to something that didn’t work out. This gem would totally be in the wedding I have no intention of ever having. Because once is enough.

 
15. A song that is a cover by another artist: Street Spirit (Fade Out) – The Darkness. Do not even joke with me – this version FUCKING RULES.

 
16. Your favorite movie or TV theme: The Batman Theme – Danny Elfman. This needs no explanation. EPIC.

 
17. A song that would sing a duet with on karaoke: Dancing In The Street – David Bowie & Mick Jagger. Who wouldn’t want to recreate those… interesting dance moves? And hint that you’ve slept together? And wear those badass 80’s outfits (in your head at least)?

 
18. A song from the year that you were born: Waterloo – ABBA. One of the greatest pop songs to ever pop. And be a Eurovision WINNER!

 
19. A song that makes you think about life: People Are People – Depeche Mode. I remember dancing around to this song in my grandparents’ pool cabana as a kid, innocently thinking how silly it is that people are mean to each other.

 
20. A song that has many meanings to you: The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga. I belted out this jam for quite a while, thinking it had something to do with telling your haters to screw off & live like you’re dying. Then Gaga said this (from Wikipedia): “It was about how when my grandma was standing over my grandfather while he was dying. There was this moment where I felt like he had sort of looked at her and reckoned that he had won in life. Like, ‘I’m a champion. We won. Our love made us a winner.’ They were married 60 years. I thought about that idea, that the glorious moment of your life is when you decide that it’s okay to go, you don’t have any more words to say, more business, more mountains to climb. You’re on the cliff, you tip your hat to yourself and you go. That’s what it was for me in that moment when I witnessed it.” FUUUUUUUUCK.

 
21. A favorite song with a person’s name in the title: It’s A Shame About Ray – The Lemonheads. I saw Evan Dando sing this two feet in front of me. It was beautiful.

 
22. A song that makes you laugh: Jizz In My Pants – The Lonely Island. Anything Andy, Jorma, and Akiva do is fucking hysterical.

 
23. A song that you think everybody should listen to: Me & Magdalena – The Monkees. I cried tears of nostalgia and joy when I heard this. Nesmith & Dolenz have some beautiful harmonies.

 
24. A song by a band you wish were still together: Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle – Nirvana. I wonder what the hell Kurt would be doing musically if he was still around….

 
25. A song by an artist no longer living: Ten Crack Commandments – The Notorious B.I.G. I also wonder what stuff Biggie would be doing. Hopefully none of this Trap shit.

 
26. A song that makes you want to fall in love: Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney. He may be hokey at times, but dammit if this song doesn’t melt me.

 
27. A song that breaks your heart: Purple Rain – Prince. Always has, always will.

 
28. A song by an artist with a voice that you love: Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen. The world was a better place with Freddie in it.

 
29. A song that you remember from your childhood: Ghostbusters – Ray Parker, Jr. That infamous summer of ’84. I had a purple iron on tshirt with the famous “no ghosts” logo on it, but was not allowed to wear it when staying with my Jehovah’s Witness aunt and uncle that summer. *EYE ROLL*

 
30. A song that reminds you of yourself: White & Nerdy – Weird Al Yankovic. Because yeah, yeah, yeah. IT ME.

 

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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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