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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/greenwillow
Rated: 13+ · Book · Music · #2313403
A blog about music from my unique perspective
A simple music themed blog for Jeff’s "The Soundtrack of Your Life challenge, and also to dump my thoughts about the 48 Hour Media Challenges when I don’t feel like creating a story or poem from the provided material.

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Thank you for your participation in the  48-HOUR CHALLENGE:  "  Everywhere   by  Fleetwood Mac " Media Prompt  hosted by  [Link To User support]  March 2024! We appreciate that you tackled this challenge... *^*Smile*^* *^*Thumbsupl*^* Merit Badge in WDC Soundtrackers
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Thank you for your participation in the  48-HOUR CHALLENGE:  "  Daylight   by  Harry Styles " Media Prompt  hosted by  [Link To User support]  February 2024! We appreciate that you tackled this challenge... *^*Smile*^* *^*Thumbsupl*^*

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March 14, 2024 at 11:42am
March 14, 2024 at 11:42am
My entries for "Lucky Limerick Contest

There once was a lady from Texas
Who ate Cheetos while driving her Lexus
Those orange stains
Are quite a bane
And leave all the cleaners per-plexus!

There once was a fellow from Kent
Who gave up eating chocolate for Lent
His courage was strong
But didn't last long
When luscious fudge brownies were sent!

There was an old lady from Finland
Who lived a great distance inland
But climate change
Made waters range
And now she's on very thin land!

There was a tall fellow from Irvine
Who sat down underneath a pine
He said "whaddya know?
This goes to show
Sitting on needles can be fine!"

February 29, 2024 at 8:07am
February 29, 2024 at 8:07am
I couldn't let February, the month of love, go by without featuring Josh Turner's charming and romantic Would You Go With Me.

The combination of the intricately layered country flavored guitars and Josh's rich, deep, earnest voice, along with the poetic and highly metaphorical words, makes for a truly timeless and classic piece.

I've been familiar with Josh Turner, his distinctive voice, and his famous spiritual crossover song Long Black Train since I was a child, but I don't really remember this one from way back, learning about it more recently and only adding it to my playlist in 2023, when it became a treasured favorite.

I love Josh's voice, and his hymns are nothing to sneeze at, but generally his secular love songs are rather cheesy and don't do justice to his talent.

Would You Go With Me, however, is perfectly tailored for him, incorporating everything that makes a song both interesting and wholesome to listen to.

It's a fitting note to draw this blog to a close with. I greatly enjoyed being able to share a sample of my playlist with others, and I can assure you there's plenty more where this came from. Maybe I'll join the fun of "The Soundtrack of Your Life again next year *Smile*

February 19, 2024 at 7:25am
February 19, 2024 at 7:25am
I've been familiar with Christian rapper/songwriter TobyMac for about eight years or so now. I never experienced his nineties DC Talk era.

When I first got to know him, my favorite song was Speak Life. I wasn't too keen on his other works, because it annoyed me that he admires and emulates Michael Jackson, resulting in a style that seemed too secular and funky. But I count him as one of the few Christian artists that holds my interest. His song Everything is the ultimate "happy dance" bop, and I welcome any opportunity to discover his other works.

These days, I pray for his good health, as he happens to be one of the oldest current artists I like, in his fifties, and he lost a son a couple years ago.

I was shopping at a St Vincent de Paul thrift store and they had a Christian music station playing, which is always nice. When Cornerstone came on, I knew immediately it was a song I wanted to listen to. The verses are engaging, the chorus is catchy, and it even reminded me of the melody of a secular song that I can't quite remember anymore. (Take My Name, by Parmalee.)

Having Zach Williams singing on the bridge (interpolating the lines of an old hymn, no less) is an extra treat. I don't care a whole lot for Zach - he's a bit too much of a "Jesus freak" for me - but he's got a good voice, and he and TobyMac were clearly enjoying themselves as they poured their hearts into it.

I enjoy the careful buildup of the production, from a simple, home-y opening guitar line, to adding the drums at the second verse, to the emotional layered sound at the end as they sing praises to their Creator together. Combine that with the poetic, spiritual lyrics, and it feels like the perfect song.

February 16, 2024 at 9:30pm
February 16, 2024 at 9:30pm
The Waiting is a song from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in 1981 as a single off of their album Hard Promises.

I've been aware of it for many years; my Mom used to play it occasionally before she developed her piety, but the interesting thing is she always insisted on playing the YouTube video of Eddie Vedder performing onstage with Tom Petty. Eddie sings all parts of the song except for the bridge. At the time I had no idea who he was or why she preferred his voice, or even what she thought was so special about the song itself. (She also liked Petty's Refugee, I Won't Back Down, and Running Down a Dream, which all have earned a comfortable spot on my own playlist... I consider Tom Petty one of the best artists from his era, right alongside John Fogarty.)

The unique sound of The Waiting has entrenched itself quite nostalgically in my memory, but forever with Eddie Vedder's rich timbre. Whenever I happen to hear the original version, I can't help thinking that Tom Petty's voice on it sounds just a bit too... Weaselly. Not that Petty doesn't have a nice distinctive voice that I can spot in a crowd, but I now understand why Mom liked Eddie's version of The Waiting better.

When I discovered Eddie’s Beatles cover last summer, I also watched him and Petty doing The Waiting on YouTube, the same video my Mom used to play, for myself for the first time. With my current understanding of music and knowing the lyrics, I find it's a real classic piece. It was heartwarming to see Eddie and Tom enjoying themselves together onstage. I immediately added that audio to my playlist.

The Waiting is a wonderful song to get lost in, with, in layman's terms, an in-depth, well-defined melodic "path" that a lot of older songs have and a lot of more modern songs lack. One evening, in fact, while listening to The Waiting with my eyes closed, I nearly fell asleep at the bridge/interlude. Guess that's the mark of a really good song *Laugh* *Sleeping*

February 14, 2024 at 9:02am
February 14, 2024 at 9:02am
Christian contemporary music and I have a long and conflicted history. I've spent years trying to analyze what it is about CCM that appeals to me, or not. To make a long and boring story short, I'll say at this point I approach modern Christian music with the same standards that I use for secular music: lyrics, melody, and artist identity.

To me, CCM is generally a vast ocean of bland, boring, repetitive and corny songs, with little to offer from an artistic standpoint. It makes good background music because the decency of it sets the mind at ease, but it mostly all sounds the same and says the same two or three basic things over and over (which, honestly, most secular pop music is guilty of as well.)

The Christian songs that stand out to me are the ones that rise above the rest, with distinctive voices, powerful production, and lyrics that display some kind of songwriting talent beyond the usual soothing, meditative mush. (There are also those Christian songs that "try too hard" to be poppy and modern and appealing, instead coming across as downright trappy, overdone, and cheap.) I can name a handful of artists who consistently develop their identities in a way that catches my fancy: TobyMac, Lauren Daigle, Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, Jordan Feliz, and perhaps most importantly For King and Country, who I am featuring today.

4K+C are a pair of brothers, born in Australia, who emigrated with their parents and siblings to Nashville Tennessee. Their musical career is long and illustrious, and I have even captured some of their songs "crossing over" into mainstream secular public playlists. They'll be releasing a biopic this summer.

I enjoy 4K+C for many reasons: their voices are remarkably calm and steady, their songs are well-structured and memorable, and they have strong family values. It's also amazing that two brothers share the vocals so harmoniously; I have yet to tell which guy is which, but it's always nice to hear them.

I chose to feature What Are We Waiting For because it came out in the summer of 2023, so it qualifies for the prompt of "music that shaped your past year" if we're paying any attention to that, and also because it bears a surprising resemblance, in theme and even in faint stylized echoes, to the 2023 OneRepublic song I featured yesterday, RUNAWAY.

I don't have the opportunity to really "get into" 4K+C; despite my admiration for their talent, I really only know a handful of their songs across the years. I found out about What Are We Waiting For via Twitter, when they announced the release of the music video for it. I happened to have some time on my hands, and when I saw the brothers describe the music video as being "a mashup of Dune and Mad Max," I had to watch it, partly because I consider Mad Max to be a prime example of what not to watch, in my naivete *Laugh*

This is a good song that reminds me to focus on my goals and get something accomplished. It has almost become a subconscious theme song these past months as I've become more deeply embedded in the WdC community. In fact, the day I discovered it was the day I posted and submitted a story to Gaby's Ladies Night Out contest.

February 11, 2024 at 8:59am
February 11, 2024 at 8:59am
I don't have much Motown on my playlist, but I consider myself relatively familiar with the genre. My Mom used to like a few songs from The Temptations, and the local Goodwill district we shopped at played retro/Motown almost exclusively.

For some reason, I don't remember this particular song from years past; the first I became aware of it was in summer of 2023, on a retro radio station in a thrift store. It does have a certain haunting feeling, as though I've heard it before, and I probably have, but I guess I never gave it any thought. This time, though, the hook caught my attention and wouldn't let go: "I know I've got to find some kind of peace of mind..."

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted is a 1966 single from Jimmy Ruffin, the brother of Temptations lead singer David Ruffin. He asked for this song when it was in the process of being assigned to another artist, because the lyrics resonated with him.

Indeed, they resonate with me as well. There's something vaguely comforting about the slow, steady beat and the poetic, gloomy, soulfully desperate words as he sings about love and loss and searching for renewal. When I found this I had it on repeat for a few days. It felt almost like a track from Imagine Dragons 2015 album Smoke + Mirrors; I have grown so attached to that album, I can quickly identify a "kindred spirit" sort of song.

The words go beyond the triteness of a breakup; it could easily be about grieving the loss of a loved one who has passed away.

According to Wikipedia,   the original intro included a spoken verse, which was later removed. Spoken words in songs make me nervous, so I can do without it.

February 10, 2024 at 5:25am
February 10, 2024 at 5:25am
I've known about this hymn ever since I was a small child. I found it printed inside a book I got out at the local library, Louisiana Indian Tales, and memorized it in the form of a poem for the sheer descriptive beauty of the words.

As I grew older I kept those words close. I never thought I'd be able to hear it sung, and often wondered how it sounds. I began looking for the hymn online to listen to and finally hear the melody. But it was impossible to find. I researched the book I had found it in, was able to view it digitally, and discovered the composer's name: Father Dominic Braud, OSB.

After making myself at home on the lyrics annotation site Genius, I had the idea of posting the words there and hoping that someone would find the page and upload a video of the hymn. You can see how that went here.  

The weirdest thing kept happening after I posted Nature's Praise on Genius: several people contacted me through the site, sharing background knowledge of the Louisiana priest who composed the hymn and offering to send me videos of it being sung in a local choir... But each one of them disappeared. A couple of years went by as I waited, irritated that my much-desired audio was so close and yet so far!

Finally I went back to YouTube and looked up the hymn again... And found it almost immediately, perfectly recorded and complete with a beautiful album cover. It's available as one of those automated videos that somehow gets posted via the label that produced the album... Apparently the priests decided to put forth a collection of their hymns. I believe the late Father Dominic wrote many different ones over the years. According to personal accounts he played a major role in his small Louisiana community.

What a delight to finally hear the words I had treasured for so many years, sung and set to music as they should be. The hymn marvels at God's creative power and invites us to appreciate the diverse beauty, and join in the praises, of the natural world.
February 7, 2024 at 10:07pm
February 7, 2024 at 10:07pm
This is a quick post about the Harry Styles song Daylight, for "Note: 48-HOUR CHALLENGE : Media Prompt Deadl...". I’m spread thin this month with creative writing projects, and since I finally opened a blog and it’s all about music anyway, I might as well write a paragraph about the song rather than trying to come up with something creative.

I always look at the lyrics of a song before I listen to it, always. Unless it’s either a Christian song or a Coldplay song, and even then I prefer to know what I’m getting into; lyrics precede anything else. As for these… they didn’t pass my fussbudget tastes. The artist, a former member of the early oughts boy band One Direction, is someone who I consider to be a very untalented songwriter. He makes reference to an addictive and illegal drug in this song, and the described relationship is altogether bleh.

If we’re going to talk about members of 1D, I do sort of like Niall Horan. He seems to be the most decent one of the bunch, with a heartfelt innocence to his lyrics that appeals to me in a comfortable sort of way. I wouldn’t bother looking into him, but if I had to name a good guy from 1D I’d know who.
February 7, 2024 at 4:54am
February 7, 2024 at 4:54am
This begins a trio of U2 songs that I discovered because the Walmart Radio DJ played them when I happened to be in the store.

I haven't gotten into Bono and his gang at all, since they were before my time, but I do appreciate the influence they've had on current artists like Ryan Tedder, and at this point I'm familiar enough with their sound and style to almost spot them in a crowd.

It was early in 2022, and I was busy doing a weekly market research study at a local Walmart, which required me to go around taking pictures and tallying up shelf stock. This particular store had ginormous bass speakers hanging from the ceiling, and I was standing right underneath one for most of the job, which was incredibly distracting and annoying.

As my brain irrepressibly analyzed the opening notes of Wire blasting down over me, my first impression was that it sounded like Duran Duran's Rio. But it became obvious in a few seconds that it wasn't, so I Shazamed it.

In the store, I laughed at Wire, because I recognized the grunge aspect of it from what I'd learned when analyzing Imagine Dragons 2021 album Mercury Act 1. I thought it was exaggerated and overdramatized. Being busy, I saved a screenshot of the Shazam so I could check it out later.

At home, I found that Wire is no laughing matter, as the lyrics appear to be about suicide; according to Genius,   Bono most likely wrote it with an addicted friend in mind. But since my curiosity was piqued and I hadn't paid proper attention to it in the store, I downloaded it for a listen... And haven't let go of it since.

I don't have a lot of edgy/grungy/angry music on my playlist, but the few tracks I do, I'm attached to. Wire is something I'll avoid unless I'm in a particular mood, but I'm glad to have it in my collection.

It's a stressful, unnerving song; basically, we hear Bono fighting with something, and the outcome is unclear. But there's a certain catharsis that comes with it... Or is that a relief when it's over?

February 5, 2024 at 9:17pm
February 5, 2024 at 9:17pm
Shazam is my best friend, honestly. I don't know what I would do without it. I found Eddie Vedder's cover of the Beatles song You've Got To Hide Your Love Away when it played last summer at a discount clothing franchise that I shop at frequently. Over the years I've developed a strong instinct for knowing whether a song appeals to me or not within the first verse or so, and I could tell that this was something I was going to like, so I grabbed my phone and identified it.

I'm not interested in the original Beatles rendition; I think Eddie Vedder does a fantastic job on his cover, and I never cared much for the Beatles anyway. This is a short and simple track with light guitar work and a harmonica ending, and Eddie's rich deep voice is exactly what sets it apart for me. Deeper male voices are hard to find in pop music, and I'm not into Pearl Jam, so I never really got to know him. (Though another cover he did, with Tom Petty, is coming soon on my blog.)

When I discovered this I immediately downloaded it to my offline playlist and had it on repeat for the rest of the day. The sadness of the lyrics, simplicity of the production and of course Eddie's voice, all combined to make a new favorite of mine.

I don't feel the need to give much technical background on this one; Eddie Vedder made it for a movie soundtrack, and there's really nothing more to say.

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