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by Jeff
Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #1399999
My primary Writing.com blog.
Logocentric (adj). Regarding words and language as a fundamental expression of an external reality (especially applied as a negative term to traditional Western thought by postmodernist critics).

Sometimes I just write whatever I feel like. Other times I respond to prompts, many taken from the following places:

         *Penw* "The Soundtrackers Group
         *Penw* "Blogging Circle of Friends
         *Penw* "Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise
         *Penw* "JAFBG
         *Penw* "Take up Your Cross

Thanks for stopping by! *Smile*
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February 21, 2023 at 12:29am
February 21, 2023 at 12:29am
         Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

| Day 19 |

"All The Feels"
by Scavenger Hunt

If yesterday's "Saturday was an homage to 1980s synth/electronic music, this one (yet another Spotify find) reminds me of the dance music I used to listen to growing up in the 1990s. It has a little bit of a Sneaker Pimps "6 Underground" vibe. I could imagine this song playing during the "undercover in a nightclub" scene in some action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis (in the best of ways). Like All The Damn Vampires from yesterday, this is a band I definitely want to check out more music from. I don't know much about them, but I'm going to dig around and see what else I can find.
February 21, 2023 at 12:23am
February 21, 2023 at 12:23am
         Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

| Day 18 |

by All The Damn Vampires feat. Mint Simon

This was a Spotify discovery that I instantly fell in love with because it reminds me of the greatest synth/electronic ballads of the 1980s, kind of optimistic and hopeful yet sad and melancholy all at the same time. I actually don't know much about the band, but I do have to say that "All The Damn Vampires featuring Mint Simon" might be my favorite artist that I've ever typed for a Soundtrackers event. Perfect artist name, no notes. *Laugh*
February 21, 2023 at 12:15am
February 21, 2023 at 12:15am
         Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

| Day 17 |

"Crazy Angels"
by Carrie Underwood

I really like this song and think it's probably one of the better examples of Carrie Underwood's songwriting abilities. The lyrics are great, and I like her more upbeat stuff. The only thing I'm really not a fan of about this song is how she's trying to sell it as a brand during her performances. At numerous performances, she's defined a "crazy angel" as a "good girl who likes to have a good time," which kind of feels like one of those things that someone else can say about you but is a little forced when you try to use it to define yourself. And, man, is she pushing that identity hard.

Other than that, though, I really like the song. Good lyrics, good beat... this is the kind of country music that I gravitate toward. I'm less of a fan of country ballads and slower songs, so this has been a fun one to listen to since it was released in 2022.
February 21, 2023 at 12:05am
February 21, 2023 at 12:05am
         Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

| Day 16 |

"You Keep Hope Alive"
by Mandisa & Jon Reddick

See, 🌸 pwheeler ~ happy spring! ? I told you I had a Mandisa track on my playlist this year! *Bigsmile*

I've been listening to this song a lot over the past year, it's probably my most listened-to worship song aside from "Battle Belongs. I actually found it on YouTube of all places, on a recommended mix playlist after I had been listening to some Christian songs for a few days. I had never heard of Mandisa (or Jon Reddick) before that, but instantly fell in love with their voices and the collaboration they've put together.

Mandisa is actually from my hometown. She was born and raised in Citrus Heights, which is only about 20 minutes from the Sacramento suburb where I grew up. It was actually where we went to see movies until I was a teenager and a theater opened in a closer suburb. I also didn't realize that she was a contestant on the fifth season of American Idol, where she came in ninth. I also learned (courtesy of Wikipedia) that Simon Cowell apparently fat-shamed her for most of the season, resulting in this remarkable story:

Idol judge Simon Cowell made several comments about Mandisa's weight after her successful audition. He first quipped, "Do we have a bigger stage this year?" Then, when Paula Abdul commented that Mandisa had a "Frenchie" growl to her voice, Cowell responded that a more apt comparison would be to France itself.

When Mandisa presented herself to the judges prior to the final cut-down to the season's 24 semi-finalists, she told Cowell: "What I want to say to you is that, yes, you hurt me and I cried and it was painful, it really was. But I want you to know that I've forgiven you and that you don't need someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody. I figure that if Jesus could die so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven, I can certainly extend that same grace to you." Cowell told Mandisa that he was "humbled" and apologized to her immediately.

February 19, 2023 at 1:14am
February 19, 2023 at 1:14am
         Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

| Day 15 |

"Digital Love"
by Larkins

This is a song that I just discovered toward the end of last year, so I haven't had a chance to really get into the other music that Larkins has done to this point, but I love this song and I'm excited to check it out. I also really love the video for this song, which it notes at the beginning was "shot on February 17, 2021 between 12AM and 6AM in Central London on an iPhone." The empty streets and sidewalks and storefronts are a really powerful reminder of this pretty remarkable time in history when almost the entire world was sheltering in place for literally months and months.

In other news, today (February 15th) marks the 20th anniversary of the day I joined Writing.com. It's hard to believe it's been twenty years; thinking back I realized that I signed up for this site while I was still in college, less than a year into my move from Sacramento to Los Angeles to pursue film school... and I can't even begin to count how many poems, short stories, and scripts ago. It's pretty remarkable; I've joined and left dozens of online communities in that span of time, but I've always considered Writing.com a kind of home. Somewhere I could work on my writing and build friendships no matter what else was happening in my life. I'll do a more detailed post reflecting on my time here, but... yeah... 20 years as of the 15th of this month... *Shock2*
February 19, 2023 at 12:51am
February 19, 2023 at 12:51am
         Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

| Day 14 |

"Slow Song"
by The Knocks (feat. Dragonette)

This is another one-off song that was recommended on a Spotify playlist. I haven't really taken the time to listen to much else by The Knocks OR Dragonette, but I really liked this song and added it into the regular rotation of my listening last year. This past year, I've really gotten into electronic (especially electronic pop) music and have just been enjoying finding these standalone songs even if I'm never going to do a deep dive on the artists and explore their entire music catalogues like I might do with a singer/songwriter.

The music features Aquaria as the central character, who was the winner of the tenth season of RuPaul's Drag Race in 2018.
February 18, 2023 at 3:20pm
February 18, 2023 at 3:20pm
         Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

| Day 13 |

by Justin Bieber

On the thirteenth of this month, I was actually in the Sacramento area for a dedication ceremony for my mom. After her passing in November 2020, the county fire department approved plans to build a memorial at my parents' local firehouse with a bench, plaque, and a free "little library" where people can come to borrow a book and return it, or take one and replace it with another one. My parents had been instrumental in starting the local fire safe council (a nonprofit that helped the community raise funds for clearing dry brush, fire awareness education, etc.), and my mom was an avid reader, so it felt like a really nice opportunity to celebrate her, especially since my dad has no plans to do a formal memorial service.

This was a song I listened to a lot over the past year since its release, and I'm also including it because Justin Bieber was just in the news for selling his entire music catalogue to a private equity firm for $200 million. And, on the face of it, $200 million is a whole lot of money (I think it might even be the biggest sale of a musician's catalogue (Bob Dylan's sold for $150 million, I think). But Bieber is also a relatively young artist and it seems to me like the catalogue might be more valuable in the long run if he has years and years left of making music, touring, etc. I can understand why older artists might sell toward the end of their careers (it's easier to enjoy and then bequeath cash rather than music publishing/licensing rights to your descendants) but I'm really curious whether $200 million will end up being a steal for the equity firm in the long run, if Bieber keeps performing and making music. Strange times we live in, where bankers are buying music rights from artists. Then again, they're trying to buy up pretty much everything else (real estate, trademarks and other intellectual property, naming rights, etc.) so why not music catalogues as well? *RollEyes*
February 18, 2023 at 2:52pm
February 18, 2023 at 2:52pm
         Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

| Day 12 |

"I Hate Myself For Loving You"
by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

My other "blast from the past" song for this year's "The Soundtrack of Your Life playlist is from Joan Jett. While "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" is probably their most famous song (and also one of my favorites), I rediscover this one from time to time. The last time was in 2018 when it was featured on the soundtrack of Ready Player One and I listened to it a bunch back then. It popped up on my Spotify suggestions playlist again this year, and I found myself listening to it a lot this past year.

I love Joan Jett's voice and the band's whole sound. They have a number of really iconic songs (this one included), and whenever I go through a classic rock phase in my listening habits, at least one of their songs is almost always featured on my playlist.
February 18, 2023 at 2:44pm
February 18, 2023 at 2:44pm
         Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

| Day 11 |

"Since You've Been Gone"
by Rainbow

I hadn't heard this song for years, until it popped up in the trailers for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3. I had completely forgotten about it and I'm pretty sure the last time I listened to it was back when my mom used to drive me to school in the morning and we would listen to the local classic rock radio station on the drive. Say what you want about James Gunn, but he does know how to pick great songs for his movies.

The thing I love most about this song is that my three (almost four!) year old daughter loves it. I was reviewing some trailers one night and she asked me what song it was. I told her it was by a band called Rainbow, and she loves rainbows, so she asked to see the music video of the song, and to add it to her playlist that we play in the car on the drive to and from her daycare. She'll literally get buckled into the car some days now and go, "Daddy? I want to listen to Rainbow." And when it comes on without her requesting it, she'll say, "Oh, that's my favorite song!"

So this song definitely got a lot of play late last year and early this year since our family rediscovered it.
February 18, 2023 at 2:38pm
February 18, 2023 at 2:38pm
         Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

| Day 10 |

"Hold My Hand"
by Lady Gaga

While I do like this song a fair bit, I'm including it in my playlist this year more for the movie that it's from. Top Gun: Maverick was a real surprise for me; a decades-later sequel that actually felt like a movie worth making, rather than a cash grab, an attempt to play on nostalgia, a half-hearted remake, or all of the above. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and thought they improved on the original in a lot of ways. I'm not sure it's quite Oscar Best Picture nominee material, but never bet against the Academy's cynical efforts to stay relevant. *Wink*

One of my favorite things about the movie is actually a popular fan theory. SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn't seen the movie yet. The fan theory goes that, during the prototype test flight at the beginning of the film, Maverick actually dies (ejecting out of a hypersonic jet at 10Gs is... not something someone is likely to survive), and the rest of the movie (from his convenient landing back in the USA after going partway around the world, to a storyline where he reconciles with Goose's son, finds love with a long-lost acquaintance, and helps a new generation of fighter pilots succeed in a generic mission against an unspecified enemy, including a beach sports game as a high point of his bonding with them, just like when he was younger in the original film) is his subconscious working through his unresolved issues and giving him peace before he finally dies. The reason why I love this fan theory is because it actually explains some of the convenient moments in the movie better than just assuming they're all random. *Think*

Anyway, Lady Gaga has a great voice and always manages to create compelling songs. But the reason this one is on my list this year is because Top Gun: Maverick also happens to be one of my favorite films from last year.

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