Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for...Zombie and Zip-Lock





We've done it!  Today is the final post for the A-Z Blogging Challenge and I consider this year's edition a resounding success.  It was a blast!  But on to today's letter...Z.



Z is for "Zombie" and "Zip-Lock"


"Zombie" - The Cranberries
 

If you're posting about music, how can you not choose this track as representative of Z?  It's so freakin' good!  A protest rock song written in memory of two boys, Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry, killed during the IRA bombings in Warrington, "Zombie" was released in late 1994 by Irish band The Cranberries.  It is beautifully angry and historically significant.  Such a great song.

*Lyrics:  "It's the same old theme since nineteen-sixteen / In your head / In your head they're still fightin' / With their tanks and their bombs / And their bombs and their guns / In your head, in your head they are dyin'"

"Zip-Lock" - Lit
 

A fun little pop-punk song, "Zip-Lock" was released as a follow-up to Lit's first single "My Own Worst Enemy".  Though not as successful as their first release, it still did relatively well in the charts.  The official video is the real star though...paying homage to Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" and including various cameos of fellow rockers Blink-182 and Dee Snider. 

*Lyrics:  "I've been stealing / Time where I can get it from / I've been losing / Grip on what I used to hold / If I could get another chance / I'd put it in a zip-lock bag / And keep it in my pocket"

What are some of you favorite Z songs?

Yay!!!  What a great month-long challenge.  Do you feel accomplished, fellow A-Zers?  I do!  Until next year...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for...You and I and Your Biggest Mistake





Only one more day to go in the challenge.  Well done, fellow A-Zers!  Today is all about the letter Y.



Y is for "You and I Both" and "Your Biggest Mistake"



"You and I Both" - Jason Mraz
 

My ears love Jason Mraz.  He's so smooth and soulful and doesn't put out a bad track...seriously.  If you're looking for a chill set of pipes, this is one of your options.  When Mraz released "You and I Both", I had already been a fan for years.  This only solidified how awesome he is...it's a beautiful song.

*Lyrics:  "See I'm all about them words / Over numbers, unencumbered numbered words / Hundreds of pages, pages, pages for words / More words than I had ever heard and I feel so alive"

"Your Biggest Mistake" - New Found Glory
 

Ah...a little NFG.  I haven't listened to them in several years, but for a while there in high school and early college I loved me some NFG.  They had a few mainstream songs, but most of their stuff was strictly played on alternative rock radio or late night MTV...when MTV still played videos.  It's definitely not my favorite NFG song, but it's still pretty good stuff.

*Fun Fact:  Emerging in the late 90s, New Found Glory is considered a pioneer of the second wave of pop punk by music critics and they are often referred to as the "godfathers of punk" for the new generation.

What are some of your favorite Y songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays:  Madame Bovary
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's this week's teaser:
"As to Emma, she did not ask herself whether she loved.  Love, she thought, must come suddenly, with great outbursts and lightnings, -a hurricane of the skies, which falls upon life, revolutionises it, roots up the will like a leaf, and sweeps the whole heart into the abyss." --page 62
          Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

I've been meaning to read this for years and I've owned it for a while (I really enjoyed A Sentimental Education).  Finally getting around to actually reading it.  Thoughts?

Happy reading!

Bout of Books 13

It's nearly time for another edition of Bout of Books!  Excitement is overflowing in this area :)  This round will begin on Monday, May 11th and run through Sunday, May 17th.  Here are the logistics:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Here are my goals:
  • Read...just read.  Think Dory!
  • Don't worry about pages read.
  • Participate in Twitter Chats and Challenges when able to.
  • Have fun!
I'll post something outlining what books I hope to get through closer to the start of the read-a-thon.  If this might be something you're interested in participating in, here's the sign up link.  It's great fun!

X is for...X&Y and XXX's and OOO's





Welcome to Tuesday and the near completion of the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  Today's post is dedicated to the incredibly difficult letter X.



X is for "X&Y" and "XXX's and OOO's (American Girl)"


"X&Y" - Coldplay
 

It's such a chill song.  I'll admit, I got over the hype of Coldplay quickly when "Yellow" was so overplayed.  But they've managed to redeem themselves beautifully.  Well done, Chris Martin.  Still not my favorite Coldplay track, but it's definitely got merit and the album has some of my favorite tracks.

*Lyrics:  "Trying hard to speak and fighting with my weak hand / Driven to distraction, so part of the plan / When something is broken and you try to fix it / Trying to repair it, anyway you can"

"XXX's and OOO's (American Girl)" - Trisha Yearwood
 

Released in 1994, Trisha Yearwood's "XXX's and OOO's" is just a fun country track.  It did progressively well in the charts and is now used as the theme song for Yearwood's cooking show, Trisha's Southern Kitchen.  It is not, however, my favorite song of hers.  That honor would go to "She's In Love With The Boy".

Lyrics:  "She used to tie her hair up in ribbons and bows / Sign her letters with X's and O's / Got a picture of her mama in heels and pearls / She's gonna make it in her daddy's world / She's an American girl"

What are some of your favorite X songs?  Can you think of anymore?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!  The end is near!

Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for...Who's Crying and Wo Willst Du




Happy Monday, fellow A-Zers.  Let's hope this week, our final week in the blogging challenge, goes out with a bang!  Today is all about the letter W.



W is for "Who's Crying Now" and "Wo Willst Du Hin"



"Who's Crying Now" - Journey
 

Hands down, this is my favorite Journey song.  My parents had a vinyl copy of 1991s Escape, the album the track is on, as well as a tape of it.  I wore the tape out from rewinding it so much.  Since that time, Journey has always remained one of my all-time favorite bands.  Steve Perry's crystal clear voice is hauntingly beautiful...you really can't go wrong.

*Lyrics:  "It's been a mystery / And still they try to see / Why something good can hurt so bad / Caught on a one-way street / The taste of bittersweet / Love will survive somehow, some way"

"Wo Willst Du Hin" - Xavier Naidoo
 

Probably my favorite German artist, Xavier Naidoo is a soul and R&B singer/songwriter.  His stuff is beautiful.  His first album was actually an English-language album; it was released in 1994.  His follow-up was in his native German and released in 1998.  "Wo Willst Du Hin" is off his 2002 album and was one of his hit singles.  Even if you don't understand the lyrics, it still sounds so good!

*Fun Fact:  Naidoo collaborated with RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan on his first number 1 single "Ich kenne nichts (das so schoen ist wie du)" in 2003.  A lot of his songs have religious undertones and questions of identity.

What are some of your favorite W songs?  This was the hardest one to narrow down because there are so many great options...

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for...Vienna and Vogue



Saturday...I've yearned for you!  I hope everyone is having a relaxing Saturday...basking in your respective activities and modes of relaxation.  Me?  I'm reading...maybe doing some laundry (because I love that).  Perhaps watching a movie or some TV today.  The possibilities are endless.  Aside from that, today is all about the letter V.


V is for "Vienna" and "Vogue"


"Vienna" - Billy Joel
 

This is a beautiful melodious song.  It's a decadent metaphor for life and Joel presents it so well.  From 1977s The Stranger, Joel has declared "Vienna" to be one of his favorite songs to perform...it's that good.  The song was inspired when Billy Joel visited his father, who was living in Vienna at the time.  While there, he noticed an old woman sweeping the street and he questioned this practice.  The ensuing conversation with his father opened his eyes to the way American's tend to push the elderly population to the side and don't value their life experiences.

*Lyrics:  "Slow down you crazy child / You're so ambitious for a juvenile / But then if you're so smart tell me / Why are you still so afraid?"

"Vogue" - Madonna
 

How can you have a list of awesome songs and NOT include Madonna on it?  She is the queen.  Maybe not so much anymore (personally, I really can't stand any of her new stuff), but she's till relevant and inspirational to up-and-coming artists...especially in the pop arena.  "Vogue" is just classic Madge though and a dance music trendsetter.  It brought house music and the gay club scene into the mainstream and encouraged spontaneity.  Come on, everyone knows how to vogue :)

*Lyrics:  "When all else fails and you long to be / Something better than you are today / I know a place where you can get away / It's called a dance floor, and here's what it's for"

What are some of your favorite V songs?  I do love "Vidalia" by Sammy Kershaw...

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for...Undone and U Got It




Happy Friday, A-Z participants.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I am very ready for the weekend.  I plan on reading and doing little else.  Yep.  But for now, let's talk about the letter U.



U is for "Undone: The Sweater Song" and "U Got It Bad"



"Undone: The Sweater Song" - Weezer
 

The first single off Weezer's self-title 1994 debut, the song was meant to be a sad one, but it wasn't taken that way by listeners.  Stylistically, it's a pretty basic song with very minor chord changes.  Because of it's simplicity, it's been covered by multiple people, including The Fray, The Offspring, Angels & Airwaves, and The Bloodhound Gang.  It's a catchy little tidbit.

*Lyrics:  "If you want to destroy my sweater / Hold this thread as I walk away (as I walk away) / Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked / Lying on the floor (lying on the floor) / I've come undone"

"U Got It Bad" - Usher
 

From Usher's third album, "U Got It Bad" is a freakin' gem.  It's smooth, sultry, and seductive.  I've always been a fan of Usher, but had never owned one of his albums...until this one.  It's a great collection.  Why can't Usher's new stuff be more like his old stuff?

*Lyrics:  "When you feel it in your body / You found somebody who makes you change your ways /
Like hanging with your crew / Said you act like you're ready / But you don't really know / And everything in your past - you wanna let it go"

What are some of you favorite U songs?  "U Can't Touch This" is a classic...

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for...These Dreams and Til I Hear




Sorry it's such a late post today, dear readers.  I'm catching up at work and today's post has been on the back burner.  But it's here now!  Yay!  Today is all about the letter T.



T is for "These Dreams" and "Til I Hear It From You"



"These Dreams" - Heart
 

Heart is awesome.  Just plain awesome sauce.  "These Dreams" was the first song by the band to hit number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It's a gravelly power ballad and we can thank Nancy Wilson for having a cold during recording.

*Fun Fact:  The song was originally offered to Stevie Nicks, but she had no interest in recording it.  Also, though Heart had only previously recorded their own music, they were so interested in this song that they included it on their self-titled album.

"Til I Hear It From You" - Gin Blossoms
 

I am obsessed with the Gin Blossoms; have been for a long time.  "Til I Hear It From You" was released in 1995 as the lead single off the Empire Records soundtrack and re-released the following year with "Follow You Down".  Both songs charted at the same time and were fairly successful.  When covered in Billboard magazine, the song was quoted as being "the closest thing to a perfect pop song to hit radio in recent memory...[it has a] breezy and wonderfully infectious melody".  Pretty high praise!

*Lyrics:  "Well baby I don't want to take advice from fools / I'll just figure everything is cool / Until I heard it from you"

What are some of your favorite T songs?  "Thriller"..."Tearjerker"!  There are so many...

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for...Step By Step and The Seed




We've reached the halfway point of the workweek and I don't think Friday afternoon can get here any faster.  Ugh.  Aside from that, today is all about the letter S.



S is for "Step By Step" and "The Seed (2.0)"



"Step By Step" - New Kids on the Block
 

NKOTB were my first boy band.  I loved them.  I remember having a VHS tape of one of their concert specials and I watched that thing religiously.  I wanted to be serenaded by Joey.  Mmmm.  I guess Jordan and Donny were pretty steamy too.  The other two...not so much.  Oh well.  "Step By Step" is a fun track.  It doesn't mean much, but it's catchy.

*Fun Fact:  "Step By Step" is the best-selling single for NKOTB.  It was voted #4 in a Smash Hits poll of "Best Boyband Songs...Ever" and is also on the list of About.com's 30 Guilty Pleasures.

"The Seed (2.0)" - The Roots
 

Such a great song.  Great beat.  Great vibe.  So chill.  I first discovered this song while watching the Mandy Moore flick Chasing Liberty...don't judge :)  A remix of the original track, "The Seed (2.0)" is off the band's fifth studio album, Phrenology.  It's a great blend of rock, funk, and hip hop.  But then you actually read the lyrics and whoa nelly!  It's a dirty song!!! 

*Lyrics:  "I don't ask, for much these days / And I don't bitch and whine if I don't get my way / I only want to fertilize another behind my lover's back / I sit and watch it grow standin' where I'm at"

What are some of your favorite S songs?  "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" is a good one...and so many others!

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for...Right Here Waiting and Richard Marxism






Hello Tuesday.  I've really got nothing clever or pun-y to say in my intro today, so let's get right to it.  Today is all about the letter R.



R is for "Right Here Waiting" and "Richard Marxism"


"Right Here Waiting" - Richard Marx
 

In the 80s, I was In Love with Richard Marx.  Capital L-O-V-E love.  I remember that my parents went to one of his concerts and brought me back a sticker.  A freaking sticker!  That's it!  So rude.  Aside from that, this song got me every single time.  It's such a great track.  The second track released from his Repeat Offender album, it became Marx's third consecutive #1 on Billboard's Hot 100.  It is his best-selling single.

*Fun Fact:  Between the years of 2000-2003, "Right Here Waiting" was listed in the top 15 of Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary Recurrents...more than ten years after its initial release.  That's staying power!

"Richard Marxism" - Mest
 

Hands down, this is my favorite Mest track.  Wasting Time, the album where this track can be found, was the band's second album but first major label release.  Their first album was self-released.  They released two singles from the album before going on to record Destination Unknown, which peaked at #12 on Billboard's Heatseekers.  Their fourth and fifth studio albums, Mest and Photographs, peaked at #64 and #116 (respectively) on Billboard's Hot 200.

*Lyrics:  "I miss you tonight / I made up my mind / I shouldn't have acted that way / I miss you tonight / I made up my mind / Cause you were the one / You were always fun / I got scared / And pretended not to care"

See what I did there? Richard Marx and "Richard Marxism"...that's pun-y!

What are some of your favorite R songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for...Quit Playing and Queen of Apology




Good morning and happy Monday...barf!  Is it just me, or was the weekend incredibly fast and way too short?  Sigh.  Regardless, I hope you all had a delightful weekend and are pumped for this week's portion of the challenge.  Today is all about the letter Q...and it was difficult (don't judge me for my choices!).


Q is for "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" and "Queen of Apology"

"Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" - Backstreet Boys
 

*covers eyes in shame* I apologize for including this...I really do.  This is not my favorite BSB song.  I was never the biggest fan of theirs.  N'Sync was so much better.  But I digress.  This track is off their debut album, Backstreet Boys, and was released as their first US Single.  They had released four previous tracks in Europe before taking a run at the US market.  However, it wasn't until Millennium that the group reached superstar status in the US...technically their third album.

*Fun Fact:  The band celebrated their 20th anniversary on April 20, 2013 in Hollywood.  They received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame two days later and April 22nd has been declared Backstreet Boys Day in Hollywood.

"Queen of Apology" - The Sounds
 

Oh man, oh man.  This is a great band!  Swedish new wave indie rock group, The Sounds, have been likened to Blondie, The Cars, the Epoxies and others.  "Queen of Apology" is off the group's second album, Dying to Say This to You, and garnered favorable praise from music critics.  Personally, I think it's a stellar album.

*Lyrics: "Now I'm fighting this feeling / But it never stops, never stops / I'm still waiting / And I'm stuck with this feeling / Will it ever stop, ever stop? / I keep trying"

What are some of your favorite Q songs?  This was a difficult letter...

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for...Pour Some Sugar and Push




Happy Saturday, fellow A-Zers!  Today I'm heading over to Oregon State University with my dad to watch the spring exhibition football game.  It's kind of our thing :)  This shall be an interesting year for the Beavs as we usher in a new coach and a new era.  Exciting things!  Today is also all about the letter P.



P is for "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Push"

"Pour Some Sugar on Me" - Def Leppard
 

Such a great karaoke song...and stripper song, I guess.  I love me some Def Leppard and have such respect for their drummer, Rick Allen.  How many one-armed drummers are there, really?  If you're looking for some good new wave British heavy metal from the 80s/90s, this is your band!

*Fun Fact:  "Pour Some Sugar on Me" was ranked #2 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s in 2006.  In 1991, the song was ranked number 1 on MTV's Top Videos of All Time.  And AVN magazine ranked it the "#1 song used by strippers during their set" of all time.

"Push" - Matchbox Twenty
 

The first Matchbox Twenty song I heard solidified my love for them.  Seriously good track!  There evolution in sounds has only garnered them a larger fan base and multiple hit records.  Though not their first release, "Push" was their first legitimate hit.  Way to start out, gentlemen.

*Lyrics:  "She said I don't know if I've ever been good enough / I'm a little bit rusty, and I think my head is caving in / And I don't know if I've ever been really loved / By a hand that's touched me, well I feel like something's / Gonna give / And I'm a little bit angry, well"

What are some of your favorite P songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for...On Bended Knee and Our Song





Happy Friday, peeps!  Can I tell you all how excited I am that it is nearly the weekend?  So excited!  I need this weekend...and possibly a vacation.  That'd be super nice.  Anywho...today's all about the letter O in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.



O is for "On Bended Knee" and "Our Song"

"On Bended Knee" - Boyz II Men
 

Boyz II Men...they're just so smooth and so suave.  How can you not like them?  Seriously!  They went on a reunion tour a few years ago and I was so bummed that I missed their stop at one of the local casinos.  Fail on my part!  Regardless, this is a great song :)

*Fun Fact:  This was the first time that a single from an artist replaced a single from the same artist on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US since The Beatles did it.  "On Bended Knee" replaced "I'll Make Love to You" in 1994.

"Our Song" - The Spill Canvas
 

I just love The Spill Canvas.  There's something that I can't put my finger on, but I love them.  Started as a solo side project for singer Nick Thomas, the other members eventually all quit their respective former bands and joined The Spill Canvas permanently.  And I'm so glad they did.  Though "Our Song" is not my favorite SC tune, it's still a great example of the type of music they produce.

*Fun Fact:  The Spill Canvas' version of Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" is one of the greatest things ever.  It actually made me kind of like the song.  Seriously, check it out!

What are some of your favorite O songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for...Name and The Night the Lights Went Out




Happy day after taxes, people!  We are plowing into the second half of the A-Z Blogging Challenge and I am no longer completely caught up on posts (and scheduled ahead).  Thank you work for taking time away from my blogging!  Regardless, I'm plugging along.  Today is all about the letter N.


N is for "Name" and "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia"


"Name" - Goo Goo Dolls
 

This was the first hit for the Goo Goo Dolls, though they had two previous released from their debut album, A Boy Named Goo.  I loved this song when it came out.  Still do, actually.  It's a great little track that works in all the right ways.  It's also the song that propelled the previously considered alternative band into the mainstream pop atmosphere.

*Fun Fact:  The Goo Goo Dolls are the only musicians to have three songs on Billboard's "Top 100 Pop Songs 1992-2012" chart.  These songs are also all in the top 25.  In addition, they are the only musicians to have back to back singles featured on the list ("Iris" in 1998 and "Slide" in 1999).

"The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" - Reba McEntire
 

This is, hands down, my favorite Reba McEntire song.  It's country and rock and a scandal all rolled into one!  Though not the original singer of the song (that would be Vicki Lawrence), McEntire made the song relevant again and it was a huge success.

*Lyrics:  "That's the night that the lights went out in Georgia / That's the night that they hung an innocent man / Well don't trust your soul to no back woods Southern lawyer / Cause the judge in the town's got bloodstains on his hands"

What are some of your favorite N songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for...Marry the Night and Mad World






Moving along nicely in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  I think we're halfway through!  Today is all about the letter M.




M is for "Marry the Night" and "Mad World"

"Marry the Night" - Lady Gaga
 

No list is complete without Lady G.  She's a genius.  Genius!  Though not my all-time favorite Gaga song, this song is brilliant and the video is a storytelling slice of awesome.  Critics and fans alike praised the song.  Though it's not one of her "dance songs," it is a stand-alone track that deserves every praise it's been given.

 *Lyrics:  "I'm gonna marry the night / I won't give up on my life / I'm a warrior queen / Live passionately tonight"

"Mad World" - Gary Jules
 

A beautiful, heartbreaking song.  Jules' "Mad World" is actually a remake of the Tears for Fears track from twenty years previous.  He took the fairly pop tune, slowed it down, and made it even more awesome.  This is my go-to version; although Adam Lambert did a beautiful rendition on AI.

*Fun Fact:  Jules remade the song for the movie Donnie Darko.  Great movie!  And it has since been used in TV shows across the board.

What are some of your favorite M songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays:  The Men Who Stare at Goats

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's todays teaser:
"The existence of these hundred goats was known only to a select few Special Forces insiders.  The covert nature of the goats was helped by the fact that they had been de-bleated; they were just standing there, their mouths opening and closing, with no bleat coming out.  Many of them also had their legs bandaged in plaster" --page 7
          The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson

This is an...interesting...read so far...

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Inspiring Bookish Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
Today's topic is:  Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books.  I am a quote fanatic...even have a special notebook where I write my favorite quotes down.  Most of them are from books, so this is perfect!

Here are my favorite quotes:

"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!  How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library." --Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


"The only thing worse than a boy who hates you:  a boy who loves you" --The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


"They thought to use and shame me but I win out by nature, because a true freak cannot be made.  A true freak must be born" --Geek Love by Katherine Dunn


"All penguins are the same below the surface, which I think is as perfect an analogy as we're likely to get for the futility of racism" --My Booky Wook by Russell Brand


"Sometimes heroism is nothing more than patience, curiosity, and a refusal to panic" --Peace like a River by Leif Enger


"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt" --Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut


"We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in.  Some of us just go one god further" --The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins


"The voice of the sea speaks to the soul" --The Awakening by Kate Chopin


"You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weights you down" --Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison


"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life" --Books and You by W. Somerset Maugham


"And the rest is rust and stardust" --Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov


I know that there are more than ten here, but I'm not removing any!  What are some of your favorite quotes?  What inspires you?  Makes you angry?  Makes you think?

Also, look for next week's top ten:  Top Ten ALL TIME favorite authors.  Yikes!!!

Happy reading!

L is for...Little Things and La Cienga






Greetings, Tuesday and fellow A-Zers!  Today we're moving on to the letter L for the challenge.




L is for "Little Things" and "La Cienga Just Smiled"

"Little Things" - Good Charlotte
 

The debut single for GC, this was the first song I heard by them back in 2001.  It also led to my first "real" concert (Good Charlotte, Slick Shoes, and MxPx).  I have been a fan ever since; even when they went mainstream with their The Young and the Hopeless album.  Eventually they were able to redeem themselves with their next three follow-ups, especially Good Morning Revival.

*Lyrics:  "Yeah, this song is dedicated / To every kid who ever got picked last in gym class / To every kid who never had a date to no school dance / To everyone who's ever been called a freak / This is for you"

"La Cienga Just Smiled" - Ryan Adams
 

When I was living in Austria, I had about an hour or so commute at about 5:30 in the morning that involved two subways, a train, and walking.  I lived with my iPod and Ryan Adams' Gold was my album of choice.  This song so reminds me of strolling the Viennese streets; the sites, the sounds, the smells, everything.  This brings it all back...I love this song...

*Lyrics:  "And I hold you close in the back of my mind / Feels so good but damn it makes me hurt / And I'm too scared to know how I feel about you now"

What are some of your favorite L songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for...The Kill and Kryptonite





Good morning, Monday!  Nice to see you again...I guess.  It's the start of the third week in the A-Z Blogging Challenge and we're moving along to the letter K.




K is for "The Kill" and "Kryptonite"

"The Kill" - 30 Seconds to Mars
 

This is a great song and video.  It's like a mini-movie.  So awesome!  It's creepy and reminiscent of The Shining and I love it.  Also, Jared Leto is pretty nice to look at.  Mmm hmm. 

*Lyrics:  "What if I wanted to fight / Beg for the rest of my life / What would you do? / You say you wanted more / What are you waiting for? / I'm not running from you (from you)"

"Kryptonite" - 3 Doors Down
 

The first single released by 3 Doors Down was "Kryptonite" and it was so good.  It had a great build up and was really catchy.  Not too shabby for a song written by a fifteen year old kid.

*Lyrics:  "You called me strong, you called me weak / But still your secrets I will keep / You took for granted all the times / I never let you down / You stumbled in and bumped your head / If not for me then you'd be dead / I picked you up and put you back on solid ground"

What are some of your favorite K songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for...Jessie's Girl and Jealous



Happy Saturday, fellow A-Zers!  I hope you're all enjoying a well deserved weekend and patting yourself on the back for making it through week two of the challenge.  Today I'm heading over to Cherry City Comic Con (not my choice...the BF is kind of a nerd), so it shall be interesting.  I know exactly 1 name on the list of attendees...Naomi Grossman aka Pepper from American Horror Story.  Regardless, today's all about the letter J.


J is for "Jessie's Girl" and "Jealous"

"Jessie's Girl" - Rick Springfield
 

This is my 80s jam of choice.  I built a Pandora station around it.  I bought an 80s compilation disc because of it.  I crank the volume up on the radio whenever it comes on.  I watch 13 Going on 30 (which I love) and can't wait for the scene in the cab when this song plays.  Basically, I love "Jesse's Girl". 

*Fun Fact:  "Jessie's Girl" actually garnered Rick Springfield the Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1982, it was ranked the #1 song when MTV launched in 1981, and was named one of the 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s in 2006.

"Jealous" - Nick Jonas
 

I can't believe I'm including this song...and I'm kind of embarrassed to admit how much I like it.  Ugh.  This song works.  It just does.  Aside from the atrocious video (it's bad, people), it's a catchy tune.  Damn you, Nick Jonas!

*Lyrics:  "It's not your fault that they hover / I mean no disrespect / It's my right to be hellish / I still get jealous"

What are some of your favorite J songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for...I Wanna Dance and It Must Have Been




Friday!!!  We're so close to the weekend, fellow A-Zers and I can smell the freedom!  It's also nearing the end of week two of the challenge and I'm still feeling confident.  How about you?  Today is all about the letter I.



I is for "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and "It Must Have Been Love"

"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" - Whitney Houston
 

I love a good Whitney track, but her older stuff is gold.  It's probably silver, platinum, diamond, and any other precious metal/gem you can think of.  She's that glorious.  But I have to say that there's just something wonderful about this track.  It makes me smile...and dance. 

*Fun Fact:  Though released to mixed reviews and comparisons to some of Houston's earlier tracks, as well as Cyndi Lauper, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1988.

"It Must Have Been Love" - Roxette
 

This song.  Oh, this song.  When Pretty Woman happened, this song skyrocketed like whoa in the US (it had previously only been popular in Europe).  That ending scene when Julia Roberts is driving away from Richard Gere in his limo.  Swoon!  And then they add this song to the scene.  No way! 

*Lyrics:  "Lay a whisper on my pillow / Leave the winter on the ground / I wake up lonely / There's air of silence in the bedroom / And all around"

What are some of your favorite I songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for...Here I Go and Head Over Feet






Greetings, fellow A-Zers!  Welcome to Thursday and the letter H!




H is for "Here I Go Again" and "Head Over Feet"

"Here I Go Again" - Whitesnake
 

Hair bands...you really can't go wrong...and Whitesnake is one of the stand-outs!  This song brings back great memories and always puts a smile on my face.  It's also a great karaoke song, if you're interested in that type of thing :)

*Lyrics: "Here I go again on my own / Goin' down the only road I've ever known / Like a drifter I was born to walk alone / An' I've made up my mind, I ain't wasting no more time"

"Head Over Feet" - Alanis Morissette
 

Ah, angry 90s music.  It's so good and no one did it better than Alanis Morissette.  However, despite all the anger, there was this little gem on her Jagged Little Pill album, and I loved it!  While the whole album is quite good, I really enjoyed this song because the lyrics are really beautiful.

*Lyrics:  "You've already won me over in spite of me / Don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet / Don't be surprised if I love your for all that you are / I couldn't help it / It's all your fault"

What are some of you favorite H songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for...Glycerin and Galapogos






Happy Wednesday, fellow A-Zers.  We're plowing through the workweek and moving through the alphabet.  Today's letter is G.




G is for "Glycerin" and "Galapogos"

"Glycerin" - Bush
 


Oh, Gavin Rossdale...why are you so sexy?  Sixteen Stone, the album that "Glycerin" is on, is probably one of my favorite albums of all time.  It's seriously that good.  "Glycerin" has this slow burn and build up that is beautiful.  Sure, most of Bush's lyrics make zero sense, but the songs sound good.  Ironically, Bush has been more successful stateside than they have been in their native UK; completely opposite of most musical acts.

*Lyrics:  "I'm never alone / I'm alone all the time / Are you at one or do you lie? / We live in a wheel / Where everyone steals / But when we rise it's like strawberry fields"  ----What????
 
"Galapogos" - The Smashing Pumpkins
 

Though definitely not one of their mainstream hits, "Galapogos" by the Smashing Pumpkins is a beautiful hidden gem on their Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness double album.  This album was in my little boom box located in my bathroom and I played it on heavy rotation during my middle school years.  You really can't go wrong with a Pumpkins track :)

*Fun FactMellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is the best-selling double album of the decade (1990-2000) and garnered seven Grammy nominations.

What are some of your favorite G songs?  "Gangsta's Paradise" does come to mind...

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays:  The Sea of Tranquility

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"The first night I ever ran, I ended up throwing up all over my shoes.  It was one of the best nights of my life.  It didn't start out that way." --page 48
           The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

I'm not sure how I feel about this book yet.  Though I'm not very far in, I have yet to be impressed.  Meh.  It's got a lot of mixed reviews.  We shall see...

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I'd Like to Check in With

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Check in With.  Now, I could probably fill this entire list with Harry Potter characters, but I'm not going to do that! 

Here's who I'd like to catch up with...
And there you  have it...the characters I would love to catch up with.  We can all dream, right?

Who are some of the characters you would like to check in with?

Also, look for next week's Top Ten:  Inspiring Quotes from Books.

Happy reading!

F is for...Feliz Navidad and Friends






Moving in to Tuesday (and really wishing it was closer to the always coveted weekend) we're talking all about the letter F today.




F is for "Feliz Navidad" and "Friends in Low Places"

"Feliz Navidad" - Jose Feliciano
 

I don't know what it is about this song, but Christmas is not complete for me until I've hear it about a million times.  It's my second favorite Christmas song (behind Wham's "Last Christmas") and it makes me want to dance and wrap presents.  It should be noted that I LOVE wrapping presents...so this is played a lot!

*Fun Fact:  "Feliz Navidad" is one of the most downloaded and aired Christmas songs in the US and Canada.

"Friends in Low Places" - Garth Brooks
 

You really can't go wrong with classic Garth, and what's more classic than "Friends in Low Places"...especially the live version with the hidden chorus!  This is a go-to at everything from birthdays, to weddings, to gatherings in general.  It is guaranteed to get just about everyone singing along and holding a glass of some beverage in the air while swaying back and forth.  Tell me I'm wrong!  And, really, No Fences is one of Garth's best albums.  Not a bad song.

*Lyrics:  "I guess I was wrong / I just don't belong / But then, I've been there before / And everything's all right / I'll just say goodnight / And I'll show myself to the door / I didn't mean to cause a big scene / Just wait 'til I finish this glass / Then sweet little lady / I'll head back to the bar / And you can kiss my ass"

What are some of your favorite F songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for...Enter Sandman and Everlong





Happy Monday, fellow A-Zers!  Hope everyone had a delightful weekend and a great Easter holiday (if you celebrate).  Today we're moving in to week 2 of the challenge and we're kicking it off with the letter E.



E is for..."Enter Sandman" and "Everlong"

"Enter Sandman" - Metallica
 

In middle school I was obsessed with Metallica and pretty much rock music in general.  But Metallica was where it was at for me.  Though "Enter Sandman" is not my favorite Metallica tune, it's nice, simple, and fairly easy on the ears.  Despite this departure from their normal rock repertoire, it is one of the top 500 songs of all time according to Rolling Stone magazine and one of the 50 best rock songs according to VH1.  It's been described as the first metal lullaby and I'd have to agree with that assessment.

*Lyrics:  "Hush little baby, don't say a word / And never mind that noise you heard / It's just the beasts under your bed / In your closet, in your head"

"Everlong" - Foo Fighters
 

In 1997, I was introduced to the Foo Fighters with this song (and "Monkey Wrench").  It's been love ever since.  I had previously been a fan of Dave Grohl's from his Nirvana days, and it was only natural that I keep that love going (despite the loss of Kurt Cobain).  Upon release, their music was heavily compared to Nirvana.  Grohl never denied that Cobain had been a huge influence on his musical career and styling, but the band has since evolved into a rock juggernaut.      

*Fun Fact:  Dave Grohl is HIGH-LARIOUS!  Seriously, if you've never seen Fresh Pots, check it out now!

What are some of your favorite E songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

D is for...Dreaming and Don't Take





Happy Saturday, everyone!  We've officially made it through week one of the A-Z Blogging Challenge and today is all about the letter D and I'm bringing you the following:



D is for "Dreaming of You" and "Don't Take the Girl"


"Dreaming of You" - Selena
 

Though released posthumously, this is the song that made me fall in love with Selena and her Tejano music.  I remember waiting to hear this song on the radio and then singing it no matter the time of day.  It's such a beautiful song; maybe not lyrically beautiful, but Selena sings it beautifully.  Then the J-Lo movie came out...I still cry every time I watch that movie. 

*Fun Fact:  Selena was the first Tejano singer to win a Grammy.

"Don't Take the Girl" - Tim McGraw
 

Ah, Tim McGraw...you were my country crush as a kid.  Still are, actually.  "Don't Take the Girl" was the first McGraw song I heard and I knew that I had to have that album, Not a Moment too Soon!  I listened to it constantly (the whole thing is good) and would watch CMT hoping that one of his videos would play (generally during the top ten countdown or something).  I think it's probably my favorite McGraw disc and "Don't Take the Girl" still gets me a little teary-eyed.

*Fun FactNot a Moment too Soon was the best-selling country album in 1994 and "Don't Take the Girl" was McGraw's first #1 hit.

What are some of your favorite D songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for...Crossroads and Come As You Are






We're at the midway point for week one of the A-Z Blogging Challenge and things are moving along smoothly. 

Today's letter is C!




"Tha Crossroads" - Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
 

This may come as a shock, but I freakin' loved me some Bone Thugs-N-Harmony back in the day.  It was my brother who first introduced me to Bone and this was the song that I fell in love with.  I remember sitting in the playroom as a kid constantly rewinding the tape to listen to this song over and over again.  That cassette tape was so worn out I had to toss it.  Yikes!  This song got me into the rap and hip hop scene that I had previously not been interested in.

*Fun Fact:  "Tha Crossroads" was a tribute to famed N.W.A member, and Bone mentor, Eazy-E and it won the 1997 Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.  It is also a remake of the original song by the group, "Crossroads", which had been dedicated to the group's friend Wallace Laird III.

"Come As You Are" - Nirvana
 

In seventh grade, I was obsessed with Nirvana.  Posters adorned my walls.  Their albums were constantly playing in my CD player.  I was in love with Kurt Cobain.  And then he died.  I remember that day and still maintain that there is a conspiracy there.  "Come As You Are", off their 1991 Nevermind album, is my jam.  The guitar riff at the beginning is spot on and sets the mood.  It was one of the first songs I learned to play on the guitar.

*Fun Fact:  In Aberdeen, Washington, Cobain's hometown, the Welcome to Aberdeen sign now boasts an addendum across the bottom declaring visitors to "Come As You Are" in a tribute to Cobain and his influence in the music industry.

What are some of your favorite C songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for...Black Hole Sun and Boy Who Blocked






Day two has arrived in the A-Z Blogging Challenge and we're moving on to the letter B.  Today I bring you...






"Black Hole Sun" - Soundgarden


This is when I fell in love with Chris Cornell.  That love has only continued to get stronger as the years have passed...through Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, and his solo work.  That gravely voice...mmmm.  I don't care that he's old enough to be my dad.  It was the 90s, it was grunge, and it was awesome.  The lyrics are sad and melancholy, but the music is beautiful.  Such a great juxtaposition!

*Fun Fact:  "Black Hole Sun" won the 1995 Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.

"The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot" - Brand New
 

My all-time favorite band, Brand New, came out with "The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot" on their sophomore album, Deja Entendu.  The album is lyrically and musically brilliant, but this song speaks to me despite the fact that it was not one of their released singles.  It's pure sugary torture and oh so addictive.  Stylistically, it is much more mellow than their other punk-infused tracks.  Released in 2003 to critical acclaim, Deja did what their first album didn't...it delved into topics much more deeply rooted than heartbreak and garnered them the mass-market public exposure their previous album hadn't.

*Lyrics:  "You are calm and reposed / Let your beauty unfold / Pale white, like the skin stretched over your bones / Spring keeps you ever close / You are secondhand smoke / You are so fragile and thin / Standing trial for your sins / Holding onto your self the best you can / You are the smell before rain / You are the blood in my veins"

What are some of your favorite B songs?

Blog on, fellow A-Zers!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for...Always and Audience of One

It's upon us!  The A-Z Blogging Challenge has officially commenced and for the next month (minus Sundays), bloggers from around the world will be joining together for a whirlwind of blogging fun!  This is my fourth year participating in the event and my chosen topic for this year will be Music.  Be prepared for a lot of random tunes...random facts...random lyrics...and general random awesomeness!

Without further ado...

A is for..."Always" and "Audience of One"

"Always" - Bon Jovi
 

My love for Bon Jovi is rooted deep within my soul and was planted when Cross Road was released in 1994.  That album is a freakin' gem and no song got to my like "Always".  I played that thing on repeat...constantly.  Give me a power ballad any day! 

*Fun fact:  the song was written for a movie (Romeo is Bleeding), originally, but shelved because the band hated the film. 
 
"Audience of One" - Rise Against
 

From the 2008 album Appeal to Reason, this Rise Against track is pure gold.  RA's penchant for politically driven songs and for social activism is evidenced through not only their music, but through their personal lives as well.  Though their newer albums are becoming more mainstream than their previous, more punk/hardcore driven work, their messages are still relevant.

*Lyrics:  "Identities assume us / As nine to five add up / Synchronizing watches / To the seconds that we lost / I looked up and saw you / I know that you saw me / We froze but for a moment / In empathy"

What are some of your favorite A songs?

Happy blogging, fellow A-Zers!