Cover songs – better than the original?

Jen Kehl - My Skewed View www.jenkehl.com

Twisted Mixtape Tuesday, and it’s all about covers this week. I kind of had a hard time remembering the cover songs I like, because for some reason all the cover songs I HATE kept popping up in my head (I’m looking at you, Britney, with your horrifying rendition of “I Love Rock & Roll”). But I want this to be a positive mixtape, so I’m ignoring my cranky tendencies and celebrating those songs that are still pretty awesome the second time around.

1. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes – Tomorrow

Me First & the Gimme Gimmes is a band that pretty much does all covers, so it’s hard to pick just one of their songs. I think I have to go with “Tomorrow,” though “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is a superclose second.

2. Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal

So I won’t say it’s better than the MJ original, but it just has such a different sound. Alien Ant Farm kind of made it into their own song, so it’s hard to compare it to the original. That’s about as technical as I’m going to get – I just love the song.

3. The White Stripes – Jolene

I’ve never really heard Dolly Parton do this song. I’ve never been a big Dolly fan so I’m ok with that. Jack White could sing a song about a turd and make it sound breathtaking. I’m not saying this song is a turd – he’s just that damn talented.

4. Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World

Will I be lambasted if I admit that the first time I ever heard this song was when Nirvana played it? In this very video? I didn’t even know it was a cover for the longest time (no offense, David Bowie, I just wasn’t that into you back when I was going to marry Kurt Cobain). I worshiped Nirvana back in the day. I hated Courtney Love just because she married my Kurt. And when he killed himself, my (12-year-old) world shattered. This is my favorite Nirvana album, and while this isn’t my favorite song off there, I still dig it.

5. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Higher Ground

Soooo…there’s this movie called Center Stage that for some reason, I absolutely adore. Love it. It’s mostly about ballet, but at one point they do an awesome some-other-kind-of-dance to this song. Ever since then, it’s been rotating in and out of my workout playlist. Plus I like to pretend I can do the moves from the movie (I can’t). Sorry, Stevie, your original doesn’t get me moving the way this one does!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the mixtapes at http://jenkehl.com/music/twisted-mix-tape-cover-songs-playlist/. You may find a few you like (or hate, depending on your mood). Mad props, as always, to Jen for hosting!!

Soundtrack to my school life

It’s Twisted MixTape Tuesday Time, Y’all!

www.jenkehl.comThe theme for this week was “If My Life Had a Soundtrack.” You know, if someone decided my life was sweet enough to turn into a movie, theoretically these are the songs someone would pick. The thing about me is music has been huge in my life. And specific eras in my life demanded specific types of music and artists. So what I’m saying is this would be a very random soundtrack with little cohesiveness. Which I guess is a good way to describe my life, really.

I didn’t pick any bands that have really gone the distance. Nirvana, No Doubt, The Killers, Garth Brooks, The White Stripes and Tim McGraw would all be on the soundtrack as well because they are my homies for life. The songs listed here are the ones that come to mind first when I think about the different phases of my life and aren’t necessarily still on my go-to playlist.

To keep this from getting super long and unwieldy, I’ve limited myself to the first 18 years of my life. So if someone made a movie on my life from birth to the year 2000, this is what would have to be there:

Preschool

Jermaine Stewart – We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off

According to my mom, this was my favorite song when I was like 4 years old. She said I’d sing it loud and proud. This and Papa Don’t Preach were my jams. Guess I was a cool little kid? Really wish I’d kept this philosophy once I was old enough for sexy times…

Elementary school

Celine Dion – Water from the Moon

I loved Celine Dion. There, I said it. Her music perfectly sums up the ridiculous, hopeless romantic I was in elementary school. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, PEOPLE. I was reading Danielle Steele novels and assuming I’d marry every guy I “dated.” And listening to copious amounts of Celine Dion. I practically wore this song out on the first CD I ever owned.

Junior high

Blackstreet – No Diggity

Of course I went through a stage when I thought I was a badass. Ok, so Blackstreet doesn’t exactly make me “hard” but this album was sweet.

High school

NOFX – Please Play This Song on the Radio

In high school, I was into No Doubt and Blink-182. Later, I was taken a little deeper into punk/ska music, thanks to a dude who moved to our tiny coastal town from southern California. I dated him, but I really don’t like to think about that anymore. At least I was able to discover some sweet new bands like Goldfinger, Me First & the Gimmie Gimmies, Less Than Jake and NOFX.
***Note: song has profanity. You see what they did there? With the title? Nice.

Alanis Morrissette – Thank U

Had to include two from high school because this song got me through my suicide attempt, my dad’s suicide attempt and my parents’ divorce (all happened within the span of 6 months). To say it was a rough time in my life would be a gross effing understatement.

What songs would be on your soundtrack? Make sure you head over to the lovely Jen Kehl’s place to check out other mixtapes. Who knows – you may find a new entry for your soundtrack!

 

Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday: Let’s Get Physical!

…but not with Olivia Newton-John. Not in this chick’s workout playlist, anyway.

Oh how I’ve missed Twisted Mix Tape! I love talking about music, and sharing music, and discovering music, so my hiatus from this blog hop has been sad times. But no more!

Twisted Mix Tape www.jenkehl.comThe topic this week is motivating music. Since I’m kind of a gym rat who needs music to fuel my workouts, this is near and dear to my heart. So here goes: the top 5 songs that get me pumped the eff up.

1. Lose Yourself by Eminem

Oh My Lawd, this gets me pumped up. This song got me so many months of marathon and half marathon training. At the end of my last leg in one of the relays I did, I just replayed this song over and over and over because I. Was. Just. Done. I needed Eminem to tell me that “Success is my only motherfucking option, failure’s not.” This especially gets me to that point of, I’m so pumped up I might cry: “So here I go it’s my shot, feet fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got.”

Funny enough, I’ve never seen 8 Mile.

2. Killing In The Name by Rage Against the Machine

Another badass running song. The pace of my run syncs up well with the beat. This one also gets my blood pumping when I’m lifting heavy things.

“Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.”

3. Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC

I’m not gonna lie, my love affair with AC/DC is a direct effect of my near-obsessive love of The Avengers. Iron Man makes two kick-ass entrances to this song: one in Iron Man 2 and the other in The Avengers. The Iron Man 2 soundtrack is a staple in my workout playlist rotation. It kind of makes me feel like Iron Man.

4. Pretty much anything by The Lonely Island

So, one thing I like to look for in fitness music is humor. If I’m dying during a long run, I want to hear something funny to take my mind off the fact that I hate life so much right now. The Lonely Island pretty much delivers on that, every time. It’s a close one between I’m On A Boat and Jizz In My Pants, but I think Boat wins because it also has such a driving beat. Jizz is a little mellower. Anyway, here is both. You be the judge!

5. Professional Griefers by deadmau5 featuring Gerard Way

I added this one while living in England. The driving beat, the yelling lyrics, just the overall energy. I freaking love this song.

My workout playlist has definitely evolved. It used to be dominated by pop – Black Eyed Peas, Britney, etc. It still has a bit of that (Britney puts out some damn good dance music) and actually has a lot of British pop from my time in England (Wiley, Far East Movement, David Guetta, JLS, Example).

What music gets you off your rump and moving?

Twisted MixTape: British Invasion (of my playlist)

Hooray  it’s Twisted MixTape Tuesday again!

Our harmonic hostesses Jen at My Skewed View and Kristi at Finding Ninee are giving us a freebie today. The theme is Anything Goes! So, I decided to reveal my love for British pop music.

I lived in the United Kingdom from September 2009 to February 2013. During that time, I developed a taste for dance/electronic type music. I had to, or I wouldn’t be able to listen to the radio. So, this week I give you:

British Pop Music Will Infect Your Brain And Leave A Permanent Mark

BritishInvasionOfMyPlaylistbyYouAreAGoodMamadotcom

The criteria is simple. The song must have appeared on the UK top 40 Chart at some point between September 2009 and February 2013. Easy peasy.

I had a hard time narrowing it down! So first I’m going to do my own Top of the Pops. Top 5 songs that hit #1:

1. Sing by Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band featuring The Military Wives’ Choir (6/62012, 1 week)

This song was written to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I just think its beautiful and love that they use military wives (being that I am a military wife myself). One of the few non-dancey type songs ever heard on the radio over there.

2. She Makes Me Wanna by JLS (featuring Dev) (8/6/2011, 1 week)

This is such a stupid song. But I just love it. Anytime it came on the radio, I’d start dancing in my station wagon. Thank goodness my kid was too young to be embarrassed.

3. Changed The Way You Kiss Me by Example (6/8/2011, 2 weeks)

I love this man’s voice.

4. Heatwave by Wiley ft. Ms. D (8/11/12, 2 weeks)

If I still partied, this would scream summer in the dance club to me. But I don’t party, so instead I just laugh ’cause this guy says his name a bunch in the song.

5. Titanium by David Guetta ft. Sia (2/11/12, 1 week)

David Guetta pretty much ruled the UK airwaves while I was there. He had so many songs with so many different collaborators. This one is my favorite. I AM TITAAAANIIIIUM!!

BONUS: Killing In The Name by Rage Against the Machine (12/26/2009, 1 week)

The Christmas #1 is a big deal over there. It’s the last number one of the year and it means a lot to the Brits for some reason. For quite awhile, the Christmas #1 had been whoever won X Factor that year. But in 2009, a British couple started a campaign to have this be Christmas #1…and they won. Awesome. Plus I just love this song – it’s tied with Lose Yourself by Eminem for my most motivating running song.

Those were my favorite #1s as chosen by British listeners. But they don’t always get it right *cough* Bom Bom Bom by Sam and the Womp *cough* so I decided to do a list of my favorite songs that should have been #1.

1. Earthquake by Labrinth ft. Tinie Tempah

“I’m feeling like a straight tenna.” Epic lyrics.

2. We’ll Be Coming Back by Calvin Harris ft. Example

Did I mention I love Example’s voice? Especially when it’s used to croon these lyrics over a slightly haunting melody.

3. Wonderful by Angel

This song changes direction so many times. I love it. Plus he says he feels “mayjah” which always makes me think of Posh Spice.

4. Down With The Trumpets by Rizzle Kicks

Just a couple of kids, getting together and making awesome music. I think this was the first British song I loved the first time I heard it on Radio 1.

5. Untouched by The Veronicas

This speaks to my inner junior high girl and her hopeless crushes on boys. I wish this song had been around then so I could have swooned over my “true loves” while jamming out to this song.

Sobriety Birthday Sounds Beautiful

Today’s post is a two-fer. There are two things I wanted to write about and they actually meld together quite nicely.

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Número UNO: Today marks seven years of sobriety for me. 2556 days since the last drop of alcohol passed my lips. It’s freaking amazing. I wrote about it on my sister-from-another-mister blog Sober Mommies. Pretty please head over there and check out my rumblings about this accomplishment! I’m uber proud of myself. Go read my post here:

http://sobermommies.com/2013/09/10/no-7-year-itch-here/

Welcome back! Because I know you went and read my happy birthday post, right? RIGHT? Ok!

Número DOS: it’s Twisted MixTape Tuesday, which is my new favorite thing. You have to check out Jen at My Skewed View; she always puts together a great mix with songs I’ve never heard of. Plus you can check out tons of other bloggers having fun with music.

So what does Twisted MixTape Tuesday have to do with my sobriety birthday? Jen gave us the theme of beautiful songs, which we get to interpret any way we like. My idea of beautiful songs are ones that tug at my heart strings and make me happysad. You know, where you feel an ache in your chest but still enjoy the beauty of the lyrics and music? And you kind of enjoy the ache? Only me that feels this?

Anyway, that’s how my recovery birthday makes me feel. I’m so happy for what I’ve accomplished, but get a little melancholy thinking of all the damage my alcoholism/compulsive behaviors have caused. So, here goes…

Top 5 beautiful songs that make me happysad, but will probably depress the shit out of everyone else but hey who cares, it’s my sobriety birthday!!!!

1. Babylon by David Gray
This song. The weekend I quit drinking, I was pretty low. Getting raped while blacked out will do that to you. As I was driving home, this song randomly popped up on my iPod and I felt compelled to LISTEN to the lyrics. My Higher Power was speaking to me through this song:
If you want it/Come and get it/Crying out loud/The love that I was/Giving you was/Never in doubt/Let go of your heart/Let go of your head/And feel it now

2. I Wish I Was the Moon by Neko Case
Gorgeous, just gorgeous emotion evoked by this song. This is the tired part of me looking back and going, why didn’t you fix your shit sooner?

3. Good Night, Bad Morning by The Kills
Pretty much sums up my drinking days: nights that I thought were good, followed by mornings full of puke and regret. So glad that’s not my life anymore. This song is the epitome of happysad for me.

4. Let Go by Frou Frou
Learning to live in sobriety is hard. And scary. Especially taking that first step. Imogen Heap’s gorgeous voice helps.

5. Everything In Time (London) by No Doubt
I love Gwen Stefani. These lyrics defined me for so long: I’m feeling lost inside the low. Lost no more. But I still love this song.

And because it’s my 7th birthday, 2 bonus songs! The ones don’t make me happysad. They make me feel joyous.

6. Hang On Little Tomato by Pink Martini
Such a happy, hopeful little ditty. Bonus: PM is from my hometown. Portland represent!

7. Thrash Unreal by Against Me!
Ok, so this doesn’t make me 100% joyous, but I do thank my lucky stars that I’m not going to be the woman at the end of the song, trying to pick up young dudes with my old-ass drunk self.

The Best of Third Eye Blind – Twisted MixTape

I’m trying out a new game this week! An awesome chick called Jen Kehl does Twisted MixTape Tuesday. Every week, she gives us a theme and challenges us to create a 5-song mixtape. This week’s is pretty easy: Best of any Band. I’ll play!

I kind of had a hard time picking a band, but only because I kept ignoring the one my mind would go to automatically. In high school, I was a huge Third Eye Blind fan. HUGE. Like, memorized every song on the two albums they’d released, plotted to run away to San Francisco and just knew I was going to someday marry Brad the drummer. They played in Eugene, OR when I was a senior in high school. So my mom took my best friend and me to see them. And we got to meet them. Squeeeee!

Me (and my mom) with Brad, Tony and Arion. Stephen wouldn't take any pictures. Jackass.
Me (and my mom) with Brad, Tony and Arion. Stephen wouldn’t take any pictures. Jackass.

Anyhoos, I present to you my Top 5 Third Eye Blind songs:

#1 Anything
This song is way too short. I want many more minutes of its awesomeness. I love the way it starts slow, crescendoes to crazy, then drops off. And who wouldn’t love to have someone croon, “Anything for you…”

#2 Motorcycle Drive-By
I was really depressed in high school. This song spoke to me. “I’ve never been so alone, and I’ve, never been so alive.” When I’m depressed, I feel this burning, aching in my chest. Like there’s always been. God I love this song.

#3 The Red Summer Sun
Rock. It builds. There’s a little “doo doo doo doo doo doo” ditty in there. Then it builds and Stephen does his best butt rock scream: “It’s been a long time, been a long time/To walk with the mighty.” YES. Probably the only 3EB song you could headbang to (in parts).

#4 I Want You
I thought this song was the height of Le Sexy Times at a time when tongue-kissing was the most daring sexual exploit I’d achieved. But if you really listen to the lyrics, they’re kind of dark and weird. I still like it.

#5 The Background
Did I mention I was really sad in high school? I tried to hide it. And did a fairly good job (until sophomore year). The background was where the truth was.