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Category: Midweek Music Break

Midweek Music Break: Sugar Ray – Every Morning

Sugar Ray is one of those funny bands from the 90s.  They started out as a punk metal band, and then manage to turn out a series of alternative pop hits into the early 2000s.  While “Fly” is their iconic hit, and “Falls Apart” is probably my favorite from the band, “Every Morning” falls squarely in the middle, combining catchy with more complex lyrics.

As they temperature rises, this is quintessential summer music for me.  Relaxed, fun and generally upbeat.  When it comes on, I just want to cruise along in the car with the windows down and take in a beautiful sunny day.

And sometimes, just those snapshots of nostalgia are worth the listen…

Midweek Music Break: Gorillaz – Rhinestone Eyes

I just realized that the Midweek Music Break, took 80 posts to feature one of my favorite bands: Gorillaz.  Beyond their great music, there’s this whole intricate alternate world with Gorillaz, and each of their songs and albums tells a part of a larger story.  “Rhinestone Eyes” is a song/story that didn’t get the full animation treatment, but is a great song nonetheless…

With their trademark catchy and unique beats, combined with intricate lyrics that are delivered very plainly, it’s basically the antithesis of a pop song.  Yet, it’s beautiful and mesmerizing.  This is what Gorillaz is all about.  Yes, it’s a great song that stands on it’s own, in their style but distinct from the collection, but is part of something bigger.

When I first started listening to Gorillaz, I thought the whole animated personas was a bit of a gimmick, but fun and unique.  However, as the albums progressed, the world grew, the stories evolved, and it was clear that the characters were a storytelling platform.  It lets the band grow, change and evolve over time.  And while it looked like the journey had come to an end several years ago, it looks like there may yet be another chapter

\o/

Midweek Music Break: Seeed – Augenbling

Apparently, every once in a while the YouTube suggested videos are actually useful, since that’s how I came across this 2012 song from German band Seeed.

Now, I’ve been known to enjoy a number of foreign-language songs (at least to this native English-speaker), even though I don’t always know what the song is about.  In fact, there’s often a freedom in enjoying the music and the vocals without the need to know what it’s about.

In this case, it’s a smooth beat combined with catchy vocals (and an entertaining video) that make for a great listen where I don’t even car what the song is about (but I will admit I looked them up, just to make sure it wasn’t objectionable).  And that’s a great thing to have happen when you end up stumbling across a song.

Midweek Music Break: Justin Timberlake – SexyBack

So, for some reason it took be about a decade to actually come around and like this song…

I mean, after rising with a meh boy band and not making too many good songs himself, while still having women go gaga over him, I took him for a vapid self-indulged talent-less tool.

However, The Lonely Island and Jimmy Fallon made me rethink everything.  So, after many years I’ve come around…at least to this song.  Besides, the beat’s by Timbaland, who’s just about the best in the business.

So, put on a smile and get down with your bad self…this one’s just for fun!

Midweek Music Break: Silversun Pickups – The Wild Kind

I’ve been a fan of the Silversun Pickups for a while now, and their 2015 album, Better Nature, is another great collection of songs.  My favorite so far has been “The Wild Kind”:

This is the last song on the album, and it has that feel.  It takes it’s time, starts out slow, builds up, and then chills out again.  And somehow, it manages to maintain an ethereal feel to it across the song.  It’s also a slight departure from some of the band’s darker and cynical songs, which might also be part of the draw.  I always enjoy when a band tackles something out of their safe zone, and then does it well.  It’s almost as satisfying as when they manage to hit the bar on a follow-up song we as listeners tend to set for them when we like a song.

If you haven’t checked out Better Nature yet, I’d advise checking it out.  It’s even available streaming for free on Prime Music.

Midweek Music Break: Turbowolf – Nine Lives

Once again, thank you Guitar Hero

I was playing Guitar Hero Live’s TV mode last week and was treated to this song (with it’s extremely phychidelic video), and afterwards I couldn’t get it out of my head, so it’s now joined my collection.

I love how this song just hits and keeps on hitting, making it a great driving song, and the intertwining of male and female vocals makes the song distinct.  It’s like a modern homage to 70’s rock, somewhere between The White Stripes and Alice Cooper…and a whole lot of fun!

Midweek Music Break: R.E.M. – Strange Currencies

R.E.M.’s Monster is my favorite album by the band, by far.  The grit and the character of the offbeat songs really struck a chord when I was in high school, and one of my favorites was “Strange Currencies”.

While the lyrics are a little awkward, and almost stalker-ish (in that “I’m desperately in love with you, and you clearly aren’t, but I really hope I can win you over” kinda way).  While I’m not keen on the sentiment (which captures “Nice Guy Syndrome” almost perfectly), it’s still a beautifully crafted song from non-traditional sounds that I can listen to over and over.

 

Midweek Music Break: Mousse T. with Roachford – Pop Muzak

Following up on the mashup from a few weeks ago, I thought I’d continue the theme with another, but drastically different song from Mousse T.

When I first heard this song, I wasn’t sure whether to take it seriously, or as a farce on the typical pop song.  Then I realized I can have both!

On one hand, it’s a beautiful and well-done pop love song, and on the other, it’s almost so cookie cutter that it’s hard to take at face value.

Either way, it’s catchy as all get out, and I can’t help but gobble it up!

Midweek Music Break: Dropkick Murphys – Surrender

While I was first introduced to the Dropkick Murphys with “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya“, I was looking for something a bit more positive for St. Patrick’s Day…

Surrender is a high-energy song with surprisingly introspective lyrics (which are, honestly, only slightly more positive than “Johnny”), but it’s about rediscovering meaning and carrying on.  It’s too easy to get bogged down in the negative and problems, so we must fight that and move forward.

So, today, remember what’s been lost, celebrate what you have, and work to make tomorrow even brighter!