How Bad is Your Spotify?

Our sophisticated A.I. judges your awful taste in music. — Read on

I saw this going around on Twitter so I thought I would give it a go. Here are my results.

Saturday Question – Best Front Person of a Band Not Included in the Title of the Band

Yesterday LA on Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50 posed the following

Top five top front person of a band whose name is not included in the title of the band.

I decided I would think about it and post mine today. Of course, I didn’t really think about it so I will be doing this off the top of my head. Feel free to join in in the comments

  • Freddie Mercury – Queen
  • Brian Wilson – The Beach Boys
  • Steven Tyler – Aerosmith
  • Phil Collins – Genesis
  • Steve Perry – Journey

I’m probably missing a lot of older bands, but that’s my list.


Tater and His Idol Kids

A long, long time ago I was the acting teen librarian at work. I needed to come up with some sort of class for teens. I walked out of my office and asked a coworker for any suggestions. She said “American Idol” is really popular. Maybe something with that.” I took the suggestion and ran with it. I decided to do a teen singing contest. Another coworker had a connection to a local car dealership owner who was locally famous for his commercials. She got him to be the host. I was able to get a local DJ to be a judge. We had two days of auditions where we picked five people to move forward to the finals. The Baltimore Sun was there and put us on the front page of the local section that weekend. It was a hit.

idol 6

I did Idol for seven more years. Eventually, I was able to secure a big prize for the winner – they got to sing the national anthem at a local minor league baseball game. Jojo, the DJ from the Baltimore pop station was our regular host. A variety of local celebrities joined us as judges. One of those was a local news person who put us on TV. Without a doubt, Idol was my big shining moment in my career. It even led to me throwing out the first pitch at one of those baseball games.

A few of the kids from idol have continued their music careers. Alyssa Shouse won in middle school and now does local shows.

Pat Donovan is still doing music.

Alyssa and Pat both did Idol for one year, win and moved on. They both came back later as celebrity judges. Some of the kids, though, came back every year. I watched them grow up, one Idol at a time. One of my regulars(and I can admit now my favorite), Marissa Zechinato, is my friend on Facebook so it is easy for me to know what is happening with her music. A couple of years ago, she came back to the library and performed at an event I hosted.

Yesterday, she released a new single. You can see the video here.

I loved doing Idol and love to see my idol kids successes.

My Year in Music According to Spotify

I normally wouldn’t start year in review posts this early, but since Spotify gave me the option I will go ahead. I don’t have premium so I can choose my playlist but not what songs play when. I typically only use it when walking. So, this is not a full picture of my year in music. Here’s what they told me.

I listened to 53 genres on Spotify this year. My top five: 1. Rock 2. Country 3. Folk rock 4. Pop punk 5. New wave punk

My top song is not a surprise. I’ve mentioned to several people that during the initial lock down it played every time I took a walk. The top song? King of the Road by Roger Miller. The rest of the list?

My top decade of music is no surprise. The 1980’s with I Can’t Go For That by Hall and Oates as my top 80’s song.

My top artist was Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts. I’m in the top 1% of their listeners. The rest of the top five

  • Jaret and Kelly
  • Dave Hause
  • Patent Pending
  • Bowling for Soup

I listened to 141 artists

And there you have it. My Spotify year in review.

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My Weird Spotify Playlist

One day I was cleaning the bathroom while my wife worked from home. I was listening to my playlist on Spotify while cleaning. My wife asked if the music was randomly selected or if I chose it. I told her that I built the playlist. She said that she assumed so because it was too weird to be randomly selected. I just now got around to deciding to let others see my weird “driving music” play list on Spotify. Enjoy.

Tater’s Weird Playlist

My “Elvis” Story

Photo by Pixabay on

Yesterday was the anniversary of Elvis’s death. As usual, my Facebook feed had several posts of people talking about how they remember where they were when they heard about his death. I do remember. I was 8 years old. I was staying at my grandmother’s house while my dad was in the hospital. It is not an exciting story and not the story for this post. When people talk about his death, I always say I don’t acknowledge it because I have seen him since his “death”. Here is that story.

I was in college at the time. It as either right before my junior or senior year. I was active in the Baptist Student Union and we were meeting at the BSU building to go to a week long retreat at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina. I was early because I am always early(and possibly because I lived at the BSU that year). Because I was early, I decided to go get myself a cup of coffee. I walked down the street to Hardees. It was a perfect time to be a young man on a college campus. It was sunny and warm. Sorority rush was happening. Campus was full of attractive young women. It was a nice walk.

I made it to Hardees. As I was entering the building, I saw someone coming out. Because I am a person who holds the door for everyone, I held the door open for the person to exit before I entered. As he walked past I noticed he looked familiar. As he said “Thank you. Thank you very much” in his distinctive voice, I realized that he looked familiar because it was Elvis. He wasn’t wearing a sequined jumpsuit or anything. He was jut wearing an ordinary button down shirt and jeans, but he was clearly Elvis. I went on inside and got my giant cup of coffee and then went about my life. I have told that story consistently this time of year every since.

I obviously realize that I happened to bump into an Elvis impersonator on his off time, but it’s much ore fun to say that I have proof that Elvis didn’t die in 1977.

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Saturday Rerun – Music

Two thugs in my life that have always helped me when I am down are TV and music. I’ve written a lot about music. Lists of favorites, what comes up when I shuffle the music on my phone, songs that get stuck in my head, fake band names, back stories for the fake bands, etc.

I decided for today I would share the link to the posts I have tagged music. Go back and enjoy some of my random music posts.

Tater on Music

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A 30 Day Song Challenge in One Morning

A friend of mine did this 30-day song challenge earlier this summer. I was tempted to do it but didn’t because I lack the commitment to finish those types of things. Then, someone else I know transferred their challenge into a blog post. One thing I can do is bore people with random blog posts. So, here is my 30-day song challenge done in a few minutes of boredom while my family is still asleep. I’m too lazy to do links to all of the songs. I will try to link to some of the newer ones people might not know, but I also know not many people will click through anyway.

  1. A song you like with a color in the title – I will go with the obvious here and pick Purple Rain by Prince. I will try not to be so obvious with the rest.
  2. A song you like with a number in the title – The only one that keeps coming to mind is 99 Luftballons by Nena. I think this is because my wife only listens to 80’s music and loves the song.
  3. A song that reminds you of summertime – I will go with a band here instead of a song – Anything by The Beach Boys. I know, another obvious choice. I’m very boring.
  4. A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget – There is no particular person I want to forget, but the song Douchebag by Patent Pending is about the type of person most people probably want to forget.
  5. A song that needs to be played loud – Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses. I play most of my music too loud, but GNR definitely needs to be loud.
  6. A song that makes you want to dance – I don’t dance, so none really, but Dance Like a Maniac by The Dollyrots seems appropriate here.
  7. A song to drive to – I really just need my favorite bands when driving, but I think the best driving song is I Can’t Drive 55 by Sammy Hagar.
  8. A Song About Drugs or Alcohol – Hooray for Beer by Bowling for Soup
  9. A song that makes you happy – I’m not sure any song leads to happiness, but I always feel a little better when Footloose by Kenny Loggins plays.
  10. A song that makes you sad – I think The Girl I Used to Love by People on Vacation is one of the saddest songs I’ve heard.
  11. A song you never get tired of – I’m a big Elvis fan and I love Burning Love. I will never skip it if it comes up on shuffle. I could also add All Shook Up as well.
  12. A song from your preteen years – Most of my preteen years my music consumption was driven by what my dad listened to in the car or what my sister listened to in the house. I don’t know when I first heard Stayin Alive by the Bee Gees, but it is one from before I was a teen that sticks with me.
  13. A song you like from the 70s – This is the same category as above for me. I’m old.
  14. A song you’d like to be played at your wedding – I have been married for over 25 years. We did not really have a particular song we wanted at our wedding. It was a very traditional wedding in a Baptist church. Options were limited.
  15. A song you like that’s a cover by another artist – Tainted Love by Soft Cell, but I will say that recently I tend to skip it if it comes up on shuffle.
  16. A song that’s a classic favorite – I’m not sure what this one means? Like old music? If so, I will go with That’ll Be the Day by Buddy Holly.
  17. A song you’d sing a duet with on karaoke – I wouldn’t, but if I had to I would go with Don’t Go Breakin My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee
  18. A song from the year you were born – Come Together by the Beatles
  19. A song that makes you think about lifeThe Ghost of James Dean by Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts. I love the lyrics “dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today”
  20. A song that has many meanings to you – I’m drawing a blank here. I’m going to give myself a pass.
  21. A song you like with a person’s name in it – Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly
  22. A song that moves you forward – Hold On by Wilson Phillips. This is an odd one, but I have a very clear memory of this playing on the radio when I was in Cincinnati and depressed about my job situation. It still pops in my head occasionally when I’m ready to give up,
  23. A song you think everyone should listen to – I’m going to just say here that everyone should listen to something by Bowling for Soup because they are my favorite band and their music makes me happy.
  24. A song by a band you wish were still together – I’ve used People on Vacation before, but I’m putting them here as well. People on Vacation was Jaret Reddick from Bowling for Soup and Ryan Hamilton who then was in Smile Smile Band. They were very good friends and did People on Vacation while on break from those bands, They had a falling out and now seem to hate each other. Here is You May Not Believe in God by them.
  25. A song you like by an artist no longer living – Maybe I should have saved Prince for this one. I will go with The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. I’ve always loved that song.
  26. A song that makes you want to fall in love – When I was younger, Almost Paradise by Ann Wilson and Mike Reno was one that made me want to be in love, well, honestly, made me wish the person I was in love with loved me.
  27. A Song by an Artist Whose Voice You Love – I don’t know if this link will work or not, but hopefully, it will go to a music video by someone who was a regular at my teen idol program at the library and is now an adult and writing her own music. I love her voice and am very proud of her continued success. Waiting for You by Marissa Zechinato
  28. A song that breaks your heart – I feel like I used this one already on the sad song one. A newer one that comes close is Bearing Down by Dave Hause
  29. A song you remember from your childhood – A lot of my childhood music memory is classic country my dad played. I still love the Oak Ridge Boys and have Elvira on my Spotify playlist. I also still love The Statler Brothers.
  30. A song that reminds you of yourself – I have joked before that Just Like All the Rest by The Dollyrotswas written about me. “You’re just another average guy You’re nothing special not worth my time…If you’re boring and predictable you’re not my type at all”


Not in the mood to write. My post about my favorite book for each letter of the alphabet was in my memories today, so I thought I would share the links to some of my posts about favorites for new followers. Here they are.

My Favorite Book for Each Letter of the Alphabet

My Favorite Song From Each Year I’ve Been Alive

20 Movies I Will Watch Over and OverMy 20 Favorite Books of All Time

20 Favorite TV Shows of All Time

Rainy Day Movies

My 20 Favorite Artists and My Favorite Songs By Them

I’m sure I’ve done a post like this before, but I was too lazy to go look for it.

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Tater Takes On Guilty Pleasures, Reviews and Anything Else That Pops Into His Weird Mind

Another throw back post that popped up in my memories today. I still strongly agree with all of these takes. I’m sure everyone is happy I still agree with myself.

Guilty Pleasures: I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. I read, watch and listen to plenty of things people will make fun of. I recently had that happen with my love of the Hamilton soundtrack and musicals in general. Around this same time someone mentioned something being their “guilty pleasure.” I don’t understand the concept of a guilty pleasure. If you enjoy something why would it make you feel guilty. Unless, of course, that “pleasure” is illegal or immoral. If this is the case then, yes, you should feel guilty. I freely admit to things that others would call a guilty pleasure with no shame at all. I love musicals. I watch Grey’s Anatomy. I watched Gilmore Girls regularly when it was on TV. I read sparkly pink YA book meant for teenage girls. I got addicted to the Game Show Network while at my mom’s house and wish I was home in the afternoon to watch Chain Reaction. I watched the soap opera Santa Barbara from the first to the last episode. I’m currently watching Live with Kelly and think Fred Savage should become the permanent co-host. I’m addicted to Facebook and spend a lot of time on social media. Does any of this make me guilty or ashamed? Nope. Why would I be ashamed to send time watching or reading things that make me happy? I don’t feel the need to pretend to be something I’m not. I don’t care if book, movies or music(80’s and pop punk) get good reviews. I only care about how they make me feel.

Reviews: I recently read a review of a comedy movie. Inside the review, the reviewer says you will laugh hard several times. The reviewer then goes on to give the movie a bad overall review. So, a comedy film is funny but is considered a failure? If I go to a comedy, I am going because I want to laugh. If I laugh a lot and hard isn’t that a success? Does it matter if the overall story is great? Are people really going to Neighbors 2 because they wanted a deep, meaningful story? Do reviewers even understand why people go to the movies?  There are some movies in every genre that are dependent on a strong story, excellent acting, score, etc in order to achieve what they are attempting. Some movies, like Neighbors 2, are just meant to make you laugh. Did it make you laugh? Mission accomplished. Stop reading so deeply into things that aren’t meant to be deep. Same goes for TV shows. Also, once you no longer like the medium you should probably stop reviewing it.

Performing the Beatles, Prince, Queen, etc : I was already tired of hearing people opine that people should never attempt to cover the Beatles and was reaching that point with people saying the same about Queen. Now, I’ve already had someone on the Today Show(who makes sure to mention regularly that Prince was a friend) say the same thing in response to the Madonna and Stevie Wonder performance last night. There are a lot of bad covers out there. I agree on that point. My feelings, though, are if you are doing a tribute or making the song your own, then cover away. Most will never be as good as the original, but no one is un-coverable.

Rain: Hot take: I’m tired of it. Please stop.