Tater’s Music Listening History

I should be reading my book during my lunch break, but instead I will bore everyone with a post about music.

I went to a concert Tuesday night. The opening band was a ska band(Stacked Like Pancakes) and the rest were pop-punk(Direct Hit, Runaway kids and Bowling for Soup). This is generally the type of music I listen to. Bowling for Soup, Patent Pending, The Dollyrots, Suburban Legend, etc, but I try not to be the type of person who listens to only one style or era of music. I went from the above mentioned concert to listening to 50’s music on Sirius on my drive to work yesterday. I recently spent my drive to and from work listening to a collection of Prince’s greatest hits. It’s about time for me to do my week of listening to the local “hits” radio station to try to keep current with the mainstream music of the day.

I have always been a weird music person(a weird person in general). I grew up hearing county music from acts like Conway Twitty, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Statler Brothers, etc and watching Hee Haw on weekends. I spent a lot of time listening to 45’s of 50’s music when I was a kid. One of my favorite songs is still Blue Moon by the Marcels(I’m listening to it now). I went from that to being the typical 80’s kid and still love 80’s music. I was a fan of bands like Motley Crue, Whitesnake. KISS, Guns N Roses, Skid Row, Bon Jovi, Poison, etc. along with the pop music like Michael Jackson, Wham, etc. In the 90’s  I drifted toward country when I found myself not liking a lot of the popular music. I went the direction of pop punk by accident. I heard a Bowling for Soup song on the radio, loved it and looked for more. I went to some of their shows and started listening to music by the opening acts at those shows. A good portion of the music I listen to came to me from their connection to BFS.

My music history is a weird one, but I think it gave me an appreciation for all styles of music and has kept me from becoming the annoying old guy who hates all music not from his era. I am an annoying old guy in many other ways. Do yourself a favor and, if you are in a music rut or have not given new styles of music a shot change that. Listen to new bands and new genres. You might find a new favorite band.

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“I Don’t Like Winona Ryder” and Other Stranger Things About My Wife

Last night my wife responded to my suggestion that we watch Stranger Things with “I don’t like Winona Ryder.” This is not quite as bad as the fact that she doesn’t like The Breakfast Club, but for me, it’s close. Heathers is one of my favorite movies ever. I also love Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands. It’s likely I would like those movies just was much with someone else in the role, but my love for those movies cemented my love for Winona Ryder long ago. I shouldn’t be surprised. I should be past the point of being surprised that she doesn’t share my pop culture loves. She likes action movies and cares more about explosions and car chases than plot and dialogue. I’m fine with action movies, but I prefer movies that have a plot and a good script. Or comedy. I also love a good, dumb comedy. She hates most comedies. I’m not sure how she can live with a guy that is full of dumb jokes.

When it comes to TV, she likes formulaic procedurals. NCIS, Hawaii 5-0, Chicago Fire, etc.  I like a good sitcom, superhero shows, medical dramas and HBO/Showtime stuff like Shameless, Game of Thrones, etc. I will admit to getting sucked in to Chicago Fire episodes when she watched them. We do share a love for The Walking Dead, though it took her a long time to admit that she liked it. She also shares my love of medical dramas and will watch Code Black with me, but refuses to watch Grey’s Anatomy. The one area where I guess I’m the weird one is binge watching. She binge watches and I like variety in my viewing.

Musically, we both like 80’s music like most people who are 80’s kids. The difference is, I will seek out new music and have found bands like Bowling For Soup. The Dollyrots, Patent Pending and Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors that I love(some claim I like them because they are 80’s like). I will also listen to The Hits station on Sirius to stay aware of what new music is out there and will pick up some new stuff that I like. She sticks to the 80’s music and has little interest in finding new stuff.

Books – I love to read and read over 100 books a year. I read a lot of different genres written for both teens and adults. She reads 1 or 2 books a year and really only wants to read medical mysteries. If there is no new Robin Cook or Michael Palmer book out, she struggles to find something to read on vacation. I think she actually prefers to just read work papers than a book for enjoyment. That is even weirder than not liking Winona Ryder.

I guess it really is true that opposites attract.

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

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 cover 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.

On Challenge Day 7 They Write the Songs that Make the Whole Tater Sing

Challenge Day 7 asks me to name 10 songs I am loving right now. I would bet that unless you pay attention to my posts on Facebook, you probably don’t know these songs. That’s a shame because they are all very good. Do yourself a favor, click on the link and enjoy some good music.

  1.  Be Kind Rewind – Ryan Hamilton
  2.  Until the Sun Comes Up – Patent Pending
  3.  NSFW – Patent Pending
  4. Just Be Happy – Suburban Legends
  5. This Gigantic Robot Kills – MC LARS
  6. And I Think You Like Me Too– Bowling for Soup
  7. Journey to the End – People on Vacation
  8.  4 Letter Verb – Ryan Hamilton
  9. Get Weird – The Dollyrots
  10. Envy – Bowling for Soup

I keep thinking about writing something about each song, but I’m finding it hard to verbalize what I like about each song. I will say that what I like about them and the artists/band is that they are generally upbeat songs. Journey to the End is an exception but it is a great song. Also, I have met Ryan Hamilton, three members of BFS and Kelly from The Dollyrots and they are all nice, friendly people(or at least good at pretending to be nice, friendly people) and that does make me like the music even more.

An Easy Way to Make “Funny” Songs

Here are some tips to making up funny songs to sing to/annoy your kids if you are as uncreative as me.

Change the word money to monkey:

Monkeys Can’t Buy Me Love

Take the Monkey and Run

Monkeys for Nothing

Change the work girl to squirrel:

Fell in Love with a Squirrel

Squirrel on Fire

California Squrrrels

Change the word bullet to mullet:

Mulletproof

Mullet thee Blue Sky

Mullet with Butterfly Wings

 

Good Music is Good Music

I recently read an article in the Washington Post(http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-07-19/opinions/40670313_1_beatlemania-maharishi-mahesh-yogi-ringo-starr) where the author laments the continuing popularity of The Beatles and say “they made more than music; they made history. But four decades later, it’s time to let them go.” There is also a quote from someone saying it is “incomprehensibly strange.” that kids would listen to 40 year old music.  I will admit that, while I think The Beatles are a very good band, I am more of an Elvis guy. If I had to choose one, I would go with The King every time.  I don’t, however, think it is strange for kids to listen to 40 year old music.

I think adults could learn a lesson from these kids. When I was a teenager, I was determined that I would never be the type of adult who refused to give music of the next generation a chance. I will admit that I had a rocky relationship with music in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, but now the relationship is strong again. Too many adults can’t say this. They refuse to listen to music that is not from their era and follow the lead of their parents before them with the “How can they listen to that crap?” mentality. I wonder, though, if they have ever really taken the time to listen to the “crap”.

I don’t care how old a song is, what genre a song is, or who sings the song. If it is good music it is good music. Why is it strange that we still listen to The Beatles? Is it good music? The author says yes(and so do I) so go for it. Listen as much as you want. Try the Stones, the Doors and Elvis while you are at it. And why is it strange that I like newer bands like Imagine Dragons or more obscure newer bands like Bowling For Soup and Patent Pending?  Is it good music? I think so and that’s all that matters. I shouldn’t start listening to only the 80’s on easy listening or switch to country because I am old. Kids shouldn’t only listen to newer music because they are young. We should encourage them to add classics to the playlist.

I challenge everyone(or at least the 12 people who will read this) to really listen to music from a different generation or genre than the norm. You never know. You just might like it.