19: Sweet – Action (iPod Challenge)
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Posted by Mark on December 30, 2014 in iPod Challenge, Music | Short Link
Sweet - Give Us a Wink

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Action - Sweet     

This song ranks this high mainly due to it’s longevity in my life. Long after my love of other songs by Sweet died out to just mere liking them a lot, ‘Action’ has remained a favorite, albeit one I don’t listen to nearly as much as I used to.

As you may expect, I do tend to be reminded of when the record was released when I listen to it, thus I’m in the 6th Grade again in my mind. I had no friggin’ clue what this song was about at the time, being as ignorant of the ways of the world in general and the music business in particular as I was. Time changed that and my understanding grew. Probably why I like this the best of their hit singles.

One memory of this song sticks in my mind and it goes something like this: when I was in grade school in Ann Arbor, MI, our music teacher (whose name I’ve forgotten) would allow us to bring in a record of a song we liked. One week, I brought in this. Needless to say, my classmates were not impressed, looking at me like I’d grown a second head. I never deigned to share my music with such small minded people again! ┬áSnobs! (ha!)

Given the history of Sweet and the players, this song is particularly poignant, if that’s possible from a hard rocking number like this. It’s also been influential in the careers and sounds of Def Leppard and other 80s’ glam or hair rockers.

Thanks for reading!

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20: Crowded House – Don’t Dream it’s Over (iPod Challenge)
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Posted by Mark on December 29, 2014 in iPod Challenge, Music | Short Link
Crowded House

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Don't Dream it's Over - Crowded House     

American composer Aaron Copeland once said, “Why a good melody should have the power to move us has thus defied all analysis.” So, instead of accepting the inherent challenge in those words, let’s just accept them as fact. Let’s also accept as fact that this song moved a whole lot of people and still does.

One of the best concert experiences I ever had was seeing the reconstituted Crowdies at the Uptown in Kansas City a few years ago. It was somewhere between revival and communion with the fans who were there and I was partaking along with the rest of them.

All shows on that tour were recorded for eventual sale. So, it turns out I was able to procure a CD set of the concert I was a member of and I can say in all honesty that I got to sing with them in a concert and have proof. Of course, I’m buried in the mix…*ahem*.

This song defines an era as well as any other and has developed staying power. So much so that it was the version by Sixpence None the Richer that was on the Smallville Talon Mix CD that prompted me to revisit the other material of Crowded House. So, a cover brings me full circle as it were.

Thanks for reading!

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iPod Challenge Bonus Edition
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Posted by Mark on December 26, 2014 in iPod Challenge, Music | Short Link
Lords of the Rhymes

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This video, which draws out the genius and serious commitment to Tolkien and the Beastie Boys, is offered instead of a simple audio track today. It’s amazing for a DYI affair.

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A few years ago, during a group email exchange with friends, somebody (probably me) made a crack about somebody being a Hip Hop Hobbit as a response to another persons saying the voices in their heads were Hobbits. ┬áThis came from a serious Tolkien fan and the words ‘Hip Hop Hobbit’ really struck me funny for reasons that should be obvious if you’ve seen the movies or read the books.

Googling ‘Hip Hop Hobbits’ brought me to the Lords of the Rhymes and their special brand of fan obsessions, DYI ethics and crossover abilities. This is funny, irreverent while not going to far afield into disrespect to the source material, and it shows a true grasp of the written version of the Lord of the Rings. It is truly inspired and has found a home on my iPod as a result.

I hope you enjoy this half as much as I did. Thanks for reading.

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21: You Can Dream of Me – Steve Wariner (iPod Challenge)
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Posted by Mark on December 19, 2014 in iPod Challenge, Music | Short Link
lifes-highway

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You Can Dream of Me - Steve Wariner     

It’s no secret I like Country Music to those who really know me. However, when I first made this list, there wasn’t much representation on the list. I dunno what I was thinking. However, the long hiatus has allowed for a few corrections as I’ve had time to reconsider.

One of the things about Country songs I like is the stories of human living. Sure, the songs about momma, trucks, the rain, prison and gettin’ drunk are fun but what makes Country relatable to me is the stories. Thus, that’s why I like this particular song by Steve Wariner, one of my favorite Country Artists.

The ‘story’ being sung about here is one you can identity with, even if you’ve never been in like circumstances. That’s good story telling and good songwriting. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

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22: PFR – Home Again (iPod Challenge)
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Posted by Mark on December 18, 2014 in iPod Challenge, Music | Short Link
pfr

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Home Again - PFR     

I’m sure most know the basics of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The boy who left home with his part of his inheritance in hand, who squandered it all, was working jobs lower than many slaves, decided to go back home to work as a servant to his father and was received with open arms and a party due to the joy of the lost coming home.

I was the lost returning home in the early 90s’. I’d grown up in the church, had a deep faith with which I was constantly conflicted. I was also a hypocrite. In short, I was a fairly typical sinner who’d wandered from the safety of the flock.

It’s been said that the best way to talk to somebody is to speak to them in a language they can understand. In some respects, I understand the language of music better than other languages. Such was the case with this particular song. It rang so very, very true to me and did so in a style I could totally get behind. Because, let’s be honest here, much Contemporary Christian Music is or has been so watered down sonically, that it sounds little better than up-tempo elevator music.

Not so PFR who wear their Beatles and 60s’ British Invasion influences on their sleeves and in their songwriting. They craft easily accessible, yet genuinely fun music. This song is my personal favorite by them. Because sometimes,…well, sometimes you can go home again.

Thanks for reading.

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