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Music Monday: UK Top 40

Just wanted to share some songs with you that you may not be hearing on your side of the pond.  Most of these play incessantly on one of my radio presets mixed in with good helpings of Beyoncé, Rihanna, & Nikki.  They certainly love their pop & dance hits over here in GB, and you know I’m alright with that.


Next to Me – Emeli Sandé: Love this! She sounds like a mix of Beyoncé & Leona Lewis.  This chickie is Scottish & has all kinds of soul, like in My Kind of Love.


Can’t Say No – Conor Maynard: Houston, I think we got a problem!  He’s a bit of a nerd, this little British gangster.


No Regrets – Dappy: Another catchy tune!  It’s got a very pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps-and-keep-going kind of message.


R.I.P. – Rita Ora feat Tinie Tempah: Not my fav really.  Tinie Tempah is a very British rapper.


Earthquake – Labrinth feat Tinie Tempah: There’s Tinie again.  I do like this one!  It’s a great beat to bump your head to.


Express Yourself – Labrinth: Another good groove from Labrinth, a London bloke.


Young – Tulisa: Funnily enough, this gal was in a group with her cousin, Dappy (see above), called N Dubz. She also judges the group section of The X Factor here. I’m sure this is a dance club hit.


Mama Do the Hump – Rizzle Kicks: An interesting track that’s pretty catchy.  A straight up weird video.


Titanium – David Guetta feat. Sia: I’m pretty addicted to this…well mostly the vocals, sometimes the beats get a beat wanky, Mr. Guetta. You’ve probably heard this one.

For the rest of the UK top 40, see this website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/chart/singles.  Hope you enjoyed these UK beats straight from my radio.  What’s hot in the states right now?  Do share.

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I really should have learned to play the cello.

2CELLOS – have you seen them yet? They were all over my DVR last week, appearing on Ellen & then Glee. Pretty flipping amazing. I’ve always liked the cello and its cousin, the stand-up base…and really well all strings, but the cello in particular, with its deep smooth tones, has always been a source of fascination & admiration.

Do you remember the movie August Rush? Kind of different, but the music is stellar. Keri Russell’s character plays the cello, & it is usually meshed in with the rock band of Jonathan Rhys Meyers’s character – cool, right? I’m a fan of mixing things up. Here’s a rather long clip of music from the movie, but if you got from the 1.5 min mark to the 3min mark, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Also, if you’ve never seen the movie, click one of the links for Raise It Up & be blown away by that little girl’s pipes.

So, anyways, 2CELLOS: here are there performances on Ellen & Glee (featuring Naya Rivera, who’s got some pipes of her own). Since the hubs & I are fans, we went ahead and bought their new album on iTunes on which they cover U2, Muse, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, Coldplay & Kings of Leon, among others. Definitely worth checking out, and who knows, if I would have taken lessons, I could have been their 3rd cello  : )  Enjoy!

What’s Your Favorite Christmas Song?

There are so many fun songs that we only get to listen to at Christmas time, well, I mean, without getting our sanity questioned. Which one is your favorite? It is a really tough choice. Can you narrow down even a top 5 or 10? I may not be able to, but I’m going to share some favorites with you. Let’s start with the classics:

Classic get in the spirit song: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Johnny Mathis. Doesn’t it just make you think of strolling through a pristine wintery scene with perhaps a fur muff?

Classic Christmas party jam: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee. Is it bad that with searching for this video I have for the first time known that the singer was a woman? I’m not sure if I thought it was a man or just didn’t think about it, but it took me by surprise.

Classic funsy: Christmas Don’t Be Late – The Chipmunks. Who doesn’t love a little chipmunks?

Classic good-feeling jam: Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys. Christmas comes this time each year.

Classic downer Christmas: Blue Christmas – Elvis. My dad likes to sing this in his Elvis voice, & I provided the “oo-oos.” He always ends it with “Thank ya, Priscilla.” : )

Now for some newer offerings:

Best Christmas peppy pop song: All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey. Just can’t resist it.

Best remake: Carol of the Bells – The Bird And The Bee. This was a freebee on iTunes. Don’t you love when those turn out to be favs?!

Best bowl you over belter: O Holy Night – Celine Dion. I love this song. Lots of people have done it well, but Celine’s version almost feels like a classic of its own.

Best head-banger: Deck the Halls – Reliant K. Love this whole album.

Best brand-spanking-new: Very Merry Christmas – Dave Barnes. As I told you my sister is up on all the hip new shizz, she showed me this last weekend, and it is fabulous.

I know this barely begins to scratch the surface. There are so many great Christmas songs & carols. My mom had a pile of CDs that we played every year: The Martins (an excellent Christian Christmas CD), Garth Brooks, Elvis, Celine, The Beach Boys, Michael W. Smith, Point of Grace, Mannheim Steamroller. Back in the day, my sister had the Rosie Christmas CD, and I thought that was pretty fun, I mean, she sang with Elmo! Add to that some Wow Christmases, Harry Connick, Jr., James Taylor, and more recently Glee, Trans-Siberian Orchestra (a hubs’ fav), She & Him… I could just keep going!

For now, why don’t you share your favorites with us, please?

Regard My Person Immediately

When visiting the hub’s family during Thanksgiving and showing them my favorites of internet entertainment, my sister-in-law said I should provide a service that keeps people updated on internet fads. My response was “umm, I have a blog?” Did that count? Well, today it will. Here is one of the stars in my internet sky: Karmin

The duo includes Amy & Nick, who are engaged, and covers a wide variety of songs as well as putting out some original works. I first saw them when my sister, who is always up on the coolest stuff, showed me their youtube cover of Look At Me Now by Chris Brown.

It’s awesome! That little girl is gettin’ it. Their covers included Super Bass by Nicki Minaj, Whip My Hair by Willow Smith, We R Who We R by Ke$ha & Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars among many, many others. They make the quirkiest videos to match their covers. I highly recommend setting aside at least 30minutes to peruse them.

I bought their album, Karmin Covers, Vol. 1 on iTunes. It’s their fault that I run around singing look at me now, I’m getting paper. I look forward to seeing their originals, but for now, I’m off to do Christmas shopping. Enjoy your Saturday!

Slackers

I don’t feel like I’ve been up on the blog lately. I hope this isn’t my not-finishing-what-I-start bug trying to rear its ugly head yet again. I refuse to give in to the demon of complacency! Did I mention I just finished reading This Present Darkness?  That last statement would make more sense if you did, and you also had read it. It took me a little while to get into it, but it was a good read that makes you take a different look at the things that happen in life.
Anywho, speaking of slackers, I thought the AMAs were rather lackluster this year. I am a big awards shows fan; I like the fashion and the usual excitement. Let’s recap a hardly recap-worthy show.

My dear, Nicki, opened the show, and the boom-box buns made me giggle. I don’t know how I missed that D.Guetta is an awkward white guy – hmm. I’m glad Nicki got some recognition, but I wish she would have considered the need to walk when choosing her outfit. Seriously, it took her about 5mins to walk across the stage, tripping twice. If you can’t make a lap around the store in the shoe, you shouldn’t buy it – that’s my rule.

Mommy, wow, I’m a big kid now. Take a look at Justena (yeah, I just made that up) looking all grown up. Justin’s mistletoe song performance did nothing for me, but I enjoyed the shots of Selena dancing in the audience, acting a little more her age.

Katy Perry was pink-haired as well that evening. She performed her emotional The One that Got Away, which was interesting combined with her Russell Brand-lessness. Geez, and I thought they were crazy enough to stay together.
More fashion: Adam Lambert looks like he should be one of the Volturi in this get up.
Doesn’t our Julie Bowen look fabulous! And effortlessly so. At least she and Sarah were entertaining as presenters. Most were not, including:
Jenny McCarthy was just awkward, but now I can see how she & Jim Carrey were together with her odd sense of humor.
Robin Thicke & Ellie Goulding – sorry for the tiny pic; it was the only one I could find and rightfully so. Robin is a tool. He kept saying Ellie “Ghoul”ding, repeatedly correcting himself and confessing they had just discussed that it was pronounced “Gold”ing, but trying to seem really smooth the entire time.
 
Ok, let’s talk about the spectacle JLo was determined to make of herself. I thought she would be to the elegant lady phase by now, being 42 and having children, as opposed to showing as much skin as possible. In her performance, she started out in full evening gown complete with cape – strip #1 to a dangly beaded ballroom dancing outfit – strip #2 into the nude jeweled bodysuit Britney Spears wore at the age of 22 in her Toxic video. She spent plenty of time showing off how little she was wearing, including a bump & grind with PitBull. Her gown for the event only covered a little bit more. Look, we get that you are in shape and still good-looking despite your age. We also get that your ex is there, but come on! You can be sexy and not show all your goods for the world to see. What a great role model for girls & women everywhere. I gotta go buy my nude suit now.

Last but not least, something no one should have seen. Thanks a lot LMFAO for the mirage of guys in boxer briefs with smiley faces doing the pelvic thrust, including the Hoff. A disturbing end to a mediocre show.

Ok, I’m so done with the Joan Rivers-hateraide I must have been guzzling. Something more positive & less gripe-y tomorrow!

Now what??

 Did you know they have just released Now (That’s What I Call Music) 40?!  Really 40? When did I get so old? I still remember the first Now CD. Actually,  I have Now’s 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 19, & 29 all in my iTunes. Have I told you yet that  I am music’s RainMan and a song hoarder? I am up to 6,824 on my iTunes  with numerous playlists for organization and exposure. Needless to say, I  may not have heard some of the stuff on here in quite some time.  Nonetheless, Now 1 is always in my heart. Queue the track list:

1. Together Again – Janet Jackson: Intro harps! What a classic. I can’t resist  anything with a good beat, and this song delivers. I can even recall watching  the music video in Mrs. Roach’s homeroom in 6th grade. Yes, I did just betray  my age, embrace it. The video had some stellar 90’s style, hair & dance  moves. Check it out here. Oh no, Janet, I’ll never forget You, baby.

2. As Long As You Love Me – Backstreet Boys: Oh, BSB. Now *NSYNC was my preference, but I wouldn’t have said no to a little Brian Littrell or Kevin Richardson back in my boy-crazy days. No matter that they were possibly 10 years older than me; that’s the crazy part of boy-crazy. I can remember a boy singing this to a girl at the bowling alley once – how romantic! Here’s the video – look at that baby-face on Nick Carter, aww.

3. The Way – Fastball: They made up their minds, and they started packing. Good jam. Not sure I ever knew what this song was really about, but I just Googled it. Turns out the bassist was inspired by a story he read of some old people literally wandering off, and they “romanticized” their story. The video wouldn’t have clued you in on this; it’s rather odd and kinda creepy in places. Ah well, I guess they were considered Alternative back then.

4. Flagpole Sitta – Harvey Danger: I’m not sick, but I’m not well. That’s about all I know about this song. It usually gets skipped or becomes background music in my head. In one ear and out the other.

5. Say You’ll Be There – Spice Girls: Spice up your life! I know that’s a different song, but I think it applies in pretty much every situation. Love the Spice Girls. The video is ridiculous! Check out Mrs. Beckham’s catsuit. Don’t worry, ladies, I’ll always be there.

6. All My Life – K-Ci & JoJo: Great song! I have the (easy) piano music for this somewhere and love to play the runs of notes that sound oh-so-pretty in this little ditty. What a sweet love song. Hadn’t seen the video until now, and it’s a little much. I’ll let it slide, just this once.

7. Never Ever – All Saints: The beginning can only be described as sad gospel. I mean, the whole song is pretty depressing, but every girl can relate. I am not ashamed to say that I think I still know all the words to this. I mean, who can resist singing along when you hear it. I vaguely remember my friend and I getting a kick out of one of her brother’s girlfriends singing this in the car once, but I can’t remember why. Two notes about the video – black lipstick & I love that they start blowing ish up at the end. Oh, and I can play this on the piano too, but don’t be impressed because the sheet music is all blocked chords.

8. If You Could See – Tonic: Head-banger! One of my boyfriends once told me that this was his song with his ex-girlfriend, but I refused to let that keep me from liking it. I guess I can’t resist a good rock jam either. Here’s the video, if you are so inclined.

9. MmmBop – Hanson: be-doo-be-dop-bah-doo-wop-bah-doo-be-dop-bah-doo-be-dop-bah-doooo or something like that. Ah the dulcet tones of the mostly pre-pubescent blonde brothers. I don’t think anyone could ever agree on which one was cuter – “it’s a secret no one knows.” The video is another chuckler. I must mention that this blog does not condone underage driving, moving inside of a moving vehicle, not wearing seat belts, or jamming inside of flowers. I really like their more recent song & ensuing adorable video, Give A Little. Makes you want to dance. My, how the boys have grown!

10. Zoot Suit Riot – Cherry Poppin’ Daddies: Pretty sure I didn’t understand half of the words, but I certainly thought this was a fun song. I had fantasies of mastering swing dancing to this song; no, that never happened, but I’m over it. Sorry, no video this time – couldn’t find one of decent enough quality.

11. Shorty (You Keep Playin’ With My Mind) – Imajin: This song fell pretty flat for me amongst its other, more exciting compadres. I mean, it was cool for what it was, but it wasn’t all that (what movie???)

12. Anytime – Brian McKnight: Break-up song alert. I guess I was to young & (let’s be honest) white to realize how fly Brian McKnight was. I always knew his voice was like buttah (as Sean Stockman would say), but I will give him his full hottie-mctottie credits now. Don’t believe me? Check the vid.

13. Barbie Girl – Aqua: Who doesn’t have a million memories related to this song…well I do. Best one is when my friends and I (8th graders at the time) decided to make a music video to it. It was atrocious! The clothes, the hair, the acne (on my part at least, shudder), and the horrible dancing (again I will def own this on my part but no one else’s). We did these little freezes then hip swings on every “ooo-oh-ooo.” I suppose the thing that really made it epic is that we didn’t realize the camera wasn’t recording sound…so it’s a Barbie Girl pantomime. It haunts my dreams. Here’s the real and only slightly less horrible music video.

14. Karma Police – Radiohead: Yeah, always skipped it. Too heavy for pre-teen me.

15. I Will Buy You A New Life – Everclear: It has a good enough beat to get me to listening. I still only know the chorus. Yes, I will.

16. Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz: This song is just so … groovy. It’s a head-bobber. I remember my little brother singing this at the top of his lungs while he was mowing once. Yeeeah, yeeeah, yeeeah. Looks like I was right about the groovy part; the video is full of tripping hippies. Man, I have good instincts.

17. Sex and Candy – Marcy Playground: This song made young me uncomfortable, so I didn’t listen to it.

Whew! That took forever! Sorry ’bout that, but thanks for reminiscing with me. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and it brought back some memories. Ah, the good old 90’s

Also, talk about irony: most of these videos are under Vevo’s youtube page, and guess what they are advertising? Now 40!