30 Day Challenge: Songs Pt. 5

25 – A song you like by an artist no longer living

A relatively recent death, Dr. John was a legit jazz and blues artist in every sense of the word. He was rightfully labeled a legend and can be listed among the greats for all time. However, I did not even hear his music until I was almost eighteen in the year 2000. Yes, because a lot of what I take in is through television and movies, the first time I saw Dr. John sing and play piano was in Blues Brothers 2000. He was part of the legendary superband The Louisiana Gator Boys among such lumanaries as BB King, Eric Clapton, and Bo Diddley among many more great musicians. If Blues Brothers 2000 did one thing right, it was to form that band. That was not the only movie that Dr. John was a part of. Any time something was set in New Orleans, there was a chance that his music is somewhere on the soundtrack. Case in point, the above track opens up Disney’s Princess and the Frog. It was the perfect song to set the scene and introduce the magic of the setting before the characters are properly introduced.

26 – A song you like from the last decade

This song is a great song that definitely gets me pumped and it is really fun to sing along to. I had heard of Bruno Mars before (how could you not?) but this was actually my introduction to Mark Ronson. A funny family story actually stemmed from this song. As I have mentioned before, my brother did a TED Talk years ago. While he was backstage, he was introduced to Mark Ronson because my brother’s talk had been about sound and Ronson was intrigued. This was around the time this song was hitting the airwaves. My brother told us the story later and we thought it was cool. Cut to my mom doing a calisthenics class and the song that the instructor played that she liked the most was Uptown Funk. She went to my brother and asked if he had heard of the song. Not only had he heard the song, he had met the singer. My mom was hardly embarassed that she had failed to make the connection but we all laughed pretty hard.

27 – A song that breaks your heart

I am pro-choice for sure but even so an abortion is rarely something anybody looks forward to and is often not a happy moment. Ben Folds and drummer Darren Jessee wrote the song about an experience Ben Folds had accompanying his high school girlfriend getting an abortion. I can feel the anxiety, grief, and angst so much emotion in the performance. It was a departure for Folds who had mostly had uptempo and silly songs as hits. This was him growing as an artist.

28 – A song by an artist whose voice you love

I absolutely fell in love with Halestorm because of Lzzy Hale. She has such range for a hard rock singer and every song has such smooth vocals with a sharp edge. Pretty much every song they have done has been a hit with me and I use to listen to their music a lot in the car on the way to gaming. I am also particularly fond of how they put their albums together. For example, their hit Mz. Hyde slides right into I Miss the Misery in the next track through the sustain of a guitar. However, the real appeal is the vocals that always blow me away. There is something a little blues and a little punk rock to it. Halestorm also does a lot of covers including covers of pop songs adding a rock flair.

29 – A song you remember from your childhood

The first time I heard this song was in my mom’s car on a Raffi tape. Raffi and the Rise and Shine Band was a godsend for parents everywhere. He released good recordings of a lot of classic songs but broke it up with some more exciting songs. That way, mom did not have to hear us sing along to Wheels on the Bus and then some other repetitive song. Instead, she sometimes got a De Colores or this song originally recorded by the legend Harry Belafonte. Of course, his recording has a very prominent place in Beetlejuice. He did not write the song as it was a traditional Jamaican work song from the point of view of dock workers working at night to load ships.

30 – A song that reminds you of yourself

I just had to pick this one. I have loved Weird Al so much since I first heard his silly parodies in the nineties. I feel like he has gotten better and better as a performer and a songwriter since. This song really fits with my life. Particularly, it makes me think of my high school years when my horizons were starting to expand. I was obsessed with Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Video Games, Comic Books, and so much more. I was very white but I was just starting to get into rap music and less white forms of entertainment. I felt out of place and kept my NWA, Pharoahe Monch, Jurassic 5, and Busta Rhymes albums hidden. I went to a private school and I was self-conscious. I am a fan of so many things that Weird Al lists in this song. It always makes me smile.

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