Tag Archives: Oasis

The Ultimate Christmas Playlist

Today is the day after Thanksgiving here in the United States of America. You’re officially allowed to start listening to holiday music now. To get you started, I compiled a playlist of what I consider to be 100 of the best Christmas songs. Okay, 98 songs, a stand-up routine and a skit. It’s a mix of standards, versions of standards with which you may not be familiar, and obscure but delightful tunes.

Enjoy!

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Throwback Thursday – 1996

Per the site WhoSampled.com, Joe Cocker’s “Woman to Woman” (1972) has been sampled 24 times. Joe Cocker! Twenty-four times! Who knew?

The best-known track to sample “Woman to Woman” is 2Pac’s “California Love,” which utilizes the instrumental riff from the beginning of the Cocker song as one of its hooks. Here is “Woman to Woman:”

“California Love” kicks off this week’s Throwback Thursday playlist, spotlighting the music of 1996.


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Throwback Thursday – 1994

Ringo + Beck

Some years ago I played Beck’s “Loser” for my 94-year-old grandfather. He didn’t care for the lyrics. “I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me?”

“That’s why so many young people commit suicide,” he argued.

Hearing “Loser” and the rest of Beck’s major label debut album, Mellow Gold, didn’t make me want to kill myself. Quite the opposite. He brought and continues to bring so much joy into my life.

Beck’s “Loser” kicks off this week’s Throwback Thursday playlist, spotlighting the year 1994.


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My Birthday Advice: Don’t!

doggies + Elvis
Today is my birthday. Over my 25+ years on earth, I’ve learned many life lessons. Most of them came from songs. My birthday gift to you is a playlist of 100 songs offering advice as to what not to do.


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I Get Kicks From Champagne Supernova

At brunch with friends this morning, music was discussed (as it always is) and it was mentioned that I’m not a lyrics person. I often don’t pay much attention to the words of a song (notable exceptions being “Fast Car,” “One” and “MacArthur Park”). I can sing along with a song and have no idea about what I’m singing.

doggies + Oasis 2014-09-21 14.43
Today is the birthday of Liam Gallagher, usual lead singer of the band Oasis. I was trying to figure out what to write about this band (besides mentioning that their album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? is presently ranked at #28 on my Top Albums of All-Time list). My favorite Oasis track may be “Champagne Supernova.” In line with our brunch conversation, I haven’t the foggiest what this song is about.

Liam’s brother Noel, the band’s chief songwriter, explained where the song’s title came from – he misheard someone who mentioned the Pixies album Bossanova while he was watching a documentary about champagne. Okay then. What about the rest of the words? “Some of the lyrics were written when I was out of it,” Noel said in a 2005 interview. He went on to explain that “some of the words are about nothing. One is about Bracket The Butler who used to be on Camberwick Green, or Chipley or Trumpton or something. He used to take about 20 minutes to go down the hall. And then I couldn’t think of anything that rhymed with ‘hall’ apart from ‘cannonball’. so I wrote ‘Slowly walking down the hall/ Faster than a cannonball’ and people were like, ‘Wow, fuck , man’. There’s also the line ‘Where were you while we were getting high?’ because that’s what we always say to each other.”

Here are ten great Oasis tracks for you to sing along with Liam.

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#1 In Glenn’s Ten On This Day Throughout History

dogs + stuff 005
Today’s playlist consists of songs that were #1 in Glenn’s Ten, the weekly tally of my favorite current songs, on this date going back to 1981, the year I started tracking such things (click here for more background).

My #1 on March 3, 1981 was Don McLean’s cover of Roy Orbison’s “Crying.” My #1 this week is Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” It took me thirty-three years to go from “Crying” to “Happy.”

In 1981 I was a shy, skinny high school student who felt like he didn’t belong. I wished I was more popular but hard as I tried, I just wasn’t cool.

I worked to better myself. Gaining weight was a challenge, as was overcoming my shyness. To achieve the latter I ultimately turned to stand-up comedy. Getting up on stage in front of a group of strangers to express my thoughts was what I needed. It gave me confidence and got me an agent and positive reviews in publications including Backstage.

To gain weight I ate a banana split every night right before bed. I didn’t put on any pounds, but I did develop lactose-intolerance.

Eventually my metabolism slowed down and I filled out.

I also became successful in corporate America, most recently as the Vice President of Licensing at Warner Music Group. That shy, introverted kid made something of himself.

In retrospect, I’ve been cool this whole time. Perhaps my fellow high school students didn’t think so, but what did they know? I’m going to rely on the impressions of 16 year-olds as to my coolness? It takes more guts to be a non-conformist. I learned to love myself as I am.

Loving yourself is the subject of a few #1 songs of this date. There’s 1991’s “I Touch Myself” by Divinyls, but that’s not the self-love to which I refer. Lady Gaga’s self-empowerment anthem “Born This Way” topped my chart for several weeks n 2011. Madonna, Gaga’s spiritual predecessor, sang “You’re frozen when your heart’s not open” in 1998.

It’s now 2014. I’m unemployed for the first time since graduating college. I’m also the happiest I’ve ever been. I am confident. I feel positive and energized about my future. If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong. I am invincible. I am…happy.

Here is the chronological soundtrack of my March 3 journey from “Crying” to “Happy,” with videoclips for the two entries not available on Spotify.


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Kurt

Winston + NIrvana 002

“I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.”
– Kurt Cobain

“That kid has heart.”
– Bob Dylan

“He had a touch most guitarists would kill for.”
– Chuck Berry

“His music is powerful, very intense. That sort of power is rare. You hate to lose somebody like that, someone who keeps the music alive and moving ahead. Not many guys like him come along.”
– Bruce Springsteen

“Nobody dies a virgin. Life fucks us all.”
– Kurt Cobain

“I went to see Nirvana at a small club called the Pyramid on Avenue A in New York City. It was hard to hear the guitar, but the guy playing and singing had a vibe; he hopped around like a muppet or an elf or something, hunched over his guitar, hop hop hop, hippety hippety hop. I loved that. When he sang, he put his voice in this really grating place, and it was kind of devilish sounding. At the end of the set he attacked the drum kit and threw the cymbals, other bits and finally himself into the audience. Later I saw the same guy passing the bar. He was little, with stringy blond hair and a Stooges T-shirt. I felt proud.”
– Iggy Pop

“Nirvana was the first band in years that I really loved… They were the band I felt a lot of hope for, for the whole music scene.”
– Patti Smith

“If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of a different color, or women, please do this one favor for us… Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.”
– Kurt Cobain

“He really, really inspired me. He was so great. Wonderful. One of the best, but more than that. Kurt was one of the absolute best of all time for me.”
– Neil Young

“Such a beautiful flame never burns very long. The really brilliant flames seem to consume themselves, and then they’re gone. Maybe Kurt was meant to be here long enough to put us on the right path.”
– Tom Petty

“If you’re really a mean person you’re going to come back as a fly and eat poop.”
– Kurt Cobain

“Nirvana made everything else look silly.”
– Bono

“Cobain was very shy, very polite, and obviously enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t awestruck at meeting him. There was something about him, fragile and engagingly lost.”
– William S. Burroughs

“Birds scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth, but sadly we don’t speak bird.”
– Kurt Cobain

“He was an incredible writer and an incredible singer. And when I met him I found him to be a very special person. He was one of those special people. There was a light inside him that you could see. He had a charisma that went beyond his physical presence.”
– PJ Harvey

“I am not gay, though I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes.”
– Kurt Cobain

“The only person I have any respect for as a songwriter over the last 10 years is Kurt Cobain. He was the perfect cross between Lennon and McCartney. He belted it out like Lennon, but his melodies were so Paul McCartney.”
– Noel Gallagher

“Remember Kurt for what he was: caring, generous and sweet.”
– Krist Novoselic

“I still dream about Kurt. Every time I see him in a dream, I’ll be amazed and I get this feeling that everyone else thinks he’s dead. It always feels totally real, probably because I’m a very vivid dreamer. But, in my dreams, Kurt’s usually been hiding – we’ll get together and I’ll end up asking him, “God, where have you been”
– Dave Grohl

“If you die you’re completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on. I’m not afraid of dying. Total peace after death, becoming someone else is the best hope I’ve got.”
– Kurt Cobain

kurtFebruary 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994

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Gift-Giving Guide

In many activities in my life, I’m inspired by music, and shopping for gifts is no exception. I spent the last three hours listening to all 20,000 CDs and records in my collection, looking for ideas that I can impart to my reader(s). Here now I present to you the very first Tunes du Jour Gift-Giving Guide, complete with its own soundtrack.

Do you know anyone who wears clothes? Why not buy them some clothes?

For me, clothes-wearers make up exactly twenty-two percent of my gift-recipient list. What do I get the other 10.9 people?

The gift of media is always welcome. For the bibliophile in the family, I recommend a book. Any book. Books are timeless, just like VHS tapes and cassettes.

For those who haven’t learned how to read (i.e. anyone who started school after 1988) or are too stupid, get them a game. Board games are fun and I hear they now have games that can be played on TV and computer screens. If games are too challenging, buy a toy. Anything to keep the kid or moron occupied while you read a book.

Jewelry makes a nice gift. Just make sure the person you give the jewelry to is willing to put out. Seriously, that shit can get expensive. You deserve something in return.

If there’s a person on your list who won’t put out, doesn’t know how to read and is too impatient to read game instructions, buy them some cigarettes. Who doesn’t like cigarettes? They’re easy to work, easy to transport, don’t take up much room and smell like Christmas. Give cigarettes with alcohol unless the person is in recovery, in which case, substitute coffee. Those addicts love their coffee. Jesus, do they love their coffee, though not as much as they love cigarettes.

Oftentimes, the nudist on your gift list will tell you what they want, but you have to listen carefully. Not everyone is tacky enough to come out and say “I want _____” or “Gimme gimme gimme _____,” which brings me to a related topic. If you stole someone’s man, give him back. I’m not going to mention any names (LeAnn Rimes), but if any of my reader(s) started sleeping with Eddie Cibrian while he was married, you should send him back to his wife. At the very least, send her a thank you note along with some cigarettes and alcohol.

Gifts needn’t be physical objects. Perhaps you know someone who can benefit from a spa day, golf lessons or rhinoplasty. That last idea occurred to me while listening to The Ramones’ “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment.” Let me say this: if someone says to you “gimme gimme shock treatment,” that’s a cry for help.

You can always give the gift of love. However, if you do, make sure you include a gift receipt so the recipient can exchange it for something useful.

If all else fails, money makes a great gift. Save yourself the trouble of shopping for that unintelligent teetotaling nudist with a perfect nose on your list. Think of the dollar amount they deserve and give them half of it. Use the other half to spend on yourself, as you just freed up some shopping time in your schedule.

You may have people on your list who’ll say “I don’t need a gift. I have everything I want.” These people are THE WORST! Call their bluff – don’t give them anything. Don’t call them. Don’t stop by their house. Just leave them alone. They have everything they want, which means they don’t want you hanging around. They are rude and should be avoided.

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