I Walked Into the Past….

A few of the local Zellers stores closed down in our city in 2012 and they had massive clearance sales before they closed their doors for good.  The Boyfriend and I decided to check it out and see if we could score anything for cheap.

We were in the electronics section when I came across something from a bygone era hanging on one of the shelves.  I was immediately swept back to middle and high school and I was shocked that these were still in production let alone available for purchase anywhere other than the internet:

2012-03-30 19.04.55

And there you have it, folks…a discman.  Something not been seen since the late 90’s to early 2000’s.  I definitely had one of my own and it went everywhere with me in a backpack full of CD’s; until of course I got my first mp3 player, that is.  So let’s all toast a piece of history that I’m sure was a part of all our teenage worlds back then.

But really? $40 for the damn thing?  I can’t see it being wanted for any reason let along someone paying that much for them.  Perhaps that is why the Zellers are turning into Targets up here…

Elevator Music is So Freaking Bad

I don’t mean bad where some folks mean good and have a tenuous grasp on the English language.  I mean bad as in I would rather hear nothing than the simulated, watered-down version of music that is elevator music.  My firm recently moved to a high-rise down towm and the halls outside the elevators are filled with jazzy versions of already bad songs.  Today’s atrocity?  All I Have to Give by *Nsync.  Yes…instumental *Nsync to say goodbye to me at the end of a long workday.  FML.

Rock the Park 2011

I’d like to start off by saying that I should have been a teenager in the 70’s.  Musically at least.  Perhaps from the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s.  I grew up on my parents’ music and it never really left me.  When I was little, my mom got me to clean the house by putting on albums by Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf, and Joan Jett.  These were some of my favourites but there were so many others that lace the memories of my childhood Saturdays as I helped my mother vacuum, dust, declutter and various other chores.

My parents are huge music fans of any kind and I took this personality trait to heart.  I almost always have music of some kind playing wherever I am and I love all different genres.  I re-purchased a great deal of my parent’s albums/tapes on CD when I got older and I now have all these songs on my trusty mp3 player as well.

As you can imagine, because of how much I love music, I’ve been to a lot of concerts.   A few years ago, I had to put myself on a concert/hockey game embargo for a year because I added it up and had spend almost a two grand on them in a little over two years.  For me, that’s a hell of a lot of cash.  So I went a year without concerts and as soon as that was over, I was right back at it.  I saw Three Days Grace and Our Lady Peace (for the third time) almost right away.

One annual concert/festival that my fair city does every year is something that, in my opinion, is really very awesome.  It’s called Rock the Park and it takes place over three days every summer with 12 bands or so participating.  It was started in 2004 to support the Bethany’s Hope Foundation and if I heard it right this year, it has raised over a million dollars for this charity.  Some of my favourite bands have played this concert over the years, such as Journey, Def Leppard, and Alice Cooper.

In the previous 6 years, I’ve always wanted to to go Rock the Park.  My parents went for a lot of the shows and the summer that my sister was working with the RCMP, she worked the beer tent so she got to see the concert for free.  I was always either busy or didn’t have enough money to go and never was able to partake.

This year though, when they announced the line up, I was all over it.  The first night there weren’t a whole lot of bands that I desperately wanted to see but the Friday night was headlined by Meat Loaf and the Saturday had Our Lady Peace performing.  It’s hard to get the opportunity to see bands that were at their massive peak in 10-20 years ago so the opportunity to see Meat Loaf doesn’t come around often and I try to see Our Lady Peace whenever I can because they always put on an amazing show.

As the concert came closer, however, I didn’t manage to get around to getting any tickets.  However, my friend and I ended up with free tickets for the Thursday night show, featuring Trooper, Loverboy, Steppenwolf, and Poison.  Despite the fact that it was the second hottest day ever recorded here in the city of London, we totally went.  It was great.  All kinds of fun people, great music, beer and fun times.

Trooper

Loverboy

Steppenwolf

The most epic thing happened right before Steppenwolf took the stage.  I was waiting for my friend to use the porta-potty (don’t even get me started on these things) when a man came up to me and said, “Do you have fifty bucks?”  Being slightly suspicious, I cautiously inquired as the the reason he would as me such a question.

What he said next had me tingling all over and jumping around in excitement.  He looked at me and said, “I have two tickets to tomorrow night’s show and I can’t use them.  I’ll go as low as $40.00.”  I immediately pulled out my wallet and saw that I $30 left and told him my friend was in the washroom and could he wait a couple minutes.  When she returned I hopped up and down and asked if she had ten bucks.  SHE DID!

We scored two $60 tickets to the Meat Loaf concert for $40.  A savings of $80 to see the concert I most desperately wanted to see.

We didn’t end up staying for Poison because it was freaking 44 degrees with the humidex and we were melting.  We reasoned that we had tickets to the preferred show for both of us and we could deal without seeing Brett Michaels in concert.

We went again the next night, thankfully a much cooler night with more misting stations set up for us to prance through and cool down in.  We got to see Blue Oyster Cult (a little bit of Don’t Fear the Reaper) and Cheap Trick which was just awesome but nothing compared to finally getting to see Meat Loaf live in concert.  It was so cool.  I had been dying to see this concert since I was a little kid with a broom in my hands, belting out Bat Out of Hell even though I didn’t understand what the lyrics meant at all.

The Loaf!!

Patricia could really belt out the female parts to the songs, she was AMAZING!

When he sang Bat Out of Hell, I danced my butt off all over Harris Park!

So in summary, I have now been able to cross another old school yet epic concert off my list.  It’s getting down to the wire, people…some of these bands are getting hard to track down in concerts nearby.  I may have to start travelling more.

Random Thursday Playlist – Week 2

So another Thursday came and went and I found myself paying more attention to the random songs that were playing on my mp3 player again.  I don’t know what it is about Thursdays, perhaps for some reason I need something to distract me on Thursday mornings.  I used to think that Wednesdays were the worst out of the week, but I’m starting to think that Thursdays really suck the most.  It’s so close to the weekend, but still…it’s not yet Friday.  On Thursday, I know that there’s still one more day of the week before I can sleep in.

So here are the 25 random songs that greeted me on this previous Thursday morning:

1. Tubthumping – Chumbawamba: I know that this song is pretty freaking stupid but I love it.  It’s got the dumbest lyrics and I still dance to it every time.

2. She Bangs – Ricky Martin: Yes, that’s right.  I have Ricky Martin on my mp3 player…but just that one song.  I don’t know how it snuck into my “I like it” list of songs, but it did.  Ryan, if you’re reading this, I totally blame you.

3.  Independent Woman – Destiny’s Child: I wasn’t a huge fan of Destiny’s Child, but I love movies where chicks kick ass.  As corny as it was, I loved Charlie’s Angels.  They kicked everyone’s asses in that movie and it was awesome.  Also, Bill Murray is awesome in everything.

4. Eye – Smashing Pumpkins: Lost Highway was a screwed up movie.  I mean, completely messed up.  I was totally sober when I watched that movie and I didn’t understand a single thing that was happening for the entire film.  However, this song was on the soundtrack and it’s freaking awesome.  I love Smashing Pumpkins from back in the day.

5. Changes – Butterfly Boucher ft. David Bowie: The Shrek soundtracks (at least for the first two movies) were freaking awesome.  They had so many great songs and I love this one.  Bowie rocks…he’s had my fan devotion since I was 11 years old and saw The Labyrinth at a friend’s birthday party.

6. Happiness and the First – Our Lady Peace: I LOVE Our Lady Peace.  They have been my favourite band since high school and the only band for which I have purchased every album and gone to every concert that came to my area.  They totally rock and I will probably hit every other concert they play anywhere near here.

7. Lithium – Nirvana: I do have to admit that I wasn’t really a huge fan of Nirvana until I met the boyfriend.  He’s a total fan boy and he got me into them.  It was like a homework assignment; I had to take CD’s to work and listen to them while I was there and I do really enjoy a lot of their music now.

8. Bleed It Out – Linkin Park: I will admit to a wee bit of a crush on Chester Bennington and I love Linkin Park’s style.  If any musical group ever got the combination of rock/hip hop type genres right, it was this band.

9. Through With You – Maroon 5: This one is a repeat off last week’s playlist.  I really like Maroon 5.

10. The First Cut is the Deepest – Sheryl Crow: I’m actually rather proud that this is the closest thing to an emo song that I have on my mp3 player.

11. Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison: Yeah, sometimes I like the old school 80’s ballads.  I think this is my mother’s influence (though not specific to this song/band I’m sure).  She usually had me rocking out to Bon Jovi and I picked up some others along the way.

12. Should I Stay or Should I Go Now – The Clash: I am not really a huge fan of The Clash, but I definitely respect how awesome this song is.

13. Cupid’s Chokehold – Gym Class Heroes: Honestly, this song isn’t that great.  I think my cousin had it on her mp3 player when we went to Florida and I heard it  a few times and it grew on me.  It has since grown away from me and I’ve simply failed to remove it from my own mp3 player.

14. Angel – Sarah McLachlan: This is one that will always bring back memories of my Grandfather.  My cousins sang it at his funeral and even though it makes me sad to hear it every time, I can’t bring myself to take it off the player.

15. Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell ft. Michael Jackson: This is a very odd song.  The chorus rocks (because MJ sings it) but the rest of it is just so weird.  But it’s Michael Jackson…so it’s still awesome.

16. XO – Fallout Boy: First of all, this band named themselves after a fictional superhero sidekick from The Simpsons, so right away, they get awesome credit for that.  For another thing, until Ashlee Simpson went all Yoko on the band, they were a fun bunch to listen to and their videos were intriguing most of the time.  I miss them and it makes me a sad panda.

17. Heartbreak Warfare – John Mayer: That’s right…a John Mayer song reached the list.  I don’t know how and I don’t know why…it simply made it in.

18. For a Change – Neal McCoy: I picked up a compilation of country music way back in the day while I was at The Beat Goes On (totally great used CD/DVD/video game store where I never fail to find things at great prices).  It looked alright so I picked it up.  This was on it…end of explanation.

19. No Fear – Terry Clark: She’s marvelous and she’s Canadian.  I love her music, it’s some of the best country music out there.

20. Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind: I love that this song is about meth use and they used it in the sound track for The Tigger Movie.  It just makes me smile.

21. November Rain – Guns and Roses: This one is all compliments of my Dad.  Mom contributed a lot to my musical tastes over the years, but my tastes for heavier stuff (and oddly enough, ABBA) came from my Dad.  Thanks, Dad.

22. Santa Monica – Theory of a Deadman: The boyfriend will be glad to know that, so far, no Nickelback has made it onto the random playlists for the world to see that his girlfriend actually likes them.  However, he’ll probably think that this is close enough.

23. I Don’t Want to Wait – Paula Cole: Hey, I’m of the age that Dawson’s Creek was the sh*t back in the day. (I always rooted for Joey and Pacey)

24. Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meat Loaf: All I can say is, I’m a huge fan of the Loaf.  I love it…this was another contribution from my mother.  I killed her Bat out of Hell tape and bought it for myself on CD a few years later.  I loved him in The Rocky Horror Picture Show for his one scene as Eddie and he was great as Bob in Fight Club.  Everytime one of his songs plays on my radio in the car, the boyfriend says it sounds like they’re from a musical.  My answer every time is that I would totally go see that musical, buy the DVD should they film it and also pick up the soundtrack.  A message to Meat Loaf…do it up Mama Mia! style and I’m there!

25. Alberta Bound – Paul Brandt: rounding things off with a great little Canadian number in the country genre.  Love this song, I always have to sing along at the top of my lungs in the car.  Though I do have to admit, I’ve never actually been Alberta bound.  I generally stay around the Southwestern area of Ontario.  I’m not really one for traveling.

Random Thursday Playlist

I was reading through the random blogs on the Freshly Pressed page last night when I came across one called My iPod is Making Me Crazy and had to click on it. It was about the randomness of people’s playlists nowadays thanks to the shuffle feature on our mp3 players.  This got me thinking about how random my own playlist was and I decided to keep track of the first 25 songs.

I made up some rules to follow while doing this.  One, I couldn’t skip anything that came on.  Two, I wasn’t allowed to write down the song and then skip to the next one because I didn’t know if that would influence the mp3 player’s song choice or not.  Three, I couldn’t lie no matter how stupid the song was that came on.  The fact that I had to implement this rule ahead of time should be some kind of indication as to what kind of music could be contained on my 8 gig player.

So without further adieu, I give you the first 25 songs of my day:

1. Science Fiction Double Feature – Rocky Horror Glee Show Soundtrack.  Yes, I love Glee and I do own all the soundtracks the have shot out onto the shelves in the last year and a half.  As sad as that may be, I totally enjoy them.  I love Rocky Horror and when they announced they were doing an episode based on it, I nearly danced with joy.  It is one of the only girly things I do and I think that I’m allowed one or two.

2. Get It On Tonight – Montell Jordon.  Immediate flashbacks to high school, riding around in a friend’s older sister’s car with this song cranked up so loud they had to roll the windows down.

3. I Will Buy You a New Life – Everclear.  I love this song and miss this band.  However, I cringe every time the singer rhymes new with the word…new.  I will buy you a new car, perfect shiny and new?  No…please use anything other than the same word.  I always thought it should be blue.

4. Winter Born (This Sacrifice) – The Cruxshadows.  I love this song.  Its dramatic and dark and different but still not so very deep and scary goth that I run away.  The boyfriend played me this song about a year and a half ago and I then immediately scoured the internet, searching for more and loving almost everything I found.  It’s a lot of mythology themed stuff and for some reason, I really dig that.

5. Harder to Breathe – Maroon 5.  I dig the sound of Maroon 5.  Enough said.

6. So Help Me Girl – Joe Diffie.  Yes, you caught me.  I like country music.  I grew up in a place where it’s common to see people walking around with cowboy hats and giant belt buckles that say “Git R Done”.  No one can escape it forever…believe me, I tried.

7. Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill) – Wyclef Jean ft. Akon, Niia and Lil Wayne.  I know, I try to avoid any songs with people singing who have names that start with “Lil” as a general rule.  However, the Dollar Bill part of the song is just so catchy that I find myself using it in daily life.  I now hang my head in shame.

8.  Disenchanted – My Chemical Romance.  This was from The Black Parade album.  It actually brings back memories of seeing My Chemical Romance live at our local arena.  They played this song and said they were working on it for their newest album.  I remember being disappointed later when I listened to it because I liked it so much better than the album they were touring when I saw them live.

9. Heart Heart Heartbreak – Boys Like Girls.  I have no story for this one, it’s just really catchy.

10. Over My Head – The Fray.  Again, no story.  I just like the little background beat.  It makes me bob my head.

11. Walking on the Sun – Smash Mouth.  I always likened the sound of this song to something that Austin Powers would totally groove to.  It’s just got that feeling to it.

12. Creep – TLC.  Ah, Crazy Sexy Cool.  One of the first CD’s I ever owned and I still have it, somewhere in the basement collecting dust.  It was probably far more mature themed than my mother actually realized when she gave it to me for Christmas, but then again, I also got Smash by The Offspring that year from my aunt, despite the parental warnings of explicit lyrics.  So I’m thinking that my parents didn’t really care all that much as long as I behaved myself.

13. Help! – The Beatles.  It’s The Beatles.  They require no explanation.

14. Tomorrow Never Dies – Sheryl Crow.  Always picture the entire opening scene of the movie when I hear this.  I love Bond songs, they’re always just so great and get you right in the mood for the movie.

15. Follow You Down – Gin Blossoms.  Not my fave song from them.  I prefer Till I Hear It From You off the Empire Records soundtrack, but this is a pretty good one as well.  I recently heard a tidbit on the radio that they may be making a comeback and whilst perusing Wikipedia, found out that they indeed released a new album last fall.

16. Wake Up – Three Days Grace.  I’m always happy when I hear something on the radio that totally rocks and it turns out to be a Canadian band.  These guys rock and they proved it when I saw them in concern with Work Stacey last year.  It was a great time.

17. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Sarah McLachlan.  Yes…I am one of those sad people that has yet to have managed to get the Christmas music off of my mp3 player and it is now mid February.  One year I left the Christmas tree up until August and only took it down because I moved so I figure I’m not doing to bad on this.

18. Cold Day In July – Dixie Chicks.  I love the Dixie Chicks.  In my eyes, they can do no wrong and when all that crap went down in the press because of one innocent statement, I was behind them all the way.  Then, when they released the documentary “Shut Up and Sing”, it was awesome.  Even the boyfriend liked it and he is so not a fan of country music.

19. I am Stretched on Your Grave – Abney Park.  This is a band from the steam punk genre.  I love it…it’s dark and twisty and so very different.  They’ve got violin, a male and female vocalist and a song about the zombie apocalypse.  What more could you ask for?

20. The Hand That Feeds (DFA Mix) – Nine Inch Nails.  This one is the boyfriend’s doing.  He’s a HUGE fanboy of Trent Reznor and all his works so when we started dating, he’d sit me down and I’d listen to all the songs, get the explanations about what they meant, stories behind the albums and everything.  Eventually, I started to really like it all as well and genuinely like pretty much everything he does now too.

21. Nobody’s Daughter – Hole.  The boyfriend has a not so secret celebrity crush on Courtney Love back in the day.  So when her new album came out last year, it was a must buy for him.  I ended up loving it a lot.  It’s a great CD and I listen to it quite frequently.

22. Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child.  Sometimes I forget that Beyonce wasn’t always just Beyonce.  I remember the days of Destiny’s Child.  This song was my favourite one they did.

23. Who Says You Can’t Go Home? – Bon Jovi.  I freaking LOVE Bon Jovi.  My mother raised me on four or five different albums from different artists and the Blaze of Glory album for the Young Guns II soundtrack was one of them.  I killed that tape.  Like Meat Loaf and Tiffany, it died a horrible death, finally chewed up by my tape player, refusing be be played any longer.  I finally got to see Bon Jovi live in Toronto in 2008 and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.  It was the most expensive and worth every penny.  When the opening notes of Blaze of Glory sounded across the stadium…I have to say I felt all tingly.

24. Through With You – Maroon 5.  Yeah, they appear a lot on my mp3 player.

25. Lightening Crashes – Live.  Nice.  Rounding out the list with a classic song from the 90’s.  This was the one that everyone danced to at school dances and it was just so intense and deep.  It’s always one of those songs that takes me directly back to high school.