Lyric Quiz Friday – Number 384 Friday, Jul 30 2010 

Friday Lyriz QuizBack in the hometown after a great four-day weekend in NOLA, land of great seafood (both boiled and fried), Abita beer (both draft and bottled), the original “snowball,” the Sazarac, and other tasty treats.  I also saw 20 of my relatives and my parents, who were down at the same time from Cleveland.  We ratted the streets in the 95-degree heat, ate too much, reveled in the city’s resilience, and appreciated air conditioning.

But enough about me.  Last week was a theme so this week is a non-theme.  Just popular music singles from the beginning of the rock era (1955) through now.  Dear God, the rock era is 55 years old.  Hail, hail rock and roll.

Got answers? Send them my way.

Friday Lyric Quiz – #384

1. “You can spend all your time making money; you can spend all your love making time” (mid-70s)

2. “And truth be told, I miss you, and truth be told, I’m lying” (late-00s)

3. “Tell me, in a world without pity, do you think what I’m asking’s too much” (early 90s)

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Salty or Sweet? Wednesday, Jul 28 2010 

Candy and Chips

Name your poison

I’m not talking about personality here, but rather what one craves when the snacking bug hits.  For some, it’s ice cream, brownies, or a Milky Way.  For others, it’s Doritos, Cheez-Its, and Chex Mix.  On a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being a marshmallow and 100 being an actual salt lick, I’m about a 96.  In fact, I had to get up from writing that last sentence to hunt down a salty snack.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have so much of the will power when it comes to the whole not snacking thing.  But today, I was able to quite easily turn down an offer of a free, luscious-looking cupcake from a new hip cupcakery.  My flavor of choice.  Had that cupcake been, instead, popcorn or even Saltines?  Much harder to refuse.

I’ve had a half-gallon of Breyer’s in my freezer, untouched, since February (should probably pitch that).  A bag of popchips from Whole Foods has been in my house for literally 90 minutes and is half devoured.

Some say this preference is because of genetics, but I have an entirely different theory … toilet training.  I’ve taking an informal survey, and while the results are certainly anecdotal at best, it appears as though toddlers rewarded with sweet snacks for a successful turn at the potty become sweet tooths.  My Mom saw the process more practically (rather than as a chance to reward me) so shoved pretzels down my throat so that, in the name of Cosmo Kramer, I would get thirsty quicker, drink more, and have more opportunities to practice my new skills.

Of course, this could all hearken back to genetics somehow … perhaps mothers and fathers use tricks of the trade that they themselves prefer.  If I ever decide to reproduce, my kids will have access to salty snacks way more than they have access to ice cream.

So are you a salty or a sweet?  And if it’s not too personal, what was your reward for a job well done in the bathroom?

Lyric Quiz Friday – Number 383 Friday, Jul 23 2010 

Friday Lyriz QuizGood morning all!  I’m reporting for duty from the Crescent City, the Big Easy, NOLA, New Orleans.  I’ve never lived here, but it’s always been my home away from home.  My Mom grew up here, my Dad an hour up the road, and the large majority of my extended family still calls it home.  It’s such a unique and wonderful place; if you haven’t ever been here, you need to come.  If you’ve been, come again.  There are always new dishes to sample, new bookstores to visit.

And did I mention the Super Bowl champions!  Ahh, yes.  The fearless Saints. As a bit of a tribute, all of today’s lyric-quiz artists share their name with a Saint – not a New Orleans Saint, mind you, but an actual canonized Christian saint.  (How many singers are named “Reggie,” anyway?)  Good luck, and let the good times roll.

Got answers? Send them my way.

Friday Lyric Quiz – #382

1. “To keeping silence, I resigned, my friends would think I was a nut” (late ’70s)

2. “Would you want to see, if seeing meant that you would have to believe” (mid-’90s)

3. “Well i never lived the dream of the prom kings and the drama queens, I’d like to think the best of me still had it up my sleeve” (early ’00s) (more…)

Lyric Quiz Friday – Number 382 Friday, Jul 16 2010 

Friday Lyriz QuizWell, friends, a couple of you proved me right with last week’s quiz theme.  Much more than once, I heard “Who covered [SONG X]?” when, in fact, the correct answer they were thinking of WAS the cover.  Poor Otis Redding had proper credit taken away twice on this quiz alone (at least Michael Bolton couldn’t steal all the glory for “Dock of the Bay”).

This week’s theme is a potpourri, but one of the lyric quiz taker’s favorites (as it seems to be easier). The lyrics quoted below are the first lines of the song. Good luck and happy Friday.

Got answers? Send them my way.

Friday Lyric Quiz – #382

1. “Well, my friends, the time has come, to raise the roof and have some fun” (early ’80s)

2. “I can’t stand it, I know you planned it, I’m-a set it straight, this Watergate” (mid-’90s)

3. “Here she comes … just like an angel, seems like forever that she’s been on my mind” (early ’90s)

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Fan of Unpopular Things, Part I Wednesday, Jul 14 2010 

Airplane Lavatory

Yes, please.

One person’s trash is another’s treasure. This applies to everything from Brussels sprouts to the smell of permanent markers to Howard Stern (my treasure, thank you). All of us have some quirky item on their list of “likes,” be it the secret shame of loving Zack and Cody’s Suite Life or dipping Twix bars into Cheez Whiz.

As for me? Believe it or not, I find comfort in the airplane lavatory. Not the facilities in the airport itself, mind you – that’s an uncomfortable place marred by lines, and dragging your bag into the stall, and dealing with your reflection after two hours of recirculated air.  I mean the airplane itself.

Sure, it’s cramped.  Yes, it is vaguely penal and sometimes not entirely fresh. Yes, I’ve been chastised for standing in the aisle to wait for said bathroom.  But once you’re in, it’s almost blissful.

After the crowds of the airport, the hassle of security, the waiting at the crowded gate, the anxiously drumming your foot in line as everyone boards, the shoving and prodding required to claim overhead space, and the aisle-dance needed to allow your row-mates access to their window and center seats (fly aisle or drive, that’s my motto), it’s nice to step away from one’s seat, leaving literal baggage behind, and experience that 2-3 minutes of solitude, allthewhile at 20,000 feet.

It helps that I also have the affliction of needing to use the bathroom every 45 minutes or so.  So maybe this quirky “like” that I have is just me, quite uncharacteristically, trying to see a silver lining.

Lyric Quiz Friday – Number 381 Friday, Jul 9 2010 

Friay Lyriz Quiz
Oh, sure, you may fancy yourself a music snob, but everyone out there has uttered the following phrase at least once: “Huh?  I didn’t realize this was a remake.”  Whether it’s the Crüe’s take on “Smokin in the Boys Room” or The Bangles’ cover of “Hazy Shade of Winter,” there are those tunes that sneak into our collective memories with amazing potency, yet they are not the original performances.  Here are 10 of those songs.  Bonus for naming both artists (and by “Bonus,” I mean bragging rights to yourself and those in your immediate household). The decade in parentheses is when the SECOND (or the more popular) version hit the airwaves.

Got answers? Send them my way.

Friday Lyric Quiz – #381

1. “I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch, and love is not a victory march.” (early 90s)

2. “And if he talks to you then you’ll know why the more you live the faster you will die.” (early 80s)

3. ‘I’m about to give you all of my money, and all I’m asking in return, honey…” (late ’60s)

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Trying my Pipes on a New, if Unappreciated, Rock Anthem Monday, Jul 5 2010 

Pink Houses

Ain't That America?

In which patriotism swells at karaoke until it is unseated by a pop princess.

I thought I’d try a new tune at my karaoke haunt on Saturday night (is it a “haunt” if I go there three times a year?)  Anyway, it was Fourth of July weekend, the vague odor of fireworks and hot dogs was in the air, and I thought I’d add a new tune to the repertoire … John(ny) (Cougar) Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses,” which, while not exactly complimentary to our great land, is a poetic picture of Americana and a “classic” (27 years old!) rock tune people can get behind.  “Home of the free-eee, YEAH!”

First, I practiced in the bathroom at home to make sure I could hit all the notes in my range (sign one that I may have a problem).  I anticipated my big debut all evening and worried that every man, woman, or beast who stepped up to the mic would take my song before I had my turn. After all, it was such a winning idea, I thought.

And then?  A one-two punch of awkwardness.  The KJ (karaoke jockey), a very patient, hospitable, lawyer-by-day, chain-smoking-KJ-by-night, fellow, asked if he could sing it with me.  Ummm.  You can’t say no to this guy who is deigning to let you take his “stage” (i.e., corner of a dank dive bar), but I prefer to be a solo act, especially when attempting a new song, which happens like twice a year.  But whatever. He sings well enough and takes a clue to back off if glory notes are involved.

So it’s important to know that this KJ likes to alternate the karaoke performances with dance tunes.  So you’ll have a guy singing Whitesnake followed by Flo-Rida singing about Apple Bottom jeans.  Makes for a fun atmosphere, but one wrought with uncomfortable segue, as dancers may not like the proverbial buzz kill of their dance tune being switched off for a down-tempo song about a black man with a black cat living in a black neighborhood. So my “Pink Houses” debut went something like this …

On the turntable: “Party in the U.S.A.” … crowd goes wild … hips shaking like yeah …

KJ: “Up next!  [Lucy]!”  I approach the mic. 

On the turntable: “See You Again,” the first bonafide Miley hit and easily the most infectious pop tune of the past two years … crowd erupts and goes more wild … this continues for 15 seconds until…

KJ: “Ooops … sorry about that.  Uhhh…”

Me: “Well, this isn’t awkward at all.”

On the turntable: The corn-fed-rock strains of “Pink Houses.”  Ahem.

On the dancefloor: What the what?

Ultimately, even without the lighter-elevating, fist-pumping crowd support I’d hoped for, I was proud of my performance.  I sang it well enough, hit (almost) every note, infused the right amount of passion, and even got a few people to remember it was Fourth of July weekend.  But the crowd?  Well, they still wanted Miley back.  Next year maybe my patriotic ditty should in fact be “Party in the U.S.A.” and kill two birds with one stone.

I still love you, JCM.  Actually, way more now than I did when I was 10 years old.  Another sign that I am growing begrudgingly curmudgeonly.

Hope everyone had a stellar Fourth.  Can’t wait for Labor Day.

Lyric Quiz Friday – Number 380 Friday, Jul 2 2010 

Friay Lyriz QuizSo here I emerge from the briny deep, the first lyric quiz since March 6.  I heard from previous readers that the quiz difficulty was off-putting, forcing many of them to avoid reading each week for fear of self-flagellating.  So I’m trying to take it down a step and I’d appreciate the feedback!  Obviously, depending on your age/preferred genre/musical knowledge, you will rarely score all ten.  But I want to keep it as “real” as possible. Word.  Would it help if I added decades?  I’ll do that, and we shall see.  This is not a themed quiz; these songs have nothing in common.

Without further ado …

Friday Lyric Quiz – #380

1. “I love this record baby, but I can’t see straight anymore.” (late ’00s)

2. “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.”(late ’70s)

3. “You howl and listen, listen and wait for the … echoes of angels who won’t return.” (late ’90s)

4. “Slam it to the left, if you’re havin’ a good time. Shake it to the right, if you know that you feel fine.” (late ’90s)

5. “I’d like to make myself believe, that planet Earth turns slowly.” (late ’00s)

6. “You wore a shirt, of violent green, uh huh” (mid ’90s)

7. “He’s probably buying her some fruity little drink ’cause she can’t shoot whiskey”(mid ’00s)

8. “The world could show nothing to me, so what good would living do me?” (mid ’60s)

9. “There is so much a man can tell you, so much he can say” (mid ’90s)

10. “She said, I was the tiger she wanted to tame” (mid ’80s)

Got answers?  Send them my way.

What’s Your (Boy Band) Personality Type? Thursday, Jul 1 2010 

Jordan, Danny, Joe, Donnie, Jon

If there’s one talent I have, it is determining which New Kid (on the Block) someone was a fan of 20 (!) years ago. The other day at work, I pegged a girl as a Donnie fan, and could have wagered a month’s pay on this prediction.  It’s simple really, and I’ll let you in on the secrets if you want a fun-slash-lame bar game.

Let’s start with my favorite, Joe “Joey Joe” McIntyre. The youngest by a few years, fair-haired, blue eyed, vocals on the edge of puberty, just plain-out adorable and sweet.  And the most likely to be a virgin (as though any of them resisted groupies for long).  Nonthreatening. Hammy.  With a twist of Oliver Twist. Joe fans are the girls who date younger men, love the nice guys, and go for clean-cut, corn-fed cuties.

Next up, Donnie “Donnie D” Wahlberg, without whom we may never have known Dirk Diggler.  Donnie was the “bad boy,” although if you are really that bad, you either wouldn’t be singing lead on songs like “Cover Girl” or you are in deeply self-loathing (as may have been indeed been the case with A.J. McLean, see below).  In Donnie’s case, “bad boy” meant an earring, a motorcycle, rumors of (gasp!) drinking, and … oh … those pesky allegations of attempted arson.  No big.  These days, Donnie is quite the nice looking older chap, has a decent resume (although dwarfed by that of his kid brother) and his shit together.  Donnie fans may have had a nose ring in high school and like the “alternative” guys, or at least guys with tattoos and/or in bands.

Then there is Jordan Knight.  If we deny his disgusting and bloated performance on The Surreal Life, we are left with a good looking simpleton and front man.  Jordan was the one who shed his shirt in front of a wind machine, whose dimples could make even the Moms in the audience melt, and who took the leading role more often than he didn’t.  Jordan fans can be one of two things. Either they were fringe New Kids fans, who didn’t know much else, or they are the girls who maybe aren’t that bright and assimilate with the pretty face, empty head.  (No offense to Jordan fans! Ahem.)

Jon Knight? Jordan’s long-suffering older brother.  He was “shy.”  He was “quiet.”  He was “mature.” He was boring!  For years there have been gay rumors about Jonathan, which actually makes some sense.  Jon fans are the hardest to figure out.  Sometimes he attracted Donnie girls that were a little offput by the “craziness” but still wanted to be alternative.  And obviously, shy girls would be drawn to him as well.

And finally, Danny Wood. Okay, in all my time as a “hardcore” Kidophile, I never met one fan of the completely Simian Danny (who has grown into his features and looks better these days by a country mile).  Perhaps using performance-enhancing drugs (and the performance he was enhancing was his dancing … and lifting weighs in videos), Danny rarely sang and rarely had solo pinup shots in Bop.  I would imagine the girl who claimed to be a Danny fan is, like all Andy Taylor fans, first of all lying, and second of all trying real damn hard to be contrarian.  To which I would say, sweetheart, he’s still a New Kid, even if he’s the ugly New Kid.

This formula extends with great ease to the Backstreet Boys:

Nick Carter = Joe (young, cute, blonde)

A.J. McLean = Donnie (bad to the bone, tortured)

Kevin Richardson = Jon (older relative to Brian, quiet, lame)

Brian Littrell = Jordan (front man, “cute,” minus a heavy degree of douchery)

Howie Dorough = Danny (uhhhh … whatever. Have you seen the “I Want it That Way” video?)

And some extent, even the Beatles fit the mold.  Paul is Jordan/Brian, John is Donnie/AJ, George is Jon/Kevin, and Ringo falls somewhere in between the youthfully/goofy and the not-so-attractive. Ringo, incidentally, nabs my favorite slot there as well.

So who had the right stuff for you?