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The (Long Lost) Art of a Great Mixed Tape

Published October 21, 2014 - 2 Comments

love mix tape resizedRemember mixed tapes?  If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you’re old enough to remember them.  I was talking with someone yesterday about the process that went into creating those carefully crafted masterpieces of emotional soul-baring.

Picking out the perfect songs… putting them all in order to tell a story… This is when we met… this is our first movie… our first kiss…  running out of room mid-way through a song and having to decide which one to cut and redo the mix…

Oh yes, this was a process.  An art for some.  A mild obsession for others!  A sub-standard mixed tape was not an option.  Perfection was a must.

I find it a little sad that future generations will never experience this.

Taylor Swift – Shake it Off

Published October 7, 2014 - 0 Comments


I’ll be the first to admit… I’m one of the people who used to enjoy Taylor Swift’s music, but over the years became quite tired of having her life’s up and downs turned into the latest track from her album. I still think she’s talented.  I just don’t want to hear about every single boy toy that comes into her life.  I suppose this means her current song is directed at me, just as much as anyone else!

But Shake It Off is catchy!  And the video is cute!  I like her self-depreciation, and it almost makes me feel bad for the girl.  Almost.

The video even features past contestants from So You Think You Can Dance, which is always fun to see.  See if you can pick out your favourites!

Sia – Chandelier

Published September 25, 2014 - 2 Comments

This is something a little different for me. I’m showcasing a music video strictly for the video itself. Sure, the song is ok, but it’s not going to end up in my Top 100. But the video… wow… the young girl is 11 year old dancing sensation Maddie Ziegler, from a show called Dancing Moms. I’ve never heard of the show before, and I only know it because I had to look up who she was. The video is shot in one continuous take, and Maddie never stops. I don’t know who choreographed this routine, but it’s amazingly weird, creepy, and genius all at the same time.

What’s on YOUR iPod? September 2014 Edition.

Published September 13, 2014 - 0 Comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything.  I guess that I’ve been focussing on different things.  A newsletter for the pickle blog.  A zillion updates in Buffer for Twitter, Facebook, even Google+ now.  Oh, and then there’s Day One, a fantastic journal program that allows me to jot my thoughts down completely separate from the blog.  So I guess that I’m still writing.  I’m just not writing as much HERE.

Looking at the current Top 25, there are some things that stand out.  Most of the ones near the top are on my Summer 2014 playlist, so it makes sense that they would have more plays than most of the other songs.  There are a couple of surprises though.  Lose You from Pete Yorn and Desire by Ryan Adams are both songs that I Shazamed  from episodes of House.  Neither of them are what I would call “happy” songs, which is probably why I fell in love with them.  Not saying that I’m not happy!  But I like to have my reflective time… and that usually entails some music that’s not exactly upbeat.

Judging from the bottom of the list, I must have had a few reflective times.

Take Me Home (feat. Bebe Rexha) Cash Cash
Am I Wrong Nico & Vinz
Jealous (I Ain’t With It) Chromeo
Gojoseon Jidax
Summer Calvin Harris
Fancy (feat. Charli XCX) Iggy Azalea
Not a Bad Thing Justin Timberlake
Birthday Katy Perry
Lose You Pete Yorn
Come With Me Now KONGOS
Boom Clap Charli XCX
Waves Mr Probz
Stay With Me Sam Smith
Best Day of My Life American Authors
Desire Ryan Adams
We Are Stars (Featuring Alyssa Reid) Virginia To Vegas
Word Crimes Weird Al Yankovic
All Out Of Love Air Supply
Drive The Cars
Faithfully Glee Cast
Forever And Almost Always Kate Voegele
Stutter Marianas Trench
Grenade Bruno Mars
Follow You Follow Me Genesis
Get It Right (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast

Calgary’s 90.3 Amp Radio Cuts Songs to 2 Minutes

Published August 9, 2014 - 1 Comment

aXNga7o1_400x400I thought that this was a joke when I first saw it.  Sadly, it’s not.  There’s a music format called QuickHitz that has been used in the USA for about a year on some radio stations, and it’s now made its way across the border and into a mainstream radio market.

What is Quickhitz?  It’s a method of shrinking the typical 3-4 minute song down to 2 minutes in a way that apparently people don’t really notice.  This way they can squeeze more songs into a shorter amount of time.  The goal is 24 songs per hour.

Unbelievable.  I know that we live in a world of sound bites and short YouTube clips, but has our attention span really shrunk to the point where we can’t listen to a full song for 4 minutes?

I was listening to their online stream yesterday, and it was sad how quickly the music changed.  I’ll admit the song selection was great, but I want to hear the full songs, and not feel like I’m just listening to a mashup.  From the looks of Twitter, I’d say that I’m not alone.  If you’re curious, give it a listen here. (I think it gets a little congested at times, but you’ll get the idea)

[polldaddy poll=8236255]

Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong

Published June 27, 2014 - 0 Comments
Am I Wrong

I love stories like this.  This song was released in their native Norway (Yes… I said Norway.  I know what you’re thinking.  They appear quite un-Viking-like) back in April 2013 and peaked at #2 in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.  After that the song didn’t do much, until it was released in American in April 2014.  Even then it was a slow climb up the charts.  Apparently it’s the #2 song in Canada right now, and I don’t think that I’ve ever heard it on the radio.  What’s up with that?

This video was shot in Botswana with the goal of showing Africa in a positive light because much of what we are shown in media is fairly negative.  Some of the scenery is breath-taking.  Watch it and tell me… Am I wrong?  🙂

Hunter Hayes – I Want Crazy … OK, You Got it!

Published May 29, 2013 - 7 Comments

I can’t stand country music.  There, I said it.  OK… I can’t stand 99.9% of country music.  Sometimes something slips through the cracks… I’m ok with most Shania Twain songs that are on the radio, although I can’t get through an entire CD of hers without having to jump to the next track a few times.  Then there’s that infamous Tim McGraw song that would just cut me to pieces… but we won’t go there.  In general though, country music makes me want to jab sharp objects into my ear drums.

So I’m walking home a few months ago, and from a block or two away I can see a large mob of people on Princess Street.  I can’t tell what they’re doing, but they’re basically blocking the intersection.  There’s a truck parked there.  Curious.

Then they start shouting to me.  I have my headphone on, and have no idea what they’re saying, but they’re kinda making me a little nervous now.  I stop, and look at my phone.. make a couple of texts… and I see someone running toward me from a block away.  Finally when he gets close enough he shouts “You’re in our shot!  Would you mind moving?”


Why they didn’t have a guy at this end of the street to warn people of that, I have no idea.  But I moved over and watched see what happened.  I saw a guy pushing a girl in a shopping cart…  huh?  Whatever.  I left and walked home a different way.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago and someone sent me a link to the music video below… It’s country music, so I couldn’t listen, but I clicked through it… and then I saw a girl being pushed in a shopping cart!  Wait a minute…

Turns out that this video was shot entirely in Saint John.  There are several shots of Princess Street in there, and you can get an idea of the style of the old uptown core, and the building that I lived in for the last year.

If you dare to watch this video, you may want to turn the speakers down… and hide the scissors…

I so wish that I could have photo bombed the shot….  🙂


Artists Against Bullying – True Colors

Published November 16, 2012 - 1 Comment

Bullying certainly is nothing new, but in the wake of Amanda Todd’s YouTube post and subsequent suicide, it has finally been thrust into the national spotlight.

A group of Canadian music artists have gotten together to record their version of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors , and it’s not hard to see Amanda Todd’s direct influence in how the song’s video was produced.

It really is time for everyone to stand up and say “no” to bullying in all its forms.

What’s on YOUR iPod? – Sep 2012

Published October 1, 2012 - 2 Comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post about my listening habits. I wonder if they’ve changed at all? Let’s take a look at the Top 25 most played songs on my iPod.

Get It Right (Glee Cast Version) – Glee Cast
Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye
I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
Your Arms Feel Like Home – 3 Doors Down
I Saw It – Barenaked Ladies
Faithfully – Glee Cast
Sweater Song – Hedley
Faithfully – Journey
Outro – M83
Beside You – Marianas Trench
Someone Like You – Adele
What Kind Of Man Would I Be – Chicago
Long Long Way To Go (acoustic) – Def Leppard
Fix You (Glee Cast Version) – Glee Cast
21 Guns – Green Day
Goodbye – Hootie And The Blowfish
I Tried – The Jeff Healey Band
Angel Eyes – The Jeff Healey Band
When You Look Me in the Eyes – Jonas Brothers
Open Arms – Journey
Good To You – Marianas Trench
Happy Ending – Mika
Angel – Aerosmith
Why – Annie Lennox
Truth in Lies – Frozen Ghost

Apparently not. In fact, I’d say that I probably fell asleep with my “Thinking” playlist running a few times. Since I’ve been sick the last couple of weeks, I sometimes put that music to help me fall asleep at night. I think almost all (if not all) those songs are from that playlist. Outro by M83 is a new addition, though!

Time to wipe the play counts and see if October isn’t a little less depressing than September obviously was. 🙂

What’s On My iPod? July 2011

Published July 25, 2011 - 4 Comments

I realized that it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted the current Top 25 songs in iTunes.  There are a few new readers who have probably never seen one of these posts.  Well, sometimes I like to take a snapshot of the Top 25 playlist that iTunes determines automatically, based on my listening habits.  Because everything ties back in with iTunes, it includes music from my iPod, iPad, and iMac  (and someday my iPhone if I ever get it working again).  So I’ll take a snapshot and reset the play counter on all songs afterward.  There are usually a few “repeat offenders” on the list… songs that, for whatever reason, always seem to be on my mind.  They’re usually theme-based, and it’s not too hard to figure it out.  It’s been like that ever since I discovered music back in the stone-age… just ask my family about hearing Phil Collins on never-ending repeat when I was a teenager.  Or Steve’s “Slit Your Wrist” tapes that my friends affectionately coined them.  I’ll be 40 next year, but some things never change.  This would be one of them.

So… without further adieu… my Top 25 most played songs for July 2011.  Enjoy!

Where Does Love Go When It Dies Def Leppard
Get It Right (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast
In the Middle Theory Of A Deadman
Magic B.o.B Feat Rivers Cuomo
A Groovy Kind of Love Phil Collins
Poison & Wine The Civil Wars
With Or Without You U2
Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart Alicia Keys
No More I Love You’s Annie Lennox
With Arms Wide Open Creed
Good To You Marianas Trench
Knowing Me Knowing You ABBA
It Ends Tonight The All-American Rejects
Let It Go Blue October
Where Them Girls At David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj & Flo Rida
Who Dat Girl (feat. Akon) Flo Rida
December 1963 (Oh What a Night) Four Seasons
Not Over You Gavin DeGraw
Broken Lifehouse
Mad Ne-Yo
One Of Us ABBA
All Out of Love Air Supply
The Rose Bette Midler
Halo Beyonce
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me Culture Club


Hmm…. just a quick glance through the list…  yup!  Some things never change!  Slow, slow, slow, fast?  Ohh.. that’s a new one!  Magic by B.o.B.  I’m a little surprised that it’s up there!  It’s a good song but I didn’t realize that I had been playing it as much as iTunes says that I have.  Granted, sometimes when I’m at work I forget to turn my iPod off and that throws off the stats a little.  But I figure that if a couple of songs get an artificial “bump” in the charts, they’ll still get overtaken by the ones that I do listen to more often.

Get It Right is a really nice Glee original song sung by Lea Michele.  I’m going to miss her when she leaves the show after next season.  In the Middle by Theory of a Deadman is an unreleased (I believe) song that someone told me about last year.  We were comparing lyrics of our favourite songs, and I’d never heard this one until then.  It is really well written!  Part of me wishes that they would release it… another part of me is comforted somehow that it never reached mass appeal… does that make it more special than if it had been a hit song?  Maybe.  I’d say the same thing about Blue October’s Let it Go. I don’t believe that it was ever released, but I love it.  I’m so glad that Yasmine tweeted about it.  She’s a huge Blue October fan, and this song is great!

A Groovy Kinda Love is one of my favourite Phil songs, although I suppose it’s not truly his song, seeing as how it’s a remake.  It’s from the movie Buster.  I love Phil… don’t waste your time with Buster.  Sorry Phil.

Poison & Wine is one of those songs that I heard in a performance on So You Think You Can Dance.  It was an amazing performance… and the song just suits it so well.  I’ve never heard of The Civil Wars before.  I think they’re an idie folk duo.  I downloaded the rest of the songs from their album and wasn’t overly struck with anything else, but Poison & Wine is amazing… the lyrics are so conflicting.. I love it!  “I don’t have a choice, but I still choose you.  I don’t love you, but I always will.”  I could listen to it for hours… and I probably have!

The rest of the list looks familiar… A mix of mostly slow songs that have appeared on the list before.  Then there’s things like Where Them Girls At which I like now for it’s upbeat sound, but probably doesn’t have any real staying power.  There is usually some “now” song that appears in these lists because they’re popular at the time, but fall to the wayside as time goes on.

And then there’s With Or Without You which is never, ever, ever going to go away!  One of my favourites of all time, and I can’t wait to see U2 perform it on Saturday!  I’ll be in my own little version of heaven!

December 1963 (Oh What a Night) … Hehe… remember that one, Murph?  Kingston?  1993.  “Oh what a night… late December, back in 93… what a very special time for me.. as I remember, what a night… oh what a night.. you know I didn’t even know her name… ”        We’ll just leave it at that!  🙂

Lifehouse, ABBA, Air Supply, Beyonce, Ne-Yo, Marianas Trench…  yup, pretty much standard fare!

There is one little thing that made me laugh, though!  Culture Club??  Haha… In a brief moment of shame, I contemplated replacing that with something else.  I wasn’t even aware that I’d been listening to any Culture Club, but hey… It’s a diverse selection of music in iTunes.  It might not look like it, based on this list, but it is.  It’s not just slow songs, but they’re the ones that I tend to gravitate to, especially on my night shifts… nice and mellow.  They call me mellow yellow…   No, they don’t.

Anyway, I’ve cleared the current play counts, so whatever it played from now on will make up the next Top 25.

Good Times!