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Category Archives: singing

Everybody’s got the right to be different, even though at times they go to extremes.

It should come to no surprise to anyone who’s a regular reader of my blog that I’m one sick and twisted individual. NO I don’t perform kitten-murder. But I am obsessed obsessed OBSESSED with serial killings.

That sounds horrible. My dad says I’m not allowed to tell people that because I’ll be locked up by the FBI.

Let me clarify. I’m not obsessed with them like, I want to PERFORM them, or hang out with someone who IS performing them, or I think there should be MORE of them. I’d be more than happy for there to be none. I’d happily deal with a life where there are no serial killings for me to obsess over, that’d be ok. Because they’re distressing. But I find the whole psychology behind a serial killer fascinating. It’s one of the reasons I like Criminal Minds so much. Well, that and Spencer Reid. And also the acting is wonderful and I want to be Kirsten Vangsness.

I pretty much like all the blood and gore and all that craziness. But not torture porn. Listen, those Saw movies are the worst. And that Hostel movie? ZOMG NO. I watched it because I want to lick Eli Roth like a popsicle, especially after Inglorious Basterds, and NO NO NEVER AGAIN. I don’t need to see nonsense like that. Someone’s EYE was out of the SOCKET and on their CHEEK. Like, hanging out and bobbling along. I almost threw up on Dumbcat. I spent most of the movie covering my eyes and saying “no no no no no EW no no no no WTF WHY no no no STOP THAT RIGHT NOW ELI ROTH YOU SICKO.”

But murders? Yep. I do like a good murder.

And what else do I love? MUSICALS.

What do you get when you put the two together? MY FAVORITE THING EVER.

Now, I think I’ve mentioned this, like, until your ears fall off, but my favorite musical of all time is Assassins. It is the perfect musical. It has it ALL. Music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim, who makes me spin around in my chair with glee. There is MURDER. There is HISTORY. There is DRAMA. There is ROMANCE. There are CRAZY PEOPLE. There is nothing at all wrong with this musical. I have seen it live three official times, and have listened to the CDs so much I’ve worn them out and had to re-purchase. I KNOW. It’s my roadtrip music. So someday if you roadtrip with me, you will be listening to Assassins. Won’t that be fun? Sure. Sure it will. IT WILL.

Assassins is about all the presidential assassins in the United States, from John Wilkes Booth to the attempted assassinations of Ronald Reagan. It’s this weird construct where they’re all hanging out and interacting, and then each of them have a story and a song, and it all culminates in the Texas School Book Depository, where John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald have a talk about responsibility and duty and making a name for oneself in the world. It’s grand and it’s majestic and it makes excellent points and it is just about perfection. ALSO, it stars the character of Squeaky Fromme, one of my most favorite crazy people. One of my favorite theater groups is putting it on this season, and I can’t say I’m not the most excited. Because that would be a LIE.

The original musical starred Victor Garber and Terrance Mann and Annie Golden and Greg Germann and a lot of other excellent people. The recent revival (SIGH that I missed this) starred Neil Patrick Harris, Denis O’Hare, and Mario Cantone, again with a lot of other excellent people. Both albums are worth buying because the music is wonderful and different on both, although the same basic bones are there.

There aren’t many clips online, but here’s one of the finale number, “Everybody’s Got the Right,” from the 2004 Tony Awards:

Aw, look at adorable NPH! I really hope he realizes we can be BFFs soon. We’re wasting a lot of time, here. Neither of us are getting any younger.

So, a while ago, my most wonderful friend Patrick and I were discussing our mutual love of Assassins, and he mentioned that Carrie the Musical was FINALLY GETTING A REVIVAL. Now THIS was exciting. Another combination of things I love: death, Stephen King, and musicals.

It’s closing in a couple of weeks, but here’s the website. Doesn’t this look EXCITING? Also, I like that the music is by Michael Gore. Michael GORE, you guys. For a musical about BLOODINESS. That couldn’t be a better name for the person to write the music for this if he made one UP.

The musical seems, other than a few minor differences, to be very similar to the book. I would like to see this very much. DO YOU HEAR ME, LOCAL THEATER GROUPS? VERY DAMN MUCH.

I found a video of the pig’s-blood-dumping scene on YouTube and I’d post it but A., what kind of jackass films something all illegally in a theater? RUDE and B. they filmed it WITH SOMEONE’S HEAD IN THE WAY. So not ONLY did you do something ILLEGAL, you did it HALF-ASSED. I’m not posting that. YES I watched it, shut up. It’s the closest I’ll ever come, probably, to my dream show of CARRIE THE MUSICAL.

Then Patrick, because he is AWESOME, said, “oh, there are other killer musicals” and sent me A WHOLE LIST of them. I know, right? You WISH you had friends that would send you lists of killer musicals.

So, we have the Silence of the Lambs musical! It is called Silence! The Musical. It seems to be a parody, so that can’t be fun or good. Look what the website says: “This laugh-out-loud naughty satire features a singing chorus of floppy eared lambs narrating the action as Buffalo Bill gleefully dances a hoedown while kidnapping hapless Catherine Martin. Even Dr. Lecter, scary as ever, sings about the life he’d like to lead someday outside the prison walls.”

Oh, that’s a shame. Really? I don’t know about that. Are the lambs puppets? There’s a HOEDOWN? I kind of don’t mind the idea of a hoedown. I mean, who does. A good hoedown is kind of awesomesauce. But I think this whole thing might be ill-advised. Let’s move on, shall we?

There of course is Sweeney Todd, which is another Sondheim musical. You all know Sweeney Todd. We’ve discussed this. Johnny Depp was in the movie. Murderous barber? Heart set on revenge? Slits people’s throats as he’s supposed to be shaving them, and then he and Mrs. Lovett cook them into meat pies, which they then serve to unsuspecting patrons of her meat pie establishment? It is AWESOME. Also, the song “Have a Little Priest” is one of the best songs ever. It’s about who they should murder and cook and serve. One of the lines is “The trouble with poet is how do you know it’s deceased? Try the priest.” COME ON. That is SO FUNNY and CLEVER. Look at that rhyme scheme! It makes you absolutely salivate.

Then there is Theatre of Blood. This apparently was a British production, based on a Vincent Price film, that never got off the ground. Here’s the description from IMDb of the movie: A serial killer stalks London, targeting theater critics who he kills in methods inspired by Shakespeare plays. The police grow to suspect the killer is Edward Lionheart, an egotistical actor who leaped to his presumed death after being denied an important award, mainly due to his refusing to appear in any play not written by Shakespeare. The remaining critics and the police find themselves helpless to stop Lionheart’s increasingly baroque revenge, though they contact his daughter in a desperate attempt to find something they can use against him. Everything builds to a reenactment of King Lear in which Lionheart will succeed or die once and for all.

Shit, I would watch that. That sounds like it has a LOT going ON. Also, there’s Shakespeare. It all sounds very meta. I’m in.

There’s totally a song called “Pie.” Oh, snap! You can LISTEN to it! YOU GUYS. It is a LOVE SONG TO PIE. By someone who sounds like they have the fake French accent from The Little Mermaid of the song “Les Poissons!” THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. Seriously, click on that. CLICK ON IT.

Then, of course: Jeffrey Dahmer Live, the infamous musical that adorable guy took that internet douche girl from Gizmodo to and she blasted him all over the internet for it that time. The musical that, if someone took ME to it, it’d be like GUARANTEED third base, at LEAST. It’s not playing anymore but maybe someday someone will think it’s a good idea to take this shit on tour, I can only hope. I mean, LOOK. Here’s Jeffrey Dahmer SINGING INTO A CLEAVER. While WEARING PRISON GARB. I mean, don’t ask how he got a cleaver in prison, because that’ll hurt your brain, probably, but you can’t deny this is pretty awesome.

Then I found out Duncan Sheik – the brilliant mind behind my favorite recent musical, Spring Awakening – is doing a musical version of American Psycho. DUNCAN EFFING SHEIK. It seems to be still in the early stages? But if it’s anything like Spring Awakening, which was just so mind-blowingly amazing that I was bouncing in my theater seat and ran out IMMEDIATELY and bought the cast recording and have listened to it so many times I know all the songs backward and forward now – I’ll totally be excited to see this.

But then. THEN. Are you ready for the possibly both best AND worst of them ALL? Patrick found this for me. He’s the best. He might have the best killer musical Google-fu.

Lonely Heart the Musical.

This is possibly only in New Zealand and is based on the honeymoon killers, who I didn’t know about (I KNOW! And here’s me loving crazies and serial killers!) until I started reading up on this.

Apparently, this sad woman wrote to this Lonely Heart column in the paper, and their job was to match people up and they’d start this correspondence and maybe fall in love. It was internet dating, pre-internet, in other words, only people were VERY embarrassed about it. So they matched her up with this guy. Only problem was, the two of them were INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE, you guys. She was a looney tune and he had been traveling the country for years scamming other lonely-heart ladies. It was only a matter of time before she moved across the country and in with him, and they started this two-person grifting scheme where they’d pretend to be brother and sister, and he’d marry other women and scam them. Only she’d get totally jealous when he would have sex with his new wives. SO THEY STARTED MURDERING THEM.

There are some awesome quotes in that True Crime link up there. Martha, the woman: “By the age of 10, she possessed a woman’s body and the sexual drive of an adult.” BY THE AGE OF TEN. I don’t know if this is a thing. I think someone made this up. Also, the man thought he was a voodoo king and could use his powers to make woman do his bidding, apparently. “After Fernandez built up enough anticipation in Martha and he performed the necessary voodoo ritual, he decided that the time had come for the meeting.”

Other awesome quotes:

“This was a major stumbling block in his career of theft and deception.” (I just like how this is worded. It makes me laugh.)

“But in their haste, they made a pivotal error. Janet did not own a typewriter and couldn’t type.” (DUN DUN DUNNNN! They wrote a suicide note from someone who DIDN’T TYPE or HAVE A TYPEWRITER IN HER HOUSE. Um.)

‘”The electric chair scares me!” Martha said.’ (Yeah. Yeah, it’s a little daunting, Martha. You know what else is? BEING MURDERED BY YOUR NEW HUSBAND AND HIS “SISTER.”)

“The papers called her “fat,” “simpering,” “Big Martha,” “a 200 lb. figure of wrath,” “the giggling divorcee,” “unattractive,” “a weird woman,” and other humiliating terms.” (My favorite of these is “a weird woman.” I’m totally a weird woman. I also like “a 200 lb. FIGURE OF WRATH.”)

There have been a couple of movies based on this story. Guess who played this short, kind of dumpy, sad, and lonely murderess in one of them. Guess. No, guess. Wait, I’ll show you.

Yep. I knew you’d guess it, because it’s so obvious. Horrendously ugly, fat, lonely Selma Hayek. TOTALLY BELIEVABLE CASTING!

So in this musical, which even *I* don’t think is probably a very good idea, and listen, my standards on killer musicals are LOW LOW LOW, I’d watch Dahmer singing into a CLEAVER, has closed now. The reviews I read were actually quite good. So maybe it was alright? I mean, who would have thought a musical with all of the presidential assassins would end up the favorite musical of ALL TIME of this crazy-eyed blogger when she was just a wee little thing singing along with Bert and Ernie and Snuffleupagus? Not me, that’s for sure. So, yes, I’d watch the Lonely Heart musical. FINE. If you INSIST. (On a personal note, it seems like one of those grassroots theater efforts, like, the writers worked really hard to get it off the ground, and people all pitched in, and I love to see that. So congratulations, all.)

So what did we learn today?

MURDEROUS MUSICALS ARE AWESOME.

Amy’s pretty twisted when it comes to her entertainment choices.

Hostel is not something anyone should watch EVER. *shudder*

Not all weird women murder people. Some just WRITE about it.

And Carrie the Musical needs to go on tour IMMEDIATELY.

Here is a picture of NPH all bloody in Assassins to end on a good note. I know that might not be a good note for most of you, but for me? UTTER PERFECTION.

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You’d have to be pretty stellar before I let you cling to my arms. I need those for punching things.

I had to cover the reception desk today. I do that a number of times a week. It’s because I’m super-skilled at phone-answering. I almost never say what I’m thinking. In case you’re wondering, that’s the trick of being a good receptionist.

GOOD RECEPTIONIST:

You: Good afternoon, Company That Is Sucking my Lifeblood!
Caller: I AM DISGRUNTLED. GRUMP GRUMP GRUMP. IT IS OBVIOUSLY YOUR FAULT EVEN THOUGH YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO I AM.
You: And who usually assists you in these matters, sir?
Caller: Bob McGee. (Not anyone I work with’s real name. Do you think I WANT to live in my car?)
You: Let me see if Bob is available. Just a moment, please.

BAD RECEPTIONIST:

You: Hello.
Caller: Is this Company That is Sucking Your Lifeblood?
You: Yes. *SIGH* How can I HELP you.
Caller: I AM DISGRUNTLED. GRUMP GRUMP GRUMP. IT IS…
You: I’m sorry, SIR, but I’m just the RECEPTIONIST, and I can’t even HELP you with that, WHAT THE HELL. Did you think you were just going to reach whoever you were calling the first call you MADE? What is this, 1902? Give me a break. Go hop a horse and buggy down to the soda fountain.
Caller: I…uh…
You: WHO ARE YOU CALLING FOR.
Caller: Bob…McGee?
You: Are you quite sure? You sound hesitant.
Caller: Yes?
You: That upward inflection in your voice isn’t doing you any favors. Bob’s busy. Here’s his voicemail. Don’t call here again.

So, yeah, I don’t do those things. I WANT to, don’t get me WRONG, but I have been told I have a VERY PLEASANT PHONE VOICE. It’s like the only thing I get complimented on in my yearly evaluations, so don’t you even take that away from me, IT IS MY CLAIM TO FAME.

Anyway, the receptionist likes the country channel a lot so the radio is always playing it when I go up there and I don’t know how to turn it off. I tried once and she got really mad because I accidentally tuned it to the God channel. It wasn’t even on purpose. Did she think I WANTED to listen to the God channel for an hour? Who would want THAT shit? Well, a lot of people, if there’s a channel, I suppose, but I’m not one of them.

Then this song came on and I seriously spit-took my water because it had what was, I was sure, the BEST LYRIC EVER WRITTEN.

It was some song giving either advice or support to women at different ages and at one point it was all, “This is to all the girls about forty-two!” (Let’s not even talk about how I hate when people refer to themselves as “girls” when they’re over the age of, say, twenty. You are a woman, dammit, own that.) “Tossing PANTIES into the fountain of YOUTH!”

TOSSING PANTIES INTO THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.

That is BRILLIANT. That is totally what forty-two year old “girls” would toss into the fountain of youth. Skanky panties. Because who WOULDN’T do that? AWESOME.

So I laughed and laughed and imagined my favorite fountain of all time, the Trevi Fountain in Rome, and all the women turning their backs and just HUCKING panties into it and then I laughed some more when I thought of the poor maintenance workers every morning, all, “Mamma mia! So many biancheria intima! So messy!” And just shaking their little old Italian heads.

Imagine this all filled with panties. WHAT. It's FUNNY.

So tonight I came home all “let’s talk about PANTIES on here today, whoo those crazy country songs” and looked it up and, as I’m sure most of you know, THAT ISN’T EVEN THE EFFING LYRIC.

PENNIES. It’s PENNIES. It’s “tossing PENNIES into the fountain of youth.”

Of COURSE it’s pennies. Who tosses PANTIES into a fountain?

Whoever the hell Martina McBride is, chick needs to learn to ENUNCIATE. Pennies should NOT sound like pennies, even if you DO have a Southern accent. It is EMBARRASSING.

But it’s totally funny. And now whenever you hear that song you’re not going to be able to hear anything but panties. TRY IT. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

I found this on Google Images. Apparently, there was some sort of protest that necessitated the throwing of panties. Look how HAPPY they all look. They are totally throwing those panties into the Fountain of Youth. WITH JOY.

Then I was thinking, you know what? Country songs give a lot of advice. Like, a lot more than pop music. There’s that song about the pennies or panties or whatever, which, either way, that is COLOSSALLY bad advice. You found the damn FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH and you are throwing GARBAGE in it? BOTTLE and SELL that shit. DAMN.

Then you’ve got my man Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.” (This was before he got scary-face so it’s ok I like this song.) So in this song, in case you’re one of the three people in the world who isn’t aware of it, a man meets a gambler on a train and the gambler says, hey, share your whiskey, I’ll talk your ear off with shitty advice. That damn gambler. He was FILLED TO THE BRIM with advice. But at least he asked the guy he was riding the train with if he COULD give the advice first. The dumbass said yes, that was his first mistake. You never tell an old wino you’ll take his advice. You’re in for a long night of BORING DRUNK STORIES.

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away and know when to run
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done

THAT IS  A LOT OF ADVICE GAMBLER. But it’s good advice! However, it’s all pretty self-explanatory. What piss-poor gambler doesn’t already know this stuff?

Oh, wait. Is he talking about GAMBLING? Or LIFE? DUN DUN DUNNNNN. I know, right? Is he a DRUNK? Or a PHILOSOPHER? Well, let’s see! Is he done talking?

Oh, don’t worry. No. The gambler’s not done talking. Drunks on trains never are.

Every gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep

Ugh, GAMBLER, you are SO DEPRESSING. You’re just reiterating the same shit you already SAID, then you’re all, “Whatever, the sweet, sweet embrace of death AWAITS US ALL.”

I’m still not sure if it’s about cards or life. If it’s metaphor or a simile or even a euphemism, it’s not a very good one.

THEN THE GAMBLER EFFING DIES.

I know, right? This song is filled with advice and also sadness and dead alcoholics with gambling addictions.

I totally love this song.

Then we have the song that little Amy’s mom used to sing to her when she was little. I don’t think because she was trying to indoctrinate little Amy. But because she liked the song. And listen! I like the SOUND of the song. But MAN the lyrics are worrisome. I of course am talking about Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man.”

What advice does Tammy give us in this song?

Sometimes its hard to be a woman

YES IT IS TAMMY

Giving all your love to just one man

Wait, what? I gots me some wild OATS, though. What about my wild OATS?

You’ll have bad times
And he’ll have good times

These can’t be the lyrics, can they? I’ll have bad times, and he’ll have good ones? When do I get to see the sailboat?

Doing things that you don’t understand

Math? Auto repair? Watching television with his hands in his pants? Picking his nose and then looking at it as if it’s going to be a surprise, what he found in there? Giggling about farts?

But if you love him you’ll forgive him

Um…I guess…depends on what he’s done, though? Right?

Even though he’s hard to understand

Oh, shit, I totally married someone with a speech impediment, this is the worst.

And if you love him
Oh be proud of him

I love a lot of people I’m not PROUD of, per se. Can the two not be mutually exclusive?

‘Cause, after all, he’s just a man

Wah-WAH! He’s JUST A MAN. That sounds like a horrible punchline of something my grandmother would tell me.

Stand by your man
Give him two arms to cling to

Why is he “clinging” to my arms? I need those for things. Is he having trouble standing upright? Oh, my good gravy, did I marry someone mushmouthed AND with a problem staying upright for long periods of time?

And something warm to come to
When nights are cold and lonely

I kind of take offense at being referred to as “something.” I’M SOMEBODY DAMMIT. And why am I the one who needs to be a little stove? Why can’t HE be the warm one? This is the worst marriage ever.

Stand by your man
And tell the world you love him

Ugh, the whole WORLD? That seems like a lot of work. I mean, I have to be a little STOVE, I have to stand still for all the ARM-GRIPPING, I have to decipher what he’s SAYING…I don’t get a lot of free time here, do I?

Keep giving all the love you can

How much love is that, exactly? All that I CAN. I can’t give much. I have a lot of plates spinning at the moment.

Stand by your man
Stand by your man

I GET IT I GET IT JEEZ

And show the world you love him

Wait, SHOW the world I love him? Now I have to SHOW the world? What, get a face tattoo? Make a sex tape? Knit a “I love Harold” sweater and wear it every-damn-where? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

Keep giving all the love you can

I don’t ever get to STOP? I guess the gambler was right and I can only hope for the sweet, sweet release of sleep-death.

Stand by your man!

I DON’T WANT TO THIS IS TOO HARD

I am totally the most depressed after that and probably want to stay single forever now. Let’s turn to The Eagles, and one of those songs I can NOT resist and I have to sing along to no matter what. And I was totally mad when they used it in Seinfeld that time because I hate Seinfeld with the fire of a thousand suns (DON’T EVEN START WITH ME IT WAS NOT FUNNY) and they tried to RUIN MY GOOD SONG.

Yes, yes, it’s “Desperado.” Shut up, like you don’t love this. EVERYONE LOVES THIS.

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
You been out riding fences for so long now

See? That’s nice. That’s good advice! That poor desperado. He should come in from the bad weather and have a sandwich.

Oh, you’re a hard one

Hee! Euphemism.

But I know that you got your reasons

If you continue with the euphemism, that’s still funny. If you take it in the spirit it was intended, it’s totally sad.

These things that are pleasing you
Can hurt you somehow

You can still euphemism that. Or not. Up to you.

Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She’ll beat you if she’s able

This is NOT ABOUT CARDS. You know that drunk gambler would be all “KNOW WHEN TO HOLD EM!” but it’s totally about WOMENFOLKS.

You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet

Aw! ’cause, love!

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get.

HOLY SHIT. You and me BOTH, Desperado. YOU AND ME BOTH. (I totally sing this line the loudest because I love it the most.)

Desperado, oh, you ain’t getting no younger

Way to be rude, singer. You don’t just say that to people. He probably has a knife right in his boot. Desperadoes are totally willing to shiv you if you insult them by calling them oldtimey.

Your pain and your hunger, they’re driving you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talking
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

This part is depressing as hell. We’ve got this old as hell cowboy all hungry and in pain and in chains and lonely and in prison. This is NOT A HAPPY SONG. (That’s why I love it so.)

Don’t your feet get cold in the wintertime?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losing all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?

Now he’s COLD and all weather is the SAME and there is not a lot of advice right now. SOMEONE GIVE THE DESPERADO SOME ADVICE OR HE’LL TOTALLY SHIV YOU.

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?

YES. Time for advice-givin’!

Come down from your fences, open the gate

The GATE is his EMOTIONS. This is a totally deep song.

It may be raining, but there’s a rainbow above you

I…I’m not sure. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel? Goonies never say die? I don’t know what the hell.

You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late

I’ll totally love up on a desperado. I’m down with ruggedy-ness. Also, they usually have horses, then I know my fella would like animals so he’d be down with my plan for my rescue home for all the animals in the woods, see? I’m always thinking.

So what did we learn today? To…hold ’em and fold ’em, dependent on ’em? To die in our sleep? To not marry people with speech impediments who can’t stand on their own two feet for extended periods of time? That The Eagles loved a good euphemism?

Nope. What we LEARNED is that the mental image of throwing PANTIES into a FOUNTAIN is HYSTERICAL.

Oh, come on, try to deny it. You totally can’t. It’s just that funny.

THANK YOU COUNTRY MUSIC.


Work is what you do for others, liebchen. Art is what you do for yourself.

We haven’t had random crap day in a while. Did you totally miss it? Probably not, it’s pretty disjointed. TOO BAD CHARLIE. You’re getting it ANYWAY. Who’s Charlie? I don’t know. My dad used to randomly say Charlie when I was little so I say it now. It’s a thing. I DON’T HAVE TO EXPLAIN MY CHOICES TO YOU.

My internal time clock is all off this week because I’m attempting to be one day ahead with my posts because I know how busy I am this week. So when I write “today” I have to be sure I’m really meaning “today” and not “tomorrow” or “yesterday.” It’s totally like writing from the past. Or the future. I don’t know how time travelers do it, I really don’t. Poor Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap. If he blogged it would have been a mess. Oh boy.

Stephen Sondheim. STEPHEN EFFING SONDHEIM.

Doesn't he look like we could totally be BFFs? YES.

So the other night, I checked my feed reader (can I just give some love to my phone’s feed reader? I don’t have to ask your permission. I’M GOING TO. I mean, it’s buggy as hell and keeps shit unread that I’ve totally read but how much do I love that no matter where I am or what I’m doing, every hour, whatever blogs have been published pop up like magic on my phone, ready for my perusal when I am ready to read them? It’s the best, seriously) and All Over Albany (I totally am like their biggest cheerleader this week, rah, rah) had published a post so I was all “la la la what’s this” and I clicked and then I seriously died, then I revived, only to die AGAIN.

STEPHEN EFFING SONDHEIM IS COMING TO THE CAPITAL REGION IN SEPTEMBER.

OK, now, you probably know who Stephen Sondheim is. But you might not. I mean, you might not be a musical theater person. That’s fine. Well, no. It’s not FINE. It’s totally sad and what’s wrong with you, honestly. But I get it, not everyone knows who Stephen Sondheim is.

Stephen Sondheim is the Tony, Oscar, Pulitzer, and Grammy-award-winning composer and lyricist for such brilliant works of musical theater such as Sweeney Todd (see? You’ve heard of Sweeney Todd. I mean, come on. It was a movie. Johnny Depp was in the movie. YOU’VE HEARD OF JOHNNY DEPP YOU GUYS), West Side Story, Into the Woods, Company, Sunday in the Park with George, Gypsy, and, the musical that changed my entire life and made me love musicals more than anything in the entire world and remains, to this day, even though I’ve seen, and I’m not even exaggerating, probably at least 100 musicals over my lifetime, Assassins. He wrote a MUSICAL about REAL-LIFE PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINS. And it is AWESOME. I’m not even kidding. NPH was in the revival recently. You’d love it, I’m serious. He’s also a wonderful author and wrote two annotated books about his works, Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat which have all the lyrics to all of his musicals, plus stories about his life in theater, his thought processes behind writing, and photos of the productions, which make a musical theater nut such as myself kind of squee all over when she reads them.

He’s also quite elderly (82 in March!), so the sheer fact that he’s coming to town is really the most awesome thing EVER. I have a list of people I want to see speak before I die. I’ve seen one of them – Kevin Smith (as mentioned, I actually got to meet him and geeked out embarrassingly) – and never, ever imagined I’d ever get to see the others. Stephen Sondheim is ON THE LIST. ON THE LIST, you guys. And the list is three people long. So really, if I get to see Stephen Sondheim in September, all I have to do is figure out how to finagle my way into seeing Stephen King someday and then I guess I can die? That’ll be nice, I could use the rest. I’m totally exhausted.

This is such recent news that the HVCC website doesn’t even have anything about it yet. And All Over Albany says that HVCC students (that’s Hudson Valley Community College, sorry, I’m kind of the most excited so not being explainy enough) get first dibs on tickets. What if they buy ALL the tickets? I don’t want to have to mug a community college student in a dark alley for their Sondheim ticket, but I’m saying right now I totally would if I had to. I TOTALLY WOULD. And I would use jazz-hands. I mean, if you’re mugging someone for their ticket to see the god of musical theater you have to mug them using musical theater dance moves. It’s a given.

So I really think it’s in everyone’s best interest if they just let me buy a ticket as soon as they go on sale, to ensure the safety of their student body. Thanks in advance.

The fun of live theater is that it’s LIVE.

This is totally me in the light booth at my theater, only female. And without an afro. And we can't afford a monitor, even one like this that seems to be from the 80s.

So we’re in tech week for Rumors this week. We had tech on Sunday, we had our first dress rehearsal Monday, then another last night, then tonight is the pay-what-you-will preview, which is also our final dress rehearsal. It’s coming together beautifully, and the show’s going to be great. Lots of laughs. Everyone’s going to be pleased. I’m proud of the cast and crew. It’s been a great experience so far, and listen, I’ve worked on a lot of shitstorms, let me tell you, so I know when something’s a good experience. All is well, my little boysenberries!

Except I totally effed up like every single cue in Act One on Monday.

I feel bad for the director, who is my lovely friend K. and sometimes we start giggling about shit because we can read each other’s facial expressions like we’re talking when we’re not even talking, like from across a damn ROOM, it is awesome. It’ll be fine when we have an audience, but I’m sure it’s not engendering a lot of confidence in my skills that I didn’t seem to be able to get a single cue right the whole first act.

First, instead of a phone ringing, I had a buzzer. This wasn’t 100% my fault, as the sound designer, who I love like a crazy person (LOVE YOU A.!) had been fixing the sound cues because on tech day, there was something wrong with the buzzer sound, and so he re-recorded it so it didn’t sound like a joy buzzer underwater and sounded like an actual intercom buzzer. But he accidentally inserted it into the list of cues where my phone ringing cue should be, and it was labeled “office phone buzzer” so I wasn’t sure – was this going to be a phone ringing, or a buzzer? Should I play it? Was it going to be right? A. wouldn’t lead me astray, would he? So I played it. Yep. Buzzing instead of ringing. The actors were awesome and pretended it was a phone ringing and now I know better but that was kind of embarrassing.

Also, it’s the first show I’m running from a laptop. Now, I’m getting a laptop for my own personal blogging uses soon, so I really should figure out how to USE a laptop. It’s like learning a new skill for me.  I kind of feel like a cavewoman mastering fire. THIS SHOULD NOT BE THIS DIFFICULT. Listen, THE MOUSE IS A PAD NOT A MOUSE. This is worrisome. And sometimes I click on things and it’s not clicky. And sometimes I just get overall confused by the setup. But! I soldier on. Because dammit I refuse to be conquered by a laptop. I mean, CHILDREN can use laptops. I’m a grown-ass WOMAN. I can figure this shit out.

Then I was supposed to make headlights happen so people could say, “I think a car is pulling up!” but I didn’t hear the cue line where I was supposed to walk over to the light board to get READY to do that so by the time I realized I was supposed to be over there, that had already come and gone. Embarrassing.

Also, the intercom system shit the bed about 10 minutes before the show, so when I gave them places, they didn’t hear me, and when we started the show, no one came out on stage, and they were all, “We didn’t know it was time to start the show” and then the whole show was thrown off because of the stupid intercom system.

It was kind of a gigantic mess.

In better news, last night it went much better, with only a couple little tweaks for me to make for the audience we’ll have tonight. WHEW. I’m sure K. is not as freaked out as she was when she left the theater Monday thinking “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH AMY.” I don’t know. I was broken, I guess. It happens. ALL IS WELL NOW.

I’d be just about the best pimp. I’d rock a cane and big sexy velvet hat.

Alan Rickman, I love you truly, madly, AND deeply.

Just a quick pimp of something I wrote elsewhere in case you haven’t already read it – here’s my Reading Rage Tuesday article over at Insatiable Booksluts: How to Ruin Your Young Adult Fantasy Novel. People seem to have enjoyed it, and we’re having lively discussion. Some of this discussion is Twilight-bashy, and if you like Twilight, I apologize. I have officially stopped Twilight-bashing on that post, or even DISCUSSING Twilight on that post, because it was getting a lot like a political discussion with my dad and arguey and “I am right” and “NO I AM” and that makes me nervous and rock in the corner and I LIKE THINGS TO NOT BE LIKE THAT. I do so try not to bash people for their taste in literature, I really do, and try to just be happy they read at all? Twilight just makes me so irrationally upset. I’ll stop now before my head explodes. WAIT ONE MORE THING. I will just say, I can recommend you a number of other series you might like better than Twilight, if you’d like? I’d be happy to do that. Just let me know. I feel like it’s a public service I’d be doing, honestly. ALL FOR YOU DAMIEN.

I’m totally going to win German

As soon as I learn German, I'm sure I'll be sending out awesome cards JUST LIKE THIS ONE.

So Ken’s going to teach me German, so look out Germany, because I’m going to win your language.

OK, so maybe he didn’t really SAY he was going to teach me to SPEAK German, but I like to make shit up and also exaggerate for effect. He IS going to teach me random German WORDS and PHRASES. I’m very excited about this project.

SO FAR, I have learned the words for “gravestone” and “jelly doughnut” (“grabstein” and “krapfen,” Andreas taught me the jelly doughnut one VIA Ken, and aren’t they the most awesome words? Grabstein. Hee! And krapfen! I LOVE GERMAN) and how to ask for more mustard (“Ich will mehr Senf” which probably won’t come in the MOST handy since I don’t dig mustard all that much, but it’s a start) and an awesome phrase that I’m totally in love with – “Eine Krähe sticht der anderen kein Auge aus” – which means “One doesn’t peck out the eyes of a fellow crow,” how much does THAT rock as a phrase? the most, is how much – and from my dad’s time in Germany I know the word “scheiße” which I like to use because it’s naughty, and from being a musical theater nerd I know “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” which is A Little Night Music (ahem, ANOTHER SONDHEIM MUSICAL.)  Also, I’m in love with that squiggly-thing up there which I believe indicates two ss’s. Let’s look up what that’s called. Wikipedia tells me it is either called a “Eszett” or a “scharfes S.” I love both of those names. KEN. I suggest we work on this word next: “eichhoernchen.” This means SQUIRREL. Have you ever seen a more consonant-laden word in your LIFE? I am madly in love with it.

So it is only a matter of time before I am totally fluent in German, just like I am in French if by “fluent” you mean “I can say about fifty words and understand the alphabet if its spoken slowly”, and can say such amazing phrases as “Help! My grapefruit is on fire in the library!” which is a TOTALLY HANDY FRENCH PHRASE. I can also say “Stop! I don’t like bread!” in French. Which isn’t true, I love bread, who doesn’t love BREAD? but I can SAY it, so that’s kind of exciting, right? Ladies and gentlemen, 7 years of French education at work!

But Ken! I have to learn to SOUND German. Germans always sound very gruff. I assume even when they’re talking about rainbow kitten unicorns. We’re going to have to figure out a way for me to sound gruff. Mostly when you talk to me I sound like a cartoon character on speed so this might be an issue.

OK. That is a lot of random crap, and I think you’re all on crap overload, so I’ll stop now. Send out break-a-leg vibes to my gorgeous cast, have a wonderful shiny happy Thursday, and vermeiden Sie rasende Vielfrass. Babelfish tells me this is a VALID TRANSLATION. Except when I translated it BACK from German to English, it said it translated to “avoid racing much-ate.” Which is SO FUNNY TO ME that I totally spit-took. FINE. This is SUPPOSED to say, “avoid rabid wolverines.” I’m pretty sure I’m not winning German yet. GIVE ME TIME SHEESH I JUST STARTED. (Also, Ken, what’s up with the random capital letters in German? Or is that not really a thing and I shouldn’t be doing it? SO MUCH TO LEARN!)

HAPPY THURSDAY!!!

(Psst, the title is a Sondheim lyric quote – from Sunday in the Park with George – AND has some German in it. And relates to both my work at the theater and my writing for the blog. So THEREFORE, it ties in to ALL FOUR OF MY TOPICS TODAY. Are you suitably blown away? Yeah, I thought you might be.)


“Throw your hands in the air! Wave ’em like you just don’t care!” NO. No, I don’t think I will. BOSSY. Sheesh.

At this VERY SECOND, I am teching Rumors at my theater. I know, HOW AM I ALSO POSTING THIS. Because I’m staying up in the wee hours Saturday night to write this, I love you all so much I want to squish all your faces, THAT’S HOW.

Amy! What is teching? You might ask. I mean, you might. I don’t know. You might not. You might still be mad at me for all that porn yesterday, what the hell do I know. (BEE TEE DUBS. I totally got linked on a porn site yesterday because of that post. Does this mean I’ve made it? I THINK IT DOES BABY.)

Teching, for those of you who do NOT spend all of their free time at the most awesome place in the world, also known as the theater, means our show opens in a week, so we spend most of the day the Sunday before we open making sure the lights and sound are just right, and then the actors get to act with lights, sound, and costumes for the first time, and the booth ops get to run the lights and sound the first time and see where they might have problem spots, and the director gets to see where he or she might have problem spots, and it is EXCITING and it is EXHAUSTING and there is A LOT OF ACTIVITY and it only makes me want to hide under a table a few times in a day, so that’s alright.

I’m totally the light and sound operator. And the stage manager. Why? Do you really have to ask? Because I rock. That’s why. I’m embarrassed I had to tell you that, honestly. You should just know it.

Also, I made dark chocolate swirl chip brownies for everyone for tomorrow. Again, why? I AM THE AWESOMEST. Yeah, I know. You can send flowers and gifts, if you want. I’ll never turn down a good token of appreciation.

So anyway. I was driving home from work last night (I have a SIDE NOTE about work which I will add in a minute) and I heard two songs in a row that made me think, you know what? I hate bossy songs that attempt to get me to say or do things.

This all ties into I don’t like people telling me what to do. Even SONGS. I don’t like orders. I would really have been a horrible member of the armed forces, wouldn’t I?

I was thinking about how, when you’re a kid, in gym class, they think it’s a good idea to make you sing and dance and frolic along to these totally bossy songs. Like the Hoky Poky. The Hoky Poky is just about the bossiest. It’s got you putting your feet in and your hands in and your head in and shaking like you’ve got epilepsy or something. I was not very compliant in gym class.

Then they’d make you square dance, which was WORSE, because it was a bossy song, but you had to TOUCH A BOY. We were like EIGHT. Touching boys was ICKY. And it would be all “DO SI DO” and “SWING YOUR PARTNER” and “PROMENADE” or whatever the hell and we were all trying to get as far away from our partners as we could but still remain in contact or else our fascist gym  teacher would come smoosh us together like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and laugh and laugh and so you had TOUCHING and you had BOSSERY and you had MEAN GYM TEACHERS. Is it really any wonder that I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do?

Then these songs came on the radio, because (I think I’ve mentioned this before) I can’t listen to the GOOD channels on Saturday nights, because they think it’s a good idea to put stupid programming on like oldies and techno, so I have to listen to the weird retro channel which is the lesser of the evils, and so I get to listen to the songs of my ill-begotten teen years. (ZOMG. Tonight, they played “Heaven” by effing WHITESNAKE. Are you KIDDING me. That was AWESOMESAUCE. I totally sang along to that to the top of my lungs even though I’m tonedeaf. There is no self-respecting child of the late 80s and early 90s who wouldn’t do the same exact thing unless you were brought up in a sequestered cult of some sort.)

OK, first. (Let me just say, I didn’t know what these were and had to look them up. I have no musical knowledge. None. Well, Whitesnake. I know Whitesnake. OF COURSE I DO.)

“Whoomp There it Is”
by Tag Team (really? That seems like…a bad band name choice)
Popular in: 1993

Sample bossy lyrics:

“Party people let me hear some noise”
“Jump, jump, rejoice”
“Wave your hands in the air/shake your derriere”
“Bring it back, y’all. Bring it back, y’all. Bring it back, y’all.”

I think you all know this song. I kind of knew this song. They are always playing this song when they want to indicate “THIS IS SET IN THE 90s” in movies. Also, Wikipedia tells me they play it at sporting events. I wouldn’t know about that. The last sporting event I attended was in 1992. I AM TOTALLY SERIOUS. Go, go, Shamrocks! (YES, my high school mascot was the Shamrocks. I don’t want to talk about it. I SAID I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. Yes. I realize that shamrocks don’t exactly strike fear into the heart of teams like “panthers” and “huskies” and what-have-you. IT WAS A SMALL SCHOOL LEAVE ME ALONE I DIDN’T PICK THE DUMB MASCOT.)

It’s so bossy, damn. It’s telling me to make NOISE and JUMP and REJOICE and WAVE MY HANDS and SHAKE MY DERRIERE (ugh, really? gross) and “bring it back, y’all” and I don’t even know what they want me to BRING back. What’s IT? What am I bringing back? Library books? An undercooked hamburger? This single, purchased by mistake?

Then THIS song happened. And if I thought the bossiness factor was high on the last song, well, HOLY HELL is this one worse.

“Let Me Clear My Throat”
by DJ Kool (ugh, there’s nothing “kool” about spelling “cool” like that)
Popular in: 1996

Sample bossy lyrics:

“Now when I say uh, you say ah Uh. And now when I say hey, you say ha Hey hey. Now when I say uh, you say ah Uh Uh. Now when I say hey you say ha Hey.  Now when I say freeze you just freeze one time. When I say freeze y’all stop on a dime. When I say freeze you just freeze one time. When I say freeze y’all stop on a dime. FREEZE. Now all the ladies in the place. If you got real hair, real fingernails. If you got a job, you going to school. And y’all need nobody to help you handle your business. Make some noise. One, two, three, come on now. When I say freeze you just freeze one time. When I say freeze y’all stop on a dime. When I say freeze you just freeze one time. When I say freeze y’all stop on a dime. FREEZE. Now to all the brothas in the place. That don’t give a damn about what them ladies talking about. Cuz you just trying to get chummy. Make some noise.”

WHAT THE HELL.

No, I’m totally serious. This is ALL ONE SECTION. I transcribed this directly from one of those shady lyrics sites online. It gave me a popup to go back to college so now I’m getting my degree as a vet tech. WHAT. It’s TOTALLY LEGIT. This song went on FOREVER on my radio, and I had never heard it before today (that’s because, in 1996, I was busy HAVING A LIFE and GRADUATING COLLEGE and GETTING DRUNK AND MAKING OUT WITH MEN THAT WERE BAD DECISIONS, thank you very much) and this whole SECTION was telling people what to do. And it was LIVE. So people were all “hoooo” and “yeahhhh” in the background and making some noise and it was ANNOYING ME.

Also, “freeze?” Really? Were people doing this in dance clubs or whatever? That seems foolish, right? People would bash into you and stuff and probably pickpocket you while you were frozen. Like GYPSIES. When I was in Italy, people warned me a gajillion times to watch out for the gypsy pickpockets. And listen, I didn’t even see a SINGLE gypsy. I felt gypped. Pun most definitely intended.

And let’s not even talk about the sentence structure up there, seriously. No, I’m serious, let’s not. It’s making my eyeballs bleed.

“Get chummy?” That’s what they were calling it in 1996? I wasn’t calling it “getting chummy.” I was calling it…well, getting drunk and making mistakes, honestly. But I guess that didn’t work with the totally boss rhyme structure, DID IT, DJ Kool.

Then I thought, you know what other song is all bossy? That TLC song “Waterfalls” that one friend of yours used to be obsessed with and listened to on repeat all the time and it was annoying.

But then I looked up the lyrics so I could show them to you and it’s not BOSSY. It’s WEIRD and DISTRESSING. Look. No, really! Look! I will SHOW you!

“Waterfalls”
by TLC (I can’t think of TLC without thinking of that VH1 Behind the Music about TLC where they were interviewing someone about how Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was a woman scorned and torched her ex’s house and the interviewee was all, “Lisa BURNED THE HOUSE DOWN” in this tone of awe that was HYSTERICAL and my friend and I used to say it ALL THE TIME in inappropriate situations.)

I'm not even making it up. Here's the mug shot. She totally BURNED THE HOUSE DOWN.

Popular in: 1995

Now, I thought this song was bossy because it was all “Don’t go chasing waterfalls” and I was GOING to make some humorous jokes about “well, what if I WANTED to chase waterfalls, TLC” but then I read the lyrics? And WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING IN THIS SONG.

Do you know what this song is about?

ME EITHER.

So it tells these two stories. The first is about a mother who can’t control her son and then he gets shot. I think. It’s kind of poorly written.

Then TLC tells me “don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.” So, are the waterfalls my DREAMS? Or are the waterfalls bad things, like drugs and street crime? If so, why are you calling them waterfalls, which are usually considered good things? This is kind of a mixed message, TLC. LISA BURNED THE HOUSE DOWN.

Then we get ANOTHER story, about how some guy is dying and some woman is to blame and “three letters took him to his final resting place” and I ASSUME those three letters are ESS EEE EXX but what killed him? AIDS? (Or, as my grandmother would say, “The AIDS?”) If so, wouldn’t that be four letters?

Then we get the warning about the waterfalls and the rivers and the lakes and the yadda yadda. I’m still confused. So now don’t go chasing whores, stick to nice girls, I guess? But again, if so, why are you comparing whores to waterfalls? Waterfalls are NICE. And CLEAN. Waterfalls don’t have VD.

Then there’s this INSANELY LONG RANT about rainbows and God and “tootin’ caine into your vein” (I’m not 100% sure the lyrics site spelled any of that right, what’s “caine?” Cocaine? I have NEVER heard cocaine called “caine” in my life. Honestly, the first thing I thought of? Michael Caine) and it is the WORST. It makes NO SENSE.

The best part of it:

“Dreams are hopeless aspirations
In hopes of comin’ true
Believe in yourself
The rest is up to me and you”

Dreams are “hopeless aspirations?” WHAT THE HELL, TLC. Are you trying to inspire people, or make them suicidal? I DO NOT GET THIS SONG AT ALL.

Also, “believe in yourself, the rest is up to me and you.” That doesn’t even make SENSE.

Then it’s more waterfalls and lakes and rivers.

This song won ALL THE AWARDS. Do you think no one was listening to the damn LYRICS? Were they too busy tootin’ caine into their veins?

This song, to me, is saying to not have dreams, because why bother? They are hopeless. But also don’t do drugs. Or have sex with whores. Or get shot in the street. Rainbows seem to be ok. Maybe. That’s a little up in the air. But rivers and lakes? Totally kosher.

I can’t even keep track of all these rules, seriously, I need a damn flowchart.

LISA BURNED THE HOUSE DOWN.

So, to sum up: songs that tell me what to do are not ok with me. Songs that make a suggestion: possibly ok, depending on how hectoring a tone they take with me. Songs that let me make up my own mind about how to go about my day: we’re cool, songs. We’re cool.

Happy Sunday, my little jellybabies.

(OH SNAP. I totally forgot my SIDE NOTE from up above! OK, here’s the scoop. I think the world would be a better place if, at some point, someone sat each and every human down – not ME, obviously, and not any of YOU, as you are all PERFECT and WONDROUS – and said, “Listen, you are an ADULT now. And as such? You need to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN SHIT. If you forget to fill your prescription and you realize it’s Saturday and the doctor’s office is closed? So sorry, Charlie. Plan better next time. If you have a colonoscopy on Monday morning and realize SATURDAY AFTERNOON you have no idea how you’re supposed to be prepping for that? Too bad. Play again another time. You lose this round. Plan ahead. It’s part of being an ADULT. In ADULT SOCIETY. If you need to make lists, write shit on a calendar, have pop-ups in your phone, whatever works for you – that’s fine! That’s not breaking any rules! But YOU ARE AN ADULT. And you are expected to behave as such. We are no longer going to pull your ass out of jams from now on. Pull up your big-boy and big-girl pants and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE.” Whoo. OK. Just needed to let off a little steam. Much like my disgusting microwave meal I had last night that had a little hole marked “STEAM VENT DO NOT GET TOO CLOSE.” YOU are my steam vent, my friends and readers and possibly enemies who are reading this to make sure I don’t excoriate you online. THANK YOU FOR BEING MY STEAM VENT.)


I Can’t Even Do a Year-End Best-Of Music Post Like a Normal Human: Day Three of Three

MERRY CHRISTMAS MOVIE HOUUUUUUSE!

Oh, sorry. Sorry. George Bailey slipped in there.

Merry Christmas, minions and minionettes! I hope you are having a wonderful day! Presents to your liking? Turkey appropriately turkey-like? Family not asking you every five minutes when you’re going to get married or telling you “you know, it is ok if you’re a lesbian, that Ellen DeGeneres seems really nice!” Oh, that’s just my family? Great, great, then, glad things are going so well for you!

Here are my top ten songs of the year! I hope you love them. I obviously do. Otherwise, I would not have picked them, now would I? ENJOY ENJOY! Have some nog or something!

10.    Losers – The Belle Brigade

Album: The Belle Brigade (2011)

I’m removing myself from the queue

I love this song so very much. Although, if you look at the words, you might think, “AMY! You cannot like this song! It is about NOT WINNING. It is about REMOVING YOURSELF FROM WINNING.” Yep. I know. I still love it. It’s beautiful and sad and haunting and also a little fun. It makes me melancholy happy. It’s my kind of song. ALSO THE VIDEO IS ABOUT RESCUING DOGS AND PLAYING WITH THEM YO.

9.      Little Lion Man – Mumford and Sons

Album: Sigh No More (2010)

I really fucked it up this time/Didn’t I, my dear?

I’m kind of predisposed to like pop songs with the word fuck in them. I’m not going to lie. But how can you not love this song? I like how it sounds like some sort of jolly Irish bar band and then you get this very plaintive “I really fucked it up this time, didn’t I, my dear?” in the chorus. I like to shout along with this song when I’m driving. Really loudly and obnoxiously. I’m really a hazard to myself and others, aren’t I?

8.      Raise Your Glass – Pink

Album: Greatest Hits…So Far!!! (2010)

We will never be never be anything but loud/and nitty gritty, dirty little freaks

Yes, yes, whatever, TEENY BOPPER MUSIC, and it was on GLEE, I KNOW THAT. It makes me happy. It makes me think of my friends and it makes me think of sad bullied children and I really like Pink because I think she’s kind of a badass but also someone I kind of totally would hang out with. And I’ll never be anything but loud. So this song was totally written for me. I shout AND car-dance when this song comes on. Total truth. I’m only a little embarrassed by that.

7.      Rolling in the Deep – Adele

Album: 21 (2011)

You’re gonna wish you never had met me

Oh, Adele. I know there’s this backlash that people are all “she’s not all that” and “she has a nice voice but her songs aren’t great” and I get it, I do. But I love Adele. With my whole heart. This was the first Adele song I heard, and the minute her voice kicked in I just sat back in my chair, floored. I have since purchased both of her albums and they are required road-trip music for me. I don’t care if the lyrics aren’t the best. That voice! That VOICE! My word! Also, have you seen her in interviews? She’s vulgar and adorable, you guys. I have a total girl-crush.

6.      Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes

Album: Helplessness Blues (2011)

Everything that I see/of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak

This song is gorgeous. Now, listen, I know I’ve said it over and over, but again, I know nothing about music? And I think Fleet Foxes might be another one of those hipster bands, I don’t know. But listen to this and tell me they don’t remind you of Simon and Garfunkel a little. Right? Or am I totally imagining things? I also like the “if I had an orchard I’d work til I’m sore” part. SO PRETTY.

5.      Polly – Amanda Palmer

Album: Newermind (2011)

It amazes me, the will of instinct

I don’t know if this is available anymore. It was a free download album of Nirvana covers from Spin magazine earlier in the year. This is one of Nirvana’s creepiest songs (it’s about the abduction, rape, and torture of a fourteen-year-old girl) and holy HELL does Amanda Palmer do it justice. This song will stay with you for days. It is HAUNTING. It is gorgeous and haunting and it’s like listening to a music box in hell. I’m serious. It will stay with you. I mean, listen to it, of course. But be prepared. (Also, that’s not a real video, because there isn’t a real video. Just close your eyes or something. It’ll be better.)

4.      I’ll Still Be a Geek After Nobody Thinks it’s Chic (The Nerd Anthem) –

Marian Call

Album: Got to Fly (2008)

The world is much too interesting to entertain ennui

OK, I fell in love with Marian Call this year. The same person who brought me Molly Lewis also brought me Marian Call. I know, right? Good taste in music, this guy. Anyway, this song makes me so happy, I can’t even describe. I blogged about my Marian Call love earlier in the year, but just listen to this and tell me it doesn’t make your heart sing. As a proud geek girl, it makes me happy and cheery and boppy. I adore her. I’m so glad she’s on my radar now.

3.      Someone Like You – Adele

Album: 21 (2011)

I remember you said, sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

Yep, Adele’s one of my “two songs in the top ten” people. This song crushes me. I heard this song the same day I saw a photo on Facebook of someone I used to love with his newborn son. In my head, it’s a song about him. Adele is singing this song for me, and that makes me cry. Every damn time I hear it. I love this so much. Again – I get it. I get that it’s a song about a woman who wants to find someone like the guy who hurt her and broke up with her and that’s stupid. Sure. You can see it that way. But I see it as a song about the guy who used to make me mac and cheese and read to me who got married to someone who isn’t me and is very happy now, with someone who isn’t me. So I love it beyond reason.

2.      It’s Good to Have Jayne on Your Side – Marian Call

Album: Got to Fly (2008)

He’s too proud to live/And too dumb to die/Lord knows how his momma she tried

And Marian Call is the other “gets two songs” person! Listen, if you thought I was leaving off the Jayne song, you are out of your mind. This song makes me happier than just about anything. I love this so much. I didn’t know it was on the album – I didn’t know the album existed! – and when I saw the title I said, “No, this won’t be about…” AND IT WAS. For a Browncoat like me, this makes me happy every time I listen. Which is constantly and constantly and constantly.

1.      Won’t Go Quietly – Company of Thieves

Album: Running from a Gamble (2011)

I will not go quiet! I will not stay silent!

And finally! After three days of getting music advice from someone who knows nothing about music, we get to number one! Are you so happy and/or so exhausted? Me too, little friends, me too. OK, listen. Company of Thieves is one of my favorite bands ever. My ex-roommate said, “Hey! Amy! Want to go to a concert?” and I was all “Meh.” But I went. AND THEY WERE SO GOOD. So I’ve gone to see them twice now. And will go (hopefully) again. They’re fun and full of energy and they love their fans and their music is beautiful. And they end their sets with this song. And this song will kill you. It’s strong and it’s sad and it’s brave and Genevieve gets tears in her eyes and her voice when she sings it. This has been my anthem for 2011, this song. I listen to it when I need a boost. Because, as you know, I will not go quiet, and I will not stay silent.

There you go! My top thirty you-should-listen-you-will-love songs for 2011! I hope you found something you love! Or were reintroduced to someone you used to love, because my list also has old songs on it because I’m doing it wrong! MERRY CHRISTMAS, you guys! Love you to pieces! Thank you for making my year so merry! You are all my present! I’d say all I want for Christmas is you, but that’s a lie, I also want a laptop and a man who’s capable of commitment! *SMOOCHES!*


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