Category Archives: songs

The Agony and The Ecstasy of Having a Very Popular Name, Part Two

Well, we learned a lot on Saturday.

  • I was supposed to be Amos. I would have been a hayseed with overalls, most likely. Driving a tractor.
  • There are a lot of songs with my name in the title; however, they are not all good. Or even slightly tolerable.
  • I like the name Ermentrude.
  • “Amy” is a very rah-rah-sis-boom-bah cheerleader name, and, as discussed, I am anything but rah-rah. I’m more growl-growl.

I meant to discuss what my CRITERIA were, in the last post, for what makes a very good Amy-song. But got distracted. Probably by that song where that guy said he was in a band, but it was just him, and he purported to have been making out with someone named Amy by the water but I think we can all agree no one ever made out with him willingly.

Criteria for a good Amy-song:

  • Catchy.
  • Extra points for it being romantic. (I’m a total sucker for sad songs.)
  • A song that, were someone to woo me with it, I would totally be wooed. TOTALLY be wooed. (Knowing an Amy-song is a total romantic coup with me.)
  • Says “Amy” not ONLY in the title, but in the lyrics as well.

Otherwise – well, it’s kind of nebulous. It’s tough to say what kind of song will work for me and what won’t.

So, let’s see what we have today! Ready for more Amy-songs? YAY! ME TOO!

“Amy’s Back in Austin” – Little Texas

This man has a most prodigious mullet.

This song is foolish, and I care not for it at all. It’s not good, and the story isn’t very interesting. A girl and a guy move away together but then they break up and she moves away and he misses her! Um. BORING.

Check out that mullet, though.

SIDE NOTE: I am quite desperate to visit Austin, Texas. I think Austin and I would get along very well.

Grade: C

“Amy’s Song” – Joshua Radin

(Side note: I have a huge crush on Joshua Radin. I love his voice and I think he’s utterly adorable. He was in the season finale of Cougar Town – YES, I watch that, SHUT UP, it is HILARIOUS – and he was just supposed to be some guy on the street, you weren’t supposed to RECOGNIZE him, and I was all “ZOMG JOSHUA RADIN!” and I played that part over and over about seven times.)

That being said, I don’t love this song. It’s only an Amy-song in the title, and it’s kind of annoying and a little whiny. That makes me sad. I had high hopes for this, being my man Joshua Radin and all. Sorry, Joshua Radin. I will, however, still listen to “You Got Growin’ Up to Do” over and over some days. It’s a thing I do.

Grade: B-

“Amie” – Pure Prairie League

(Side note: YOU ALL THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO LEAVE THIS ONE OFF! I was saving it for TODAY!)

This may well be my favorite Amy-song of all time. I discovered this on a road trip when I was in college. And I played it OVER AND OVER AND OVER. I love the twangy country of it; I love the repeated use of “Amie,” I love “I keep fallin’ in and out of love with you,” I love near the end where he sings “longer if I do, yeah, now.”

I have a friend who sings part of this to me whenever he sees me. A lot of people don’t like this person. I think possibly part of why I like him so much is that everytime I see him, I know he’s going to sing “I think I could stay with you, for a while, maybe longer if I do” to me.

I’m easily won over.

Grade: A+

“Amy’s Song” – Switchfoot

Oh, my goodness, this isn’t very good, is it? I don’t like these people’s voices and I don’t like the lyrics. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be saying. This Amy left and she left quite an impression? I guess? This is not a very good song. I’ve never heard of this band. Is anyone reading this a fan of this band? If so, can you explain to us why you’ve made this choice?

Grade: D

“Amy” – Paul Petersen

WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE. This is the kind of music a serial killer plays right before he slices your face into a permanent smile and dances around you wearing a kimono. This is…a song about a child in love with a grownup? Maybe? This singer seems to want Amy to go to jail for statutory rape. I DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS PAUL PETERSEN. Listen to how he moans “Amy” at the end. IT IS THE WORST.

(Also, check out his face on that album cover, and the titles of his other songs. “My Dad.” “She Can’t Find Her Keys.” I feel like he’s a joke singer on a Saturday Night Live skit.)

Grade: F

“Amie” – Damien Rice

(Side note: I am crazy for Damien Rice. CRAZY. I sometimes listen to his music on a continuous loop all day at work. Like, ALL DAY. If you want to woo me, play me Damien Rice. Sincerely. The love and pain and longing in this man’s voice just fills my whole chest up.)

I love this song. This is a beautiful, sad song. Like most Damien Rice songs, this is a love song where something is lost. I feel like all Damien Rice songs are about losing someone. When I’m sad over the end of something, I tend to listen to a LOT of Damien Rice. (Well, more than I usually do, which is a lot.) It’s not as good as some of his other songs – I can’t choose between “Rootless Tree,” “The Blower’s Daughter,” “Volcano,” and “9 Crimes” for my favorite Damien Rice song, because they’re all utterly the most brilliant things ever.

Grade: A

“Song for Amy” – Jack Ingram

This song is bland. If this song was a food, it would be cottage cheese. If this song was a weather, it would be sixty degrees. If this song was a television show, it would be a documentary about the production of cutlery.

Confession: I couldn’t even listen to all of this. It was putting me to sleep.

Grade: C-

“She’s No Amy” – Ryan Turner

I don’t like this very much, but it makes me sad. I feel bad for the not-Amy in this song. Because I’ve totally been the not-Amy, and I’ve been the person putting someone else through the not-Amy hoops, waiting for the Amy to come home.

Emotions are terrible things sometimes, aren’t they?

He has a nice enough voice, I suppose. And it’s not a TERRIBLE song. It’s just not the best written thing in the land. But whoo. Memories.

Grade: B-

“Amy” – Ryan Adams

(Side note: I adore Ryan Adams. He sings my favorite song of all time. There are a million billion songs in the world, and he sings the one I love most out of ALL of them. No, I can’t tell you what it is. It’s just for me. Also, he’s a talented singer and songwriter and gives an excellent concert and used to have just the best beard and you know my beard-thing.)

All of that being said, I don’t love this song. I think it’s because the BEST SONG IN THE WORLD has ruined all other Ryan Adams songs for me. This is ok, but I know he can do better, so I’m not blown away.

Grade: B+

“Once in Love with Amy” – Frank Sinatra

(Side note: A lot of other people have covered this over the years, too, but if there’s a version with my man Frank, we’re listening to it.)

This is my other favorite Amy-song. It makes me so happy. Even though it’s a little confusing. Because if you listen to the lyrics closely, it tells you all the things you can do with this Amy – kiss her and romance her and buy her things – but she’s still in love with the singer. So why is she letting these other beaus do these things with her? That seems whorey. Stop cheating on your singer, other-Amy.

Eh, no matter. I am in love with this. Sometimes I sing it to myself. Someday, someone will sing this to me, and I will be the happiest girl who ever happied.

Another side note: I found this one the YouTubes and couldn’t not post it. Because Muppets.

Grade: A+

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED TODAY, BLOGGONIANS?

  • Winning today’s post are “One in Love with Amy” by Frank Sinatra, “Amie” by Pure Prairie League, and “Amie” by Damien Rice. Two out of the three of those, I’m head-over-heels for. I’m better with today’s choices than yesterday’s.
  • Losing today’s post are “Amy’s Back in Austin” by A Country Singer with a Very Impressive Mullet; “Amy’s Song,” by Some Band I’d Have Been Happy to Never Have Heard of Had I Not Done This Post, and “Amy” by The Man Who Wrote and Performed Music for Only Serial Killers.
  • If you are planning on wooing me, I’d bookmark this post for future consideration.

There we have it! That’s a lot of Amy songs. Some might say TOO many. Not me. Because I’m self-centered, you see. (What? I’d think as long as you can admit it, it’s ok, right? Right.)

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The Agony and The Ecstasy of Having a Very Popular Name, Part One

I was born in the mid-seventies. In the mid-seventies, the most popular – the VERY most popular – girl’s name was Amy.

It’s not that my parents weren’t creative; it’s that they didn’t name me. They were SURE I would come out with boy-bits, so only picked out a boy-name. (I’ve talked about this before. It was “Amos.” Go to the search box at the bottom of the blog and search “Amos” and you’ll get the whole sordid story. YES, I was going to be AMOS. Gack.) So when I came out sporting lady-bits, they were stumped.

Enter an unnamed nurse who was all, “Um. Amy kind of sounds like Amos?” and my parents were all, “Yeah, whatever, I suppose.”

From such humble beginnings, blah blah.

I don’t like my name. I’m not an Amy. Amy denotes cheer and goodwill toward man and possibly good deeds and lunatic smiles and forgiving one’s transgressors. I’m a lot more little-black-raincloud than that. I’m something stompier than Amy. I don’t want a name that goes up at the end with that cheerful “eeee” sound. Amy is a cheerleading wisp of a name that no one takes seriously. I want something solid, like a brick hitting a table.

Does this person look like an Amy to you? I thought not.

Does this person look like an Amy to you? I thought not.

However, I’ve had this name for almost 40 years. It’s not like anyone’s going to be down with me changing it to Ermentrude or Theresa or Florence now, right? Right.

(Side note: I have no interest in any of those names, but I do like the sound of “Ermentrude.” Ermentrude would take care of BUSINESS, yo. She would STAND NO GUFF.)

There were a number of Amys in my school, and one in my graduating class. The one in my graduating class had a very similar LAST name as me, as well, so that made things confusing. Even more so when the man of my dreams (well, he was 15 at the time, so the teen of my dreams), I found out through the gossip-mill, was in love with Amy. I WAS AMY! My heart was so light for about two days. Until the gossip-mill (consisting of my friend T.) shamefacedly skulked back to me reporting that it was the OTHER Amy, who joked with me about it at our lockers a couple days later. “Isn’t that FUNNY that A. would have a crush on me? I am SO not interested,” she said. I wanted to bean her over her cheerful curly head with my largest textbook. HE WAS UTTER PERFECTION WHAT WAS WRONG WITH HER. (Up until I stumbled onto his Facebook page, I still thought he was. Then I realized…well, we’d make a terrible match. I’d go into more detail, but if someone who knows me reads this, and it gets back to him, I’d feel terrible. He seems like he’s turned into a very nice man, and I truly do wish him all the best, even if Amy=oil and Amy’s high-school crush=water. Very, very conservative Merkan-all-the-way water.)

However, I did learn, as I grew up, there were perks to having a popular name.

  • I never had problems finding things that were personalized at souvenir shops. Pencils. Keychains. Ornaments. There were always a million “Amy” items. (I have a lot of friends who can’t say the same thing, and it makes them sadface.)
  • People don’t mispronounce my name. (Well, my first name, anyway. Strangely, they mispronounce my last name, which is NOT A HARD NAME TO SAY. I don’t get it. They put a strange emphasis and an incorrect vowel pronunciation on the first syllable and it makes me want to stab kittens in the face-area.)
  • There are a kabillion songs championing my glorious name.

It’s true! I am so vain that I think the songs are about me. So I did some research, and I found A MULTITUDE of songs with Amy in the title, not just the four that I knew. I know! It’s exciting, right? It totally is.

So I thought, let’s listen to them and discuss and rate them, because FUN. And because I’m self-centered and like to hear my own name over and over, who doesn’t like that.

Ready? (This is totally a two-day post. I’m not making you listen to twenty-some songs in one day. Even I’M not that insane. Part two might be tomorrow, but might be Monday. I have to go to Massachusetts after work tonight and won’t be home until many people are tucked safe in their beddy-byes.)

LET’S DO THIS!

“Amy” – Bobby Darin

This song is already putting me to sleep. Why is this so easy-listening? Blergh.

What the hell, “lovely as indigo?” I realize you were trying to make a rhyme with “snow” but that’s just lazy. There are a million words that have that long “o” in them. Also, you only want her to love you for a day? Why are you selling yourself short, Bobby Darin?

I do not approve of this Amy-song. I do not think this puts Amys in a good light. Also, I don’t like being compared to a color that’s only used when remembering the ROY G BIV thing.

Grade: C-

“Amy” – Elton John

(Side note: I detest Elton John. Not as a human. I just don’t like his music. Well, I guess some of his songs are ok – but I don’t like his voice, so they’re ruined for me. But I like some covers of his songs.)

This song is kind of fun. I like this Amy. This Amy is wild and fancy-free. This Amy seems to be somewhat of a whore, as well. But she’s apparently very well-thought-of in the Elton John community, where they wear “romper boots and jeans.” Hee, romper boots.

This song also has an excellent line: “But Amy, you’re the girl that wrecks my dreams.”

I would very much like to be the girl that wrecks someone’s dreams. I’m good at wrecking things. Mostly fine china and potential.

Grade: B+

“Amy, Amy, Amy” – Amy Winehouse

(Side note: when Amy Winehouse died I was at my part-time job and Twitter told me and I was on a break so I came back in and told people and they were all “NO!” and I really was surprised they were so shocked. Then someone actually said, “RIP, AMY!” in like this totally affected way and rolled their eyes up to the heavens and pointed a little and I got the giggles. No, it doesn’t mean I’m heartless. It means I have a low tolerance for people who do things in order to get attention.)

This song may have Amy in the title but it’s not about Amy. It’s about Amy Winehouse being unable to write music because all she wants to do is hump someone wearing Diesel jeans. I don’t know if I know anyone who owns Diesel jeans. Those things are EXPENSIVE, yo. Also, a tad douchey. I think I might be more attracted to men in khakis. Does this mean I’m getting old?

Grade: C

“Amy’s in the Attic” – Insane Clown Posse

(Side note: I knew from the band name this wasn’t going to go well.)

I think I deserve a medal for listening to this shit. First, it’s like rap but scarier. What is this. sj, you’d know. What kind of scary musical genre would this be called? Clowncore or some such shit? (OMG SIDE NOTE. Per sj: “They call themselves horrorcore, but they’re just shitty white rock-rappers.” THAT MADE ME LAUGH SO HARD I ALMOST PEED. Also, “horrorcore?” Bah. Clowncore is better. Clowns DENOTE horror. And insanity. And hiding-in-your-closet-ready-to-eat-your-face. It’s really a portmanteau of a word.) Anyway, this song is about a little boy who murders a little girl named Amy by accident on the playground and then hides her in the attic so NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW but it’s eleven years later and he’s haunted by her and her mouth is filled with maggots. This is terrible. Who listens to this band. If any of you listen to this band I think you need therapy. I don’t think this is a valid life choice.

Grade: F (and don’t you dare watch that video)

“Amy in the White Coat” – Bright Eyes

This is very pretty and very depressing and I think it’s about a girl who’s being abused at home and no one understands her at school. I like Bright Eyes. It’s not a CHEERFUL Amy song and it’s not an Amy song I can RELATE to and it never says Amy in the LYRICS but it’s totally pretty and sounds like he’s singing it in an abandoned warehouse and it’s all echoey. I like this a lot, even though it doesn’t fit my Amy-song criteria.

Grade: A-

“Amy” – Green Day

(Side note: I have always liked Green Day, but since I saw American Idiot earlier this year I’ve been in love with them. I have high hopes for this.)

This is pretty. I like this a lot. Also, it has nice lyrics. “No one really knows about your soul/And I barely really know your name” and “Amy don’t you go/I want you around” are very nice. This is a very good Amy-song. This gets high Amy-song marks. It’s also a little sad, though. I think it’s about a lost girl. I can relate to the lost girls. So that makes it even better.

Grade: A

“Chasin’ Amy” – The Steve Helms Band

(Side note: This song came out in 2011. The MOVIE came out in 1997. THIS IS A VERY UNORIGINAL SONG TITLE. Also, is it really a “band” if there’s only one guy? Does he have multiple personality disorder or something?)

I can’t take this guy seriously. He looks like a bloated Cheech Marin. No one made out with you by the water, especially someone named Amy. Also, where are you having this concert, the break room of an insurance company? Do they even WANT you to be having that concert there?

Grade: F

“If U Seek Amy” – Britney Spears

(Side note: I was confused by the grammar of this song for quite some time.)

So this song, for those of you who are as out of the loop about things as I am, is a TRICKY PLAY ON WORDS! It says, “All of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek Amy” and if you’re a GROWNUP you might be all, “WTF? that doesn’t grammatically make sense” but then you’re supposed to say it SUPER-FAST and then the “if you seek Amy” part sounds like “F-U-C-K me” but really only if you have a speech impediment because no matter how I say it, it still sounds like “IF-U-C-K me” and that doesn’t make any sense.

Also, the song makes no sense. It’s about people looking for someone named Amy cause they LURVE her, but then there’s that grammatically weird tag line in the middle and the whole thing is ridiculous. I get that she was trying to be super-naughty but that’s no reason to write bad music.

Mostly what I got from this video is how pretty Britney Spears was before she had a break with reality. Also? I would totally dance around the house to this while cleaning.

Grade: B- (it’s got a good beat, shut up)

“Miami, My Amy” – Keith Whitley

Oh, well this is promising, look at that little play on words up there. Miami looks like My Amy!

No. No no no. This is awful and sounds like the music I grew up with because my parents loved 8-track country. Also, the song has the worst narrative. This guy falls for this chick and says “I love you!” and she says “go away and I’ll call you later” but she can’t even wait and calls him like immediately. Also, he sounds like easy-listening country threw up in his mouth.

Who the hell is Keith Whitley? I’ve never heard of this person. Look at his feathery hair.

Grade: F

“Saving Amy” – Brantley Gilbert

(Side note: Dad says never to trust a man with two first names. That is all.)

This is a Christian song. I was tricked into listening to this. I don’t feel this was a nice thing to do to me. Even worse: it’s not even terrible. This guy doesn’t have a bad voice. The song is pretty sappy-bad, though. And that’s saying a lot because I’m a total fan of sappy deathy country songs. (I am not a fan of Christian songs of trickery, though.)

Grade: D-

“Amy Hit the Atmosphere” – Counting Crows

(Side note: I still kind of like Counting Crows. Is that terrible? Shut up. “Anna Begins” is one of the most beautiful, saddest songs in the whole world.)

I don’t know what I think of this song. I feel like it’s being purposely vague, and I’m good at figuring shit out, usually. POETRY DEGREE, BABY. I’m meh on this song. I can take it or leave it. Sorry, Counting Crows.

Grade: B-

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED TODAY, BLOGGONIANS?

  • Winning today’s post are “Amy” by Elton John, “Amy in the White Coat” by Bright Eyes, and “Amy” by Green Day. (However, I’m not in love with any of them. They’re GOOD, but they’re not STELLAR.)
  • Losing today’s post are “Amy’s in the Attic” by Scary Clowns Trying to Rap, “Chasin’ Amy” by A Man Who Says He Has a Band But I Think It’s Just Him, and “Miami, My Amy” by Some Country Singer Who Apparently Died Young So I Feel Kind of Bad Mocking Him.
  • None of these songs would win me over if you sang them to me in a wooing fashion.

Stay tuned, interwebs! We have MORE AMY SONGS coming up tomorrow! TEN MORE! (Possibly even MORE if I stumble upon them in my travels!) If you mention Amy songs in the comments, I will neither confirm or deny if they will be included! Because that will be spoily!

Happy Saturday to you! May your days be both merry AND bright. And may you find a song written about you that does not include you being murdered, stuffed in an attic, and then haunting your killer with a mouth filled with maggots. *shudder*


My Annual End-of-Year Music Post, Which I Again Did Incorrectly (Part 3 of 3)

Well, here we are, my little end-of-year hooligans! It’s the last of these posts. For this year, anyway. Who knows what will happen next year? No one, is who. It’s a good bet I’ll continue to listen to terrible music, though. It’s what I do, you see. It’s what I’ve always done and I can’t imagine it will change in 2013.

In news of flu, I am still dying, but maybe not dying as much. My fever was up all night, but today it’s down, so maybe I’m on the mend?  I still feel like utter crap. I called out from work today, which makes me feel terrible. Saturdays are really busy and they need me there. But if I went in, I’d a., cough and cough whenever I tried to talk, and b., probably get my germs all over everyone I work with in time for then to get the death flu for Christmas. That’s not fair to them. This shit is INSIDIOUS-contagious, yo.

Today’s goal is to take a shower, put on clothes, and order Chinese food (because I’m really wanting the soup.) And maybe clean the house a little since Mom and Dad are coming tomorrow to bring me presents. We’re supposed to go to dinner, too, but baby steps, darling sunshines. I haven’t eaten anything but toast and sugar-free jam in two days. Oh, and fruit punch. And I had a popsicle yesterday.

Also, when you’re sick and you have a fever and chills, are you aware the best thing ever is a hot shower? Like the hottest shower ever? I stood in the shower the last couple of days and just MOANED with how GOOD it was. I seriously at one point said “this is better than the best sex EVER, sorry, sex.” I wanted to stay in there forever and ever. Until I felt like I was going to pass out because I’d been standing for too long. I realize I probably should take a bath but I hate baths like crazy. I don’t know if I’ve taken a bath in years.

So these are my top ten songs of the year. These are the songs that I’ve listened to over and over and over on YouTube; these are the songs that, when they come on the radio, I turn the volume way up and sing along loudly and off-key (because that is how I sing because I know no other way.) These are my best songs of 2012. Which I hope are not too embarrassing and you will not all hate too much.

Let’s get started, then, shall we? Sure we shall.

10. “Love Interruption” – Jack White (Blunderbuss, 2012)

I want love to/forget that you offended me/or how you have defended me/when everybody tore me down

I do love Jack White. He makes me smile. This is an awesome song. And it’s not just about squishy-squishy love-love – it can be about any kind of love. It’s about how love just punches you in the stomach. I adore that. Also, and not at all on-topic, the album title Blunderbuss makes me laugh, because I call Dumbcat a blunderbuss all the time. I know it’s actually a gun, don’t be silly. I just think it sounds like what he is. He blunders. So he’s my blunderbuss.

9. “Fuckin’ Perfect” – Pink (Greatest Hits…So Far! – 2010)

Pretty, pretty please/If you ever, ever feel/Like you’re nothing/You’re fucking perfect to me

This is my song for all my most loved people. I often think, if only the people I love could see themselves through my eyes, they would never get down on themselves again, you know? Yes, I know. I know, it’s stupidly optimistic and things are never this easy and blah blah blah. But I still love this and the point is still valid. Also the video made me cry.

8. “5 Years Time” – Noah and the Whale (Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down – 2007)

Oh in 5 years time I might not know you/In 5 years time we might not speak

This is via Andreas. Andreas sent me wonderful music this year and this song has been listened to so many times. It’s both happy and melancholy; quirky and adorable and intelligent. I love it so much. Thank you, Andreas, you are wonderful.

7. “Rootless Tree” – Damien Rice (9, 2006)

Let me out of this hell when you’re around

This is an sj song. When sj discovered we had a mutual love of Damien Rice, she asked if I’d heard this song; I hadn’t, so she promptly sent it over. (I know most people, when they like a singer, listen to everything that singer ever did. I don’t. I mostly just listen to the song I discovered that I liked over and over and over. In Damien Rice’s case, that’s 9 Crimes and The Blower’s Daughter.) I love Damien Rice because he’s got this huge well of emotion in his voice. You listen to him and your heart just aches. I love when there’s that much emotion in a song, emotion so deep that it transfers itself onto you.

Also, any song that screams “Fuck you” over and over and over will always and forever win with me, because sometimes I need to yell that. Sorry. It’s just a true thing.

6. “Keep Your Heart Young” – Brandi Carlile (Bear Creek, 2012)

Don’t go growin’ old before your time has come/You can’t take back what you have done

Told you you’d probably hear Brandi Carlile again. This one’s a lot happier than the last one. Still with that bittersweet tinge to it that she does so well, but it makes me smile. A lot. I plan on keeping my heart young for a good long time. I think it might be the key to all things, honestly.

5. “I Won’t Give Up” – Jason Mraz (Love is a Four Letter Word – 2012)

I’m giving you all my love/I’m still looking up

This is going to make Ken SO DISGUSTED, as Jason Mraz totally assaulted him (sort of) recently. And listen. I HATE JASON MRAZ. Hate hate HATE. I hate all of these hippie singers. I lump all of them together, the Dave Matthews/Jason Mraz/Jack Johnson type singers who are all “Duuuuude” and laid-back and they annoy the shit out of me. But I really, really, REALLY like this song. The first time I heard this song, I was all, “Who’s this? I like this song.” So I did my Shazam thing (best app ever), and saw it was Jason Mraz, and was SO DISGUSTED with myself. But then I heard it again a couple days later and I thought, “I still really like this song. Dammit.” Then I heard it a lot over the next few weeks and months and I still really liked it. So sometimes, even if the singer makes you want to stick hot needles in your eyes, they do something you really like. Sorry, Ken. Most abject apologies. This is just a really pretty song.

4. “Jolene” – The White Stripes (B-side of “Hello Operator” single – 2004)

Well, you could have your choice of men, but I could never love again/he’s the only one for me, Jolene

This is my other top-ten sj song. She and I were talking about “Jolene” and she mentioned that she loved the White Stripes cover version of the song. “There’s a White Stripes version?” I said. She sent me over a link. I immediately fell head-over-heels in love and have listened to it a billion times since.

The original has been one of my favorite songs since childhood; the cover is AMAZING. The original is sad and wistful, but the cover is really raw and emotional and painful and (sorry, Dolly) how the song SHOULD be sung, in my most humble opinion. The White Stripes KILL this one. When I was researching this (as a side note) there were people online who were all “I can’t believe Jack White didn’t change the gender of the lyrics, this makes him sound like he’s gay.” Way to miss the point, assholes. Also, if he changed the gender of the lyrics, wouldn’t he have to change the title of the song to “Joseph” or something? Stupid.

3. “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers (The Lumineers, 2012)

I belong with you; you belong with me; you’re my sweetheart

Ooh, look, The Lumineers are back. This is just a total joyous song. Joyous and fun and romantic and wonderful. It makes me so happy when it comes on the radio, I can’t even tell you.

2. “Somebody that I Used to Know” – Gotye featuring Kimbra (Making Mirrors, 2011)

But you didn’t have to cut me off/Make it like it never happened and that we were nothing

It made me laugh when this made it onto sj’s worst-of-2012 list, because I knew it was going to be in my top ten of the year. I ADORE this song. I’ve listened to this song over and over and over this year. I liked (shh, sj) the Glee cover they did this season. I loved seeing Gotye on Saturday Night Live. Did this song get overplayed? Yes, I guess it might have…but for those of us who loved it, we liked how much it was played. Also, it’s TRUE. The lyrics are true. I like that you get the male point of view, then the female point of view, on the breakdown of the relationship, and how they see it differently, because isn’t that always how it is? Also, both of their voices are amazing, and the video makes me smile. So, yeah. Love it.

(Also, the Walk off the Earth cover is worth a view, if only because it amazes me that they all use the same instrument. You’ve seen this, right? If not, check it out.)

1. “I Will Wait” – Mumford and Sons (Babel – 2012)

And I came home/Like a stone/And I fell heavy into your arms

And my best song of the year. I’ve listened to this song more this year than anything else all year long. I absolutely love it. Love more than I can even say. It’s gorgeous and it’s sad and it’s wistful and it’s joyous and it’s got everything I love in a song all rolled up into one. Over and over and over I’ve listened to this. It comes on the radio and I can’t turn it up soon enough and I sing along SO LOUDLY. Again, I’m well-aware people are all “Mumford and Sons are a stupid hipster band” but I don’t even care. Love them. So much.

There you go! Thanks for sticking with me for three full days of this! I hope I have not embarrassed any of you too badly. And if I did…well, love you to death, but I’m probably not going to become someone with good musical taste anytime soon. I like what I like. I’m lowbrow all the way.

Happy weekend, everyone!


My Annual End-of-Year Music Post, Which I Again Did Incorrectly (Part 2 of 3)

Here we are again!

I just want to say, I totally shouldn’t be blogging right now. I have been hit with the killer death-flu. I know I’m a total exaggerator, but in this case, I’m not even exaggerating. I have a fever that’s fluctuating between 100-102 degrees, every bit of me aches, EVERY LAST BIT, and I am having trouble breathing without coughing like an old person on their last legs. Last night I felt pretty bad, but I thought, nah, I’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep. Well, that was a lie. I couldn’t sleep more than an hour at a stretch without waking up coughing and/or in a puddle of sweat with the covers all tangly (DAMMIT COVERS!) and then I called out sick to work. I had every single intention of going but when I stood up in order to get ready, I almost passed out. I had to put my head between my knees and sit on the couch for a while to recover myself. This made Dumbcat pleased. “Mom mom moooooooom! What are we doing is it a gaaaaaame? Can I play can I can I can I?” he said in his inimitable cat-language. Then he leapt on my my back like he was a mountain goat and I was the mountain. That made me cough. Right now, everything makes me cough. Including breathing, walking, laughing, crying, and going to the bathroom.

Here are the middle-picks for my top thirty songs for the year – numbers 20-11. Both sj and Ken will be pleased today. Also probably horrified at times, but there are things here to make them pleased.

20. “Blue Skies for Everyone” – Bob Schneider  (Lonelyland, 2001)

Go to sleep, hit your head/Scream until your face is red/And you’ll find when you are done/Blue skies for everyone

This one’s all sj’s doing. See, sj sent me a Christmas present recently, which was a wonderful playlist with the best cover art ever? And this song was on it. And I fell in LOVE with it. Isn’t it fantastic? All moody but also kind of funny and super-intelligent? And I like how it’s bitter and twisted, but also optimistic. And she said that it was played in one of her favorite movies, Gun Shy, which I then watched and it was very good because she’s got excellent taste. So this video’s for you, sj – look! All the Gun Shy goodness! (Also, why didn’t you tell me how pretty Bob Schneider is? Good gracious!)

19. “We Are Young” – Fun featuring Janelle Monae (Some Nights, 2011)

So if by the time the bar closes/and you feel like falling down/I’ll carry you home tonight

This song makes me bop all around in my car. I think it’s for younger people but I don’t even care. It’s fun.

18.  “The Story” – Brandi Carlile (The Story, 2007)

And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed/They don’t know my head is a mess/No, they don’t know who I really am/And they don’t know what/I’ve been through like you do

I heard this song for the first time this year and then I bawled as if I’d lost my puppy. Then I came home and found it online and listened to it over and over and over and over. You really have to listen to it to get the full effect – she’s got this raw edge to her voice later in the song, like she’s about to lose it. It’s just gorgeous.

I like songs that I have a connection with and that remind me of someone. This one gets full marks for that. Also, Brandi Carlile is wonderful and, much like Ingrid Michaelson, I can’t guarantee you won’t see her on here again.

17. “Stubborn Love” – The Lumineers (The Lumineers, 2012)

It‘s better to feel pain, than nothing at all/The opposite of love‘s indifference

I discovered The Lumineers this year. I know, they’re probably a total hipster band. Don’t care. Love ’em. They’re joyous, but they also have excellent lyrics. I mean, “the opposite of love’s indifference?” It totally is. I love that. LOVE. I live my life not in fear of hatred, but indifference.

Also, The Lumineers came to play a free show here recently, and when people couldn’t get in because too many people showed up, they tried to play some songs in the parking lot and the cops came and make them stop. Way to go, cops.

16. “Essence” – Lucinda Williams (Essence, 2001)

I am waiting here for more/I am waiting by your door/I am waiting on your back steps 

This is the one that will make Ken happy. Ken says things like “I utterly cannot believe you don’t know who Lucinda Williams is” and then tells me songs I should listen to so I can be introduced to her. Because he’s very calm and patient, even though I imagine he’s probably shaking his head in disgust. Anyway, this year he introduced me to Lucinda Williams, and this song won. So pretty. So emotional. So raw. So, Ken, even if the rest of these make you disgusted, I know you’ll like this one.

15. “Mother of Pearl” – Nellie McKay (Obligatory Villagers, 2007)

Feminists don’t have a sense of humor/Feminists just want to be alone

This one’s courtesy of my beloved Mer. She posted it on my Facebook page this year and it made me laugh and grin and bop all around. It’s an adorable song about a serious topic and I love it so much. Also, Nellie McKay couldn’t be cuter.

14. “Oxford Comma” – Vampire Weekend (Vampire Weekend, 2008)

Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?/I’ve seen those English dramas, too, they’re cruel

I like that this is a grammar song, and it’s so damn catchy. Also it cusses. But for the record, I’d like to say that *I* give a fuck about the Oxford comma; very much so, Vampire Weekend. But I still love the song, so that’s ok, then.

13. “Friday I’m in Love” – Scars on 45 (Live only – 2012)

Monday you can fall apart; Tuesday, Wednesday, break my heart

Dirty secret: I love covers.

Discovering a gorgeous cover of a song is one of my favorite things in the world. I heard Scars on 45 live this year when they opened for Ingrid Michaelson and loved them; then my local indie station started playing this recently, and although I like the original just fine, this song is just so, so pretty. It’s not available on an album, and might not be – apparently getting the rights for it isn’t proving as easy as hoped – but I happen to know someone who can turn videos into MP3s for me. I KNOW ALL THE BEST PEOPLE. Who are slightly illegal. But only for the best reasons, you see. So now I can listen to this gorgeous cover and also put it on BFFs year-end CD, because that’s where it belongs.

12. “Keep On Loving You” – Zan Strumfeld (2012)

But when you find someone new, and maybe she’s already there/When you find someone new, please, please don’t share

This is another local singer. She seems to write for the paper, which is kind of awesome. Anyway, this was on the radio the other night on my drive home and I said, “OH I MUST FIND THIS AND LISTEN TO IT UNTIL MY EARS BLEED.” It’s another one you’ll have to click and listen to – no pretty video, sorry – but it’s so worth it. I have to stalk this chick and find her and listen to her live sometime this year. I like her that much. Enough that I want to go among PEOPLE to see her. I know!

11. “We Found Love” – Ingrid Michaelson (Online only, 2012)

We found love in a hopeless place

I think I mentioned this one when I talked about seeing Ingrid Michaelson. She closed her show with this, and I LOVED it. Then I was all, “I need to find this, what super-fun song.” Then I found out it was a Rihanna song. (I don’t listen to popular music. Like, ever. That Rihanna “Umbrella” song? I didn’t hear it for like a year after everyone was singing it. Which made my friends SO CONFUSED. And once I heard it I was all, “what’s the big deal about this song, it’s not even very GOOD.”) So I was a little embarrassed and said, “OH AMY” (I say that a lot) but it didn’t mean I didn’t still love the song.

And look! I found it online! And totally found a (shh) way to download a MP3 of it so I’m a little illegal but I still own it now! (I promise I pay for all my music, unless I can’t find it. If I can’t find it and pay for it I look for alternate means. But I promise I always at least ATTEMPT to pay. I’m honest to a fault, sadly. It makes my dad nuts, especially when it comes to tax returns.)

There you go, jellybeans! What will be on the top ten, I wonder? You’re all SO CURIOUS, aren’t you? Well, at least I know sj is. Since that’s her JOB here.

(Which is why I feel terrible I'm such a heathen, music-wise)...

(Which is why I feel terrible I’m such a heathen, music-wise)…

Stay tuned to see what songs were my FAVORITES this year! SO EXCITING ARGH!


My Annual End-of-Year Music Post, Which I Again Did Incorrectly (Part 1 of 3)

So, last year I did this, and I did it wrong.

Doing it again this year, and doing it again wrong. Don’t know any other way.

It’s the time of year for reflection and end-of-the-year best-ofs, and never let it be said I don’t jump off the cliffs with the rest of the lemmings, no no not me! It’s also the time of year I gather up all the various pieces of paper where I’ve written the names of all the songs I’ve loved this year, hit iTunes, download them all, and make many CDs for BFF, who looks forward to such things every year. (I also burn copies for myself so I can listen to them in the car all year long. I just listened to one of last year’s the other day and still rocked out. I have them going back four or five years, I think. They make me happy and they are excellent road-trip music.)

But, before you start reading my picks and wondering what the hell is wrong with me, you need an explanation.

  • I listen to terrible music.
  • I have very bad TASTE in music.
  • Probably you’re not going to like most of these.
  • Some of them are kind of embarrassing.
  • I think you’re supposed to narrow your picks down to your top 10 or something but I’m not at all capable of that.
  • I also think you’re supposed to only put on songs that came out in 2012 but I put on any song that I loved that I heard for the first time in 2012. This made me have to leave off one song that I love very much and that I’ve been listening to a lot over the last month, but I’d heard it before and that broke the rules. I’m really quite a rules-stickler. Especially when I make the rules.

The worst part of this is that I have two very close friends who are VERY GOOD at music and take it VERY SERIOUSLY. Why they still choose to spend any amount of time with me, I have no idea. So, in advance, Ken and sj, I send you all the apologies. There are going to be songs on here that make you put your hand over your mouth and make your eyes all wide and shake your head and say “no no oh Amy no no.” HOWEVER! There is at LEAST one song that will make you happy, Ken, and at least…I think…three?…songs that will make you happy, sj, because you introduced me to them this year, because you are both individuals of very good taste. You’ve both been excellent musical influences and I thank you kindly.

And now…without further ado…numbers 30-21. (If you’ve been paying attention, that means tomorrow you get numbers 20-11 and Saturday you get numbers 10-1. I know! I can totally count.)

30. “Bottom of the River” – Delta Rae (Carry the Fire, 2012)

Hold my hand/Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the river

I like how old-timey this song sounds, plus I like the lead singer’s voice. She can belt, yo.

29. “Dizz Knee Land” – Dada (Puzzle, 1992)

I just robbed a grocery store/I’m going to dizz knee land

Sometimes I like songs that make me grin. Not usually; as you will soon be able to tell, I like the sad songs the most. A sad love song is my kryptonite. But sometimes I like to grin at a smart turn-of-phrase and a song that makes me laugh, and this song is one of those. Also, in 1992 I was starting college so that explains why I didn’t know about this until now. I went the longest time without paying attention to anything but parties and boys wearing flannel.

28. “Foolish Girl” – MaryLeigh & the Fauves (The Docks, 2011)

I’m a foolish girl for falling for a broken soul/Ravaged by a woman who stole his heart for her own

Sorry, you don’t get a pretty video for this one; it’s a local group and I heard them on the channel that plays the local music around here and fell in love with this song. So you have to be all old-school and click on the link and click on ANOTHER link and you don’t even get to see pretty PICTURES when you’re listening to it. It’s worth it, though. I promise. She has this pretty, clear, ethereal voice. I think you’ll like it.

27. “Home” – Phillip Phillips (The World from the Side of the Moon, 2012)

The trouble it might drag you down/If you get lost, you can always be found

Shush. I DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS FROM AMERICAN IDOL, OK? I just heard the song on the radio and I like the part where the music swells and he’s all “settle down, it’ll all be clear” and he has a nice voice and I like the lyrics. I like the idea of home. I like to think about it. I like to think about what it means, what it means not only to me, but to others; I like to think about what it’s meant to me at different points in my life. Then I was researching this post and found out he was an American Idol winner and I was not the most proud of myself. But listen, Kelly Clarkson was an American Idol winner, and I love the hell out of her, so I guess sometimes it works out alright.

26. “I Could Be a King” – The Dunwells (Blind Sighted Faith, 2011)

I could be a king/I could be anything I want/I could be a poem/I could be some writing on the wall

I like this song because it’s joyous, but I also like the message. It’s optimistic and it’s also joyous. I’m not always doom and gloom. Sometimes I like a healthy dose of optimism. I know, try to control your shock and awe.

25. “Watching You Watch Him” – Eric Hutchinson (Moving Up, Living Down – 2012)

But I’m a window pane/A phantom limb/When I am watching you watch him

I like songs about yearning. It’s a thing with me. This is a very good yearning song. But it’s not total sap; it’s actually kind of fun and a little boppy. But with a sad, yearning message. So it doesn’t rip your heart out TOO much. Also, I like this guy’s nose. I do so have a thing for a guy with a good nose.

24. “Turn to Stone” – Ingrid Michaelson (Everybody, 2009)

And maybe we won’t feel so alone/Before we turn to stone

I saw Ingrid Michaelson this year and fell even deeper in love with her than I already was. She’s fantastic. I can’t say enough good things. She’s fun and she has an amazing voice and she writes kickass songs that make you smile and sometimes make you weep (this is one of the sadder ones) and I’ve been listening to her a lot this year. I can’t guarantee she’s not going to pop up again on this list later on. No, I cannot guarantee that at all.

23. “Someone to Love” – Fountains of Wayne (Traffic and Weather, 2007)

Don’t give out/Don’t give up/One of these nights/You might find someone to love

Honestly? I totally like this song because it says “Schenectady” in it. How can you not like a song that says “Schenectady” in it? The answer is, you cannot HELP but love such a song, especially if you live right NEAR Schenectady. (Plus I strangely love this band. They remind me of bros, but I think they’re fun and kind of weird.)

22. “(I’d Go the) Whole Wide World” – Wreckless Eric (A Bunch of Stiff Records, 1977)

I’d go the whole wide world/Just to find her

This one’s roundabout credit to Andreas. He told me this year I should find and watch Stranger Than Fiction, which I did (and I loved.) If  you’ve seen the movie, you know this is the song that Will Ferrell uses to eventually court (and win) Maggie Gyllenhaal. (If not, I just spoiled you. Sorry. See it anyway, if only to understand what “I brought you some flours” means.) I totally fell in love with this song and had no idea it was from when I was a wee, wee Amy, and before there was even an Amy’s brother. Oh, well. According to my rules, it can still go on the list. That’s why my rules are very GOOD rules.

21. “Flathead” – The Fratellis (Costello Music, 2007)

They don’t come much more sick than you/I could go on if you want me to

This one is loud and fun and makes me bop around. Listen, after all that sadness, sometimes I need to bop around, can you even blame me? No you cannot.

THERE YOU GO MY LITTLE SONGBIRDS! Tomorrow, ten MORE. Oh, what a wondrous time of year, where everyone thinks they are a critic. (For the record, I don’t think I’m a critic. I just thought it would be fun in a terrible way to tell you what I’ve been obsessed with this year. And I promise…they get better from here.)


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