Monday, April 4, 2011

Songs that completely transform your mood

Hello old friends! I'm not dead, I haven't been magicked into a ferret, and I'm not lost in Uganda! I am however, sitting in the dodgy Radford-city hookah bar sipping a black coffee and enjoying a white peach/tangerine hookah. It's been a few weeks since last we spoke. I wish I could say that i've been out flying dragons, pirating ships (not the Somalian kind though...those guys are douchy), or at the very least making home made beer. Sadly the only reason I havn't updated in a little while is because i'd previously been doing my blogs at work; and I came to the conclusion that that was probably a poor idea. And, this is the first chance i've had to get out of the apartment with a little free time (and extra $) and stroll down to the local Sheesha bar, to take advantage of their free wi-fi. I trust you will forgive me, and that you will delight in today's blog. A blog titled, "Songs to completely transform your mood." A.K.A. therapy songs to cheer you up when your life is in the shitter! Yay! 1. Blues Traveler--The Mountains Win Again Do you remeber the first Cd's you ever purchased? My first was, of course, "News of the World," by Queen. I was in sixth grade when that one came into my possession. "Four" by Blues Traveler, came to live with me shortly after. I bought it, originally, because i'd heard "Hook" on the radio and fell instantly in love. It wasn't until one afternoon while out walking my old dog Maggie though, that I had the opportunity to listen to the album in its entirety. Somewhere between Creek Branch Ct. and Cub Run Drive my ears first fell upon the beauty that is "The Mountains Win Again." It is...track five, if i'm not mistaken. The song starts out with John Poppers magnificent harmica ever so delicately bellowing these riffs that can only be described as blue-birds gliding through a damp summer evening. The song then continues to ease into an aura of well-being and general happiness that burns through any all bad feelings that may be dragging the listener down, and lifts them up and out of the body to elate the listener with memories of camping with your daddy when you were five, watching the sunrise in the Rockies when you were eighteen, and leaves you with a sense of provacative cheer. Have a listen. 2. Elton John---Tiny Dancer One word: COLLEGE ;) 3. Ben Folds---The Army I didn't discover that I was a big Ben Folds fan until a few years ago. There were tell tale signs all over the place that I should've been paying attention to...for example, he is good friends with Weird Al Yankovic, he is our generation's Billy Joel/Elton John (both of whom I adore), and most importantly, just the fact that he's a quirky, happy go lucky guy. One of my favorite memories of this song is from several years ago at a party that Dawn Graham and I threw at our house on Davis Street. I'd made several mixes for the party, one of them containing this song. When it came on everyone started geeking out...most notably Andy Reech and Brandon Daigle. There were dancing in my dining room. :) I think about that whenever i'm down. 4. Bruce Springsteen---Out in the Street This song is my life. It is the anthem of the working man. It illustrates that, Yeah; times are hard...but dammit he's gonna find a way to rock out and admire the beauty of life anyway. And, most importantly, he's gonna show his girl a good time. P.S. i've never seen Clarence "The Big Man" Clems frown 5. Everclear---I will buy you a new life Where your flowers can bloom.... 6. Alison Krauss--I'll fly away I often listen to this song on particularly difficult days at work--it helps to remind me that I won't live in Radford forever. I maintain that Radford is kind of a sad town; where good things tend to happen. 7. The Talking Heads---And she was Two stories about this song. Both true. One kinda funny, one kind sad. 1. I say David Byrne perfom in 2004 at my first Bonnaroo. He was one of the closing acts. Before going into "And she was," he gave a little monologue. It went something like this, "So this song...this song is about a girl I used to know; back in high school. Sometimes after school she and I would sneak out to the fields near where we lived. We would drop acid and lay in the grass and admire the clouds and the sky and dote on each other and how sweet life can be. This song is about that girl. This song is called And She Was." 2. My dog, Maggie, who I got when she was a puppy in 1995, passed away this month four years ago. Saying good bye to maggie was one of the hardest things i've ever done. I was home visiting my parents that weekend; and poor maggie was pitiful. She could barely walk; and I knew that it was going to be the last time I saw her. Before I hit the road to go back to radford I sat down on my parent's living room floor with her, and I kept her company for a little while both of us knowing that this was it. Dogs can't talk of course, and if they could they would probably say things like, "get off my biscuits honkie!" but when I looked into maggie's face that afternoon in April of 2007 I saw that her eyes were saying goodbye to me; and that hey...maybe we'd meet up again some day. We grew up together, and now it was her time to move on. I gave her one last pat on the head; and then promptly got into my truck to drive the four lonely hours back to Radford. I cried the whole way. After I got home I went straight to the backyard with my mixed cd and my headphones and sat in the grass to think about all the times we'd spent together. One of the songs that came on my cd was "And She Was" by the Talking Heads. Listening that, I felt a little better. A few days later I was on the phone with my mom and dad and they told me that Maggie had passed on. But no doubt, she was floatin' there above me, and she was. 8. Old Crow Medicine Show---Wagon wheel A song about a guy road-tripping just to see the love of his life and nothing else matters? Yeah...i'll take that. :) 9. Jimmy Buffett---Take another road I often espouse to profess my love for one particular buffett song as my favorite. This of course is complete bungle as there are so many....but damn...this one is WAY up there. "Sail upon the ocean, just like Mr. Twain." That says it all... 10. Dave Matthews Band--#41 Would you believe me if I told you I didn't listen to this song for the first time until just about a month ago? Well, friends and's true. :::hangs head in shame::: 11. M.C. Hammer---Do not pass me by AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW HAMMER DON'T HURT 'EM! HA! 12. Tori Amos---A thousand oceans First Tori song I ever heard was "Crucify." I thought it was weird and awesome. Second song I ever heard was "Winter." I thought it was sad and lovely. The third song I heard was "A Thousand Oceans." That's when I fell head over heals in love. I think it was sophomore year of college. I listened to this song at least three times a day for several months. In February of 2004 (I think) I saw Tori in concert with Rachel Frone, Bear, and Dawn Graham. I can't even begin to relate to you the feelings that began to swell (not just in myself, but in all four of us) when she unexpectedly began to play this incredible tune, half way through her set. 13. Jackie Wilson---Higher and Higher I dare you to listen to this, on a bad day, and tell me that you don't instantly feel better. 14. Damien Rice---Toffee Pop In a song library where most of Mr. Rice's tunes are remarkably dark, and brooding, and very much a musical "FUCK YOU" to a girl that clearly burned him, "Toffee Pop" stands out like a leperous thumb in the glee that it exudes. 15. The Beach Boys---Good Vibrations The first time I ever heard "Goob Vibrations" was when I was maybe...oh...I don't know...five years old? My mom called into the nationally syndicated radio program "Solid Gold Saturday Night" to request it. She got through. We still have the recording of her on the radio somewhere on an old cassette tape. It was history in the making. 16. Michael Jackson---Will You be There? So many Michael Jackson songs could have ended up on this list. Man in the mirror, I want you back, I'll be there...just to name a few. But this gem stands out. Nary a day goes by that I don't wonder what would've become of the King of Pop had he not overdosed on painkillers two years ago. I'm quite certain he would've encountered a come back. Did you know that during the Thriller years he recorded several songs with Freddie Mercury? It's true..and they are going to be released sometime this year. Don't believe me? Just ask Brian may. CAN'T. WAIT. Lordy he was prolific... 17. Bob Marley---One Love :) :) :) 18. David Bowie---Magic Dance (From the motion picture "The Labyrinth) My a nutshell. Damn you Jerith...and damn me too... 19. Simon and Garfunkel---the only living boy in new york I am the only living boy in radford town. Sometimes after a long day, I go down to the river and scream; with this song playing on repeat in my head. It scares the ducks away, but I always feel better. :) 20. Blues Traveler---Just Wait And so, we will begin and end with John Popper & Co. This song is also from the album "Four." "If ever you are feeling like your tired, and all your up hill struggles...are headed down hill. And if you realize your wildest dreams can't hurt you, and your appetite for pain, has drinken its fill...then I ask of you a very simple question, did you think for one minute, that you were alone? And is your suffering a privilage that you share only? Or did you think that everybody else, feels completely at home? Just wait...Cause if you think i've given up on you you're crazy. And if you think i don't love you, well then youre just wrong. In time you just might take to feeling better. Time is the beauty, of the road being long..." :::ENTER GLORIOUS GUITAR SOLO::: And now i'm going to take off my shoes, and walk around barefoot while listening to my new mix cd, entitled, "Spring 2011." I suggest you all do something similar, and go enjoy the sunshine. :)


  1. Two years ago, I remember listening to "Will You Be There" at like, 4 in the morning with you at my apartment in Wytheville. It was after we had played the Michael Jackson power hour, and that British guy "Chollie" was there..... man, we've lived through some interesting events!!!

  2. It should be illegal how underrated Blues Traveler is.

  3. RIGHT??? i finally, FINALLY, saw them last year at Bonnaroo. Sadly, it was just a quick 30 minute set. But, on the plus side I was smack dab in the mother-humping FRONT...approximately 8 feet away from John Popper. And that's when they did a cover of Sublime's "What I got" and I nearly died from a heart attack of awesome