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Blog — "music monday"

Monday Music Gloom

Heidi Shenk "missy higgins" "music monday" "music"

Today is one of those days. I need music to fit the mood. And the mood? Gloomy. It's March and it is currently 37 degrees outside. I don't know what city I'm living it, but it's not Baltimore. Because Baltimore would be 60 degrees right now.

I tried to play music in my classroom this morning and failed miserably. Everything that I put on was just too much. Overbearing. I just couldn't make a choice that was smart. I started with Gary Clark, Jr. which was a poor choice. It was raucous and loud and made me want to grit my teeth in my half awake stupor. I also had this strange notion to play Justin Timberlake's new single Suit and Tie. I don't even freakin' like Justin Timberlake, nor do I especially like the song. I completely blame SNL for putting that song in my head because it has not come loose from my brain for the past two weeks. Curses. And lastly I tried U2's Joshua Tree. It just was not working.

Then I stumbled upon one of my old Aussie favorites, Missy Higgins. And I suddenly remembered she had a new album out last July that I still hadn't gotten around to adding to my iPod. Downloaded. Boom. It was perfection and this song was just what I needed to break through the fogginess and cold of the day.

Do you have music that helps you get through a gloomy and cold day? Are you experiencing colder than normal temps in your neck of the woods?

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Talkin' 'Bout My Generation

Heidi Shenk "music monday" "music" "Red Hot Chili Peppers"

I generally don't delve into mainstream music a whole lot. There's a reason for it-- a lot of it is pretty crappy. I think about what comes on the Top 40 radio stations these days and it makes me wonder what happened to good music. The good news is that there are still radio stations out there that care about playing stuff that's quality music. I fight this battle on a nearly day to day basis with my students. I try to tell them that actually the music they listen to is bad quality and just because it's popular doesn't mean it's good. Some get it, but the majority never will.

Yet here I am, talking about mainstream music. Not to say that all mainstream music is bad. It's not. You have to be a good enough critic to pick and choose-- you have to be a music nerd. Yes. I am a music nerd. I can't listen to a song without noticing all of that music theory mumbo jumbo-- you know like chord progressions, key changes, changes in time? No? You don't know what I'm talking about? Ok. That's cool. I'm used to that.

So let's talk about something that we all know a little about-- the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now I'm talkin' 'bout my generation! (Can't you tell I'm a Who fan too). I'm sorry, but if you want to ask any late twenty-something, this band defines our generation. Maybe Foo Fighters too, but I was born and bred with this band. Me-- born in 1983. RHCP-- born in 1984. Me-- 27 years old. RHCP-- 26 years old. See? We could practically be best friends, or dating (not that I'd want to get into that scene with a bunch of guys that like to play naked on stage except for a sock, you know, in the right area). But let's just say, we've been through a lot, RHCP and me.

Here's a little trip down memory lane.

1984 - True Men Don't Kill Coyotes
1985 - Yertle the Turtle
1987 - Me & My Friends
1989 - Good Time Boys
1991 - My Lovely Man
1995 - One Big Mob
1999 - Around the World
2002 - Minor Thing
2006 - Charlie
2006 - Storm In a Teacup
I get to choose 2 from Stadium Arcadium since it's basically 2 albums. :)
And now why, friends, do I get to go all RHCP crazy today? Because their new single, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie is out today. I've been patiently waiting for the RHCP saga to continue, but it continues without John Frusciante. Hmmm... he brought the funk. But there was something to say for Dave Navarro during One Hot Minute. Plus, dig a little deeper, pre Mother's Milk and you can't complain about Hillel Slovak either. We shall see on August 30th when the rest of the album comes out. Until then, there will be a Chili Peppers loop going on my iTunes.

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