Random Thoughts: Movies with great soundtracks

Great movie soundtracksI love movies. My husband is a music geek. There is a time when the two of these intersect in a movie. The other day I was thinking about the movies that have great soundtracks. Here is a list of my favorites in no particular order:

Great movie soundtracks #1 – Blues Brothers

Honestly, watch this movie simply for the music greats in it as well as the soundtrack. Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, and Cab Calloway all make appearances. The movie itself has some great one liners too. “We’re on a mission from God.”

Great movie soundtracks #2 – Back to the Future

This is one of my favorite movies regardless of the soundtrack, but it also features songs by Huey Lewis & The News. Did I mention we played Power of Love as the “I now introduce the new couple” song?

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One thing I love about being a Gen-Xer: MTV Generation


One of the best things about my generation is MTV. Remember when MTV played videos?  I think I started watching MTV in 1983…could have been 1982, but it’s a little fuzzy now.  I was probably 8 or 9 years old when I saw my first video.  Not sure what it was, but I distinctly remember when Van Halen’s Jump premiered on the channel.

Back then, it was awesome. There were no commercials. There were no reality shows. It was like watching a radio station. Some VJ would talk about random music news and then introduce a video.  The introduction was pointless because the information was always in the bottom left hand corner.

It was a great way for bands to promote their songs/albums.  I can’t tell you how many tapes I bought after watching the video.

Slowly, but surely, shows made their way into MTV’s programming.  They were all music video based. There was Heavy Metal Mania/Headbangers Ball, 120 Minutes, Yo! MTV Raps, and the ever annoying Club MTV.

While I thoroughly enjoyed it, Remote Control was the death knell of MTV as we knew it.  It was the first non-video show, at least that I remembered.  Soon after more non-video programming found its way into MTV’s daily schedule.

Sadly, now MTV is a shell of its former self.  Last time I checked the guide on the satellite, it was all reality TV all the time.

Even before the internet was a big thing, MTV had almost completely stopped showing music videos.  Now I’m guessing the kids get their music videos on the You Tube.

It’s good and it’s kinda sad.  It used to be a big deal to see your favorite band’s video.  You never really knew when it was coming on and if you were lucky, you had a tape ready in the VCR to record it.  Kids today get things on demand.

One good thing about today is that local bands can produce their own videos and get them on the internet with relative ease.  Of course, I have no idea how one might find those videos, but then again I’m a Gen-Xer who is probably considered an old fogey by now…but I still enjoy the blazing sound of a well played guitar.

You can get a glimpse into MTV’s past by watching Totally 80s on VH1Classic. I get that same thrill of seeing a favorite video or sometimes a video I’ve never seen before for a song I enjoy.  Sometimes you’ll even get the unedited, long form version which is like a mini-short movie.

What was one of your favorite videos?

Top 10 Christmas Songs

While I am currently filled with the holiday spirit, I do not listen to Christmas music on a non-stop loop.  I only listen to it when doing holiday oriented activities like wrapping gifts or baking cookies.  Sometimes when my family sits down to play cards, we will have it on in the background.  OK, I admit to listing to a few carols at work.  I needed something to change my mood or get me through a boring task.

Which leads me to ask, what are your favorite Christmas songs?  According to my iTunes play list, these are the following songs I listen to the most and are probably my favorite:

Holiday Playlist

  1. All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey – Yes, I know.  It’s a guilty pleasure.  What can I say?  I love that cheeseball song.
  2. Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry – I always want to call this Run, Run Rudolph because that’s how the song goes.  Either way, it doesn’t really sound like a Christmas song, but I enjoy the 50’s early rock ‘n roll vibe.
  3. The Merriest by June Christy – Whenever I hear this song, I instantly crave a martini.  It makes me want to put on a fancy party dress and walk around with a drink in my hand like some swanky adult.
  4. The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole – How can you not love Nat King Cole?  His voice is just wonderful.  It’s just not Christmas until I hear this song.
  5. The Christmas Song by Vince Guaraldi – I pretty much like every song on this soundtrack.  I’m actually surprised that O Tannenbaum didn’t rank higher.  It’s the best part of the show when that song is playing, “It’s not such a bad little tree after all…”
  6. Merry Christmas, Baby by Bonnie Raitt & Charles Brown – I seem to have this thing for the blues, especially when it comes to Christmas music. Again, how another Charles Brown song, Please Come Home for Christmas, didn’t rank higher surprises me.
  7. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee – This is a classic.  I mean I remember being a kid and hearing this song and just loving it.  So how do you dance merrily in the new old-fashioned way?
  8. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – This song never actually refers to Christmas in anyway, but it does mention December so I guess that’s close.  Either way, it falls into the martini category again and how can you not like either of these two artists?
  9. Happy Holiday by Peggy Lee – Why my iTunes says various artists instead of Peggy Lee baffles me.  This song makes me want to drink a hot toddy in a lodge while watching fools go skiing.  It’s all about the lodge.
  10. Baby It’s Cold Outside by Dean Martin – Have you noticed a pattern to my music choices?  I seem to enjoy music from another era, with the Mariah Carey exception.  This is another classic that requires a martini in my hand while I stare at the Christmas tree and wonder what it will be like to see snow again.

Random Thoughts on the 12 Days of Christmas

Christmas TreeHave you ever really paid attention to that song?  It has a ton of birds in it.  I did the math and if you count getting each get on each day, not just one new gift a day, that’s 184 birds.

I guess that begs the question, does the true love give just one new gift each day or is it 1 gift then 2 gifts, then 3 gifts, etc? That’s what I always thought since that’s how the song goes, but most people probably just assumed it was one gift per day that got more and more insane.

I personally prefer the Bob & Doug McKenzie version of the 12 Days of Christmas.  “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a beer.” Beer is way more useful than a partridge in a tree or not.

Then I began to wonder what really are the 12 Days of Christmas.  OK, Bob and Doug sort of asked it, but back then they didn’t have Google and Wikipedia, so I found out that it actually started on Christmas Day and went for 12 days after that.  Unless you look at the Shakespeare play entry and then Twelfth Night was in February.  Confused?  So am I.

All I know is that I don’t want that many (or any) birds for Christmas.

What do you like?

I love music. I’m pretty sure most people do too. What I cannot understand is why an adult would make fun of the music someone else likes. Sure as kids we made fun of those who liked “lame” bands, but that’s just because we were afraid someone would find out about the lame bands we liked.

But, we are grown up. Do you want someone making fun of you because of your taste in music? So what if the music you listen to sounds more like machinery noise to me. If you enjoy it, that’s all that matters. I like the Spice Girls, New Kids on the Block and quite a bit of disco. Yes, I heard one of you groan.

Of course, this is not the breadth & width of my music taste. I also enjoy Motown, classic rock, classical, and stuff with a hint of accordion, among others. The thing is, it doesn’t matter. If you like what I like, great! We can bond over it. If you don’t, no big deal. I won’t force you to listen to it. That’s why someone invented headphones.

There will always be some band that people will deride other people for being fans of said band. Time passes and society moves on to making fun of the next easy target that fits into a punch line. I’m sure folks in the 1890s made fun of people who liked dixieland instead of ragtime. Polite people know how to deal with a musical taste mismatch. Just be honest. Don’t put someone down because they like music you think sounds like a video game soundtrack or isn’t your definition of hip. Do the kids today still say hip?

In junior high, I remember being afraid to tell anyone what music I liked because I just knew they’d make fun of me. Now I don’t care. I like what I like. Don’t be embarrassed to admit that you are a fan of something or someone. You might as well enjoy what you can while you can instead of worrying about what other people might think. A wise person once said that what other people think of me is none of my business. It’s very true. Make yourself happy. Forget trying to fit in.

Twitter: Why it’s so awesome

On Monday, December 17, 2007, I did something that would greatly affect my life.  Or is that effect my life?  Grammar mind fart aside, that’s the day I signed up for Twitter.  Back then, it was just another thing I did because I was intrigued and curious.  I saw it mentioned in an email from ezinearticles.com.  It would take me quite a few months before I realized the full potential of this new social media thing.

Have I talked about this before?  Probably.  Regardless over the course of those 4 years, really in the last 2, I have met (yes, in real life) some great people and made some new friends.  Heck, I’m writing this post from my new home that I share with a gal I met through Twitter.

Last night I had another fabulous Twitter experience. Look at this screen shot:

Pardon my geek out, but Mark McGrath replied to my tweet about him!  OH MY GOD!! Could he get any cooler?!? I didn’t write it with the intent of him even reading it.  I figure most famous people have their people tweet for them.

Damn. Has it really been 4 years?  I still remember reading that article like it was yesterday.  I guess I was doing the right thing when I signed up for Twitter. Isn’t it funny how a seemingly trivial act can greatly influence our lives?

Plus, you gotta love how much just mentioning Fabio has affected my writing.  I cannot tell you how many people have found my blog by searching for him.

Online Dating Chronicles: Low Maintenance Lisa

A text a dayBecause I think I’m low maintenance, I’m probably not. But, one unsolicited text a day makes me very happy. Replies don’t count…well, they do, but the unexpected random text of song lyrics always makes me smile…laugh even.  It’s like a flirty version of Name That Tune. OK, maybe not, but it’s fun regardless.

Of course, woman cannot live on digital attention alone. It does help bridge the gap until such time as a certain man makes an appearance in real life. I really hope he shows up. I’m probably jinxing the whole thing by talking about it even in vague terms, but it’s nice to have something exciting to look forward to even if it probably is foolish.

Another thing that makes me low maintenance? I don’t NEED to see a guy I’m dating or in a relationship with every single day.  Sure, it would be nice, but I can manage if it doesn’t fit into our schedules.  I have friends with whom I happy hour regularly and then there’s my writing.  I have to be alone to do that and I must do it.  I suppose I’m a well adjusted adult or something.  I’ll keep telling myself that.

In the day and age of instant digital communication, it seems to me that relationships can be built and maintained at a distance.  Men used to go off to war or journey to the farthest reaches of the country to obtain their fortune.  They would send letters to their sweethearts in an effort to maintain the relationship.  Why should the Internet be any different?

Although, as a friend of mine said, if you do date someone in another state, at some point the two of you have to figure out whether or not someone is going to move.  That’s a while down the road, so I’m not going to worry about it.  I know I’m adventurous.  I come from pioneer and conquistador stock.  It’s in my genes to move around this country.  Although, I’m hard pressed to leave California.  I love it so dearly.