Saturday, February 19, 2011

Who Are You When I'm Not Looking, Joe v/s Blake

The other day I was listening to the radio and "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking" came on. I sang along, not giving it much thought. Then it came on again, and I scratched my head. Waaait a minute, who is singing this? This isn't Joe Nichols, it's Blake Shelton!

Compare and contrast. I'm putting both versions of "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking" up here. Please listen with eyes closed, so you aren't swayed by Blake Shelton's professional video, or by the unprofessional but well intended fan tribute video for Joe Nichols. Side by side, which version do you like better? Please let me know.

Joe Nichols
Blake Shelton

 Wow. They are really similar. Joe Nichols has a deeper and sleepier voice. Blake Shelton's version is slightly livelier, but even he sounds like just woke up from a nap.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Land is My Land!

At the bottom of the page, I will collect links to local stories about Home Owners Associations making people unhappy.

Friends of mine are being harassed by their Home Owners Association and are very upset about it. In response, I did something I haven't done in a while. I made a mixCD for them.

I think Home Owners Associations are overstepping when they do anything more than maintain common areas, host neighborhood events, and help organize to care for a neighbor in need. This is America, and for all of our talk about freedom we should stay out of our neighbors' business when they are neither breaking the law nor harming man or beast. If a neighbor wants to paint his house pink, create a cactus and rock garden, and fly the flags of their ancestral roots from the rooftop, they should be allowed to do that. If you don't like it, build a privacy fence or plant some conifers to block the view.

Here's the playlist I created. I had help coming up with appropriate songs from folks on Twitter. If you feel like your neighbors are picking on you, I hope these songs help raise your spirits.

1. The CD starts with the Bill Noonan Band's "Get Off of My Land"

2. I asked the singer Uncle Kracker, who appeared to be in the mood to tweet, if he had any suggestions. He came up with Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It"   

3. The next suggestion came from Jenn of Lovin' Lyrics Music Promotions.  "This Land is Your Land." I chose the Woody Guthrie version of the song, of course.

4. If your neighbors are giving you a hard time, change the ringtone for the HOA president to Jaron and the Long Road to Love's "Pray for You." You've got to pray for your enemies, too.


5. Lucas Hare, a British actor, suggested Ronnie and the Delinquent's, "Bad Neighborhood". I can't find a video or audio clip, but it goes "Well there ain't no good, in a Bad Neighborhood". I had never heard this song before an thought it was a great suggestion.

6. Next up is Lonestar's "From my Front Porch Looking In". Ignore the crazy neighbors and take stock of what's really important.

7. To add a little humor I added the story of every HOA's nightmare, Confederate Railroad's "White Trash with Money". This is not the original Confederate Railroad version that I put on the CD. This is a new version. The singer in this video, Cody McCarver, is a newer member of Confederate Railroad but this version of the song is something he's recorded as a solo artist. (click for more Wikipedia insight.)

8. A great song about fighting for one's freedom is The Red Hot Chili Peppers "Fight Like a Brave". Fight like a brave. Don't be a slave. No one can tell you, you've got to be afraid!

9. Baron Lane, writer of the excellent blog, Twang Nation, suggested Merle Haggard's "The Fighting Side of Me". Petty neighborhood regulations are a threat to the American way of life, dangit!

10. Along the same theme, but to a different tune, is Metallica's "Don't Tread on Me". You don't have to be a Tea Party member to fly that flag. I try to avoid putting fan-made tribute videos up on this blog, but this one is an admirable attempt and there doesn't appear to a better choice out there.

11. American Vesper is a song on my highschool friend Charles Danek's new CD, Coin.  It's a much more relaxing song about standing one's ground.

12. And last but not least, The Soggy Bottom Boys "I am a Man of Constant Sorrow." If your dispute with your HOA seems endless perhaps this song is what you really need. "For six long years I've been in trouble/No pleasures here on earth I found/For in this world I'm bound to ramble/I have no friends to help me now." This song was recommended  by Charlie Ervin, a Civil Engineer and Bluegrass musician.


And here are links to stories about HOAs making people unhappy. Shame!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

If We Celebrated Valentines Day, This Bed's Too Big

"Baby this bed's too big/ We don't need all this room/ I like you nice and close/ cause heaven knows/ morning comes too soon." ~Joe Nichols, Written by Victoria Shaw and Gary Burr

We don't celebrate Valentines Day in our house. I've always disliked the Hallmark holiday and being happily married hasn't changed that.

If we did celebrate Valentines Day, rented a log cabin in the woods for the occasion, ate dinner by candlelight and then made love in front of a fire on a sheepskin rug, I'd want Joe Nichol's "This Bed's Too Big" to be playing in the background.

Unfortunately, "This Bed's Too Big" is such an underrated song, I can't find a full online version of it to share with you. Joe Nichols doesn't even make it possible to listen to it on his website. The best I can do is put the Pandora link to the song on here.

 Heather, Joe Nichol's wife, found this song for him. Read the back story below, from a site called Dave's Diary. 
"But Joe Nichols thanks his wife Heather for sourcing "This Bed's Too Big".

"My wife found that song." Nichols said. "She said 'You don't have any sexy songs. I can't think of any sexy songs you do.' She went out and did her own legwork and approached Victoria Shaw who is a friend of ours. She asked her for her best sexy song and she got it. She gave it to me and I thought it was a big old hit."

Mr. Nichols, if you think it's a "big old hit" you should let people hear it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"She wears Macy's, I wear Loehmans"

"She wears Macy's I wear Loehmans. She wears Filenes, I wear Filene's Basement. Can't you see-ee-ee, she's just a J.-A.-P. (not Japanese)"

Gwyneth Paltrow, the newest member of the country music world, was a guest on SNL a few weeks ago.  She participated in a skit about over-the-top Bar Mitzvah party entertainment, a phenomenon worthy of satire. In this case, a family member who is big macher in the music industry hired a number of stars to do Bar Mitzvah themed versions of their songs.  Paltrow did an impression of Taylor Swift singing "You Belong to Me", but rather than a cheerleader, the other girl is a J.A.P.

I am neither offended by Paltrow poking fun of Taylor, as are some of her fans who take everything Taylor very seriously, nor of SNL using the term J.A.P. Of the songs in the skit, Paltrow's is the only one I find even remotely funny and quite frankly, I was left wanting another verse. There are so many other J.A.P. typical qualities they could have used.  Straightened hair immediately comes to mind. That would have been a slam dunk. Fear of the outdoors and whining about the heat are two more.

If you're thinking of leaving a horrified comment, please do, but give this some thought first. If a woman is truly a J.A.P. she's ignoring me completely.

My other comment is about SNL devoting such a long skit to the Bar Mitzvah party. Only 2% of the U.S. population is Jewish, and although our Bar Mitzvah party guest lists usually include non-Jewish friends and family, I'd be surprised if more than 5-10% of the U.S. population has ever been to a Bar Mitzvah. Who is getting all of the rather weak inside jokes in this skit?

As a side note, if you've watched the whole video, I agree with the boy. A modest luncheon is a very haimish way to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah.