The power of music

You're only as old as you feel. That's the expression, right? That's a thing that people say?

Last weekend, I went out on Saturday night. On Queen Street West. To hear live music. At a club.

That's a very strange combination of words for me. I'm a 47-year-old man who's spent most of my life living more like an 80-year-old. The last time I was in a club on Queen West, it was an intimate little CD release with about 70 people in attendance. I'm pretty sure it was on a weeknight. I've very sure it was over and I was on the way home already long before 11.

This time, I wasn't even getting to The Horseshoe until 10:30, to see an act that wasn't starting its set until 11:30. I haven't been in The Horseshoe since I can't even remember when. And when did they add the A&W glory hole beside the bar? It's kind of amazing, or it would be if it were something better than A&W.

But you see, when you're a 47-year-old shut-in, going to The Horseshoe at 10:30 on a Saturday night is the sort of thing you do for an old friend, and Michael is an old friend. I don't mean that he's old chronologically, although, yeah, that too. I mean that, post-university, Michael is probably my longest-standing friend. For more than two decades now, Michael and I (and our friend Bonnie) have been getting together for dinner every single month, like clockwork. Michael is an old friend. And he's had a hell of a life. A great career, that he walked away from to chase a passion, which turned into another great career. A 40+ year marriage — no, a partnership — and three kids (one of whom, if you've ever been on the internet before, you probably already know) who turned into pretty awesome adults.

The baby of the family is son Zach, who's a musician. Apart from being a part of one of Toronto's most in-demand formal occasion bands, he's also the bassist in a group called Weaves. Which is why I found myself arriving at The Horseshoe at 10:30 on a Saturday night. The show was the release party for their first full-length LP, appropriately titled "Weaves".

You know how there's a moment for a band? A moment where they're starting to develop some momentum, some critical buzz? A moment where they're not widely known, but those who do know know that they're in on the ground floor of something special? Where when they play live, there's something just hanging in the room that you can almost reach out and touch? Now, I don't pretend to be a music critic, or a seer, but for my money Weaves is at that moment. Right now. Last Saturday night.

Look, again, I'm 47 years old. I've become a person who doesn't listen to new music, unless I'm in a rental car on a trip for work or I happen to have it foisted upon me at karaoke. The last time I was buying new music regularly, Carlos Santana was probably playing guitar on Rob Thomas' love song to his wife. The Dixie Chicks were several years from being shunned. Ja Rule was just entering his Pitbull v1.0 phase.

All of which is to say that there's no earthly reason why I should like Weaves. They're most often described as "alt-punk", which I believe is French for "get off my damn lawn". Their songs are unconventional and challenging, like Jackson Pollock canvases of sound. I'm used to albums that are streetcar rides, bumpy at times, but ultimately rolling along a set of tracks to the destination you knew they were headed to when you got on. "Weaves" is… well, "Weaves" is the 1:30 AM Yonge bus from Bloor, when the subway's down, and you don't know if they're serving the local stops or not, and the guy across from you looks like he might turn the aisle into a vodka-and-Red-Bull biohazard, and… oh, hey, how'd we get to Eglinton already? Which, incidentally, is also a pretty good description of my trip home from the show.

There's no earthly reason why I should like Weaves, or "Weaves". And I don't — I love them. I haven't felt that charged up after hearing a band play in forever. I say this not because Michael is one of my oldest friends, or because I remember when Zach was just a rugrat with his arm in a black cast in my living room, and now he's a grown-ass man realizing his dreams. And I say this not because, like some excellent bands before them, they managed to find a way to make a Beatles' song listenable. I say it because I bought the CD at the show, even though I have Spotify on every electronic device and who needs physical media anymore. I say it because I listened to the album at least once a day at work for the week afterward. I say it because I playlisted the concert in order to recreate it for my wife on Tuesday night.

I didn't get home that Saturday night (Sunday morning) until close to 2 AM, and I wasn't able to wind down and get into bed until well after 3. It's many days later as I write this, and I can still feel the tweak in my throat from bar-loud-talking. I was still dragging just that little bit from getting into bed hours later than usual, five days later.

But you're only as old as you feel. And if it's possible to feel simultaneously 24 again and every bit of my 47 years and then some, well that's how old I am right now. Which seems like it'd average out much younger than normal, if only for a little while. So thanks for that, Weaves. That's the power of music.

30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 30

Day 30 - Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year

So, since I don't tend to listen to new music, I really struggled with what song I would have called my favourite a year ago. I mean, the new music that was getting played all the time at that point certainly wouldn't qualify. Adele? Rebecca Black? No.

I could just as easily have said, well, my favourite song a year ago was the same as my favourite song now, thrown up another "American Pie" post, and the circle is unbroken… But, no — it's worth more effort than that. So…

My favourite song this time last year was "Northern Touch" by Rascalz, featuring Kardinal Offishall, Checkmate, Thrust & Choclair.

For some reason at this time last year, my iTunes was getting back in touch with my taste for late '90s Canadian hip hop. This song featured a who's who of the scene, and was the jumping-off point for exposing Kardinal Offishall and Chocolair to a much wider audience than they'd previously enjoyed. Their careers, especially Kardinall's, took off from there.

In a lot of ways, it was a watershed moment for the industry. Besides Kardinal and Choclair, this song's success — and the success of Rascalz' Cash Crop album — was the precursor to acts like Baby Blue Soundcrew, Jully Black, Swollen Members, and k-os.

I really enjoy this period in Canadian music.

And that's it — 30 songs in 30 days (well, 31 days, to be truthful). This was a fun exercise. If you've been following along, I hope you've enjoyed it. Thanks again to Lisa Winston for the inspiration!

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event - "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To - "Babe" by Styx
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep - "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band - "Unconditional" by jacksoul
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate - "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure - "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love - "One" by Metallica
  15. A Song That Describes You - "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate - "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio - "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio - "Dance of the Vulnerable" by Gregory Hoskins and the Stickpeople
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album - "Gulf War Song" by Moxy Früvous
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry - "Bodies" by Drowning Pool
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy - "What the Fuck Was I Thinking" by Jon Levine Band
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad - "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding - "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral - "Home for a Rest" by Spirit of the West
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh - "You Oughta Know" by Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument - "Spoonman" by Soundgarden
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty - "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play - "Clutterbilly" by The Ranch
  29. A Song From Your Childhood - "Forever in Blue Jeans" by Neil Diamond
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year - "Northern Touch" by Rascalz, featuring Kardinal Offishall, Checkmate, Thrust & Choclair

30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 29

Day 29 - A Song From Your Childhood

If songs recall memories of a place and time, it seems to me that childhood is the place and time that's among the most likely. The Friendly Giant theme. The Hockey Night in Canada theme. "Frère Jacques". The classic "I will do it with my spear and magic helmet…" from What's Opera, Doc?

A song from my childhood is "Forever in Blue Jeans" by Neil Diamond.

I promised Neil Diamond would turn up on this list twice, didn't I?

When I was a kid, we used to ski a lot in the winters. I mean, it's Ottawa — fantastic cross-country ski trails up in the Gatineaus. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are Saturday and Sunday ski days; not just the skiing, but also the drive out to Camp Fortune.

My dad used to play the local easy listening station on the radio, and Neil Diamond was a mid-late '70s staple. Most of all, I remember "Forever in Blue Jeans".

For me, this is the most familiar instance of a mondegreen. A mondegreen is when you mishear something, like a lyric in a song or a poem, and end up completely changing the meaning of what you're hearing. A famous example would be Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze", where "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky" gets misheard as "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy". Another is Manfred Mann's Earth Band's "Blinded by the Light", where "revved up like a deuce" is misheard as "wrapped up like a douche".

In this case, for years and years, I thought that this song was called "Reverend Blue Jeans". Yep…

Look, I'm not claiming that it makes sense. That being said, a) I was a kid at the time and b) it's not like the original lyrics make much sense either. So there.

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event - "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To - "Babe" by Styx
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep - "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band - "Unconditional" by jacksoul
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate - "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure - "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love - "One" by Metallica
  15. A Song That Describes You - "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate - "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio - "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio - "Dance of the Vulnerable" by Gregory Hoskins and the Stickpeople
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album - "Gulf War Song" by Moxy Früvous
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry - "Bodies" by Drowning Pool
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy - "What the Fuck Was I Thinking" by Jon Levine Band
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad - "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding - "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral - "Home for a Rest" by Spirit of the West
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh - "You Oughta Know" by Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument - "Spoonman" by Soundgarden
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty - "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play - "Clutterbilly" by The Ranch
  29. A Song From Your Childhood - "Forever in Blue Jeans" by Neil Diamond
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year

30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 28

Day 28 - A Song You Wish You Could Play

We've already established the fact that I can't play any instruments. So, really, I wish I could play pretty much any song. Mostly, though, I find that I want to play stuff that's heavy in piano, guitar, or banjo. I blame the latter on my father, and our summertime trips to the Canadian National Open Banjo Contest in Durham. You laugh, and I feel like I must have hated it at the time, but looking back on it, it was actually some pretty fantastic music.

A song I wish I could play is "Clutterbilly" by The Ranch.

No, the video above is not "Clutterbilly" by The Ranch, which is a real shame. Turns out that there are absolutely no videos available of this song anywhere — not even a fan-created recording of the song with just the cover of the album as a visual.

So, all I can do is say go check out last.fm or your favourite online music streaming service, and see if you can find this song. It came out during that brief period when I'd developed a taste for country music. The Ranch was Keith Urban's band before he became KEITH URBAN. "Clutterbilly" is a fantastic instrumental number, with some amazing guitar playing on it.

Absent audio/visual evidence of "Clutterbilly", I've linked above to "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by The Charlie Daniels Band. You know this song; everyone does. Great guitar. GREAT fiddle. Another song I wish I could play.

Not as much as I wish I could play "Clutterbilly" though.

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event - "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To - "Babe" by Styx
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep - "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band - "Unconditional" by jacksoul
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate - "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure - "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love - "One" by Metallica
  15. A Song That Describes You - "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate - "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio - "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio - "Dance of the Vulnerable" by Gregory Hoskins and the Stickpeople
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album - "Gulf War Song" by Moxy Früvous
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry - "Bodies" by Drowning Pool
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy - "What the Fuck Was I Thinking" by Jon Levine Band
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad - "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding - "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral - "Home for a Rest" by Spirit of the West
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh - "You Oughta Know" by Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument - "Spoonman" by Soundgarden
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty - "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play - "Clutterbilly" by The Ranch
  29. A Song From Your Childhood
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year

30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 27

Day 27 - A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty

Another day of songs and emotions. I don't know; seems to me that there are way too many feelings — whoa, whoa, whoa, feelings — in this series. Guilt? Really? OK, fine.

A song that makes me feel guilty is "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan.

You've seen the commercials, right? Sad puppy eyes, sad puppy eyes, and even more sad puppy eyes. For almost six years, this has been the official theme song for hectoring North America into sending money to take care of adorable, maltreated and abandoned animals.

It has apparently been enormously successful as a fundraiser for the ASPCA — $30 million in the first two years alone. I'm not a pet person at all — both allergic and having never been exposed to them as a kid — but even I've been tempted to call and drop some bills on keeping those fluffy canines warm and fed.

I mean, I haven't. As I said, not a pet person. But I certainly don't feel good about having not.

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event - "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To - "Babe" by Styx
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep - "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band - "Unconditional" by jacksoul
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate - "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure - "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love - "One" by Metallica
  15. A Song That Describes You - "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate - "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio - "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio - "Dance of the Vulnerable" by Gregory Hoskins and the Stickpeople
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album - "Gulf War Song" by Moxy Früvous
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry - "Bodies" by Drowning Pool
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy - "What the Fuck Was I Thinking" by Jon Levine Band
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad - "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding - "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral - "Home for a Rest" by Spirit of the West
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh - "You Oughta Know" by Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument - "Spoonman" by Soundgarden
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty - "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play
  29. A Song From Your Childhood
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year

30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 26

Day 26 - A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument

Unless you count my vocal chords, I never really learned how to play an instrument as a kid. There was a few years of recorder when I was younger, long enough that I graduated to learn the alto recorder too. But that was it.

We had a piano in the house, but I never took lessons; never learned to play at all. My sister took piano. She learned clarinet and sax in school, and played in the various high school bands. I had friends who were in band in high school. But I was just never drawn to the idea. I spent too much time in choirs and taking part in school plays/musicals. Even with all those years in choirs, I never really learned to read music, beyond being able to follow along with it once I had the first note.

Now, as an adult, I regret it. I wish I'd learned to read music properly. I especially wish I'd learned to play piano — there are only about 100 occasions during life where it would have come in extremely handy.

So, a song that I can play on an instrument? Well, that's a tough one.

A song that I can play on an instrument is "Spoonman" by Soundgarden.

Not the whole song of course; just the part with the spoons. I mean, it's spoons, right? How hard could it really be?

I'm kidding, of course. The reality is that playing the spoons at the level of the guy in this song is a serious skill. There's no chance in hell that I'd be able to pull that off.

So, in the end, there is no song that I can play on an instrument. And that makes me a little sad…

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event - "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To - "Babe" by Styx
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep - "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band - "Unconditional" by jacksoul
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate - "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure - "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love - "One" by Metallica
  15. A Song That Describes You - "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate - "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio - "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio - "Dance of the Vulnerable" by Gregory Hoskins and the Stickpeople
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album - "Gulf War Song" by Moxy Früvous
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry - "Bodies" by Drowning Pool
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy - "What the Fuck Was I Thinking" by Jon Levine Band
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad - "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding - "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral - "Home for a Rest" by Spirit of the West
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh - "You Oughta Know" by Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument - "Spoonman" by Soundgarden
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play
  29. A Song From Your Childhood
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year

30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 25

Day 25 - A Song That Makes You Laugh

Laughter isn't something I ordinarily associate with music. Well, there's "Make 'Em Laugh" from Singing in the Rain, of course. But otherwise, I just don't think of music as something that generates laughter. However…

A song that makes me laugh is "You Oughta Know" by Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra.

I have an unnatural attraction to lounge music. I'm not sure what it is. I'm not generally big on cover tunes, and a lot of the best lounge music is made up of remakes of pop hits. But there's just something about it that speaks to me. Richard Cheese's cover of "Creep". Louis Prima. Mel Torme.

In fact, one of my favourite CDs is Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra's Cocktail: Shakin' and Stirred. It's a collection of all-Cancon rock, remade as lounge. Just imagine this lineup:

  • "Safety Dance"
  • "Turn Me Loose"
  • "American Woman"
  • "Run to You"
  • "Closer to the Heart"
  • "Takin' Care of Business"
  • "Superman's Song"
  • "Spaceship Superstar"
  • "Born to Be Wild"
  • "Sunglasses at Night"

And "You Oughta Know".

I think it's the dichotomy between the poppy tone of this remake, versus the rock/alternative girl rawr of the original. I just can't help but laugh every time I hear this song.

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event - "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To - "Babe" by Styx
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep - "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band - "Unconditional" by jacksoul
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate - "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure - "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love - "One" by Metallica
  15. A Song That Describes You - "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate - "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio - "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio - "Dance of the Vulnerable" by Gregory Hoskins and the Stickpeople
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album - "Gulf War Song" by Moxy Früvous
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry - "Bodies" by Drowning Pool
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy - "What the Fuck Was I Thinking" by Jon Levine Band
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad - "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding - "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral - "Home for a Rest" by Spirit of the West
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh - "You Oughta Know" by Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play
  29. A Song From Your Childhood
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year

30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 24

Day 24 - A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral

There are really two different models for what a funeral can look like. There's the traditional service in a church or a funeral home chapel, with a religious official reading off canned text. There are some awkward prayers, someone who's not used to speaking in front of groups of people trying to bring everyone's spirits up, and uncomfortable conversation over tea and party sandwiches.

And then there's the other model.

A song I want to play at my funeral is "Home for a Rest" by Spirit of the West.

I want my funeral to be a party. Not an Irish wake, exactly — I'm not planning on being propped up in the corner or anything. But I want it to be a joyous occasion, not a sombre one. I want pictures everywhere. I want the walls papered with messages from out-of-town friends who can't be there.

I want stories to be swapped, tales to be told. I want frightening quantities of adult beverages to be imbibed. I want a round of all-Barenaked Ladies karaoke. Oh, and I want the party sandwiches too — you can't beat party sandwiches, especially if they're from the Pickle Barrel.

Most of all, I want this song to be setting the tone, with all its raucous energy and its sing-along chorus.

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event - "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To - "Babe" by Styx
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep - "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band - "Unconditional" by jacksoul
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate - "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure - "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love - "One" by Metallica
  15. A Song That Describes You - "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate - "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio - "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio - "Dance of the Vulnerable" by Gregory Hoskins and the Stickpeople
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album - "Gulf War Song" by Moxy Früvous
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry - "Bodies" by Drowning Pool
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy - "What the Fuck Was I Thinking" by Jon Levine Band
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad - "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding - "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral - "Home for a Rest" by Spirit of the West
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play
  29. A Song From Your Childhood
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year

30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 23

Day 23 - A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding

In exactly three years from now — three years to the day — Erin and I will be getting married. Whoa…

A song I want to play at my wedding is "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates.

This one wasn't even a little bit difficult to figure out. First of all, it's a beautiful song. I mean, just beautiful. Second, it's not a long song. That video clip above is long, but that's because it was a live performance. The recorded version of it is barely three minutes long, which is good for me, because it means that I won't have to dance to it for long.

Third, I love Hall & Oates. Top 5 band of all time for me. I've seen them live at least three times — in fact, I think they may have been the second concert that I was allowed to go to without adult supervision. The Civic Centre in Ottawa, on the H2O tour, with Marshall Crenshaw opening (who absolutely sucked, if I remember correctly).

Most important, though, is that the song has massive sentimental meaning for Erin. On those rare occasions that she comes out to karaoke, she'll almost always ask me to sing this. Erin's grandmother, who she loved a great deal, was named Sara. She won't be able to be with us on the big day, but maybe we can have a small part of her there by playing this song.

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event - "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To - "Babe" by Styx
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep - "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band - "Unconditional" by jacksoul
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate - "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure - "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love - "One" by Metallica
  15. A Song That Describes You - "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate - "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio - "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio - "Dance of the Vulnerable" by Gregory Hoskins and the Stickpeople
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album - "Gulf War Song" by Moxy Früvous
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry - "Bodies" by Drowning Pool
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy - "What the Fuck Was I Thinking" by Jon Levine Band
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad - "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding - "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play
  29. A Song From Your Childhood
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year

30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 22

Day 22 - A Song You Listen to When You're Sad

I don't get sad often, per se. I'm not saying I'm Captain Sunshine or anything, but sad feels like it'd be a bit of a stretch on any kind of regular basis. And so, this is a difficult choice for me. I don't really associate music with sadness. However, after 21 days of this, I'm sure as heck not giving up now. So…

A song I listen to when I'm sad is "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows.

For some reason, Counting Crows just feels like it's a band that you'd associate with sadness. Adam Duritz is a kind of melancholy-looking guy, for one thing. And their music; "Round Here", "Rain King", and "A Long December" are all kind of bummers. Heck, even when they cover a song and make it peppy, they choose the one where paradise gets paved over for a parking lot.

This song is practically drenched in sad, if you'll pardon the choice of words. Seriously — just have a look at the lyrics. Bummer.

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event - "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To - "Babe" by Styx
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep - "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band - "Unconditional" by jacksoul
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate - "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure - "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love - "One" by Metallica
  15. A Song That Describes You - "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate - "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio - "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio - "Dance of the Vulnerable" by Gregory Hoskins and the Stickpeople
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album - "Gulf War Song" by Moxy Früvous
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry - "Bodies" by Drowning Pool
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy - "What the Fuck Was I Thinking" by Jon Levine Band
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad - "Raining in Baltimore" by Counting Crows
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play
  29. A Song From Your Childhood
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year