Music Monday: From One Ben to the Next

I’ve been obsessed with Breaking Benjamin for the past few months, which you may recall if you’ve spent any time around this blog, but I recently went to see Ben in concert. It wasn’t Ben Burnley though. It was one of my other favorite Bens:

Ben Freaking Folds!

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Here’s what’s important: Ben Folds is awesome. I love him. He is crazy talented. And that’s all there is to say.

This was my second time seeing Ben Folds in concert. Both times, he performed with a symphony. Classy.

I’m not doing a concert review or summary or anything like that, because, frankly, it would be just a lot of me raving about how insanely amazingly (double adverbs?!?) awesome Ben Folds truly is. 😀

Instead, I’ve decided to highlight a few of my favorite Ben songs. Perhaps if you are new to Ben, this may serve as your intro. Enjoy.

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Breaking Benjamin’s Ember: An Album Review

Happy Music Monday! I know you’ve been anxiously awaiting this post. My apologies for taking my sweet time.

Part of it is my clinical procrastination issues, but mostly I’ve put this off because I wanted to listen to the album a few more times before trying to write about it.

Had you asked me after my second listen, I would’ve said it was fine. Just fine. Just OK. All the songs sorta blend together. But it’s still Breaking Benjamin, so I’m on board.

But now? I love this album. I just really love this album. Ben and Co. have done it again. Let’s break this thing down track by track. I haven’t read or listened to a single review, so this is my 100% unbiased opinion as a total fan.

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I feel compelled to add: the review that follows is my opinion. You might not agree. You might be wondering if I’m even referring to the right album. Or that I need to get my ears checked. You might not like Breaking Benjamin at all; what are you doing here then? Anyway, this is my take on things. Take from it what you will.

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40 Vitamin String Quartet Arrangements You Should Hear

Continuing with my alt-versions of songs, this week, I bring you Vitamin String Quartet. I’ve mentioned this group in the past, namely when I was recommending music for a writing session. They’re perfect for that! But really, no time is a bad time for VSQ!

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I had an unnecessarily rough time narrowing this list down to forty. I say unnecessarily because…what does it matter? Who cares? Still, it was difficult. Their catalogue is huge, and I actually didn’t make it through the entire list!

Think of VSQ as an excuse to put virtually any band you’d ever want into your wedding ceremony. Yeah, not kidding.

So enjoy what I’ve painstakingly–for not reason whatsoever–whittled down for you:

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18 Songs in Lullaby Form?

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OMG. That is cute.

Since I’m late to literally everything, you probably already know about these and have heard every single one, but I’m going for it. Presenting Rockabye Baby’s lullaby renditions of popular songs.

To my credit, I didn’t just discover these, but I made a conscious effort to listen to more of them. In times like these, having a baby around would give me an excuse to listen to these. As it is, at the time I’m writing this, it’s Friday night, and I’m a grown woman consciously listening to lullabies. What is my life?

Anyway, enjoy some of my favorites:

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When the Song and the Scene Cannot be Separated

It’s Music Monday again! This week, I’ve decided to highlight a few songs synonymous with a movie or show. When certain songs are used during a scene, it becomes nearly impossible to hear them without imaging the scene. Just me?

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This is not the same as the best music/scene pairings. That’s for another list.

Here are a few of my favorites:

FYI, spoilers ahead.  🙂

Fight Club

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Of course, I must start with Fight Club. The final scene of the movie uses “Where is My Mind” by The Pixies, and I guarantee, you cannot hear this song without imagining Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter hand-in-hand as buildings explode before them. Am I right? For me, I’d never heard this song (or knew anything about the band) before I saw the movie, so that might be why one can’t exist without the other in my mind.

*Note: I found an edited version to post here. This one is without, uh, Tyler’s splicing work. 😉


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Cover Me! My 14 Favorite Cover Songs

 

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Generally speaking, I have mixed feelings about covers. On the one hand, how dare you. That song isn’t yours. What are you doing? On the other hand, I like hearing a different take on a song I’ve heard so many times. So I’ve gathered a list of my favorite covers. Enjoy!

I’ve never been able to rank these kinds of lists, so these covers are in no particular order.

“Nothing Compares 2 U”

Cover: Chris Cornell

Original: Prince

Made Famous by Sinead O’Conner

I don’t think I’d heard this cover until after his passing, but I knew after just one line, it was going to be amazing. What a voice. What a loss.

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The 35 Best Mashups You’ve Never Heard

The amount of talent on YouTube astounds me. You’ve heard of mashups, right? Glee was notorious for them. This collection is better. Sorry, Glee.

These songs should not work. They defy all logic. You read the titles and immediately think, there’s no way. Trust me. They work. Oh, do they work.

I’ve broken down 35 of my favorite mashups into categories for your listening pleasure.

The “Why Does This Work???” Group

I’ll start with the most amazing mashups based solely on their unbelievability factor.

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” instrumental & Disturbed’s “Down With the Sickness” vocals

Credit: oneboredjeu Mashup

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Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” instrumental/vocals & System of a Down’s “B.Y.O.B” vocals

Credit: neto gr


Psy’s “Gangnam Style” instrumental/vocals & Slipknot’s “Psychosocial” vocals

* @3:16 is a work of art.

Credit: thispreme

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What’s Up With All These “Wicked Game” Covers?

And why are they better than the original?

In the wake of Valentine’s Day, a certain song has been on my mind, a staple of my Anti-Valentine’s Day playlist: “Wicked Game”

No offense to Chris Isaak, but “Wicked Game” is cheesy. Right? But only his version. Yeah, I know it’s his song, so this makes no sense at all. Let me explain.

This song is sad. Yet the Isaak version is all “sexy” and broody and hangin-out-with-a-topless-model-on-the-beach. You know. You’ve seen the video. But why? To sell records, duh.

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Remember it now?

When you look at the lyrics, really look at them, this isn’t a love song. If someone ever dedicates this song to you, or declares it your song, then I hate to tell you this, but you’re in trouble.

You’ve heard the chorus, right?

I don’t want to fall in love with you.

Take for instance the last line…

Nobody loves no one.

How romantic! Despite this–or maybe because of it–I love this song.

For this Music Monday, let’s listen to some covers. “Wicked Game” is certainly not the most covered song ever–or even in the top ten. But for a song released in 1990, artists are still putting their own spin on it. What I love most about each cover is how the artist interprets it, and how the style changes the song completely. Most covers are on the somber side, much like the original, I suppose.

Except for my first selection from HIM. My favorite WG cover. They chose a heavier approach. It fits. And it changes the entire tone of the song! The lyrics make SO MUCH MORE SENSE when sung this way. Sorry to yell. I feel very strongly about this. 🙂

Wicked Game

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Hate Valentine’s Day? I’ve Got You Covered

Whatever you call it—Valentine’s Day, Anti-Valentine’s Day, V-Day, VD, Single Awareness Day, Wednesday—February 14th can feel like an extra long twenty-four hours. For some, it’s a day devoted to buying overpriced chocolates and flowers, making googly eyes at your significant other, and spouting off some prepackaged sentiments. For the rest of us, I’ve written this post.

If this ain’t your favorite time of year, don’t worry. You’re in the right place!

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I’ve put together this playlist and some movie recommendations for your upcoming Wednesday.

The Tunes

The Anti-Valentine’s Day Anthem:


For the angry:


For the realist:


For the sappy:

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