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My Top Ten Blur Songs :: Top Ten Tuesday

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My Top Ten Blur Songs :: Top Ten Tuesday

Since I’ve been in a bit of a Blur mood this week I thought it was time to do a Top Ten Tuesday of their songs. So, if you are looking for the best of the best of Blur, from their Brit Pop 90’s era all the way to their 2015 The Magic Whip release, look no further. Following are my picks for the best of Blur – My Top Ten Blur Songs for Top Ten Tuesday.

My Top Ten Blur Songs:

  1. “Coffee and TV”

    “So, give me coffee and TV,
    peacefully,
    I’ve seen so much,
    I’m going blind,

    and I’m brain-dead virtually.
    Sociability,
    is hard enough for me.
    Take me away from this big, bad world,
    and agree to marry me.”

    From the 1990 album 13, “Coffee and TV” is a modern love song for the reclusive, telly-centric age.

  2. “Beetlebum”“She’ll suck your thumb.
    She’ll make you come.
    Cause she’s your gun.
    Now what you’ve done,
    Beetlebum?”

    Track one from the band’s self-titled 1997 album, the song is Brit Pop 101, all Beatlesque and jangly guitars, and lovestruck, lost youth lyrics.

  3. “Parklife” 

    “Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as
    Parklife.”

    Also quintessentially Brit Pop (and “Brit life”), this time a bit more up-temp, from the album titled the same as the song, from 199. Bonus points for Jimmy (Quadrophenia) in the song and video.

  4. “Country Home”

    “I’m a professional cynic,
    but my heart’s not in it.”

    Another take on “Brit life”, a slice of life song from the 1995 album, The Great Escape. A critical eye on the “life of leisure”, rumored to be about former manager Dave Balfe, who left the band, and the label, and bought a house in the country.

  5. “Girls and Boys” 

    “Girls who are boys,
    who like boys to be girls,
    who do boys like they’re girls,
    who do girls like they’re boys –
    always should be someone you really love.”

    Huge song meant to be played loud, meant to be danced to, meant for the clubs, really. Celebration of sex and love in the modern age of safe sex and sexual preferences.

  6. “Ong Ong”

    “To the isle of the black kites and the wishing tree,
    I wanna be with you.
    On the slow boat to Lantau through misty seas,
    I wanna be with you.”

    From the band’s latest album, The Magic Whip, from 2015, “Ong Ong” was my standout favorite the first time I spun the album, and persists in being my #1 off of it. There is evolution in the sound, but there is still that unmistakable Blur thing, too. The song is said to be a tribute to the city of Hong Kong, from a “British perspective” (where, FYI, the album was recorded).

  7. “Blue Jeans”

    “I don’t really want to change a thing.
    I want to stay this way forever.”

    Taken from the Blur album with my favorite name, 1993’s Modern Life is Rubbish, “Blue Jeans” is another quintessential “Brit Pop” song to me. Musings on love and relationships from a very youthful perspective, peppered with day-in-the-life details, bringing it all to life in a palpable (and melodic) way. I love the opening drums, and guitar.

  8. “The Universal”

    “This is the next century,
    where the universal’s free,
    you can find it anywhere.
    Yes, the future has been sold.
    Every night we’re gone,
    and to karaoke songs,
    how we like to sing a long –
    although the words are wrong.”

    This song is by far my favorite Blur song to hear live. It transforms into something epic, something anthemic, something chill-inducing. That said, even on album it possesses all those traits. Some days this song makes me cry.

  9. “Tender”

    “Love’s the greatest thing.”

    And this is the song I love to hear acoustic, though it is almost that for most of the album version, as is. At least it starts out that way. There is a country music flavor to this album mixed up with the Brit Pop Blur sensibilities. This song seems made to be sung-a-long to – especially the chorus. The song is said to be about Damon’s break-up with Elastica front-woman, Justine. Both Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn wrote the song, and share vocals on the track.

  10. “Sing” 

    “I can’t feel cos I’m numb.
    I can’t feel cos I’m numb.
    What’s the worth in all of this?
    Sing to me.”

    “Sing” is completely cinematic sounding to me, and not just because it was used in the film, Trainspotting. One of my go-to songs to play when I’m writing as I feel it ignites imagination and visual images as it plays on. This is also one of my favorite songs to play loudly, late at night, while I drive through downtown Los Angeles (try it, if you can, and you’ll see why).

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Movie ABC’s :: The Letter “A”

Movie ABC’s :: The Letter “A”
My Top 20

Looking for a comprehensive list of movies? How about an alphabetical weekly list of Movie ABC’s starting with The Letter “A”? The following list crossed genres and decades, with a notable leaning towards independent films, or movies with solid storytelling. Movies with a good soundtrack and/or music theme are prevalent, as well.

So, pop some popcorn, or pick-up a bag (white cheddar is pretty tasty) and queue up a movie from the list below.

For more information on each film, click on the title.

Movie ABC’s :: The Letter “A”:

  1. Almost Famous (2000)

    Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical tale of sixteen-year-old William, an avid rock fan who lands an assignment from Rolling Stone to accompany a fledgling band from Michigan, Stillwater, on their first tour. As he becomes more involved with the band members and “band aids”, he loses his objectivity and is soon entangled in the infamous 70’s rock scene.

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  2. Amélie (2001)

    Bursting with imagination and having seen her share of tragedy and fantasy, Amélie is not like the other girls. When she grows up she becomes a waitress in a Montmartre bar run by a former dancer. Amélie enjoys simple pleasures until she discovers that her goal in life is to help others.

    Amelie, Movies ABC's

  3. The Anniversary Party (2001)

    Written, directed and produced by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming, this primarily improvisational film chronicles an anniversary party for a troubled Hollywood couple. The night turns as ecstasy, and personal confessions are shared between friends, coworkers, lovers, and feuding neighbors.

    The Anniversary Party, Movies ABC's

  4. Away We Go (2009)

    Written by husband and wife, Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, and directed by Sam Mendes, the film tells the story of a couple travelling cross the country in search of a place to call home for the two of them, and their on-the-way first child.

    Away We Go, Movies ABC's

  5. All About Eve (1950)

    From the moment she glimpses her idol on Broadway, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) strives to upstage Margo Channing (Bette Davis). After cunningly stealing Margo’s role, Eve disrupts the lives of anyone close to the actress in this timeless cinematic masterpiece. This is one of the first movies I remember watching with my Mother in the middle of the night, when I was a very young girl, and neither of us could sleep.

    All About Eve, Movies ABC's

  6. American Beauty (1999)

    The American Dream turned on its head when protagonist Lester Burnham, full of midlife crisis, sexual frustration and angst, starts questioning his seemingly contrived, and predictable, existence. 

    American Beauty, Movies ABC's

  7. Adam’s Rib (1949)

    Written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, Adam’s Rib is a peerless comedy predicated on the double standard. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn play Adam and Amanda Bonner, a husband-and-wife attorney team, both drawn to a case of attempted murder. This one my Grandmother introduced me to. She was always taken by, and kind of obsessed, with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy – especially of their off-screen, doomed love story.

    Adam's Rib, Movies ABC's

  8. Amadeus (1984)

    Film adaptation of the Broadway hit, the film takes us through the incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri – now confined to an insane asylum. The movie is humorous, bawdy, musical and ultimately tragic.

    Amadeus, Movies ABC's

  9. Across the Universe (2007)

    The movie plays as an British-American jukebox musical romantic drama film. Surreal storytelling at times, rock opera styled at others, the film perfectly brings to life the songs of the Beatles.

    Across the Universe, Movies ABC's

  10. Adult World (2013)

    A favorite of my younger daughter and mine, the film tells the story of a struggling writer who is struggling more with growing up. Amy’s coming-of-age in the post-college years is at times funny, at times heartbreaking, sometimes cringe-inducing, and ultimately heart tugging.

    Adult World, Movies ABC's

  11. All Over Me (1997)

    This film is so 90’s. Claude and Ellen are best friends who live in a not-so-nice area of New York. They’re involved in the subculture of 90s youth, complete with drugs, live music, and homophobia.

    All Over Me, Movies ABC's

  12. All That Jazz (1979)

    In this part film à clef, part musical phantasmagoria, director/choreographer Bob Fosse takes a Felliniesque look at the life of a driven entertainer. Very surreal. Very late 70’s. The screenplay is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on real aspects of Bob Fosse’s life and career as a dancer, choreographer and director. 

    All That Jazz, Movies ABC's

  13. The Apartment (1960)

    An early 60’s romantic comedy that tells the story of a man who is trying to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue when he meets “elevator girl” Fran Kubelik.

    The Apartment, Movies ABC's

  14. August Rush (2007)

    A drama told with fairy tale elements (see quote: “But I believe in music… The way that some people believe in fairy tales”) about an orphaned  orphaned musical prodigy tries to us his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents. Homage to Oliver Twist with one of the storylines featuring Robin Williams as a Fagan-esque character, the films young star, Frddie Highmore, steals every scene as the film’s namesake, August. This film always makes me cry.

    August Rush, Movies ABC's

  15. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

    Another late night film I remember watching with my Mother. Also, one of the cinematic reasons I’ve always loved Cary Grant. The film is director Frank Capra’s spin on the classic Joseph Kesselring stage comedy, which concerns the sweet old Brewster sisters (Josephine Hull, Jean Adair), beloved in their genteel Brooklyn neighborhood for their many charitable acts. One charity which the ladies don’t advertise is their ongoing effort to permit lonely bachelors to die with smiles on their faces–by serving said bachelors elderberry wine spiked with arsenic.

    Arsenic And Old Lace, Movies ABC's

  16. Arizona Dream (1993)

    Axel (Johnny Depp) gets caught up into the family car business when his cousin, Paul (Vincent Gallo), coaxes him to come to Arizona to attend the wedding of their Uncle Leo (Jerry Lewis). As Axel makes the decision to try selling Cadillacs with his family, he meets an eccentric woman named Elaine (Faye Dunaway) and her equally quirky stepdaughter, Grace (Lili Taylor). Their lives become inextricably intertwined through romance, dreams — and death.

    Arizona Dream, Movies ABC's

  17. The African Queen (1951)

    I saw this film for the first time in the early 2000’s, on the big screen, during a classic film series at a local, independently owned Anaheim movie theater. It was my favorite of all the films from the series. Adapted from a novel by C.S. Forester, The African Queen stars Humphrey Bogart in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Charlie Allnut, the slovenly, gin-swilling captain of a tramp steamer called the African Queen, which ships supplies to small East African villages during World War I.

    The African Dream, Movies ABC's

  18. The Accidental Tourist (1988)

    Ignoring the absolute worst first date ever when I first saw this movie in 1988, The Accidental Tourist is a quirky story about family and love. Though the premise is a heavy one (an emotionally distant writer of travel guides must carry on with his life after his son is killed and his marriage crumbles), the story lightens up when Macon meets Murial, the outgoing, and rather oddball woman he meets, who helps him to get his life back.

    The Accidental Tourist, Movies ABC's

  19. Adventureland (2009)

    This movie perfectly captures the early 80’s to me. As well as capturing that nowhere time between high school and college, where nothing and everything seems to happen.

    Adventureland, Movies ABC's

  20. About a Boy (2002)

    Based on Nick Horby’s novel by the same name, the movie tells the story of seemingly narcissistic Will who accidentally becomes a role model for an awkward neighbor boy who is struggling with finding himself, and surviving with a troubled single mother, and a school full of bullies.

    About a Boy, Movies ABC's

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My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 3/7/17

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My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 3/7/17
Listen here at Spotify

Tuesday. Mid-morning. The sun beating through third floor office windows. I’d really rather be near the water today, or on the road to somewhere, anywhere. It feels like a road trip kind of day. But it’s not. No, it’s more To-Do lists and projects to complete. So, let’s turn up the music and make our weave our way through My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day.

Today’s My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day starts with some Interpol, which seamless makes its way into Car Seat Headrest, and on into “Last Nite”, with The Strokes. Angel Olsen stops us with guitar licks and demands for silence, and kisses. It all ends with a Grizzly Bear’s song I hadn’t heard in ages.

You can click to listen to each video below, or choose the Spotify link to listen to the My Top 5 Song Obsessions of the Day :: Top Five playlist. I will add each five songs shared to the playlist each day. 

My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 3/7/17

1. “Slow Hands” :: Interpol

“And, I might stop and look upon your face,
disappear in the sweet, sweet gaze,
see the living that surrounds me,
dissipate in a violet blaze.”

Those lyrics are rather breathtaking when you isolate them, look at them, take them in. The whole song really. This is an incredible song.

2. “Fill in the Blank” :: Car Seat Headrest

“If I were split in two,
I would just take my fists,
so I could beat up the rest of me.”

A band recommendation from a coworker who is equally music-obsessed. This is a young band that you should keep your eye, and ears, on. Mark my words.

3. “Last Nite” :: The Strokes

“Well, I’ve been in town for just about fifteen minutes now,
and baby,
I feel so down.”

This song always reminds me of living in Chicago.

This song always makes me want to dance.

4. “Shut Up Kiss Me” :: Angel Olsen

“Shut up kiss me,
hold me tight.”

First song in my head this morning.

5. “Two Weeks” :: Grizzly Bead

“Would you always?
Maybe sometimes?
Make it easy?
Take your time.”

I’d forgotten about this band. In 3009, I really dug this album (Veckatimest). Spinning it anew today.

Here’s another Tuesday’s My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day.

What’s on your Tuesday playlist?