Category Archives: Music

Sweet You Rock and Sweet You Roll

When I was young, my parents always listened to the Oldies radio station. We’re talking The Beach Boys and The Monkees.

Now I enjoy this music, but at the time, it was sooooooo uncool.

But once upon a time, that music was hip.

I already mentioned the rap that annoyed my parents, but here are the songs my kids are going to roll their eyes at when I sing along.

  • “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis: One day you will find me caught beneath the landslide….
  • “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette: And I’m here to remind you….
  • “Wrong Way” by Sublime: Annie’s 12 years old. In two more she’ll be a….
  • “Waterfalls” by TLC: Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to….
  • “Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows: Mr. Jones strikes up a conversation with this black-haired….
  • “MmmBop” by Hanson: Mmmbop, da ba da ba doooobop….
  • “All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow: All I wanna do is have a little fun before I die….
  • “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum: Little out of touch, little insane, just easier than dealing with the pain….
  • “Macarena” by Lose Del Rio: Hey, Macarena…. Face it. No one really knows the words to this song.
  • “The Right Stuff” by New Kids on the Block: You got the right stuff, baby….
  • “Peaches” by Presidents of the U.S.A: Millions of peaches, peaches for me….

What songs do you still know all the words to?

My Mom Is Leaving Dad for Jay-Z

Mom: I saw that Jay-Z on TV the other day. He seems like a very intelligent, well-rounded man. I like him.

When I was young and rebellious, I could always count on one type of music to annoy my parents. And that music was rap.

Remember what rap was like before Jay-Z?

Here’s just a sampling of songs that made my parents cringe. Dad’s comments are in red.

Ninja Rap

  • “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice: Alright, stop, collaborate, and listen.
  • “You Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer: Stop. Hammer time….
  • “Fight For Your Right” by Beastie Boys: You wake up late for school and you don’t wanna go…. Oh you’re going to school, young lady.
  • “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio: As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…. At least this sounds Biblical.
  • “Jump Around” by House of Pain: Get up, stand up, come on throw your hands up…. Sit down. Sit on your hands.
  •  “I Wish” by Skee Lo: I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller….

And then there were the rap songs about butts:

  • “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot: Oh. My. God. Becky, look at her butt….
  • “Rump Shaker” by Wreck N Effectz: All I wanna do is a zoom-zoom-zoom-zoom and a boom-boom…. There will be none of that till you’re married.
  • “Shoop” by Salt N’ Pepa: Brother, wanna thank your mother for a butt like that….

My mom’s interest in rap has me worried. If parents can like rap, what music will children use to annoy their parents?

Looks like the answer is sheer volume.

Concerts: Don’t Be That Guy

I love concerts more than anything. More than chocolate. Wait. Not more than chocolate.

There’s nothing like hearing good music while being squashed in a tiny space with complete strangers pushing you around.

When I was 16, my 21-year-old boyfriend (Yeah, my parents loved that.)  took me to my very first concert:  Aerosmith. I thought, Aerosmith? Don’t they only have that one song: Walk This Way? This is going to stink.

Let’s stop here for a moment and reflect on how sheltered and innocent I was.

  1. I couldn’t even use the word “suck.”
  2. I barely knew who Aerosmith was.

My next concert was when I was 19 at the 930 Club in Washington, DC: The Get Up Kids. They were kind of punk.

The smaller setting traumatized me. As much as my boyfriend tried to protect me…

  • I got pushed and elbowed.
  • Someone squeezed my butt.
  • Crowd surfers kicked me.
  • I was nearly trampled.
  • I screamed, “You’re in my personal space!” and “Stop touching me!”

I hated every second of it because no one warned me. Give a girl a heads up!

But now it’s different.

I want to be where the action is. Feel the lead singer’s sweat. Catch the guitar pick or drumstick or whatever else the band throws. Jump up and down.

Here are some things I wish someone had told me. So I’m telling you. Plus, I don’t want you  to end up like the crazy guy from the recent Cowboy Mouth concert.

  • If you’re near the front, look behind you. It hurts when a crowd surfer lands on your head.
  • If you crowd surf, prepare to be groped. Complete strangers will squeeze your butt, boobies, and moobies…on purpose.
  • Dress in clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Inevitably, someone will spill beer on you.
  • Don’t wear the t-shirt of the band you’re seeing. Like in PCU, don’t be that guy.
  • Know some of the band’s songs. It’s more fun when you sing along.

With this knowledge, run along to your concert prepared and ready to rock.

The Name of the Band Is Cowboy Mouth

Friday night Kiefer and I wandered over to Rams Head Live in Baltimore to see one of my favorite bands: Cowboy Mouth.

Jenny says, Turn off the radio. Jenny says, Turn off the lights….

And thus, I cross the first item off my 35 Before 35 List.

Kiefer and I have seen them 3 times in 3 years. That’s how awesome they are.

If you’re in the DC Metro area, you’ll be able to see them Sunday, June 26th at 3:45 at the BBQ Battle.

You’re going, right? Here’s what you need to know to see Cowboy Mouth:

  • Bring a plastic red spoon or two. You get to throw them at the band during “Everybody Loves Jill.”
  • Be prepared to clap…a lot.
  • Be prepared to scream…a lot.
  • Be prepared to catch flying objects. This band throws a lot of drumsticks and guitar picks.

Kiefer followed these rules, and that’s how he caught me us a drumstick.

What you don’t need to do is look or act like one guy we saw at the concert fitting this description:

  • Crazy puffy hair (before it got sweaty and stuck to his head).
  • Soul patch.
  • Unbuttoned shirt with a gray-hair-covered chest. (Dude…put it away.)
  • Spilled his drink on people. (Dude…get a sippy cup.)
  • Groped his girlfriend as well as other women and men in the nearby vicnity. (Bad touch!)

My Name’s Stewart Ransom Miller and I’m a Serial Lady Killer

As promised, please welcome Blarney (my first guest blogger) with her review of the Old 97s from the Pittsburgh concert….

Back in the year 2000, my then boyfriend and I moved in together and blended our CD collections. I thought mine was pretty good, and his was great. Isn’t that part of what having a boyfriend is good for? Discovering new music? One of the best finds in his collection was a band called the Old 97s. According to my then-boyfriend, who I’ll call “Dave” (his real name), the Old 97s were a pub band with a cult following who one was lucky to catch a glimpse of when they were still playing back in the 90s, but had pretty much broken up. “Too bad,” I thought, and immediately relegated them to obscurity. I’d enjoy giddy tunes like Timebomb and Barrier Reef in the privacy of my own home and live vicariously through my future husband, who’d had the good fortune to discover them live one night in a smoky bar in San Francisco. This was before the age of relentless Googling so it was easy to forget.

Fast forward to present day.  I met Thoughts Appear and realized she had great taste in music. When her birthday rolled around, I figured I’d introduce her to the Old 97s, even though I knew on some level it would be torture since she liked to see bands live and she’d never have an opportunity. Sure enough, as soon as she heard both CDs, she was ready to see them live. “ROAD TRIP!” she wrote.  That’s when I broke the news. “Pretty sure they’re not even together anymore. Sorry to disappoint.” I tried cushioning the blow, “I think the lead singer has a solo career.” Fortunately, Thoughts Appear lives in this century and was not brainwashed by my now ex husband. She used Google and found out that the Old 97s were together and playing in Pittsburgh, a mere 4 or so hours from us, and we could go see them. It was a dream come true for me. A dream I didn’t even realize I had!


The awesome thing about seeing the Old 97s was how much they sounded like themselves. Rhett Miller’s voice is pure and excellent and recording quality, even after all these years playing in obscurity in smoky bars. 🙂 

And, he’s not hard on the eyes. I’m sure I’m somewhat biased by his playful, wordsmith-y songwriting and that flexible forearm spin he does with his guitar, but I was sorry to learn that he was married. You know, because of course I stood a chance. 🙂

He was also incredibly gracious to all his fans, meeting up with us afterward to talk and sign autographs. And, dear reader, he admitted that he noticed something about me from his perch up on stage! And I’m going to assume it was good and not silly! See, I own a shirt that has a certain design feature that can only be described as a built-in Flintstone’s necklace—large white cloth baubles. And Rhett said, “I actually saw you from the stage. What’s that on your shirt?” I think any time you get to reference Wilma Flintstone in relation to yourself when talking to a rockstar is a Dear Diary moment.

Thank you, Thoughts Appear, for helping me live that moment, finally. 🙂