Another Parent Dance That Won’t Make Everyone Gag


Mark Erelli: “Same For Someone”

Here’s an off the beaten path song suggestion for a wedding reception parent dance. What’s refreshing about it is that it doesn’t give the suspicion that it was cynically written to be a parent dance perennial, unlike many songs which will remain nameless here.

The downside, which is perhaps subtle enough not to matter, is that since it wasn’t written to neatly fit the parent dance constraints there may be a line or two that don’t perfectly jive, i.e. one line in particular sounds like it is being sung by a man to his son. But as I said, it’s fairly subtle and probably would go unnoticed by most guests.

It’s also refreshingly realistic and un-sappy (“oh, it’s a hard world, my child”…”hearts will break, one will be yours”).

Rather than another insipid litany of platitudes this is a song of some actual substance. Bracing. Real. Like the kind of thing a parent would actually say.

See also:

A Father-Daughter Wedding Dance That Won’t Make Everyone Gag


(Reprinted from NPR’s All Songs Considered)

Célèste Brott writes: “I’m trying to pick a father-daughter dance song for my wedding, but most of the suggestions I come across make me gag. They fall mostly into the category of ‘What an angel she is’-type songs, or are too sentimental about ‘What a great dad he was.’ I want it to be something we both love, and that we can dance to. Something that hits the right sentimental note, sure, but isn’t sappy or impersonal. Any ideas?”

Picking any music for a wedding is weirdly fraught, particularly if you’re the sort of person whose taste in love songs — or taste in love, for that matter — runs toward the complex and compromised. Weddings are about absolutes, and love songs that express absolute emotions (permanence, certainty) have a tendency to come off as mawkish or excessively sentimental. Throw in the unconditional love between a parent and a child, and … hoo boy, that narrows down the options. I’ve been taking my daughter to “daddy daughter dances” since she was barely old enough to run around, and have yet to hear anything there that conjures up images of her future wedding day. (THANK GOD.)

That said, since before she was born, I’ve had the exact right song picked out for this very occasion, should it arise — a song that has been laying waste to my defenses since I first heard it almost exactly 10 years ago. I’ve been playing it for my kids since way before they can remember, and my 8-year-old daughter still listens to it as part of our bedtime ritual virtually every night.

“Find Love”

With apologies to those who’ve heard me prattle about this song before, Clem Snide’s “Find Love” is, in all seriousness, perfect; I have listened to it hundreds if not thousands of times, and if anything, it’s only grown on me. Heard in the context of a parent’s love — of deeply humane advice and wishes for a child, regardless of his or her age — it says everything. Take chances. Put yourself out there. Face the world with a generous heart. Live your life. Make the world your own. “Find love, and then give it all away.”

Songs You May Have Missed #521


Guster: “Kid Dreams” (2015)

We’ve previously extolled Guster’s penchant for cheerful melody and their 2015 release, Evermotion, overflows with more feel-good tunefulness.

At times the band also demonstrates an ability to reach a deeper place with a lyric, as is the case with the poignant “Kid Dreams”:

So there I was, fifteen, stuck in
High school was no prom king
Zoned out in a daydream of a
Pretty girl, my own beauty queen
I was too shy to talk
I was round and soft
All the kids would drawl, “You got some beady eyes, boy”

Then I’d start to shrink
Became too hard to see
They got what they need
I got the beady eyes
You can get what you want
Make a plea to the dark
Not as hard as it seems, kid dreams

What did I want?
What did I need?
I got three squares a day, I got a bed for sleep
I couldn’t shake a deep belief in a
Pretty girl who would save me
And then sure enough, they would call my bluff
They’d jab and trip me up
Hit right between the eyes, boy

Fill my cuts with salt
Slowly I’d dissolve
That was all they saw, the boy with beady eyes
You can get what you want
Make a plea to the dark
Not as hard as it seems, kid dreams

Oh God now here she comes
My perfect lady luck
I never did give up, I never did give up
The once and future king
The best it’s ever been
If only they could see, see with my beady eyes, boy

See also:

See also:

See also:

Video of the Week: Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)

Songs You May Have Missed #520


Ásgeir: “King and Cross” (2013)

asgeir pic

At 21 years of age, Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson released his resoundingly popular debut, an album now owned by an estimated 10% of the population of his native Iceland.

With American songwriter John Grant assisting in the translation of lyrics mostly penned by Ásgeir’s 72-year-old retired school principal father, these gorgeous harmonies and ethereal melodies receive wider release in the English-language version of that debut, titled In the Silence.

The record features mostly soulful vocals and a combination of acoustic and electronic instruments which alternately evoke bands like Kings of Convenience or Midlake (with whom Grant also collaborated) but “King and Cross” stands out with its gentle faux-disco vibe.

Why Do All Records Sound the Same?



Desperate to get their music on the radio at all costs, record labels are employing powerful software to artificially sweeten it, polish it, make it louder— squeezing out the last drops of its individuality

(via Cuepoint)

There was once a little-watched video on Maroon 5’s YouTube channel which documents the tortuous, tedious process of crafting an instantly-forgettable mainstream radio hit.

It’s fourteen minutes of elegantly dishevelled chaps sitting in leather sofas, playing $15,000 vintage guitars next to $200,000 studio consoles, staring at notepads and endlessly discussing how little they like the track (called “Makes Me Wonder”), and how it doesn’t have a chorus. Even edited down, the tedium is mind-boggling as they play the same lame riff over and over and over again. At one point, singer Adam Levine says: “I’m sick of trying to engineer songs to be hits.” But that’s exactly what he proceeds to do.

Read more:

Songs You May Have Missed #519


Mariachi El Bronx: “Everything Twice” (2014)

Band name that references NYC? Check. Sombreros? Check. Cheerful, ear-tugging melodies? Yup. Mariachi El Bronx have everything you’d expect from a hardcore punk band from L.A.

That’s what The Bronx have been for the better part of their existence. But since 2006 they’ve put out three albums of the punchiest, most party-friendly mariachi music this side of…wherever you’d usually go to hear mariachi music. “Everything Twice” is not quite typical of their mariachi sound, owing more to the Tex-Mex style of Texas Tornados. But it’s as catchy a tune as anything these guys have come up with.

See also:


Why All Country Music Sounds the Same

Greg Todd’s six-song mashup of recent “bro-country” hits (above) along with Grady Smith’s supercut from 2013 (below) reveal what some of us have known for some time: contemporary country is a musically and lyrically bankrupt medium–pretty much creativity’s antithesis.

Which is fine if you’re into that kind of thing.

Just don’t ask my why I won’t listen to a genre of music in which a song is already, in effect, an oldie the day it’s released.

I’m beginning to believe you could actually write a hit country song by simply ticking enough boxes of hillbilly hackney…

blah blah blah blah “small town”

blah blah blah blah “dirt road” blah blah “pickup truck”

blah blah “backwoods”, “moonlight” blah blah “tight blue jeans”

“good stuff”, “cold beer”, “six-pack” and/or “homemade wine”

blah blah on a Saturday Night (or Friday)

Listen to Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried”, for example, which rattles off no less than four of the above clichés within the song’s first seven lines (and that’s not counting the fried chicken reference). Many country songs amount to nothing more than lists of things identifiably rough-hewn and rustic–compiled into a testament either of the singer’s redneck cred or that of the (small town, blue-jean clad) girl of his affection.

It seems the only suitable locale for a country song is a small town. The only vehicle a country song’s protagonist may drive is a pickup, or perhaps a flatbed. The only acceptable dress for a woman in a country song is tight blue jeans. And the only time anything happens in a country song is on a weekend. Pretty rigid songwriting–and listening–requirements.

Now think of great–and I mean great–country songs of decades past. Songs such as “El Paso” and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” and “Sixteen Tons” and “King of the Road” and “Behind Closed Doors” and “Stand by Your Man” and “Ring of Fire” and even “The Gambler”. Notice how none of those songs were strewn with lazy lists of all things “country”. That’s because when those songs were popular, country music was the medium, and not the message. The song was about something else, something substantive.

To sum up what’s wrong with (or at least what’s different about) country music today: “country” has gone from being the genre to the subject matter itself. Like a painting of a picture frame.

How the Colombian Army Sent a Hidden Message to Hostages…Using a Pop Song



(via The Verge)

…Ortiz pitched the Colonel a plan as if he were pitching a commercial to Heinz or Coca-Cola. The Colonel stroked his chin. Espejo liked the code idea, because he knew that many soldiers — especially in the communications departments — were taught Morse code in their basic training. Furthermore, Espejo reasoned, “The FARC were peasants from the fields, they wouldn’t know [Morse].” It was a longshot, but if the team could disguise the telltale dot-dot-dash signals in a song, there was a chance the soldiers would hear the message…

Read more:


Pop-lifting (Part 2): Avril, Rod and Bob Marley Found Guilty

Welcome to another segment of the widely tolerated “Poplifting” feature, wherein we like to demonstrate our vast (or at least half-vast) knowledge of pop history’s musical pickpockets. Let’s point some incriminating fingers!


avril rubinoos

“Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne lifted from “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” by The Rubinoos lifted from “Get Off My Cloud” by The Rolling Stones

When power pop band The Rubinoos filed a claim against Avril Lavigne and her “Girlfriend” cowriter/producer Dr. Luke, saying her 2007 hit ripped off their 1979 song, Lavigne responded by saying she’d never heard their song before. Although her claim seems plausible (she wasn’t even born till five years after its release) there had been two cover versions in 1990 and 1996 that she certainly could have come across. And it’s not like music from 1979 didn’t exist on CD in 2007…

Be that as it may, Lavigne was exonerated in court despite the opinion of prominent music critics that her song is a total lift from the Rubinoos’. In Lavigne’s defense her manager pointed out that The Rubinoos song itself seems to borrow from the Rolling Stones’ “Get Off My Cloud”. Certainly a case can be made that there were two incidents of poplifting here:


roots drifters

 “Let’s Live For Today” by The Grass Roots lifted from “I Count the Tears” by The Drifters

Legendary songwriters Pomus and Shuman had their hook hooked for a song recorded originally by The Rokes in 1966, then taken to #8 by The Grass Roots the following year.


rod jorge

 “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” by Rod Stewart lifted from “Taj Mahal” by Jorge Ben

Jorge Ben, Brazilian musician and writer of the classic “Mas Que Nada”, didn’t take kindly to Rod Stewart’s unauthorized use of a melody from his “Taj Mahal”, a song Rod surely had opportunity to hear as the 1972 song was popular in London clubs. Ben sued for copyright infringement and the case was settled amicably with all future royalties from “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” going to UNICEF. Stewart has admitted to “unconscious plagiarism” in the matter.

Jorge Ben added “Jor” to his name, becoming Jorge Benjor, supposedly in response to an incident where some of his royalties went to George Benson.


berry jordan

“Roll Over Beethoven”, “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry lifted from “Ain’t That Just Like a Woman” by Louis Jordan

Chuck Berry, as we learned in the last post on this subject, is the true originator, the one everybody cribs from…right? Well, yes. But he’s also a guy who recycled that signature riff a lot. And, oh yeah–he wasn’t the first to use that now-famous guitar intro, the one that rang in the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. The first three samples you’ll hear in this clip are the intros to Chuck’s “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B. Goode” respectively. The fourth is the intro from Louis Jordan’s “Ain’t That Just Like a Woman”. It’s from 1946. Call it rock ‘n’ roll’s false start.


marley splits

“Buffalo Soldier” by Bob Marley lifted from “The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)” by The Banana Splits

I know. It doesn’t get any more unlikely than this. But maybe not–Marley did spend about half of 1969 living with his mother in Delaware, his wife and young kids with him. Seems almost likely he’d be exposed to Bingo, Drooper, Snorky and Fleegle and their Saturday morning Adventure Hour (if you’re too young to know who the Banana Splits were, think The Monkees in animal costumes. If you’re too young to know The Monkees, ask your mum).

Why he’d copy their song is another story. I’m thinking this is another case of “unconscious plagiarism”. A pretty funny one. To my knowledge, Fleegle and company took no legal action.


See also: Pop-lifting (Part 1): Eagles, Beatles, Beach Boys and Their Stolen Music | Every Moment Has A Song (

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: