Epic Music That Plays In My Background

A moment ago I was on Facebook (aka the ultimate slacker tool) and as I clicked on different pages I liked… “using your cellphone as a flashlight” and “don’t’ talk to me before my coffee” I clicked on one I really liked.

I wish background music played during epic moments of my life (and not just in movies).

And let’s think about that for a moment.  Sometimes I really do pretend there is background music playing during certain moments in my day.  Ok, maybe not epic per say, but they are definitely moments that have significance.  Honestly?  None of the moments are epic.  But pretending there is background music during these moments, makes them almost epic.


For example.. when I drive to work I listen to my ipod via my car stereo.  Sometimes really cool 80’s tunes come on.  And as I drive (or sit in traffic – which is more often the case) the song “In The Air Tonight” comes on and I chill back in my seat a tad as my hand drapes over the steering wheel.  I am “uber cool” in that moment. Dark sunglasses and a white blazer are the only things that would cement my coolness.

Even better? Driving a car that isn’t a ’99 Pontiac that no longer has working heat.  But I digress.

And then… I am walking down the cereal aisle of the supermarket, about to decide between Apple Jacks and Lucky Charms for my daughter.  I suddenly go into to slow motion as my head turns (in a most sexy way) and bam! “Still of the Night” bellows.

You get the gist.  Non-epic moments in my life made epic just by adding a killer background track.

Maybe you have a song or two that plays (or you wish played) during some moments in your life.  Care to share?



Classic 80’s Horror Movies – Watch Them Again.

image courtesy of: halloween-wallpapers.blogspot.com

Spooky Spooky!

October is here!  Time for jackets, apple cider and corn mazes (make sure you have your cellphone on you!) to really bring out the autumn in us all.

October is time for something else.  Halloween.  Halloween means…. Horror movies.  Now, I know we can watch horror movies any time we feel like.  However, there is something special about curling up on the couch in late October with a giant bowl of popcorn and a fuzzy blanket to watch movies that scare the crap out of us.

What’s up with that?

Here are some classic 80’s horror movies:

Halloween – Released in 1978, this movie became a cult classic in the 80’s.  I like this one because Jamie Lee Curtis is not a sniveling “woe is me” protagonist.  She is quite the match for Michael Myers and is not a cocky bitch about it.

Amityville Horror – Actually released in 1979, it is based on a true story (creeeeepy).  Dad goes nuts in an evil house and kills his family.  Anytime I see a house with attic windows like the house in the movie I am instantly freaked out.

Poltergeist – Family moves to new house, house is creepy, family calls in even creepier lady to see what the heck is going on.  “Go into the liiiight.”  “Stay out of the liiiight.”  Make up your mind lady!

Cujo – Rabid dog goes apeshit.  Only Stephen King could write this story so well that it isn’t cheesy.  Made into a damn good creepy dog movie.

A Nightmare on Elm Street – Johnny Depp is in this one and if you weren’t a Depp fan, you might not even realize it.  Why do we sleep?  For rest!  Well, if you are a child of a person that lynched the ‘evil dream guy’ you might never wake up.

The Shining – Leave it to Stephen King to write an amazing story about a cooped up writer.  Jack Nicholson nails the part of the “writer gone bananas” in this classic flick.  Shelley Duvall is perfect in the mealy-mouthed wifey poo part.

Yeah, Stephen King’s “awesome novels made into awesome movies” got two picks… he is the King of Horror after all.

What are some of your fave 80’s horror flicks?  I know there are a ton of creepy horror movies.. like Zombie movies, which my dear blogger friend Sonia G. Medeiros blogged about earlier.  Check out her wickedly cool zombie post!

Happy Spookiness!

The Cowbell: Propelling Music Forward in the 80’s

Christopher Walken: “I got a fever… for cowbell.”

The cowbell.  Even on cows it sounds good.  Who would have thought… somewhere along the winding road of music an artist would say, “This song is great.  But… it needs something.  How about… some cowbell?”

In the Cowbell Skit on Saturday Night Live featuring Christopher Walken and Will Farrell (which is hilarious), Will Farrell and crew are covering Blue Oyster Cults “Don’t Fear The Reaper” for Walken.  There is a lot of cowbell in Don’t Fear The Reaper.  Perfect Cowbell.

My first memory of cowbell in a song is Loverboy’s Working For The Weekend.  The cowbell hits me in the face:  doink! doink! doink! smash!  And the music begins.  When I listen to this song.. the lyrics do not make much sense to me.

Random Lyrics From The Song

Everybody’s working for the weekend

Everyone’s looking to see if it was you

Everyone’s trying to get it right.

You wanna piece of the show, c’mon baby let’s go!

But the song is so damn catchy.  I don’t think many care that the lyrics are so random.  I don’t.. that’s for sure.  “Everybody’s Working For The Weekend.”  That is the only part that matters.

In 1987  Guns ‘N’ Roses broke ground with their album Appetite for Destruction.  I was fourteen years old, looking to rebel and there was Guns ‘N’ Roses blowing hair metal over the cliff like a tree in a windstorm.  Their epic tune “Night Train features a perfect mix of cowbell, screaming guitar and a still screaming Axl Rose.  The song is about getting wasted (I think?).

Random Lyrics From The Song

Wake up late honey put on your clothes
Take your credit card to the liquor store
That’s one for you and two for me by tonight
I’ll be loaded like a freight train

Guns ‘N’ Roses helped artists of the 80’s put down the hairspray and get a little more serious about the music.  There is a picture of Axl Rose on the AFD sleeve with cautiously poofy hair.  He has it there and a few moments in the “Welcome to the Jungle” video… never saw it again.  He probably figured there was cowbell on the album, so poofy hair was redundant.  Probably not.

Mötley Crüe, or Nikki Sixx rather (bassist for Crüe) wrote “Live Wire” in 1981.  I recently read The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx (which is an awesome, disturbing read) and he talked about this song.   I got the impression that he was basically warning the world that a bunch of bad asses were coming and no one.. NO ONE would stop them.

This song became one of their classics and is in my top five Crüe songs of all time.  There are two instances of cow bell in this song at just the right moments.

Random Lyrics From The Song

Take my fist to break down walls
I’ll top tonight, no, no
Better turn me loose
Better set me free
‘Cause I’m hot, I’m young, running free – little bit better than it used to be

These are my cowbell song mentions.  Do you know any others?  Do you think the songs I listed need more or less cowbell?


Let’s Go To The Movies!

As an American, I love movies.  Most of us do.  I love all kinds.  The ones that I always have to watch at least a piece of are 80’s flicks.  If I asked you to name the first three 80’s movies that pop in your head, what would they be?

Mine are:

The Breakfast Club – 1985

Classic!  This film depicts every single emotion any teenager ever felt in the 80’s.  Heck, I am sure teenagers feel the same way today, it is just a different time.

There was the princess played by Molly Ringwald.  Snotty and self-righteous, she was either the girl we loved to hate or the girl we hated to love.  She felt insecure.

There was the jock played by Emilio Estevez.  He was the muscle headed dim wit who played football because he felt there was nothing else he was good at.  He felt stupid.

There was the geek played by Anthony Michael Hall.  Hall pulled off the nerdy know-it-all well and we rooted for him.  He felt alone.

There was the bad boy.  A wise cracking bully, he picked apart everyone in the room that day, but when it came down to it, he felt saddest inside.

There was the misfit played by Ally Sheedy.  Man, was she an oddball.  I identified with this character most of all.  Shy and well, just flat out weird she barely talked through the whole movie.  Who would eat a pixie stick and potato chip sandwich?

And we can’t forget the bully played by Judd Nelson, who captured the essence of bullies then and now.

When I watch it today, I still feel that giddy teenager feeling, but I watch it with seasoned eyes.  See, I didn’t get the whole character association thing until some twenty years later.  I just thought it was an awesome movie.

The Karate Kid – 1984

Romantic!  Here’s a kid, who doesn’t know crap about karate, but is tired of getting bullied at school.  Impulsive Daniel Larusso, played by Ralph Macchio, hooks up with Mr. Miyagi, a patient handyman and is taught the ropes of self-defense.  Of course, Daniel gets his ass kicked but it all works out in the end.  Elisabeth Shue plays Ali Mills, his love interest.

What can The Karate Kid teach us about ourselves?  Well, when I took a bus to the Orleans Theatre in Northeast Philadelphia with my friend Tina to see this movie, I didn’t learn anything.  I watched a great movie starring one of my favorite Brat Pack actors.  I walked out feeling happy as I ended it on a double chocolate brownie ice cream cone from Baskin Robbins.

Today, in the wake of so much bullying in society, I look back and see that there was a message in that movie and that message was:  don’t think the little guy can’t beat you.

Red Dawn – 1984

I first watched this movie on VHS tape.  I remember walking down to Watkins, a little video store in Bridesburg, PA.   It was me and Tina again and we were hell-bent for more Brat Pack.  For you youngins, VHS tapes came onto the scene in the 80’s and were the greatest thing since bubble gum.  I mean, imagine being able to get a tape, pop it into a machine and watch a movie at leisure. (Stop laughing at me!)

Class is in session at a Colorado high school as Soviet & Cuban Troops parachute onto the football field.  The kids become armed and flee the school into nearby woods.  It is Colorado, so you don’t have to guess that it is cold.  The band of feisty fighters becomes “The Wolverines!” as they wage their own war.

I watched this movie again about four years ago, and I have to say, I felt a little embarrassed.  It seemed lame.  This feeling of lameness actually made me feel good because… it meant I matured!

When I watched it in the 80’s, an again not so long ago, I came away with one feeling (besides my maturity) and that was… we always fight for what is right, no matter the cost.

I could definitely list at least ten other movies from the 80’s that were downright awesome.  But I want to hear from you.  Are any of my three on your list?  Do you have better ones?  Please share!