6.30.2009

MCM#2 Lip Synch or Sing Along

Month two, and it's a doozie! Thanks to Renata for the keen suggestion and thanks to everybody who participated - it's a fun one. The cover features Felix in a still frame from a video of him singing one of his favorite songs. Click here to download all of MCM #2 or hunt and peck below. If you like something or hate something or whatever, please make a comment! Some of these files are m4a format, so you should download them all with the link above or right click and save them to your machine.

"Mony Mony" Billy Idol

Jennifer writes: I have pretty much always been a big fan of Billy Idol which dates back to his GenX days. In fact, I'd have to admit that the biggest highlight of 2008 was seeing him at The Venue and getting to sing a part of "Ready, Steady, Go" with him from the front row.

"Mony, Mony" is not my favorite (cover) song of his - but the category is Sing Along songs and you cannot deny this is a classic Sing Along song.

I also wanted to pick an artist that was as much of an icon of the early MTV days as Michael Jackson as a mini-tribute to MJ's music and the music of that era.

"Say It Aint So" Weezer

Juicy Justin Sid writes: Besides being one of my all time favorite songs and my karaoke instant go-to choice this Weezer classic holds a special place in my nostalgic heart. This track has always and forever been one of the only songs I can even remember how to play on my guitar. So when introduced into a group of people and forced to play my guitar at shiv point I always default to the age ol' goodness that is Weezer. This is most definitely a song that you do not play quietly. You must crank the volume knob and scream/chant/wail the epic chorus up into the heavens!

"Ticket To Ride" The Beatles

Allison writes: It's The Beatles, it's infectious, it's highly sing-alongable, and in my opinion, one of John Lennon's finer song-writing moments. Though the majority of Beatles tracks were always authored as "Lennon/McCartney" this one in particular was always attributed to him.

(One of his other fine, much later, song-writing moments was also penned by Christopher, below. Yay for semi-synchronicity.)

Anyway, the accompanying video, as excerpted from the 1965 Beatles movie "Help!", is also a barrel of fun. When I was 12 (and very obsessed with the fab four) I'd watch this segment on VHS every day during the summer... for months on end... it's still a total delight!

"Ego Trippin' [Part Two]" De La Soul

Ben writes: There was a period of time when I owned a run-down 1986 Buick Centry station wagon. It had a tape deck and De La's Buhloone Mindstate was constantly playing. Listening now, I can't believe how completely ahead of their time they were. It's old school, for sure, but some of the production and techniques they used in 1993 didn't show up in the mainstream for years. ANYWAY... Some 12 or more years later i'm still singing along and i know every word. Yeah!

"Diva" Beyoncé

Tracey writes: I picked this song because like me, it has much attitude! AND you get to say “I’m a Diva” like 50 times. So, it’s sort of like brainwashing you into thinking that you are one (You will take me to Jabba now). I have a mic and some sunglasses with bling, underneath the passenger seat of my husband’s car just for when this song comes on. He hates it, but is amazed at how quickly I can whip them out when the song comes on. Now all I need is an air plane, so I can deny passengers like Beyonce! “NO PASSENGERS ON MY PLANE!” (Insert evil sinister laugh here)

"In The Street" Big Star

Jane writes: It was the summer of '98.

I was settling down in my apartment in Wicker Park to work on a big project for which I'd already been up 2 straight days. Delirious and wired on coffee, I heard a familiar song coming from the TV. I zombily wandered into the living room to see the opening sequence of some new show where kids in a car were singing along to... this song... from one of my Top 25 All-Time Desert Island Albums... Though it was being covered by somebody and the lyrics were changed up, I stood in wonder.

It was most definitely a tune I never expected to hear on prime time – kinda like how T.G.I.Fridays is using that Tight Bros song in its commercials now – a jawdropper.

Though there are better tracks on #1 Record/Radio City by Big Star, "In the Street" from that point on was catapulted into synonymity with "sing-a-long”... at least in a cheesy sitcom sort of way.

Note: The TV program was the premiere of That 70's Show, and with a little research I found the person covering the song was a gentleman by the name of Todd Griffin. Season 2 sported a shiny, new Cheap Trick version, complete with "Hello, Wisconsin!" by Rockford's own favorite son.

"Time For Me to Fly" REO Speedwagon

Dan writes: When I was getting near the end of a not-so-fun 3 year relationship, this song helped me belt out a lot of pent up frustrations. Glad my apartment had really thick walls. Although I no longer have any of the feelings this song describes, it is still fun to sing along. Go ahead, try it.

"Summertime" Kenny Chesney

Mike writes: While Country music has been around for some time, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered it. The music just feels more "relatable" to me than most these days (for lack of a better way to put it) and there's a storytelling aspect to many of the songs that I also find very appealing. And lyrically, the songs tend to be pretty straightforward. Hence my selection: a sweet, summer ditty by one of the current kings of Country. One that I often find myself singing along to in the car, the office, on the train; when I’m shopping for cowboy hats, loading up my twelve-gauge, popping in a plug of chew or changing the oil on my pick-up...

"What's Up?" 4 Non Blondes

Renatá writes: The College of Business at UIUC is a huge fan of group projects. Sometimes such projects are incredibly boring … while others are actually fun. My senior Marketing Communications project (one of the fun ones!) encompassed building a team with other students, starting our own “agency” and creating an Integrated Marketing Campaign for FIJI Water. (FIJI had approached both UIUC and USC with this concept — and so the FIJI Bowl was born.) Hours upon hours upon HOURS were poured into the project by my team (Team Tabua). Touted as the group that enjoyed the work and each others’ company “too much,” we were of course the winners at UIUC. In preparation for our final presentation to the FIJI CEO and assorted executives out in LA, we really ran ourselves thin on sleep and fun. To remedy this, we all decided to go out, let off some steam and get super drunk together. I'm not really sure why What’s Up spoke to us on this particular night, but as soon as it came on at the random campus bar we were at, the six of us belted out the whole song at full blast. Random, really, but ever since we’ve considered it our team anthem.

A few weeks later, we trekked out to LA, dominated our presentation and won the competition. To celebrate our victory, FIJI treated us to a wild night in the clubs … and we very well might have belted out What’s Up a capella on a cab ride between parties. Now any time I hear the song, I really can’t help but sing along. Loudly. Good times!

"Oh Yoko" John Lennon

Chris writes: Oh, John Lennon. I could sing this song 1,000 times and never grow tired. Listen to that jangly piano, the harmonica solo, the double and triple-tracked vocals, the bouncy drum beat. The words are so simple, the sentiment so pure. This is a song about thinking of that special someone at any time of the day (in the bath, in the middle of a shave, etc.) and crying out with joy and love. I hope everyone can experience that feeling at some point, and I know I share Lennon's urge whenever I think of my lovely wife. It also happens to be one of the many songs Leslie and I belt out in pure adulation whenever it comes on the radio.

"Ain't Too Proud To Beg" The Temptations

Margaret writes: It took me a long time to master the timing of this song (especially the “beg and plead” lyric), but since I got that down this song has been a mainstay in my “songs that get sung at random” playlist. How can you not like this song? I know you do, because when I sing it at the office, y’all join in. It’s just one of those songs.

"Rise Above" Dirty Projectors

Sarah writes: Dave Longstreth (the lead singer) is the king of inserting R&B vocal runs into indie rock - and I love it. I’ve probably learned more about ear training from attempting to sing along with Dave Longstreth than from four years of music school. Rise Above is one of Dirty Projectors’ most straight forward songs, but that doesn’t stop him from ornamenting like whoa. Highly recommended solo sing along track here, folks - plus, if you’re too lazy to sing along with Dave, you can harmonize with the ladies.

Most people know how I feel about Dirty Projectors, so I’ll keep my proselytizing to a minimum. But, if you like this, let me know - I’m always eager to spread the Good Word.

"Life Is Shit" The Dead Milkmen

Ben writes: This is one of those great sing-alongs that I turn to when others might turn to booze or the crack pipe. There's something wonderful about joining in on this chorus when everything in your life is up in flames. Next time you get your ass kicked all day long at the job, crank this one up and join in.

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