I am currently sitting around the house in a suspended state of terror. If you follow me on social media, you know that my motorcycle crapped out on me on Tuesday, which led to several different people having to rescue me (and my ride) over the course of several days. While I hate having to need help from anyone, I also realize I am very lucky to work with people who have a strong sense of empathy and exude a lot of kindness.
While I’m still trying to determine what exactly has gone wrong with it, my car refused to be one-upped and has also decided this week was as good as any to take a giant shit on me as well. While the bike has a fuel or ignition problem, the car has a loud grinding drivetrain issue, which is something I just don’t feel like fucking with. At this very second, it’s sitting in the shop and I’m impatiently awaiting the dreaded call that will fill me in with the extent of the damages to both my car and my wallet. Having one vehicle down makes me extremely temperamental, and whenever I have two down at the same time, I turn into that fucking thing that reps for the Philadelphia Flyers.
So today I just wanted to try to do something small and positive to keep my mind off all this heavy stuff. Inspired by Y. Balloo’s tweet yesterday about a “30 Day Music Challenge”, he chose to put all of his picks on a single Spotify playlist instead of drawing out the challenge using several threads over a whole month. (Side Note: he’s a pretty brilliant dude and an incredible writer, check out his site here).
I, on the other hand, suck at everything Spotify. Instead, I opted to turn this challenge into a blog post complete with 30 separate irritating Youtube links.
There’s the template for all of this. Now, watch and see as I can take pretty much anything and make it 100% more stupid! Let’s begin the challenge!
DAY 1: A song you like with color in the title
I’m just going to go with the first thing that popped into my head. I love angsty 80’s electronica with extra heavy synthesizers. I also have a thing for excessive repetition. This song’s got all that shit in spades.
DAY 2: A song you like with a number in the title
This is a little older, but it’s a great track that still has a certain level of freshness to it today. I think a lot of it comes from the fuzzy, overdriven bass amplifier. Does anybody really know what the fuck “25 Or 6 To 4” actually means, anyways??
DAY 3: A song that reminds you of summertime
Too easy! I love this song, and this video feels like a warm ray of sunshine even on the coldest of nights. Jay Kay and his grin make you wish you could have gotten secret tickets to his backyard pool party that had swimsuit models, colonial Americans on motorbikes, and hovercraft racing.
Also fun fact: Strangely, the word “bomb” is censored in this video. They still managed to miss one of them in one of the first verses tho.
DAY 4: A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget
Ugh. I don’t miss Swamp Thing and his crappy music at all. It’s great to use this crap once for a funny joke, but that’s about it. Fun Fact: the guitar player for this band was murdered by an escalator earlier this year.
DAY 5: A song that needs to be played loud
This is such a killer track, featuring the 53rd guy to play guitar for the Chili Peppers. The new guy is a pretty forgettable guitarist (sorry bro) but this track is downright electrifying after the break and drop. Seriously. If that part doesn’t make your skin tingle and the hair on your neck stand up, please drive yourself to the nearest organ donor warehouse and cut out the middleman.
DAY 6: A song that makes you want to dance
This makes me want to dance, but by using a controller to input the moves. This game and this song make me miss those simpler, alcohol soaked days. The lyrics are dumb as hell based to the English localization, but when it comes to the guts of the song, it’s still a pretty good tune.
DAY 7: A song you drive to
I drive a lot. I ride a lot. Nothing gets me more pumped on the asphalt than a little Rise Against. It’s a teensy bit preachy (as all their stuff is), but it’s still gets the blood pumping as I blast through traffic, lamenting the manual transmission I have to shift 5,700 times per commute.
DAY 8: A song about drugs or alcohol
It’s a somewhat forgettable mellow little jam, but I love Tim Mahoney’s sleepy little guitar solos throughout this song. This entire album is really well-made, and it’s amazing how good an LP can be whenever you decide to not to include a rap song about your computer.
DAY 9: A song that makes you happy
Most music makes me happy, but I’m going to be lame and go with the song that 98% people taking this challenge picked for this entry. This fun little song really does take your mind off the bad shit for a few minutes. The secret to how this song soars so high is totally from the amazing chorus backing vocals. This song is so damn good, even though some of the dancing in this video is especially cringey.
DAY 10: A song that makes you sad
I refuse to go into any deep explanation for why this song hits me the way it does, I got my reasons, bud. The fact that I have any emotional connection to a Def Leppard song is sad enough of a fact as it is.
DAY 11: A song you never get tired of
This was the third track on a 311 EP that came with an exclusive VHS tape that had people drinking gallons of whole milk and then throwing up. The late 90’s were just a more gentler, innocent time. This song stands out for it’s early overuse of autotune and robot voice modulators that are prominently featured in the chorus.
DAY 12: A song from your preteen years
Fuck you, Lisa. I have two broken vehicles, a box of Nintendo games and a blog. Don’t try to tell me what you think your idea of “success” is.
DAY 13: A song you like from the seventies
I don’t know why, but I’ve really been in a KISS mood lately. I am really coming around to the nostalgic value of their dirty garage-rock New York sound. These live KISS songs make me wanna watch me some KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (currently sitting at .06% fresh on rottentomatoes.com).
DAY 14: A song you’d love to have played at your wedding
Back in the days when Hootie was still a hot property, he put out this sexy jingle for a Burger King sandwich using catchy verses like “The breasts, they grow on trees”. Yes, that’s an actual lyric from this tune. And yes, this motherfucker will be played on repeat at my forthcoming wedding in 2051.
DAY 15: A song that’s a cover by another artist
For the longest time, I thought that this song was an original by Led Zeppelin. Turns out, just like everything Zeppelin ever did, this is indeed somebody else’s music. The original version of this tune was from 1929, recorded right as the Great Depression hit. My favorite part of this song is the depth of the sound recording. It feels like this was a live take recorded a dingy, reverb-filed basement. It also makes for a great playlist for your iPod whenever you have to fight yet another lengthy copyright battle in court.
DAY 16: A song that’s a classic favorite
This song is the result of taking the greatest bass player of all time and pairing them up with one of the greatest songwriters of all time. This track oozes soul, emotion and vibrant and sweet memories sung over one of the best basslines you’ve ever heard. I hope Stevie reads my blog.
DAY 17: A song you’d sing as a duet with someone on kareoke
“Bret, I’m trying to watch TV here”.
DAY 18: A song from the year you were born
Fuck y’all. I know I’m really fuckin’ old, ok?
DAY 19: A song that makes you think about life
I love the positive, happy groove and soft spoken lyrics from one of the most 90’s thing ever made. This song makes you wanna stretch out on the beach and gaze out at the ocean all day. RIP Prince Be.
DAY 20: A song that has many meanings to you
There’s a ton of different themes going on here. There are clear examples of sacrifice, friendship, discovery, loss and rebirth. Whenever I am down, I listen to this track (and video) to reassure myself that all life is cyclical, and to not dwell on sadness for too long. This too shall pass.
DAY 21: A song you like with a person’s name in the title
This list clearly needed some more butt-rock in it, so I injected it with 500 cc’s of long-haired butt rockery. This song was one of the first times I had ever heard of the “Fuck Thomas Edison” movement, and it turns out they were right all along. Fuck that lightbulb guy.
DAY 22: A song that moves you forward
Being a content creator is a lot of work, and can be a thankless task that can grind you down. No matter how burned out and discouraged I get, I just listen to good ‘ol Jan Terri, a limo driver who got famous by lazily writing incredibly stupid lyrics over a 70’s anthem.
DAY 23: A song you think everyone should listen to
I miss Scott Weiland and his drug-fueled talent. This video and song is proof he still had plenty of gas in the tank left to help churn out great music. They just aren’t the same band without him or that guy from Linkin Park behind the mic. Turns out that singing for STP will still not covered by most life insurances.
DAY 24: A song by a band you wish were still together
These guys might be back together again, or they might be broken up for the 45th time. They are still one of my favorite bands of all time, and I would gladly go see them live if they toured through here. A few years ago they actually got together for a few shows, and we even got to hang out with Will after the show and it was pure fucking magic.
DAY 25: A song you like by an artist no longer living
I heart Michael Jackson, and this is my all-time favorite MJ tune. His voice is always boundless, magical and incredible. Hearing this song brings back all my greatest feelings and memories of the 1980’s. And that underwater level from Mario 64.
DAY 26: A song that makes you want to fall in love
I don’t know what any of the lyrics in this song mean, but I think we all wanna be that fucking dude. Standing in the direct path of a cloud machine, frolicking in the sand with sad looking supermodels and having my art school video be used as fillers in between episodes of Beavis and Butthead is almost a textbook definition of living your best life.
DAY 27: A song that breaks your heart
The message of this song is to always try to think before you say/do something assholish that you’ll regret later. The song itself is a total bummer, but this music video will make you tear up like nothing else. You’ve been warned.
DAY 28: A song by an artist whose voice you love
Oh dear, I wanted to talk specifically about the vocals, but it turns out that everything about this song is perfect. The only thing tragic about this jam is that it ended up the theme song from that Trolls movie.
DAY 29: A song you remember from your childhood
This was one of those early transitional from radio videos, when looks didn’t mean everything. Neither did pretending to play the correct notes when the video synced up with the music. These guys get a pass though, I love this song and their expansive level of DGAF body hair.
DAY 30: A song that reminds you of yourself
My favorite song of all time, and something that encompasses everything I’m about. This song embodies my love for the ocean, hopeful optimism, anthem-inspired outro and a positively smoking Frusciante solo. YOU DON’T FORM IN THE WET SAND, YOU DON’T FORM AT ALL.
It sounds cooler when they do it.
And there we have it. 30 songs, and 30 challenges? I am starting to wonder if I am behind the curve, seeing as how this meme being passed around in October.
Hope you enjoyed my picks/layout/color commentary. I think doing it this way helps to explain why all these songs are important to me through use of context. I also had no inclination of something this dumb blasting past the 2,200 word mark. Sorry.
Still haven’t heard a peep from the mechanic. This cannot be good.
Happy October, y’all!
Can someone come get me?