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Top 5 Favorite Christmas Songs December 20, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 11:53 AM

TNT’s Top 5
5. “Twelve Pains of Christmas” by Bob Rivers Comedy Troupe – You can’t appreciate Christmas without acknowledging all the pains…especially rigging up the light.
4. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid – Over-played?  Perhaps…but it’s still one of my favorites.  Plus, we still need to feed the world.
3. “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses – I get so happy when I hear this song, it had to make the list!
2. “Father Christmas” by The Kinks – It’s a little sad how true this song becomes as you get older.  I still love toys, but money is always a great fit.
1. “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon – World peace is by far the best Christmas present ever.  Even if Santa can’t leave this in my stocking, I find some peace and solace by repeating the line ‘War is over, if you want it.’

Honorable Mentions: “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt – I love this song, always fun to sing.  “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms – Reminds me of my great grandma, this was her favorite.  ❤

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-D.M.C. – It’s Christmas time in Hollis, Queens.  Mom’s cooking chicken and collard greens.  Enough said.
4. “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Thurl Ravenscroft – I love Dr. Seuss and the lyrics he has composed for this song.  It contains the most wonderful insults!  Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots.
3. “Christmas Don’t Be Late” by The Chipmunks (Ross Bagdasarian Sr.)– It’s like hyped up kids sucked helium in anticipation of the big event.  Me, I want a hula hoop!
2. “Cool Yule” by Louis Armstrong – This song just makes me want to kick up my heels and dance!  So dig, Santa comes on big!
1. “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley – Not everyone is happy on Christmas.  You’ll be doing alright with your Christmas of white, but I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas.

Honorable mentions: “Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry, “Mele Kalikimaka” by Bing Crosby, “Christmas All Over Again” by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and “Father Christmas” by The Kinks.

Klone’s Top 5
5. “Carol of the Bells” by Mykola Leontovych – Nothing like a Christmas song that also kinda sounds like a horror-movie score.  I don’t know how else to describe this one, but there’s something about the intensity that makes it resonate with me.
4. “Mozart and Memories” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra – These guys are awesome, and in this track they take the best of their world and combine it with a memorable section of Mozart’s “Requiem”, and the result is auditory ecstasy.
3. “The First Noel” performed by Crash Test DummiesA holiday classic crooned by the deep voice we all came to know and love from their hit “Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm”.  The deep vocals give this song a new reverence.
2. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid – A lasting impression from the 1980s, this instant classic from a megaband of stars on a mission to feed the world’s starving children has never lost a moment of relevance to me, and the anthemic jingle quality to the song has always made it easy to listen to and even easier to love.
1. “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Back to the intensity and darkness, but in such a beautiful way as only the Trans-Siberian Orchestra can.  Combining a full symphony orchestra with Metallica inspired guitars and drums, this group has certainly left its mark on the holidays, and now I know my holiday season is not complete without hearing “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” at least once.

Daniel-Edward’s Top 5
5. “Oi To The World” by No Doubt
4. “The Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler
3. “Twelve Pains of Christmas” by Bob Rivers Comedy Troupe
2. “What’s This?” by Danny Elfman
1. “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses

Mark’s Top 5
5. “Merry F#%$in’ Christmas” by Denis Leary –  Always remember these words of wisdom from wise Mr. Leary, “Spread good cheer or burn in hell.”  Funny as hell and a great song to take the edge off of the pressures of Christmas.
4. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Irish Rovers I actually like this horrifically over-played tune, but only because the picturing of a drunken Grandmother getting run over by flying reindeer never fails to make me laugh.
3. “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney – Yes it is an insanely cheesy synth led Christmas tune, written in a style of music that one wouldn’t normally expect from a former Beatle.  But its happy-go-lucky delivery is exactly what makes this poorly aging song such a fun listen.
2. “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” by Savatage – This is one of the few mainstream radio holiday staples that I don’t mind hearing over and over.  What better way to signal the coming of Christmas than by an epic Metal song?
1. “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” by Alvin and the Chipmunks – One of the greatest Christmas songs EVER!  The whole Christmas with the Chipmunks album is worth a listen, but it is this song in particular that helps set the mood for the upcoming Christmas festivities.  And I still want my Hoola-Hoop.

Angela’s Top 5
5. “Little Drummer Boy” by David Bowie
4. “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) by The Ramones
3. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
2. “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-D.M.C.
1. “Dominick the Donkey” by Lou Monte


Top 5 Worst Christmas Songs December 13, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 9:28 AM

It’s that time of year again and I know there are some terrible Christmas songs out there that make us want to scream and rage.  Here are NVMP’s picks for the topic (more selections to come soon!)

TNT’s Top 5 Worst Christmas Songs
5. “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy – I love my Grandma and respect her enough to not like this song.  It also a red-neck taste, which immediately turns me off.
4. “I’m Gettin’ Nothin’ For Christmas” by Art Mooney and his Orchestra – This one always got on my nerves.  We can’t be as good as gold all year long and I never wanted to think I was getting nothing for Christmas, that would blow.
3. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Jimmy Boyd – This is the kind of shit that messes up kids.  Cheating on your loved one with a fat man dressed in red?  Even if we’re supposed to think that the “santa” mommy is kissing is just daddy dressed up as jolly St. Nick, what will the children think when they grow up?  I say save yourself the family drama and skip this tune.
2. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Bing Crosby – Nothing says holiday cheer better than a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis, just not feeling this one.
1. “Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)” by John Denver – Really John Denver?  I love all of your Christmas songs, but this one never got me into the holiday spirit.  And if your family has to worry about daddy getting drunk this Christmas, coming home at a quarter past eleven and falling down underneath your Christmas tree, then I feel sorry for you.  Gift idea for this daddy?  Rehab.

Hoverbee’s Top 5 (Worst)
5. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy – Sure, the lyrics are good for a laugh, but the vocals and the music are simply awful.
4. “Dominick the Donkey” by Lou Monte – This is one of the most annoying Christmas songs ever.
3. “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt – Santa is this woman’s sugar daddy.  She sensually begs him for a fur, a car, a ring and a yacht.
2. “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys bastardize “Little Deuce Coup” for a holiday hit.
1. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Jimmy Boyd – Presumably, the man seen kissing mommy is the child’s father in a costume.  For some reason, I just think your mom’s a strumpet.

Mark’s Top 5
5. “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey – ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  Proving again and again that shitty, unoriginal and uninspired music can indeed happen during Christmas, and assholes will still buy it.  GAG.
4. “The Hannukah Song” by Adam Sandler – It was only funny the first time that I heard it.  After losing relevance within the first year of existence, DJs and Program Directors all over the country continue to display their “mastery” of the U.S. music markets by continuing to play and play and play and play and play this shit from Thanksgiving through the New Year.
3. “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano – Over-kitschy, corny and wayyy over-played.  But thank you for the Christmas wishes anyway.
2. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon – Not a bad song actually.  This makes #2 on the list due to the fact that the song is a “delightfully cheerful” condemnation of war (in this case, Vietnam) by way of Christmas themes, with Lennon slamming his audience over the head with drama.  Thank you for mixing events and making Christmas seem bleak and unhappy.  And this tune also has the dubious honor of being one of the most over-played Christmas related songs ever.
1. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid – Shit, complete and utter self-indulgent shit.  Was it for a good cause?  Sure.  Is the song good?  NO!  If they cared so much, why didn’t they just donate a part of their album sales, or just give some money from their own pockets?  Perhaps even releasing the single to raise more money in addition to their own?  No way.  Instead, they rush to write a dreadful song, with tons of artists who mostly go unnoticed during the song and release a cheery, yet dramatic holiday single to raise the money to help alleviate Ethiopian famine: by raiding their fans pockets.  All of the glory, none of the responsibility.  Boo, Bob Geldof…BOO!


Top 5 Songs To Play When You’re Angry December 6, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 9:22 AM

TNT’s Top 5
When I put any of these songs on, your best bet is to steer clear of TNT.
5. “Don’t Shake My Tree” by The Hard Lessons – This song is great to forewarn people not to fuck with me.  Don’t shake my tree!
4. “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit – How could this not make the list??  It’s just one of those days….
3. “We Want More” by The Living End – This track could be used for any purpose or feeling, but I prefer it when I’m angry.
2. “Cyanide” by Metallica – Honestly, this entire list could have been Metallica, so at least I diversified a bit.  This is my favorite track from Death Magnetic, “End of the Line” was a close second for my #2 spot.
1. “Don’t Tread On Me” by Metallica – When someone pisses me off, this is the song that goes on.  I blast this song in hopes that the people surrounding me know that I’m angry and not to mess with me.

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “Rusty Cage” by Soundgarden – The frantic riffs and vocals of Chris Cornell make this the perfect song to blow off some serious steam.  It makes me feel like I can free myself from the turmoil that caused a furious mood.
4. “N.W.O” by Ministry – Although this song is about the anger felt toward politicians, it still does the trick when I need to purge myself of an irate mood.  I love the voices in the background and the intermittent long screams.
3. “Wish” by Nine Inch Nails – The driving beats and riffs are great, but I really love the lyrics of this song.  It sums up how I’ve felt about certain people in my life.
2. “Surprise! You’re Dead!” by Faith No More – When in a fit of rage, I play this song and immediately begin to laugh along with Mike Patton.  It’s an angry, yet fun song.
1. “Drug Against War” by KMFDM – This song makes me want to beat my head against a wall in a good way.  Sounds of bombs falling, machine guns, and voices saying “kill everything, bomb the livin’ bejeebers out of those forces” are just a few of the delights in this song.

Angela’s Top 5
5. “Surfacing” by Slipknot
4. “Twist/Chi” by Korn – There is nothing like the angry guttural sounds of Jonathan Davis to cheer me up.
3. “If You Keep Losing Sleep” by Silverchair
2. “White America” by Eminem
1.  “I Will Be Heard” by Hatebreed – Everytime this song comes on, be it via radio or live, I go crazy.  It’s the type of song where I fear no burly six-foot something sized man in a pit; I go full force.

Mark’s Top 5
Whenever I’m in an agitated mood, my musical tastes tend to range from ‘please cheer up’ to ‘descent into madness’.  Here is my list of those extremes.
5. “Steal my Sunshine” by Len – If you are a fan of the film GO, then you are familiar with this sugary pop song.  It is so fluffy, light-hearted and catchy, that there is no way I can refrain from mock hip-hop dancing with a goofy grin.  Another near instant remedy for my anger issues.
4. “Wish” by Nine Inch Nails – The king of untamed aggression unleashes a surprisingly rhythmic tune to aid in the fantasizing of cracking someone’s skull to, or even just to kick the shit out of a punching bag, or destroy your room.  Whatever choice is made, this song matches my mood beat for stressed out, pounding beat.
3. “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats – The greatest New Wave era tune written, EVER!  I can never stay in a bad mood when this tune comes on. It’s pretty much an instant cure for anger, I mean how could you be sad when you think about the music video, with a medieval village full of magical dancing, flutes and Safety dancing midgets?  Or the whole deal being repeated almost verbatim in the Paul Shore film Bio-Dome?  Yessssss.
2. “Prophecy” by Gary Numan– This is more of a mood neutralizer, taking the edge off of agitation while I wallow in complete frustration and anger, and allowing me to function while in the depths of gloom.
1. “Get to the Gone” by Static-X – #1 with a bullet, the ultimate in rag inducing (or encouraging) songs from one of the finest Evil-Disco bands around.  This song has aided in inducing road rage, making frustration worse and allowing me to fully envision my aggressive fantasies of kicking in the head of whoever has pissed me off that day.


Top 5 Songs To Be Thankful For November 22, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 10:13 AM

TNT’s Top 5
5. “Happy Holidays” by Andy Williams – This song makes the list because of one line…”It’s the holiday season (holiday season), with the whoop-de-doo and hickory dock”.   Oh Irving Berlin, no one could ever pull off the phrase ‘whoop-de-doo’ in any song today, not even Lady Gaga.
4. “Blue Monk” by Thelonious Monk – Without this song, I fear I would have never gotten into jazz.  I will forever give thanks for “Blue Monk”
3. “The Thanksgiving Song” by Adam Sandler – Another classic!  “Turkey for me, turkey for you, let’s eat the turkey in my big brown shoe”.
2. “Jesus of Suburbia” by Green Day – It was a toss-up between this track and “American Pie”, after further thought, I compared “Jesus of Suburbia” to a modern-day version of the classic by Don McLean.  Can you see the similarities?  Discuss.
1. “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie – It’s not Thanksgiving if you don’t hear “Alice’s Restaurant”, it’s a tradition!!

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” by Marvin Gaye – The lyrics say it all.  I want to stop and thank you baby.
4. “I Want to Thank You” by Otis Redding – I want to thank Otis for making music and using his fantastic voice.
3. “Look What You Done for Me” by Al Green – I’m so thankful for Al Green and all of his music.  He sets my heart free.
2. “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin – Written by Robert Plant to his then wife Maureen, the lyrics of this beautiful song express thanks to a partner or significant other.
1. “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly & the Family Stone – I love this funky tune.  I’d also like to thank all those who let be myself.

Klone’s Top 5
5. “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses – This was my first bit of musical rebellion.  My sisters and I loved this when it exploded on the scene, despite the fact that we were in elementary school at the time.  Mom hated it because of the lyrics and type of character Axel Rose was.  Without Guns N Roses, I would’ve never broken away from my elders and formed my own musical tastes, and for that, I am thankful.
4. “Enter Sandman” by Metallica – This was the song that introduced me to what would become my favorite band of all time, Metallica.  For that, I am thankful.
3. “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly – This was my introduction to epic musical masterpieces.  Without this song, I would have no appreciation for long-form tracks, and for that, I am thankful.
2. “Not Quite Sonic” by I Mother Earth – This was a track that taught me all about music from our Northern neighbors in Canada, and how their rock kicked ass like ours.  In fact, one could argue that they picked up the torch once we dropped it here in the U.S. and continue to put out awesome rock heavily influence by the mid-to-late 90s grunge explosion, but with all the heavy metal roots from the 80s still very present, and for all of that, I am thankful.
1. “Mandel Groove” by Blue Man Group – This song, among the rest of the Blue Man Group’s repertoire, has helped me shed my fear of aliens and look at them more conceptually than as horror movie bad guys, and expanded my perception to the possibilities of music.  With instruments of their own invention, the Blue Man Group is able to captivate the imagination by doing something incredible and new, but also create music using the same notes we recognize, only we have an easier time recognizing them when they emit from a guitar or keyboard.  They are a successful experiment, and an evolution of music, and for that I am thankful.

Daniel-Edward’s Top 5
5. “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey – I’m thankful this is the unofficial karaoke anthem for pretty much every karaoke establishment in the United States.
4. “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones – It’s the soundtrack to one of the best pieces of marketing (Call of Duty: Black Ops commercial) to grace televisions this holiday season, and for that I’m thankful.
3. “Fuck You” by Cee-Lo – I’m thankful for its tongue-in-cheek humor and for the fact that someone made “fuck you” into such a catchy, melodic chorus.
2. “Dancing With Myself”by Billy Idol – By far one of my favorite songs to karaoke to.
1. “Bad Romance” by Lady GaGa – I’m just thankful for GaGa, and “Bad Romance” is the perfect rocky relationship song.

Mark’s Top 5
5. “Moonlight Sonata (1st Movement)” by Ludwig van Beethoven – Beethoven’s masterpiece for the piano, as far as I am concerned.  To me he is a pioneer in the emotionally dictated compositions, lacing each note of this piece with unfulfilled fantasies and long-standing heart ache, allowing one’s mind to truly envision what he dreamt while creating this longing piece.
4. “Foreplay/Long Time” by Boston – Thank you Tom Schulz and Co., you helped me to understand from a young age what real rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to sound like, and that if you want to truly realize your sound, just do it all yourself.
3. “Message in a Bottle” by The Police – The song that caught my interest in the Police.  I am musically forever in debt to Sting, Andy Summers and above all, Stewart Copeland, for showing me how to infuse both your influences and musical individuality in each song without going overboard.
2. “Flaming June” by BT – Sure, I have included this on numerous lists, and for good reason.  Mr. Transeau’s amazing compositions helped
to introduce me to the concepts of the emotional and spiritual connections to music, and how one’s inner spirit can guide both the composer and listener through the meanings behind each notation or audio edit.
1. “Bliss” by Mystica – In one word: Perfect.  A masterful and exotic chill-out electronic tune from an Israeli dance group, featuring grainy, floating synths delicately flirting with Middle-Eastern influenced samples.  A song that is a true milestone to me, as it was a major turning point in the shift of my musical taste.  It opened my eyes and ears to the ever expansive world of electronic music, and to the very skilful mixing of Globe-trotting DJ Paul Oakenfold.  And it opened my eyes to the international parts of the world, where music and dancing weren’t just fun past times, they were simply a beautifully crafted way of life.  Thanks Mystica and Paul.

Stigz’s Top 5
5. “Tommy the Cat” by Primus – Yea, anybody that’d heard this knows why I’m thankful for it.  The sheer amount of originality is one reason.
4. “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” by The Rolling Stones – Songs like this are what revolutions are made of…and we thank you thirty years later.
3. “Illusion, Coma, Pimp and Circumstance” by Prince – Besides being uber-funky, this song paints a hilarious picture.
2. “#1 Radio $ingle” by PsychoStick – One of the best things to happen to metal…ever, and they rip on the all too prevalent formula-bound “musicians” polluting the airwaves…Drum Fill!
1. “The Bed Intruder Song” – For some reason, I love that someone besides Kanye West and the other no-talent “hip hop artists” found Auto-tune and did something worthwhile and hilarious…thank you…and remember, “hide ya kids, hide ya wife!”


Top 5 Songs To Fall Asleep To November 15, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 1:06 PM

TNT’s Top 5
5. “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie – The tempo is relaxed and I find the lyrics comforting; “If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks, then I’ll follow you into the dark”.
3. “Bouncing Ball” by Honey Honey – The hums in this song alone could put me to sleep, very soothing.
3. “Hannah Hold On” by The Get Up Kids – You knew there was going to be a song from The Get Up Kids on here.  It’s a sad song, but calming at the same time.
2. “Shortly Before the End” by Ok Go – The echos in this song make me feel like I’m drifting or floating off into an unknown oblivion…or sleep.
1. “Come Away With Me” by Nora Jones – When I think of Nora Jones, I think of relaxation.  Her voice alone could put me into a deep sleep, and the entire album Come Away With Me does the trick.

Daniel Edward’s Top 5
5. “Sleep” by The Dandy Warhols
4. “Kelly Watch the Stars” by AIR
3. “Across the Universe” by Fiona Apple
2. “When Stars Go Blue” by The Corrs featuring Bono
1. “Don’t Blame Your Daughter [Diamonds]” by The Cardigans

Honorable Mentions: “Come Away With Me” by Nora Jones, “The Engine Driver” by The Decemberists

Mark’s Top 5
5. “Halcyon+On+On” by Orbital – A beautifully repetitive electronic journey.  It always gave me the sensation of being on the beach on a quiet day, floating in and out of consciousness as I hear the waves rhythmically crashing in.  Even when the beat kicks in, it maintains its calm demeanor, allowing you to get some rest.
4. “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck Quartet – Back in my ‘cool jazz’ faze, I used to obsessively listen to Brubeck’s landmark album Time Out, with “Take Five” being played most often.  Even with such a strange and disjointed time signature, it is a remarkably easy tune to relax to.  Sweet dreams.
3. “Over Now” (MTV Unplugged version) by Alice In Chains – A fine tune by a great rock band, the remarkable talents of the members made more apparent by a superior to the original acoustic arrangement.
2. “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson – One of Michael’s best early songs, in a smooth jazz by way of pop arrangement.
1. “No Words No More” by Love and Rockets – A slightly creepy but strangely soothing song, led by a simple acoustic guitar, whispered vocals and rounded out with mysterious vibe hits and harmonica.  Just give it a listen and you’ll understand.

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum – The haunting organ melody of this song is relaxing and helps put me in the mood to catch a few z’s.
4. “Sea of Love” by Phil Philips – The rolling piano and smooth vocals are perfect for drifting off to dreamland.
3. “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison – Van the Man’s voice, the piano and the horns of this tune put me in a coma.
2. “Sleepwalk” by Santo & Johnny – The steel slide guitar melts my limbs and numbs my mind.  I’m sleeping like a baby.
1. “Echoes” by Pink Floyd – Coming in at 23 minutes and 31 seconds, this song is perfect to lull me into a deep sleep.  The pings at the beginning of the song and the many instrumentals are sure to knock me out.

Klone’s Top 5

5. “Silent Lucidity” by Queensryche – From the guys who sang about a “Jet City Woman”, this sweet lullaby was a mega-hit for Queensryche in the early 90s, from their album Empire, and was performed at the 1992 Grammy Awards with a full orchestra accompaniment.  With a vocal track discussing taking control on one’s own dream in the middle of the song, it would be hard to imagine that this song wasn’t written to be listen to while drifting off to slumber.
4. “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd – Not sure this one really needs an explanation.  What’s the next logical step when you’re feeling “Comfortably Numb”?
3. “Blue” by A Perfect Circle – From the side-project of Tool front-man Maynard James Keenan, one wouldn’t expect a meditative, calm-inducing track like this, but for me this song is supremely relaxing and introspective.  I’ve survived many a tired commute to work with “Blue” and the rest of The 13th Step album echoing through my head.
2. “My Immortal” by Evanescence – Part of the concept behind Evanescence was that their music was written with the idea that it would inspire, or be perfect for films.  Their tracks seem to have a level of drama built into them, both lyrically, and as a stylistic feel to the music.  My first exposure to this song was at the funeral scene in the Dare Devil atrocity of a film, but these somber, delicate tones really made that scene a moment that I could hold onto in the film.  When I finally bought their Fallen disc, this song had earned a solid spot in my songs to mellow out, or fall asleep to.  A sad tune, no doubt, but perhaps its that beautiful sadness that makes it such a relaxing song.
1. “Orion” by Metallica – Just one of Metallica’s many, beautifully complex instrumentals, I’ve always felt “Orion” was one that stood alone as more of a musical masterpiece.  Appearing on the “Master of Puppets” album, the deep and heavy opening gives way to a cosmically wondrous mid-section that sends your imagination off reeling into a realm of possibilities.  There’s something mystical about that elusive space just past the edge of consciousness but before crossing fully into dream, and “Orion” is one of the songs that serves as a key to that doorway.
Honorable Mentions: “Halcyon + On + On” by Orbital – Everyone can take or leave a little bit of every genre of music, and in the electronic music world, I defy you to find a track as lovely as this one, Hero of the Day (S & M version)” by Metallica – The orchestration makes this song even more incredible than the original studio version.


Top 5 Artists You Want Your Kids to Listen To November 8, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 10:10 AM

TNT’s Top 5
5. The Beatles – I was not brought up on The Beatles and learned everything once I hit college.  The Beatles had a huge influence on so many that I feel it’s a necessity for any musical background.
4. Rancid – We need to start the punk category somewhere, so why not start with Mom’s favorite?  The Ramones and Green Day are also included here, but they’ll be singing “Ruby Soho” first.  Ska music will soon be to follow.  I like to jump around a little, keep the kids on their toes.
3. Queen – Imagine how much fun road trips will be when Queen is playing and everyone is singing along!  But seriously, a crash course of Queen will be mandatory.
2. Metallica – Mom was raised on Metallica and her children will be too.  My kinder will be the ones giving  the devil horns in their playpens.
1. Grateful Dead – I’ve covered a lot of genres with this list, but no band has ever given me a feeling like the Grateful Dead.  Please excuse me, but my hippie side is about to come out.  There is just something about the music that moves you, that makes you feel like anything is possible and you can have no worries in the world.  If only it was 1969 today.
Honorable Mentions: The Get Up Kids would of course be on this list, but I want my kids to listen to this when I did, around 15 or 16 years old.  George Gershin, because he is an American musical genius, and a good mix of blues/jazz musicians.  Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Allman Brothers, Meatloaf, and of course Lynyrd Skynyrd– no explaination needed, these artists were almost too obvious to put on the list, but had to included them.

Angela’s Top 5
This is a great topic because, no lie, I’ve imagined in my head what bands I will one day be responsible for introducing my kids to.  We all know that the kids of the critics and artists are going to be given a fine course in musical stylings.
5. B.B. King and other assorted blues artists – You can not have a proper musical education if you do not include the blues.  That’s where contemporary rock and roll started, and some of those old recordings by Muddy Waters and the like are simple, yet brilliant.  I feel like I would be doing my kids a disservice if they missed out on listening to the blues.
4. Green Day – If mom’s a die-hard Green Day fan, then so too shall the children be.
3. The Ramones – Legends of punk, The Ramones are integral to them understanding the punk evolution.  You do realize the children are going to be well versed in the history of punk rock, right?
2. The Beatles – It would be wrong of me to not include the Beatles as part of their musical education.
1. Queen – You should have known that this was going to be my number 1.  My kids are going to know the amazing music of Queen and the genius that was Freddie Mercury.

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. Pink Floyd – My parents were huge Floyd freaks and raised me on their music.  It only seems fitting to introduce my offspring to the music of Pink Floyd and perhaps the solo albums of Syd Barret as well.
4. Led Zeppelin – The first time I heard Led Zeppelin as a kid it hit me hard.  I remember thinking “do they have a song I don’t like?”  I had never experienced that feeling before.  I decided it was my mission to acquire every album to answer this question.  As it turned out, they didn’t.  It would be nice to if my son or daughter had a similar experience.
3. The Talking Heads –  The music is a hodgepodge of genres with a touch of eccentric freakishness a la David Byrne.  The songs make me dance and sing while laughing out loud at the little absurdities nestled within.  All in all, it’s a lot of fun.  My kids would probably think I’m a weirdo, but they would have to face the inevitable fact that they are related to me and therefore weird by proxy.  Maybe they might like it.
2. The Beatles – I’m a big fan of The Fab Four’s entire catalog.  “Do You Want To Know A Secret” and “I Should Have Known Better” are among my favorites.  There are so many great tunes to choose from that even if my kids didn’t like the older stuff, they might be able to get into the later albums.
1. Sam Cooke – I love soul music and Mr. Cooke is the king of soul.  He introduced soul music to the mainstream and inspired other great soul singers like Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, and James Brown.  I hope that my child or children would have a diverse interest in music and give Sam a chance.
Mark’s Top 5
5. Boston – It would be important for my kids to understand the basis of what makes good rock music, what era best illustrates the sound and one of the bands that epitomizes that sound.
4. Gary Numan – Introducing the offspring to different musical genres would be really important to giving them a solid musical grounding.  This covers goth/new wave/electro, and even some rock territory, and is a great way to show them that there is a whole world beyond just guitar/bass/drums.  Plus, whatever Dad likes, they will have to listen to for quite sometime.
3. Depeche Mode – They will have to get to know another of their Father’s favorite bands, as I show them music based completely on electronics, and to introduce them to gloom, doom, and dancing.  Maybe I can even encourage them to start dyeing their hair.
2. The Police – One of the greatest bands to ever grace the music scene.  It would best show the young-ins what happens when great songwriting and amazing musicianship come together.  It might even encourage them to take up an instrument.
1. BT – The Sonic architect has to be heard to be understood.  A great way to help them understand how musical notation and emotions go together, or to encourage them to study hard and follow their dreams, whatever they may be.
Klone’s Top 5
5. Alice In Chains – Placing them as the #5 slot doesn’t diminish their importance in the lexicon of my musical tastes.  Anyone who’s read any of my posts should-be been able to guess these guys would’ve been on the list, but I want to be clear that the Alice I want my kids to listen to is the original line-up, with Layne Staley on vocals.  Even though it will be impossible for them to ever see the original line-up live, I want them to understand the bands roots before they learn of their evolution.  One of the greatest rock bands of all time.
4. Meatloaf – An oldie but a goodie, it’s the closest I get to the classic rock of the 1970s, as far as bands influential or inspiring enough to make them part of my kids’ musical education regimen.  His albums are story books, each song an elegant chapter, and the man himself will always have a larger than life quality (no pun intended) that will always make his music special.
3. Extreme – It’s not all about “More Than Words” with this band, especially when they consider that song the kiss of death for their career.  Extreme is a kick ass, hardcore guitar rock band.  “More Than Words” was their power ballad fluke that propelled them to mega-stardom, but it wasn’t representative of the rest of their work.  Pornografitti is an incredible album, and Nuno Bettencourt is a living guitar legend.  Just because the rest of the music world seems to have forgotten that, I feel like most of the public never really knew, and those of us who did and still do could be considered a cult of followers.
2. Tool – There are some artists or groups that are beyond words, and Tool is one of them.  Their music has always mesmerized me, and helped open my mind to all the possibilities that exist in music.  I would definitely want them to listen to AENEMA.  I once saw an entire abstract, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”-type movie in my head while listening to this album from beginning to end.  I one day hope to make the film, but until then, I’ll keep listening to Tool, and make sure my kids do too.
1. Metallica – Distant as I’ve grown to their recent works, there’s no denying that Metallica shaped and defined some of my most formative years…take that for what you will, good or bad.  Metallica is one of those bands, at least for me, that are legends from an earlier time, and earlier renaissance of music, where the disconnected youth needed an outlet for their angst and anger.  I know there’s no shortage of anger in today’s world, but the outlets are nowhere near the caliber that Metallica is, hence their continued success.  I feel like if my kids didn’t at least listen to, if not love Metallica, they would not truly know part of what makes me who I am, as a person, as a man, as their father.
Honorable Mentions: (Let’s face it, there’s so much music I’m going to need to expose my kids to, I could never narrow the list down to 5 without mention a couple of others.) Type O Negative – Peter Steele’s legacy will live on in my household, as Type O was hugely important to me as I was growing up.  Smashing Pumpkins – It’s a sin that they aren’t in the Top 5, but I’m taking into account that they’re not always everyone’s cup of tea.  I didn’t need to acquire the taste, but others do sometimes…I want to expose my kids to all kinds of music, but I don’t want to be tyrannical.

Top 5 Personal Theme Songs November 1, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 11:27 PM

Sometimes when we hear a certain song, we think about how much it describes ourselves, whether it be a personal anthem or lyrics that just fit your personality just right…or just right at the moment.  This week, NVMP dug deep and came up with our Top 5 Personal Theme Songs.  Enjoy!

TNT’s Top 5
5. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen – I know this song has made many of my top 5 lists, but hopefully by now you realize just how amazing it is.  “Don’t stop me now/I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball.”  I’m grateful to say this song is one of my personal themes; I’m always having fun.  If you’re not having fun, then what’s the point?
4. “Touch of Grey” by Grateful Dead – “I will get by, I will survive.”  Sometimes we all need to repeat this line.  This song frequents many playlists of mine; it’s so uplifting, no matter where you are in life.
3. “Queen of the World” by Ida Maria – “I’m queen of the world/I bump into things/I spin around in circles/And I’m singin’ and I’m singing’ and I’m singing”.  Well, I am always singing and I do spin in circles at random.  I am also very clumsy and at times, think I’m queen of the world (majority of the time I’m drunk…good thing the first line of this song is “Whiskey please, I need some whiskey please.”)
2. “Eyes of the World” by Grateful Dead – “Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.”  This song is full of lyrical gems like this one!
1. “TNT” by AC/DC – Well, this was a no brainer, being that my initials really are TNT  🙂

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “Nitemare Hippy Girl” by Beck – Once upon a time, in a land far away, this was my theme song.  I was a magical, sparkling tease.  I was a rainbow choking the breeze.
4. “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” by Cake – I was the girl who gets up early and stays up late.  My fingernails shined like justice and my voice is still dark like tinted glass.
3. “Born Under a Bad Sign” by Albert King (Cream’s Cover Version) – Born under a bad sign, I’ve been down since I began to crawl.  If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.
2. “Changes” by David Bowie – The only constant theme in life is change.  Oh how the others must see a faker, but I’m much too fast to take that test.
1. “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan – When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.  I have no direction home and my life is a complete unknown.

Mark’s Top 5
5. “Steady As She Goes” by Voodoo Glowskulls – Raucous and fun metal tinged-ska.  Not so much a personal theme as it would be a ‘going to the bar or show’ theme.
4. “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck Quartet – Leading a stress free life would be made much simpler if I had good ol’ Dave’s best known tune to slow things down and smooth the rough patches over.  Everything’s gonna be just fine.
3. “Superman Main Theme” by John Williams – EPIC.  The perfect excuse for smashing through people’s windows instead of ringing their doorbells.  As long as this music is behind me, no one could ever get upset.  In fact, they would probably clap and cheer.
2. “Love on Haight Street” by BT–  Glitchy, yet smooth hip-hop beats led by the impeccable flows of Roscoe and Fifty Grand, perfect for my slow motion walks into various establishments, or leading the transition from party down to late-nite chillin’ with friends.
1. “Theme from Star Trek: The Next Generation” by Jerry Goldsmith – A swashbuckling and sweeping score that would be fitting as any man’s theme song, especially that of a Trekkie.  I can hear it roaring in its epic glory as I explore the galaxy, or head to the bar to drink, so either way I’ll end up in space with a great theme to follow me.

Angela’s Top 5
5. “Gimme More” by Britney Spears
4. “Turnin Me On” by Keri Hilson ft. Lil Wayne
3. “Disappearing Boy” by Green Day
2. “Lil’ Freak” by Usher
1. “Paralyzer” by Finger Eleven

Stigz’s Top 5
5. “Drug Ballad” by Eminem –  Rarely would I ever say a hip-hop track should be my theme song, but back when Mark Wahlberg was Marky Mark, this is how we used to get the party started….lol
4. “The Big Payback” by James Brown Don’t ask me why, but this track makes me want to put on sunglasses and walk down the street, kicking over garbage cans and small children.
3. “Show Me How To Live” by AudioslaveLyrical evidence of my disdain for religion, authority, social norms, and anything else that passes as status quo.
2. “Idiot Box” by Incubus – Just the opening lyrics say it all. “You keep your riches and I’ll sew my stitches/you can’t make me think like you, mundane”
1. “This Could Be Love” by Alkaline Trio – “I got a book of matches/I got a can of kerosene/I got some bad ideas/involving you and me”.

Klone’s Top 5
5. “Hero of the Day” by Metallica – I think there was a time in my life, especially circa the release of the Load album, where this was the kind of song that would literally call out to me.  I can vividly remember being in a friend’s car, driving around listening to the “new” Metallica album (as it had been years between their self-titled album, commonly known as “The Black Album“, and Load) and thinking to myself that Metallica was really the band that I identified with.  For the guys who brought us “Sanitarium (Welcome Home),” “One,” and “My Friend of Misery” to also have this torn ballad within them, was just mind-blowing to me.  Of course the friend who was driving skipped the track ahead after a single verse and chorus, which led me to believe that he, among the millions of other fans who detested Load, just didn’t get it.  (Of course, come St. Anger and I’m off the Metallica bus, but that’s a different story…)
4. “All Along The Watchtower” by Bear McCreary ft. Bt4 (cover) – I’ve never been a particular fan of the original rendition of this song by the prolific and gifted Bob Dylan, in fact I wasn’t even crazy about the Jimi Hendrix version of the song either, but understood its place in the pantheon of classic rock.  When I heard this rendition, heavily stylized for its use in the ScyFy series “Battlestar Galactica”, I was instantly enthralled.  The atmosphere alone is awe-inspiring, and the sense of drama that drips from the track, whether you experienced it by watching the show or heard it played on its own, is dark and foreboding yet breathtaking.
3. “The Crowing” by Coheed & Cambria – If Rush and Tool ever got too drunk at a party and hooked-up sans protection, the unintended love-child would be Coheed & Cambria.  A concept band where you can take or leave the concept and still enjoy the music, Coheed’s songs are very complex and heavily laden with time-changes and so many parts you’d almost call them chapters.  “The Crowing” in particular is a track that is rooted in traditional guitar rock, with very precise and deliberate pick-strokes that create a sense of urgency that drives the song.  It ultimately goes through a time/key change and moves into this very dramatic, grandiose ending.  The lyrics are clearly telling a small part of a larger story (one where “The Crowing” is some sort of person or event worth revering), but even without having the context to make the story accessible, the lyrics flow like poetry.  The song is an anthem…and I’m glad to co-opt it and make it one of my anthems.
2. “She Gathers Rain” by Collective Soul – There’s no big explanation about this one, other than I feel like I was a rock-oriented kid who gave these guys a chance when they were new on the scene.  Of course, catching them open for Van Halen somewhat helped in that regard, but these guys are actually a pretty bad-ass rock band as long as you’re not listening to “The World I Know”.  If you listen to this and don’t get that awesome rock feeling, you might be dead.
1. “Nobody Like You” by Limp Bizkit feat. Jonathan Davis  and Scott Weiland – SICKNESS!  TOTAL SICKNESS!  Not to mention that it’s pulled off by a consortium cats who define cool…in that way Gods of Rock and Metal can.  This was an amazing collaboration from an album that was already an eye-opener in the surprise department.

***BONUS!!  Klone’s Top 5 Horror Movie Soundtracks***
Now that we can officially say “Rest In Peace” to Halloween 2010, in honor of the season for screamin’, I thought we could pay a special tribute to some of the films that give us our costume ideas and make legends of those who can scream and die with style, and plenty of red-dyed corn syrup.  I am proud to present my Top 5 Horror Movie Soundtracks… 

5. “The Lost Boys” (1987) – With horror movies, it’s all about the where and when, and the when for “The Lost Boys” is the late 80s.  (Before you audibly groan, just keep in mind that 1987 saw the appearance of Guns N’ Roses.)  Who can forget the Echo and the Bunnymen cover of “People Are Strange”, and that muscle-bound guy with chains around his neck, playing saxophone on the beach?  (That song is called “I Still Believe” by Tim Cappello…so buff, he didn’t even need a rock n’ roll stage name.)
4. “Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight” (1995) – Okay, any disc that can boast both the world-wide introduction of Filter with “Hey Man, Nice Shot” and has a radio edit of Pantera’s “Cemetery Gates” kicking the whole thing off leading to tracks by Ministry and Megadeth, is a MUST HAVE FOR EVERYONE!  PERIOD!!
3. “Scream” (1996) – The alternative rock of the 90s was the perfect soundtrack to a homage to John Carpenter’s “Halloween”, and made watching over-privledged teens with a love for horror movies get themselves filleted way more fun.  Tracks worth mentioning: “Youth of America” by Birdbrain, a cover of “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Gus, “First Cool Hive” by Moby, “Better Than Me” by Sister Machine Gun, and the classic “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
2. “The Rage: Carrie 2” (1999) – As if Paradise Lost and Fear Factory on the same compilation weren’t enough, this album is sold by RA’s track “Crazy Little Voices”, hands down.
1. “Freddy Vs. Jason” (2003) – When two franchises collide, they rock our world…and when two horror movie icons collide, they bring the party with them.  The guest list is long and distinguished (fill in lewd comment here), and includes such heavy hitters as Type O Negative, Powerman 5000, Sevendust, Slipknot and Killswitch Engage, but for me, the piece de resistance is truly Ill Nino’s “How Can I Live?”

Until next year…we’ll be scaring you!  Muah, ha, ha, ha, ha…


Top 5 Haunted Songs for Halloween 2010 October 18, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 1:17 PM

Well, it’s that magical, macabre month of October, and that can only mean that things are going to get far scarier before they start to get plentiful and gracious for November, and holly and jolly for December.  So, in honor of all things horrifying and spooky, we present our Top 5 Haunted Songs for Halloween 2010.  Enjoy…if you dare…muah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

TNT’s Top 5
5.  Music from The Shining – I love this movie and the music that goes along with it fits perfectly.
4. “Only The Birds” by Leah Siegel – All of her music is deliciously creepy sounding, but this one takes the cake.  Listen to her music here.
3. “The Battle of Evermore” by Led Zeppelin
2. “Dragula” by Rob Zombie
1. “Black No. 1” by Type O Negative – RIP Peter Steele, we will miss your voice this Halloween.

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “Ave Satani” by Jerry Goldsmith – I’ve been afraid of this song since I first saw the 1976 film The Omen.  It scares the pants off me.
4. “Season of the Witch” by Donovan – If there is a spooky psychedelia category, this song is in it.  It starts slowly and builds to an intensity that’s slightly eerie.
3. “Brain Damage” by Pink Floyd – The lunatic is on the grass, in the hall, and in your head.  He’s creepy and he’s coming for you on the dark side of the moon.  It’s true that this is not the most spine-chilling song, but the laughing in the background is what makes it frightening for me.
2. “Diary of a Madman” by Ozzy Osbourne – It has an ominous intro and lyrics about a guy transcribing his journey to madness.  The song ends with a chorus of voices in agony.
1. “Boris the Spider” by The Who – It has a death growl and high-pitched voices chanting “creep, crawly.”  It’s a great song, but it freaks me out a little.

Angela’s Top 5
5.  “Paint it Black” by The Rolling Stones –  The ONE song I like by this group.  It’s just always been kind of a weird, creepy song for me that I’m fascinated with.
4. “Feed My Frankenstein” by Alice Cooper – It’s Alice Cooper, come on now.
3. “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)” by The Doors – I don’t know what it is about this song, but something with it never quite sat well with me.  Don’t ask, but it makes the list.
2. “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath
1. “Pussy Liquor” by Rob Zombie – from the “House of 1000 Corpses Soundtrack”… I hate this movie, I don’t do gore.  So when I hear this song, it scares the crap out of me.  There ya go.

Klone’s Top 5
5. “Black No. 1” by Type O Negative – May Peter Steele rest in peace, as this will be our first Halloween without him, and when we hear this deep and dark song of devotion to love, gothic-style, there will be a moment of near silence cutting through the mist and gloom, where he will be remembered.  “Her perfume smells like…burning leaves…everyday…is Halloween.”
4. “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” by David Bowie – Without last fall’s ABC show FlashForward, I would probably have never discovered this song on my own, so don’t always listen when people tell you TV will rot your brains.  This track was the highlight of the Halloween episode of FF, and was definitely fitting.
3. “The Thing That Should Not Be” by Metallica – I defy anyone to not imagine some seriously disturbing creature stalking a world unaware that this thing, that should not be, is waiting for us, just beyond the edge of reason, and over the cliffs of insanity.
2. “Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo! – Anyone who has seen the 1980s classic “Back To School” starring the late Rodney Dangerfield, has been treated to a front row performance of this Halloween Party classic track, complete with front-man Danny Elfman, who would later dominate the world of movie scoring, and utilize his vocal prowess to bring the character of Jack Skellington to life in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.  When you listen to the lyrics of this song, Elfman’s future path seems so clear…”It’s a dead man’s party, who could ask for more?  Everybody’s coming, leave your body at the door.  Leave you body and soul at the door.”  AWESOME!
1. “Haunted” by POE – Not only was this song a companion piece to the literary masterpiece House of Leaves, and not only was it composed by author Mark Z. Danielewski’s sister, POE, but it has popped up in all forms of pop-culture horror-fare, most notably as the track that kicks off the closing credits of “Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows”, and the Episode 2 closing track in the 2009 video game “Alan Wake”.  This song is the perfect blend of melody, atmosphere and enticing vocals; POE’s voice draws you in even as the multiple voices of the chorus filling in the background of the track hits you with a sense of foreboding.  Much like the book, this song is a perfect piece of art, and should be respected as such.

Honorable Mention: “Possum Kingdom” by The Toadies – You can’t tell me that this song is NOT about a vampire luring prey.  Literal an interpretation as that might be, it’s still the blatant narrative of the track.  “This is Halloween” by Danny Elfman – opening song of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Classic.

Mark’s Top 5
5. “Monster Mash”Bobby “Boris” Pickett– Because someone just had to do it for the sake of Halloween, this 60’s throwback tune isn’t especially creepy or haunting, unless you find “The Munsters” to be a terrifying 30 minute experience. Pure fun by way of a slightly creepy singer.
4. “Ave Satani” (Theme from The Omen)Jerry Goldsmith – The main theme from one of the creepiest child movies ever made reeks of chilling and frightening imagery and notation:  chorus chanting menacingly in Latin, heavy use of brass instruments in minor keys,  off-kilter pacing, and random chimes reminding you of the grim and cold qualities of churches. Give it a listen and see if a creepy demon child doesn’t come to mind.
3. “Moonlight Sonata”Beethoven – The most popular segment from Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor “Quasi una fantasia”, op. 27, No. 2 is also the darkest and most haunting piece ever transcribed to paper. It gives off the vibe that Beethoven might very well have written the piece in Sleepy Hollow, perhaps as a sadness tinged ode to the Headless Horseman.
2. “Telekon”Gary Numan – The opening synth line layered over the spare live drumming, accented with minor-keyed piano stabs make this song especially cold and haunting, almost giving you the feeling that you are existing in some type of a trance like state for all 5 minutes of the song. It wouldn’t be out of place played over a montage of Horror movie killings, or even during the all important revealing of a movie monster’s horrific past.
1. “Everyday is Halloween”Ministry – Although it is more 80’s nostalgia than haunted, this song from the early days of Ministry still carries a monotonous and droning quality to it, making this tunes as fun as it is strangely creepy. What would the world be like if everyday was Halloween?


Top 5 TV Theme Songs October 11, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 11:44 PM

You know the glowing box of magical images that regularly captures our minds with an unexplainable charisma…well, that brainwashing wouldn’t be possible without the theme songs that introduce and setup the programs that we hold so near and dear…BECAUSE WE NEED TO!!!!  Enjoy our exploration of our favorite TV Theme Songs, and don’t forget to add yours in the comments section…

TNT’s Top 5
5. The Nanny – Haha, I can’t help but laugh every time I hear it.
4. Friends – You either loved or hated it, but I loved it.
3. WEEDS (the original song by Melvina Reynolds) – I miss this song!  Everyone who watches the show hated this theme song while all along, I’ve been in love.
2. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – C’mon, how could this not make my list?
1. JEM – She’s excitement, adventure, glamor and glitter, fashion and fame.  What’s not to love?!

Honorable Mention: Sponge Bob Square Pants and Pepper Ann (much too cool for 7th grade)

Angela’s Top 5
5. Mr. Ed – Yup, I watched it when I was little at my Nanny’s house a lot, in her basement when I was somewhere from 5 years old to like 10-ish or so.  I don’t know, I just enjoyed it and have the theme song memorized.
4. The Munsters – Classic.  You know exactly what to expect when you hear it.  I feel like if I ever came across someone who didn’t recognize this theme song, my jaw would drop and I might twitch a little.
3. The Andy Griffith Show – Yea, I know it’s really old school but I watched it as a kid on Nickelodeon and I still catch myself whistling the theme song from time to time.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – You know you know it.  You know you’re singing it.  Enough said.
1. Power Rangers – In 4th grade, I was obsessed with the Power Rangers and tried to make my babysitter floor it home so I wouldn’t miss so much as the intro.  Mind you, I’m talking the ORIGINAL rangers- Billy, Zach, Jason, Trini, Kimberly…and eventually Tommy (oh Tommy!) the most amazing Green Ranger, who I hated when he went White.  Just sayin’.

Klone’s Top 5
5. The Sopranos “Woke Up This Morning (Got Yourself a Gun)” by A3 – Whether you like the band on their own, whether you didn’t know it was a band that did music other than this show’s theme song, this track was synonymous with driving the NJ Turnpike, and thinking about where to dump the body in your trunk.  Forever, this song will be Tony’s arrival home in the AM from nights of crime and debauchery in the big, scary NYC.
4. Twin Peaks “Twin Peaks Theme” by Angelo Bandelamenti – The great thing about this theme is that it perfectly sets up the dichotomy of the show…rural, small-town life vs. the ugliness of politics, corruption, greed and murder.  This witty, film noir-ish murder mystery with bizzare, avant-guard twists was best served by taking our traditional views of life and the world we live in and dosing them with super-charged insanity.  Do you know who killed Laura Palmer?
3. CarnivaleMain Title by Jeff Beal – I don’t know how to describe why I like this one so much, other than that just thinking of the tune/melody lets me completely re-visualize the opening of that show…which was a piece of TV history that will forever be lost in obscurity due to HBO’s incredibly short-sighted notions and early cancellation…The Time Has Come, Brothers and Sisters…
2. DeadwoodMain Theme by David Schwartz – Also responsible for the quirky and fun theme for Northern Exposure, Schwartz’s enticing title sequence theme was full of light and hope and the majesty of the untamed west…the perfect vehicle to draw you in and get you ready for the seedy, dark underbelly of American Capitalism in its infancy.
1. LOST Opening Title by J. J. Abrams – Nothing if not memorable in its minimalist presentation…more of a sound-effect than a theme song, these thirteen seconds have earned their place in the Pantheon of TV Themes.  Though the rest of the show’s score really was more the theme music, the opening was something completely new…an anti-theme as it were.  This would of course be nothing if not more often than not followed by a variation of “Credit Where Credit Is Due” by Michael Giacchino.

Honorable Mention: Battlestar GalacticaMain Theme by Bear McCreary – rarely do TV show theme songs evolve with the progression of the seasons of the show…but this one did…and it was awesome.  FRINGEMain Theme by J. J. Abrams – I know, two J. J. Abrams selections on the same list, and one a far greater attempt at music than the other…but still…all bows down to LOST…no matter what it is.

Daniel Edward’s Top 5
5. Sealab 2021 Theme by Calamine
4. Rocko’s Modern Life Theme by The B-52s
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
2. Captain Planet
1. JEM theme by Jem and the Holograms

Mark’s Top 5
5. Theme from ‘The Flashby Danny Elfman– Is there an amazing superhero theme that the great Danny Elfman has not laid his twisted touch to?  This 1990 TV show only lasted for one glorious season, and yet the theme is still a strong and memorable one, somehow helping to emphasize the comic book nature of the show without ever making it hokey.  Badass!
4. Theme from ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’– A slightly silly, yet oddly creepy composition that is actually effective in giving you the chills, while preparing you for the latest story to unfold.  The vocal humming that occurs during the title card still gives me the creeps.
3. “Temptation Sensation” by Heinz Kiessling – The now instantly recognizable theme for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.  A cheery and light-hearted composition that was originally used for stock music and temporary scoring purposes, became a sickly sweet and dandy theme song that leads into a show about self-absorbed and amoral assholes…perfect!
2. Theme from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Heroes in a half shell…TURTLE POWER!  You know it, you love it, now get some pizza.
1. Theme from Voltron: Defender of the Universe – One of the greatest Anime cartoons of all time, featuring a sweeping and epic theme laced with futuristic synth accompaniment, to further emphasize that Voltron is not of Earth’s realm.  Its pure awesomeness rings in my ears to this day.  Who doesn’t wish they could run to a cylinder turbine, and have an electronic swing lower you into a tunnel that will take you to your robot lion so that you can battle Evil King Zarkon and his Robeasts with your best buds?

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. Gilligan’s Island – It’s dated and a little corny, but it’s still a winner.  I liked how originally the song didn’t name all the castaways (and the rest), but then changed to name all those stuck on that isle.
4.  Fraggle Rock – Colorful singing puppets urge you to dance your cares away and save those worries for another day.  What could be better?
3. Freaks and Geeks – The theme to this show is “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.  Normally I don’t take too kindly to actual songs co-opted for television, but it’s a great song for the show, so I don’t mind.
2. Life on Mars – The theme to this British television show composed by Edmund Butt gets stuck in my head on the regular.
1. The Dead Zone – I found I really liked the theme song for this show so I did a little research.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s a Jeff Buckley tune called “New Year’s Prayer.”  Another co-opted song, but I may never have known of it otherwise and I’m happy the show helped me to discover it.


Top 5 Artists You Love to Hate October 4, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 11:06 PM

TNT’s Top 5
5. Katy Perry – Didn’t want to put her on here, we all know she’s my #1, but that would just be too easy.  Katy Perry ruined Sesame Street.  What’s next?
4. The Mighty Regis – Ever watch a band and just have every element rub you the wrong way?  That’s what The Mighty Regis felt like, one big wedgie.
3. U2 – Screw you Bono.  Just screw you.  I have never liked your music and if I was as rich as you are, I would spend a good chunk of it on charities and saving the rain forests too.  You’re not the only one who cares about the environment AND loves music Bono.
2. Bjork – God, is she still making music?  I’ve disliked Bjork forever, since childhood.  I still laugh at the truthful childish joke “Bjork? More like big dork.”

1. Creed – OH man, I used to make fun of Creed like it was nobody’s business.  I hated their music as much as I hated their music videos.  I counted, Scott Stapp did that ‘slowly-lower-my-forearms-in-front-of-my-face-while-singing-to-make-me-look-like-I’m-passionate-about-something’ look 23 TIMES in the video for “My Sacrifice”…yeah…passionate about sucking ass.  Are you officially broken up Creed?  You are the reason South Park made episode 709 Christian Rock Hard.  Did you finally learn your lesson that no one cares about you?Stigz’s Top 5
5. Any winner of American Idol – Seriously, this has to stop.  You put out maybe three talented singers since the show started.  Everyone else just makes me want toss my cookies, especially that flamboyant guy-liner wearing dude (I don’t know if he won or made it to the finals, but who gives a shit).
4. Bon Jovi – My sister is a huge fan, sorry Steph, but I just can’t get into it.  And everybody is like “But he’s from Jersey!” which reiterates my disgust with one of his songs, the theme song from Deadliest Catch.  You know it.  “I’m a cowboy/On a steel horse I ride/I’m wanted/Dead or alive.”  My response: You’re from Jersey not Texas, so stop referring to your IROC Z as a “steel horse.”
3. T.I. – Autotune called, they want their shit back.  P.S. Stop buying your way into movies.  Quit while your ahead.
2. Lil. Wayne – aka The Scourge of Modern Hip Hop.
1. Kanye WestPaging no-talent, autotuned, sampling-addicted douchebags…Oh Kanye there you are, you responded quick.

Hoverbee’s Top 5
It would be so easy to pick Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, or any other artist that is currently the most popular, but I decided to pick bands that have been getting under my skin for what feels like ages.
5. Three Days Grace – This post-grunge band from Canada kills me with such tunes as “Animal I Have Become” and “Just Like You.”
4. Puddle of Mudd – Forever to be known by me as that “smack my ass band” with the single “Control,” this American post-grunge band makes me clutch my head and scream “why?”  Grunge is over and there is no need to keep trying to evoke the spirit of Kurt Cobain.  “She Hates Me” is one such example that makes me weep with disdain.
3. Godsmack – Pick any song by this American post-grunge, nu metal hot mess and I dislike it.  Hits like “Whatever,” “Speak,” and “I Stand Alone” bring redundancy to an entirely new level.
2. Linkin Park – I admit I was a huge supporter of rap rock when it was a new concept and hadn’t gained wide acceptance or popularity as a genre.  Although considered nu metal and alternative rock as well, this band single-handedly killed my rap rock support.  My least favorite song by the band being “Numb.”
1. Nickelback – Yet another post-grunge band from Canada that makes my ears bleed and not in a good way.  I’ve never owned or cared enough to listen to an entire album, but every single they release is a stinker.  From “Photograph” to “How You Remind Me” and “Something In Your Mouth,”  I can’t help but hear a recycled sound that has been pimped-out and popped-up for mass consumption.

Angela’s Top 5
Top 5 artists I love to hate is probably the easiest list I’ve ever met.  These major acts that so many people go crazy for often make me feel like punching babies when they come on air.*  To say they turned me off completely in disgust is something of an understatement.  Anyway, enjoy this list and love to hate me for hating them.
*I do not condone baby punching.
5. Creed – Fuck Scott Stapp and his many Jesus like poses.  I got an idea, if you want to be Jesus so fucking badly let’s get some people together and publicly crucify you.  Man up.  Sounds like a party to me.
4. Lenny Kravitz – He drives me insane.  When I hear “American Woman” I get angry all over again like it’s a brand new discovery of hate.  I’d rather turn the radio off and sit in complete silence.  Kinda like how my uncle feels about watching Met games, “I’d rather watch grass grow than watch the fucking Mets.”
3. Dave Matthews Band – “Omg, I saw Dave last night,” “Yo, how many times have you seen Dave?”  “Dude, this one time at a Dave concert. . . . ”  Fuck.  Dave.  And Fuck Your first name basis.  Every single one.  I do not see what is appealing about his music. . .to me, it’s just a really drunk guy blathering into a microphone.  I just fucking hate jam bands.  I passionately despise the “Jam Band.”  If you all want to make real music sit down and write an actual song instead of wandering aimlessly until no one can tell which song of the set you’re on anymore.
2. U2 I can not stand Bono.  I just can’t listen to him preach.  I can’t do it.  The songs have never pulled me anywhere into their music and I would like to keep it that way.
1. Red Hot Chili Peppers/ The Rolling Stones – A tie for first, let me break this down.  I really do hate the Chili Peppers.  Though this is one of those things you KNOW is fundamentally wrong because just look at what they’ve done for music in their longevity.  I turn the station every time.  But, “how can you hate the Chili Peppers?!?!?!”  Listen, in my youth I found myself thinking that I liked them and I would listen when it came on.  HOLY SHIT – can I just tell you that AS I write this the RHCP came on…life is fucking funny.  Karma ladies and gentlemen, karma.  As for the Stones…I got nothing.  Nothing at all.  Sitting through one of their songs is slow torture in which the car becomes more of a hellish locked chamber I must endure until another song comes on, coaching  myself all the while.  It’s like the panic of trying to hold your breath in the face of a gas explosion; you know if you let go and breathe it in, even for one second, it’s going to feel like death…but your lungs burn so bad…

Honorable Mentions: The Killers, NickelBack, Tom Petty, and Neil Young

Klone’s Top 5
5. Lady GaGa – I don’t care if I find a song or two catchy, and I claim “Guilty Pleasures” like scared witnesses plead the 5th, but still…she’s a ridiculous spectacle, and I don’t mean ridiculous in the opposite day sense of trying to say super cool…she’s a nut bag…hopefully one day EVERYONE realizes it.
4. Katy Perry – I didn’t even know I realized I knew who this notorious shock-value airhead was, but leave it to SNL to confirm as much.  I hate this chick so much I’ve actually started finding some of her songs in the “Guilty Pleasure” category.
3. Soulja Boy – a.k.a. DeAndre Cortez Way…Do I need to explain this?  Can we please stop rewarding mediocrity?  PLEASE?!
2. Lindsey Lohan – Thank God she’s technically also a singer, so she can make this list.  I mean, talent?  NO!  Hilarity at what a failure at life she is?  Oh, HELL YES!!
1. Paris Hilton – She makes the list under the same LiLo exception to the rule…but this chick is the single person that instantly comes to mind when I think, “Who would the world NOT give a fuck about if she drove her brand new car into an active volcano?”  I mean, seriously?  A socialite?  Does anyone else find it disturbing that these rich idiots are so out of touch that they consider that an occupation?