A Song and a Story: “Qué Onda Guero” #AtoZChallenge


For the letter Q, I have more of a vignette than a story, but first listen to the song by Beck:

Qué Onda Guero

I’ve written before in this series that I grew up in the suburbs of New York and visited the City often during my childhood.  One of images I remember is passing through the predominately Puerto Rican neighborhoods of Manhattan and the Bronx, and seeing the bustling activity on the sidewalks and the overlapping sounds and music.  Everything was so different from my neighborhood.  Years later when I heard “Qué Onda Guero” by Beck, I was impressed at how the song seemed to capture this whole scene in a song.  Turns out that Beck was a white kid growing up in Los Angeles at the same time I was growing up on the other coast and his experience in Latin American neighborhoods inspired this song.  In fact, the title of the song is a slang term meaning “What’s up, white boy?”


 

2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge – A Song and a Story

A: Always on My Mind
B: Baby Come Back and Baker Street
C: Cheek to Cheek
D: Don’t Worry, Be Happy and Doctor Jones
E: Everyday Sunshine
F: Fly Me to the Moon
G: Ghost Town
H: Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe
I: If I Were John Carpenter
J: Jungle Strut and Justified & Ancient
K: Kiss
L: Loaded
M: Marble Halls and My Moon, My Man
N: New York, New York
O: Oliver’s Army
P: The Parting Glass

If you want to read more, check out my previous Blogging A to Z Challenges:

And dig deep into Panorama of the Mountains, by checking out my:

And, if you like Doctor Who, I have a whole ‘nother blog where I review Doctor Who stories across media: Epic Mandates.

Album Review: Colors by Beck


Album: Colors
Artist: Beck
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Favorite Tracks: Nothing stands out
Thoughts: I’ve been a Beck fan since he emerged on the scene in the 1990s and even once performed in a Beck choral performance, so I had to check out this new album.  And it is rather dull.  Nothing offensive about it, it features upbeat pop tunes that may sound good in the background at a party, but nothing you’d want to come back to.  So it’s ok, but disappointing for Beck who has done better.
Rating: **

2013 Year in Review: Favorite Songs


With the top ten or so songs listed for every year of my existence, it’s time for the year-end review of my favorite songs of 2013.

For previous year-end lists of previous years check out my lists for 2012,  2011,  2010  and  2009.

I’ve featured many of this songs in my Song of the Week posts this year.  If you see a link from a song title it will take you back to the Song of the Week post for that song.

San Francisco – Foxygen

That’s ok, I was bored anyway

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GMF – John Grant

You could be laughing 65% more of the time

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.Number 9 – Moon Hooch

Please stand away from the platform edge

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A Tattered Line of String – The Postal Service

In the glow of the nights golden hue

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Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins) – Shad

Now when you’re Third World born, but First World formed/
Sometimes you feel pride, sometimes you feel torn

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White Foxes – Susanne Sundfør 

For the gravy of your soul

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Indians From All Directions – A Tribe Called Red feat. Das Racist

To the L to the L to the L to the Ella

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Delicate Cycle – The Uncluded

And my heart started with a quarter

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Step – Vampire Weekend

The truth is she doesn’t need me to protect her

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Slyd – !!!

No, that’s weird

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Honorable Mentions:

Song Most Often Played at the Request of My 5 y.o. Son:

Feel this Moment – Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera

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Funniest Viral Song that You Can Dance To:

The Fox – Ylvis

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Best Boston History Lesson Set to Music:

The Great Boston Molasses Flood – The Dead Milkmen

[Listen on The Dead Milkmen website]

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Best Drunken Barroom Sing-a-Long of a Traditional American Folk Song:

Shenandoah – Tom Waits w/ Keith Richards

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Scariest Song You Can Dance To:

The Terror – Flaming Lips

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Best Song That I Was A Part Of Creating With a Video That’s Not Safe For Work:

The Wolf is on the Hill – Beck (arranged by Krissy Skare, performed by a 50 voice chorus, choreography by Sugar Dish)

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Let me know what you think of these songs in the comments, and of course, let me know you’re favorites for 2013

Ten Favorite Songs of 2005


The project continues with my favorite songs of 2005.  Read the first post for the detail on this project.

The Charging Sky – Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins

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Jogando Capoeira – Beatfanatic

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Marty & Lou – Peter Mulvey

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Psyclone! –  Super Furry Animals

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Qué Onda Guero – Beck

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Sing Me Spanish Techno – The New Pornographers

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The Sporting Life – The Decemberists

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Sundress – Nolan McKelvey and 33

[you may hear a clip]

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Tribulations – LCD Soundsystem

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And my song of shame for 2005: Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson

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Ten Favorite Songs of 1996


The project continues with my favorite songs of 1996.  Read the first post for the detail on this project.

Hell –  Squirrel Nut Zippers

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Novacaine for the Soul – Eels

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The Ocean –  Dar Williams

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Sacre Francais – Dimitri From Paris

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6 Underground – Sneaker Pimps

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Wasted With The Cooper – Velveteens

[Too obscure for the internet. Ska bands singing about Colonial Williamsburg should get more exposure]

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What I Got – Sublime

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Where it’s At –  Beck

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Whoever You Are – Geggy Tah

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Les Yper-Sound – Stereolab

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And my song of shame for 1996: Macarena by Los Del Rio

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Did you listen to anything better in 1996?  Let me know in the comments.

Ten Favorite Songs of 1994


The project continues with my favorite songs of 1994.  Read the first post for the detail on this project.

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Buddy Holly – Weezer

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Closer – Nine Inch Nails

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A Girl Like You – Edwyn Collins

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It’s Your Life – Milla

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Least Complicated –  Indigo Girls

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Loser – Beck

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A Summer Wind, a Cotton Dress –  Richard Shindell

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Wandering Star – Portishead

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Warehouse – Dave Matthews Band

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Whip-Smart – Liz Phair

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And by song  of shame for 1994: Shoop – Salt N Pepa

Songs of the Week: Beck’s Song Reader Performed Live


The songs in my head this week, of course, are the songs I’m rehearsing for a concert called Beck’s Song Reader Performed Live.  The show is next Thursday, February 28, 2013 at Somerville Theatre in Davis Square (on the Red Line) at 8:00.  Beck released his 2012 album Song Reader entirely as sheet music, and 150 of Boston’s best musicians, dancers, and performance artists will be presenting their interpretations of all 20 songs.  My choir will perform an arrangement of one song a capella and provide accompaniment to four other songs.

Get your tickets now for $25/seat as this show is sure to sell out!

The choral centerpiece is a song called “The Wolf is on the Hill.”  In this video, you may hear us rehearsing a couple of weeks ago.  We sound even better now.  At the end of this clip you can also hear a small portion of “Title of the Song” which is the grand finale of the concert.

The choir is also accompanying Sarah Ribdau and Peter Moore on their rendition of “Please Leave the Light On When You Go” and Peter Moore’s take of “Heaven’s Ladder”:

The choir is participating on a fifth song as well, “Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard” by Molly Zenobia.  This may be my favorite of all the songs I’ve heard, but you’ll have to take my word for it and come to the concert to hear it, because there is no demo.

Some other songs you will hear at the concert include:

  • “Why Did You Make Me Care” by Mary Bichner:

  • “Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings” by The Highland Drifters
  • “Sorry” by Endation
  • “Old Shanghai” by Mary Bichner

This barely scratches the surface, as there will be a dozen more songs plus choreographed dance performances for each number.

So buy your tickets now!!!

Beck’s Song Reader Concert


Next week, I will singing in a 50-person kick-ass choir as part of a concert called Beck’s Song Reader Performed Live.  The show is next Thursday, February 28, 2013 at Somerville Theatre in Davis Square (on the Red Line) at 8:00.  Beck released his 2012 album Song Reader entirely as sheet music, and 150 of Boston’s best musicians, dancers, and performance artists will be presenting their interpretations of all 20 songs.  My choir will perform an arrangement of one song a capella and provide accompaniment to four other songs.  Get your tickets now for $25/seat as this show is sure to sell out!

Beck_Poster_72