Monday’s Music Mesh Might Mollify Masses

Monday mornings are bittersweet for me. It’s the start of a new week, which means that anything is possible, but it also means that it’s the END of a week, which makes me think of all that did NOT happen.

Here are some things that did NOT happen to me last week…

1. I did not NOT get into my microbiology class
2. I did not get around to watering some plants in my backyard… they’re probably dead right now
3. I did not wash my car like I’ve been saying I’d do now for the past 30 weeks
4. I did not watch the Charger game on Saturday night
5. I did not fight crime like I usually do
6. I did not get to say “I’m Batman” like I usually do while fighting crime
7. I did not get to try out my new Bat-arang that was custom made in Switzerland from a guy named “Betty”

I think that about covers the basics.

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Waaaaitaminute… if you’re now thinking “HEY! Ol’ Swap is BATMAN!!!!” then you’re wrong. I’m NOT Batman. Just because I wear a Bat suit, drive a Bat car, use a Bat utility belt, and have a butler named Alfred does NOT mean I’m Batman. I COULD be just some guy who’s really rich and has nothing better to do than pretend he’s some fictional character. Sure, I fight crime and 99.9999% of the time I kick the bad guy’s ass, but that’s only because I’m friggin’ Batman.

Waaaaaaitaminute… if you’re thinking “HEY! Ol’ Swap is BATMAN!!!!” then you’re wrong…

Hold on. Didn’t we JUST do that conversation?

You’re probably wondering by now what the HELL this post is about, and the answer is this: I HAVE NO FRIGGIN’ IDEA. I just needed a backdrop to present to you a bunch of songs that I listened to this weekend. There’s no rhyme or reason to this collection… except that they’re all pretty good songs that are pretty good if you want to listen to some pretty good music.

One song in this list deserves some extra attention, though… and that’s Jake Owen‘s “Something About A Woman.” This is one of the more lyrically ridiculous songs I’ve come across in a long time, and I actually forgot how ridiculous it is until I heard the song again…

The song is about how there’s something about a woman that “makes this life worth livin’ and it makes a man a man.” Nice sentiment… but then check out what Jake says about what this “something” is:

She pulled her hair back to sun her shoulders
Took the oil and rubbed it all over her soft skin
Oh I’m a lucky man
She wasn’t wantin’ any suntan lines so she
Reached back and she untied that little string
And then she smiled at me

He then goes on to say in the chorus:

But there’s something about a woman
Yeah some kind sweet little something
That I may never understand
Yeah some kind of gift they’re given
That makes this life worth livin’
And it makes a man a man
Oh there’s nothing like that
Somethin’ about a woman

I know Owen is trying to sound deep and sensitive, but let’s face it… DUDE, YOU GOT A WOODY. He’s not talking about anything more than pitching a tent and choking the chicken.

The line in the chorus “But there’s something about a woman / Yeah some kind sweet little something / That I may never understand” is just a bunch of boohickey. “I may never understand,” my ARSE. Just check between your legs, dude… you’ll understand in a jiffy.

Songs like this make me laugh. This is a lesson for you men out there: don’t try to sound like you have substance… women will see right through it and tell their girlfriends how lame you are. If you’ve got no substance at that moment, then run with it. Believe me, women will at least respect you, and that means the door is still open.

Am I right?

Even if I’m wrong, the song is ridiculous. But the rest of the tunage here ain’t. Here’s to an awesome Monday!!!!

By the way… I threw in one of my songs just for shits and giggles. I’d love your thoughts on it… but be kind!!!!

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: C’mon C’mon! – Bronski Beat
Download: Broken Home, Broken Heart – Husker Du
Download: Something About a Woman – Jake Owen
Download: You and the Moon – The Spares
Download: Up to Speed – Thomas Lee
Download: That Girl – Gasoline Heart
Download: Electric Avenue – Eddie Grant
Download: Distant Dreamer – Duffy

Ryan Adams

This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes

The Rules: I reset the play counters for all the songs currently on my iTunes. Then at the end of every week, I check to see what the top five most played songs are. Whatever happens to be in this top five are then presented in order here from most played to least. If I have posted a particular song in the past, then I will bypass that song and post the next in line. If one artist dominates the list, then I will write about that artist in lieu of a Top Five list.

So this was my first week of classes. It was exhausting. That’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

EXCEPT that it was SO exhausting that I didn’t do much aside from going to class and doing homework. My online class is over this week (which is a huge relief for me)… I don’t know how many of you actually care about this nonsense, but I think it’s absolutely fascinating because it’s about ME.

I’ll tell you what’s MORE interesting than me… those blasted wizards from Wizards of Waverly Place. I wish I were a wizard… and when I say “wizard,” I mean JEDI. There’s nothing cooler than being a Jedi. I bet you our economy would be much better if Obama were a Jedi.

Here’s This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes

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Learn to Love – Ryan Adams

It’s been a while since a Ryan Adams song made the Top 5 list. For those of you that don’t know, Adams is on a break from music and has been doing just that by posting new music under the names Werewolph and Sleazy Handshake.

I’m hoping that a Whiskeytown reunion WILL happen, as he’s mentioned around the web. I need to start pulling out some old Whiskeytown boots that I’ve got…

Anyhow, “Learn to Love” is one of the more obscure tracks of Adams. It’s a beautiful country song that fits right in with the style of music I love him for. Yes, I’m one of those people who loves his country side most. It just sounds like he’s most comfortable there.

I played “Learn to Love” 10 times this week and would have played it more if the Wizards of Waverly Place movie weren’t on. I love how the movie incorporates as many classic rock songs that deal with “magic” as it can… to be honest, I’d be totally willing to buy the soundtrack to this movie.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Learn to Love

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

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Sleep Around – Maritime

I found this Maritime song, “Sleep Around” in my iTunes and totally dug it. It’s off their 2004 debut album, Glass Floor, and has just enough pep to it to make me forget that my microbiology class is gonna be REALLY long.

Don’t believe me? Take a listen to it and you’ll see… you can’t help but bounce your head from side to side with a smile on your face. The horns really do it for me, not because I’m a sucker for horns, but because they just add to the pep.

Aside from being peppy, the song’s really quite catchy…

Maritime was formed in 2003 and they’ve been going strong with three albums and one EP under their belt. They’ve been a bit quite lately, but that’s because they’ve been preparing for their next release. According to their Sleep Around

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

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Sooner or Later – Michelle Branch

Back in March, I told you about Michelle Branch‘s upcoming album, Everything Comes and Goes. The record is set to go in November, and the first single, “Sooner or Later,” was released in July.

Regarding the album, Branch explains in an interview with, “I never consider what an album’s about while I’m recording it. But in the end, I guess that ‘Everything Comes and Goes’ is really a record about passion–about wanting it, about losing it, and then finding it all over again.”

So far the two cuts I’ve heard from the album returns her to the singer/songwriter genre but with the country flavor she demonstrated in her work with The Wreckers. I’m looking forward to Everything Comes and Goes because it does seem to be a bit of a departure from her previous solo albums.

“Sooner or Later” was played six times this week. And it would have been played more if the Jonas Brothers show weren’t on so damn much.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Sooner or Later

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

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Phenomena – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ second album, Show Your Bones, was a MUCH anticipated album for me. I loved their debut, and simply could not WAIT for them to put out more music. When the record finally dropped, I ran all the way to the record store to grab it. I almost forgot to pay for it, too… I was SO excited to hear it, I just sprinted my way out the door.

Well, the two guards didn’t share my enthusiasm, and when they caught up with me, they showed their disapproval. I had stand there and explain how sorry I was and how I’ll never do it again, until the next time the band releases another record. I then bought the guards a couple of carne asada burritos and we all became friends. The bigger fellow, Jack, enjoyed the debut album as well, but noted that it was no reason to steal anything.

I said, “I know, Jack, and I’m REALLY sorry. Can you forgive me by taking these cuffs off?”

Jack eventually did, but first I had to buy him a few more carne asada burritos. No, he didn’t eat them all right there and then, he put them in his cooler and took them home.

I know that none of this actually has anything to do with the song, “Phenomena,” off the album, but it’s a good story and I’m gonna sell it to Bruce Springsteen for him to write a song about. Maybe THEN he’ll give me back the $75 he owes me. Yeah, I know the amount increases everytime I mention it..

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Phenomena

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

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Burn On – Randy Newman

Randy Newman‘s a great songwriter. He’s SO great that he’s penned a number of tunes for those amazing Pixar flicks. For some reason, his voice and style fit those movies to a “T,” and man ALIVE I wish I had his gig.

“Burn On” sounds like it could fit right in with a Pixar movie, too. Just the opening piano motif makes me think of a scene straight from Toy Story… I guess it’s the circus-like quality to it… and those Toy Story characters are all a hoot and belong in a circus of their own called Cirque De Histoire Jouet.

If I’m even CLOSE with that translation, then I’m f***in’ cool.

If I’m NOT close, then it’s because those Jonas Brothers are so damn goofy that I’ve literally forgotten what I’m talking about here.

You know, love’em or hate’em, you gotta hand it to the Jonas Brothers. They really had a vision and set their sights for the top. If I were younger, good looking, and had two more brothers that were younger and good looking, I’d totally start a boy band…

Hey, I’m still pretty young, and I’m ok looking. Anybody game here? We could call ourselves Money To Burn… because that’d be the only reason why we’d ever be signed.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Burn On

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

Volcano Choir Unmap

Volcano Choir: Island, IS

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It’s 2:34am and I’m wide awake. I woke up because nature called… and I guess it was SO amazing that I had to stay up to reflect on the experience. Anyhow, I’m glad I’m awake because it gave me a reason to listen to some music. I hit my iTunes and found a track that I had been looking forward to checking out, “Island, IS” by Volcano Choir. This group our of Wisconsin is made up of Jon Mueller, Chris Rosenau, Jim Schoenecker, Daniel Spack, Justin Vernon, and Thomas Wincek. You might recognize the name Justin Vernon from Bon Iver and the others from Collections of Colonies of Bees… they’ve been working together since 2005 and according to their MySpace page, got it all together in November of 2008 for a recording session at Vernon’s studio.

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I tell ya… at 2:44am, “Island, IS” hits the spot like an In-N-Out Double Double would on any given day. It hits the spot like the scene in Kindergarten Cop where Arnold Schwarzenegger punches the abusive father. Hell, I’ll go even as far as to say that it hits the spot like getting into a Microbiology class after being number 14 on the waiting list.

The song is propelled by what seems like a number of loops underneath Vernon’s smooth vocals… it sounds incredibly peaceful for something so busy.

The upcoming album, Unmap, will be released on September 22, and if it has a bunch of tracks that sound like THIS, then I’m all for picking it up. I’d grab this album just because of the cover… it’s gorgeous and quite stunning for someone standing in the snow covered by a blanket from Walmart. If you pre-order the record, you’ll get an 11″ x 17″ poster of the cover art… click here for more details.

So check out “Island, IS” in the Dig-It section below and if you like what you hear, visit NPR for another track off Unmap, “Youlogy.” Even if you’re not too sweet on “Island, IS,” go take a listen to “Youlogy” anyway… I love gospel music and to hear it done a la Volcano Choir style… well, it pretty much solidifies the album purchase for me.

I’m going back to bed.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Island, IS

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

Night Ranger Midnight Madness

Night Ranger: Sister Christian

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There are very few songs out there that hit you deep in the soul harder than Night Ranger‘s “Sister Christian.” Yeah, I know that it’s a song about Kelly Keagy’s (drummer/singer/songwriter for the band) sister, but man alive, when the chorus comes around, I cannot help but sing at the the top of my lungs because at that moment, I have a little sister and I am trying to tell her to PLEASE don’t go “motoring” for boys.

How can anyone resist belting out “You’re motorin’… what’s your price for flight?” at the top of your lungs? I surely can’t. And neither can my grandma. ‘Course, she sings it differently…

“Ni zai kai hen kuai. Ni wei shenme kai na me kuai?”

Yeah, it’s not exactly the right lyric, but it’s my grandma so I’m not gonna correct her. Are you?

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“Sister Christian” is off their sophomore release, Midnight Madness. The song hit #5 on the Billboard charts and is #32 on VH-1’s Greatest Songs of the 80’s list. I always thought it was so cool that the drummer (Keagy) sang the song whilst playing them skins.

I’m kind of irritated that I can’t embed the music video for “Sister Christian” here. Just an aside… I don’t understand why bands/labels disable this because can only help them spread the word. If anyone here has any economical reason for disabling this feature, please let me know and I’ll shut up. Until then, WTF????

Anyhow, the video always made me laugh. It shows a girl that faces some pretty difficult decisions… like whether to go the way of the nuns or to go the way of the rock n’ roll boys. In the end, she sheds her conservative look, goes to the bathroom to get all gussied up, and chooses the rock star boys. WOW. Big shocker there. I still don’t quite get what made her change her ways. She suddenly sees the rock star boys and decides to be saucy? I don’t quite get it.

Now, I’m not saying that ALL girls will choose that path because hey – there are plenty of nuns in the world who did NOT go “motorin’,” but are you surprised at the girl’s decision in the video? I’m certainly not… it’s a MUSIC VIDEO for Pete’s sake. Would MTV play a video that ended with an attractive young girl choosing to be a NUN?

And doesn’t Keagy scream “Quit your motorin,’ YEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH motorin'” at the end WHILE the girl jumps into the car with the boys??? Obviously she can’t hear his heart-wrenching plea.

Since I’m unable to embed the official music video here, I have no choice but to put a live performance of the song from ’83, when the song hit… which is still pretty awesome in it’s own right. Hmmmm… Keagy’s a lefty.

GAH! The opening of the song uses that bloomin’ Rhodes patch off the DX-7 synthesizer… I HATE that patch but it defined the 80’s so I’d better shut-up about it.

You know, one lyric I’ll never understand is “you know those boys don’t wanna play no more with you, it’s true.” I mean, isn’t it the fact that the boys DID want to “play” with her that made Keagy write the song? I don’t get it. Unless he’s talking about playing Jenga, which I never thought of doing with girls when I was in high school.

So I present to you the original and acoustic versions of this Night Ranger classic song. The acoustic version is actually very cool. I really like the vocal phrasing in this performance better than the original. It just seems more natural to me for some reason.

Night Ranger‘s “Sister Christian” will forever be most every jukebox in the world… it’s just one of those songs that had the perfect blending of melody, lyric, and meaning. The music of the 80’s had GREAT melodies… regardless of what you think of the production, the songs were there, and if the true test of a song is to strip it down to it’s bare bones, then this acoustic version shows that it passes quite decisively.

Your Dig-It Downloads: (right click links to download)

Download: Sister Christian (original version)
Download: Sister Christian (acoustic)

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

Book of Love

Book of Love: Book of Love

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This is a guilty pleasure of mine. Book of Love‘s 1986 self-titled debut came to my attention via a friend who was very much into Depeche Mode. She loved the synthpop sound and knew that I did as well, thus letting me borrow the extended remix for Book of Love‘s single “Boy.” I must admit that I really liked this girl, so I wanted to be cool… I listened to it, said things like “That’s cool” and “Wow you have great taste in music” and my favorite line ever, “Can I put my head between those?” In the end, I didn’t get the girl but actually did enjoy the music.

She’s married now and has two kids, by the way. Plus she hates Superman. I don’t see how anybody can hate Superman. That’d be like hating puppies, and who hates puppies? Only terrorists, serial killers, pedophiles, and girls that don’t go out with Ol’ Swap.

Anyhow, Book of Love actually opened for DMode on their Black Celebration tour. Pretty amazing for a group out of Philadelphia… pretty amazing for ANY group out of ANYwhere.

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So in 1986 Book of Love’s self-titled debut hits and delivers some popular dance tracks, “Boy,” “You Make Me Feel So Good,” “I Touch Roses,” and my favorite track of theirs, “Modigliani (Lost in Your Eyes).” Their music is incredibly listenable… catchy, poppy, bouncy, full of energy, and made me feel nothing could possibly be wrong in this world.

The principle songwriters of the group are Susan and Ted Ottaviano (no relation) and their work is an excellent example of simplicity. Even as a kid, I thought the lyrics were bubblegummy, and I was listening to Tiffany and Debbie Gibson at the time. Check out these choice lines:

Eye of blue
I love blue
Words that say
I love you

In an interview with Resonance Magazine, Susan Ottavanio stated, “[we] wanted to say what we did as swiftly and simply as we could.” I am of the opinion that they wholeheartedly succeeded. I mean, LOOK at those lyrics… pretty frikkin’ deep. There’s no question as to what she’s trying to say… she loves blue and words that say “I love you.”

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The funny thing is, though, the lyrics didn’t matter because the music was so good. I’m not going to say that Book of Love‘s songs were going to change the world, but they did help continue to show what synthesizers could do. The production was crisp, slick, and sounds as fresh today as it did over 20 years ago. Producer Ivan Ivan stayed away from the typical 80’s synth sounds of those blasted DX-7 Rhodes, the massive Oberheim pads, and those ridiculous synth drums that you imitate by saying “be-yoo, be-yoo.”

A fine example of their music style can be found in the instrumental track, “Late Show.” There’s nothing in there that screams the 80’s… even as a synth band, the drums are moving and even the miramba-sounding part doesn’t sound weak. In all honestly the frikkin’ track kicks ASS. My high school cheerleader girlfriend (yup… I was cool… I dated a cheerleader) used “Late Show” for one of their routines and I LOVED the part where she got thrown in the air high enough for me to see underneath her skirt.

Wait. That doesn’t have anything to do with the music. Ah well. Was a great memory anyway.

The track that got label interest (and therefore was released as the first single), “Boy,” hit #7 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charts in 1985. It has remained their most popular song and was remixed and re-released in 2001. The second time around proved to be even more fruitful, as it hit #1 on the dance charts. Not bad at all. Here’s a live performance of “Boy.”

Outstanding. “Boy” is another prime example of their swift and simple lyrical style:

It’s not my fault
That I’m not a boy
It’s not my fault
I don’t have those toys

To this day, I’m not sure what “toys” Susan Ottavanio is talking about, because I’m pretty sure I only have one “toy,” but if I were to venture a guess, I’d say she’s talking about the Playstation 2.

You probably didn’t even know it, but you’ve most likely heard songs off Book of Love already, as a couple of tracks have been featured in classic movies like The Silence of the Lambs (“Sunny Day”) and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (“Modigliani (Lost in Your Eyes)”).

Book of Love has released 4 studio albums and one greatest hits collection called I Touch Roses. They officially disbanded in 1993, but their music is far from being forgotten. According to their website, their entire catalog has been reissued and remastered:

“Collector’s Choice has reissued remastered and expanded editions of our entire catalog. This is the first time many of the our remixes have been available digitally. In addition, there is a 2 disc Silver Anniversary Edition of our debut album BOOK OF LOVE that includes two live tracks as well as original demo recordings including “Boy”.

To celebrate this occasion, they will be regrouping for a special performance on Sept. 27 (that’s next month) in the Highline Ballroom in NYC.

VERY. Cool.

If you’re in the area, GO. And if you’re not familiar with their music, you’ll find a few samples below in the Dig-It section. If you like what you hear and want more, go grab their debut album or the greatest hits compilation. I hope you find their music to be a wonderful addition to your collection.

It’s pure pop, and it’s beautiful.

Your Dig-It Downloads: (right click on link to download)

Modigliani (Lost in Your Eyes)
You Make Me Feel So Good
Boy (extended mix)

Book of Love on Amazon
Book of Love on iTunes

I Love Weird Music

This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes

The Rules: I reset the play counters for all the songs currently on my iTunes. Then at the end of every week, I check to see what the top five most played songs are. Whatever happens to be in this top five are then presented in order here from most played to least. If I have posted a particular song in the past, then I will bypass that song and post the next in line. If one artist dominates the list, then I will write about that artist in lieu of a Top Five list.

My classes start in two days. I’m kind of looking forward to it, kind of not. I guess I’m looking forward to being in an actual classroom with actual people again because for the past few weeks I’ve been taking an online Psych class. It’s been an adventure, but I’m not sure if I’ll take an online class anymore.

Why is that?

Because I’d rather have an actual professor that I can see and visit during office hours. I’d rather have the feel of a classroom with people that I can talk to instead of just looking at their names on a screen.

And the biggest reason of all is because I HATE E-BOOKS. Man alive I can’t stand them. Does anybody here use a Kindle? How’s it working for you?

I’m not sure if President Obama uses one, but he DOES check here weekly for This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes

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Waiting for the Night – Depeche Mode

I’ve been a huge fan of Depeche Mode for decades now. They are, in my opinion, the Led Zeppelin of electronic music. I’m going to make a bold statement and say that they are the fathers of Industrial music. Without them, synthesizers would not be cool, they would only be remembered for that bright fake-rhodes sound the DX-7 made famous in the 80’s.

I’ve been on a HUGE DMode kick this last week, which has resulted in the top two songs coming from their vast catalog.

The most played song of the week is “Waiting for the Night” off Violator. I was lucky enough to hear a live acoustic version of this song and fell back in love with it. The album cut is gorgeous, but I must say that it did not compare to the live version. I wish I had a bootleg of that performance. Maybe someday.

I played “Waiting for the Night” 18 times this week. Wow.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Waiting for the Night

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

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I Feel You (live) – Depeche Mode

Moving along with the Depeche Mode theme, “I Feel You” is perhaps one of my favorite tracks. This song is off their Songs of Faith and Devotion record that, in my opinion, was their first “emotional” album. Take a listen to “I Feel You” and hopefully you’ll see what I mean. This is the first album that the Mode seemed to bare their soul.

It’s interesting that many DMode fans that I’ve come across use Songs of Faith and Devotion as a marker between “old” and “new” Depeche Mode, which I tend to agree with. It’s the last album with Alan Wilder, who in my opinion was a big reason why DMode had a “sound” that was so different from everyone else at the time.

But anyway, this whole idea is the subject for another time, another place. I guess I’m just planting a seed for a discussion that’s coming.

I listened to “I Feel You” 12 times this week. Great song!

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: I Feel You (live)

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

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Heartbeats – The Knife

I frankly have no idea where I got this recording of “Heartbeats” from The Knife. All I know is that it was there, I played it, I dug it, so I played it again… and again… and again.

Off their 2006 album, Deep Cuts, “Heartbeats” showcases the work of the brother/sister team of Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer. I have no idea how to pronounce their names, but I DO know how to pronounce “floccinaucinihilipilification.”

The Knife have been around since 1999 but didn’t come to popularity until a cover of “Heartbeats” by Jose Gonzalez was used in a Sony commercial for Bravia TV sets. I don’t own a Bravia TV, but I DO know how to pronounce “rastaquouere.”

“Heartbeats” was also used in a 2007 episode of Entourage. I honestly have never watched Entourage, but I DO know how to pronounce “selcouth.”

So add it up and it all means this: kick ass song, weird english words, Swap’s a happy boy.

I played “Heartbeats” nine times this week.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Heartbeats

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

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These Are My Twisted Words – Radiohead

This new Radiohead song came out of nowhere. I mean, I don’t even think Radiohead knows where it came from. It hit the internet on August 12 and is probably going to end up as a standalone single, as there has been no word on it landing on an upcoming album.

I’m totally watching a movie called The Immortals right now and it’s not making any sense. Probably because I just turned it on and it’s about halfway through already. It looks interesting, though… people are being shot, and there’s a guy on the ground that just said “What are you so afraid of?”

I have ZERO idea on what that meant, but it apparently meant something because the guy that it was directed to just said the “F” word. And when you follow up a saying with the “F” word, you KNOW it meant something.

So anyhow, “These Are My Twisted Words” continues Radiohead’s blend of gorgeous sonic landscapes and just enough cryptic lyrics to make you say “Man, those guys are DEEP.”

The song’s basically just a jam with a rather boring melody thrown on top. I have to say that the song’s a throwaway, but it’s new Radiohead, so I listened to it eight times this week. After listening to it again right now, I don’t really know why I spun it eight times… once would have been sufficient.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: These Are My Words

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

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If You Want Me To – Ginny Owens

A friend introduced me to Ginny Owens one night, and I’ve been (here’s an update on the flick The ImmortalsEric Roberts is in it and the guy who double-crossed everyone in The Matrix is also in it. I like that guy. The actor. Not the character that double-crossed everyone in The Matrix) listening to this particular song ever since. “If You Want Me To” is off her 1999 Without Condition, which is a rather good album.

Ooooh a nice shootout just happened on The Immortals and a lot of people got shot. Tia Carrere is also in this movie. She just got hit in the left leg. The guy from The Matrix is still alive. Tia Carrere just got caught in a big fake spiderweb. How the hell does one get caught in a big fake spiderweb?

Yup. Ginny Owens’ song “If You Want Me To” is gorgeous and you should take a listen to it. Yes, you really should. Do it. All you gotta do is hit “play.”

I hit “play” six times this week.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: If You Want Me To

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]

Big Smiley Face

This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes

The Rules: I reset the play counters for all the songs currently on my iTunes. Then at the end of every week, I check to see what the top five most played songs are. Whatever happens to be in this top five are then presented in order here from most played to least. If I have posted a particular song in the past, then I will bypass that song and post the next in line. If one artist dominates the list, then I will write about that artist in lieu of a Top Five list.

So I’m sitting here, watching an episode of Friends… the one where Monica and Rachel are arguing over who gets the condom… well, Rachel wins and gets the last condom in the apartment. Monica goes up to Richard and tells them they they’re not having sex, Rachel and Ross are. They then go to bed disappointed.

I don’t get why Richard doesn’t put it frikkin’ pants on and jump off the balcony to get to the store faster. I mean, if it were me, I wouldn’t even put ON my pants. I’d be out the door faster than you can say “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.” Either that or I’d go back into that bedroom and imagine I’m Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi at a pie eating contest.

See, now the ending of this episode doesn’t make sense, either… why don’t Monica and Rachel keep their OWN condoms in their OWN rooms?

In any case, here’s This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes.

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Angel Mine (live in studio) – Cowboy Junkies

The Cowboy Junkies have been making some gorgeous music since 1985. They gained popularity through their first album, The Trinity Session, which was recorded in a church with one microphone. Before I even heard the album, that single microphone thing was the talk of the town. I mean, it was 1988 and the big hair, over produced sound was still in… so for a band do record an entire with ONE microphone… well, that’s like summer in a bowl.

This week’s most played song, “Angel Mine,” is off of their 1996 record, Lay It Down. This was their first album that did not include any covers, and was also considered to be their first “rock” album. It was produced by John Keane, the same guy who did the first Indigo Girls album.

This live in-studio performance of “Angel Mine” is taken from a compilation by KSCA fm101.9 called Live From The Music Hall, Vol. 3. The coolest thing in the world is when radio stations release their in-studio recordings. Some of these collections are well-sought after because they contain some outstanding performances. If you have a radio station that releases CDs like this, go grab a lot of them and sell them for a lot of money on Ebay.

That’s the American way. Another example of the American way is to play “Angel Mine” 13 times this week… which is exactly what I did.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Angel Mine (live in studio)

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A Sister’s Social Agony – Camera Obscura

I’m not sure if I’ve posted this Camera Obscura track, “A Sister’s Social Agony,” so if I did, then that’s pretty cool because it’s a pretty cool song. It’s off thier Underachievers Please Try Harder, which was released in 2004. I love songs that use the I – vi – IV – V chord progression, especially when it’s done in this “oldies” style a la songs like “Earth Angel.” I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of it.

There’s a gazillion songs that use this chord progression and just as many melodies that can fit over it as well.

Other songs that use it:

“Every Breath You take” – The Police
“I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” – Elvis
“D’yer Mak’er” – Led Zeppelin
“Hungry Heart” – Bruce Springsteen

Now, some of you might be saying “Swap, doesn’t Springsteen use a ‘ii’ chord instead of the ‘IV’?” to which I would say “Yes, but the ‘ii’ is relative minor of ‘IV’ so it’s cool.” The Pretenders also do this trick in their hit “Don’t Get Me Wrong.”

Anyhow, I played “A Sister’s Social Agony” 10 times this week. Loved every second of it.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: A Sister’s Social Agony

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Hard Times – Ray Charles

Here’s one of my favorite songs ever… and I’m totally stoked (stoked?) that it made the list. Ray Charles“Hard Times” taught me so much about the blues. I first heard it when my oldest brother John blasted it from his room. John’s taste in music was quite eclectic. His music collection was what I strived for… everyone should have an older sibling like John.

Anyhow, “Hard Times” reminds me of a quick little conversation I had on Twitter with @jefito. We were commenting on how today’s cds are so over compressed that all the dynamics are gone. If anyone has the first Velvet Revolver record, pop it in a stereo that shows the different EQ levels and take a look at how they literally peak the entire time. It’s an annoying way to make the music louder than the next person’s, and it tired out my ears quickly. Maybe that’s why it’s really hard for me to listen through a rock album today without needing to turn it off for a while to rest my ears.

This recording of “Hard Times” actually BREATHES. You can feel the dynamics of Charles’ vocals, and when the sax solo kicks in, you can actually feel the depth in sound. It’s such a joy to listen to, even if it does sound “old.”

I listened to “Hard Times” nine times this week. Love it!

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Hard Times

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Breathe (cover) – Michael W. Smith

A friend of mine reminded me of this cover version of Michael W. Smith‘s “Breathe”. To be honest, I have no idea who sings this version… I’ve looked online and cannot find any information regarding it…. so if ANYONE has ANY info on this artist, please please pass it along!

“Breathe” is a worship song. If you’re not familiar with “worship songs,” they’re the kind that are written to praise God. My friend and I were commenting on how these types of songs never fail to make us smile. They’re all pretty much the same in that they carry the same message: God is great, but the melodies and the way they’re presented are just uplifting.

I really enjoy this version of “Breathe”… I wish I could figure out who sings it. If you’re interested in hearing the original, check it out on Smith’s Worship album. Great song.

I played “Breathe” seven times this week. Beautiful!

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Breathe (cover)

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Everybody Knows (RAC mix) – John Legend

I’m not too familiar with John Legend‘s music, but I do know the song, “Everybody Knows.” It’s off his latest record, Evolver, which climbed to #4 on the Billboard charts. The single, “Everybody Knows,” was released in early 2009 and hit the top 40. It’s a great song and I was thrilled to see this RAC remix of the song in my email.

This remix is simply gorgeous. I gotta say… Legend has an awesome voice. Here’s some interesting trivia on the man… he was offered scholarships to… get this… Harvard, Georgetown, and Morehouse colleges. Holy frikkin’ patootie. Impressive… most impressive.

I always wondered why I wasn’t offered scholarships to Harvard, Georgetown, and Morehouse college… I mean, I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me… so I don’t see why I didn’t get any offers.

That totally blows. I’m gonna put pen to paper and write my congressman a letter about this. Frankly, I have no idea what this will do, but if he wants my vote, he’d better make SOMETHING happen… like get me a free grilled stuft burrito from Taco Bell.

I played this remix five times this week.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Everybody Knows (RAC mix)

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Rick Springfield

New Jessie’s Girl Mix for 2009

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It’s happening… people are starting to recognize the genius behind the Greatest Song Ever Written By Man: “Jessie’s Girl.” Yes, 28 years after it was released, Rick Springfield‘s classic song about wanting a woman who’s “watchin’ him with those eyes” and “lovin’ him with that body, I just know it,” is finally getting a makeover.

Here’s a bit o’ trivia regarding the song… in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Springfield revealed that the REAL “Jessie” was actually some guy named Gary. Yeah, don’t bother… I’ve already tried singing the song with “Gary” and it just don’t work. Neither do the names Roger, Michael, Travis, P-Diddy, Tupac, Eminem or Obama. Oddly enough, though… Ying Tyan Wang works quite nicely.

Springfield snagged the Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “Jessie’s Girl” back in the day… I gotta tell ya, I can feel his pain.

Check out this new mix:

VERY cool. I don’t have much information on this video, but apparently it was made by people who understand how friggin’ brilliant the song is, and how the message resonates within ALL of us… forever and ever, amen. (Just got word from Matt over at Addicted to Vinyl that Chris Lord Alge did the remix… he’s like… bigger than someone who is NOT Chris Lord Alge)

Here’s a live performance of the song from when the song first hit the charts in 1982. Check out the lady at the bottom of the screen with the big-ass sunglasses at 1:34. Dude, I think that’s my MOM.

Egads, man! EVERYBODY back then was into Rick Springsteen… whoops… I mean, Bruce Springfield.

And now, just because I love you, here’s the REAL story behind the song… it’s all embedded within this picture. Take a look at this:

I guess maybe next time Rick falls for someone after a heroin binge, he should make sure the girl he meets ISN’T the girlfriend of a buddy of his. Yes, I think we’re all a little wiser now, thanks to Good Ol’ Rick.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Jessie’s Girl (acoustic)

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Paul McCartney Michael Jackson

Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson: Say Say Say

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I’m sorry, but I can’t NOT comment on the cover of this single. I think this is yet another classic example of “WHAT THE F*** WERE THEY THINKING?” I mean, take a look at Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson… I don’t think that quite fits their images, especially since they just sang a song called “The Girl is Mine” just a year ago.

“Say Say Say” hit the charts in 1983 and climbed all the way to the top and stayed number one for six whopping weeks and became Jackson’s tenth top ten hit in a year. Wow. That’s a friggin’ lot of top ten records to have in a year. The song helped Jackson beat out The Beatles and Elvis Presley for most number ones in a year. I wonder how McCartney felt about that… he helped Jackson beat a record that HE held. I guess he probably didn’t care much because he was now able to buy like fifteen more houses.

I remember how my brother Robert always wanted to sing Jackson’s part. I always thought McCartney’s vocal line was better, but hey – ebony and ivory, baby. My brother even had all of Jackson’s vocal “hiccups” in place. He really did have it down and, if he had continued down that path, would have made an excellent Michael Jackson impersonator. I would have paid to see him perform. Of course I’d pay just to be able to make fun of him in public… but that’s sibling love for ya.

Here’s the video… what’s REALLY weird about this single (even weirder than the cover) is that Michael Jackson’s love interest in the video is his sister, La Toya. That, folks, is yet ANOTHER addition to the “WHAT THE F*** WERE THEY THINKING?” files.

“Say Say Say” is off of McCartney’s Pipes of Peace, and album that my brother really enjoyed. I’m not sure what I thought about it because frankly, I was too young to really know what a “good” album was. All I knew was that someone from The Beatles made that record, which made me wonder who the heck The Beatles were, and why does everyone misspell the friggin’ name? I even asked my teacher that, only get the reply “Oh, it’s cute!”

So on the next spelling test, I misspelled everything… when I got an “F,” I argued that I was being “cute” and deserved an “A.” She didn’t see it that way, neither did the whip she used to beat me to death in front of my classmates because of insubordination. Man, that was a bad day in second grade.

The cover version below is by Woodpigeon and Louise Hull. I totally dig this version… it’s all acoustic and makes the song sound deeper than it actually is. Take a listen to it and then visit their respective sites to give them some love.

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: Say Say Say (original)

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Download: Say Say Say (Woodpigeon & Louise Hull)

[Amazon] [iTunesicon]


Finally! A U2 Video I Can Actually Watch

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U2 recently premiered the video to the next single from their No Line on the Horizon album. “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” is one of the better pop songs from the record… I’m actually surprised it wasn’t released earlier when there was more press and attention given to the album. I’m a huge U2 fan, but “Get On Your Boots” was perhaps one of the worst choices for an initial single in the history of initial singles… and the video for it sucked more than a $5 hooker on a Saturday night.

This video for “Crazy Tonight” is actually pretty good… it kept my attention, at least. Let’s face it – U2 videos are usually virtually unwatchable. They’re typically boring videos of the band walking around and Bono doing his “Bono-isms” all over the place. The “Magnificent” video is an excellent example of this. I mean, what’s with the white sheets all over the place? Everyone else notices them BUT the band, who keep walking in slow motion for some reason. I know there’s probably a deep concept to the video, I didn’t really care.

By the time I get to the second verse I’ve found something else far more interesting to watch:

So anyhow, here’s the video for “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.” It’s all computer animated, which probably helps with the watchability. It’s got cute little people in it and not one shot of the band doing anything in slow motion. They’re growing up… good for them!

Here’s a live performance of the song from last month in Barcelona. It’s all remix-y, which is kinda weird to hear. To be perfectly honest, it’s pretty awful. I don’t think U2 should remix themselves… on stage… in front of people… at high volume… EVER. And for some reason, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” shouldn’t follow it… I’m just sayin’.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (live in Barcelona 2009-07-02)

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