52 Songs for 52 Weeks – (Do you remember) Rock n Roll Radio by the Ramones

Rock and Roll Radio by the Ramones

The Ramones were one of the most influential bands of all time. Arriving on the scene as part of the blossoming punk rock movement in the 1970’s. Their look, their style, and their energy were a much needed shock to the system for a music scene that had grown sappy and boring in the mid to late 1970s. The Ramones were also able to keep the music fun – sort of a Punk Rock Beach Boys. They’ll never be another band like them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJizV-d3sEQ

-cj cheetham

52 songs for 52 weeks will get your music collection up to par. If you want to have a better music collection – check in each week . Add a song a week and in one year’s time your music collection will be the envy of all your friends.

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52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Week 22 – Watch Your Step by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Broken noses hung upon the wall; backslapping drinkers cheer the heavyweight brawl

Elvis Costello is one of the most prolific song writers in modern music history.  Choosing one of his songs for this list was a really difficult task.

I finally settled on Costello’s best album Trust.  Although it didn’t produce a major hit like many of his other albums did, Trust is his best work from start to finish.  And Watch Your Step is the best song on that best album.

It’s one of those songs that you wish was 5 minutes longer.

Don’t say a word…

http://youtu.be/c-175a-WZwY

-cj cheetham

52 songs for 52 weeks will get your music collection up to par. If you want to have a better music collection – check in each week . Add a song a week and in one year’s time your music collection will be the envy of all your friends.

52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Week 21 – Metropolis by the Church

There’ll never be another quite like you
I’m so involved with everything you do

If the Church had been based in London rather than Australia, they would be a household name in America.  As it stands, they are one of the top Australian bands of all time. 

One of the most consistently excellent bands of the last 30 years, the Church was always able to combine great vocals, catchy guitar hooks, and great lyrics.

Metropolis, released in 1990 is a fantastic tune.  Add it to your library, just so you can get the guitar into your head and keep it there.

 

http://youtu.be/NKKaBk-ea8A

And when you fell they fell down on their knees
And when you broke they scrambled for a piece
And when you spoke I felt their anger freeze

-cj cheetham

52 songs for 52 weeks will get your music collection up to par. If you want to have a better music collection – check in each week . Add a song a week and in one year’s time your music collection will be the envy of all your friends.

52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Week 20 – Overkill by Men at Work

It’s time to walk the streets; smell the desperation

In 1983, Australia’s Men at Work ruled the airwaves with Overkill.  Although they only released a couple of studio albums – Men at Work filled those recordings with outstanding music.  None better than this one.

One of the measures of a song is:  do you get tired of listening to it?  This is one song I literally never get tired of – it is pretty close to being a perfect song.

If you need more evidence of the timelessness of this tune – my 17 year old daughter loves it too.

http://youtu.be/RY7S6EgSlCI

Ghosts appear and fade away

-cj cheetham

52 songs for 52 weeks will get your music collection up to par. If you want to have a better music collection – check in each week . Add a song a week and in one year’s time your music collection will be the envy of all your friends.

Read This Book: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury.

Ray Bradbury, who recently passed away, is one of my favorite authors.  His dystopian tale of a world where books are outlawed, Fahrenheit 451, should be required reading for Americans in a time when political correctness threatens free speech and thought.  Furthermore, Bradbury has written some of the best science fiction and horror tales that you will find.  From the Martian Chronicles to Something Wicked This Way Comes to the October Country; Bradbury has an impressive catalog.

However, it is his loosely autobiographical book Dandelion Wine, a simple tale of two brothers growing up in a small Midwestern town during the summer of 1928, which has become my all time favorite Bradbury book.

The story is focused on the Spaulding brothers:  Doug aged 12 and Tom who is 10.  As they spend the early summer days helping Grandfather make dandelion wine.  Taking the simple – and what is often cast off as a pesky weed – and turning it into an item that brings joy; and that is really the theme of the entire book.    

Each chapter is a slice of life from small town America.  The boys’ imaginations run wild as they see magic in the world around them.  For example, after the boys listen as the local Civil War veteran regales them with tales of adventure and battle, Doug and Tom start calling Colonel Freeleigh “the Time Machine.”

Early in the summer Doug discovers that he is alive and he is excited to be so.  But as the end of summer draws near, Doug becomes despondent.  Just as the seasons are about the change – Doug realizes that his life is beginning to change as well.  He is growing up.  He is growing up and people will move away, family members will eventually die, and nothing will ever be as perfect as those first few days of summer 1928, ever again.

As I read this book, I had a lot of vivid memories of my own childhood – running around my own small town with my brothers and my friends.  Looking back, sometimes childhood seems like a dream – and certainly Bradbury infuses this novel with a dream-like quality.  As Douglas desperately tries to keep it always summer, I am right there with him, hoping he’ll somehow pull it off.  That he will find a way to make it stay forever now; eternal summer for Douglas and these carefree boys.

The book is full of incredible characters described in wonderfully funny and sad chapters.  I intentionally avoided this Bradbury book all my life because I was always drawn to his ghost stories.  But I am so glad I picked this book up and read it this year.  No, it’s not a ghost story – but it awakens the ghosts of times past, that are hidden within all of us.

I’ll not spoil the book by saying that the dandelion wine, like warm memories of family and friends, is safely stored in the Spaulding’s cellar by the end of the story.  It is
there to get them through the sadness of fall and the cold of winter. 

What a book Mr. Bradbury wrote!  I’d easily put it in my top 5 favorite works of fiction.

52 Songs for 52 Weeks: week 19 – We Let Her Down by Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak proves – that sometimes sad songs are the best songs. 

I told her I’d love her; Now that it’s too late I see – I let her down

http://youtu.be/3kZWqUYTi9A

-cj cheetham

 52 songs for 52 weeks will get your music collection up to par. If you want to have a better music collection – check in each week . Add a song a week and in one year’s time your music collection will be the envy of all your friends.