Sunday, December 21, 2014

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #6

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

 1. Changes, by David Bowie

This happy sounding little piano jaunt is sure to get you singing along and raise your spirits despite the fact that the work/school week has started once again. Bowie always did seem to have a way of making social and political commentary that was relevant to what was going on at the time while blending it all into a magical pop musical cocktail. This song seems to exemplify this better than almost any other tune in his repertoire. If you like fun music with some actual depth to it, you have come to the right place.

2. Round and Round, by Ratt

If you're still in the mood for something fun but with a bit more drive and balls to it, this 80's hair metal classic will get you where you need to go. Few bands have personified what the 80's hair metal movement was about as well as Ratt. The guitars are loud, shredding, and melodic, the chorus is extremely memorable, the vocals are filled with extreme confidence and charisma, and everyone in the band was hair sprayed up to high heaven and back again. It's 80's cheese at its absolute best and I wouldn't have it any other way.

3. Christmas Time is Here, by Steve Vai

Because it is the week of Christmas, I will put ONE carol into this mix. Most people who know guitarist extraordinaire Steve Vai know him for being a loud, shredding, rip-roaring beast of a guitar player. However, he is at the same time quite versatile on his instrument and he proves this in his jazzy instrumental laid back version of this holiday classic. Even those who aren't that much into rock n' roll/the electric guitar can probably appreciate the pleasant nature of this cover. It makes you feel the warm fuzzies all over.

4. The Pink Panther Theme, by Bumblefoot

Bumblefoot is another guitar playing master who up until recently was a lead guitarist in the current incarnation of Guns N' Roses. However, he has quite the rich catalog of his own solo material that combines musical proficiency with humor. Anyway, during his tenure in GN'R he came up with his own rocked up cover of the classic Pink Panther theme song that he would play during tours as his guitar solo during the show. At one point, he and the rest of the band went into the studio to record the tune. It's surprising how well this song translates from jazz into tear-it-up rock n' roll. If you're ready to try something a bit different, this is right up your alley.

5. Are You Gonna Be My Girl, by Jet

This is the song that as far as I'm concerned helped save garage rock back in the early 00's. It made the genre accessible and popular again with the masses. It's zippy, lighthearted, and fun while still having a very much rock n' roll edge to it. I honestly wonder how their singer Nic Cester was able to scream his lungs out so consistently without hurting himself somehow. You can tell that every last guy in the band was having fun while playing this song and I believe that is a huge part of what gives it the edge it has.

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