90s Dance – Readercon 28 2017

I’ve been meaning to do this for all the dances, but sadly I didn’t keep track of the playlists for the 80s dances. I’ll try to do this for all the dances from this point on.
Here’s the songs I played for the 90s dance in 2017 (Readercon 28) in order

SongArtist
Groove is in the HeartDee-lite
1 2 3 4 (Sumpin New)Coolio
Livin' La Vida LocaRicky Martin
Barbie GirlAqua
Sexy MFPrince
Let's Talk About SexSalt-N-Pepa
WannabeSpice Girls
Only Happy When It RainsGarbage
PoisonBell Biv Devoe
ShoopSalt-N-Pepa
Cotton Eye JoeRednex
Hobo Humpin Slobo BabeWhale
MmmbopHanson
Here and NowLetters to Cleo
Waiting for TonightJennifer Lopez
JumpKris Kross
No ScrubsTLC
Age Of 5Equators
Come On EileenSave Farris
Push ItSalt-N-Pepa
You're No Rock N' Roll FunSleater-Kinney
Sign Of Love/Ai no Shirushi Captain Funk'sPuffy Ami Yumi
Jump Jive An' WailBrian Setzer Orchestra
Time BombRancid
LumpPOTUSA
Cornflake GirlTori Amos
SupernovaLiz Phair
Closing TimeSemisonic
Hockey MonkeyJames Kochalka

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Alternate lyrics

I’ve been hearing Rick Springfield’s Jesse’s Girl as a trans song all my life. Here’s my first attempt at changing the lyrics a little to make it one.

Jessie is a friend,
Yeah, I know he’s been a good friend of mine
But lately something’s changed
It ain’t hard to define
Now I know that I’m a girl and I want to make him mine

And maybe I should change my eyes
And I have to change my body now, I just know it!
And it all just takes so long until I will feel right

You know I wish that I was Jessie’s girl
I wish that I was Jessie’s girl
Why can’t I be a woman like that? *snaps*

I play along with the charade
Even after I have started to change
You know I feel so dirty for not telling him the truth
I wanna tell him that I love him but the point is probably moot

‘Cause my tellin’ him would go fine
And lovin’ him with my new body, I just know it!
But I’m scared he’d be alarmed and we’d start to fight.

You know I wish that I was Jessie’s girl
I wish that I was Jessie’s girl
Where can’t I be a woman like that? *snaps*

I’ll be a girl
I wish that I was Jessie’s girl
Why can’t I be a woman…
Why can I be a woman like that? *snaps*

And I’m lookin’ in the mirror all the time
Wonderin’ how I will look to me
After the hormones have smoothed all my lines
And I’m finally how I’m supposed to be?

Tell me, why can’t I be a woman like that? *snaps*

You know I wish that I was Jessie’s girl
I wish that I was Jessie’s girl
I’ll be Jessie’s girl
How can I find my womanhood fast?

I’ll be a girl
I wish that I was Jessie’s girl
I want, I want to be girl

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Shazam

I’ve started using a service on my iPhone called Shazam. I have to say it is one of the best iPhone apps for someone like me. I like to listen to the radio, especially college stations, to find new bands. Though college stations do tell you what they’ve played, it can often be 8 or 10 songs between announcements about what was played. I’m not always in the car to hear the announcement. Sure, many of them have the information on their websites, but then you have to look up the station’s website, remember the time you were listening to the song and hope they have it right on the site.

Enter Shazam. I thought the app was awesome when I first heard about it, long before I had an iPhone. When you hear a song and want to know who it is and the name of the song, you simply start the app and hold the phone up. The phone samples the song and sends it to a service for pattern matching. If it finds a match, it reports back with the information. There have only been a few songs so far that it didn’t know, I’d say 1 in 10. I’m fine with that success rate, that’s 9 of 10 that I wouldn’t have known before, and have to imagine it’ll improve with time.

I was worried it’d be hard to use in the car, but I just leave it open with the phone in the cup holder and I can just tap the screen anywhere when I want to identify the song. Takes less attention than changing the radio station.

When I was on my way home from the Tijuana Sweetheart show, I heard something odd. Stayin’ Alive, but slower with a stronger guitar sound. And the vocalist sounded like Ozzy Osbourn. Surely that couldn’t be what it was. I hit Shazam and sure enough it was Ozzy covering Stayin’ Alive with Dweezil Zappa. Saved me having to remember to google it when I got home and saved me the time of trying to google it and find a version to listen to to be sure that’s what it was. I subscribed to the lifetime membership for Shazam right after that. It was only $7 and the app was free, well worth the price.

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Tijuana Sweetheart

Last Friday Chris and I went to see Tijuana Sweetheart at Church, a pretty good venue in Boston. We’ve seen a few shows there and they’ve all been pretty good. The band was a lot of fun as always, but they seemed a little more subdued than usual. This was just the third show for their new guitarist, so maybe that’s it. The last time I saw them it was still with the old guitarist adn she really didn’t seem into it at that point, so I’m not really surprised she left. The bassist is also new from when they were Vagiant, but she’s been with the band for awhile. She definitely fits in with the spirit of the band, I hope the new guitarist does too.

They were the first band in a 4 band set and the show was for a charity of some sort. Cancer, I think. The show was only $8 which surprised me for a charity, but I have no idea how these things work. Chris was happy that they were on at 8 and off by 8:45 since it meant neither of us would get home all that late. I suppose he didn’t really care how late I got home, but he got to get home a a reasonable hour for the “old man” that he is.

I remember when I was in my late teens and early 20s going to shows and seeing a guy in his 40s in a leather jacket standing at the back of the venue, arms crossed, enjoying the show. I suppose that’s me at this point. I’m glad I still get to go to shows and I’d like to go to more, but I don’t know as many bands as I’d like that are touring and worth seeing. One really positive thing that’s changed from the days when I was first going to shows is the internet and iPhone. Back in the day you’d go to a show and either suffer through some bands (if you were really lucky they were all good, but that was rare) or you’d sit in the bar and wait until the band you want to see is on. The latter was Rich’s preference, the former mine. If you take the latter you miss the dreck, but you also miss the gems and there are a bunch of bands that were openers that I really like: Boris the Sprinkler, The Riverdales and Soul Coughing to name just a few. Now that I can look up bands while in the venue before the show starts, it cuts down on the chance that you’ll see people that aren’t the type of thing you’ll like. At this show I looked up the other 3 bands and as a result didn’t feel the need to stay after Tijuana Sweetheart. One of the bands may have been decent, but at least I was spared the headliner: speed metal. Not my thing at all.

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Dropzone

Right on the heels of finding one cd in my collection that I’m going to get rid of, I find another. The Drunks seemed like a decent band that just aren’t to my taste, Dropzone is something else altogether. Like The Drunks, I think Dropzone is a CD I purchased for one dollar or less, I’d certainly never heard of them before. If this is the case, I know why I got this cd, the cover is amusing, the name of the cd is “Pint Sized Punks” and the pictures of the band show them to be around 15. If they can play mildly well, it’d be a novelty cd worth keeping around.

Unfortunately, they can’t. They remind me of a band I saw once when I was in college. We’d gone to nearby Hampshire College to see King Missile and the opening band was, we think, a local act. The band was called Prunella and consisted of a drummer and a guitarist. The drummer was pretty good, but the guitarist had to slow down to change chords. Dropzone has the same problem. The lyrics sound like they were written by uninspired teenagers, the vocals are adequate at best and while they manage to stay on key, tempo is not their friend. At least they all slow down at the same time for chord changes, I think that says something nice about the drummer.

I’m glad these kids formed a band, but who thought giving them a cd contract was a good idea? This was put out by Skate-Key Records in Brooklyn in 1999, I’ve never heard of the company and maybe this is why. It is possible there’s a decent song on the cd somewhere, but I could only get through the beginnings of the first half of the cd. I listened to the first 2 songs all the way and just couldn’t take any more. If this band were starting out today, they’d just put their songs on the internet, keep practicing and be embarrassed by them later on. Back then, who knows. Maybe I’ll look to see if there’s anything about them on-line at some point, but right now I can’t be bothered. Sell Pile it is.

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The Drunks

As I go through my CD collection, adding everything to the iPod, I listen to CDs I haven’t heard in awhile or that I might not have listened to at all. One CD I tried recently isn’t making it onto the iPod: The Drunks: Ruin it for Everyone. They seem like a decent punk band, but they’re a shouty punk band and I don’t really care for that from most bands. You have to have a song that really grabs me to be a shouty punk band and stay in my collection and none of their songs hit that level for me. They’re not a “shout at the top of your lungs” band, they’re a “lead singer has a gravelly sort of voice so shouting is mostly what he can do” band. This is one of the reasons I don’t really care for the Drop Kick Murphys, though being in Boston you can’t help but hear them.

Fortunately my friend John says he wants to give The Drunks a try, so the next time I see him he gets the CD. They’re based in Manchester, NH so if he likes them he can research if they are still together (the album is from 2000) or at least see if the band members have gone on to anything else and see if he can catch a show.

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Concert

Emily and I went to see a concert at the House of Blues in Boston this past Sunday night. We were a little worried as we had to go to work the next day, but we were home by midnight, so all was well. I’m pleased we took the chance because the show was called The Aquabats vs. Reel Big Fish and I love the Aquabats and I’ve never seen Reel Big Fish. I waited a little late to get tickets, but we ended up with awesome seats. I’ll be sitting in that section from now on when I go to a show there.

There were two opening acts and much to my surprise I really liked them both. The first was a 2 person act out of Minneapolis called Koo Koo Kanga Roo. They were surreal. They have a backdrop screen with their name on it and behind that is the cd player or tape player or whatever they use for their music. Their bit is singing and dancing. What makes them surreal is they’re essentially a kids show, singing about the alphabet and dinosaurs and the hokey pokey to house music with their own weird dance moves. The best part is that they treated the audience like a kids show audience and had everyone doing all the dance moves, showing them what to do first, and singing along with every song, telling them what to sing. It was kind of like Pete Segar for the 21st century.

The highpoint of their act was at the end when they did the hokey pokey. They actually went out into the audience and had the kids make a circle and had a mosh/slam pit/hokey pokey. It was awesome. They also made a point of mentioning all their stuff is available for free on-line.

The second act was a band called Suburban Legends. They’ve apparently been around for over 10 years, despite all looking like they’re barely 21. They were a fun band with 2 horn players, 2 or 3 guitars, a bass and drums. The lead singer was occasionally the third guitar. Part of what made them so much fun was the elaborate and enthusiastic dancing done by the horn players. They’ve got quite the synchronized dance routine set up. They had excellent audience interaction and seemed to be having a lot of fun. Aside from liking the music being played, that’s what I look for most in a show so I was happy with both of the opening acts. That doesn’t happen very often. If we get to a music store over the holiday, we’ll be looking for their cds.

The Aquabats were as awesome as ever. They seemed a little more rushed than the last few times I saw them, but that’s probably because they weren’t the headliners. Unfortunately, there never ended up being any “vs” between them and Reel Big Fish. That would have been very amusing. There were no phony commercials, no movie and no throwing small children into the audience, but it was still a great show. Bat Commander did his backflips, monsters were fought, costumes were worn, a robot and a hot dog ran about the stage what more could you really want? Oh, right, music! The music was fantastic as always. Sometimes I think Bat Commander was trying to see how much of a song he could let the audience sing, but that was funny.

Tons of audience participation, audience mocking and ad-libbed shtick made up for them not being the main focus of the show. They have an EP out now and a new album coming out early next year. I’ll be looking forward to it. The Aquabats always have fun pandering to the city they’re in and they really went over the top this time. Name checking sports teams and figures, talking about Boston food, New England, Massachusetts, everything they could think of. They even went on about the revolution and how great it was and how New England rocked and Old England sucked. My favorite part of all this was how he kept referring to the locals as the New English and said that we had a reputation for being polite. Hilarious!

Finally, Reel Big Fish came out. I was worried that after the Aquabats there was no way Reel Big Fish could keep the energy going, but they managed to transition into their own show just fine. The lead singer had good patter, the band was tight and they kept the audience going. They did a few cover songs: Take On Me and Brown Eyed Girl. It was hilarious to watch the teens and 20-somethings moshing while singing Brown Eyed Girl. I would have been really happy if they’d done Hungry Like the Wolf, but you can’t have everything.

They took the encore shtick as far as they possibly could, pretending to leave after just one encore song, then coming back and doing Suburban Rhythm, then pretending to leave, then coming back and doing Suburban Rhythm as a disco song, then pretending to leave, then coming back. They repeated this with Country, Metal and a bunch of other styles before finally ending with Beer. An appropriately silly end to a silly and thoroughly enjoyable evening. Makes me want to start going to more concerts again.

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Similarities

Am I the only one who sees the similarities between Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin and the theme to the Get Smart show?

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Singing

There are songs I’ve been singing so long I think I actually sing them better now when I’m not thinking about what I’m singing. Roger Miller falls into that category. He was one of my favorite artists when I was a kid and I’ve likely been singing his songs since I was 6 or 7.

I was listening to him while in the car today and there were a few times I was really thinking about what note to hit next, what word came next, which phrasing he used next and I found I was second guessing myself and getting it wrong. When I would focus on something else and just sing, I hit it every time. It is funny how some things become second nature like that. His songs can really make me feel like a kid again, his music is a constant in my life and it can be one of those things that really lets me feel like me.

I still have the original vinyl records I had of his when I was a kid, but mostly I listen to cds now. Unfortunately, not everything of his has been released on CD, so I still have some vinyl that I need to find in stores and some that I need to rip to the computer. When cds were new, people used to talk about how great it’d be that nothing would ever go out of print since it was so easy to have it all digitally. Then as the internet matured, they talked about how everything would be obtainable at any time. Here we are in 2010 and there are still many albums never put on cd and many more that are out of print or completely unavailable. I’m sure some of them are available illegally, but even then not everything.

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Music in TV shows

Emily obtained the DvDs of the TV series Daria. I’ve never seen it before and she wanted me to see it. The weird thing about the show is that it apparently contained a lot of music that was popular at the time and it has all been stripped out. I’m surprised that it costs more to include the soundtrack in the DvDs. Not that it costs something, but that the cost is high enough that it is cheaper to strip all the songs out and replace it with incidental music apparently created just for the DvD release of the show.

At some point I may look on the internet to see if there’s a track listing for the songs that were in the show. I’d be curious to see if anything interesting was used.

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