(Does anyone know the difference between a “review” and a “revue”? I could look it up, but I think that would only confirm my suspicion that I’m using “revue” incorrectly here. But it looks so much cooler than “review”).
My idea of a look back at the top music of Summer 2008 has nothing to do with the songs that are on the top of the charts, of course. I have no idea what’s on Billboard’s Top 40 and I’d probably hate ALL OF IT if I heard it.
No, for me the top songs of the summer are those most-requested on our iPod on family drives. Three artists have held the top positions for the last couple of months, and just in case there’s anything here you might like I’ll take the time to introduce them to you.
1. Great Big Sea: Fortune’s Favour. I’ve already shown you the video of my favourite song from this album, but the whole album’s great, and the kids love it too (though we did take the precaution of removing a song called “Straight to Hell” when we copied the songs onto the iPod, deeming it inappropriate for family listening). As with most GBS albums, there’s a mix of traditional Newfoundland fare (Rocks of Merasheen, Banks of Newfoundland) to which the b’ys have given their own unique twist, and original songs — our family favourites from this batch being the aforementioned “Walk on the Moon,” “Dance Dance,” “Oh Yeah,” and “Here and Now.” [As Jason points out in the comments, I should add “Company of Fools” which is his favourite and another great tune]. Lively, infectious, singable, danceable music in the best GBS tradition.
2. Barenaked Ladies: Snacktime. Jason and I have been BNL fans from way back in the mists of Gordon, and lately we’ve been introducing the kids to their music. So the timing was perfect for BNL to release their first kids’ album, full of infectious earworms that our kids loved instantly. The timing was slightly less perfect for Steven Page to get arrested for cocaine possession — fortunately the kids missed that news item, and we haven’t discussed it with them yet. Maybe we’ll get Sherry to help out when we have to tell them, since she has experience with that whole idols-with-feet-of-clay thing from the whole Grizzly Adams debacle when she was a kid.
I guess there’s a time when you have to learn that people who make great music don’t always make great role models. Meanwhile, we can’t get songs like “Raisins,” “Seven Ate Nine,” and “The Ninjas” out of our heads, not to mention Ed’s alternative alphabet song (“A is for aisle, B is for bdellium, C is for czar…”).
3. ApologetiX. I have no idea how long these guys have been around — they’ve got a ton of albums out. What amazes me is how Jason and I, who have a good working knowledge of both contemporary Christian music and off-the-wall humour, somehow managed to miss this band. They perform Christian parodies (replete with catchy lyrics and numerous Biblical references) of pop songs ranging from 60s rock classics to present-day hits. Their imitation of arrangements and vocals is as dead-on as Weird Al’s, and if you like conservative Christian doctrine presented in a slightly quirky way, you can’t beat their lyrics. Some of my current favourites include “Cornelius,” a recap of Peter’s Acts 10 experience to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia”; a parody of the Village People’s “YMCA” that reminds us that the name of God is “YHWH” (bonus points here for working the word “tetragrammaton” into a song); and a catchy little number that reminds Christians of their Jewish roots and warns us against anti-Semitism, to the tune of the Beatles’ “Love Me Do” (I’m going to let you guess the title of that one).
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea — the kids don’t enjoy it as much as we do, largely because they don’t recognize a lot of the original songs that are being parodied, although today Emma was going around singing “I Love Apostle Paul, put a lotta lines in the Good Book, baby!” But Jason and I are thoroughly enjoying our belated discovery of ApologetiX.