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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "14 minutes, 59 seconds"

Believe it or not, last week's TITMT response actually took a lot out of me. So this week I'm hoping I come across as a bit more mellow.

Every few years it seems like the most famous stars in Hollywood rotate. Some of these stars shine brightly for a year or two or five, but in the grand scheme of things we grow to learn they are more Dustin Diamond than Dustin Hoffman. What can I say? Hindsight truly is 20/20.

So today I want to know whose time YOU THINK is up in Hollywood?

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Packs A Punch"

I'm glad that the few of you who actually read and decided to participate in this week's TITMT liked the question so much. I've been sitting on this one for sometime now, waiting till I had the time to write about it myself. Of course I realized I was waiting for the perfect time that might never come so instead, in the spirit of emotion (since that's the name of the game this week) I decided to just jump in.

Last week's question was the following, "What do you think are the most powerful songs vocally and/or by topic? What songs really get to you? I'm talking about the songs where the singer sung the HELL out of that song. You know the type I'm talking about."

As always, it becomes nearly impossible to touch upon every song that has touched meand/or I feel has touched the vocalist enough that they've conveyed the message in spades. What follows is a list of songs that have gotten to me over the years. These are songs I've been angry with, cried with and happy with, all for different reasons. Whatever the emotion being conveyed, these are some songs that get the job DONE. Does this mean they are all the best songs, ever? No, but the writers and or singers definitely gave you the best they got.

1. Without You- Harry Nilsson- This song has been remade many times over but Nilsson's version still rings the most true to me. A close second would perhaps be Kelly Clarkson's version during American Idol season one because she managed to sing such a powerful song, live no less. Very few vocalists could rise to that occasion. I also love the song for its content. Dude, the guy is saying he can't live if living is without YOU. If that's not true devotion, I don't know what is.

2. Angel- Jon Secada- Ah Jon Secada. Where did ye go wrong? In the early nineties, it looked like he had the Latin pop vibe in the bag. Then a few years went by and he faltered. I thought for sure though he would resurface during the whole "Latin craze" that took the pop world by storm in the late nineties. Suddenly it became Marc Anthony, Enrique and Ricky Martin battling out for top Latin God. Nowhere was Secada to be found. Still Angel resonates as a reminder of one hell of a vocalist who conveyed a lot of emotion.

3. This Woman's Work- Kate Bush This song was originally featured in the movie She's Having A Baby and given the topic, rightfully so. I can't even tell you though how many times though and in how many ways I've heard it used over the years. I always thought this song would have been a bigger hit at the time had mainstream, power house vocalist Cyndi Lauper recorded it, but I guess we'll never know.

4. Town Without Pity- Gene Pitney- If you want a sordid tale of young and forbidden love, look no further than Gene Pitney's Town Without Pity. This is the story of star-crossed lovers, the Romeo and Juliet of their town so to speak. The world disapproves, the singer pours his heart out. Oh, when these little minds tear you in two, what a town without pity can do.

5. Forever- Kenny Loggins- Say what you will about Mr. Loggins, that man can SING. You know this is a powerful song because he gets so into it at one point and despite knowing what the hell he is saying, I'm right there with him. Never underestimate the power of powerful delivery.

6. Love Rears Its Ugly Head or Cult of Personality- Living Colour- I'm not quite sure what happened with Living Colour, but I still say that their lead singer, Corey Glover, has one of the best and most powerful voices out there. The only singer to come along and remind me of his greatness in recent years was Ty Taylor, formerly of Dakota Moon and featured on Rockstar INXS. At any rate, I couldn't choose between these two songs because they are both powerful, but feature different sides of the band. Cult of Personality is just a great rock tune with a lot of energy and a semi political stance. Love Rears Its Ugly Head is a twisted love tune about fear of commitment. Either way, they both rock.

7. Creep- Radiohead- This is another example of a powerfully delivered song where I have no clue what they are saying half of the time. I think it's a song about a guy who doesn't feel he's worth of this girl's affections thus the title, Creep. And when she runs in the song? Man, that guy sounds like his heart is being ripped out.

8. Break Your Heart- Barenaked Ladies- The Barenaked Ladies are known for their trademark, happy go luck style of music. But the aptly titled Break Your Heart, a story of a man who stays with the wrong woman for all the wrong reasons, is a true departure from that. The only version I know is live and somehow that raw emotion shines through all the more in this type of vocal, thus really managing to...break your heart.

9. Who's Loving You?- Jackson Five This song has a particularly soulful sentiment, especially when you consider this version was sung with such conviction by only an eleven year old Michael Jackson. He went on to be known as the King of Pop, but here's where it all started.

10. It's All Coming Back To Me Now or With This Tear- Celine Dion- I know every time I mention Celine Dion on this blog (which isn't often, but still) that I'm risking getting hell for it. But that's ok. If you've ever heard Celine Dion sing, regardless of whether or not you like her singing, you know she gives it her heart and soul. It's All Coming Back To Me Now and With This Tear are just two shining examples of this. It's All Coming Back...was actually written by Jim "Meatloaf" Steinman. His ability to write epic songs that told stories is brilliant. It takes a powerful vocalist to make such powerful lyrics to come to life. With This Tear, meanwhile is a song that was actually written by Prince but sung by Celine. It tells such a sad story that it breaks my heart every time I hear it. Really any Celine song could fit here, these are just two samples.

11. Vision of Love or Vanishing- Mariah Carey- Before Mariah Carey was known as a hoochie mama who couldn't keep her clothes on, she was known for something else far more pertinent, actual talent. When I heard Vision of Love for the first time I was blown away. Then I bought her album and realized all of her songs were just as powerful. Vanishing, though never a single, always stuck with me because of her gut wrenching, multi octave range with just a piano to back her up.

12. Praying For Time- George Michael- When George Michael released Listen Without Prejudice Volumes One and Two admittedly it was hard to do just that. After all, here's a man who kicked off his career by making us Wake Me Up Before You Go Go. Then he followed that up with the booty shaking, I Want Your Sex and Faith. But on Praying For Time, Michael really did make me listen in a way I hadn't before. It still holds some of the most powerful lyrics I have heard yet, "The rich declare themselves poor, and most of us are not sure, if we have too much, but we'll take our chances, 'Cause God's stopped keeping score...And you cling to the things they sold you, did you cover your eyes when they told you, that he can't come back 'Cause he has no children to come back for."

13. Let It Rain- Amanda Marshall- I bought Amanda Marshall's self-titled album on a fluke back in 1995. It's what I did back then, in the days before downloading. From the first few moments of the opening track I knew I was going to love Amanda Marshall. Let It Rain is a beautiful song that really does feel like it's raining down on you. She's had a few minor hits over the years. Why she isn't more popular however, I still have no clue.

14. You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)- Josh Groban- If you're looking for the male contemporary pop answer to Celine Dion, look no further than Josh Groban. When Josh Groban first appeared on the scene it looked like he'd be doing more contemporary than pop, but the music producers in the skies seem to be trying to make him more and more mainstream. I can't say I blame them. With pipes like that, songs like You Are Loved and You Raise Me Up convey emotion like nothing else out there today.

15. Your House- Alanis Morissette- My senior year of high school was when I discovered the second coming of Alanis Morissette. I say second coming because it's true. She had a life before she became pop's jaded princess, one both her and her second coming fans would most likely want to forget, but I digress. When I bought Jagged Little Pill I swore I was going to wear out my copy. Then I discovered the "hidden track" and it was like finding a secret room. So many Alanis songs feature amazing vocals, but this song's story is sad, and so powerful and stripped of any actual background music either which makes it all the more remarkable.

16. Last Kiss- Pearl Jam- I've said it before and I'll say it again, Pearl Jam's Last Kiss is one of very few remakes that actually improved upon the original. Their rendition of a horrible car crash that takes a life is haunting and melodic. Not to mention Eddie V's wonderful interpretation here, vocally.

17. Almost anything by Live- I've tried to narrow it down before and I just can't do it. When I first heard Live back in high school I was blown away by their energy. Their lead singer, Ed Kowalczyk, truly pures his heart and soul into every song he sings whether it be Lightning Crashes, Freaks, I Alone, Lakini's Juice, Pillar of Davidson or anything in between. It was pure genius to me when they paired up with Chris Daughty a few years back on the single, Mystery. So much power in under four minutes or less. Impressive.

18. You Can Have Her- Roy Hamilton- I don't know much about Roy Hamilton, all I know is that You Can Have Her is definitely an example of a great song about the illusion of love lost. Roy Hamilton, complete with his choir, will go down in history as singing the hell out of You Can Have Her. If Samuel L. Jackson had to choose one sixties pop song to match his kick ass style, this should be it.

19. I Can Dream- Elvis Presley- No doubt about it, Elvis Presley delivered some of the most powerful performances of his generation. But when you strip away the signature dance moves and the "thank you very much's", Elvis was actually a very good vocalist. Believe it or not, I had never heard (or didn't remember hear) I Can Dream until Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers played Elvis back in 2005. I didn't expect to think much of the film. Not only was this a TV movie, Elvis movies had been done so many times before. But Meyers delivered such a powerful and believable Elvis that the movie won me over. He sang some of the tunes, but it's his lip sync (yes, I said lip synced) version of If I Can Dream at the end of the film that grabbed me. Since that day it's been one of my favorite Elvis tunes.

20. How Am I Supposed To Live Without You- Michael Bolton- I can practically hear the chuckles coming through the computer screen on this one but admit it, there was a time, not oh so long ago, where Michael Bolton was EVERYWHERE. And I always loved the story behind this song. He wrote it, but Laura Branigan had the original hit. Turn around a little less than a decade later and Bolton decides to finally record his own song. Branigan's rendition was stellar, but Bolton really knocked one out of the park the second time around. Given how much he wore his heart on his sleeve, I actually half expected him not to live. Depending on how you look at it, I guess he really didn't.

21. Does She Love That Man?- Breathe - A little known British band, Breathe had a few hits in the late eighties with Hands To Heaven and How Can I Fall? respectively. While I loved those songs, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the much lesser known, Does She Love That Man? Another song about a lover who has moved on, the story is so sad and really sticks with you. Maybe it's because it's the underdog of the three that I love it the most. I guess you could say they ask gut wrenching questions via song like nobody else can.

22. Living Inside Myself- Gino Vanelli- I don't know what happened to Mr. Vanelli, but this song is some mighty powerful stuff. It's grand, sweeping lyrics seem almost too perfect for American Idol auditions and show off vocalists who want to prove a point, but alas it's time has yet to come. Still I can listen to Living Inside Myself when I'm all by myself (see below) and remember the days when they really dug down deep.

23. New York, New York and My Way- Frank Sinatra- What's so great about both of these Sinatra tunes is the ability he had to vocally made a song build. Both of them start off quiet enough, but it's the pay off in the tail end of both tunes that makes the ride worth it. Plus knowing what has been said about Sinatra's attitude over the years only makes the message behind these tunes all the richer.

24. - Cryin'- Roy Orbison and KD Lang- When this song first came out it was featured in an excellent film entitled Hiding Out. It breathed new life into Roy Orbison's original hit by adding a female vocalist to the tune. There's never been much meat in terms of lyrics, but it's the understated beauty and oh all the angst that grabs my attention every time.

25. Superwoman- Karyn White - It's hard to explain my affection for Karyn White's Superwoman to people who don't know the song. The reason it's hard to explain here is because I know you are all the type of people who have no clue what song I'm talking about, like stated previously. In a nutshell, it's the story of a woman who tries to do everything she can to please her unappreciative man. There are two main things about this song that I've always loved. One thing is the unconventional lyrics. They convey an otherwise very common topic that is not often talked about lyrically. The second is Karyn's delivery of it all, period.

26. You or Far Behind- Candlebox- This might be an unpopular opinion, but I feel like any list that contains strong vocals has to contain some hair band type vocals. I know years have deemed much of it cheesy in retrospect, but truth be told, a lot of those guys really sang their hearts out. I chose Candlebox to represent the long haired masses because someone had to do it. What better representations than You and Far Behind.

27. God Give Me Strength- Kristen Vigard-

This song is featured in the movie Grace of My Heart. It tells the story of the main character and doesn't show up until about halfway through the movie. When you see the film, the emotion ties in to her ultimate performance of it for the first time. It's one of those "slow builder songs" about a man that has treated her wrong, thus her plea to have strength to make it through. It was written by lyrical genius Elvis Costello, but performed by Kristen Vigard. My favorite lyric is, "Maybe I was washed out like a lip-print on his shirt. See, I'm only human, I want him to hurt. I want him, I want him to hurt."

28. Worst That Could Happen- Johnny Maestro and Brooklyn Bridge- This is, hands down, one of my favorite songs EVER. It's a unique perspective on a common tale. The guy who can't commit, the girl he would love to be able to commit to and the guy who gets her. She's finally made a choice and it's the worst that could happen to him. Yet somehow, it's one of the best things to have happened to popular music.

29. Like The Way I Do- Melissa Etheridge- Like The Way I Do was Melissa's first real bonafide hit back in 1988. I don't know when I first realized this was a chick singing about another chick. Fast forward a few years and it became a non issue. No matter who she was singing this song for, she was singing the hell out of it, as she does with most of her songs.

30. In the Air Tonight, I Wish It Would Rain Down- Phil Collins- Phil Collins music is like a rainbow of emotions. These two songs represent different, darker sides of the Collins repertoire. On In The Air Tonight, anger is the predominant emotion. It also has one of the best slow build examples in pop history...EVER. I Wish It Would Rain Down on the other hand is more melancholy and introspective. When it comes to heart break, Billy isn't the one who has our number, it's Phil Collins.

More to include, no time (or space) to write:

Bridge Over Troubled Waters- Simon and Garfunkel
Weekend In New England- Barry Manilow
Total Eclipse of the Heart- Bonnie Tyler
Try A Little Tenderness- Otis Redding
Alone- Heart
I Will Always Love You- Whitney Houston
I'll Be or Could Not Ask For More- Edwin McCain
Time To Let You Go- Enuff Z' Nuff
All By Myself- Eric Carmen
Your Baby Never Looked Good In Blue- Expose
Welcome to Love (Now Go Home)- Danielle Brisebois
Crying Like A Church On Monday- New Radicals
Angel of the Morning- Juice Newton
The Background- Third Eye Blind
Faithfully and Open Arms- Journey
Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young & Nowhere Fast- Streets of Fire
Does He Love You?- Rilo Kiley
Sister Christian- Night Ranger
Rain- Patty Griffin
On The Side of Angels- Leann Rimes
Wild Horses- The Sundays
All I Want Is You- U2
Since I Fell For You- Lenny Welch
Like The Way I Do- Melissa Etheridge
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me- Mel Carter
Monty Python's Spamalot- Find Your Grail
I'll Never Love This Way Again- Dionne Warwick
Angel- Sarah McLachlan
Never Let You Go- Steelheart
18 and Life- Skid Row
Positively Fourth Street- Bob Dylan
Could've Been, Here In My Heart- Tiffany
Lonely Teardrops- Jackie Wilson
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "I've Got The Power"

There are a lot of songs out there that really tug at our heart strings for one reason or another. Maybe it's because the singer really sells the song, perhaps it's because the song really sells itself. In the best case scenario, both things apply. Now that, my friends, is the making of a HIT.

So today I want to know...

What do you think are the most powerful songs vocally and/or by topic? What songs really get to you? I'm talking about the songs where the singer sung the HELL out of that song. You know the type I'm talking about.

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Comedy Central"

Better late than never, I finally have a bit of time to devote to answering last week's TITMT. And what was the question? Well to refresh your memory, just see below! I wanted to know, by way of Dawn, who your favorite comedians and comediennes were of all time and why.

As some of you politely pointed out, there is a distinction that needs to be made between favorite stand up comics and favorite comics that have added their talents to different programs or improvisation. Sometimes a rare gem comes along who manages to do all these things well. It's harder, in my mind, to find really funny women though. Regardless, if they make me laugh, whoever they are and however they do it, they are aces in my book.

So without further adieu, I bring you my very own gender specific list, in no particular order...

The Girls

1. Ellen Degeneres- Ellen is definitely my favorite female comic. She writes, she acts, she dances at the drop of a hat. Not only as she done it all for years, she even manages to do it all and keep it clean in the process. I was so happy when someone real finally had success with a daytime talk show, too.

2. Kathy Griffin- Kathy Griffin is the opposite of Ellen in terms of niceness and keeping it clean, but that doesn't mean the devil in me doesn't sometimes agree with what she says. Her successful show on Bravo, My Life On the D List, is supposed to capture the life of a D level celebrity. The longer she's around however, the less the caption applies.

3. Janeane Garofalo- There was a time when Janeane Garofalo seemed to be everywhere. In fact, I can still remember the first time I saw her stand up. It was pre Reality Bites days and as a pre teen, I was in awe of how different she was and identified with her immediately. She had a very distinct delivery and stance, and she did this all while donning a baby doll dress (remember when those were popular?) over leggings. Hooking in to the Ben Stiller crew, Garofalo did a short, misspent stint on SNL. Dubbed the "thinking man's sex symbol" she even managed to star in a few romantic comedies like The Matchmaker and The Truth About Cats And Dogs. But seemingly a few years ago, she took herself out of the limelight slowly but surely. Even when she was around, she spent more time speaking about serious issues seriously than serious issues in a sarcastic way. The rumor is she has a few new projects coming out though. I hope so anyway.

4. Kristen Wiig- Ok, so maybe it is a tad premature to add Kristen Wiig to a best of list, but like I said, finding women who are funny is easier said than done. So let's just say Kristen is the inclusion on the list with the most potential. The only thing I really know her from is SNL where she's been a cast member since 2005. Although the show as a whole, sucks, Kristen, her skits and her dead on impressions are one of the few things that manage to make the show more manageable. She's also young and has a prettiness about her. I think it's a matter of time before the big screen comes calling.

5. Bonnie Hunt- Bonnie Hunt has made a career out of playing semi-sarcastic second bananas. The sister in Jerry Maguire. The mom in both the Cheaper By the Dozen and Beethoven series, respectively. But not until she starred in her own vehicle aptly titled The Bonnie Hunt Show did America really get the chance to know what Bonnie was all about. Unfortunately, even her second attempt, Life With Bonnie, managed to capture the masses. I still hold out that something will since she's an intelligent comedic actor who has a lot to offer.

6. Amy Sedaris- Chances are you know Amy Sedaris without knowing you know Amy Sedaris. She has had bit parts in many programs, but undoubtedly her biggest claim to fame thus far is creating the role of Jerri Blank in the demented after school special spoof, Strangers With Candy. On the show, she played a runaway who returned to high school as a forty something student, eager to finish. The makeup and prosthetics made Sedaris look homely to say the least. Seeing her outside of this get up is one of the reasons why people don't always know who she is, but should.

7. Andrea Martin- The first time I ever saw Andrea Martin was when she was a cast member on Canada's answer to SNL, SCTV. A master impressionist, Martin is even funny when she isn't imitating others. A featured player, Martin went on to have parts in many movies over the years as well as to win two Emmys.

8. Kerry Kenney- When improvisational shows started spawning off successful comedic actors, cable TV got the hint. Suddenly, shows like Kids In The Hall and The State were cropping up, featuring an equally unknown batch of improvisational actors who were working probably for a fraction of the cost. Kenney was the only female cast member on The State, but has managed to hold her own in the boys club, still working with many of the same people over the years. Most recently she has been known for portraying the lovable but inept, Deputy Trudy Wiegel on Comedy Central's Reno 911.

9. Amy Poehler- Just in case you don't know who Amy Poehler is, just tune in to SNL on any given Saturday, look for the blonde who is in EVERY sketch, and you'll know who I mean. In fact, if Amy Poehler wasn't around to carry Saturday Night Live most weekends I seriously don't know what they would do. I just only hope that is as good as it gets for her. I also want to say that she reminds me of someone that I would be related to. I know it's not relevant, but it's true.

10. Tina Fey- Now Tina Fey is having moderate success writing and starring in the NBC show, 30 Rock. For years however, she was the unknown female force that kept SNL running. I always admired Fey because she was a good writer and a funny female, too. I know that SNL has had its troubles over the years. I like to believe that Fey is the reason why they managed to succeed though. All the crappy writing just must belong to someone else.

The Guys

1. Chevy Chase/Bill Murray/Steve Martin- Ok, so maybe I'm cheating a bit here, so what of it? I had a hard time including one of these men, but then again, I had a hard time not including them, too. Growing up each one of them separately, as well as together, have given me so many memories. I also lump them in together because you don't see any of them much anymore. All three of them, together or not, share one other thing in common. The ability to make me laugh without having to do much of anything at all.

2. Michael Ian Black
- Anyone who has been reading this blog for sometime now knows how much I love, love love MIB. He started on The State as well, but his deadpan sarcasm has since surfaced on many shows including Ed, Celebrity Poker Showdown, Stella, and of course, the piece de resistance, VH1's Best of...Anything series.

3. Albert Brooks- Albert Brooks is another actor who is not a traditionally funny guy. What he is however, is an extremely witty writer who never managed to get the credit he deserved, in my opinion. Starting as a stand up comic, he segued into short film making for SNL. Slowly he began to venture out into feature films, too. Two of my all time favorite have to be 1991's Defending Your Life, a movie about a man who died and has to defend his life and his actions before getting in to heaven and 1996's Mother, a hilarious movie about the overbearing yet lovable woman in a lot of our lives.

4. Will Ferrell- Will Ferrell may not be what you'd call a traditional comic, but when as an unknown he joined the cast of SNL, he was immediately a force to be reckoned with. Not only did he hold his own amongst other more seasoned and veteran cast members, he managed to breathe new life into nearly all of the skits he was a part of. In Ferrell, it is as if Martin, Chase and Murray have passed the torch. Now all I have to do is look at Ferrell, and I'm laughing.

5. Norm MacDonald- Norm MacDonald is hard to explain, probably because his humor is not appreciated by all. He had a relatively successful career as a bit of a lovable curmudgeon. He joined the cast of SNL back in 1993 where he did great impersonations of people like Bob Dole, Burt Reynolds and my personal favorite, David "Ya Got Any Gum?" Letterman. For three years, he anchored Weekend Update on SNL before making one too many off color remarks on live TV. Ultimately the mistake cost him his job. From there, MacDonald went on to star in the funny, Norm Show and had bit parts in other things here and there, but we defintely don't see enough of him anymore.

6. Howie Mandel- I know it's hard to believe, but there was a time when Mandel was best known for his mop top, gloved hand and little boy Bobby impersonations. He was one of the first comedians I actually watched a complete special on and didn't tire of the material. It was corny, but appealed to both the young and old. When he said Do You Know Radio Shack? after going to the mall, I died instantly. Nowadays I'm happy for his talk show host success. I just feel like it's a bit bittersweet, too. Here he has finally found some fame, but now there's a whole generation of people who may never know Mandel for the funny guy he once was.

7. Jon Stewart- It's hard to believe that nowadays many people get their news from Jon Stewart's Comedy Central The Daily Show. It seems like just yesterday I was watching Jon host MTV's You Wrote It, You Watch It and Jon Stewart Show. Nobody probably ever would have predicted his anchor man esque success, but hometown boy done good. After appearing at my college so many moons ago, I guess I can say I "knew" him when.

8. David Letterman- A lot has been said about David Letterman over the years. He's reclusive. He's stubborn. He's temperamental. All of those things might very well be true. But the fact still remains, he's very good at what he does- making people laugh. For years, Letterman has been one of my favorite interviewers. That's because he makes no apologies to his guests. If he doesn't know you, he tells you. If he doesn't like what you've done, he says that, too. He's told more musical guests then I can count that their music "scares him". It's this honest approach that makes me like him more, not less. Toothy grin kidding aside, I'll take Letterman over Leno any day.

9. Gary Gulman- Gary Gulman is like the Wiig of this list. He hasn't been around awhile and he hasn't done anything big, but the potential is what made me include him in the first place. The reason I like Gulman so much is because his stand up is different. He doesn't joke about the same things and he doesn't do it in the same way either. For instance, he can do a whole stand up routine with jokes about food. I never would have thought food could be that funny, but with Gulman, all bets are off. He also has a slew of pop culture references which to a self proclaiemd eighties child like me, is heaven.

10. Martin Short- I thought about including Martin Short with the three amigos that started this list off, but then I realized that unlike the others, you do still tend to see Short a lot more. I love Martin Short because he's a jack of all trades. He started on SCTV too, but he has since branched out into so many venues including TV, film and stage. His gimmick is that he is in love with himself. Maybe it's born out of some truth. I really don't care. All I know is that he makes me laugh and really, that's all I care about.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Show Me The Funny"

Today's TITMT question comes to us by way of . When I asked AOGB readers to give me ideas for future Tell It To Me Tuesday's Dawn came up with this one. I don't think I've done it before, but then again, I've been asking these questions for so long now, it is possible it's a repeat. My rule of thumb is if I can't remember it anymore, it's time to (possibly) do it again. So here goes...

Who are your favorite comedians and comediennes of all time and why?

If you want to make a numbered list, be my guest. If you want to pick a top female and male and expand upon just those two, that works too.

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Girls On Film, And Elsewhere"

When I choose last week's TITMT question, little did I know that I would be starting a bit of a controversy. See, here at AOGB, I like to think I'm laid back and open minded. So, when I asked you to step outside the box and pick out good looking people of the same gender, I didn't realize I had committed the horrific crime some of you though I did.

For the record, let's get something straight. Admitting someone of the same gender is good looking does NOT make you gay. Most women don't seem to have a problem with this, but some guys really feel like they are somehow less masculine if they admit another dude is good looking. What is up with that?

In fact, the title of the post was also all in fun. I'm not really asking you to imagine anything other than what you might normally think about. If it helps matters, pretend you are a guy checking out girls or you are a girl checking out guys. If it helps you to swap your gender in order to be able to answer the question freely, more power to ya.

What follows are women that I think are good looking actresses in no particular order. There really are so many, so I tried to pick a top ten based on current standings. You tell me if I have a "type".:)

1. Rachel McAdams-She hasn't been around long, but this star of movies like The Notebook, Wedding Crashers and Red Eye has managed to diversify the roles she chooses, as well as the looks she dons. I admire someone who can look good no matter what their hair length or color. Rachel is that kind of girl. Plus I hear she goes out with Ryan Gosling. Only thing worse than being beautiful is being half of a beautiful pair.

2. Bethany Joy Galeotti- Most recently Bethany has been known for her role as Haley James Scott on One Tree Hill. Before that she did some time in the soap world on Guiding Light. I only half watched her on each show, but she has a nice quality to her that makes her seem like she'd be a sweet girl. Also an added bonus is she has an equally sweet singing voice. Why more people don't know about it, or her, I have no idea.

3. Reese Witherspoon
- I've said it many times on here so I won't bore you with the details. A quick recap for some of you late comers, I've wanted to be Reese since I was fourteen. She has a prominent chin, which makes her unique. She also seems like a hometown girl done good. I was devastated when her and Ryan broke up. I wanted those good looking kids to make it, but I digress.

4. Katherine Heigl- I debated about whether or not to include Katherine as there were times I didn't think she was so pretty. The first time I saw her was in the Gerard (remember him?) Depardieu movie, My Father The Hero. I thought she was a pretty teen back then. But she was gangly and model like. As she got older, her appearance changed. On Roswell she made her way through some pretty bad haircuts to be the Grey's Anatomy hottie she is today. Where her hotness will take her next, I haven't a clue.

5. Michelle Pfeiffer- It had been awhile since I had seen anything new with Michelle Pfeiffer in it. So imagine my surprise when the promos for Hairspray started coming out and I realized that she looks EXACTLY THE SAME. She's headed towards timeless beauty territory. I don't know what she does, but she's got the best skin and beautiful eyes. If I looked even half as good at her age, I'd be ecstatic.

6. Halle Berry- I don't know how anyone these days writes a list of beautiful women and doesn't include Halle Berry. I don't know what she's like as a person. From what I hear the woman has some issues. But that's neither here nor there. We're just talking about her beauty. If you've ever seen her in Monster's Ball without the glamour, you'd know that she's a real beauty, with or without the makeup.

7. Diane Lane- She started her career as a teenage actress and spent a few years out of the limelight. But Diane Lane did in Hollywood what many actresses deem impossible, she made a comeback while in her forties instead of the other way around. Not only did her career get a new life, she became known as a sex symbol instead of being relegated to the boring mother type roles. She doesn't act all the time, but it's fun to watch her perform anyhow.

8. Salma Hayek- For years now, Salma Hayek has been compared to other Latin beauties, especially Penelope Cruz. This I just don't understand. Between Salma and Penelope, there's honestly no contest in my mind. She's not a stick which is refreshing and she's well rounded (no pun intended) in her career, too. Now if only we could get her her Arnold, Antonio and Charo to lose just a smidge of their accents, it would be all good.

9. Olivia Newton-John- Before I wanted to be Reese I wanted to be Olivia Newton-John. I saw Grease and Two of A Kind and that's all it took for me. I used to listen to her greatest hits album over and over as a kid, too. Now, so many years and many tribulations later, she still looks fantastic, especially considering all that she's gone through.

10. Annabeth Gish- You don't hear or see a lot from Annabeth Gish and I always thought that a shame. As a child, I loved her in movies like Desert Bloom, Hiding Out and Shag. Then for years it looked like she had almost stopped acting completely. Now she primarily does Lifetime or TV movies and the occassional bit part in bigger films. I've always felt that she was underrated though, for her beauty and for her talent.

Like I said, there are many, many more women I could have included here, but I had to draw the line somewhere. We also wouldn't want the bloggers to talk, now would we?:)
Thursday, July 12, 2007

Don't Leave Me Here With My Best Dress On

I'd like to start with a quick story explaining how I got the title for this post.

Years ago, there was a song called Restless Heart by Peter Cetera which of course I found for your listening pleasure on my beloved, You Tube. The chorus went, "Don't leave me here with my restless heart." Only back then my dad insisted he thought the lyric was, "Don't leave me here with my best dress on." Incidentally, he also thought Steve Perry's Oh Sherrie was saying "Clothes on! Clothes on!" Instead of the more logical, "Hold on! Hold on!" Why he assumed both Cetera and Perry had ensemble related relationship woes, I'll never know.

As I'm quickly learning, there are many, many things that go into wedding planning. Everything from the flowers to the limos to the exotic dancers has to be booked weeks, sometimes months in advance. If you have an eye for detail, most of these things may be of no problem to you. If you are the queen of indecision, however, making any kind of decision can become problematic.

I'll pause for a moment while you try to figure out which type I am.

See I'm like every other girl in the world. I have thought about my wedding and what I would like it to be like many times in my life. But unlike many of these women, I hadn't given much thought to the particulars. I used to think I was the observant type, picking up on otherwise minor details and incorporating them into some sort of global roladex that I would one day call upon in order to help me plan my own wedding. It wasn't until I sat down to actually plan anything that I realized what I really need a plan for was...planning.

One of the biggest things to tackle in wedding planning is finding that perfect dress. Many elements of wedding planning can be compromised, but the attire is one thing that is hard to negotiate. Yet again, it's one of those things I always just took for granted. When I got married someday, I figured I'd wear a white dress that was strapless. Before setting into a bridal shop I didn't find that to be humorous, but boy did bridal shops bitch slap the naivety out of me.

See what I failed to realize is that most bridal gowns are strapless. So in saying that I wanted a strapless dress, I've really managed to narrow it down to something like 85% to 90% of the dresses in the store. I said I wanted beading at the top, that drops it down to 80%. I said I wanted beading at the bottom, make it a solid 78%.

But there are other elements, many other elements that go into finding that perfect dress. Are you going to wear a crinoline underneath or not? Do you want an A-line, two piece or princess style dress? How about an empire waist vs. a pickup? And while we're on the subject, what about dress oriented verbiage that sounds an awful lot like reception nightmares? Do the Bustle! Do you want a cathedral length train, chapel length train or prefer no train at all? Do you even want them to do the train at your wedding, period?

I started my dress shopping in the Walmart of bridal boutiques, David's Bridal. Chances are if you live in America, you have a David's Bridal near you. Around here, David's Bridal, or DB as I've lovingly dubbed it, has gotten a bit of a bad rap. Basically, it's the fast food of bridal shopping. If you want to save a bit of cash and don't need the beading to be hand crafted from Italy, DB just might be the answer for you.

I went in to DB with reservations, both literally and figuratively. They were the first stop on my quest for THE dress and to be honest, I didn't know what to expect. Imagine my surprise when I was greeted with my own personal helper, also named Janet. Janet handed me a bridal magazine to dog-ear my selections and went off to find all of my choices in my size or damn close to it.

Now you might be wondering why I chose to emphasize the fact that she went to find dresses in my size. That's because this is another dress shopping element that you take for granted, most bridal stores do not carry YOUR size. They carry the dress in A size. If it happens to be yours, good for you, but more often than not, it isn't. In my situation, this was definitely not the case.

Listen, I'm gonna put it right out there now, yes, I am thirty years old, but I still buy a majority of my clothes from the juniors and children's section. Go ahead, laugh, but I save on time, money and most importantly, fabric. So when someone like me goes to a store to try on the "big girl dresses" my head starts swimming in more ways than one.

DB, however, didn't give me that feeling at all. I put on dress after dress and had a pretty good feeling about what they all would look like on ME. In fact, they even had a few dresses that they offered in petite. I didn't know they carried bridal gowns in petite, but I think I speak for all the little girls out there when I say it's about damn time.

Only problem is that going to DB first and having this experience spoiled me. I know this sounds shallow, but it's not intended this way. None of the dresses looked bad. The worst part about this is that everything starts to look alike. I'm hear to tell you that once you've seen one beaded bodice my friends, I'm afraid you've seen them all.

So after DB I journeyed to another bridal shop that shall remain nameless. It was more of a mom and pop type of establishment that had a sea of bridal dresses, but a lack in customer service. I tried on dress after dress there too, but something was different. For starters, the smallest dresses they had there were still huge on me. A dress shop's remedy for this? These colorful clips that they use to gather all the extra fabric and pull the dress tighter. Never mind that the dress still looks like a decorative hefty bag on the bottom, the whole idea is that you get the "gist" of what you'd be wearing.

Call me crazy, but bridal gowns are a lot of money, too much money if you ask me considering that you wear them for one day and one day only. In fact, don't be surprised if you see me break out the gown I ultimately buy one Halloween or two or five. But this is coming from a non-traditional girl who didn't even go to her prom. At any rate, my point is this. If I'm going to have to spend more on this dress than any other dress I've owned before or since, I'd like to get more than the "gist" of how it would look on me before I purchase it.

With me on my search was my mother, one of my bridesmaids and another good friend. Also along for the ride was a friend from work who is getting married a few weeks before me. Everyone noticed one thing about my choices, I liked the dresses the most that fit me the best. I have one thing to say to that.

Well, DUH.

I'm sorry. I like to think I have a good imagination. But imagining what I'm going to look like if something could fit me is just not one of my strong suits. You don't go to Target after all, and try on a twenty-four when you're a size four and say yes, I could see how this might work. What you're asking me to do just doesn't come naturally to me.

So there's the stock answer that bridal stores everywhere will give you. We can fix that with alterations. I don't know where YOU come from, but where I come from altering something implies tweaking it. Altering some of the dresses I had on however could ultimately mean taking material and clothing ten needy children in a third world country. In fact, Sally Struthers might want to look into that. I'm just saying.

Sure the dress can be taken in and up in all the right places, but at what cost? What they don't tell you is that alterations can be half the cost of the dress itself. Suddenly your bargain find isn't so much of a bargain anymore.

While I haven't purchased a dress yet, I have discovered something valuable along the way. Amazingly, shopping for a bridal gown is a lot like shopping for a used car. Sales people universally are trained to make you want to buy and they'll throw in whatever they can to get you to do just that. Whether it be a new set of windshield wipers, or a discounted veil, it's still rock and roll to me.

And so the search for the elusive dress marches on. Just as long as I find it before the actual wedding march begins, we're all good.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Imagine Me and You"

For some reason, I've been having problems with writing titles in Blogger. Has anyone else been having this problem? I finally was able to type one in, but leave it to Blogger to throw a monkey wrench into my blogging plans. I also am a bit peeved at Haloscan lately. Everyone has been complaining that comments are being eaten, but my problem is this. They changed their service so now when I receive an email, if the comment is over a certain amount of characters, I have to click the link to read the whole thing. It's a minor inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless.

Moving on to today's question...

Today's TITMT is gender specific and therefore, your answer will differ depending on which gender you are.

If you are male, I want to know, objectively, who you think are the best looking famous men?
If you are a woman, I want to know, objectively, who you think the best looking famous women are.

It's as simple as that. Today you will step outside the box and in a completely platonic sort of way, you will reveal your same sex crushes. Don't be shy. We're all adults here.

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Summer, Summer, Summertime"

If there's one thing I've noticed about summer it's that everyone seems the start of summer differently.

For some it's Memorial Day weekend. This is the weekend that marks the beginning of wearing white, eating barbeque and getting random sunburns. I have a hard time with picking this weekend only because I know I still have another month of teaching and while I'm teaching, I can't quite see it as summer just yet.

For others, the official kickoff of summer starts once school ends. No more school means a break from the norm and what is summer if it isn't relaxing? That being said, it all depends on when school actually ends. Some people end as early as May, others start up again in early August.

But for me, I've always looked at it like this. Once 4th of July has come and gone, I can say that we are officially into the thick of summer. This is because 4th of July is known as THE summer holiday, just as Labor Day tells you to pack up your short shorts and bid adieu to your summer lovin'.

Yet just as 4th of July is symbolic, (now in more ways than one) it also seems that once the 4th hits, the summer seems to fly by. Already it is the 8th, 7-7-07 already a date of the past. A month from now I'll begin to think about getting things ready to go back to school. I know that it's a bit premature to always be one step ahead but I can't help it. It's the impatient side of me that rears its ugly head.Still although summer always seems to go by too fast, that doesn't mean I don't have some strong summer memories to hold on to.

When I was a kid, I spent most summers with my family "down at the shore" as us NJ natives tend to put it. We often would go to my aunt and uncle's house who, at the time, owned in a town called Surf City. Looking back on it the car ride seemed so long. It was so odd too because we almost always heard the song (Going To)Surf City by Jan and Dean on the way down.

Once in Surf City we'd usually stay the week and hit the beach and the bay. I always preferred the bay, even back then, because it was easier to swim in then the rough waters of the ocean. I did, however, love jumping the waves with my dad. The best was the sensation you'd get at night when going to sleep if you did it right, still feeling the rush of the water as you avoided the tide. I got the same feeling from going down a water slide over and over, another summer memory. Nothing can beat it.

When I think of summers in Surf City I also think of trampolines. This was the days before lawsuits were a dime a dozen. There was a trampoline park set up, with about eight or so trampolines. Kids would wait in line for their five minutes of fame. I can still hear them calling Janet B as I jumped and twirled as high as I could in the air. The rest of the summer games we'd play back home, in the cul-de-sacs of our local streets. Things like Manhunt, Red Rover and kickball were big back then, as was getting ready for the annual Block Party in the development. My friends and I would manage to develop a dance routine every year. One year we choreographed one to Madonna's "Burning Up", another year we did Samantha Fox's "Naughty Girls Need Love, Too". Of course no one ever saw it. We never did get the courage up to actually perform it in front of other people. We did however, manage to muster the courage to have dance contests in the basements of each other's houses where everyone from the neighborhood would come. We definitely wore out the soundtrack to Flashdance, as well as Police's Synchronicity and Prince's When Doves Cry.

When we weren't at Surf City we were at nearby Long Beach Island or Wildwood. What was great about all of these towns was the quintessential summer pasttime, the boardwalk. I loved the people watching and the combination of smells that would come from walking the pier. In fact, I still do. There is a weird mix of romanticism, hope and nostalgia that washes over me when I walk the boardwalk. That and checkingout whatever trend was big that year like Who Shot Jr? t-shirts or jelly shoes in every color.

And how can you recall the summers at the beach without remembering the awesome food? I don't know what it is about summer, but so many meals just seem to taste better, outside, especially when eaten by the water. In fact, if it comes from the water, like fresh lobster, that's all the better, although I've also been known to indulge in thick boardwalk fries, classic Italian ices and messy funnel cake. Salt Water Taffy and colorful fudge round out the reasons to journey to the shore.

When I became a teenager, the shore took on a different meaning to me. Suddenly there was a pressure with going to the boardwalk. A lot of my friends went with the hopes they'd meet a guy or go with that special someone, already in tow. I was too shy for any of that, but that didn't mean I didn't tag along. Wherever I went I had to be sure though to watch the tram car, please.

In my early twenties those feelings only further intensified. Suddenly I was old enough to drink. No longer was a night of just walking the boardwalk enough for most of my friends. A lot of them liked to walk the boardwalk as a primer, getting ready to hit the local clubs soon after. One of my closest friends and her family owned a house in Sea Isle City at this time. We spent many weeks in the summer there, working on our tans (or lack thereof, in my case) and then spending hours primping to go out and impress. I liked being one of the girls, but the whole getting ready to mingle scene wasn't for me at all. I guess you could say I'm writing about it here because it's such a vivid summer memory, but at the same time, it's also one part of summer I'm glad that is behind me now.

Now summer has taken on a different tone. I still love many of the same elements I once did, but it's now the same now. Most of those same friends I'd dance and drink with have gone on and gotten married, beginning families of their own. Nowadays summers mean catching up with old friends and recharging the batteries before returning to school in September. Some things have remained the same though. I still love the water, the boardwalk and the innocence that the summer seems to bring. Summertime and Christmastime have this in common. These are the only two times of the year that manage to keep me both happy and sad, in equal proportions. Maybe it will always be that way.
Thursday, July 05, 2007

I Still Haven't Found What I'm (Not) Looking For

It's hard to believe, but it's already nearly two weeks ago that school let out for the summer.

I wish I could say that I've filled that time only with things that are productive and meaningful, but I would be lying. Oh sure I have managed to do some things that are productive and meaningful, but it is summer after all, and what would summer be without a little loafing around in good proportion to crossing off things from the never ending "to do" list.

What I have found myself doing, more often than not is living in the past. I know what you're thinking. Me, waxing nostalgic?! Nooo! But alas, it's true. And what better way to feed the monkey then to make daily visits to the Disneyland of retrospectives, You

It started innocently enough. For years now I've gone to You Tube to check on a memory or two. Yes, we go way back, You Tube and I. In fact, many a time is has "had my back" In the Write Back Weekend department here at AOGB. Sure I could tell you all about how great Phil Collins and his videos used to be or I could go on and on about how much I loved Wesley on Mr. Belvedere, but wouldn't you rather just go and see for yourself? I always thought so.

But lately something has changed. You Tube and I have changed. Let me try to draw an analogy for what I'm going through. You Tube is like that best friend that you always knew was there, but one day you woke up and realized just how beautiful she really was and how you had been taking her for granted all along. Overnight things have turned around. I guess I could say the search is over, but You Tube was with me all the time.

Yet in a weird way, the search is what keeps me coming back for more. One memory leads to another memory which leads to another and another. Sometimes it isn't even old memories I'm making, but new ones and silly ones at that due to nonsensical gems like this. From old soap opera story lines to children shows long forgotten, You Tube has it all.

The great thing about You Tube is that the search, virtually never ends. One door leads to another and so on.

The bad thing about You Tube is that the search, virtually never ends. One door leads to another and so on.

See my dilemma?

Thankfully, ten months out of the year I have a job that allows me to be a spoke in the wheel of society. It gets me out of the house, pays the bills and now I know most importantly, keeps me away from You Tube. Because right now, the way things stand, there is only a mouse click and a wireless connection separating me from my voyeuristic binges.

It's not that I don't have other things to do or there aren't other things I should be doing, but it's much easier to melt hours away, passing the time in the closest thing any of us have to time travel. You Tube users dredge up the past in a way only a pop culture freak like me could appreciate. I suppose they are the only segment of the population spending more time on sites like You Tube than I am. This is because they have to take the time to upload all of the videos that they do. For the uploads that have come before, and those that are yet to come, I am eternally grateful.

While it has been rather therapeutic admitting my addiction in such a public forum, in the end I'm like any other addict. I see what my You Tube addiction is doing to me and yet in some way, I really don't care. I know I can stop at any time. Really. In the meantime though what's the harm in a little good, old fashioned searching?
Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Summer Wind, Makes Me Feel Fine"

Not that we really celebrate the eve of anything besides Christmas or New Years, but I noticed that this TITMT came on the eve of 4th of July. So, I figured I'd try to make it a semi-related 4th of July question, with the unofficial kickoff of summer in mind.

Today I simply want to know...

What is/are your favorite summer memory(ies)?

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Really Reel"

When I come up with TITMT questions to ask, I try to save the more "ambitious" ones for the weeks I have more time to dedicate to them. That being said, expect me to throw out a few thinkers now since it's summer.

Anyway, last week when I asked what your favorite movie soundtrack songs of all time were, I figured I'd have a lot to say on the subject. Never did I anticipate just how much I'd have to say and how hard it would be knowing where to begin. Those few of you who tried to participate, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Although I asked for particular favorite songs, I realized that was a really hard list to make. So from there I took it to favorite soundtracks. Even that was a tall order to fill.

So for the first time ever, at least I think, I decided to tinker with the TITMT question after I asked it. By going in this direction I'm leaving out a lot of great movie music, but once you see the way the direction I went, I think you'll understand why so many great ones were not included. If this changes your answers too, feel free to consider this an addendum to the post you've already written or an attempt to narrow down the inspiration for the post you've yet to write.

The new and improved question I'm about to answer is...What are the best uses of music in movies and how were these songs used?

In no particular order...

1. "All I Want" By Stephen Bishop: This song was used in the little known movie, All I Want For Christmas. It's the story of two kids played by Ethan Embry and Thora Birch who want to reunite their estranged parents. In the one scene, a young Ethan is watching old home movies of his family, remembering the good ol' days he wanted to recapture. This song was never a well known movie theme. In fact, it came from a man who was probably best known for another great movie song, "It Might Be You" from Tootsie. It doesn't stop me from remembering it all this time and including it here.

2. "Wild Horses"- The Sundays: Though not written specifically for the film, Wild Horses is featured in the movie Fear starring Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon. At this point in the movie, Reese's character is taken by the mysterious "bad boy" that Wahlberg is playing, as are the viewers. It's their first date, and they go to the carnival. I always thought carnivals and boardwalks were some of the most romantic and idealistic settings, especially for young, first love. Of course the scene itself is rather risque given the use of the "climax" on the roller coaster, but it still manages to capture so much innocence and excitement, all in four minutes or less.

3. "All I Want Is You"- U2: If you want to see some of the best relationship angst footage out there, look no further than the Generation X classic, Reality Bites. In the movie, Winona Ryder's character is torn between two men, the man that represents her past, her best friend and slacker, played by Ethan Hawke, and the grown up future, played by Ben Stiller. It is Ethan's desperate portrayal of a man in love that totally makes this movie though. "All I Want Is You" is the perfect song to capture his feelings and the footage that is used in conjunction with this song is just brilliant.

4. "Everybody Knows"- Concrete Blonde: Once upon a time, Christian Slater was considered to be the epitome of cool. I know it's hard to believe now, but it's true. In Pump Up the Volume, Christian plays a quiet loner by day. Secretly though, he is a larger than life persona at night on a pirate radio station he broadcasts out of his own home. Through his words and philosophy, he single-handedly creates an uproar and a small town revolution. In the scene that "Everybody Knows" is featured, the radio station's broadcast has just been cut. All of the local high school students are gathered around, praying for its return. The station prevails with the crescendo of this song, perfect for the crescendo of the movie as well.

5. "In Your Eyes"- Peter Gabriel: If you were a girl growing up in the eighties, chances are you fell in love with John Cusack at one time or another. If you really did your homework, the role that made you swoon was Cusack's portrayal of the earnest, Llyod Dobbler. Llyod represents all the nice guys who have carried a torch for that unattainable girl. Only difference is, Llyod actually manages to get her, making him the hero for all those regular guys out there. "In Your Eyes" of course, if featured in the infamous boom box scene as Llyod stands out Diane's window, exhibiting his undying devotion. It's the kind of stuff that makes any girl weak in the knees.

6. "Eye of the Tiger"- Survivor: I have a confession to make. I'm not completely sure if I've ever seen the entire Rocky series, let alone the whole movie Rocky III in which this song is featured. Still, I included it here, not so much for its use in one particular scene, but instead as a representation for all the scenes like it. "Eye of the Tiger" is the end all be all of, "get your blood pumping, no one can beat us" type montages. It's about overcoming the odds and going on to win. It's been used in the same way many times over, and no other song does it better than this.

7. "Stagger Lee"- Llyod Price: Before Shag became known as Austin Powers tagline, it was a great underrated dance, then a great underrated movie. The movie Shag was made in the late eighties but was supposed to be a coming of age film about four friends in the 1960's. In the film, the girls are having one last girls weekend before Phoebe Cates character goes off and gets hitched. In one weekend, the girls all manage, of course, to find themselves in very different ways. "Stagger Lee" is the song two characters dance to in one of the all time movie cliches, the dance off. It might not be the most famous dance off of all time, but in my mind, it will always be one of the best.

8. "You're The One That I Want"- Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta: When I think of classic on screen duets, I think Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease. This song is used in a scene that needs no explanation, but to not include it in a memorable movie list just seems wrong.

9. "Up Where We Belong"- Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes:
In my mind, the early eighties heralded in a great heyday of great love themes featured in sometimes equally great movies. An Officer and a Gentleman was one of the first big uses of the theme so well with the story itself. Everyone is wondering if Richard Gere's character is going to leave Debra Winger in the dust and then in walks Gere, in all his uniformed glory, ready to "rescue" the girl he loves.

10. "I've Had the Time of My Life"- Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes: While the entire soundtracks (yes I said soundtracks) Dirty Dancing was so memorable, the one song that emulates what movie soundtracks are all about was the big dance number at the end of Dirty Dancing. Just like Grease, it's a scene that really requires no explanation, however it did require heavy rotation when I was growing up.

11. "Try A Little Tenderness"- Otis Redding: In Pretty In Pink, young Molly Ringwald is worshiped by two very different guys, the pretty Blaine, played by Andrew McCarthy, and the lovable Duckie, played by Jon Cryer. If You Leave is the song that is used in THE prom scene, yes I wrote THE in capital letters. Who will Andie choose, Duckie or Blaine? It's a decision that some still say went the wrong way. Despite Andrew McCarthy's horrible wig in this scene, I still say it went the way it should have. Still the song I choose to feature here is the classic lip syncing scene, performed brilliantly by Jon Cryer's character in the record shop. If you haven't seen it, it is in your best interest to collect your 200 dollars, pass go and proceed straight to You Tube, stat.

12. "That Thing You Do"- The Wonders: Unlike many of the other songs on the list, That Thing You Do is one of those songs that isn't so much featured in one particular moment. After all, the movie itself bares the same title. But That Thing You Do was the story of a fictitious band's quick rise to fame that needed an original tune that sounded as if it would have been a big hit back then. That's what they got with the irritatingly catchy ditty, That Thing You Do. Although the song is used repeatedly throughout the film, my favorite moment is when the boys of the band, The Wonders, hear their song on the radio for the first time. The song itself, as well as their reactions, is pure glee.

13. "Through The Eyes of Love"- Melissa Manchester: Arguably the sappiest inclusion, this song was featured in the melodramatic soap style, seventies movie, Ice Castles. It's the story of a young and talented figure skater who almost loses her career and her dignity after a bad accident which causes her to become blind. Down by not out, she continues to skate and even makes it to the championship, hiding her blindness to all the onlookers. She skates her big comeback performance to "Through the Eyes of Love". Afterwards, the audience throws flowers onto the ice in a form of appreciation not knowing of course, that she is blind. Once she stumbles, the audience gasps in disbelief and shock. Her boyfriend, played by former teen dream Robby Benson, hobbles out on to the ice uttering the classic line, "We forgot about the flowers". The audience, realizing just how much this young woman has truly accomplished, gives her the much deserved standing O.

14. "Oh Yeah"- Yello: Speaking of Oh's, the inclusion of "Oh Yeah" was a given in my book. Not only did this song earn it's place in eighties movie history, it earned it over and over and over, being featured in a handful of great eighties movie slow motion montages. According to Wikipedia those movies include, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Secret of My Success, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, She's Out of Control and Soul Plane. And that's just its contribute to movies. It's also been featured on television, particularly as part of the classic Twix candy bars campaign. Some songs embody a particular movie in time. How many though can say they've contributed to so many different movies?

15. Terms Of Endearment Theme: The eighties were known for some great instrumental themes including but not limited to, Chariots of Fire, St. Elmo's Fire and I guess anything with fire in it. The one I decided to include on this list though is the instrumental theme to Terms of Endearment. That's because this instrumental piece completely scored an entire film brilliantly, not just one scene. Terms of Endearment itself is a movie that managed to span entire life times of the characters involved. When the theme would swell, so would the emotion. It was poignant and punchy in all the write parts and for that, its inclusion was necessary.

16. Anything by Kenny Loggins: Our list ends with the man, the myth, the legend Kenny Loggins. Choosing just one great Loggins soundtrack song to feature is like trying to choose which one of your children is your favorite, it simply isn't done. The movies he's penned songs for include, both Caddyshack 1 and 2, Footloose, Top Gun, Over the Top and even the children's film, The Tigger Movie. When I think of eighties films, I think of Loggins. Most importantly however, I remember his fondly. It's not like he's dead or anything, but it seems that when it comes to movie soundtracks, they simply don't write 'em like that anymore.



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