Tuesday, May 31, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 24

Day 24: A song you want played at your funeral.

Well, now, this is a tricky one, because I really don't tend to like the kinds of inspirational songs people expect to be played at funeral. I either like super sad songs which are just horrible to play in that kind of situation, or super silly songs that don't fit at all. So I think I'm going to go with Chris Rice's rendition of "O Freedom," which musically fits the mood I'd want and lyrically fits my view on death.

I had SO MUCH TROUBLE FINDING THIS. There are absolutely zero workable videos on YouTube. So I'm using the MySpace music player. I haven't tried embedding this before - hopefully there will be no problems with it.

Find more Chris Rice albums at Myspace Music

Monday, May 30, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 23

Day 23: A song that you want to play at your wedding.

One of the most beautiful love songs ever is "Someone To Fall Back On" by Jason Robert Brown. I would love to have this played at my wedding. The clip has, for some reason, Sweeney Todd and Nightmare Before Christmas film images playing over it, which are REALLY weird choices for this song, but whatever. Just listen, don't watch.

Story: I was at a wedding once where they had all these piano versions of songs playing while people were being seated. There were some hymns (it was a Christian wedding) and a lot of love songs, and then, out of nowhere, "Music of the Night," which is indeed a gorgeous song, but was kind of about a monster seducing an opera singer. Not really wedding material. (Though Christine does find a creepy mannequin of herself wearing a wedding dress toward the end of the song, so the Phantom apparently thinks it's wedding material too.)

Anyway, it inspired me, and now I want slow instrumental versions of Jonathan Coulton songs to play as everyone is being seated. But only the less wedding-like songs. Like "Re: Your Brains" and "Mr. Fancy Pants." Because his melodies are beautiful, and it would be awesome for the few of my friends who also have awesome music taste to suddenly realize, "Wait a minute. This song is about a giant squid!"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Playlist: Sad Songs

The criteria for this mix was simple: Sad songs. The songs offered up by the crowd made for an interesting mix, although I did end up with a lot more emo teen kinds of songs than I anticipated.

Let's see how it's turned out.

Song Sample:

1. "Streetlights" by Ludo. A concert version, so the sound isn't great and the crowd at the beginning is very chipper. But the song sounds a bit melancholy in a rock ballad sort of way. Sure? 3/5.

2. "Into the Ocean" by Blue October. The lyrics are sadder than the music (I like "I'm as cold as cold as cold can be"), but it works. I like it. 4/5.

3. "Lose Control" by Evanescence. I very much liked the sad "oh oh oh oh" at the beginning of the song, but then it got to the chorus and just kind of got whiny. 3/5.

4. "Delicate" by Damien Rice. Very very melancholy. I looked up the lyrics and I LIKE. Totally works, especially around the 4-minute mark, where the vocals begin to gain more of a wailing quality. 5/5.

5. "This Lush Garden Within" by Black Tape for a Blue Girl. Well, this is a very long song, nearly 10 minutes. 2 minutes in, I'd call it more ominous than sad. And then the vocals come in, and I can't decide whether I love it or hate it. As it builds, it definitely is sadder, but in a very... crushing sort of way. It's fading away at 4:30. Is the song over? ...Apparently so, it's silence for the last five and a half minutes. I think I am going to say that it fits almost absolutely with my playlist, especially toward the end, so 4/5.

6. "The Islander" by Nightwish. I'm kind of digging the song. It's not as outright sad as the others (has an oddly triumphant tone to it) unless you think of it as the tragic sea shanty it is, then it kind of works. 3/5.

7. "Perfect World" by Simple Plan. I can't take this song seriously. It just makes me think of whiny teenagers. It actually contains the line, "Why is everything so hard?" 2/5 for effort, but I like my pop punk sardonic, not emo.

8. "Speaking a Dead Language" by Joy Williams. I saw this same poster use this song for a lot of different song recommendation threads, and every time expressed their love for it. I think it seeped into me, because although this is only the first time I've seen it, and there's nothing all that special about it, it's really working for me. Let's give it a 4/5.

9. "Macho, toki no nagare, hito" from Clannad. Wow. This totally works. It's kind of breaking me. 5/5.

10. "Chapter Four" by Avenged Sevenfold. OK, so I don't listen to this genre on purpose. I can't tell if this sounds sadder than other songs in the same genre. Someone who doesn't mind screaming vocals, tell me. I don't know how to rank it.

Well, certainly with this playlist, YMMV. (Warning: that link leads to TV Tropes and you may get stuck there forever.) And I know there are some songs by suggested artists that don't fit, even though the rest of the artist's work may. So I'm more hesitant about recommending this one than the post-apocalyptic one.

But, hey, there are 478 songs on here, and overall it looks like most of them at least kind of fit. And I'm pretty sure there are at least three of these I am going to go find for my own music collection shortly. Discovering new music ftw.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 22

Day 22: A song that you listen to when you’re sad.

These last couple seem like retreads (they already asked me about sad and happy songs, silly!) but I guess I'll go with "Schadenfreude" from Avenue Q. I'm really into happy-sounding songs about sad things when I'm sad. Plus, schadenfreude is a great word. There is adult language in this song, so... yeah. Be aware.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 21

Day 21: A song that you listen to when you're happy.

This was actually a much easier choice for me than I thought it would be. I scanned through my playlist of happy songs, and realized this was the absolute best option. I'm going with "Nine Percent Chance" from High Fidelity, one of my very favorite happy songs of all time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The First 100 Movies of 2011

I just watched my 100th new-to-me movie of the year. Because I am rather a nerdy listmaker, I've decided to look at some stats about the movies I've seen thus far.

Amount of movies that got a certain star rating from me on my movie blog
0.5 stars - 4
1 star - 7
1.5 stars - 9
2 stars - 9
2.5 stars - 8
3 stars - 27
3.5 stars - 11
4 stars - 19
4.5 stars - 5
5 stars - 1

All the movies that got only half a star were in the last month or two. I either became more willing to rank something extremely low, or just watched a BUNCH of crappy movies lately. (Two were in the last week.)

And the one movie that got 5 stars isn't even technically a movie, but a miniseries - Angels in America. I give 5s out in very, very small doses (Scott Pilgrim got one, but before that the last one I gave 5 to was Moulin Rouge, back in 2004 or so).

How many I watched each month
January - 10
February - 23
March - 24
April - 23
May - 20

January was low because of my J-term class which had me waking up at 5:30, working in the classroom all day, and coming back around 3:30. Then I would eat, sometimes say hi to people, and immediately fall back asleep. However, I then very consistently watched 20+ movies a month. (Of course, May isn't done yet so unless I completely shut down I'm sure I'll have watched more than 20 by the time June rules around.)

How many I watched in each decade
1920s - 3
1930s - 2
1940s - 2
1950s - 3
1960s - 9
1970s - 9
1980s - 14
1990s - 9
2000s - 31
2010s - 15

I had no idea I watched so many movies from the 80s. I did watch quite a few 80s classics, though, now that I look back on them. Pretty in Pink, Aliens, Die Hard, Who Framed Roger Rabbit...

I was going to look up MPAA ratings but that was going to take a long time so I gave up. So I shall just leave with this list:

The Movies I Finally Saw That Everyone Says I Should Have Seen Already
-Pretty in Pink
-Die Hard
-Taxi Driver
-The Grapes of Wrath
-The Wild Bunch
-Cool Hand Luke
-Seven Samurai
-Who Framed Roger Rabbit
-Lawrence of Arabia
-No Country For Old Men

Finally got around to all those. Even enjoyed some of them.

Here's to the next 100.

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 20

Day 20: A song you listen to when you're angry.

"Uninvited" by Groovelily has already been used in this meme, and that's easily one of my favorite angry songs. But lately, when in a bad mood, I've also enjoyed what has been called the bitterest break-up song of all time... and that is, of course, "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette. (Warning: Adult language ahead.)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Playlist: Post-Apocalyptic World

The NaNoWriMo forums have a section where people can ask for music that's good for writing a certain scene, genre, mood, or character (as well as just recommending music for fun). Some of these are wonderful recommendations and I always thought it would be cool to create a giant playlist of all the songs/artists/albums recommended for a scene, so if I ever needed to have that specific kind of atmosphere, I could just set that playing.

Then I decided these would probably be way too awesome to keep to myself. So every once in awhile as I compile playlists, I'll share some of them.

Note that I haven't actually listened personally to most of these songs. These are recommendations made by a group of people (usually not including me). If you find something that really doesn't belong and detracts from the mood, let me know and I'll edit it.

All right. Enough intro. Today's playlist theme: Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland. This is a big one. A whopping 671 songs.

Song Sample (aka "Let's see if this playlist is effective by playing a few songs at random")
1. "Hope" by Apocalyptica
2. "Appendage" by The Future Sound of London
3. "Anti" by Front Line Assembly
4. "Tuva Rock" by Yat-Kha
5. "Hypnotica" by Two Steps From Hell

I do like these in this mix. Lots of different kinds of post-apocalyptic sounds - some more electronic, some more orchestral - but the atmosphere holds up throughout. I don't tend to listen to most of these bands, but, man, are they atmospheric.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 19

Day 19: A song from your favorite album.

Sigh. I have already, whether you decide it's The Last 5 Years or Sleeping Beauty Wakes. So I'll post one from each and you guys can decide which one you want to count. I'll post the love duet from both so the songs will even be the same.

"The Next Ten Minutes" from The Last 5 Years:

And, although "You Make Me Feel Awake" is probably more officially the love duet of SBW, I like "Drifting" so very very much. So here's that one:

Drifting from Rob Bond on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 18

Day 18: A song you wish you heard on the radio.

Uh, pretty much my entire music library? But let's go with... Well, I've represented Groovelily and Jason Robert Brown twice already. So let's go with some Jonathan Coulton. Specifically, "Blue Sunny Day," because who doesn't love songs about suicidal vampires? This is one of CaptainValor's awesome YouTube videos where he does sign language to a lot of great songs... including LOTS of JoCo ones!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sometimes Netflix Synopses Suck

Well, at least this one did. Last night I watched The Virgin Spring (great movie, by the way). But I read the Netflix synopsis beforehand. And after watching the movie, I realized it was a terrible synopsis.

On the way to deliver candles to a church, the virginal daughter (Birgitta Pettersson) of feudal landowner Töre (Max von Sydow) is savagely raped and murdered.

This part of the synopsis probably couldn't be avoided, since it is what drives the action, but it doesn't happen until about halfway through the movie, so it feels like I've just had half the movie given away to me.

But fate takes a vengeful hand when the killers unknowingly seek food and shelter at the girl's home.

This happens about 2/3 of the way through the movie. So now I know all but the ending.

Will the grief-stricken Töre learn the truth about his visitors?

The answer is, "Yes, and pretty quickly." Between the previous sentence and this one in the synopsis, there's only about a 10- or 15-minute break. This synopsis kept me in suspense as to what was going to happen next for 15 whole minutes. By setting this up as the main question of the story (a far more accurate one would be "What will he do when he learns the truth?") they make it seem like one of those movies where people are struggling the entire time to maintain their hidden identity... and it really, really isn't.

The synopsis is supposed to give you a hint as to the premise so you can decide whether or not you want to watch it, but most of the movie information should still come from the movie itself. I don't know exactly how to write good synopses for movies where action moves slowly. But there must be a better option than this.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 17

Day 17: A song that you hear often on the radio.

...I don't really listen to the radio, so this is difficult. But this song does seem to play every single time I listen to Pandora (which isn't often these days). So here I present "I Hate Christmas Parties" by Relient K.

Friday, May 13, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 16

Day 16: A song that you used to love but now you hate.

This isn't true of many songs, but I figured Christian music was probably the way to go. Sorry, Christian-music-loving friends. I can't even remember what Christian music I used to really like (it's been a while), but I seem to remember enjoying "Keep the Candle Burning" by Point of Grace for some reason. Now I listen to it and go, "Wha?" It's probably a good message and all, but it's unbelievably bland, and therefore un-inspirational.

And what's the bit in that chorus about "all it takes is one steady heart"? Are they saying someone else is going to be holding steady as support for you? Do you have to hold steady so that you can change the world with your burning candle? If that's it, why are they suddenly demanding you be all set to change the world when "you're walking in the dead of night and your soul is churning"? Talk about pressure.

I seem to remember liking this for awhile because all my friends liked it, and then it fell out of favor with me even before Christian music as a whole did. And even though I can't say I *hate* it (I wouldn't stomp out of a room where it was playing or anything) I'd skip it every time it came up on my iPod, assuming I had it in my music library for some reason in the first place.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 15

Day 15: A song that describes you.

Once in awhile you run across those songs that just make me go, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure that one was written about me." I've run into a couple over the years and choosing between them was super difficult. But I think I'm going to have to go with "Music of Heaven" by Jason Robert Brown. And thus begins a bit of an actual bloggy blog.

JRB is writing it from the viewpoint of someone who (I think) doesn't believe in God - certainly doesn't consider himself someone who knows God. That's not me. But the song is also about watching people worshiping God and feeling like a snarky outsider... someone who wants to be touched by God but isn't sure how to put aside the snark and let it happen.

I've always had trouble with corporate worship. I can probably count on one hand the times that it has been meaningful to me, and I'm betting each and every one of those times was when I was on the road with NLDC. Most of the time, no matter how much I want it to mean anything, I find myself on the outside looking in and being annoyed (and skeptical) that people find it so easy, as well as wishing I had some sort of connection like that.

This is my ultimate worship song. It's so honest. It's so real. I always feel like a liar singing, "All of you is more than enough for all of me," when I know that I'm still relying on so much more and if God took that all away from me I'd have a really, really hard time believing he really was all I needed. I can't make that promise to God because I'm just going to break it. I can't sing, "It's you I live for every day" when that's not even remotely true most days.

(Not to mention I really don't know how at ALL to worship with third person songs like "Mighty to Save." Who am I singing to? Are they Christians too or am I trying to convince them about God?)

But I can sing, "I want to say yes."
I can sing, "When will it open my heart?"
I can sing, "Let the music begin."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Helping Out My Google Search Friends

Middle-of-the-night in between Tuesday and Wednesday is now officially Cater to the Google Searches Blog Time!

I'm kind of fascinated by the search keywords that lead people to me. Most of the time, however, I suspect they're very disappointed when they find my blog, because I'm not really addressing their query. So I figured I would do my best to answer those queries here, once a week or so, so that if these people try again to find their answer I can be of more help this time around.

So, without further ado:

alfie boe
I'm afraid I don't know much about him, other than that he's quite good in Les Miserables. And I think I have his version of "Come What May." Wikipedia says he's British and his full name is Alfred Giovanni Roncalli Boe, so it's no wonder he goes by Alfie. He's 37. He's recorded three albums, so if you like him, you should probably buy them.

les miserablesalfie
Well, as I said, Alfie was quote good in Les Miserables.
If you were asking about a crossover fan fiction between Les Mis and the movie Alfie, I'm afraid I don't know of any.
If you were asking about a man whose name is Les Miserable Salfie, I feel really bad for him but can't find any more information about him.

most ridiculous love songs
That's a really tough call. The Bible Sherpa has a pretty decent list here, though. Love-at-first-sight stalker songs are always pretty ridiculous. People should leave suggestions for this in the comments, since I'm clearly having trouble thinking of any.

on glee the football team performed which song
Well, it depends on what episode you're talking about. They danced to "Single Ladies" (which was on my "Most Ridiculous Glee Song Performances" list) way back in season one, but this season they also all sang a fairly awesome mashup of "Thriller/Heads Will Roll." And at this point the football team includes EVERYONE, including all the glee club girls.

so ridiculous song
I'm pretty sure all of Weebl's songs can be categorized as "so ridiculous." However, the most ridiculous song ever is almost certainly "Hate Me Please" from the musical Robert and Elizabeth. That whole musical is ludicrous and written as awkwardly as it can possibly be. Also, any of those most ridiculous love songs could probably fall in this category too.

I hope that has been helpful to all you googlers. Keep searching for stuff and maybe you'll find me - then check back later to see if I answered your question!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 14

Day 14: A song that nobody would expect you to love.

Well, I'm pretty open about my song preferences. But I did completely shock some of my friends a few months ago when I mentioned on Facebook how much I loved "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem. I think it's a brilliantly tragic portrayal of someone stuck in a cycle of violence, and it still manages to stun me into silence every time I hear it. But a few of my friends were really confused by me liking this song. So I'll include it here to confuse any of the others who still don't know.

Like probably all Eminem songs, this has some foul language in it. Not one for the kids.

Monday, May 9, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 13

Day 13: A song that is a guilty pleasure.

I love "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha. I absolutely do. I have tried to not love it, but it just keeps making me happy. So in apology for posting this song on my blog, I've used a video version of it that is undeniably awesome. 'Cause the party don't start 'til Kirk walks in.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 12

Day 12: A song from a band you hate.

All right. There aren't a lot of bands I absolutely hate, so I decided to go with these guys. This is the only song I have ever liked by them. I heard it not knowing it was by them, and I would never have guessed they did it. It's not cheesy, preachy, or cliched. I can actually sing this song and be easily focused on God instead of being distracted by awkward lyrics. I understand that some people (including many of my friends) are deeply moved by their music, and yay, but... they've mostly just always irritated me. (The band. Not my friends.)

So here I present "And Now My Lifesong Sings" by Casting Crowns.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 11

Day 11 - A song from your favorite band.

...I have to duplicate now. Because I already posted a song by these guys. But I'm mostly okay with that, because one can NEVER have too much Groovelily! So here's "Uninvited," one of my favorite villain songs, sung by the evil fairy who wasn't invited to Sleeping Beauty's christening.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Hannah Movie Awards: April 2011

My apologies, this is a bit late in the month getting here. Last week of school, all that jazz.

I have quite a few awards to give out today. I watched 23 movies in April, and while some of them were fantastic, others were very... not. So I'm also including some Razzie-like awards given out to the movies that greatly disappointed me.

Without further ado, let us start the awards!

Best Actor
- Les Miserables (Alfie Boe)
- Les Miserables (Norm Lewis)
- Les Miserables (Ramin Karimloo)
- Les Miserables (Matt Lucas)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Christopher Lloyd)

Was that really the ONLY movie where I was impressed with the guys in it? Well, I think I'm going to have to give it to Matt Lucas, who stole the show as the sleazy innkeeper Thenardier.

Best Actress
- Les Miserables (Samantha Barks)
- The Other Boleyn Girl (Natalie Portman)

Well, much as Samantha Barks was a lovely Eponine, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn was easily the best part of that movie. The award goes to her.

Best Ensemble Cast
- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
- Les Miserables

Hmm. This is actually kind of a tough one. I was impressed with CWACOM's cast because they were all famous people whose voices I could have recognized, but none of them were distracting. Les Mis, as you can see by the acting categories up there, had a lot of great individual performers... I think I'm going to have to say Cloudy, though, because their cast really did all work together very well to create a convincing world.

Best Character
- The son from Vera Drake
- Sol from Soylent Green

Wow, I was pretty strapped for interesting characters this month, it seems. These are both the highlights of some pretty uninteresting movies. Whoever the son on Vera Drake was wins this one, I guess. He was the only one in the movie who I felt actually dealt with the plot points.

Best Cast of Characters
- Easy A
- Angels in America
- Seven Samurai

This is an easy one for me. Although the characterization was what I liked most about Seven Samurai, I was absolutely blown away by the characters in the TV miniseries Angels in America. (Maybe it shouldn't count as a movie, but in my mind it is. Just six hours long.) They're all distinct, fascinating, and beautifully portrayed by the actors in question.

Most Disappointing Movie
- Neighbors
- Soylent Green
- Twist of Faith
- Born Into Brothels
- Interview

For me, this is measured by how much I WANTED to like a movie versus how much I ended up liking it. And this award goes, hands down, to Interview. It's got a wonderful premise, actors who should have been much better than they were... It just completely fell apart.

Most Enjoyable
- Easy A
- The Other Boleyn Girl
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit

I have no idea what The Other Boleyn Girl is even doing in this category, but choosing between the other two is surprisingly difficult. I think I'm going to go with Easy A, because it was consistently funny (far more than I would have expected).

Most Entertaining
- Aliens
- Bedknobs and Broomsticks
- Easy A
- Seven Chances

These last two categories are kind of similar in what they should mean... Yet I have almost two completely different lists for them. Interesting. I think I'm going to have to go with Easy A again on this one, although Bedknobs and Broomsticks was also pretty darn entertaining.

- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
- Seven Chances

...Erm. What a weird, tiny selection of choices. Cloudy wins this one, hands down, because although I liked Seven Chances, it was really only a few moments that were that funny.

Worst Characters
- Apocalypto
- Suez
- Interview

This was for worst ensemble cast. Apocalypto wasn't THAT bad, I just didn't care about them. And Interview was SO CLOSE. So disappointing. I think Suez wins for writing just truly outlandish characters. They're all extremely naive and end up getting in trouble for it, to which I kept saying, "HA!"

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 10

Day 10: A song that makes you fall asleep.

OK. I am not really why this song is so very soothing to me. But if I play it, I usually fall asleep. (Which would probably be a good thing now, since I probably need to sleep...) So here's "At the Beginning" by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis. If you do not need to go sleep, or if you do not have a fondness for 90s soft rock pop ballads, you can probably skip this one.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 9

I realize I skip days frequently. I'm still calling it the 30 Day Song Challenge. Nobody said it had to be 30 days in a row, right?

Day 9: A song that you can dance to.

Well, I'm just going to have to go with "The Rhythm in Me" from Altar Boyz. First of all, you can definitely dance to it. Second, it's ABOUT dancing. Third, it makes me laugh. Although some of the lines may be a bit theologically suspect ("You know the Bible tells you God's the one that made you, so get out on the dance floor and shake what he gave you") I am for sure a fan of the song as a fun, silly celebration of God's artistic gifts.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Most Ridiculous Song Performances on Glee (...So Far)

I love Glee... But sometimes they make the most bizarre decisions about 1) what songs the characters should sing, and 2) why the characters should sing them. Some of these examples are hilarious. Some are kind of painful. All of them are ridiculous.

In chronological order.

1. "Single Ladies," performed by Beyonce (Season 1, Episode 4: "Preggers")
We see Kurt dancing along to this song at the very beginning... but then it's built into the plot that somehow he's a great kicker on the football team if he does the dance on the field. And THEN it's determined that the entire football team will do the dance on the field to confuse the other team. They do. And they win.

I'm pretty sure this was the episode that determined everyone's stance on the show. If you hated watching a group of guys in full football gear (or whatever the sports term is for that) do the "Single Ladies" dance for no apparent reason, you hated the show. If, however, you found yourself saying, "What? ...I mean, it's awesome. But what?" then you became like me and realized you couldn't ever stop watching.

2. "(You're) Having My Baby," performed by Cory Monteith (Season 1, Episode 10: "Ballad")
Quinn is pregnant, and her boyfriend Finn thinks he's the father (even though he isn't). Nobody knows Quinn's pregnant, and she wants to keep it that way as long as she can... But then Finn is invited to dinner with Quinn and her parents and makes the baffling, hilarious decision to sing this song to her at the dinner table. Nothing like outing your girlfriend's pregnancy in song in front of her religious parents.

3. "Papa Don't Preach," performed by Dianna Agron (Season 1, Episode 11: "Hairography")
Puck and Quinn are babysitting a group of unruly kids. They calm them down by offering to show them "a real live music video." So Quinn sings a one-minute rendition of this song which is, of course, appropriate to her own life but is a ridiculous song to sing to kids you're babysitting. As soon as she's done, they ask for more. Looks like she had time and opportunity to sing the entire song after all. But, hey, maybe she only knew the first verse.

4. "Vogue," performed by Jane Lynch (Season 1, Episode 15: "The Power of Madonna")
Kurt and Mercedes give Sue a makeover by recreating Madonna's "Vogue" video, starring her. It was fun to see Jane Lynch get a chance to sing on the show, but nobody watching this show ever expected to see Sue Sylvester get an entire mildly racy music video all to herself.

5. "U Can't Touch This," performed by Kevin McHale (Season 1, Episode 17: "Bad Reputation")
A bunch of the Glee kids are tired of having goody-goody reputations, so they decide to shake things up. However, they are goody-goody Glee kids. So the only plan they can come up with is going to the library and trying to scare the elderly librarian by launching into this song at top volume and dancing around. It backfires even more hilariously when the librarian loves it and asks if they'd be willing to perform it at her church.

6. "Dream On," performed by Neil Patrick Harris and Matthew Morrison (Season 1, Episode 19: "Dream On")
The fact that they're singing this song isn't ridiculous - it is an audition, after all. However, when they both decide to sing the same song, the guy running the show spontaneously decides there's no time to sing it twice, so they have to sing it as a duet. Given the fact that these two were becoming heated rivals, the time they took deciding who got to sing first had to have taken longer than it would have to just sing the song twice.

7. "Poker Face," performed by Idina Menzel and Lea Michele (Season 1, Episode 20: "Theatricality")
Rachel finds out that her mom is the coach of the rival Glee team. They bond but decide they don't really have a great potential mother/daughter relationship. Maybe that's because both of them think that "Poker Face" is an appropriate duet for the two of them to sing in their fond farewells to each other. Really? Just because they slow it down doesn't make it a heartfelt ballad.

8. "Tell Me Something Good," performed by Matthew Morrison (Season 1, Episode 21: "Funk")
One of the most hilariously bizarre Glee plot points of all time, Will decides he's going to musically seduce Sue, make her fall for him, and then ask her out on a date and stand her up to humiliate her. Even rereading that makes me giggle. The weirdest part? It works. Sue goes crazy and gets all depressed. Now, granted, I'm totally okay with this performance, because it is rather lovely, but it's ridiculous that it happens.

9. The first four songs from Season 2, Episode 2: "Britney/Brittany"
The entire plot of this episode? "Glee kids go to the dentist and have anesthesia hallucinations about Britney Spears songs." The last two songs have basis in reality, but why does the first half of this episode even exist?

10. "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me," performed by Jayma Mays (Season 2, Episode 5: "The Rocky Horror Glee Show")
This episode has a rather idiotic plot as well (a high school production of Rocky Horror? ...HOW?) but the most hilarious is when Sam drops out of the show because he's uncomfortable in his costume, so Will somehow decides it would be completely appropriate for him to jump in and take over the role. Then he asks Emma to help him rehearse this extremely suggestive song. (Note he doesn't sing in it. It's entirely her singing, while she dances around and touches him and acts all seductive and stuff.)

This is a weird scene in and of itself but takes on a whole new level of creepy when you realize that in the show they're planning, Rachel is the one who's going to be singing this to Will. Did he not pay attention to what happened last time he sang a love song with Rachel? And also, how is this even remotely appropriate teacher/student interaction?

11. "Baby" and "Somebody to Love," performed by Chord Overstreet, Mark Salling and Kevin McHale (Season 2, Episode 13: "Comeback")
"We should put Justin Bieber songs on this show. But how? I know! We can have one of the guys suddenly decide to dress up as Justin Bieber, which makes the girls love him, and so then all the guys can dress up as Justin Bieber! BEST IDEA EVER!"

12. "Do You Wanna Touch Me," performed by Gwyneth Paltrow (Season 2, Episode 15, "Sexy")
Aaaaand once more with the appropriate teacher/student interactions. Holly decides that the students need sex ed. She decides that the best way to do this is by singing a pop song about sex to them. Note that this is the group of people who, a year and a half before, performed the very sexual "Push It" by Salt-n-Pepa at a school assembly and, just a month or two ago, performed most of Rocky Horror. If singing and dancing to songs about sex had anything to do with actual sex education, these kids would know all they ever needed by this point in the show.

In conclusion.

This second season has been significantly lower on ridiculous plot points, and so there have been fewer ridiculous song performances as well. I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad about that, as the ridiculous choices can be quite entertaining... But as long as the actual performance quality of the songs stays at the level it's been lately, I'm not going to complain about the wonderfully awkward reasons for incorporating those songs into the episode.

Monday, May 2, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 8

Day 8: A song that you know all the words to.

OK, this might be ever so biased because I've been on a Groovelily rediscovery kick this weekend. But I DO know all the words to this song and greatly love singing along to it. My siblings know most of the words, too, and so we even get to do the second first, where one of us is singing the sales pitch the the other one's singing the reactions.

So... I present "The Sales Pitch" from Striking 12.

The Sales Pitch (2005) from Rob Bond on Vimeo.