Turntable Talk – “Shock Rock”

Welcome to another edition of Turntable Talk hosted by Dave over at A Sound Day. Check out his site here: https://soundday.wordpress.com/

His topics have ranged from very easy to thought provoking. This time around, I find it truly thought provoking.

Here are the instructions that Dave sent to each of the participants describing what this edition was to be about:

This time around I’m calling it ‘Shock rock’… but wait, it’s not about Marilyn Manson and Megadeath…unless you want it to be.  The subject basically will be pick a record that you love that would surprise people… something that runs afar from your regular favorite listening.  Maybe you like hard rock but love something by the Carpenters. Or are a huge ’60s fan who can’t get enough Bruno Mars. Or maybe it’s a little Tchaikovsky to wind down after a night full of Stones or Springsteen.  Let us know what it is that makes that ‘oddball’ selection so appealing to you.

What Could Possibly “Surprise” You?

I have almost 5000 songs on my iPod. I have a CD collection that fills at least three storage totes, and 4 carrying cases. My external hard drive is loaded up with almost half a terabyte of songs. What ONE song would surprise you? This was my dilemma.

I had three songs immediately jump out at me when I first read Dave’s e-mail. The more I thought on them, I just wasn’t sure which one to pick. As I am writing this, I still question the one that I chose. I will stick with it because it isn’t something I would normally post, and it is more of a personal song. So how in the world did I narrow it down?

Grab my iPod and there is just about every genre of music on there. There is pop music from every decade from the 1930’s to the 2010’s. There is country music – classic and modern. There is a fair amount of R&B, Soul and Motown. I’m not ashamed to admit there are some disco favorites, too. You will also find Big Band and Swing music, Jazz, standards, and plenty of Classical music. There is Christian music and plenty of oldies. There are some favorite Christmas songs on the play list and songs that I played when I was in high school band that I downloaded from YouTube and other sources.

Going through the iPod, there were songs that I thought were “oddball” that I could write about. For example, I have almost every Weird Al Polka Medley on there. I also have music from the Shrek soundtrack, music from The Muppets, and music from the cartoon Phineas and Ferb. There are also plenty of songs that are on there that my kids used to listen to when we would be in the car from some of their favorite kid shows. Oddball, indeed.

All that being said, anyone who knows me or has read my blog before knows that I have a wide range of musical tastes. It would be easy to feature any one of the “oddball” songs mentioned in the above paragraph. Instead, there was one song that stood out for me. It is a song that I never skip when it comes on the iPod (there are only a few of those). It is also a song that I have debated posting on my blog as part of a “music Monday” or some music feature. I kept holding back, probably because it is such a personal song for me. Will you find it “shocking?” I doubt it.

Untitled Hymn – Chris Rice

Readers of my blog know that I am a Christian. While I don’t care for much of the “modern” Christian music, I do like many songs. I cannot recall when I first heard Chris Rice’s “Untitled Hymn,” but it hit me immediately. It was a song that I shared with one of the guys at church, who worked it up and sang it on more than one occasion.

To those who are not of the Christian faith, there will be no connection whatsoever to the song. To me, however, it hits me deep every time I hear it. I am reminded of who I was before and who I am now. It also reminds me that when my life is over – it isn’t over. I am aware that not everyone believes what I do, and that is ok. I’m ok if you just scroll on by this blog.

The song begins with a lone piano and then the vocal. The lyrics of this song speak of the journey of a Christian. From sinner to saved. Singing praise. New life in Christ and life’s struggles and looking to Him in those struggles. Feeling the love and joy that comes in this new life. Finally, the “end” of life on earth for the Christian and the beginning of the afterlife.

The vocal and the piano blend so perfectly. The inflection of the vocal through the dynamics of the song conveys the lyrics exactly how they need to be conveyed. Rice rerecorded the song for “A Collection of Hymns” with a more up-tempo piano and more instrumentation (strings, guitar, etc…) and vocal harmony. Personally, I prefer the original recording over the newer version. I feel it is more powerful.

Here is the original and the lyrics:

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
Oh, raise your head for Love is passing by

Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain

So, sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live

And like a newborn baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk sometimes we fall

So, fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain

Then cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live

Oh and when the love splills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside

Then dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live

With your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side

And fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live

Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live

In Closing

Does it shock you that I picked this song? I guess it is a bit different than the songs I have posted in the past. Isn’t that what I was supposed to do? At any rate, Dave asked us to explain what makes this song so “appealing.” All I can say is that it appeals to me because I relate to it. Outside of the last verse, I have lived it. It is a song that strikes a chord (pun intended) every time I hear it. Depending on what is going on in my life, I either smile and sing along or cry and sing along. To me, that makes it one powerful song.

Thanks for allowing me to participate, Dave. I look forward to the next edition.

“Finding a good way to spend it…”

My Facebook feed has been full of pictures of the “last day of school.” Many of those photos are of high school seniors who are celebrating their FINAL “last” day of school, while others are of students in kindergarten through 11th grade who are just excited for summer break!

The theme song to the cartoon Phineas and Ferb (created by Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh) states:

There’s 104 days of summer vacation till school comes along just to end it. So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it.

The song then goes on to list things that they are going to do. If you are unfamiliar with this cartoon (which is as entertaining for adults as it is for children), it is about two step brothers who make the most out of every day of their summer vacation. Phineas is often heard to say, “Ferb! I know what we’re going to do today!” They then proceed to work on their big idea while their sister tries to get them in trouble.

Some of the big ideas they had include: building a rollercoaster, building a beach in their back yard, becoming a “one hit wonder” band, become movie directors, carve their sister’s face into Mount Rushmore, build robots, go on a cattle drive, create a new season, become secret agents, build the world’s biggest ice cream maker, create a hot new toy, turn their car into a monster truck, build a shrinking submarine, fix a time machine – and time travel, reunite a rock band, build the ultimate treehouse, transform a dinghy into a pirate ship, have a chariot race through their town, build a Ferris wheel, build a roller derby rink, discover a caveman, hold a medieval tournament, build an escalator to the moon, created the biggest bowling game, build a miniature golf course, build a real working teleporter after seeing one in a movie, build a haunted house, paint the unpainted desert, make a cartoon about themselves and their friends, created a rainbow-inator because their friend has never seen one, build a rocket and go to space, build a flying car, AND create a portal to the planet Mars. THAT is all from the first season!!

Let me say that I NEVER had a summer quite like Phineas and Ferb, but I certainly looked forward to summer vacation. As I have mentioned in the past, many of my summer days were spent playing baseball with the guys from my neighborhood. When we weren’t playing ball, we were usually riding bikes, playing cops and robbers, running through the sprinkler, or playing with Star Wars figures.

I believe that kids today are missing out. They are glued to their phones, tablets and video games. I know trying to get my older son outside to do anything is a chore. My daughter loves to be outside! I hope she always stays that way! There are SO many things to do outside. This summer, I plan to spend lots of time outside.

During our summer breaks as kids, one thing my brother and I always looked forward to was a weekend or two up in Caseville. When my grandparents bought their place up there, we went often. Many times we’d be their with my aunt and uncle and my grandparents, too. On those weekends, it wasn’t odd to have a tent pitched outside because there were so many of us.

Highlights of Caseville included fishing at the back lake, swimming at the beach, horseback rides from the folks at the end of our street, and tooling around on the mini-bike. In town, we could stop at the IGA for groceries, play Putt Putt Golf, or shop at many of the souvenir shops. Occasionally, we’d drive over to Port Austin or drive down to Pigeon to walk around.

The only other real trip I remember was when I was 11. We went up to Mackinac for a week. I remember we visited the Grand Hotel (where the movie Somewhere in Time was filmed) and because we were in shorts and tank tops, we didn’t stay long. I remember posing next to a cannon and I was wearing a cowboy hat and those awful tube socks! We also got to go on the boat ride over to Mackinac Island. There were no cars on the island and there were many horses. We visited the Fort, which was full of wonderful artifacts. One of my favorite pictures is of my mother standing over my brother and I while we are locked in the stocks.

As summer vacation approaches, I hope that we will be able to do something nice with the kids. They are both still very young and may not remember it all, but I really want to take them somewhere. I just need to sit down with my wife and talk things over. The two of us will “find a good way to spend” time together as a family!

Weekend Wrap Up

I am not working my normal schedule at work, so my days are a bit messed up. The weekend for me, basically consisted of half a Saturday and today. I work Friday overnight and get home Saturday morning about 8am. I slept till about 2pm and Sam woke me up so we could enjoy some family time together.

We’re not to keen on actually going out to dinner, but we ordered out and got food from one of our favorite restaurants. I’m not going to lie – it was nice to sit back and enjoy a great steak at home and be with Sam and the baby for the day (even if it was short).

Sunny Sunday Morning

Sam works tonight, so it was Ella and me today. She was up at 7:30, and after she ate, we went out for a walk in the neighborhood. There were a surprising amount of people up that early. We saw people walking their dogs, people taking out the trash, people riding their bikes, and people just enjoying the sunshine out on their porch reading the paper.

It got pretty hot today, but it was cool when we walked. I figured we should probably get the walk in before it got too hot. Ella just loves to be outside, so when we got home, we sat out on the front porch step and watched cars go by. She gets so excited when that happens. There is a church at the end of our street, so there were plenty of cars for her to watch this morning.

When we came inside to eat, we must have woke Sam up. Sam fed her (and let her play in the apple/strawberry/banana baby food that she didn’t eat). Naturally, she needed a bath afterward! She was obviously tired, and Sam was going back to bed to try to sleep, so she took Ella in the bedroom to nap with her.

I watched a pastor friend of mine from Grand Rapids on Facebook Live teaching on a passage in the book of Colossians until Ella woke up. I usually work Sunday night, too, and sleep most of the day in preparation for being up all night. Thank God for the Internet, as I can tune into pastor friends in my hometown, across the state, out of state, and even out of the country if I want.

“I know what we’re gonna do today…”

In all the time we have had cable TV, I guess I didn’t know we had Disney Channel. That was the channel that was on when I turned the TV on today. Usually, I turn on the TV for background noise, and it is usually on PBS. Sometimes, it is on Nick Jr. because Ella loves Bubble Guppies. Anyway, it was on Disney Channel and I was happy to see that there was a marathon of Phineas and Ferb on this weekend.

I used to watch this with the boys all the time. It was so much fun. If you are not familiar with the show, the entire show happens during the 104 days of Summer Vacation. Each day brings the boys on a new adventure. They are always building something out of this world, their sister tries to get them in trouble with their mom, and their pet platypus is a secret agent who stops an evil scientist from destroying the “tri-state area.” There’s always a musical number in each episode, too. It is a blast to watch.

I’m not sure if they were running them in order, but I know the last episode they showed was the actual series finale. Ella was sleeping in my arms while the last episode (which I had never seen before) played. Call me what you will, but I was totally wrapped up in it. Kudos to Dan Provenmire and Jeff Marsh for creating such an amazing show. Sadly, the entire series is not available on DVD. If it was, I would surely buy it … for Ella to watch …. with daddy….

I never had the chance to when I was doing radio full time, but I had always hoped to get to interview Dan Provenmire (who does the voice of Dr. Doofenshmirtz). I thought it would be cool if he could do my voice mail message – hell, I still wish I could have him do it! I’d love to sit and talk with him about the show. I messaged him on Facebook once and complimented him on the music numbers and he gave me a little insight into what went into that for every episode. Those are thing things I miss about not being in radio anymore – interviewing neat people.

Almost Monday

Ella is sleeping now and the sounds of her sound machine are coming out of the baby monitor next to me. I watched a message from a pastor in Warren about the importance of the Bible and how it will be used in the last days, which was very interesting. One thing the pastor mentioned was how he tries to read through the entire Bible once a year. I really need to find a way to do that.

As I ate my dinner, I watched our cat run back and forth chasing a fly that got in the house. She finally caught it … and ate it. I’m glad I was already done eating. I’m going to take a little trip down to see my dad tomorrow. He’s recovering from knee surgery and I want to make sure he doesn’t need anything done.

One request before I close – I have something brewing that I am hoping might pan out for me. I will be looking into it further this week. If you would be so kind as to pray for me, or send positive vibes, I’d appreciate it very much.

Thanks for reading!

Tunes from Toons

thebeatles-wallpaper_blogspot_com_cartoon1

I spent a lot of time in the car with my sons this past weekend.  My oldest son asked me if I remembered some of the shows he used to watch as a kid.  We began listing the shows he and his brother watched and had many laughs as we remembered specific episodes.  This led to us talking about songs from shows. With every song we recalled, the more I thought about the possibility of it being a topic for a blog.

The picture above may be a little misleading.  The Beatles cartoons all featured a Beatles song.  There were cartoons that were about bands like Josie and the Pussycats, Jabberjaw, Butch Cassidy, The Banana Splits, The Archies, and The Chipmunks.  I am not talking about these cartoons.  This blog is about songs that were featured in cartoons NOT about bands.

The songs I wrote down are all songs that I remember instantly when I think about these cartoons.  They are NOT the theme songs to the cartoons themselves, although many of those theme songs are just awesome.  Some of these songs will stem from cartoons my kids watched, while many will be from toons I watched growing up.

I also want to point out that these songs are NOT from movies.  Almost every Disney film has 2-5 songs that come from them.  Yes, they are animated cartoons, but I am specifically talking about non-movie songs.

Let me start with a classic.  In the Bugs Bunny cartoon “Hillbilly Hare”, an innocent square dance becomes a physical brawl between two brothers (thanks to Bugs).  This scene and song was something my morning show partner and I talked about on the air one day!

My brother grew up watching Animaniacs.  We always laughed that they had a character based on Perry Como, who they called Perry Coma. Anyway, they have a few songs that stand out – one naming all the countries in the world, another naming all the presidents (up to Clinton, if I remember right), and one naming the all the states and their capitals.  I wish I had this song to memorize when I was growing up.

There was a season of Scooby Doo where they would play songs during the “chase scenes”.  There was always one song that stood out for me.  I never knew the name of it until I found it on an album of Scooby Doo songs.  It was called “Tell Me, Tell Me”.  Remember this one?

My boys watched a lot of SpongeBob Squarepants.  There were some episodes that were very funny, and others I found extra annoying.  One song from this show that my boys just loved was “Sweet Victory”, which they performed at the “Bubble Bowl”

They weren’t all “Rock” songs, but the Flintstones certainly had a few that stick out to me.  Hoagy Carmichael (one of the great songwriters of all time) appeared as himself on the show and sang “Yabba Dabba Doo”, there was the Soft Soap jingle, “Listen to the Rockin’ Bird”, and my favorite – The Bedrock Twitch, sung by Rock Roll (or in this clip, Fred).

There are some who would argue that the best song from the Flintstones came from Pebbles and Bamm Bamm, so here is that one.

There was one song from the Jetsons that I always remember.  Judy loves singer Jet Screamer (played by Howie Morris).  Elroy’s secret code gets sent into a song writing contest and becomes his next hit record.  Remember Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah?

An earworm that drove parents everywhere crazy came from the Ren & Stimpy Show.  Time to get Happy Happy with Stinky Wizzleteats…

The Simpson’s has had their share of amazing music in their over 30 years on the air.  There have even been albums of just music from the show.  There is one little gem that I can’t get enough of – and it is only about 45 seconds long.  Homer becomes a Stonecutter and they have their own song!  Yes, I often hit repeat when this comes on the iPod.

Ok, technically, this entire cartoon is a song.  I have to include it on my list, because, well, it’s my list and I love this!  Stan Freberg tells the story of the Three Little Bops with music by Shorty Rogers!

If I had to pick one cartoon that I LOVED watching with my kids, it would be Phineas and Ferb.  If you have never seen the show, its just plain fun with a new song in almost every episode.  Candace is always trying to bust her brothers (Phineas and Ferb – who make the most out of every single day of summer) while Perry (their pet platypus – who is also a secret agent) tries to save the Tri-State area from the evil scientist Dr. Doofenshmirtz.

There are many songs I could pick from (My Undead Mummy and Me, My Nemesis, My Goody Two Shoes Brother, Busted, S.I.M.P – Squirrels In My Pants, and Perry’s Theme), but I will turn to one of their early episodes for my favorite.

In one episode, Flop Starz, they decide to write a hit song.  Their mom explains what a “one hit wonder” is and they are off to write it!  The result – Gitchee Gitchee Goo.  The song itself has been reviewed by critics who have said that the song could have easily been a hit song!

Your turn.  What songs do YOU remember from your favorite cartoon shows?

long-haired-hare-d643b641-3ece-46bc-881d-ef2fb8dfa0a-resize-750

Doodles

20190528_165529

I have never been able to draw. I wish I could. I have friends of mine who are very talented and can draw almost anything. I just can’t. I guess that is why growing up, I used a lot of tracing paper – because that was really the only way anything I attempted to draw would come out right. I traced a lot of cartoons and pictures. The minute I had to actually sit and draw something, forget it! I just can’t do it!

I remember in junior high, there was a guy who drew these amazing war planes.

kissclipart-military-clip-art-clipart-airplane-military-clip-a-99dfce0abcb4c4fa

They didn’t have a pilot in them like the above drawing. He always seemed to draw some sort of angry face at the cone of the front of the plane. They always looked cool. He always reminded me of Dorfman doodling in class in the movie Animal House.

In high school, we had a guy who drew an entire deck of cards. Instead of Old Maid, it was called Old Stoner. The game played like Old Maid, except the matching were all related to drinking or drugs, and the Old Stoner was the card you wanted to avoid. He may or may not have appreciated that this earned him the nick name “Old Stoner” throughout high school. He also drew other band kids – I blogged about it in a post entitled “Mr. Shirley” sometime last year.

Dan Provenmire is one of the co-creators of the fantastic cartoon Phineas and Ferb. He was also the voice of the evil scientist, Dr. Doofenshmirtz on the show. I follow him on Twitter and he often posts his past and present “doodles” on there. He has posted early doodles that were tweaked into the characters on the cartoon, as well as other doodles. Again, it amazes me how talented people are! His “doodles” are far superior to any scribble I could ever attempt.

516NCbSeo3L

Every year, Google holds a contest where kids “doodle” for a chance to be the “Google Doodle”. Google them and you will see that there are some VERY talented kids!!

Google-banner-640x332

9549315

Every year, I used to go out to the Michigan Renaissance Festival. I would always stop at a booth where this caricature artist was drawing people. I had him draw my sons one year. I would watch him as he looked at them (or whoever he was drawing) and chuckle about whatever he was going to exaggerate. His name was Michael Lofton and he was VERY good! His website is here: http://www.loftonillustrations.com/loftonil.htm

jbilushe

So what brings about this blog about doodles and drawing? I saw a story this week about a 9 year old kid from England who kept getting in trouble for doodling in class. His parents were cool, though and embraced his love for drawing and enrolled him in some art classes. Here’s where it gets cool – his art teacher loved his doodles so much, he posted them on Instagram. A restaurant owner saw them and liked them so much, he PAID this boy to doodle on one of the walls of his restaurant!

The boy admits that because the wall was so large, he was scared that he wouldn’t be able to fill the entire thing! Once he started, everything flowed and it came out great! The boy’s name is Joe Whale and you can follow him on Instagram by searching for “The Doodle Boy”

The-Doodle-Boy-4

How cool is that?! I gotta give this kid major kudos! He’s a very talented young man! Kudos also need to go out to his parents for encouraging him to continue to do what he loves!

Deep down I know I will NEVER be as talented as some of the great artists I have mentioned here. Every once in a while I will doodle something, but it is usually just a scribble or mess. The best I can do is a doodle of myself that I use when I sign thank you cards at work. I guess I could do that here, too….

IMG_20191109_130808004 (4)