Sound Off

Today I was going through my iPhone and changing up some ringtones and sounds. Life is too dull with only having the default sound effects set up. I would like to say that I often change up my ringtones, but it’s more like once a year. Usually my phone is on silent/vibrate. But lately I’ve been wanting to hear it again.

I realized that the ringtones I have are from movies, video games, and some of my favorite songs. After years of using these themes, I still like to hear them. Pretty sure that subconsciously, when others hear my ringtones, it brings up feelings and memories. I know that a couple of weeks ago, when I was using the ringtone from “Episodes” it caught people’s attention. Mostly because it is a very irritating theme. Also, I was getting a lot of phone calls, so even I was getting irate.

I guess that this is what makes life a bit more interesting. Sound effects are everywhere. But we become so accustomed to them that they get filtered out. I sometimes add my own from my mouth just for fun. Nothing like singing a line from a song before answering the phone. “Who can it be now?” Or yelling out “Boom” as you hit enter on on email.

These are my current sounds. I love the Disney Turnstile beep. It’s one of those sounds that you hear in Disneyland all the time, but ignore.

I’m always on the hunt for new sounds/songs. What do you have set for your phone?

Two Decades Old

Over the past couple of days I have decided to listen to some of my older music. It started because of the other day watching Aggretsuko and remembering my love of heavy metal music. So out came some of my favorite cds and the tunes got cranked in my car.

Because of my eclectic tastes in music, I ventured far from my heavy metal albums and re-discovered some other classics from about 20 years ago that I listened to constantly. My drive in to work the past couple of days has been memorable because of these albums:

1995 Faith No More: King For a Day… Fool For a Lifetime.

This album has some great songs on it. I can listen to it from start to finish and then start again. I’m thinking that at my funeral “Just A Man” needs to be played.

1996 White Zombie: Super Sexy Swinging Sounds.

This album is a killer disco style remix version of Astro Creep 2000. Not many diehard Zombie fans appreciated this album. I found it to be a clever crossover of Industrial Metal and Electronic Music.

1996 Pulp: Different Class

This one is a Britpop style of album. The lyrics are gritty and tell a story in almost every song. Something about hearing “Let’s all meet up in the year 2000…” that reminds me of how old this album really is. And how old I am…

1998 Prozzäk: Hot Show

This one is a guilty pleasure. A quirky Canadian pop duo with catch phrases such as “Sucks To Be You” running rampant in a fun upbeat tempo.

I miss listening to an album all the way through. I’m glad I’ve dusted these ones off and given the laser in my car’s stereo something to do.

I Don’t Mind The Sun Sometimes

Sometimes a song just flows you into life. Or a momentary experience brings forth a lyric or two that just seem to fit the mood. This was my afternoon drive to get the kids from school in Fort Langley.

“They were all in love with dying they were drinkin’ from a fountain

That was pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain.”

“I don’t mind the sun sometimes- the images it shows.

I can taste you on my lips and smell you in my clothes.”

The jacket I was wearing had a faint odor of chemical cleaner. The strange thing was it reminded me of a life twenty-five years ago. A time when girls wore scented lipgloss and fruity perfumes.

“Cinnamon and sugary and softly spoken lies.

You never know just how you look through other people’s eyes.”

Sharing my life and these moments are the best I can do to show the world who I am.

Song lyrics courtesy of

“Pepper” By Butthole Surfers

Boogie Fever

Twenty two years ago, when I was 19, I used to go to night clubs and dance. I never cared what I looked like. Probably because I was drunk and outgoing. I’m still outgoing and don’t care what I look like. So it doesn’t stop me from dancing. Even sober.

Eleven to fifteen years ago, when I worked at Chuck E. Cheese’s there was lots of dancing. That made the job fun and entertaining. Plus the bad cover songs being performed by the animatronic rodent and the tv screens ended up being a foundation for my children’s musical tastes. “Our Mouse, and His Name is Chuck E Cheese” sung like “Our House” by Madness still haunts me. But when the song Boogie Fever would come on- I’d bust out some moves after hours while we cleaned up pizza crusts and finger prints off the arcade games.

Nowadays, the only chance I get to show off my moves is at weddings or driving in my car. Sometimes I strut down the stairs like I’m reliving a moment from the film “Saturday Night Fever“- ready to hit the town and own the dance floor. But I usually just end up in the kitchen dancing around the stove as I make breakfast.

Ya, Disco is kinda my thing. As well as Star Wars. The Star Wars Disco is the greatest thing ever. I think it should be played at my funeral. Just sayin’… Disco is not dead. Yet.

Just Music?

On my drive to work today, these were a collection of the songs I listened to:

Peter Gunn by The Art Of Noise

It’s music that just sounds like it’s from a 1970’s/1980’s film. Jazzy and techy. Fun to drive to.

Mama Mia by ABBA

A great disco tune. One that I know the words to. I love singing to this and bouncing around in my car.

More Human Than Human by White Zombie

This song just gets me going. It has a killer beat and drums along.

My Sunday morning drive is usually an eclectic arrangement of fun music that I enjoy. The drive home was NEWS Radio. That my usual Sunday. The rest of the week is mostly talk radio and podcasts.

Music and Milk Crates

Christmas is over and packed away in our home. As I mentioned about a month ago in Living Rearranged we were going to make a “Music Room” after the holidays. This was a place to keep our grand piano, guitars, drum kit, and other instruments out and accessible for use. My wife and I are hoping that this setup continues our children’s love of music throughout the years.

Besides the instruments, my wife wanted our music collection out as well. Our cds had been packed away in an old steamer trunk for nearly a decade. There hasn’t been much use for cds since downloading or streaming music has become the norm over the past few years. Seeing our combined collection of over 400 discs surprised me. I forgot how much I used to enjoy entering a record store on a Tuesday and buying an album for one or two songs. Oftentimes not listening to the rest of the songs more than once or twice.

Another discovery in the back of a storage closet was some old records. I moved them from boxes into some old milk crates to increase the nostalgia level. There is a collection of good and bad music that we either owned or inherited from family members. Some of our vinyl dates back to the 1960’s and 50’s. I have a couple of disco albums done in a string orchestra style from my parents that intrigue me. My wife has a healthy collection of 1980’s albums that she wants to listen to once more. With only our daughter having a record player, she is essentially in charge of what we will listen to.

Music always brings out memories and emotions in everyone. It should not be locked away, but rather shared with the world. That is our goal with our music room- sharing the joy that comes from all of the different aspects.

Belting Out Song Lyrics

I am a terrible singer. I don’t even try. But I do have fun.

I end up having more fun mocking the styles of the artists I hear by over-exaggerating their sound. Sometimes it’s just loud mumbles until the chorus. Then I own that shit! I’ve done that at pubs and bars- sometimes in the middle of a live performance by a cover band. Shocking everyone.

I really enjoy flipping radio stations in the car when my kids are with me. I’ll sing portions of songs, then switch to find another that I know, just to switch it to another. This is also done at extremely loud decibels. That way people outside the car can hear it as well.

Did I mention that I not only drum on the steering wheel, but also dance in the car or make motions with my hands to the lyrics? There has been times where I’ve stopped the car and continued to sing and dance in the driver seat while people walk past. Only to have them smile and do a little jig for a moment before catching themselves. Life can’t always be serious and stagnant.

We’re here for a good time. Not a long time. So have a good time.

Jing-A-Ling

After my daughters’ Large Ensemble performance yesterday, we drove home listening to Christmas music. We had Sirius XM Holiday Traditions playing when a song came on that got us all hyper. It was one that I don’t remember ever hearing before. I know it was a classic because it had that sound of old Christmas songs…

The Andrews Sisters were belting out a quick paced “Jing-a-ling Jing-a-ling” in our car. The golden age of the swing era had us smiling and laughing the entire way home. We kept reciting the lines over and over with a rigorous “HAHA! HOHO!” thrown in. When we got home, both girls were excitedly asking to buy the song on iTunes.

I forked over the 99¢ to purchase the song. Within moments, it was on three of our cellphones ready to play. Instant gratification. No waiting for the radio to play it again in their rotation. No having to wait until the next day to see if the record store would have it in stock.

Today consisted of my daughters playing the song for their friends in school. A classic Christmas tune from 1951 brought to life by a couple of teen girls in 2017. When I picked them up from school, we listened to it again in the car. Never in my life did I expect such joy to be found in a Christmas song.

There are many holiday songs that we love to sing along with, but this New to Us song will be remembered for years to come.

“Jing-a-ling Jing-a-ling”

Jazzy Warm Up

Tonight is the final concert of 2017 at our children’s school. We have arrived early (as usual) to drop off our kids and get good parking. The show starts at 7pm, but the teachers want the students here 30-60 minutes early for warm up.

My wife and I are pretty much the first in line to go into the auditorium. The doors are open slightly and the senior jazz band is doing one last rehearsal to test the acoustics and microphones. As we wait outside the doors, we are getting treated to some well performed jazz.

The kids at this school put a lot of effort into their performances. I enjoy coming to these shows to hear them. Being a Fine Arts School, there’s always a higher caliber of skill sets. As we hear the warm up, I’m happy that we got our children into this school. I’m proud that they have taken on the challenges as well.

As we wait for the show, I get to speak with other parents of these talented children. This is the kind of show that packs an auditorium. Line ups are forming for the door and the ticket booth with still forty minutes before the performance begins. I’m glad to be here early enough to be able to get a great seat with my wife. The show will be sensational. I’m looking forward to it.

Alvin & The Chipmunks & Me

When I was younger I listened to “A Chipmunk Christmas” album over and over and over… and over… I memorized every song- word for word. I even followed along in the storybook and memorized that as well. Not bad for a five year old boy back in 1981.

I would sit in my bedroom on my bunk bed and daydream about being a part of the story. I listened to the record so much that the needle wore out on my record player. Not to mention a couple scratches were made as I attempted to play songs on repeat.

I also tried to draw the Chipmunks (with me in their world). Living in Edmonton as a child made it easy to imagine a winter wonderland. As the years went on, I watched cartoons and fantasized even more about living in magical worlds. A part of me never wanted to grow up.

And I kept my album.

Last year, we gave our daughter a portable record player. She listened to my album as her first ever record on the player. It made me happy to know that I was able to pass on a bit of magic. Even if she is a teenager, she still loves sharing in my nostalgia.

When she played the album, I sat with her. The little boy inside of me smiled with joy. A feeling of butterflies inside my stomach overcame me. The Chipmunks have brought me joy for over 35 years.

This week I plan on listening to the album again. Probably when I’m alone in our peaceful and serene home before Christmas break.

The golden harmonica will fill my heart with joy once more.