Tag Archives: Trax

I’ve Heard That Song a Million Times!

Now that I’ve come up with a new slant for my music blog, I had the thought that I will be commenting on songs I’ve heard a million times. How do I uncover new meaning in those songs? Have I taken them for granted perhaps?
     It’s like that question you’ve been asked, ‘If you were stranded on an island forever what music/ CD’S/ albums/only one iPod/New music player on the market that could never be updated ever again, what songs would you want with you forever?’ Not that I’m going to attempt any such list here (although maybe some of you could give me a top 10 to see what that yields), but it is a thought, if I never heard a new song ever again and only had one device that played music never to be updated ever again, what would I choose? Of course it’s easy to think of the songs and artists you could do without (send me those lists too!)!
     Back to my original thought: finding meaning in songs you’ve heard a million times. For example: “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. Unless you truly live in a hole where no music gets through or you literally only listen to anything other than pop rock and you know absolutely nothing about the show “Glee”, I think we can all say we have heard that song a million times.
     First, I like the song. It pretty much captures pop rock in it’s purest form. Girls like it, guys like it, it doesn’t irritate senior citizens too much and the song will never die. It is used in sporting events (living in San Francisco, the Giants use this as an anthem all season long), it is sung in karaoke bars across the world, it has made the writers of the song: Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry and Neal Schon very, very wealthy, assuming they haven’t sold the rights.
     Currently I am a bartender at two gay bars in San Francisco, 440 Castro and Trax. My theory is that if a fight broke out or everyone’s mood was sour, I could put this song on and instantly moods are lifted and fighting ends. In straight bars I imagine girls wooing and guys singing like Steve Perry. It will liven any party up, guaranteed!
     Now with every huge selling, beloved song are people who would rather stick glass in their ears than to hear that song again. Would ‘Don’t Stop Believin” be on the island with you or not?
    Below is the YouTube link to the song as well as the Wikipedia entry on the history of that song! Send me some lists and sometime I will blog my list!




Musical Interludes for the Weekend

As usual on a late Friday night, I start to browse through the web for new and old tunes to add to playlists for the 2 bars I work at.  One bar where I work, Trax (Haight St, SF, CA) is what you might expect from a dive bar on Haight (yes, that Haight St, yes those hippies back in the 60’s) is a very laid back dive.  The regulars are musically savvy ranging from jazz to current music and everything in-between.

The bar I work in
Trax: Where Destinies Collide

I love playing a song and seeing that misty look in their eyes as memories drift back to them.  Playing a tune they haven’t heard of in a long time or thought of for that matter.  I love playing for all ages, it’s a challenge that I look forward to fulfilling weekly.  I try to stay within certain parameters for a bar crowd: ie: nothing too depressing, nothing really slow and something that makes people generally happy and in a good mood.  Sometimes I strike out, but I think every DJ/bartender who brings their IPODS strike out at some point or another.  Music is a journey and sometimes, you step in shit just like in real life!!

So some music I stumbled on for this weekend:

Peter Bjorn and John“Second Chance”: They were the guys behind the mega hipster hit “Young Folks” in 2007.  That nice little whistling tune you would have stuck in your head for days on end.  Well now they are back with something a little more grittier and a departure from the whistling.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the tune “Young Folks” but this track kicks some serious ass for 3 guys that are listed in Rhapsody under the category “Dream Pop” (how the hell they come up with these genres are beyond me..?) And it seems they replaced the whistling with a cow bell! Gotta love the cow bell!  Check it out:

Now I’m a sucker for a rap song that loops a song in a decent manner.  I admit, I’m picky about my rap.  I can’t do gang bangin’ rap, I’m a 38 year old white gay male…I just don’t get the gang bangin’ rap.  Now if that is what you like: cool. To each his own.  I mostly favor women rappers vs male rappers ie: Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kim, etc. But I found this nice little rap jam via Gorilla Warfare Tactic with a tune called “Temptations” which I’m thinking is a double meaning: one being they sample a Temptations song (“Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”) and from what I can gather lyrically, maybe temptation is a theme as well..? Anyway, I think it’s a cool song so take a listen:

Another element in a song that will probably catch my attention is when a song starts out one way, then changes into something else in the middle and then go back to its beginning.  A good example is from way back in the day (well at least for me anyway) is Billy Joel’s “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant”, its 3 songs in one! Starts out slow, then gets mid tempo on your ass and then goes into full kick ass mode by 2:54!

So the song that I’m currently referring to with this element is Memory Tapes “Today Is Our Life”: it starts out slow and moody then it bursts into bright pop sweetness! Then by the end of the song you just have quiet synthesizer playing to fade. Below I have posted Billy Joel’s way of using the element of a song within a song and Memory Tapes after that:

Billy Joel – Scenes From An Italian Restaurant

Memory Tapes – Today Is Our Life

So that concludes another post here in Xanadu! Have a great weekend everyone!

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