Friday Playlist

As promised last week, a video and playlist of older songs I’ve heard on SiriusXM over the past 15 days or so.

“Bye Bye Love” – The Cars.
I heard this song a week or so ago on one of the SiriusXM throwback stations. As I listened, and considered it’s greatness, I thought about how many hits The Cars had over the years. I bet most people, when asked to name their three favorite Cars songs, wouldn’t think of “Bye Bye Love.” Yet the handful of times I hear it each year, I think it might be their best song. That genius opening salvo, with the entire band coming in together. The central riff the song is built around. A terrific chorus. The dueling synthesizer and guitar solos. It’s a damn fine song that represents pretty much all that The Cars were about.

That got me thinking more, and I’d like to share the theory I came up with: The Cars are one of the most underrated bands of all-time. Go back and look at their list of hit singles. From 1978 to 1984, they had a pretty great run. A lot of very good songs that have stood the test of time and became even more popular over the years. Look at their debut, self-titled album. It’s freaking amazing.

But here’s the thing: since they were such an interesting blend of styles, they never defined a specific genre. They weren’t just a new wave band, or just a rock band, or just a power pop band, or just a synthesizer band, or just a guitar band, or just an art-rock band. They were all of those in equal measures. And because they straddled so many different sounds, they were never the best of any of them. Which means we think of Blondie and the Talking Heads and Tom Petty and Marshall Crenshaw and Duran Duran and probably half a dozen other bands before we think of them when counting up the best bands of their era.

The Cars were freaking great. The best of their era? No. But they should absolutely be in the conversation.

“(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again” – L.T.D. I’ve said many times one of the great gifts my parents gave me was a wide and varied base of musical influences. There was a little bit of everything in our house when I was growing up, including a healthy dose of soul/R&B. This was a jam a lot of my friends heard only on AT40. But it, and stuff from Earth, Wind, & Fire, the Commodores, etc. was in heavy rotation in our living room. Just a freaking great song, with Jeffrey Osborne throwing down some serious vocals.

“Play The Game Tonight” – Kansas. I joked last week about Kansas putting out a new album. I’m always a little surprised that I hear this song a few times each year. Most amazingly, I heard it several times during the warm-up music when I was still out covering high school sports. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible either.

“World Where You Live” – Crowded House. I’m a huge fan of CH, and of all of Neil Finn’s work over the years. Was glad this popped up on the First Wave station earlier this week. It’s not a CH song that gets much airplay. But it’s a reminder of how good the band was, and how amazing their first album was.

“I’m A Believer” – The Sheila Divine. Speaking of great debut albums, TSD’s The New Parade was one of the great “Should Have Been Huge But Was Ignored” albums of the early ‘00s. I just discovered that they put out a new album a year ago, after many years of doing other things. I’ll have to check it out.

School Daze

Our academic year is off to a decent start. The girls got their mid-quarter progress reports a couple weeks back, and all three are doing well.

C has really taken to fourth grade, which is when the teachers at St. P’s begin pushing students to be self-motivated for getting their work done. Unlike the K–3 years, we don’t have to review her assignments and sign her folder every night. She’s done a great job of balancing her practices and games for kickball and cross country, getting all her school work done, and still having some time to herself each night. With fall sports winding down – she has one more week of running – I hope she stays as focused once she has more free time.

M had a good progress report, too. After those two years of getting more independent in 4th and 5th grades, the St. P’s middle school teachers really start hammering the kids to get them ready for high school entrance exams in 8th grade. M is never happy at how much work she has to bring home, but she does a pretty solid job of knocking it out between dinner and bedtime. A couple of her teachers are notorious for being extremely nit-picky when it comes to getting things turned in correctly. We know several families with very smart kids who have gotten horrible grades because they aren’t able to lock in those little details the teachers want. So far – knock on wood – M has yet to trip up on any of those little landmines.

From our perspective as parents, M’s school year has not felt all that different. Sure, she’s in middle school, but she’s in the same hallway she spent the past two years. We drop her off and pick her up at the same time and building as her sisters.

But over the past couple weeks it’s starting to hit home that she’s in a different academic stage than her sisters. She’s getting mail from the two high schools that the majority of St. P’s students go to, CHS and BCHS. Some of the mailings are just passes for sports events, which she had been getting for a year or so.

What’s been different this year is that she is getting mail – and I am getting emails – that are more formal recruiting pitches. She’s been invited to open houses at each school, to informational nights at St. P’s for both schools, and to private open houses at the homes of St. P’s families who have kids at each high school.

Getting so many of those in the past two weeks has been a big reminder of where she is in her academic life. She’s advanced beyond the building block years and is now taking bigger steps in developing her mind. Grades are beginning to mean something. Just showing up in class and being cheerful isn’t enough to keep you in the A-/B+ range. And for a lot of families, it’s time to begin weighing the different high schools choices available to them.[1]

There’s not much of a debate in our house. S and her siblings all went to CHS,[2] and that’s where we’ve always planned on sending the girls. After they spent some time on the CHS campus last winter when L played basketball there, they were all convinced that was the school for them. We do leave the door slightly cracked that the girls could attend BCHS. It’s a little closer, and way more convenient in the years we’ll have kids at two schools. It’s more affordable. They will have many friends who go there. There’s also a much newer Catholic high school, GCHS, just three miles straight up the road from our neighborhood that is fantastic as well. But it’s the opposite direction from St. P’s, so any advantage it gets for being more proximal to home is eliminated by how it would complicate our daily travel until L is a freshman.

So let’s say 90% CHS, 9% BCHS, and 1% GCHS.

It’s a fairly stress-free decision for us. We’ll make it once in the next couple years for M, and then her sisters will follow her.[3] Despite that lack of drama in our process, it’s still hard to believe we’ve reached the point where we have to start taking it seriously.

One other quick note about the early school year. At the risk of jinxing us, we’ve had pretty awesome mornings getting ready for school. My first alarm goes off at 6:40. I hit snooze once and get the girls up just after 6:50. We have a quick breakfast and then they get dressed, brush teeth, fix hair, etc. We meet back downstairs to get lunches ready on days they’re taking one. Bags get packed up, clothes for after-school activities set aside so I can bring them to pickup, and we review the calendar for what’s on the agenda for the evening.

I can drop them off any time between 7:30 and 7:55, and generally aim to get them there earlier to avoid the parking lot backup that begins around 7:45. Last year, we were often out the door between 7:25–7:30. Most mornings this year everyone has been ready to go by 7:20. This morning, they were all sitting around, completely prepped to leave the house, at 7:10! And I think we’ve only had crying in the morning twice so far this year. It wasn’t that long ago that we had tears more like four times a week.

Some of the credit for their briskness in the morning goes to Catholic school. They have uniforms, so there are no decisions to be made about what to wear. They can’t wear makeup, so there’s no lengthy morning bathroom time to get their looks just right.

But the bulk of the credit goes to them. Maybe it’s just done to avoid being yelled at when they can’t find their backpacks or shoes or jacket when dad is trying to get them out the door at 7:27. I think it’s more a matter of them maturing and understanding the morning is easier for all of us if they take care of their business without delay.

  1. Best way to break the ice at a social gathering of private school families: ask what their high school plans are. Guaranteed 45 minute discussion if you can rope enough people into it.  ↩
  2. As did their dad.  ↩
  3. We have neighbors who sent their kids to CHS a decade ago. The first son picked it but then the second fell in love with the Jesuit school across town. They told him unless he could scrape up 100% financial aid at the Jesuit school, and find a ride every day, he was following his brother’s footsteps. He ended up doing just fine at CHS.  ↩

The Fanboy

Friday night was fun. Perhaps it didn’t live up to every expectation I had for the evening, but my philosophy for the night was I would not complain about anything that involved a free concert by my favorite band within almost throwing distance of my house. There was a quibble here and there, but overall it was a very good evening.

We were going with our friends K and T. K went to the Frightened Rabbit show with me last April, and he and his wife T went to the Revivalist show with us a couple weeks back. Because of work schedules, T and I got to the restaurant hosting the show right after 5:00, when doors opened. There was a long line to get in, so I knew that our chances of grabbing one of the few tables that would allow a direct view of the stage were shot. We checked in, confirmed all the best tables were taken, and wandered toward the back of the place. There were several long tables in the game room that were completely empty. They were to the side and slightly behind the “stage,”[1] but offered a direct line-of-sight. We quickly claimed the four seats closest to the stage.

That’s when I noticed most of the band were playing shuffleboard right behind us. I nudged T and said, “That’s the band right there.” She’s a bit of a firecracker and started working me right away. “Are you freaking out? Just a little bit? OK, which one is the lead singer? You’re going to go say hello, right?”

So two things about me my oldest friends probably know: I’ve never been comfortable interacting with famous people, and if I have to speak in public in any way, I will quietly, stressfully, think through 1000 variations of what I can say. Knowing there was going to be a raffle after the show for a meet-and-greet with the band, yes, I did devote a ton of time Friday thinking of exactly what to say if I was lucky enough to get picked. But here I was, sitting less than five feet away from the band with a chance to have a private moment. That reluctance to bother a celebrity kicked in, though, and I waited for someone else to make the first move. It didn’t take long. A couple people sidled over to the lead singer, Scott Hutchison, said hello, and asked to take a picture. He seemed cool with it so when the band was on the opposite end of the shuffleboard table, I told T, “OK, next time they come down, I’m going over. Can you take a picture?” Of course she could, she said. Just then K arrived. As the band moseyed their way toward us, I handed him my phone, explained my plan, took a deep breath, and walked over.

“Excuse me, Scott?” Hutchison turned with eyebrows raised. “Hi, can I bother you for a minute to take a picture?” I have no idea what his response was, but I think it was affirmative. I offered my hand and said, “It’s really nice to meet you.” He shook it and said something back, I think along the lines of “it’s nice to meet you, too.” I had not shared my name. Did that make it awkward? It’s not like he’s going to remember me, right?

Anyway, K snapped a few pics and I turned and shook Scott’s hand again. “Thanks very much, I really appreciate it!” He pumped my hand and thanked me for coming to the show. I bounced back to my seat while trying not to trip on anything or otherwise make an ass of myself.[2]

This is a fine moment to remind you all I’m 45 years old. I felt about 14 for the 15–20 seconds that our encounter lasted. Good times, though! S rolled in a few minutes later and I happily showed her my pics.

As for the show, it was solid. Our seats were not great for sound. All the speakers were pointed away from us, so we got a rather muddled mix of the vocals and instruments, except for the drums. We were just to the left of the drum kit and they often overpowered the rest of the sound. I tried to squeeze around to get closer to the stage but there just wasn’t much room. I could get where I could hear better, but not see a thing. We had ordered food anyway, so I went back to my seat to eat.[3]

“The Woodpile”

The band generally sticks to a fixed set list. They ran through the first five songs on their usual list, then began paring it down. They ended up playing a single set of about 45 minutes, 10 songs where they normally play 15–17. It was an all-ages show, probably explaining why a few of their songs that have more obvious curse words in them got cut.[4]

It was a quick, tidy show. Again, it was free and in my zip code. No complaints. K, T, and S all passed me their raffle tickets for the meet-and-greet, but sadly none of our numbers got picked. I thought it might have been awkward to get picked anyway. “Hey, I bothered you before the show. I’m back!” We finished up our dinner and drinks and were out of the place by 7:30. Not the most terrible Friday night I’ve ever had. Hopefully two shows in Indy in five months isn’t too much to keep the band from coming back when they tour their next album. If they come through town again, I’ll be there again.

  1. More of an alcove than a stage.  ↩
  2. To see the pic, check my Facebook feed.  ↩
  3. It felt very, very weird to be eating while watching my favorite band play.  ↩
  4. K and I were wagering on whether “Keep Yourself Warm” would make the list, with it’s line of “It takes more than fucking someone, to keep yourself warm.” It was not played.  ↩

Just Once

Music post #2 for the day. Consequence of Sound released their list of the top 100 one-hit-wonders of all time earlier this week. It’s a lot of fun.

All music lists are ripe for being picked apart for any number of reasons. I think one-hit-wonder lists are especially troublesome.

You can argue for hours about how to define a one-hit-wonder band in the first place. For example, Kris Kross had another top 20 song (“Warm It Up” peaked at #13), but 95% of people only remember “Jump”). Then you get into whether the songs are actually good vs. their cultural impact.

In general, I’m a fan of how COS picked their list. I can argue with some placements, but I like that they went with quality over impact. As they say in the intro, they genuinely like all of these songs. There’s no “Macarena” or “Disco Duck” on this list. I also dig that they look at the whole rock era, going back into the 1950s for a couple songs.

It’s a good list. Go read it and listen to a few either through the embedded YouTube videos or their Spotify playlist.

The 100 Best One-Hit Wonder Songs

Winning & Friday Vid

It’s a big music day around here. I had a nice Friday Playlist ready to go – mostly built on older songs this week – but I’ve decided to hold that off until next week so I can focus on a couple other music-related things to share.

That’s right, Kansas has a new album out today! (Insert record scratching sound here.) That’s actually true, which is bizarre. But, no, that’s not what has me excited today.

I’ve never won anything on a radio contest. Not concert tickets, not an album before its release date, not passes to get into some other event. Not even a free burrito. When I was a kid I would call into radio station giveaways quite often, but always waited in vain for notification that I was a big winner. To be fair, it’s been a long, long time since I even attempted to register for a radio giveaway. Adulthood has generally meant I could buy the concert tickets or albums I wanted.

So, yeah, I won some concert tickets this week. That’s cool on its own, just given my history with hoping to get free loot from a media enterprise. What’s more interesting – at least to me – is the the band involved and how I won.

My normal morning music routine on my drive to school and back is the girls listen to Radio Disney on the way to school and the moment they get out, I begin running through my SiriusXM favorites. The only real exceptions are when I’m listening to a new album by an artist I really like. I don’t even have any local stations stored in my favorites. I just don’t listen to over-the-air radio in the car.

Two weeks ago, though, S and I switched vehicles for the day so I could take hers in for an oil change. She does not have satellite radio and we no longer have a Radio Disney station in Indy. So we were listening to the “smart, hipster” station we listen to at the lake. Or kind of half-listening. Pretty sure I was yelling at one of the girls about something. Between songs the DJ was talking and I caught only a bit of what he said. I swore he said something about Frightened Rabbit playing a private show for the station’s anniversary. In Indy. At a restaurant we pass every morning on the way to school. But that couldn’t be right. Why on earth would they play there?

I kicked the kids out at school and raced home to do some research. Sure enough, Frightened Rabbit are playing a show tonight less than four miles from my house! Tickets were not available for public purchase, though. Instead you had to join the station’s VIP club and then click a link each day to put your name in the pool of people who would get passes. I set a reminder for every morning at 9:00 and dutifully clicked for both myself and an account I set up for S. If my favorite band is playing within jogging distance of my house, I had to be there!

Winners were supposed to be announced Wednesday, but Tuesday I got a message saying I had won! Those daily clicks paid off! Another friend won as well, so tonight S, I, and our friend will go watch Frightened Rabbit sing sad songs in a very small venue. I’m almost as wound up for the show as I was for M’s kickball game the other day.

I have no idea what to expect. Will it be the full band or just the lead singer? He occasionally does solo appearances under the band’s name. Will it be acoustic or plugged in? Since this is a late addition to their tour and between scheduled shows in Illinois and Ohio, will they play a full set or just do a few songs and call it a night? Will there be 500 people there, or will it be so sparsely attended that I can get right up on stage, perhaps even pulled up on stage to sing a few with the band when they notice I know every word to every song?

OK, that last one is a little ridiculous. I told you I was a little wound up about this.

I was beyond excited when the band added Indy to their spring tour and I got to see them back in April. But to see them twice in a year, and once in a rather intimate setting just down the road from my house? Way more than I could have asked for.

In honor of the lads’ appearance here tonight, for today’s vid I offer up this one I found last night, which could offer some hints of how they will tackle tonight. It’s a small club performance from 2010 in San Francisco, the night before they played the Filmore for the first time. It’s pretty, pretty good.

Splat and Drat

It was not to be. M’s kickball team got routed in the city championship game yesterday, 27–1 in five-plus innings.[1] Their opponents were just too good in every aspect of the game.

St. B’s had a 5–0 lead after one, 10–1 after two, and 13–1 after three. Although the margin wasn’t great at that point, the game felt over. Our girls looked defeated and were struggling to make plays they had made all year. A ten-run fourth killed any hopes of a comeback.

As good as St. P’s was on defense, St. B’s was even better. They were throwing out girls at first from deep short. Consistently. I’ve seen that play made once or twice all season in our games[2] and they pulled it off at least five times yesterday. When we got girls on base, St. B’s made the perfect play to get the lead runner every time. They had a girl kick two grand slams despite our outfield being pushed as deep as it’s been all year. They were just a fantastic team, and I’m not sure we could have beaten them once if we played nine more times.

There were a few bright spots. Although our girls really struggled yesterday, they were all in decent spirits after the game. Our coach said she thought that was the first time this group has ever lost a game where there weren’t a couple girls in tears afterward. The St. B’s coach complimented them after the game for their sportsmanship. St. B’s had been beating the crap out of people all season, and she said some of the teams they played were a little surly during and after games. She said she was really impressed with how our girls kept their heads up and were gracious after the game ended. And M got on base twice, one of only three St. P’s players that did that.

Our girls got a trophy for finishing second. And cupcakes. That had everyone smiling for the group photos all the parents demanded after the game. I know they were disappointed in the result, but they seemed to be bouncing back pretty quickly. One girl was already asking about the spring season. Maybe all those St. B’s girls will be playing soccer and we won’t have to worry about them in May.

  1. There’s a 25-run rule in kickball beginning in the middle of the 5th. St. B’s had a 22-run lead going into the bottom of the fifth. The umpires stopped the game when a three-run triple put them over the mercy rule threshold.  ↩
  2. Amazingly M was responsible for making one of those plays. The difference was she kind of flung the ball and hoped it ended up in the right spot – and got lucky – while the girl on St. B’s tossed perfect strikes to first every time.  ↩

Go Time

Game day!

In about nine hours we’ll have a new sixth grade city champion in kickball, and M’s team just might be that team. It’s a perfect day for kickball, too! It’s going to be hot and clear, which is ideal for heating the asphalt to well over 100° – so everyone – players, coaches, and families watching – is all sweating uncontrollably. I especially enjoy it when my sweat drips onto the scorebook and smears my notations.

Our coach went down to the semifinal game yesterday to do some scouting. We don’t have a final score yet, but our nemesis St. B’s was way ahead when she left, so we’re assuming they will be the opponent. She said they’re really good, but if our girls play defense the way they’re capable, we can absolutely win the game.

The girls all seem excited for the game. We’ll see if they’re still loose after school, or if any of them are as nervous as us parents will be. We tried to sneak in two practices, but as has been the story of this fall in Indy, Friday’s was interrupted by heavy rains that caused flash flooding. So we retired to Dairy Queen, which is a solid backup plan.

I got a good distraction from my nerves yesterday: for the first time in my life, I won tickets to a concert from a radio station give-away. I’m super, duper excited for the show I get to see, but that’s a whole other post that you’ll get to read tomorrow.

One other quick kickball story before I go try to distract myself from thinking about tonight’s game. My girls and I were out practicing kicking, pitching, and fielding in the cul-de-sac a couple nights ago. We were using a really old kickball that was worn down to a single shade of orange.[1] A neighbor down the street was walking his dog after work and saw us. A few minutes later he strolled over carrying a yellow playground ball.
A Real Kickball

“If you want to play kickball, you should use this,” he said as he offered the bouncy-ball to me.

“Ah, this IS a kickball, R!” I said as I passed him our Mikasa. “At least it is if you go to Catholic school in Indianapolis.”

I explained how the girls play for St. P’s, how I’m the coordinator, and my back-story of insulting S on our first date when she told me kickball was one of the sports she played growing up. He was flabbergasted.

“I thought that was a basketball! They really play with this? Do people get hurt? It’s so hard!”

My job is not just putting teams together, recruiting coaches, and issuing jerseys. Also I am an ambassador for the sport, spreading the truth of CYO kickball to the ignorant masses.

  1. Remember, CYO kickball uses the Mikasa S3030 kickball, which is hard like a basketball and checkered like a soccer ball.  ↩

Leaf Changin’ Time, Fools!

Awwwwww yeaaaaaaaaah! It’s leaf-changing season, ya’ll! That’s right, the time of year when your gutters are constantly overflowing with dead leaves and seed pods and your yard needs to be raked/mowed every 45 minutes so your lawn, which is still trying to recover from the summer, doesn’t get smothered before the winter. It’s also the time of year when we can suddenly see our douchebag neighbors who are blocked by our trees, bushes, and crazy weeds we let grow in the summer to gain a little privacy.

Sorry, I should focus on the positives of the season, which are many. For example, this very nice, adjustable map that shows when/where the best leaves for fall viewing will be. Go ahead and yank that slider left-and-right to perfectly time a visit to your local fall color wonderland.

Fall Foliage Prediction Map

Fall Sports Roundup

The countdown continues for the big kickball game Wednesday. Other things distracted me a bit over the weekend, but I imagine the nerves are going to start to kick in again later today.

The distractions were good ones, though. First, C had her best ever finish in her cross country meet Saturday. She finished 16th in her first meet of the year. She was running against 5th and 6th graders in that race and there were over 100 girls total in her race. A week ago, she fell into two mud puddles on a terribly sloppy course and still claimed 9th place in the 3rd/4th division.

This Saturday she was again running on a pretty wet course. Fortunately this one was mostly grass, so it was more spongey than muddy like the previous week. But it was also super humid and the sun popped up just as her race began. All the kids seemed to be struggling with the thickness of the air.

She was again running in a race that spanned four grades, but this week she would just be scored against the 3rd and 4th graders. But we had no way of telling which girls were in which category. One parent noticed that some of the girls had yellow numbers, others had white. We decided that must be the way to tell the two groups apart. We were wrong.[1] But we were counting the yellow numbers as they went by. And when C passed us, just before the finishing stretch, she was in 12th place and right on the heels of the girl in 11th. She didn’t quite catch that girl, but came in right at her PR time and was looking strong. It was a great race.

We were having guests over that evening, and this was a late afternoon race, so we didn’t stick around through the next three races to wait for the awards ceremony. I was shocked when I got a text a little after 5:00 saying C had finished 5th! Holy crap! She was again the fastest St. P’s 4th grader, two places behind our super-fast 3rd grader, and had two classmates in the top ten with her. I ran up to her room and told her. She got a silly grin on her face and said, “Since when did I finish 5th?!?!”

She’s doing a great job and having a lot of fun running.

Sunday was L’s second soccer game of the year. She moved up to U10 this year, which means a much bigger field (60 x 40 yards), 7 v. 7, and 25-minute halves rather than the small field (35 x 20 yards), 4 v. 4, and 8-minute periods U8 rules she played the last two years. And she’s a seven-year-old playing against kids that are beginning to get a lot bigger than her. She was humbled in her first few practices, when she couldn’t just get possession and weave through the defense at will then fire away. In fact, after one practice she decided she did not want to be a striker anymore and instead wanted to be a sweeper.

Their first game was pretty rough. They had a 2–0 lead at halftime, but the coaches made a poor choice in goal to start the second half and gave up four goals in about five minutes. Our kids ended up losing 7–4. L had one decent chance to score but couldn’t convert.

This week we got a better matchup, our kids looked more comfortable, and our coaches had the lineups a little better balanced. Just like last week, our kids broke through late in the first half and had a 2–0 lead at halftime.

That’s when homegirl decided to do her Roberto Baggio act. Early in the second half, she got the ball out wide right just over the midfield line. She angled toward the middle of the field, got a defender to turn and commit that way, and then cut the ball back hard right. That defender was toast. She got him spun around then cut back left again, dribbled through the 18-yard box, and fired a shot in from about six feet out. It was a pretty sweet play!

She had a couple more near-misses before she pulled off a Roberto Baggio play. She collected a loose ball in the corner and dribbled through about five defenders along the end line. She faked the goalie one way, took a quick touch to get an angle, and shot the ball by her with the outside of her foot. Another sweet-ass move, if dear old dad says so!

She had a third goal later, but the referee was out of position and didn’t give it to her. After the game, when I asked L if that ball went it, she said, “YES! That ref wasn’t even watching!” I liked her attitude and told her I was giving her credit for it anyway.[2] Her team won something like 8–0. We honestly quit paying attention once it got out-of-hand.

I think she’s more excited about being a striker again now that she’s seen she can score at this level.

  1. We never figured out what the difference between the yellow and white numbers were.  ↩
  2. Hey, we don’t keep official score in these games, so I can give my girl credit for a goal the ref robbed from her!  ↩

Friday Playlist

“Hard Girls” – KT Tunstall. Tunstall has been a little uneven over her past couple records. Her new album has not received great reviews, but the good songs are a return to the smart pop sound that was the core of her breakthrough.

“Buffalo Stance” – Neneh Cherry. One of the great one-hit-wonders of all time. A legitimately fantastic song that came along at just the right moment. I remember shooting around in Robinson Gymnasium one Friday afternoon my freshman year of college while the KU Crimson Girls practiced a routine to this one court over. Not sure why none of them were dazzled by my shooting percentage that day, which had to have been in the high 40% range!

“Kool Thing” – Sonic Youth. LL Cool J was involved in one of the great, early hip hop beefs as he and Kool Moe Dee went back-and-forth over several albums. But Sonic Youth just destroyed Uncle L on this track, a reaction to a rather tense interview vocalist Kim Gordon did with James Todd for Spin magazine. Big bonus for Chuck D’s presence.

“Wish I Knew You” – The Revivalists. S and I went to see these guys last Friday, our first show together in something like 11 years! We went with friends who suggested it, as we both just knew one song – this one – by the band. It was a decent show. I was surprised at how many people in the rather large crowd knew all the words to many of their songs. And I was impressed with how the band held this, which I’m guessing is their most successful single ever, for the final song of the night. And then stretched it out into a nearly eight minute jam. Go with your strengths, brothers!

“Heat Of The Moment” – Asia. Easy to mock now, but this was a monster hit back in the summer of ’82. I heard it this morning on SiriusXM and the first thing I thought of was the video, which seemed super innovative at the time. Your average five-year-old could whip up something 800 times more cool on their iPad today. The drummer is good for a laugh or two, and I always forget about that subtle cowbell in the final verse.