Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Songs of the Moment 10/11/11 - Originals

Hey guys, I'm not going to be too descriptive with individual songs here, but this post has been on my mind for a while. A couple months ago I shared a few fabulous song covers here: http://aslickgimmick.blogspot.com/2011/08/songs-of-moment-8211-covers.html

Now I'm going to turn things around and pay homage to the artists who are shadowed by the more popular renditions of their tunes and melodies. Many pop artists' biggest hits aren't actually their own and quite frankly, that pisses me off! Let's pay respects to the real artists! I'll include all of the examples I can think of, but I'm sure there are many more.

1. Apache - Incredible Bongo Band
(Used by Sugarhill Gang in Apache (Jump On It))

2. Time of My Life (From Dirty Dancing)
(Used by Black Eyed Peas in The Time)

3.Hide and Seek - Imogen Heap
(Used by Jason Derulo in Whatcha Say)

4.Under Pressure - Queen
(Used by Vanilla Ice in Ice Ice Baby)

5. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
(Used by Kanye West in Stronger)

6.Misirlou - Dick Dale
(Used by Black Eyed Peas in Pump It)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Insight - Encouraging Words

Fantastic! Wonderful! Amazing! These words are meant to be morale boosters, but are they? Let's face it, these words are overused, but in my opinion, that isn't the problem. The problem is that we've stopped considering what they really mean. Just because we don't need to look them up in dictionary doesn't mean we're using them right. Have you ever connected "awesome" to "awe" or "fantastic" to "fantasy"? Let's take a few minutes and see what's really behind these idolized terms so you can make sure you're using them right. Here are some such words followed by their literal interpretations. Some are obvious, but others may give you a new perspective.

Fantastic - having to do with fantasy
Use this word and you're suggesting that something's too good to be true or otherwise "out of this world". Be careful with this one. A new song from your favorite artist may seem fantastic, but your score on the last math test probably isn't.

Wonderful - full of wonder
This word usually doesn't quite fit where people place it. Love can certainly be wonderful, but is your boyfriend/girlfriend? Paintings can be wonderful, but so is my sister's bad taste in music... If my teacher told me my paper was wonderful, I might be worried. I want to stick with excellence. Let's keep the wondering to a minimum.

Amazing - it amazes
In my opinion, this word is actually a pretty meaningful one if you actually mean it and in the right way. You may find your date's appearance amazing, but keep in mind that people often amaze us with their stupidity as well. Your call with this one.

Awesome - involving awe
Let's face it...this word has been trashed. Back in the day, this was used in the most fanciful and sophisticated of novels. Now it's a dull medium for hipsta spreckin'. So what is awe? Awe is the sort of thing that makes you stop in your tracks or drop your jaw. A funky beat isn't awesome. A breakdancer is fairly awesome. The Grand Canyon is mighty awesome.

Excellent - it excels
Excellent is a good word for your teacher to use to describe your writing assignment. Don't use it when you find out that your long-awaited package has arrived. Use this word when you think something is above average.

Remarkable - you're able to make a remark about it
I think this is a joke of a word and I laugh inside when I hear it used in a dramatic way. Really though, it means absolutely nothing when you say that something is remarkable. You can make a remark about every single thing that has ever existed. "The dust behind my nightstand stinks." There, now the dust behind my nightstand is remarkable. You get the point...avoid this word.
P.S. "It wasn't remarkable" = the ultimate paradox.

Fabulous - related to fables (imaginary or hard to believe)
Fabulous is a lot like fantastic, but it's harder to use seriously just because of how it sounds. Use this word when something seems almost impossible, and by impossible I mean actually impossible. Hercules is fabulous, but I've never been to a fabulous wedding. Focus on fictitious things here, like flying pigs; they are particularly fabulous.

Incredible - not credible (hard to believe)
Incredible is like a more realistic version of fabulous and fantastic, kinda like amazing. I think it's a pretty good one. The Bugatti travels at incredible speeds and skyscrapers can reach incredible heights. Honestly, I can't think of a case where incredible wouldn't fit your needs so long as you actually find the described object hard to believe. Same thing with amazing applies here though...stupid people can be quite incredible.

Extraordinary - Outside of ordinary
I'm a big fan of the sound and meaning of this word...it really makes something seem special. The spouse of your dreams is extraordinary, your favorite song is extraordinary, the high score in the class is extraordinary. Take care with how much you use this word though. The more things you make extraordinary, the less extraordinary they all are. If you call everything extraordinary, then nothing is extaordinary.

Well there you have it. I know this is largely a matter of taste, but realize that you aren't going to find 'incredible' in the thesaurus entry for 'amazing'. These words aren't interchangeable and they mean more than we often care to consider. Let's try to resurrect these words by putting some more thought into how they're used. Oh, and never, under any circumstances, use the word 'remarkable'. Blech.