Melancholy Monday: Good times and good friends

The Damn Yankees rang in the decade that defined my youth (Photo: courtesy of metrotimes.com)

The Damn Yankees rang in the decade that defined my youth (Photo: courtesy of metrotimes.com)

I hope you all had a great time this Independence Day! I know I did. Maybe a bit too good, actually. I paid for all the food I ate and, uh… beverages I drank the next morning. Not feeling so great, I decided to stay home Saturday and just rest. Sitting in my favorite chair and thinking about the previous night’s festivities, I couldn’t help but feel a little melancholy about other good times I’d had and the music which defined them.

For example, back in the early ’80s I remember tagging along with my older cousin, her boyfriend, and their friends. We’d go to the arcade (those long forgotten places where kids used to go to play video games before there was such a thing as Xbox), the water park, or the movies, and no matter where we went the entire trip there would be filled with music from her favorite band, The Police.

When I got a little older and was able to talk my parents into letting me hangout with friends without my cousin around, I remember that no matter where we were, be it the mall, the arcade, or at a friend’s house watching MTV (believe it or not, they actually used to play music on that channel), you couldn’t seem to go more than an hour without hearing either something from Madonna, Duran Duran, or this classic from a-ha with the most impossible high-note of the decade…

Then, only a few years later, came a song that, for me, defined a decade; my decade. Puberty, girls, parties, and high school; the 90’s had arrived! In the late 80s, hair bands such as Poison, Motley Crue, and Def Leppard dominated the music scene, and though it wouldn’t be long before a couple Seattle-based bands would take music in a completely different (and awesome!) direction, 1990 produced one more iconic power ballad. A song that also just happened to be playing in the background at a party during my first, um… meaningful “romantic encounter.” Thank you, Damn Yankees!

Though the rest of my teenage years would still be full of good times and great friends, there was also angst, confusion, and even anger. Nothing new, of course, but it was new to me and the 90s gave my generation the perfect opportunity to express those feelings of disenfranchisement through music… and combat boots. Enter, “grunge,” and one of my favorite bands of all time, Nirvana! High school dances became flannel-clad moshpits and we never had a better time being pissed off.

So what songs and music genres define your younger days? Which artists and tunes bring back memories of old friends and good times? Let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook and download the free Sing-N-Share app for your smartphone or tablet if you haven’t already! It’s a free, easy way to relive those music-filled good old days.

Lightning Strikes…Again! Pearl Jam returns with “Lightning Bolt.”

Lightning Bolt

 

In 1991 Pearl Jam exploded onto the music scene with their debut album “Ten,” quickly becoming one of the hottest rock bands in the country and placing themselves firmly at the forefront of the grunge movement. Now, twenty-two years later, the gods of grunge have returned to release what is, ironically, their tenth studio album, “Lightning Bolt.”

There is no doubt that Pearl Jam’s presence and style has matured over the last two decades, but with riffs from original guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready and the stirring vocals of front man Eddie Vedder, “Lightning Bolt” brings back memories of cargo shorts, flannel shirts and unkempt hair.

Thanks in part to Pearl Jam’s stellar rise to the top of the rock industry, other bands stormed onto the scene, further fueling teenage angst and insuring that grunge (sometimes referred to as the “Seattle sound”) reigned supreme as the most popular music genre of the mid-90’s.

The late 90’s saw the premature decline of grunge with many of the more prominent bands breaking up, not to mention the tragic death of Nirvana front-man Kurt Cobain. This gave rise to what many called the “post-grunge” era which saw the birth of more commercially viable groups such as Bush, Matchbox Twenty, and Nickelback.

Regardless of how you would classify today’s music era, Pearl Jam is still here and still rocking hard. Get “Lightning Bolt” on Amazon.com or iTunes and be sure to check out Karaoke Cloud and KaraokeOnVEVO, where you can sing along with thousands of your favorite tracks from all genres!