The 30 Day Song Challenge

The 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 30

June 8, 2011 // 16 Comments

And so it comes to a close, with the final category:

A Song That Makes You Want to Be a Better Person.

Here are the staff picks:

Tara Seetharam: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Aretha Franklin

Maybe it’s the way the gospel arrangement evokes a guttural reaction or the way the lyrics are shamelessly selfless. As with the best songs, I can’t quite put my finger on why it moves me – but this song makes me want to live for others.

The 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 29

June 7, 2011 // 21 Comments

Today’s category is…

A Song That No One Would Expect You To Love.

Here are the staff picks:

Dan Milliken: “3 Peat” – Lil Wayne

My friends all think I’m a big wimp. They’re right. But I do like Wayne. (Though even in this case, I’m drawn to the vulnerability in the song more than the aggression.)

The 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 26

June 4, 2011 // 29 Comments

Today’s category is…

A Song About Time.

Here are the staff picks:

Tara Seetharam: “For the Good Times” – Jamey Johnson

About a man spending one last night with his lover, frozen in the “good times” instead of thinking about the pain that will inevitably ensue. There are plenty of versions of this song that I enjoy, but Johnson’s hits on the exact swirl of genres that just gets to me.

The 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 25

June 3, 2011 // 17 Comments

Today’s category is…

A Great Song That You Discovered After Everybody Else Already Heard It.

Here are the staff picks:

Dan Milliken: “Lord I Hope This Day is Good” – Don Williams

What can I say? I like to think I have a strong overview-type knowledge of country music, but I guess everyone’s got some inexplicable holes in their cultural patchwork. I’ve known of this classic by name for years and have listened through a fair amount of other Don Williams, but I’d never actually bothered to fire the song up until Leeann used it as her pick for one of these categories the other day. Good stuff, though.

The 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 24

June 2, 2011 // 21 Comments

Today’s category is…

A Great Song You Just Discovered.

Here are the staff picks:

Leeann Ward: “The Last Bus” – Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers

One of my favorite moments is when I put my iPod on shuffle and discover a song that I’ve never heard before and fall in love with it. Such an occasion occurred a few weeks ago. I’ve had this Zoe Muth album for quite some time, but as often happens, I bought the album and hadn’t gotten around to listening to it yet.

The song has my favorite kind of gentle instrumentation and Muth’s performance exudes the kind of melancholy that is easy to get wrapped up in, which is a testament to a well interpreted and well crafted song.

The 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 23

June 1, 2011 // 22 Comments

Today’s category is…

An Oldie But Goodie.

Here are the staff picks:

Kevin Coyne: “Tell It to the Rain” – The 4 Seasons

You can tell it’s the mid-sixties because they’re dabbling a bit with production gimmicks. I think it’s their coolest sounding record, one of their best compositions, and Frankie Valli at the peak of his vocal prowess.

The 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 22

May 31, 2011 // 33 Comments

Today’s category is…

A Story Song.

Here are the staff picks:

Tara Seetharam: “The Dance” – Garth Brooks

I’m not sure if this song really constitutes as a “story”song, but its metaphor is so beautifully written that it feels as rich as the best country songs in this category. Regret is a funny thing; sometimes it’s easier to succumb to it than it is to own and embrace your memories – fleeting though they may be. Brooks takes this somewhat tried and true theme and spins it into a poignant, lovely tribute.

The 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 21

May 30, 2011 // 26 Comments

Today’s category is…

A Song You Used to Love But Now You Don’t.

Here are the staff picks:

Dan Milliken: “Homewrecker” – Gretchen Wilson

Here for the Party came out when I was fourteen and just getting really into country music, and it was so much fresher than most of the mainstream stuff at the time that it instantly became one of my favorite albums. “Homewrecker” wasn’t my favorite on the set (that was “Chariot,” which still sounds cool), but I did find it amazingly clever and funny in a way I couldn’t once I had gotten properly acquainted with Loretta Lynn.

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