2012-01-09: Song of the Week

I wrote the bulk of this post last night, after having pulled in some John Tesh from Zune Pass, and realized that of his works, Roundball Rock is somewhat stand-out in that it has a lot of recognition, from spending a bit more than a decade on television, and is one of Tesh's works that's more likely to start a dance party, which is a quality I value in a song.

The only problem is that I've used the exact same song before.

It's a good song and I actually think I've given it a better treatment this time around than I did in my previous post.

I like to think that I've started a pretty good thing. My on-time and completion record for 2012 is impeccable so far. In light of that, let's listen to some music, shall we?

This week, I've got some John Tesh for you!

John Tesh is pretty interesting, because he's got so much different stuff, as music goes, and of course he's got his "Intelligence for Your Life" radio show, and the adults in my life usually remember him as a television personality in the 1990s.

This week, one of the things I Picked up on Zune was John Tesh's sports album, Victory: The Sports Collection. The song that always gets my attention the most is Roundball Rock. The theme is everything that the theme for that sport really should be. It's exciting, it's up-beat, and it makes you want to stand up and yell "YEAH!!"

John Tesh has posted a video from one of his concerts with the pretty interesting backstory on the original demo for the song: He was in Europe and woefully had forgotten to bring a piano with him, so in order to record his concept for the song, had called his home phone (back in the '80s or '90s when people had home phones, I know, right?) and left a message with the concept for the song. He's still got the tape too, or at least did sometime in the mid 2000s.

Pretty exciting, eh? Here's the version that:

The theme songs are maybe the best part of sports on television.

Other cool bits about John Tesh, from The Internet Culture Database include that he has raised $20 million for PBS at concerts, and that he and Oprah Winfrey worked at competing news stations in the same market, in the 1970s.

One of my least faovorite things about Tesh is that while he does have a rather vast collection of music, only a few of the albums are really worthwhile, because he has produced an exceptional amount of devotional music, and holiday music. This isn't necessarily bad -- just that it's annoying (especially when I'm using an Internet Radio provider such as Pandora or Slacker) because I either need to avoid John Tesh's name in my specification of a station that's meant to feature his stuff, or play on the fine line between "please play John Tesh" "but not that John Tesh" that is usually involved.

That having been said, I'm a big fan of at least one of John Tesh's other albums: Avalon. It's a fairly generic instrumental album, fairly midrange in terms of pacing and overall sound. It's not very far from something like a Yanni album. Spanish Steps is one of the songs from that album. Here's a live performance.

Barcelona, (which may or may not be on Avalon) is also another good song.

It's worth talking about the distinction between a few different levels of enthusiasm I usually have for a song or an album. I'm using the word "good" a lot, instead of (for example) "best" or "new." John Tesh has about a million albums and truth be told, I could probably listen to most if not all of them all the way through without much issue. He has a lot of good songs. Britney Spears, on the other hand, has a bunch of albums, but only a few of them are really ones I think are worthwhile, and therein, the quality of her songs varies wildly. There's some Britney Spears stuff that I just can't listen to. Even Tesh's holiday and devitional songs are pretty consistently his, and if they were mixed in with regular instrumental music, I probably wouldn't even notice them.

In a way, it's really great, because I use John Tesh pretty frequently for writing or when I'm working on aonther project and I need a little bit more "consistent background music" and a little bit less "dance party" -- he's great for that, almost better than Yanni and a few other pianists and instrumental artists. So while Roundball Rock might be a dance party, it's one of relatively few, and when taken as part of the larger set of John Tesh music, it's probably less likely to cause an impromptu dance party.

Hilarity about having used the same song twice aside, I need to think about what this means. There are a few problems I need to think about.

The first problem I can/should think about is the problem of "how do I prevent myself from re-using old songs?" The solution to this one has two prongs, I think. The first is that right now, I have Songs of the Week posted on three different blogs -- each with their own merits and disadvantages, in terms of posting, updating, syndication, and ease of management and maintaining security. The second part of the problem is that I don't have a really good list, or way to maintain a really good list of my posts. As I've moved through blogging platforms over the years, I have not always moved all of my content forward to the new platform. I previously maintained a list of the songs of the week, but that was on one of my local computers, one which I did not always bring with me.

The second problem is whether or not I really need to be doing Song of the Week at all. I had originally started it mainly as an incentive to write something every single week, and while it worked for a long time, I also skipped the "writing" part pretty frequently, and while I was looking back on the series from my WordPress blog, I definitely found a few entries that were, shall we say, "wanting." Of course, there are several Song of the Week posts of which I'm particularly proud, but it seems like my overall success rate in terms of writing about music is relatively low.

I guess the question I need to ask myself is whether or not there's something else I'd rather be writing about, and that I can write about consistently.