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Showing posts from June, 2016

Video Spotlight: Lightbulb by VoicePlay

I'm starting this one off with a question: are kids of today familiar with Schoolhouse Rock? I bring it up because that's actually one of the first things I thought of when I saw this for the first time. That got me thinking about the use of music in education and how helpful it can be. Especially when it comes to helping to remember things. For example, Animaniacs is why I know all of the state capitals. Facts are just easier to learn in song form. At least for me and I'm guessing a lot of other people. That and music can also teach you about life in general. For instance, "Stuck in Traffic" taught me that belting out your swears is extremely cathartic. Seriously, I recommend it. Maybe not so much when other people are around. 
One of the other things I thought of after watching this for the first time? It got me thinking about what I remembered about learning about electricity and such in school. You know how much I remember? Very little. Maybe if my teachers …

Video Spotlight: Stuck in Traffic by VoicePlay

It's here, it's here. 1 Minute Musical week is here! Later than originally planned, but here. I figured that since I hadn't written about any of them, I'd give them their own week. There are three 1 Minute Musicals and they've all been great. I've said it more than once, but I love this idea. It's a great concept and one that's showcased talents that I didn't know these guys had. For instance, the music and lyrics for "Stuck in Traffic" were done by Layne Stein and Tony Wakim. I didn't know either of them wrote songs. Not just them, either, the other two 1 Minute Musicals were written by Eli Jacobson ("Lightbulb") and Geoff Castellucci ("Miley Cyrus").

In any event, the 1 Minute Musicals have been helping VoicePlay shine in new and intriguing ways. Honestly, if you've somehow never heard of VoicePlay, this is a great time to learn about them. It's been pretty fantastic to be a VoicePlay fan over these last …

Video Spotlight: Can't Stop The Feeling by Home Free

Summer is officially upon us. The heat is oppressive and reminds me of why I prefer more moderate temperatures, but it's all good. As long as I have good music and access to air-conditioning, things are good. In fact, things are better than good because some of my favorite artists have been releasing some great videos as of late. Home Free certainly being among them. Their newest video is a cover of a Justin Timberlake song, one that I've seen hailed as the most popular song in the country at the moment. I actually have yet to hear the original version and unfortunately for it, Home Free's cover is going to be hard to top.

"Can't Stop The Feeling" is just flat out fun. Perfect for summer. See for yourself. And if you find yourself dancing along, well, know that you're not alone.

Arthritis Awareness: Music Therapy, Part 2

Welcome to the 2nd installment of this series! In Part 1, I focused on emotional songs with the intent of moving from the dark to the light. Or, as is the case with many of the videos in today's post, the lighthearted. Lately, I've been gravitating a bit more towards more upbeat songs. You know, the ones that make you want to dance along. The ones that make you smile and just put you in a happy place. The ones that are flat out fun. If you ask me, you can never have too much fun. There's so many people who take themselves way too seriously and I think the world would be a better place if more people made a point to enjoy themselves more often. From a chronic pain standpoint, I think anything that encourages us to move is a good thing. Now obviously, this is not always possible. Be it due to pain or stiffness or overwhelming fatigue, sometimes the best thing to do is rest. Listen to your body. 
That said, if you feel up to it and the music moves you, let it. Not a dancer? …

Arthritis Awareness: Music Therapy, Part 1

Welcome to the first actual installment of my music therapy series. In case you missed it, I wrote an introduction to this series a couple of days ago that you can find here. The quick introduction is that I use music to help me cope with living with rheumatoid arthritis - with life in general, to be honest - and wanted to share some of the songs that help. Music has been proven to help with pain and depression, among other things. The power of music knows no bounds. This series will be ongoing, with the second installment coming later this week. For these first two installments, I've decided to take you all on an emotional progression of sorts. We're going to start in the dark and work our way towards the light. 
Before we get into it, I did want to mention an article I read a while back that suggested that listening to sad music all the time can make you more depressed. It's a valid point and one that I agree with. So why include sad songs? Because sometimes that's ex…

Arthritis Awareness: Music Therapy, an introduction

May was Arthritis Awareness Month. Since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2000, arthritis awareness has become pretty important to me. The sad reality is that there are still a lot of misconceptions about arthritis today, as well as a lack of caring from the general public. In some ways I get it. There are those who don't like thinking about disease or disability at all. Then there's the people who assume that because it's chronic it must not be all that bad. That is, of course, horribly untrue. The truth is that rheumatoid arthritis, or complications of it, can and do lead to death. RA is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system basically goes on a crazy power trip and starts attacking itself. RA is believed to decrease someone's lifespan by 10 or even 15 years. Even with medication. Speaking of medication, oftentime it seems like the side effects are just as bad or worse than the disease itself. It's easy for people who don't have RA …