Monday, 21 April 2014

10 Great Songs To Get The Toronto Raptors Pumped For The Playoffs

Music isn't my only passion folks. I'm a sports fan in many ways and my favourite professional sports team, the Toronto Raptors, have entered the hotly contested first round of the NBA playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets. Game 1 is in the books with the Nets outlasting the Jurassic 15 and with game 2 getting underway tomorrow I thought i'd compile a list of songs to help us as fans (and maybe even the players) get the excitement level up. Here are 10 Great Songs To Get You Pumped For The Raptors' Playoff Series

1. Coheed & Cambria - "Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry The Defiant"

Nobody generally turns to prog-Rock to get themselves pumped up for anything, but when it comes to Coheed's case, and this song in particular, the line starts to blur over to the heavy metal side. The constant thumping of the drums and chugging power chords will get the blood rushing, but the real inspiration will come from this song's great lyrics. "Give them the fight that will open their eyes" and "Don't close the casket yet. I'm alive". Let those Nets know that they're in for a long series.

2. Usher - "More"

Usher was once really known for his smooth, lady-killing jams to go along with those lady-killing dimples. In recent history Usher has began to show his dance hall appreciation and a song like "More" has the right energy to get a whole stadium on their feet. Love the lines in this one too "I'm the headliner, finisher, i'm the closer, winner - best when under pressure with seconds left I show up" While Toronto doesn't have that definitive closer, both Lowry and DeRozan have shown that they aren't afraid to take those late 4th quarter shots.

3. Sway - "Still Speedin'"

Another high energy, arena rocking jam. A perfect soundtrack to go along with some rim-rocking jams courtesy of players like DeRozan, Valanciunas and Terrence Ross. Heck there is even a highlight mix video on Youtube made to this song from Ross' rookie year.

4. G.R.I.T.S - "We Don't Play"

Many people around the league and media were discounting the Raptors. Though as a Raptor fan it's nothing new, but this year all the pounding of the rocks paid off and Toronto locked in the 3rd place team in the East. Now with the basketball fans watching some are getting a new glimpse of Toronto and they'll see that we aren't just playing around.

5. The Offspring - "Defy You"

Even if the Raptors somehow get swept or miss out on the second round of the Playoffs, we'll be back next year. Stronger and tougher than before. Toronto cannot be held down

6. Busta Rhymes - "Don't Believe 'Em All" feat. T.I. & Akon

Sure there are a few songs on this list that spit in the face of naysayers, but that's what Raptors fans have dealt with, especially in recent history with the loss of Chris Bosh or even VC. The players deal with it too, but now players like DeRozan and Amir Johnson who have been with the franchise through some tough times can hold their head high and are living what they've been believing all along.

7. Chris Cornell - "You Know My Name"

Taken from the soundtrack of a James Bond film (Casino Royale to be precise) so you know this song comes pre-packaged with swagger. Yes I said swagger. Without a head and shoulders above the rest superstar on the team, many of Raptors players are getting their names out there even those who come off the 15-deep bench. Players like Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson and Tyler Hansbrough will have their time to shine when the big lights of national US television come to the ACC for Playoff games.

8. Megadeth - "Crush 'Em"

Don't really think I need to explain this one

9. Drake - "Started From The Bottom"

There is no denying Drake has made an impact on the Basketball world this passed year and sure it has benefited the Raptors. Time will tell tangible fruits those benefits bare, but it's good to see a world wide celebrity waving our flag on his travels. Doesn't hurt that he's a homegrown fan as well.

10. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - "Can't Hold Us" feat. Ray Dalton

It's a great pump up song for any walk of life. Macklemore & Lewis have been on fire recently and there is not an end in sight, hopefully the Raptors can catch some of that fire and continue this upswing for years to come. Not much else of a connection to my boys and this song other than this excellent Playoff hype mix put together by TDot Mix Productions.

Go Raptors!!!!


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

10 Great Songs That Feature Laughter

Sometimes I feel we all take ourselves a little too seriously. It's alright to have a laugh once in a while isn't it? I did a quick search and couldn't find a good list of songs that feature some sort of laughing in them. That's always my time to step in. Here are 10 Great Songs That Feature Laughter

1. "Feel Good Inc" - Gorillaz

Though they got their start in the early 2000s, the animated group known as The Gorillaz really made their mark on the music tapestry with 2005's Demon Days. The kick off single "Feel Good Inc" features guest rap vocals provided by De La Soul and some maniacal laughing at the beginning of the track and throughout.

2. "Master Of Puppets" - Metallica

Perhaps Metallica's most well known song is off the 1986 album of the same name. "Master Of Puppets" is a thrash-metal onslaught delivered on an 8 minute plate and spattered with solos and melodies beyond comprehension. It's a staple in Metallica's live shows and is one of those songs that young guitarists quest to conquer. The song deals with drug addiction and the control that the disease has over some users. The down right Satanic laughing comes in at the very end of the track....though in live performances Hetfield starts the laughing much earlier.

3. "Temporarily Expandable" - Urban Dance Squad

Our next track comes to us from The Urban Dance Squad. Who? These guys were intended to only be a one-off band at a festival back in the 80's and stuck around due to attracting a curious fanbase. Their sound featured elements of hip-hop, funk, metal, reggae and ska. Precursors to bands like Fishbone and Red Hot Chili Peppers. "Temporarily Expandable" was of their 1996 album and features laughter as lyrics.

4. "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" - REM

One of my favourite 90's albums is REM's Automatic For The People. An oft forgotten track from the record is "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite", a favourite of mine. I've always wondered why Michael Stipe laughs to himself during one of the later verses though. After some research I discovered it was a reference to Dr. Seuss, which Stipe had a dreadful time trying to pronounce separately from "Zeus". He couldn't get it right and his band mates couldn't keep it together either (due to either revelry or exhaustion), so they kept one of the laughing takes on the track.

5. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley

Gnarls Barkley was a hyped up pairing of Cee Lo Green and Dangermouse during the 2000's.  They were a fresh sound which combined many elements from many different genres of music. "Crazy" their first single has the great line "Who do you think are? HA HA HA Bless your you really think you're in control?" Funky assed video as well.

6. "Runaway" - Janet Jackson

Why didn't Rob pick this one as part of his 90 songs of the 90's? Oh, probably because it's not an Alt-Rock song. THAT BETTER BE WHY ROB!!!! Lots of good little laughs and giggles near the end of this song.

7. "Liar" - Rollins Band

Henry Rollins got his start on the California punk scene and eventually became the face of Black Flag. After his departure from Black Flag, Rollins would form his own band.....called simply Rollins Band. Their biggest song, thanks in part to being featured on Beavis & Butthead is "Liar" from their 1994 album. Rollins kind of takes on 2 personas in this a smooth talking womanizer and then the other the ugly bastard underneath all the womanizer's lies.

8. "No More I Love You's" - Annie Lennox

This song is actually a cover of a song from the 80's by a band called Lover Speaks. Lennox retooled it for her album Medusa. I truly seems as if Annie Lennox is losing her mind throughout this track, especially near the end when it fades into scattered, fanatical laughter. After watching this video you might think you're losing your mind as well

9. "If I Had $1,000,000" - Barenaked Ladies

It's funny how a band can have a name like the Barenaked Ladies a be so cherished and applauded throughout their career. Not that i'm a prude or anything, but if they had the same name, looked the same, same subject matter. but played Metal or Punk? Forget about it. Censors and parents everywhere would be protesting their concerts and there would be news reports on their misongynistic material perverting the minds of our youths. Alas, the Barenaked Ladies have won Junos, Grammys and countless other awards. They often feature real conversations in their songs and live performances which often provides some great candid laughter on the track.

10. "Situation" - Yazoo

We'll end with one of the more famous laughs in the music world. Though the band Yazoo might not be a household name, the laugh used in this track became one of the most sampled laughs in song. Used in versions of "Macarena" and "If This Is Love" by The Saturdays, among others. Yazoo featured an ex-member of Depeche Mode who was more interested in writing true pop music, they really onnly had one other hit called "Only You"

Thanks a bunch all!

Keep Laughing!!

and reading!!

Johnny Z