Saturday, June 28, 2008

Future Theme Ideas

Just movin' the future theme ideas post up to the top...

Please post any ideas you have for future themes in the comment section to this post. That way they'll all be in one place. Also, feel free to discuss any questions you might have about the blog or any ideas you might have for improvement.



bwrice said...

Six: Here are the themes that I sent you via email a few weeks ago:

- songs that mention other artists by name in the lyrics (eg: david bowie's "song for bob dylan")
- songs for the open freeway
- songs about death or dying
- songs with only one instrument besides the vocal
- songs that mention a woman by name (there might be too many of those)
- songs that you can't listen to without being flooded with the memory of a certain event in your life
- songs about the future, technology, or space ships
- best first songs on albums
- best closing songs
- songs that mention an edible item (eg, fruit, vegetable, etc)

All just off the top of my head at the time. Take 'em or leave 'em, but there they are.

BTW: History is a great idea. It will be a challenge, but should result in some fun stuff. Too bad The Decemberists are a 21st century band! I think they have a few that would fit the bill.

Paul said...

It's OK if a few 21st century songs sneak through. I don't want to be a stickler.

Thanks for the ideas!

Matt said...

Here are some of the suggestions I had:

~Spoken-word stuff. Could be a bit iffy, since SMM is a MUSIC blog, but...

~An established artist that has had TWO bands (Kieth Richards with the Stones, and The X-Pensive Winos... AND The New Barbarians, for instance. Yeah, that's 3, I know!)

~Songs about money.

~What was on the top of the charts the week you were born. (There's some site I'd looked mine up at. I can track the link down if needed.)

~Science Fiction.

~The Future.

~There could even be "First week of the month through the color-wheel" thing, where 1st week of May=Red, 1st week of June=Orange, 1st week of July=Yellow...all the way round the ol' R.O.Y.G.B.V.

I'll let you know if I get anymore ideas.

Anonymous said...

Something I almost (again, yeah, I know) posted this week.

The bizarro 2:42 song - the 4:24 song!


boyhowdy said...

Like others, I sent in a very long email already; my favorite from my own list is probably "songs about other songs", but that's pretty hard, I guess.

Here is an expanded version of that list, divided into easy/hard/impossible categories.

- food songs ('cause drinkin' songs is too easy)
- animals
- birds
- books
- colors (each should be a separate theme; I like Matt's approach to this)
- guns
- fire
- technology/machines
- weather
- winter
- kids music
- the ocean
- the bible (!)
- songs about the future
- songs about leaving
- songs about returning
- women's names (probably too many; I vote for dividing into thirds by alphabet: a-g, h-p, r-z)
- men's names

- trainsongs
- cars
- time
- waltzes
- duets

Slightly harder ones, if we're up for a real challenge someday:
- cross-gender songs (men sing as a woman narrator and vice versa)
- insects
- Wizards & Magic
- exotic animals
- songs about other songs
- bus songs
- doors, keys, and locks
- paper
- off-genre (artists doing songs outside their usual genre)
- school
- body parts
- great break-up songs
- songs about other bands/musicians
- songs about fictional characters

Maniacally Hard topics:

Songs in iambic pentameter
songs about bicycles
songs about bread
songs about silverware
songs which are exactly nine minutes long
songs in odd time signatures
songs with false endings

That'll teach you not to ask. Looking forward to seeing what else folks come up with.

bwrice said...

Great ideas, boyhowdy!

Six - I think it's fine to be a stickler. I sort of like the 20th Century thing. That gives music a chance to be more time-tested. If it's still good when it's 8 years old, then it probably has some staying power.

Anonymous said...

I think the no-21st-century rule is good in the sense that it keeps us all from turning this into a next-hot-thing blog; but I'd hate to feel bound to that rule. A great song is a great song. I'm planning on using a fairly recent song next week... (history! that's a hard one!)

A lot of these topics are great... repeating the ones I like (with refinement) and adding a couple others:

--"little black book" - song titles that are women's name (I vote they are only a woman's name... i.e., "Michelle" would be permitted but "My Michelle" would not).

--science fiction (would cover space, ufos, technology, the future).

--I like the colors idea - though I think we could separate them out over the course of the days rather than multiple weeks. (ROYGBIV=SMTWTFS)

--songs with voice and one instrument (but not acoustic guitar!)

--songs with strong personal mental associations

--best opening track

--best closing track

--just about all of boyhowdy's list

--songs about writing songs

--songs sung in a foreign language (in part or in full)

--songs about job occupations

--ocean songs (the sea/water/sailing/shore/etc.)

--religious and/or spiritual songs (not the crappy stuff... the good stuff.)

--existential songs

Anonymous said...

i've been trying to come up with some tricky themes but not quite settling on anything yet. hence the silence.

example of what i'm after is a puzzle theme where there's a link between the music and the picture that the commenters can guess.

also i had thought of doing a sync theme where you mute a youtube video and play the mp3 instead (a la dark side of the moon/wizard of oz).

the thing with these themes is you would probably get less posting during that week, cuz its not quite as easy as scanning itunes for names of flowers. knamean?

boyhowdy said...

1. My vote for the whole 20th century thing is that I like it a lot, and think it makes a great guideline. But I have no strong feelings about whether or not it's okay to break the rule once in a while if a poster thinks it's warranted, without making a big deal about it. As long as it doesn't become a habit. Use sparingly. And nothing NEW.

2. Themes could go on forever. Thanks for the props, folks, and right back atcha. A few more, since my brain keeps on buzzin'.

- real songs used as film/tv theme songs

- earworms (warning: these songs will get stuck in your head)

- songs about children

- numbers

- songs about underground

- cover songs (I can take it)

- live performances

- pretty much any instrument can be used as a theme.

- unsung heroes: producers

- songs by married couples

- life story songs

- best drum tracks

- Songs about the weekend (once it's been a while since "days of the week")

- song chains: the last song posted reminded you of this one. (a challenge theme: post fast, or the chain will break down!)

- songs about the music industry / being a musician

- songs about radio / DJs

- songs from our exes (aka "she's gone, but she left me with this song")

- inappropriate wedding songs

- humorous songs

bwrice said...

I love the idea of inappropriate wedding songs! That could be really hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Tons of great ideas here. I think we should mix in some basic/easy ones too, i.e., songs from certain years, songs from certain countries/regions.

A few more:

Covers by singers of opposite sex (from original version)

Cross-genre covers (e.g., reggae version of country song)

Songs outside of the singer's usual genre (these might be bad)

Songs way ahead of their time

Firsts (i.e., any song that was the first to do or be anything)

The Perfect Pop Song


Advice songs


drinking songs are too easy (but we are doing it anyway)

Paul said...

Jobs (Bowhowdy)

Ear Candy/Sore Thumb (Ear Candy = The Perfect Pop Song, as you define it. Sore Thumb = Bad song on otherwise great album)

Divinyl said...

If you decide you want to do colours, or tribute songs about other singers, as suggested above, I've done posts on both (separate ones for each colour of the rainbow) over at my blog, which could give some 'starter for 10' ideas.

I'll definitely have to mull all this over and think of some of my own suggestions for future themes...I do themed posts from time to time myself, and it's definitely fun...others have included planets and The Seven Ages of Man.

LD said...

Posting the Iris tunes got me thinking ... an always dangerous proposition, I know ... I think fun back-to-back themes would be a week of devil/Satan songs followed by a week of God/Jesus songs. Gotta have the sinning followed by the saving, ya know. So many directions for both, from the obvious gospel songs, to parodic material (Slayer, Sabbath), a bazillion country songs, and everything from Big Star ("Jesus Christ") to Teenage Fanclub ("Satan"). I'm inclined toward keeping alternatives open, so even if the title doesn't have Satan or Jesus in it, but the lyrics address it (metaphorically or otherwise), it qualifies. What do y'all think?

Paul said...

LD - I love the satan/jesus idea. Definitely high on the list.

Anonymous said...

Get Away Songs: I've got to get away from here and go to _____.

Each of the "seven deadly sins"

Anonymous said...

Songs about the specific time of day.

Songs about specific months.

Songs about specific years.

Anonymous said...

i have thought up a few themes:

Buried Treasure -when there's this little part of a song that maybe only you know about or its just a little treasure in the sound, lyrics, or performance that gets you every time.

TROUBLE! -name says it all

Shapes -uhhh yeah, shapes.

Anonymous said...

i came up with my favorite theme idea this morning:

Blog Nomenclature (title need revision probably): Tons of music blogs are named after songs. Post a song that inspired the title of an mp3 blog. (ex: There Stands The Glass, For The Sake of the Song, etc.)

bwrice said...

Speaking of themes: What's up for next week? Are we doing the devil/jesus thing? Or have we not decided yet?

Paul said...

The devil/jesus thing is on the horizon.

What do you guys think about a slightly different take on the theme concept: So far the themes have been defined by the songs. I thought we might try a theme defined by our posts instead.

What I mean is we could do a theme like "songwriting" and then use the posts for commentary about various melodic or lyrical aspects of the featured song. Then another time we could do, for instance, on a particular instrument or about production. Get it? Like it?

Paul said...

I think the "Name Of The Blog" theme would be pretty cool! Get us some PR if nothing else.

LD said...

I like the idea of taking a left turn thematically. So, some sort of songwriting motif ... or series of motifs ... is AOK by me.

Paul said...

OK. Here are three future theme ideas. One of which may be next week.

1. Songwriting: Pick any song. Tell us something special about the way the words or music are written. Or maybe even suggestion how it might have been done differently...

2. Production: Pick any song. Tell us something special about the recording process. (Inspired by Brendan's recent Shoes post).

3. Players: Pick any song. Tell us something special about one of the instrumental musicians (i.e., why the drummer, fiddler, theremin player, guitar picker makes the song...)

boyhowdy said...

I like all ideas named above...

The praise/damn two-week thing seems awesome, looking forward to it.

I think our advice theme turned to a kind of lyrical analysis -- we ended up talking about the advice the song was giving, a good bit of the time. I enjoyed that very much. Songwriting would be interesting -- a nice turn -- though I wonder if the focus is too broad. How about CO-writing? Songs with no chorus? Songs which are really two songs (like Layla)?

Using certain instruments would work, depending on the instrument. You know, Bass is a great theme...and I just saw a blogger do tamborine, I think. Handclaps, too. The Late Greats did a mando week recently. Accordian or cello, though, probably gonna be a weird week.

The name of the blog one would mean every post would be about a blog and its name-song, right? Neat concept. I'd love it.

Paul said...

I want to try out a broad "songwriting" theme next week. I think it could be educational. Then later let's go back and try some of the more specific songwriting and instrument ideas Boyhowdy mentioned. Sometime after the Devil/Jesus back to back extravaganza, of course.

Anonymous said...

yeah that's a good title "Name Of The Blog." these latest ideas are all great because i like something more than just typing Rose or Tulip into the itunes search.

Anonymous said...

You guys certainly have some great ideas. I love this blog.

I had an idea: A song from when you were 12. Pick a song from the year you were 12, and tell us what it meant to you.

My daughter turns 12 this winter, and I used to think I should try to expose her to more than Hannah Montana and the Jonas Bros. Then I realized, her music is her own choice, just like it was when I was 12. In....uh....1979.

(But I'll still keep playing real music around here in hopes that some of it seeps in by osmosis...)

I also wondered what moon-related themes you've done. This week, there was a Luna event so she's been on my mind for a few days.

Divinyl said...

FABULOUS name Pudenda Shenanigans!

boyhowdy said...

See, I knew D and I think alike -- that was my response when PS first stopped by, too!

As for the twelve-year-old stuff: it's a neat idea, but I'm afraid my tastes when I was twelve ran towards the equivalent of Miley Cyrus, too. And I think the world has had more than enough exposure to Survivor, Toto, Samantha Fox and Tiffany to merit revival.

Now: songs FOR twelve-year-olds...that would be different. I'd love to see a "not just for kids" music theme some week, too.

Anonymous said...

thanks, guys :-D

(songs FOR 12-year-olds would be Hannah Montana. so, sigh.)

Regardless I'll keep reading. love it!

Anonymous said...

here's one:
Family & Friends
where you post songs by musicians you are friends with, are related to in some way, bands we were once in (The Have Nots anybody??), etc etc..