Seems we have already arrived to the last Monday of October – how’d that happen? Being that it is Monday, you know that Monday means music! For the month of October, our Spotlight Dancer is our friend and regular MMMM participant (and fabulous contributor), John from The Sound of One Hand Typing! The theme selected for this week is “Acrostic time! choose your songs so the first letters spell “Pumpkin spice” (or just “Pumpkin”). Let’s get this pumpkin party started!
Let’s start with a song that represents “P” – this was the lead single from this artist’s first ever EP, which was sold exclusively at American Walmart stores in conjunction with the then teenage singer’s clothing line. The breezy summertime pop anthem features semi-autobiographical lyrics concerning the artist’s move from Tennessee to Los Angeles.
In the video, the artist pays tribute to one of her favorite movies, Grease, and she also wanted to pay tribute to her parents’ courting days. When they were first dating, they went to a drive-in in Kentucky called the Corral Drive-In – so the drive-in in the video was named after that as an homage to them. In addition, the artist’s mom used to drive a ’79 black Pontiac Trans Am, Smokey and the Bandit style, so that’s the car that the artist arrives in.
Get ready to dance, here’s Miley Cyrus with “Party In The U.S.A.”:
Next up, representing “U”, is the title track from this artist’s second album, and her first “proper love song.” She wrote it three weeks after meeting fellow country singer Morgan Evans; the couple were engaged by the time the album was released.
When she started working on the album, she tried to retrace the steps she took when recording her debut album, but she realized she was in a very different place as a person and an artist. A breakthrough came when she decided to just be herself – unapologetically. When she came up with the song, she knew she had the title of the album as well. She was quoted as saying:
“When I wrote this song, I feel like that’s what this is, it’s every corner of who I am – happy, sad, good, bad. That’s why I picked it as the album title.”
“I had the word ‘Unapologetically’ in my phone, and I thought it was going to be a big girl sassy anthem, but that just wasn’t where I was at in my life, and we made it a love song. It’s one of the first ever proper love songs I’ve ever written.”
Here’s Kelsea Ballerini with “Unapologetically”:
Next up, representing “M” is a song (who’s name for the song and this duo’s album was actually suggested by Jon Bon Jovi when he was collaborating with this pair on the record). However, when the duo proposed the idea to their label, Warner Bros. Nashville, the suits put a spanner in the works.
“They said, ‘Oh, we’re gonna have to run this by our legal department… because the word Jedi is owned by George Lucas (LucasFilms)’. We went, ‘Oh crap, we didn’t even think of that. So sure enough, legal says, ‘No, they can’t use that.'”
“Kenny called Jon and told him, and Jon said, ‘Hang on a second. I’m gonna call George.’ And Kenny says ‘George who?’ and Jon says, ‘George Lucas, dude.’ So he picks up his cell and calls George Lucas… at a race car event in Morocco and says ‘Hey man, my buddies want to call their record ‘Hillbilly Jedis’ and the legal department is telling them they can’t. Would you do a favor and just be cool about it and let ’em call it that?'”
Lucas agreed, but with one condition:
“He said, ‘I have no problem if they want to use the word, but it’s not Jedis. There’s no ‘s’ in Jedi, ever. Jedi is singular and plural, like deer. And we’re like, ‘Fine.’ Sure enough, the next day we got paper from New York saying ‘You guys can use it.'”
Let’s have some fun – here’s Big & Rich with “M-e-d-l-e-y of the Hillbilly Jedi”:
Next, representing the second “P”, this American pop singer-songwriter recently released a new song from his upcoming sixth studio album. He shared on social media:
“If you know someone who isn’t afraid to tell you how they feel, has changed your life for the better, or has danced naked with you in the kitchen after a couple bottles of wine…this is your new song. This one goes out to my best friend and future wife… Katie Peterson ❤️”
The new album features love songs written for his fiancée. He was quoted as saying:
“When I did get back in the studio, I was in this very reflective place. Maybe it was because I hadn’t made music in a while, and I had this sense of gratitude, especially in this relationship we’re in … I’m not very good at being vulnerable, but music is the one place I’ve been able to allow myself to pull back the curtain a little bit. It feels like this was an opportunity for people to see the negative implications of being a big pop star when you’re a young child. That’s not to say I’m complaining through this album. It shows the spectrum of how [I] feel. I wanted to talk about that [and] meeting Katie, and it’s made for a very honest album.”
Here’s Jesse McCartney with “Party For Two”:
Next up, representing “K”, this song finds the artist singing about not caring what other people say or do to her. No matter what stands in her way, she’s gonna “Keep On Dancin’.”
The artist credits her boyfriend for putting her in the mood to dance on her album. She said:
“It’s always nice when you meet a special person and it does come across in the music. It certainly did in the beginning. But I don’t think I was in no mood to write sad songs. I can probably give it to myself that I can write a bloody good sad song, and I have done. And it can be very addictive. But this time it was about joy and being deliriously happy.”
Get ready to dance, here’s Ellie Goulding with “Keep On Dancin'”:
Next up, representing “I”, this folk-tinged first single from this group’s sophomore album finds the frontman singing:
I know I took the path that you would never want for me / I gave you hell through all the years
The song is about the relationship he has had with his parents throughout his life. He said:
“At times it’s been strained and difficult,” but in the end, ‘[This Song]’ celebrates the bond that we still hold on to.”
“Like many teenagers, I really hit heads with my parents at times growing up. My mom and dad are from a really conservative background, so when I told them I wanted to be a musician, that obviously wasn’t a thing that they particularly wanted to hear.”
“But my entire life I’ve been the black sheep in my family and been in and out of trouble. So the song’s about my relationship with my parents, but still celebrating through it all everything that we’ve been through. We try to see past our differences and celebrate the relationship that we have and that we still share today.”
Here’s Imagine Dragons with “I Bet My Life”:
Last, but certainly not least – and representing “N”, this up upbeat opener from this group’s self-titled album features lead vocals from the group’s tenor, and has him asking, “So why sleep when my dreams looking like reality?” Vocal bass bandmate had walked into the studio singing the 1986 Bangles hit “Walk Like An Egyptian” and inspired a jam session that resulted in this song. He said:
“I just wanted [the album] to have some just super crazy, out-there, fun song that really featured the trio but also was a little bit like a throwback for us, you know, just kind of doing all these little moments. And it’s just fun.”
“It’s like playground chanty. Don’t take us too seriously.”
Without further ado, here’s Pentatonix with “Na Na Na”:
That’s a wrap for this week – see you on the dance floor!
I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohort, the awesome Cathy from Curious as a CAThy, Callie of JAmerican Spice, and Alana of Ramblin’ with AM!
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!
John from The Sound of One Hand Typing