Music to roll you into your weekend ….

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This post was all set to go last week, and then got sidelined by an annoying commercial. Now, though, the music is demanding its fifteen seconds, and nothing can stand it its way. Every year, I create my personal list of the top forty songs of the previous year …. It all started in 2014, with my Top 40 of 2013. I created the list and presented it to Ryan, who adores both music and lists, and was therefore happy to listen to every song. Even the shitty ones (yes, I like shitty music – but that’s ok because I don’t care what you think. My #1 song from 2013 was – and still is, because I still dig it – “Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk and Nate Ruess. I love the idea of picking up the pieces, examining them, cleaning them, repairing them – and putting them back together to keep the show on the road – rather than leaving them where they fell and moving on to whatever’s around the corner. I love the hope and heart in that song. Real love, the stuff that doesn’t quit when the going gets tough.

I’m presenting my Top 40 of last year later than ever, simply because I have not been sharing like I used to. But I’m back, and ready to rock! So, without further ado, here is my Top 40 of 2016, with links so you can listen and enjoy (or hate – whatever):

40. “Me, Too” by Meghan Trainor

39. “One Call Away” by Charlie Puth

38. “Mess Around” by Cage the Elephant

37. “Don’t Wanna Know” by Maroon 5

36. “New Romantics” by Taylor Swift

35. “Never Be Like You” by Flume & Kai

34. “Vice” by Miranda Lambert

33. “Hide Away” by Daya

32. “Pen to Paper” by Modern Space

31. “Like I Would” by Zayn

30. “That’s My Girl” by Fifth Harmony

29. “Genghis Khan” by Miike Snow

28. “Get Ugly” by Jason Derulo

27. “7 Years” by Lukas Graham

26. “Lost Boy” by Ruth B

25. “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” by Adele

24. “Sound of Your Heart” by Shawn Hook

23. “Good to be Alive” by Andy Grammer

22. “Roses” by Chainsmokers & ROZES

21. “The Greatest” by Sia & Kendrick Lamar

20. “Gold” by Ria Mae

19. “Me, Myself & I” by G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha

18. “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber

17. “Under the Influence” by Elle King

16. “Woman Woman” by AWOLNATION

15. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake

14. “When We Were Young” by Adele

13. “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw

12.”24K Magic” by Bruno Mars

11. “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors

10. “Might Not” by Belly & The Weeknd

9. “Just Like Fire” by P!nk

8. “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna

7. “Can I Get a Witness” by SonReal

6. “Hold Up” by Beyoncé

5. “Burning House” by Cam

4. “Team” by Iggy Azalea

3. “Stand By You” by Rachel Platten

2. “Yellow Eyes” by Rayland Baxter

If you’re still with me – and why wouldn’t you be? These are awesome tunes, right? So, if you’re still here, I give you this energetic offering from a fellow Canadian …. Every time that song comes on the radio, from the first time I heard it to the last time (a couple of days ago), I get jacked up. Bet you will, too. Happy dancing!

1. “Got Your Number” by Serena Ryder

It’s Friday! Here, have some music ….

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So, I’ve been meaning to post this for a while …. First, I had some thoughts on the Jian Ghomeshi trial that I had to share. (Because I have to share all the things.) Then, I thought I might post it after the Grammys because it’s topical. However, there was the office, chores, a massive snowstorm. My beloved Aunt Audrey and Uncle Gus flew in for a few hours. Fiona and Bridget brought home their report cards. Report cards used to involve a brief parental perusal of a few letters and numbers, and maybe four or five lines about how the kid has potential if only they’d sit still and listen. Or maybe those were just my report cards. Now, report cards contain not only letters and numbers, but a paragraph about your child’s performance in each subject – even religion and art. You have to read the whole darn thing, then submit a comment regarding what you feel has improved since the last evaluation and what you’re going to help your child with based on the current one. Your child has to answer the same questions about themselves (both kids, every year: “I will try to improve in math”). And the school always gives you one whole evening to do all this thinking, processing and responding. How generous of them. Anyway, moving on …. This is about music, not minutiae! I’ll stop blabbering now and sock it to you: Beth’s top 40 songs of 2015! (Like I did last year, I’ve provided links to all the songs for your listening pleasure or derision.)

40. Crushin’ It – Brad Paisley

39. Carry On – Coeur de pirate

38. Break Up With Him – Old Dominion

37. Cecilia and the Satellite – Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness

36.  Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) – AWOLNATION

35.  Little Red Wagon – Miranda Lambert

34.  Honey I’m Good – Andy Grammer

33.  The Hills – The Weeknd

32.  Ain’t Worth The Whiskey – Cole Swindell

31. Focus – Ariana Grande

30.  Take Your Time – Sam Hunt

29.  Nobody Love – Tori Kelly

28.  What Kind of Man – Florence + The Machine

27.  Modern Love – Mother Mother

26.  Fight Song – Rachel Platten

25.  Fire and Gold – Bea Miller

24.  Good for You – Selena Gomez

23.  Jackpot – Jocelyn Alice

22.  Heartbeat Song – Kelly Clarkson

21.  Electric Love –  BØRNS

20.  Jealous – Nick Jonas

19.  Tear in My Heart – twenty one pilots

18.  Photograph – Ed Sheeran

17.  Chains – Nick Jonas

16.  Monkey Tree – Mother Mother

15.  Cigarette Daydreams – Cage the Elephant

14.  Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

13.  Could Have Been Me – The Struts

12.  Night Changes – One Direction

11.  Want to Want Me – Jason Derulo

10.  Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King

9.  Dear Future Husband – Meghan Trainor

8.  Clothes Off – Ria Mae

7.  Stressed Out – twenty one pilots

6.  Confident – Demi Lovato

5.  Fly – Maddie & Tae

4. Downtown –  Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, and Grandmaster Caz

3.  Hey Mama –  David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha, and Afrojack

2.  S.O.B. –  Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

And, in first place, a song I loved and identified with from the first time I heard it:

FourFiveSeconds –  Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney

(Yes, there’s a whole lot of pop going on – and a slice of country schmaltz. But you knew it would be like that …. It’s Beth’s music, after all! Thanks for listening.)

 

 

 

 

If you find yourself washing the floor today, it’s Meghan Trainor’s fault.

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Another day, another feminist flap …. As if calling tennis players “sweetheart” weren’t bad enough, now we’re faced with Meghan Trainor’s evil attempt to throw all women back into the forties when they were nothing but kitchen hands in cute dresses waiting for their hunky hubby to come home with flowers. How on earth is the human race going to be able to withstand this crippling blow to our enlightened civilization? For those who havn’t heard it yet, “Dear Future Husband” is Meghan Trainor’s newest single. It’s a frothy little doo-wop confection laying down the terms between the singer and any man she marries. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShlW5plD_40.

Seconds after the video joined the long parade of internet offerings, people started complaining. There was this whiny manifesto from one mother who declares that her children will not be allowed to watch the video, because Meghan Trainor and the men in the video are subscribing to classic male and female roles. Then there was this piece of self-righteous drivel about how songs like “Dear Future Husband” “force unhealthy relationships” because they romanticize outdated gender roles. There have been many angry tweets along the lines of “thanks for sending us back five generations” and “nothing she writes is a feminist anthem”. This Evening Times article features a tweeter accusing Trainor of being a robot created to “reinforce the patriarchy through sexist propaganda”.

Why are all these people so upset over a pop star’s song and video? Let’s look into the anti-feminist charges being laid against Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband” …. Here are the complaints I’ve read so far: the video features Trainor scrubbing a floor and burning an apple pie, goofy men trying to please her in various ways, and lots of colourful fifties decor. Trainor sings about wanting her man to tell her she’s beautiful, take her on a date, buy her flowers and a ring, and treat her “like a lady”. In return, she will buy groceries (and “what you need”), and give him kisses and “special lovin'”. She admits she can’t cook, but mentions her musical talent. She playfully says she’s always right, so he shouldn’t even bother to disagree with her – and that they’re never going to see his family more than hers.

I have thirty-four years of experience being a woman, and knowing women. Guess what: lots of women scrub floors. If you have a floor, it needs to be washed on the regular. This is not a political statement, it’s a household chore. (A chore that, I admit, has not been performed recently in my house – hey, spills provide traction. I’m looking out for my family here!) Some women scrub floors for a living. I guess they’re really letting down the feminist front. Every woman I know loves to be told she’s beautiful, and welcomes tokens of affection like flowers and dinner out. And, yes, many women have chosen – or will choose – to accept a ring from a man, and embrace traditional gender roles. I guess we didn’t get the memo. We owe feminists everywhere an apology for blasting them back to the dark ages by living our lives the way we want to.

Wait a minute – isn’t that what feminism is supposed to be all about? Women living their lives the way they want to, with no justification other than that it’s what they choose? Maybe the perma-bunched-panties crowd I quoted above should leave other women alone and go write their own feminist anthem …. Meghan Trainor’s fluffy, sugary pop is what she wants to produce, and it should be her choice. Feminists should defend her right to it, but not many of them will – because, too often, people like the ones I quoted above make feminism more about conformity than choice.