Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Last Blog Post of 2014

Well, I am sitting here at my pc for the last time this year, thinking about all of the posts I never got to ...yet.  You see, tonight I'm having my very first New Year's Eve party...Weezie's New Year's Rockin' Eve, and so I've been a little busy cleaning and cooking and I never got to the posts I wanted to do before year's end.  That's okay, though, I don't plan on going anywhere tomorrow.

So, anyway, I'm off to get showered and ready for my party, but I wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year from John's World and I'm looking forward to providing you with some more reading and listening enjoyment in 2015.  As always, stay tuned...

Song of the Day - Happy - Pharrell Williams

Just yesterday days ago I posted my choices for the Top Twenty Pop Songs of 2014, and this one landed at #10 (Katy Perry's Dark Horse was my fave!).  For today, though, I thought I'd post Billboard Magazine's pick for the best song of the year and this was it (Katy was #2!).  So celebrate this last day of 2014 by getting Happy...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

John's World's Top 20 Pop Songs of 2014

At the end of each year, I like to look back at the music that's rocked my world throughout...and maybe some of these have rocked yours too.  Up until last year, I'd done this sort of post for Yahoo Voices, but since that's gone I'll just have to do it here, lol.  I'm going to preface this post by stating, as if you already didn't know, that my type of music is almost always dancey stuff.  On occasion I find things of other genres that I like, but it's rare.  So if you're looking for any type of rock or alternative stuff in my list of the best in pop for 2014, then you've come to the wrong place.

So herein take a look at John's World's Top 20 Pop Songs of 2014...

#20 - Rude - Magic!

Why you gotta be so rude?
Don't you know I'm human too?
Why you gotta be so rude?
I'm gonna marry her anyway

Okay, I know I already said not to expect anything alternative on this list, and here I go with the very first tune an alternative song.  What can I say?  Throughout the latter part of spring and into summer, the oh so catchy chorus of this one seemed to play out over and over in everyone's heads, including mine.  I posted it on June 11th and you can check it out here.

#19 - Timber - Pitbull and Ke$ha

One of the better collaborations of Pitbull's career features dance singer/songwriter Ke$ha.  This one's got an awesome hook and the track is lighthearted and fun.  Check out a recent Song of the Day post featuring Timber.

#18 - Jealous - Nick Jonas

Anyone who's been following this blog knows that I love Nick Jonas.  The man has come out in a big way this year (and I don't mean closets!), and all the while embracing his fans of the gay persuasion. This, so far, is the biggest hit of his newest eponymous album, and, um,, yeah!  Check out Jealous.

#17 - I - Kendrick Lamar

OMG, I absolutely LOVE this brand new one from R&B singer/rapper Kendrick Lamar.  I discovered it on Spotify only recently, and posted it as Song of the Day just a week and a half ago, and it's good enough to be one of the bestest songs of the year.  Smooth groove, smooth vocals...great vibe!  Check it out...

#16 - Riptide - Vance Joy

Another Spotify-discovered song that I absolutely LOVE!  It's by a relatively obscure Aussie singer Vance Joy and the words just make you want to sing along.  Check out this Song of the Day feature from October here.

#15 - Am I Wrong - Nico and Vinz

I just posted the other day that the feature for this Song of the Day back in July garnered the highest number of page views for the year 2014 under that tag. Check out the infectiously island-infused Am I Wrong.


#14 - Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars

I said it back on December 9th that this one was going to be a smash, and from what I'm seeing and hearing, it already is.  This high energy, Minneapolis-inspired funk is nothing but down home fun! Don't believe me just watch...

#13 - All of Me - John Legend

I admit that it took me a long time to get this one.  It is a ballad, after all...but there was one day at Cherry Grove over the summer when it came on and nearly everyone in the bar was singing along to every word and I didn't know it.  Well I know it now and I love it, especially the dance version! Check out the beautiful All of Me.

#12 - Rather Be - Clean Bandit, featuring Jess Glynne

Here's one my personal favorite tunes of 2014.  This one is so beautiful, so sweet, and so melodic that I just can't not listen all the way through whenever it's played.  If you don't know it, then you'd better check it out...

#11 - Fancy - Iggy Azalea, with Charli XCX

First things first, I'm the realist...

What a big year 2014 was for the Aussie rapstress (who's been taking a lot of b.s. from that other Azealia) Iggy Azalea, who first gained notoriety on Ariana Grande's smash Problem and then whipped it up on this funky, bassy jam.

#10 - Happy - Pharrell Williams

This oh so 'happy' tune finally brought some very well-deserved attention to a longstanding multi-talented artist Pharrell Williams.  This one is of a new breed of genre that's brought back some old feel good funk and was definitely a precursor to Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk.  Check out the Happy Song of the Day Post from February.

#9 - Royals - Lorde

Though this masterpiece from young New Zealand singer/songwriter Lorde was released in 2013, it still got lots of airplay in 2014.  The Grammy winning Royals is one of those songs that comes along only once in a blue moon and is very deserving of a spot on the top ten tunes of 2014.

#8 - Talk Dirty - Jason DeRulo

Ooh, this was a fun one.  A, a lot...on the explicit side, but it's got that R&B smooth swagger that's so fun to jam to.  Check out Talk Dirty.

#7 - Waves - Mr. Probz

My face above the water
My feet can't touch the ground
I can see the sands on the horizon
Every time, you are not around
And I'm slowly drifting...

The year 2014 saw a resurgence of chill/lounge music, and this one lead the way, growing in popularity throughout the year.  The Robin Schulz (who I've really come to love) remix is the one that you all know and it goes a lil something like this...

#6 - Problem - Ariana Grande, with Iggy Azalea

Now a year I ago, many of us never even heard of Ariana Grande, but after this one with the oh so appropriate in-your-face lyrics and the infectious dance track, she's become a huge part of the current pop music landscape.  Check out the Problem Song of the Day Post from May.

#5 - Take Me to Church - Hozier

Here's another song I only recently discovered from Irish indie singer Hozier.  The Grammy-nominated song is simply powerful and the video is equally so.  Check out this Song of the Day post of Take Me to Church.

#4 - All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor

One of the most iconic and popular songs of the year comes from newcomer Meghan Trainor and she had us all thinking about bass and treble in a whole new way.  Check out All About That Bass.

#3 - Sing - Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran was one of the most successful artists of the year 2014, and this is the one that was his springboard to success.  With the help of producer Rick Rubin, Sheeran recorded his second studio album, X, a compilation of twelve stellar tunes.  The album has earned the singer many accolades, nominations and fans, including me, and though I love the entire set, this one featuring Pharrell Williams has to be my favorite!


#2 - Shake It Off - Taylor Swift

This one is so irresistable it's got to be one of the catchiest and funnest songs of all time!  Check it out...

And the players gonna play play play play play 
And the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate...

#1 - Dark Horse - Katy Perry, featuring Juicy J

All the while I was thinking about this post, I was sure that I was going to name Swift's tune the #1 Song of the Year, and then I remembered this one.  Katy Perry's Dark Horse came out in late 2013 and its title is very appropriate.  It wasn't originally aimed to be a single, but its perfect blend of thumpy beats, Juicy J's raps and mystical feel simply induced all who heard it to listen and listen and listen.  Oh, what a great song!  Take another listen...

So there you have it, my Top 20 Pop Songs for 2014.  I hope you've enjoyed reading and reliving some of the year's best music and please let me know down in the comments some of the songs that rocked your world in 2014.  Stay tuned for my annual countdown of the year's 30 best dance/club tunes coming soon!

Song of the Day - Never Been In Love - Cobra Starship with Icona Pop

Now here's a nice, happy pop tune brought to you by two acts that do nice happy pop tunes.  Yes, You Make Me Feel's Cobra Starship got together with I Love It's Icona Pop to make this little ditty that breeds familiarity via Fatboy Slim's Praise You.  The tune is so nice it makes me wonder how it never became a big hit.  Check it out and decide for yourself...

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in El Tabo, Part III: Christmas Lunch and a Visit to Patricio's

Once Rodrigo's family had gone on their way to their cabin in Algorrobo, it was time to return to mama's ranch for some Christmas lunch, which was basically leftovers from the night before.  The only thing different this time was the first course, a blandish soup consisting of one big potato, some noodles, and a strange looking piece of barbecued meat.

Now here's one of those times when my not-so-fluent Spanish got the best of me.  Rodrigo could see that I was a little confused as to the contents of the soup and he tried explaining it to me.  In his description, I thought he said the word 'conejo,' which means 'rabbit.'  I smiled and nodded, but inside I was completely grossed out!  I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to new foods, but rabbits are sooooo cute!  I'd never eaten rabbit before, and I really would never want to.

Not to be rude, I ate the contents of the soup...all of it...and oh so slowly, too.  I later confirmed from Jorge that it was not rabbit in the soup, but beef cooked a special way.  I wish I'd found out earlier...the whole thing would have definitely gone down smoother!

By the time dinner was finished it was nearly 5 o'clock already.  Between getting up late and it being summer, there were still plenty of daylight hours left (the sun is up even longer down there than here in sets at almost 10 o'clock!), so even though we'd had a full day in just five hours, there was still plenty to come on this eventful Christmas Day.  Our next stop was to visit Jorge's cousin Patricio, who lived nearby mama's house.

Patricio is an eccentric fellow, for sure.  He's got a lot of money and according to Jorge he has so much of it he doesn't know how to spend it.  I'd bought a laptop computer and a karaoke machine (those Chileans LOVE their karaoke!) for him at Best Buy and we were delivering the items to him.

Much of Patricio's wealth comes from the property he owns, which is expansive and takes up much of the hillside where Jorge's mom and other family members live.  On the way to his house, Jorge had explained that Patricio likes to buy 'stuff,' and he wasn't kidding.  Oh, the show Hoarders would love to visit this house!  The man's immense home was filled to the brim with huge collections of all sorts of things, from Matchbox cars to dolls, plates, name it.  Virtually every inch of the house was filled with some sort of collection.

The house itself was very old fashioned and very beautiful.  It actually reminded me of a much larger version of a 19th Century house I once lived in and I wouldn't mind living in it.  I quickly found out even before seeing the collectibles that 'things' weren't the only items Patricio liked to collect.  Upon our arrival, we were greeted by not only Jorge's cousin, but by 14 dogs, too, and there was a collection of about 100 chickens out back. Oy!

We didn't spend a lot of time at Patricio's house.  While we were there, he served us a couple of shots of some sort of alcoholic concoction he had made himself and I think I grew a couple of new hairs on my chest from the experience.  Afterwards, he took us outside to see one of the most incredible things I ever saw.  Patricio had a two-story guest house built in a tree towards the front of his property, which he gave us a tour of.  It was incredible and I wish I had taken pictures, but I didn't want to be rude.

After our visit with the cousin, it was off to Massael's, Jorge's thrift store in town, so that Rodrigo could take a shower (there's no hot water at the house!).  Little did I know at the time, there'd be much more still to come on this Christmas Day.

Sunset in El Tabo on Christmas Day

Stay tuned...

Check out the first two parts of Christmas in El Tabo:

Christmas Eve

A Christmas Morning Surprise

Song of the Day - Living For Love - Madonna

Well it's a brand new week and now's as good a time as any for the very first Song of the Day from Madonna's new Rebel Heart album.  It's the first single and the only one to be made available via video/audio so far, and besides, I woke up with it in my head.  It's definitely an early favorite from the six new tracks on the record...inspirational, uplifting...Madonna!  Check it out if you haven't already...   

Sunday, December 28, 2014

John's World Top Ten Song of the Day Posts for 2014

Well it's time to begin the countdown to the end of 2014 and it's time to start reflecting on the year that was.  As usual I've been reading a lot of top ten lists in music for the year in preparation for my own lists of the best in pop and dance music...

For the first time ever, I thought I'd try something new.  I'm always spending time looking at the stats of this blog and though the page views could be better, they're not too shabby.  Of course, one of the most popular types of posts I put on John's World are my Songs of the Day.  I've been faithfully posting daily songs for almost four full years now without missing too many days.  I know if you're reading this, then you've definitely checked some of them out along the way.

I thought it'd be fun to see which songs got the most page views this year.  I'm always a little surprised at which of my posts garner the greatest hits, and researching for this list confirmed my confusion.  Take a look below at the top ten Songs of the Day on John's World for 2014.  They're a mixture of new songs, Flashback Fridays, and others, and I have no idea how or why some of them made it...

#10 - All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor - 86 page views


One of the biggest new artists of the year was Meghan Trainor, who is still hot with her hip retro style mixed together with some very adult and very catchy lyrics.  This is the one that started it all, and so it's no surprise that this one landed within the top ten Songs of the Day.  Check out All About That Bass.

#9 - Mercy - Duffy - 88 page views

Back in February, I posted Duffy's Mercy as a Flashback Friday Song of the Day and for whatever reason, people clicked.

#7-8 (tie) L8 Cmmr - Lily Allen / By Your Side - Sade 90 page views

These two are very different from one another in terms of old and new, yet they both got exactly 90 page views this year.  The Sade post was made on June 4th, and it included some sappy sentimentality because that would have been Joe's and my 27th anniversary.  Perhaps my inner circle made some clicks for that reason.  As for Lily Allen, well this was a big year for her.  Early on in  , the year, she surprised a lot of people with a new album, Sheezus, and she got a lot of attention from me with plenty of posts.  L8 Cmmr is one of the funnest tunes on Sheezus and I'm not surprised this one worked. (A second posting of the song garnered another 23 hits, so perhaps this one could've been a little higher.)

#6 -  Hard Out Here - Lily Allen - 93 page views

The one that started it all this year for Lily earned a respectable number of hits here.  Love this one!

#5 - Stir It Up - Bob Marley- 98 page views

Bob Marley's classic reggae jam was posted as a Flashback Friday Song of the Day back in February.

#4 - Bucket List - Nelly Furtado - 99 page views

I posted this one back in October, not long after school had started. I used the idea from the song (and the movie) for a writing exercise with my students and I had it in my head that whole week.  Check it out right here.

#3 - Tell It to My Heart - Taylor Dayne - 103 page views

The second highest hit making Flashback Friday post of the year came from a Friday back in May.  Taylor Dayne's very first single, Tell It to My Heart, was indeed and awesome, and very dancey tune, and I'm not surprised at all by this one.


#2 - Don't Tell Me - Madonna 123 page views

Madonna is probably the most talked about musical artist on this blog (along with P!nk!), and this countryish tuneoff her 2000 album, Music, got plenty of attention as a Flashback in January.

#1 - Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz 263 page views

By far the most viewed Song of the Day post comes from Norwegian duo Nico  & Vinz with their tune infectiously smooth Am I Wrong.  Even though the song was a #1 hit here in the States, I was a bit surprised that this one did as well as it did.  Check it out...

So there you have it, the top ten Song of the Day posts o John's World for the year 2014.  And just in case you were wondering, here are some other tunes that just bubbled under the surface:

Never Gonna Leave Me - Sia - (78)

I Wanna Dance with Somebody - Whitney Houston (77)

Problem - Ariana Grande (76)

Just Girly Things - Dawin (66)

Holiday - Madonna (65)

Stay tuned for more as I wrap up the year 2014 with my top ten posts, top ten pop songs and albums of the year, and of course my top thirty dance/club tunes of the year...