Tuesday, January 26, 2016

10 Songs About Hot Air Balloons!

I wrote this article for listverse.com. They just sent me a note that they rejected it.

So I'm posting it here!

You know what? Life is hard sometimes. Sometimes we want to rise up above it. We want to float up into the sky and look down on all our problems and watch them drift away. Just leave them all behind, and move on to higher ideals, better things, and the happy peace of mind we know is out there somewhere other than here.

As if we were embarking on a trip around the world in 80 days with Phileas Fogg.

As if we were going home with the Wizard of Oz.

As if we were accidentally floating away with Falcon the “Balloon Boy”.

(Oh, wait, that was not actually true.)

(And come to think of it, that was a helium balloon.)

As if we were in a Hot Air Balloon!

Someone should write a song about that desire.

As it turns out someone has! A whole lot of someones have!

Here are my top 10 songs about Hot Air Balloons!

10. Up, Up and Away - written by Jimmy Webb, recorded by the 5th Dimension from the album “Up, Up and Away”

“The world’s a nicer place in my beautiful balloon / It wears a nicer face in my beautiful balloon”

The easiest of easy listening music. It is exactly the kind of background noise you want to have to ignore as you go grocery shopping, ride in an elevator, or when you are put on hold and desperately waiting to hear a real human voice on the other end instead of the prerecorded reminder that “all lines are busy right now. A representative will be with you shortly!”

“Up, Up and Away” is all about taking a balloon ride with that special someone and maybe, just maybe, falling in love up amongst the stars.

Perfect Hot Air Balloon Song For: A relaxing, lazy afternoon as you fall in love and fall asleep.

9. Red Balloon - written and recorded by The Internet from the album “Feel Good”

“When I get older I plan to follow you / In my new hot air balloon”

When someone breaks your heart it hurts. It also hurts when, balloon-like, they float away from you and out of your life. All you want to do is float after them and convince them to stay. All you can do is let them go and move on.

This song could be the balm in your time of healing. It could help you move on to the next balloon.

Maybe a green balloon this time...

Perfect Hot Air Balloon Song For: A relaxing, lazy afternoon after your heart has been ripped out of your chest.

8. Balloon Ride - written and recorded by Relient K from the album “relient K”

“I went on a balloon ride / (I could see everything from up there) / I went on a balloon ride / and now everything seems clear”

Everybody has moments of doubt in their life.

If you are confused, lost, unsure of your next step this song suggests that you go on a balloon ride!

It can be a religious experience.

In “Balloon Ride” Matt Thiessen’s guitar has a driving rhythm and distortion aplenty to simulate the angst and confusion of questioning yourself and what you believe while the lyrics are filled with the reassurance of hope that the answer is out there.

Perfect Hot Air Balloon Song For: Your next church youth rally/retreat.

7. Hot Air Balloon - written and recorded by Foreverinmotion from the album “The Beautiful Unknown”

“A hot air balloon / is waiting for you”

You know when you go to college and you start meeting different kinds of people and hearing different opinions? You start looking at things in a different way. You begin to move away from the popular opinions of your parents and hometown community and start thinking for yourself. You start to realize the world is different than you thought it was. You realize the world is big, scary, dark, and beautiful all at the same time.

“Hot Air Balloon” ecompasses all of these feelings and spills them all over the place as an acoustic guitar plinka-plunks and struma-strums underneath the mess.

Perfect Hot Air Balloon Song For: College. When you know everything.

6. Down Today - written and recorded by Jonathan Coulton from the album “Artificial Heart”

“Tell me what you think I’ve been doing wrong / I’m too high to hear what you say”

A song about someone trying to bring you down, but you take off with a pretty girl and ignore them.

Jonathan Coulton’s constant, skilled ukulele pluck and strum feels like the rise and fall of a smooth and steady ride in a hot air balloon.

Perfect Hot Air Balloon Song For: Saying “Goodbye and good riddance.” Oh, and for destroying all of the stuff your ex left behind before they get a chance to ask you to give it back.

5. Love in a Hot Air Balloon - written and recorded by Phillips Anthony from the album “Invisible Men”


“Me oh my, watch me fly, through the sky, higher and higher / Eagle eye, one mile high, watch us fly”

This song is about sex in a hot air balloon as a last resort because all your other modes of transportation are broken or otherwise unavailable.

The trundling bass line during the verses is reminiscent of “Obladi Oblada” by the Beatles and feels more like riding on a train than floating up into the clouds, but the chorus soars where eagles dare.

Perfect Hot Air Balloon Song For: Getting down whilst you’re going up. It is kind of the antithesis of “Love in an Elevator” by Aerosmith.

4. Huge Balloon - written and recorded by Bracket from the album “924 Forestville St.”

“Get in my huge balloon (x 3) Sunny weather”

People suck. Let’s leave and start over. Get in my huge balloon.

Maybe the grass truly is greener anywhere but here.

Like “Balloon Ride” by Relient K, the music in this song is a driving 3-chord punk explosion with hopeful lyrics sung in palatable and pretty harmony.
Bracket is one of my favorite bands and this song is catchy as all getout.

Perfect Hot Air Balloon Song For: Moving! New town, new digs, new people, new possibilities.

3. Hot Air Balloon - written and recorded by Freezepop from the album “Imaginary Friends”

“The sky is filled, we must prepare / hot air balloons are everywhere”

There is an open sky up there. Adventure awaits. Do not be scared. Do not be scared.

The robotic lead vocals and fuzzy synth rhythms give the illusion that the song is performed by an android backed by an alien insect band, buzzing out the beat with their alien insect wings.

The lyrics give a false sense of security with an underlying rumble of impending doom. A foreshadowing of the invasion.

Perfect Hot Air Balloon Song For: an epic road trip! Do not be scared.

2. Air Balloon - written and recorded by Lily Allen from the album “Sheezus”

“And we can’t hear what they say / Up in my air balloon, air balloon, air balloon. Ha!”

LA! LA! LA! I can’t hear you!

Miami or Timbuktu? Monkey? Kurt Cobain vs. Elvis?

Shake it, sh-shake it now.

But what is this song about? I do not know. The lyrics have a sing-songy, school yard beat with a dream logic tint. Maybe it is about a nap in a Hot Air Balloon.

Perfect Hot Air Balloon Song For: Telling somebody to fuck right off. That’s pretty much every Lily Allen song, though.

1. Hot Air Balloon - written and recorded by Owl City from the album “Ocean Eyes”

“I can’t wait / To kiss the ground / Wherever we touch back down”

Let’s find adventure! Let’s find what we are looking for! It’s out there! Let’s find our dreams! Let’s float away.

Owl City songs always feel like the dreams you have during the time when you are not asleep yet but not fully awake anymore. Happy, random dreams that you know are not real, but feel like they are actually happening. All while you know you are snug in bed.

This particular waking dream in song form is about a Hot Air Balloon ride!

Perfect Hot Air Balloon Song For: Going on an adventure. Inspiration. Starting anew. Ending this list of songs.

That’s it! That is my top 10 songs about Hot Air Balloons that I have found that .

Maybe I should take a Hot Air Balloon ride. I have never been.

Are there any songs about Hot Air Balloons you love that I missed? I know I left out the songs by Blue House, The Grouch, the National Parks, Stacey Kaniuk, Derek Minor, that one Mitch Hedberg track (which, granted, is not a song, but merits a mention because Mitch Hedberg was hilarious), and others (because I found them on Spotify after I had already written this article). Do you think “Red Balloon” is not enough about Hot Air Balloons to be included on the list? Leave any thoughts, suggestions, and love in the comments! If you have any hateful words to hurt me, leave those too. I’m too high in my Hot Air Balloon to read them anyway.

listverse.com told me that it wasn't interesting enough to a wide audience to publish. They're probably right.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bloodied Up - an Alkaline Trio cover by sethifus!

I just covered an Alkaline Trio song...

From youtube:

A little story...

I tried to sell this guitar to Guitar Center a few days ago. At first the guy said he'd buy it for $40, but then he took a look at the truss rod and decided he couldn't get the neck to unbow enough to make it sellable.

I'm kind of glad he didn't buy it. I don't like Guitar Center very much, and I'd miss this horrible, crappy guitar.

I like Alkaline Trio a lot. I don't have their newest album yet, but I've got all of their old stuff (I think).

I like this song a lot, too. I hope you like my cover of it.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"This Wheel" my entry to the 2016 Tiny Desk Concert Contest!

Hey, guess what!

I entered last year with what I think is one of my best songs! They put it on the official tumblr and said some nice things about it.

This year's song isn't as good.

From the youtube description:

"This is my submission to NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk Concert Contest!


This wheel is a-turning
through snow and sleet and hail
this wheel is a-turning
over broken glass and nails.

This wheel is a-turning
'cuz that's what wheels do.
This wheel is a-turning, baby
but not back to you!

This fire is a-burning
with a flame so bright.
The wind and rain won't snuff it out
it flickers through the night.

This fire is a-burning
with a flame so pure and true
this fire is a-burning, honey
in spite of you!

This heart is a-yearning
for a love so deep and sweet
a love to set it racing
and make it skip a beat.

This heart is a-yearning
but I guess that's nothing new.
This heart is a-yearning, sweetheart
but it won't break over you.

This wheel is a-turning, baby
watch it roll away from you!

This song started out as an attempt to write a song with the rhythmic feeling of "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash, but as I started writing lyrics it just became a pile of song cliches. It felt right.

I hope you all love it, and it helps you learn to love again!"

I know I won't win, but I figure it doesn't hurt to try!

Plus I had the new song written.

And it was fun last year.

And it might get my other videos a few more views.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Year, New Planner! (clutter culture)

I have to say, 2015 was rough.

No, I didn't get horribly sick, or lose a limb, or have anyone I love die.

But there were a lot of little bummers that added up to a rough year.

It seems like a lot of people had a rough 2015.

One of my little bummers was that I started a new job with older prek children than I worked with in 2014. Since I was going to be working with older children, getting paid more, and have more responsibilities in this job I decided to try to become more of an "adult".

Part of this was dressing a bit more professionally than I cared to.

Another part of it was not covering my daily planner calendar thing with stickers like I normally do.

The job only lasted about 6 months. I'm back with toddlers again and feel much better because of it.

But I kept the planner.

I carried it all year. It didn't get any stickers applied to it, but it did get water spilled on it repeatedly when my water bottles leaked all over my messenger bag on several occasions.


I didn't even doodle in this planner as much as I usually do.

I'm glad 2015 is gone.

2016 is almost 10 days in as I write this. So far it hasn't been much better than 2015. Princess Melawesome and I have both been a little sick throughout this first week. A couple days ago I was sicker than I have been in a few years.

But I'm not letting that ruin my optimism!

I still think 2016 could be my year, and your year too!

I even have a new planner!

Work gave it to me!

I was planning on buying a fancy planner (waterproof, if it was available), but I got this for free and I really like the puppy on it.

Plus it already has a "$1" sticker on it!

2016 is My (Our) Year!

Let's cover it with stickers.