2018’s Song of the Summer

Every summer there’s a handful of songs that become huge hits. But only one can be crowned Song of the Summer. Billboard even charts this exciting time in music going all the way back to 1958. Check out their list here. And if you’re curious like I was, the 1958 hit was “Domenico Modugno” by Volare. Ok, sure.

Anyway, check out a fantastic roll through time with all the hits, in under 4 minutes:


For time’s sake, though, here are the last few years…

2014: “Fancy” – Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX


2015:
 “Cheerleader” – OMI (more about the fun video here)


2016:
 “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake (although Billboard suggests “One Dance” by Drake feat. some random artists)


2017:
 “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi feat. Justin Bieber


It’s interesting that 2 of the last 3 were remakes. Omi has an earlier version of “Cheerleader” before it blew up, and the same with Luis Fonsi and “Despacito.” And what’s really funny is that I like the originals better! Another quirk… 3 out of the 4 above (if you include the Billboard choice for 2016) are songs that feature other artists.

As summer approaches and we’re waiting for a monster hit to kick off the season (remember this one, anyone?), one may wonder if it will follow the same characteristics as any of these recent summer successes. It’s also important to note that last year when Billboard published their list of summer hit contenders (in April), “Despacito” wasn’t on it at all! Even though the song was released in January 2017, it didn’t make worldwide waves until the remix featuring Justin Bieber hit the airwaves a few months later, in April…. after the Billboard list came out.

The same thing could happen this year. There might be a song just waiting to explode, all it needs is the magical combination of timing and catchiness. Glamour has a list, which they tout will undoubtedly include songs you’ll hear all summer long. I, for one, have my doubts. Take a look…

“High Horse” – Kacey Musgraves (nope!)

“The Middle” – Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey (nope! Peaked too early)

“Curious” – Hayley Kiyoko (nope!)

“All the Stars” – Kendrick Lamar and SZA (nope!)

“Lemon” (The New Remix) – N.E.R.D., Rihanna, and Drake (possible!)

“No Excuses” – Megan Trainor (possible but nope! Will be annoying after hearing it 10 times)

“1,2,3,” by Sofia Reyes, Jason Derulo, and De La Ghetto (possible!)

One thing the Song of the Summer seems to capture in recent years: it makes you feel good! I was going to say it also needs to be clean and/or family friendly, but that’s not true is it, Mr. Thicke? Remember his 2013 Song of the Summer?


Clean? Not even close. But endorphins? Oh, yes. That’s mostly why Glamour’s list is almost entirely a bunch of finger wagging nah ah’s. With the exception of “Lemon,” “No Excuses,” and “1,2,3,” none are overly catchy and hardly activate any euphoric sensations.

So this year’s Song of the Summer is “to be determined,” but I’d say watch out for artists like Post Malone, Drake, Justin Timberlake, or someone we’ve never heard of… yet 🙂

-Out of the Wilderness

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Am I jinxing the Predators?

For those of you who don’t know, Nashville has these “watch parties” for anyone without tickets to home playoff games, and also for away games. Last year when the Predators made it to the finals, I went to 3 of these watch parties.

Not only did we lose those 3 games, we also never even scored! The one time a puck made it in the net was soon called for a controversial off-sides penalty.

Now it’s 2018 and the Predators are in the hockey playoffs again. The city is having the watch parties again. I went to one again. We lost again. The next game, which happened a few days later, we won. There was a watch party but I didn’t go.

You see what kind of stress I’m under now?

While you may think the solution is easy– just don’t go to a watch party– I’ll make it even easier… Someone needs to give me tickets so I can watch from INSIDE the arena. We never win when I’m watching from outside.

Easy way to win the Cup in my opinion!

-Out of the Wilderness

What happens when there’s no romance

There’s eye contact. Laughing. An attractive woman with a pretty smile. She touches his arm playfully. He compliments her style. This has all the makings of a great relationship forming. But what happens when there’s one thing, one critical thing, missing?

It might not be apparent on the first date, or even a 5th date, but have you ever been out with someone only to realize you don’t have romantic feelings for them? Whether you ever admit it to them or not, I imagine it’s happened to most of us at least once.

So let’s get personal, shall we? Earlier this year I spent time with someone in whom I was hoping to have interest. There was clearly an attempt on both of our parts to strike the match for a romantic spark. We went out a few times and saw each other quite a bit in “non-date” scenarios. All that to say, we were able to see each other’s personalities pretty well, and I was purposely trying to be a gentleman throughout the entire dating relationship. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m generally happy with how I behaved. Well… that makes one of us!

I’m not one to leave things hanging or to assume she can read my mind so once I knew I didn’t have feelings for her, I wanted to talk about it. Now, I’ll be he first to admit I’m not one who’s known for being tactful. I’ve got none! But I made a point to be kind, considerate, and to muster up at least an ounce of tact. It must not’ve worked. Somehow my approach for sharing my feelings was off-putting and she took the opportunity to let me know. Let’s just say I got a spirited response.

It was 17 pages. FRONT AND BACK!!


OK, it wasn’t as dramatic and the Ross and Rachel saga, nor was it more than 10 or 11 pages, but she was clearly upset and told me all about it. And just so you have all the facts, she also didn’t have romantic feelings for me! The verbal lashing seemed to be out of left field, and what I couldn’t figure out is who she thought she was talking to? And I don’t mean that in a puffed up kind of way. What I mean is that she derided pretty much my entire approach to our dating relationship, the same dating approach I was proud of! Surely she was thinking about some other fellow, right?

Way back in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think what really upset her is that I brought it up first. Maybe she wanted to be first to say there wasn’t interest. I honestly don’t know, and won’t ever know, because after I defended myself, and spent time considering her comments, I let it go. Any further communication would not have been helpful to either of us.

What helped me through this is remembering I can only marry one person. So every other person in the entire world is someone I didn’t marry. Makes sense, right? These other people… either I didn’t know them, didn’t date them, or didn’t have romantic feelings for them. That’s all the options. So this latest relationship is simply one of the ones that aren’t the one. I wish her the best…

As Queen says, “Another one bites the dust!”

-Out of the Wilderness

What’s behind Jake Owen’s “I Was Jack” music video

Well, as some of you know I love writing about music videos. The things you might miss the first time you watch, those are what I dive head first towards. So we come upon Jake Owen’s video for “I Was Jack (You Were Diane),” which is loaded with so much info, I was practically salivating as I thought about where to start researching! That is, until I got to the end of the video. Sneaky director Justin Clough made it easy for all of us to know a lot about the video, such as locations, starring actors, etc. So definitely check out the entire video, to the very end.


It’s a great piece of work from Mr. Clough, and just to get right to it, the stars of the video are Jake Etheridge and Mackenzie Porter.

Jake Etheridge is an actor and singer/songwriter who grew up in South Carolina but now lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s part of a Holland-based country band called The Common Linnets. He’s also a heck of a cross country runner! Wait, hold on, OK never mind. That’s a totally different Jake Etheridge. You never know who might pop up on a Google search 🙂

Mackenzie Porter is a Canadian actress and singer. You may recognize her from The Netflix show The Travelers, but those who know her best… are cows… because she was raised on a cattle and bison ranch in Alberta! They remember when she was “just this tall” (cows raise their hoofs a few feet off the ground). Since then though, she’s become a classically trained violinist, a talented actress, and in 2003 because the younger sister of a Canadian Idol winner.

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Something else I noticed in the video is the plethora of flyers on the entrance of the diner.

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Bands listed are Nemesis, The Backseaters, Hallway Kids, and Necros.

The Backseaters feature a lead singer named Jake. So that’s 3 Jake’s “appearing” in this music video. Coincidence? Conspiracy theorists disagree!

Hallway Kids might be a reference to Canadian TV show Kids in the Hall. So that’s another link to Canada there.

Finally, Necros is (or was) a real band in the 80s. So this must be a tribute to punk bands that school rebels might’ve listened to in the early and mid-80s.

Ruthie’s Inn can also be read on a flyer posted along with the others. Perhaps another reference to early 80s punk rock, because Ruthie’s Inn is a notable California venue for thrash metal bands in the 80s decade.

pak plazaLast bit of trivia is the the pawn shop where the high school dude possibly buys an engagement ring. It reads “Pak Plaza Pawn and Sport Shop”. This is a real pawn shop in Hot Springs, Arkansas. No word on the ring and if it was ever sold for under a grand, though.

 

Be sure to follow these folks on their social channels, and THANK YOU for checking out my post!

Jake Owen Twitter

Mackenzie Porter Twitter

Jake Etheridge Twitter

Justin Clough Twitter

-Out of the Wilderness

Adopting a third dog?

The other day I was jogging at a nearby greenway in Nashville. This particular stretch begins/ends near the Metro Animal Control office, so, as I’ve done before, I stopped in at the end of my run. I figured since I have time, why not drop by to say hi to the doggies.

I strolled to each fenced-in dwelling, chatting with the four-legged guests. It wasn’t too long ago I came across an energetic dog named Bailey. I sat with her for awhile, and they even let me play with her outside for a bit. She was a great dog, yet my heart didn’t feel a tug. I knew she’d be adopted soon so I had no inclination to adopt her. This time around, a whole different story!

In a stall next door to the one Bailey was in (she’d been adopted by now), was a boy dog named Pharaoh. I knew I was in trouble because my heart felt a strong tug! He had blue eyes, and a spotted pink nose. He was mostly white with a few big brown patches. They said he was an Australian Shepherd mix. I learned this when I chatted with the workers there as I was on my way out. I was also told that Pharaoh was available, darn it! And he might be deaf! Well, now I just wanted to be the hero that saved him! Couldn’t they have said he has a history of biting people’s faces? He walks upright and drinks beers? He loves to pee on carpet? Maybe he’s pro-choice or something? Anything that will deter me from wanting to adopt him!

Anyway, I left to finish my jog and head home, all the while feeling that tug on my heart. For the rest of the afternoon I went over in my mind what kind of changes another dog would bring. Two dogs is one thing, but it seems like three is a whole new ball game. I researched. Mostly the adjustment was financial, but also there was a 10 or 15 year commitment to grapple with. My two dogs (Piper and Asia) are 8 and 6, so adding Pharaoh as a 1-year-old would extend my guardianship quite a few years. I decided to pray about it the rest of the day, research, sleep on it, and then see how I felt in the morning. Along with what I was feeling, I also knew he’d be adopted pretty quick because he was a beautiful and seemingly well-behaved dog. In fact, before I had even met him, there were two other families who put a “hold” on him but after 24 hours, their claim had expired.

I went to bed thinking I’d go visit him the next day, no matter what my heart was feeling when I woke up.

The next day I made my way over to the shelter mid-afternoon. I said I was there to pet the dogs. I also asked about Pharaoh. You see, I was still curious but if I’m being honest, I knew this time– in my heart– it was not my task to make a home for him. Although he would be a great dog, I’m sure, I felt a peace that he was meant for someone else. Well, when I asked the woman, she said he’d been adopted… THE DAY BEFORE!

Yeah, the same day I met him! A few hours after I left, he was gone! It’s so funny to me that once I got home after meeting Pharaoh, not knowing he would be adopted that day I prayed and prayed, I thought and thought, I went to bed hoping for clarity, then awakened with an inkling of a feeling, but still praying and thinking. Meanwhile, Pharaoh had been with his new owners for half a day already.

My prayers had been answered before I even prayed them. Pretty amazing! When I was told he was adopted, I didn’t have a feeling of regret, no anxiety about missing out, I was just happy for Pharaoh. Hopefully he now has a great home to run and play and be loved in. And meanwhile, me and my little pack of three are very content as a triple-threat 🙂

-Out of the Wilderness

On skateboarding, softball, and sillyness

It was one of those things where you think to yourself, “I have to do this. I must do this. I will do this!” And now, in hindsight, I should not have done this.

It all started on a warm Wednesday afternoon. The day before, on a warm Tuesday afternoon, I mowed the front yard, so naturally on the next day, I’d mow the back. It takes about 40 minutes behind a push mower I bought from my neighbor years ago. It’s a trusty little mower. I secretly planned to mow half the yard Wednesday, and finish it up on Thursday. Such a secret, I didn’t even tell my dogs! Because we’ve all seen how that can go.


Mowing only half of the backyard was partly due to conserving energy for 2 softball games I had that night, one at 615 and the next at 720. I know softball isn’t exactly physically demanding, but I still like to be energized for running, etc. Anyway, I ended up mowing the entire backyard, which wasn’t the worst decision I made that day.

While I was mowing, I thought to myself, “Hey, I should ride my skateboard to the games tonight.” Now we’re getting really, really close to the worst decision I made that day. Plus, how is riding a skateboard 2.5 miles in any way going to help me conserve energy? I’m so silly. I’m also stubborn, so now that the challenge was out there… there wasn’t really a chance I’d say no.

A couple of hours later I gathered my gear and went through everything mentally. I’d need a backpack, flashlights, water, phone. Check. I left the house and here’s what I realized by the time I arrived at the field 30 minutes later: It was mostly walking! The original plan was to walk the uphills, then ride the downhills and flat spots. Well, there were about 2 flat areas and the hills were steep and horribly positioned. They all seemed to end at an intersection. C’mon man! So I ended up walking up and down the hills.

I only had 2 close calls on the way to the fields: one where I did ride down a hill and needed to make a right, almost sliding into a car because I could barely maintain the turn with the speed I was going. The second was when I fell backwards, landing on my hands and rump. I’m sure someone saw this (I was in a neighborhood) but I didn’t hear any laughter. They were probably just being kind till I was out of ear shot.

I played the two softball games, and was pretty much dreading the ride back home, another 2.5 miles and this trip in the dark. I had a headlamp on the entire time, and flashed a Maglite flashlight when cars were near. So. Much. Walking. But I was determined to ride, so I sometimes pushed the board going uphill. I made it in about 32 minutes but my legs were toast!

Good news: I didn’t fall or have any near collisions this return trip.

Bad news: As I’m typing this post, pretty much every part of my lower body is sore. What a leg workout that was, and for future reference, you will not see me riding the skateboard on Wednesday nights from here on out! I’ll take advantage of the luxury of having a car to ride in, thankyouverymuch!

-Out of the Wilderness

Cars that look like stars

I saw an El Camino recently and for a split second thought it was Kid Rock.


Then I had a revelation… there are quite a few celebrities that look like cars.

Adam Levine / Corvette


Hunter Hayes / Toyota Rav4

 

Lil Wayne / this car


Paris Hilton / Mazda RX-7


Vince Vaughn / Volkswagen van


Neil Patrick Harris / Alfa Romeo

 

Ed Sheeran / Pontiac Aztek

 

Charlie Puth / Mazda Miata


Lady Gaga / car wash

 

-Out of the Wilderness