Music Routes Blog

Bon Jovi to Strong Bad (SMLP #5: Nephews-Oriented Special Edition)

03 October 2009

Today, I'm with Porterhouse and Xam, my 11-year old and 9-year-old nephews. So I got their input on what to listen to this morning.

Porterhouse and Xam love Strong Bad, thanks in no small part to their awesome uncle. Earlier in the week, the Homestar Runner site released a video for "Crystal Fortress" by They Might Be Giants featuring Strong Bad. "Crystal Fortress" was selected as our route end point.  Porterhouse and Xam seemed to like it OK, but their mother laughed a lot harder at it.

When asked, Porterhouse informed me that his favorite band is Bon Jovi, greatly pleasing his New Jersey-born mother. It was easy to decide what Bon Jovi song to use to start the route—the previous evening, Porterhouse had rocked "Wanted Dead Or Alive" in the Rock Band video game.

In 1987, Cher released a reworking of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)", a song with which she had a hit in the 1960s.  All of Bon Jovi appeared on the recording, including Jon Bon Jovi as a background vocalist and Richie Sambora who would be romantically involved with Cher around two years later.  Michael Bolton was also singing background vocals on the track.

"Far, Far Cry" from the star-studded Jonathan Elias record Requiem For The Americas is a two-part track.  Michael Bolton sings the lead vocals on the second part, "Let There Be Peace".  The lead vocals on the first part are by Jon Anderson of Yes.

Jon Anderson contributes background vocals on "Aimum" by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.  (Like Béla Fleck, Xam and Porterhouse's mother is a banjo player.)  John Medeski of Medeski, Martin, and Wood plays the organ on that track.

John Medeski also played organ on the Rufus Wainwright track "Release The Stars".  The trombone player on "Release The Stars" is Dan Levine.

Dan Levine plays trombone on the They Might Be Giants track "Mr. Xcitement" which features Mike Doughty on vocals.

Naturally, both members of They Might Be Giants play on the They Might Be Giants track, "Crystal Fortress" which you should totally watch/listen to again.