Monday, November 23, 2015

Today's Shuffle (Evening Edition): You must fly closer to the sea

I thought about simplicity today, in terms of letting go of everything that is not needed. Worn-out but still admired shoes. Faded papers. Flat pillows. Old, unloving thoughts. 

Then I heard Sinead's a capella koan, which I probably haven't heard in a couple of decades.

No other words needed. 

Sinead O'Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got 
Nneka, Africans Concrete Jungle
George Harrison, Beware of Darkness All Things Must Pass
Willie Nelson, One in a Row One Hell of a Ride
Rufus Wainwright, Go Or Go Ahead Want One
David Bowie, Five Years Stage 
David Bowie, A New Career in a New Town Low
Matthew Sweet, Divine Intervention Girlfriend
Depeche Mode, Halo Violator
Angie Stone, 20 Dollars Mahogany Soul

Friday, November 13, 2015

Low sun.

Been thinking about this one quite often over the last week, on the sunny days. It shines, and it's even warm in the rays, but its path is low, almost like the sun is a marble rolling around the side of a bowl, instead of arcing high (I didn't study physics in school).

The light, though, is still golden, and lovely, even if it's shining across, not down.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Today's Shuffle: The door always must be left unlocked

God, just when I was about to replace my old iPod with the new one that's been in its packaging for over a year, it gives me a good commute shuffle, good thoughts under blue skies.

Improbably, it's worked its ish out and cranked on for most of this year

So I should document this one, though brief, wide as the November sky.

David Bowie, The Stars (Are Out Tonight) The Next Day
Wilco, Muzzle of Bees A Ghost Is Born
Pixies, All Over the World Bossanova
Howard Jones, What Is Love Human's Lib
Beastie Boys, Finger Lickin' Good Check Your Head
Rufus & Chaka Khan, Once You Get Started
Nirvana, Scentless Apprentice In Utero
Common, Track 9  Electric Circus
Jimmy Cliff, My Lucky Day This Is Crucial Reggae
Mandy Patinkin, Finishing the Hat Sunday in the Park with George Original Cast Recording

Friday, November 06, 2015

To whisper love I used to know

I appreciate the Fleetwood Mac comparisons, sure, and this scratches my prog itch, but it's the sound of katydids whispering (fullly voiced around the 5:20 mark) that got me glued to this 1976 track from these English rock/folk/prog-ers.

Seems like this album diverges from their original, harder sound, brought to the world's attention when they opened for Deep Purple. I've dipped into early 70s Wishbone briefly and find it's closer to the Allman Brothers than this '76 stuff is to the Mac. Wah-wah, guitars.

I'll take nighttime summer bug chatter over that any day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

All I want is to have my peace of mind

How does Boston, of all people, know how to say what I feel? (And, as always, my Internet radio guru Zenith knows what I need to close my eyes and slip away.)

Last night the great phone chat I had with my gurl and former-but-really-still creative collaborator KVA laid out exactly what whats-his-name is saying.

I should show more respect and name the guy. How he made this song, his music, is what I am jamming on.

Tom Scholz was an engineer at Polaroid during the day and music-tech whiz and one-man band by night, who had fallen in love with rock music while at MIT. He whittled away at creating his own sound down in the basement, and was pretty much in it for the process. "I actually expected total failure."

Not what happened

Run your own race, and let the results be the results.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Maybe it's today

I was happy to see Anthonie Tonnon, who's touring the U.S. from his home base of Auckland, New Zealand, perform twice this week once in front of less than a dozen people in a record shop, and the next night in a hip, crowded bar. It doesn't matter where it is -- he puts on a show. The performance thought-out yet spontaneous, practiced but not pretentious. He works the crowd, he works in the crowd. He takes risks, whether confronted with 10 self-conscious people with street noise filtering in, or in front of 75 swilling handmade gin cocktails.

It was inspiring to me to see structure and spontaneity in performance, and trust in the audience's best intentions.

And the musical chops match the in-real-life confidence.

And I was happy to meet him, too. He's a nice, direct and unaffected fellow who seems sort of ageless. He looks quite young, but is much more mature than his polite and polished exterior.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

You are the light.

I've become sort of obsessed with this 1977 live/studio hybrid album from Santana, Moonflower. It's a cornucopia of what made pre-"Smooth" Santana great, including his cover of the Zombies' "She's Not There," a live version of "Black Magic Woman," and a veritable shit-ton of timbales. And Carlos' outsized solos grinding to almost-ear-splitting peaks.

This track brought me to the album -- well, good ol' Internet radio did, actually, as usual.

This one--the whole album, really--fit with the lower-angled, late summer light of the afternoon. I washed a formidable stack of dishes, swept and mopped, too, probably, while listening to this album, windows wide open. The house smells a certain way when it's a certain temperature, and feels a certain way when the sun is where it is. The homeness of home is verdant in those moments.

I catalogued this with the lifetime of other of sublime late afternoon sun-angle smells and feelings I've collected.