Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

This is a public service announcement with guitar.

We need Joe Strummer, today and every day.

"Without people, you're nothing."



I am so grateful to my friend Robert for being such a huge fan (and therefore fellow sporter of white pants on many occasions) that he came down here for a Strummer/Mescaleros show at Metro and invited me along and that I dragged my broke arse to the show. I distinctly recall counting out enough cash on the Blue Line platform to get me in the door that night, get one beer, and not much else that weekend.


Sometimes I find I have to fold my arms and say--

Can never get enough of AG in varying stages of polyester...


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today's Shuffle (Shopping Edition): I'm gonna walk by myself to prove that my love is true

Clever Shuffle! You found two versions of the same song and almost bookended my pelted tromp around the Loop. Which actually was lovely--downtown was deserted due to an impending storm that, like an indifferent friend, never showed up, and lights were lit, and store clerks were warm friendly despite being tired, and, even though I was steaming like frozen vegetables in a bag in my down coat (thanks, forecast) and was shopping (thanks, Christmas), I was happy.

I love the Loop. I have the lake literally in my face every workday now, and god, I need that, but I do miss the Loop.





I think Stevie's version (recorded 1967 but not release until a decade or so later) edges out Aretha's, in which there's a bit too much going on--strings, synths, back-up voices. I wish it'd stick with the piano that starts the song. Stevie's is pure heart.

Stevie Wonder, Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do), Anthology
Led Zeppelin, Black Dog Led Zeppelin IV
My Morning Jacket, Touch Me I'm Going To Scream, Evil Urges
Kraak & Smaak, Danse Macabre Music for Cocktails: The Silver Edition
The Lonely Island, Dick In A Box Incredibad
XTC, Don't Lose Your Temper Black Sea 
Ike & Tina Turner, Sexy Ida Part 1 Proud Mary: The Best of Ike & Tina Turner
Sarah Vaughn, Sometimes I'm Happy The Very Best of Sarah Vaughn
Bomb the Bass, Bug Powder Dust (Kruder and Dorfmeister Dub) Chill Lounge 1
Sade, Feel No Pain Love Deluxe
Rockpile, Now and Always Seconds of Pleasure
English Beat, End of the Party Special Beat Service
Beastie Boys, Say It Hot Sauce Committee Part Two 
Beastie Boys, Right Right Now Now To The 5 Boroughs 
Radiohead, Planet Telex The Bends
Jimmy Cliff, Hard Road to Travel This Is Crucial Reggae
David Bowie, All The Madmen The Man Who Sold The World
Aretha Franklin, Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do) Let Me In Your Life
Billy Joel, Travelin' Prayer Piano Man
Lady Gaga, Paparazzi The Fame
Beck, Lost Cause Sea Change 

p.s. Thanks for the holiday tunez!

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I could've watched the whole world pass me

This is my jam (that is not legally embeddable):


Today's Shuffle: I left that house on fire and I never went back

I was here until late last night--later than I anticipated, because how do you tear yourself away when Kim Deal is twelve feet away from you, crooning, "No by, no aloha?"

Thanks for the affirmation first thing this morning, then...

Pixies, I Bleed Doolittle
The Jam, In The City In The City
New Order, 586 Power, Corruption and Lies
Buena Vista Social Club, Candela Buena Vista Social Club
Groove Armada, I See You, Baby The Best of Groove Armada
James, Out To Get You Laid
The Dining Rooms, Tunnel Tre
The Cure, Shiver And Shake Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
The Cure, Hot Hot Hot!!! Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me 
LCD Soundsystem, Someone Great Sound of Silver
Sam Cooke, Loveable Portrait of a Legend
The Kinks, Waterloo Sunset Something Else By The Kinks

I wish that Robert Smith (solo, or better yet as The Cure) would tour, or play a special show like last night's. No--wait, I want him to do the thing where he'd play the classic album in its entirety, and that it'd be Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. We're running out of days to mark its 25th anniversary, however.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Today's Shuffle: And my imagination will make that moment live

Reconstructed from memory. Ack. It was a good'un, so I had to.

Janelle Monae, Come Alive (The War of the Roses) The Archandroid
Willie Nelson, Stardust One Hell of a Ride
Outkast, Spaghetti Junction Stankonia
Estelle, Wait a Minute (Just a Touch) Shine
Nick Drake, Which Will Pink Moon
Louis Armstrong, Kiss to Build a Dream On The Best of Louis Armstrong
Field Music, Is This the Picture? Plumb
Me'Shell Ndegéocello, The Way Peace Beyond Passion
 

While I occupy my mind

Another tune that I prefer when released from Spector's echo chamber. Moments so heavenly...


Monday, December 17, 2012

Today's Shuffle: Once a lifetime, twice a day

I'm determined to take measures to make Shuffle shuffle. But I'm also not going to complain about two tracks from The Big Express.

Whether out of ambition or narcissism or inability to focus on one thing, today I'm embedding a thought about each track.

Neko Case, The Pharoahs Middle Cyclone
That voice.

XTC, This World Over The Big Express
"Can you tell us about that far off, and mystical land?"

Crowded House, Anyone Can Tell Afterglow
I love this album of CH rarities. I loaned the CD to someone at work ca. 2002 and never got it back.

Beck, Dark Star The Information
California: in two weeks I will be in you.

Nick Lowe, Cruel to Be Kind Labour of Lust
Three years ago during the month of December, I listened to this song almost every day.

Michael Jackson, It's The Falling In Love Off the Wall
I adore OTW, but, despite its too-baroque, on-the-R.-Kelly-tip production, I prefer this MJ ballad over all others.

Sweetback, Jesus Girl Stage 2
I had to look up this delivery from my sister.. I didn't realize I was listening to Sade's backing band.

XTC, Wake Up The Big Express
I think I need it.

Steely Dan, Chain Lightning Katy Lied
Don McLean, Rush and 38. Special also have tracks with this title. It's also a bunch of other things.

Captain Sensible, Wot Modern 80s Volume 3
Ever been awakened before you've slept off your hangover with a pint of lager next to the bed?

Liz Phair, Flower Exile in Guyville
Those indie guys Back In The Day must have really, really been assholes.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Today's Shuffle: No one cares for you smidge

I do what I do now because I saw the first (possibly the third) Broadway tour of the musical Annie in Cincinnati in 1978. I had never been to the theatre before. I was lucky to see something wonderful, and not just something wonderful, something that every little girl around my age wanted to see, and to be in.

I memorized--and performed, in the living room (because that's where the stereo was and this was Mom and Dad's, not my, record) to an audience of couch pillows and plants--the entire show. Mostly the parts with Miss Hannigan.

By gum, I'll play her someday, and get those orphans to make the floor shine like THE TOP OF THE CHRYSLER BUILDING.

The Replacements, Can't Hardly Wait Pleased to Meet Me
Wilco, Reservations YHF Demos
Joan Osborne, Right Hand Man Relish*
Diana Ross, Upside Down  Diana
Everything But The Girl, Walking Wounded Walking Wounded
The Velvet Underground, Sunday Morning The Velvet Underground
Paul McCartney, Jet Band on the Run
PJ Harvey, Yuri-G Rid of Me
Sloan, HFXNSHC Never Hear the End of It
Dave Brubeck Quartet, Strange Meadow Lark Time Out
Finn Brothers, Part of Me, Part of You Everyone Is Here
Daft Punk, One More Time Discovery
Carl Hanaghan, Summertime (Richard Earnsha Mix) Hed Kandi: Beach House
Annie, It's the Hard-Knock Life Original Broadway Soundtrack

This was a great to/from bus ride playlist. I'm especially touched that my favorite Brubeck track shuffled up, just as we crossed the Chicago River with the skyline a panorama behind us.



*edited to add: I forgot to embed a link to some in-depth thoughts on this track. Yep, it most definitely does deserve a post of its own.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Today's Shuffle: My head is high and my spirit is strong

Well, I need to excise some tracks, albums and artists off of this iPod. The crimes? They range from being the bland quasi-local spin-off of a band I really liked (rhymes with milko) or a Top 40 rip-off of a band I really love (rhymes with Meplacements).

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Better Things I Learned the Hard Way
Martha Wainwright, Tower Song, I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too
Res, 700 Mile Situation How I Do
Stevie Wonder, Sir Duke Songs in the Key of Life
The Autumn Defense, Iowa City Adieu Circles
Neil Young, Loner Decade
Hideo Kobayashi, Teardrops with Rasmus Faber A Drama
Goo Goo Dolls, Long Way Down A Boy Named Goo
Linda Ronstadt, I Will Never Marry Simple Dreams
Neko Case, Fever Middle Cyclone
Stevie Wonder, Golden Lady Innervisions
The Temptations, Papa Was a Rolling Stone (DJ Jazzy Jeff and Pete Kuzma Soleful Mix), Cafe Mambo Ibiza 2006


And I have to delete the Martha Wainwright. This is in italics because, while I really do like her voice, she is kind of crazy and most--all?--of the songs are unequivocally bad aural feng shui. She's always waking up in someone's bed she shouldn't have been in or waiting by the phone for that no-good (married, distracted, shady) man to call but then he comes back and BAM her zipper's undone and there we are again.

That's just some poor-choices, self-hating poison to pour into your own earholes.

But then Shuffle gives you the antithesis of that to start your day.



And, in that small, random gift, you have a pool of morning sunshine to swim in later when things and thoughts darken during the day.

You want your iPod to not only play what you like instead of what you don't, but to soundtrack exactly where you are (and we're talking the undiscovered country here, folks, the insides), not someplace that you're not.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Today's Shuffle: It's only right that you should play the way you feel it

Funny, I just bought a vinyl copy of Rumours on Saturday. The best riding-in-the-back-of-the-car-as-a-kid song ever.

Fleetwood Mac, Dreams Rumours
Sting, Desert Rose Brand New Day
Cash Audio, Hide Away The Orange Sessions
Duran Duran, Planet Earth - Night Version Singles Box Set 1981-1985
Sade, Long Hard Road Soldier of Love
Van McCoy, The Hustle Hustle and the Best of Van McCly
Erykah Badu, Drama Baduizm
The Jam, The Planner's Dream Goes Wrong The Gift
Groove Armada, Lazy Moon Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)
The Police, Masoko Tanga Outlandos d'Amour
Neil Young, When You Dance, After the Goldrush
George Michael, Flawless (Go To the City) Patience

Here I thought The Hustle was simply a line dance--au con-bellbottomed-traire!



I miss actual social dancing. Of course, how can I miss it, I was a small child when this last vestige of it was happening (and in addition I thought this was a line dance)? I'm only exposed to it at wedding receptions, in which my situation (no dance partner currently on hand) and interest level in social dancing (zero) can dictate that I beat tracks to the bar, or when in the company of my brother-in-law's family, who are all from Colombia, where everyone not only dances, but does it with carefree zest, having been introduced to it around the age that I was longingly hearing disco songs and watching people get in lines and shimmy sort-of-together (or Saturday Night Fever).

Social, or couple, dancing is pretty much a joke these days, in every sense of the word. People are indentured into it, whether it's the one and only time they have to dance presentably and without a shield of jokey self-deprecation, their "first dance" as a married couple (for which it's now a thing, I've heard, to get lessons for that single flop-sweat-inducing span of four minutes), or it's the end of a long night full of many emptied bottles, resulting in a sort of handsy, sloppily provocative lean into another body in hopes of leaning into that body even more later.

Social dancing--not dancing-dancing, whereby you dance alone but in a group and you are wearing a cute top and jeans and don't care how sweaty you get or where your coat is because you're in a cool place without dancefloor stalkers or thieves and the drinks are cheap--because GOD this is the best time ever--is about getting action, then. Color me cynical, but that's what I believe it has become. Less about process and more about the end--like many, many, many things in this hustle of life.

What happened to dancing just to dance?

That's where my Colombian in-law-in-laws come in, and, maybe, Latin culture in general (bear with me, I will probably generalize next). A few years ago we (my sister, brother-in-law) and I went to a Latin club to check out the dancing while I was out east for a visit. They'd either been there once, or heard it was a good time. We grabbed some beers and a table by the dance floor. Once a particularly beguiling song began, they took to the floor, and I watched. I was fine watching. Except for that tapping foot. See, because the problem is when I actually do hear music I want to dance to, that is beguiling, well, I want to dance to it. But we weren't at Neo or Liars Club or (let's take it back now) the Artful Dodger or Mad Planet, so I couldn't simply fling my drink onto the table and shimmy across the floor like I was hearing "Got To Give It Up (Parts 1 and 2)" or "Mirror in the Bathroom" or "Atomic Dog" or I could go on... So I sat. No problem, I am used to not having the dance partner on hand (see above), either because of distance or partner's (if indeed one is present) lack of interest in dancing.

Then a guy came over and gestured to the floor, and to me, asking, "do you want to dance?" My immediate reaction: WHAT THE HELL DOES HE WANT, DOES HE THINK I WILL SPEND THE REST OF THE EVENING WITH HIM? Then...pause...okay, what the hell. We danced a rhumba (that's what either he or my bro-in-law or both told me later). He showed me the steps. And I had a wonderful time--just dancing. He was a lovely and friendly man and he just wanted to dance because we were in a place for dancing and I wasn't and the point is, for him, for the Colombians whom I've partied with and for (maybe) Latin culture in general, everyone should dance.

EVERYONE SHOULD DANCE.


I would rather be alone than pretend I feel alright.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Today's Shuffle: I just happened to be standing there

Shuffle played me the Willie Nelson track last night, too. What the hell, iPod?

I need to discover how to make shuffle actually shuffle more. This is getting to be like dealing a bad hand to every player in the game; I'm hearing--love her, but come on--Juliana daily.

Sting, Englishman in New York Nothing Like the Sun
Paul Westerberg, 2 Days 'Til Tomorrow Mono
Billy Joel, The Mexican Connection Streetside Serenade
Willie Nelson, Little Things One Hell of a Ride
Boz Scaggs, What Can I Say Silk Degrees
The Smiths, Shoplifters of the World Unite The World Won't Listen
Grace Jones, Pull Up to the Bumper Island Life
Juliana Hatfield, Send Money Made in China
Terry Callier, Love Theme from Spartacus (Zero 7 Remix) Chill Lounge 1
Steven May, Open Day (Original Mix) The Masters Series Part 5 - Hernan Cattaneo
Radiohead, Treefingers Kid A
Violent Femmes, Gone Daddy Gone Violent Femmes
Elvis Costello & The Attractions, TKO (Boxing Day) Punch the Clock
Juliana Hatfield, Just Lust How To Walk Away  

Another one from Dad's stero:



Interesting that both this and the second Juliana track begin with a dude showing up at 3:00 am. I guess that is when folks launch either heart-baring confessions or debilitated ideas. From what I remember, anyway.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I was thinking that the gypsy wasn't lyin'

Good god.


Today's Shuffle: And I'm laughing at the frozen rain

Equal parts sweet and sour. I'm okay with this today.


The Police, Can't Stand Losing You Outlandos 'dAmour
The Week That Was, A Disclaimer The Week That Was
Lush, For Love Spooky
Pete Krebs, The Road Is So Much Longer Here Duet for Clarinet and a Goat
Field Music, So Long Then Plumb
The Kinks, Situation Vacant Something Else By The Kinks
The Sundays, I Can't Wait Static & Silence
Kaskade, Tonight It's You, It's Me
Nirvana, Serve the Servants In Utero
Steely Dan, Bad Sneakers Katy Lied *
Gary Numan, Remember When I Was Vapour (Live) The Pleasure Principle 
Stevie Wonder, Happier Than the Morning Sun Music of My Mind
Scissor Sisters, Take Your Mama Scissor Sisters

Again with the Dan, I know, but don't they embody the dark/light so blithely?



*I believe the version posted is sans McDonald. You're welcome.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Why in the world are we here?

"Every year, let’s make December 8th the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable. Let’s wish strongly that one day we will be able to say that we healed ourselves, and by healing ourselves, we healed the world."


Friday, December 07, 2012

Today's Shuffle: It's the sound that we used to buy

It's always kind of funny and kind of sad when you realize one of your music embargoes is over. The memory(ies) attached to the music is distant, a kaleidoscope, really. Pieces shuffling and churning on each other to make distant images that just make you go "huh."

David Bowie, Station to Station Station to Station
PJ Harvey, Ecstasy Rid of Me
Thievery Corporation, Satyam Shivam  Sundaram (feat. Gunjan) Cosmic Game
Wild Flag, Something Came Over Me Wild Flag
Big Star, Morpha Too #1 Record/Radio City
Vassy, Loverman Music for Cocktails: The Silver Edition
Spoon, I Summon You Gimme Fiction
Crowded House, It's Only Natural Woodface
Kaskade, Peace on Earth Here & Now
Les Miserables, Master of the House Les Miserables The Original London Cast
Led Zeppelin, Friends Led Zeppelin III


We're gonna polish up our act

How funny! Every time I sing this song, I do it just like he does.




Must Play Loud: We all know what your name is

In honor of their honor this week, the charming ol' chaps.


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Today's Shuffle: You can't discrima-hatecause you done read a book or two

Guess it's time I tell you that I love Hall & Oates. 1975-83 only!

Wait --  through 1984. I kind of liked some stuff on Big Bam Boom. Because you know I like pretty much anything from 1984.

But that's a different post.

"I Can't Go For That" isn't my favorite track, though it does make me giggle thinking back to how my friend Eva and I assigned every track on her copy of Private Eyes to each of our Barbies to perform in what I guess was a Barbies Present Hall & Oates variety show in her living room. A precursor to reality singing competitions!

We should be rich.

Billy Bragg, From a Vauxhall Velox Back to Basics
Juliana Hatfield, Untitled How to Walk Away
David Bowie, Sweet Thing (Reprise) Diamond Dogs
Annie Lennox, Oh God (Prayer) Bare
Daryl Hall & John Oates, I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) Greatest Hits
Outkast Feat. Erykah Badu, Humble Mumble Stankonia
The Band, King Harvest The Band
The Beatles, What Goes On Rubber Soul
Arrested Development, Washed Away 3 Years, 3 Months in the Life Of...
Crowded House, Pour Le Monde Time On Earth
Field Music, Ce Soir Plumb


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Heard In the Car: The chosen are few

I'm brimming with new features, but I've not had the focus to post them. While I was zipping to the grocery in a jet black car in the six o'clock darkness, a quiet storm broke in that musty Civic. I had to wait it out in the Whole Foods parking lot:



(I'm pretty sure I was the only person in that lot listening to this jam.)

Since I don't have a fancypants phone that I can simply wave aloft for it to name that tune, I had to, gawd, use Google to find it, listening til I found a unique-enough snippet of lyric to punch in.

The Isleys! In 2003! With R. Kelly! Shoulda know that bouncing bass groove was his (not to mention the tiny "hoos" throughout). That's what drew me into the song, actually. My head began to nod reflexively (another sole instance in the Whole Foods parking lot).

I'm gratified, actually, to learn that the Isleys continue to make contemporary music and that it's on commercial terrestrial radio. You can trace a line from "This Old Heart of Mine" (1966 -- and also prominent in a season two episode of Moonlighting in which David reunites with an old flame [nooooooo! Maddie!] played by Dana Delaney who [while the song is still playing waaaaay past its actual conclusion] confronts her pushy new boyfriend and happens to shoot and kill him [it was a detective show, remember?]) to "That Lady" (1972 -- one of my favorite funk songs ever, even when it was used to shill shampoo in the 90s) to "Between the Sheets" (1983 -- oh damn, that ding-dah-ding ding-ding transition is ...wow [and sampled everywhere now]).

I said I was not focused, didn't I?

All of these make me just want to simply drive at night, maybe give a tiny "hoo."


Monday, December 03, 2012

Today's Shuffle: There's a five o'clock me inside my clothes

It's a misty May morning--in December. Shuffle determined it should match the incongruity of climate reality.

Seu Jorge, Pequines E Pitbull (Carolina)
Neil Young, Till the Morning Comes (After the Goldrush)
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Lookin' for a Love (Zuma)
Omara Portuondo, Canta lo sentimental (Buena Vista Social Club)
Van Morrison, Dweller on the Threshold (The Best of Van Morrison)
Field Music, Kingston (Tones of Town)
My Morning Jacket, Gideon (Z)
Sol Brothers vs. Kathy Brown, Turn Me Out ( Turn to Sugar) (David Penn Dub Mix), (Hed Kandi World Series Miami)
Mary J. Blige, In the Meantime (No More Drama)
Radiohead, Bloom (The King of Limbs)
The Breeders, Hag (Last Splash)
LCD Soundsystem, Can Change (This Is Happening)
Zero 7, Throw It All Away (The Garden)
The Vogues, Five O'Clock World (Good Morning Vietnam Soundtrack)
Paul McCartney, Another Day (Ram)

I'm sharing this one because it is beautiful. I love discovering the gems that I already have.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Today's Shuffle: Everything is so provocative

My iPod showed me love today. The poor thing, after subjecting it to a steady diet of XTC, Radiohead, and running music, I decided to throw caution and morning-commute thought engineering through careful soundtracking out the window and throw it on shuffle.

Hoo boy, that little silver Classic guy rewarded me! So much so, I'm starting a new feature whereby I do the same--play the iPod on shuffle during my morning commute--and record the tracks here (with an audio/video call-out, as per usual).

This is also in hopeful anticipation of actually purchasing, downloading, and loading this prescient 'pod with tracks instead of relying on free Spotify like a harried, all-day desk jockey driven to tears by Powerpoint slides (and unknown "consultants" who do not understand nor ever consider grouping their charts and graphics for easier manipulation and, yes, I pretty much want to off myself for even typing that sentence, let alone experiencing it).

I ought to share what I got, the good, the bad, and the tracks I downloaded for comedy shows (That's why I have "The Electric Slide," really!!).

Today, iPod knew it was FRIDAY:


The Breeders, I Just Wanna Get Along (Last Splash)
The Crusaders featuring Randy Crawford, Street Life (Street Life)
The Jam, Move on Up (Extras: A Collection of Rarities)
Chicane Saltwater - The Remix (Behind the Sun)
Andre 3000, She Lives in My Lap (The Love Below)
Jill Scott, Show Me (Who Is Jill Scott?)
Willie Nelson, Me and Paul (One Hell of a Ride)
The Brand New Heavies, Put the Funk Back in It (The Brand New Heavies)
Steely Dan, The Fez (The Royal Scam)
Beck, Peaches and Cream (Midnite Vultures)
Elvis Costello, Big Boys (Armed Forces)



Sunday, November 25, 2012

The beauty that surrounds them.

I'm watching dead, brown leaves tumble out of the window and thinking about how I probably got hold of All Things Must Pass exactly two years ago, and how it turned out to become a balm for my heart and mind, and how I can listen to it again without either immediate recoiling or renewal. This track in particular just is what it is: majestic, wise, yearning, soothing, prescient, pushing.




Saturday, November 24, 2012

Has given me a feeling

This morning I got to relive the moment I first heard this song during a dissection by Sound Opinions of the legendary albums by Big Star, #1 Record/Radio City. The word "swoon" was used. That is, in fact, what I did when I was sitting on my couch on a Friday evening in September 2009 before I went out to see someone or other's comedy show later that night.

I told you I was reliving it.

Eventually, some eighteen months later, after a lot of how "Feel" feels had been felt, in fact, I learned to play it myself. (A D G A D G A D G A D G A G A C G G A C G)

But back to the discovery: I discovered Big Star, really, then. I became one of the "children by the millions," finally, when I'd not bothered myself ever to really investigate those beloved by so many beloved by me (actually, after the first full listen of #1/Radio I was going, um, hello, Elliott SMITH and not um, RePLACEments, somewhat to my surprise). So much so that weeks later, in October 2009, I buried spring bulbs in my front yard while that double-album pop-rock magnificat coursed through my earbuds. And, I like to think, romantically, into the soil itself.

I was still listening, not as much, but still, when those bulbs erupted, to my delight, into towering hyacinths, daffodils and tulips.

Must. Play. SO. LOUD.


Friday, November 23, 2012

All I care is to smile in spite of it

I first encountered "Lush Life" when I was around the same age as Billy Strayhorn was when he wrote it. In the early/mid-80s, Linda Ronstadt mounted a career second (or third) act by continuing to make matchless covers other artists' songs, but during this era, instead of recreating the hits of her peers, she turned to pop songs of an earlier era. Three collaborations with bandleader Nelson Riddle produced three hit albums and introduced kids like me (whose parents dug her Cali-country take on pop and rock songs) to the songbook of Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, and Strayhorn. Linda's is one of those voices that, If I Could Have a Singer's Voice and Persona, I Want That One--but that is a feature I just made up that I'll have to launch another time on this jukebox.

Hearing "Lush Life" around 1984, I didn't really understand how "too many through the day" would make the girls' faces "sad and sullen gray," but I got the mournful remorse of loss at that tender age, and the declaration of, god, just moving forward somehow while there's pain in the heart and the brain. Rotting in a dive? That would come--and cease, thankfully--later.

Strayhorn is a character; protege of and then lifelong collaborator with Duke Ellington, who said that "Billy Strayhorn was my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brain waves in his head, and his in mine." All that and he wrote the lyrics for "Take the A Train," too. Black, gay, gifted in classical music in a time when all three were a liability, he forged ahead anyway. Like you do.

But, my god--I just heard Johnny Hartman for what is likely the first time only about nine hours ago, and this track about an hour ago, and I am gobsmacked, a puddle on the floor and a half-dozen other cliches for simply mesmerized. The facility, the interpretive nuance, the command of his voice, the sheer ear-ease of it all.

And, oh yeah, Trane plays, too.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

It will come back to you

I am thankful for the songs that, when I hear them, I am thankful for that and every time that I hear them. The blush never fades from its sonic rose, the seven-year itch never prickles, the metaphors never turn cliche.

This is one of those songs:



The first strains send me back to the PCH; the rest is just pure joy.

And this beneficence has a bonus, to boot!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Give me things that don't get lost.

Happy birthday, Neil. I would have posted that Massey Hall clip from 1971, but I want to expose the fact that you have not lost a particle of passion since you were the young man that was a lot like the old man.



Also, I have to find this 45.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Life goes where it does.



This is one of my favorite albums of all time. I cannot hear it without driving in Southern California in my mind's eye; up, up, over the arid hills east of San Diego, on the freeway curving down to the island, Coronado, gliding on the 5, the ocean on one side and the daunting, vast military base on the other. The towns on the PCH hang from it like gems on a necklace - San Clemente, where Nixon maybe found soulful peace in the horizon line, Dana Point, then, after not much at all, increasingly less lush seascapes at Laguna and Newport, and then Huntington with its oil derricks. The topography is always stark and the sky is perpetually pink. The car navigates the curves as though they are coming from inside me. In Los Angeles County, the 10 is a conveyer belt moving you west to Santa Monica; it drops you into  wide boulevards until you can make some left turns and find the ocean again. But it's below, too far to seem churning, or even real, but it is.

Everything here is foreign and familiar at the same time.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

So if life is your table and fate is the wheel

Watch this and know that a lot of what you see happening on stages both diminutive and vast today is happening because this happened:



To that end, and if you are a fan of what happened (and is happening), you should also watch this documentary. The "aliens arrived" in 1972 and changed what happened after.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunset.

My house/chill/dance/DJ music-listening is essentially anonymous. I reference rarely; the music usually serves a specific purpose: to provide a beat and soundscape for exercise, especially running, or to provide a mood, usually a relaxing one when I don't want to feel or think or remember or project things prompted by lyric-ed and musician-created music.

This is one of my favorite tracks. 



Camiel is a DJ from the Netherlands. Based on this handful of findings and the sheer breadth of free sharing on the intertubes, I could spend a lot of time both on Camiel and other DJ-created music.

Here is another favorite cut:



This has helped me finish pretty much all of the running races I've done since May 2011.

Friday, October 19, 2012

City's full.

Um, what?



This makes up for that totally lame Siouxsie show I saw at the UWM Ballroom in 1993. And, by the way, it will burn your face off.

You know, a couple of years ago, I was wishing that our beleaguered and mostly beloved Reader would develop an informative, entertaining, intelligent and, for God's sake, consistent and frequent, blog.

I got my wish. There's blood on its hands, but I got my wish--and it gives me stuff like this.

Anyway, I want MORE.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Says she likes the group 'cause we pull in the slack

If Bandwagonesque had come out when I was in high school instead of in college, I would have have worn out the cassette. Because by then I'd discovered pop music from the UK that was slightly denser and more complex, and had experienced the clothes-vibrating thrum of Midwest precision rock sludge, and was a frenzied fangirl for funky-punk ska, this was overlooked. Plus, though I'd heard of Alex Chilton, I wasn't one of the children by the millions into Big Star. God, that didn't happen for another fifteen or so years.



Because of the three-minute-plus guitar solo wrap-up of "Freebird" proportions, now this song is a bit more than some  pleasant sonic wallpaper circa 1991. Today has been about gentle nudging reminders of that time, like a languid screech from a long-haired guy's Rickenbacker or whatever. It's perfect for today: I have my days in the theatre and beyond on my mind, and I even sped past the Helfaer, Tower, Cobeen, et al on a quick day trip in/out of Milwaukee.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Let me hear the magic in my heart.


This one's for the jukebox, because since I saw Neil and Crazy Horse last week I've been reminded time and again that love is it.



This one's for you, so you can feel what it was like last Thursday in that temple built for and by money. It was recorded only a couple of months ago.




Love almost broke it down. But Neil and CH, they did break it down, huddled as if against a windstorm beneath the towering Fender stacks they resurrected from the Rust Never Sleeps tour, miniature but ferocious. I was wholly stunned by the their tightness, by the raw, dream-of-the-90s wall of guitars, by the intensity of Neil, whose face often looked as if it should be hovering over a post hole digger instead of a Gibson Les Paul.

When he sings "give me strength and set me free," it's more like

GIVE ME STRENGTH AND SET ME FREE

I thank the universe that Neil Young walks and completely fucking rocks out on this earth.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Even I never knew this is what I'd be.

Tonight I received surreal news that a classmate from undergrad, a fellow theatre major at MU, has passed after a rather sudden illness. He has to be 43, maybe 44 years old. Wife. Three daughters with Irish names, little girls whose big grins and fun vacations I'd see from time to time in photos on Facebook. That's where Bob and I reconnected, on Facebook. As he was back in the green room of the theatre, Bob was always up for a quick exchange, the "YES! that's cool" acknowledgement or clever exchange--the authentic connection with all of the cool people that you've known in different stages in life, that, despite its  Orwellian underbelly and meme-driven mediocrity and inherent inauthenticity, makes Facebook a positive experience. The funny thing is, I wouldn't feel the hit of this so hard if I'd gotten a call about Bob, or an email, from a mutual friend or fellow classmate. I'd have strained to think of the last time we saw each other, or talked.

So the surreal news comes via an already-surreal, still surreal, when you think about it, resource. Or platform. We read the news; our collective shock and grief was timestamped almost immediately thereafter.

I have an excellent XTC tribute album in Dropbox thanks to Bob. After one of my many postings--and a few trivia-contest style status updates that he posted and I participated in--he chatted me up on Facebook and shared the digital album. "You're an XTC fan? We really should have talked about this at Marquette," he told me. No matter, we could now. We had time, we had Facebook. We had a brief "what you up to now?" exchange as well. Actually, not so brief, but substantial and honest enough for me to get a real sense of his life. Raising two girls, both under the age of 10, I think. Living in New York. Working in publishing.

He was, you know, a guy. A nice guy, with sweet children and a smart woman he married. Someone with a quick wit and great comic timing on stage. I vaguely suspect that his were among the costumes I had to launder for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum when I was wardrobe head for that show. (Did he play Senex, the henpecked-husband stock character who is always duped?) I had to haul everyone's sweaty togas to and fro, and untangle sandal straps and shit like that. Then, the show would close, another would open, and it would be my turn to be on stage and have someone--Bob, or someone--build the sets I stood on and haul my sweaty costumes from the dressing room to laundry.

I bring up this detail because this whole operation, this toiling onstage, hoping you are good, and toiling backstage in the dust and darkness, dealing with people's bodies and personality quirks both, this collision and collusion of disparate personalities and energies and talents and goals that is a theatre production--especially a college theatre production, since one is literally in the building from early morning til late at night--is, actually, a family. See, these little families form, coalesce into a musical that everyone hates doing, or the serious play that is pockmarked with attempts to break each other onstage, or the high-adrenaline comedy that you'll never, ever, forget the lines from. And then, when the show closes, these families dissolve.

In the theatre, if only for a little while, whether the breadth of a show, or the duration of the completion of the requirements for your bachelor's degree, you are family. I'm connected to those people from my four years in college in a way I'm not to anyone else, nor have been since. We share a deeply formative, collective experience. I mean, I still hear my teachers' voices in my head when I am working in a theatre, when I am performing, when I am shopping for props ("NEVER do a show with real food!"), and especially when I was running a theatre company and its space. I'm fairly certain there is a group of 40 to 50 people who circulated in that building on the southeast end of campus during a six- or so year period who hear the same voices.

So losing a family member, even some twenty years after we last pulled staples from the stage and costumes out of the washer and exchanged Simpsons quotes in the green room, or mere months after a genuinely good-willed exchange of "I'm glad your life is good, old friend," it's...surreal.

This song immediately came to mind tonight, thinking about that nice moment of XTC geekery, of reconnection, we shared.



Rest in peace, friend.

On Repeat: The questions we tend to ask / Are useless if time is too fast


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Out of darkness.

I think of this poem by Mary Oliver just about every time I see or hear geese flying overheard. 
"Wild Geese"
Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
***********
I think of this song sometimes when it's stopped raining. Or when I am in the big, blond, bright group exercise room at the gym, because that is where I first heard it, of all places, during the cool-down portion of a class.

I'd love to say that out of the ceiling-to-floor gym exercise room windows I saw a V of geese flying overheard as I heard it, but that would just be me trying to make a moment out of two separate moments.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Planting seeds.

Because I wanted to post this yesterday, separately from the other one, and forgot:

"There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life." 



On Repeat: I'm only doing what you told me to do

I can't find lyrics online so, oh darn, I'll have to listen to this over and over again.



At this point, even though the Brothers Brewis are riding atop a lauded 2012 release, I'll take just about anything I can grab from Field Music's orbit. And I applaud the point that "it's pretty essential to not feel trapped by" being your band; it's a definite reminder that I've been cooped up in projects and "the band" myself, and what that can do to you.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Promises in every star (or, A weekend's worth of sadness)



I played the hell out of this cassette, I'm quite sure, but I don't think it survived a early/mid-90s This-is-not-cool-enough-to-remain-in-my-collection purge, or perhaps the purge prior to the big move to Chicago.

God, this is such a fall album (and reminds me of one fall in particular). But it's kind of overproduced, sadly so. The songs are great and I think they would survive a Let's-take-out-the-80s-flattening-production-effects revival today. I wonder if she ever plays these songs. Seriously, I'd love a re-recording of this.

Not, however, the first track off the album. This one--ah, I love its synthesized grandeur, the how it's haunting, but that is manufactured. Also, it just reminds me of both "What's Love Got to Do With It" and The Motels.


 
I feel like back then, her voice still sounded so, I don't know, contained. Definitely like she'd just gotten out of music school (which she pretty much had). I haven't encountered much Aimee Mann since then, or really tried, to, so I don't know how her voice has persisted or prospered over the years. I suppose I could go find out next month.

Or maybe that I ultimately like things that are a little rough, that kind of "college rock" or indie or what-have-you that sprang from the grubby punk impulse. Aimee Mann: she writes and sings about rough times, but she was never a little rough.

Sorry, I just cannot find a more expressive word for it than contained.

Still, I do love these two songs, and our Brave New Digital World makes it possible for me to have them. Well, technically, the BNDW has for the last ten years, but TT and this song didn't come back on my radar until I started listening to this latest in my hunt for the best and cheeziest classic-rock Internet radio station iTunes can offer me.

*Update: Um, yeah. I'm listening to the whole thing on Spotify and it gets progressively worse, and when you get to this track, you realize this should be faintly heard in Marshalls while you are shopping at the absolutely depressing one on Clark across from Century Mall for you-have-no-idea-what, you actually entered the building to go to the Cost Plus World Market that you thought was there but isn't so while you are in the building, why not just into Marshalls and see if they have knee socks or some kind of utility blazer and ohmygod these shirts are ugly as hell and, wait, that sounds like Aimee Mann faintly crooning above this rack of Misses tops and I should not have even gone into Misses anyway.

Now I know why I really purged it--if less than two songs make me happy, you're out.

Also: question answered.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

We are accidents waiting

I just want to climb inside this song and live in it. Every instance, format, venue in which I have heard it has led me there (most recently).


Friday, October 05, 2012

And I say it's all right

I've watched this video a lot. This time, I became intrigued with the way Richie plays guitar. He uses his thumb, not fingers, to form the chords.



And in this, his Woodstock performance of "Freedom," largely improvised because he had to hold the stage for three hours while the big-name acts made their way belatedly to the festival, he seems to do the same.

Here, not so much.

No matter how his fingers fly, Richie pours all of his heart and mind into that instrument.



Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The idle mind is a playground for the devil

If you haven't figured out by now, I am charmed and fascinated by artists who come from nowhere, go somewhere--for a little while--and then who seem to return to obscurity, leaving us only what may have been the peak of their life's work or may have been just the product of a single instance of fruitful synchronicity (or drugs).

I bring you another: son of Blue Island (but, yah, he grew up out in Palos), SAIC dropout, diligent multi-instrumentalist, unexpected funkmeister, #1 Top New Male Single Vocalist (1978), first-ever certified gold 12-inch single awardee, unassuming disco icon, Madonna-nicknamer, MTV VMA nominee (1985), what's-hot-in-pop adopter, tinnitus sufferer, web designer, one-hit wonder.

(And now I know where a lotta guys in Logan Square are getting their look.)

I remember this song.



Labelmate Betty Wright backing up, it's meticulously arranged disco. Assembled from a boxed puzzle: whooshing strings, signature bass line, scratchy guitar riffs, four-on-the-floor, a back-up lyric that's not part of the body of the song, and a general lyrical premise that proposes someone (a woman) just let go and dance. It's just all very--sterile. There's no passion in it. Out-of-the-box.

This track, however, is not. Gruffer, rougher, longer, stronger. This will keep you on the dance floor even if those new spike heels have your dogs barking.



I rarely read or acknowledge Youtube comments, but I love the second one, from "drumrman1:"

"FO SHO. back in the day, i used to bump the shit outta this in the clubs. no longer a deejay, however i'm driving beats on the kit like paul bunyan now and sometimes i try to replicate these grooves. getting close...feel me HOLLA"

The first song was made for the radio, to neatly layer between . The second song was made for the club, the club, the joyous, messy, hot club. Feel me HOLLA.


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

And I turned my amp up loud and began to play

1980?? I thought all these years that this was off the hat-and-mustache-era Still Crazy After All These Years, that I heard it on the radio much earlier than I did. It appears to be the only song off this album that garnered widespread notice or notoriety. 

This album that was concurrent with a movie??

[scrambling toward Netflix...aaaand nada.]

Has anyone seen this movie? It sounds vaguely familiar, like I might have seen it on Early HBO. Rip Torn! Lou Reed! David Sanborn!

Ah, anyway, this playing-live-in-a-music video of the album/movie's Big Hit Single kills it.



Monday, October 01, 2012

That's why I treasure you and place you high above

I'm posting this instead of yet another shitty Prince video that will be taken down in the next month because, well, there's synchronized back-up singing in this clip, too. Not as much. But it's got a driving beat, too, and was broadcast before (or perhaps just as) lip-synching became de riguer on TV.



I was in a show once and played a character with this name; the song was used as interscene music. Thus I feel like moving furniture and objects for scene change when I hear it.

Actually, when I think about it, I was in the tiny bathroom off of the stage, waiting to enter for my Big Dramatic Scene With Crying In It.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it

Oh, balls. I said I would post every day and today has gotten away from me (and shhhh about Friday), with running and writing a review and rehearsals and eating (which means eleven-thousand hours of washing dishes).

I observed yesterday that I was going to become obsessed with Tattoo You, and that happened probably around 2:15 or so into this track.

Originally recorded around 1974-75 for Black and Blue, the song was scrapped when Mick Taylor bailed on the band, more or less. It was revived for the later album, but retained:
  • Billy Preston on organ
  • Sonny Rollins on saxophone
  • Pete Townshend on backing vox
That's all I need, mate.  I like it when the Stones play funk (yes, I do).


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Excuse me I'm only human

This one is about being affirmative.

And I'm posting/playing it because a. I need to post on this blog daily and b. I want to continue to perpetuate the feelings of Love, Tenderness, and Devotion so inimitably, unforgettably, high-heeled-ingly twice laid out by my Purple friend this week.





By the way (there is always a "by the way," isn't there), I love that the members of the Love Men LTD, which eventually became L.T.D., piled into a car and drove to New York to seek their fortune--and then did it again a couple of years later by driving to Los Angeles, this time with a second car to carry the additional members. During the New York days, they picked up a drummer/singer named Jeffrey Osborne, whom we can thank for later, when his solo career took off in the early 80s, providing a song for wedding processions and probably funerals alike for years to come. I prefer the turquoise-shirt-and-white-pants-1983 funk of this track, though. Oh-whoaaa-ohhh-BASS LINE.

Affirmative.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

But I say it's only mountains and the sea

So I went back to the United Center last night to see Janelle Monae open for Prince, thanks to the clearance-priced tickets...



















...And ended up with a priceless show with eleventy-thousand encores, including one that was just Prince, soloing on the piano with "How Come U Don't Call Me Any More?" "Do Me Baby" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover." Although we saw the show on different nights, I agree with this assessment.



















But my favorite moment was hearing the song I'd forgotten about, the one that I dug, yeah, but never really dug into (and who bought Parade, anyway?), the one that was a middling hit in the summer of 1986, a summer about which I actually remember most details--movies I saw and with whom, who got a drivers license, who worked at which mall job, how I couldn't wait to get back to doing plays and speech at school.

Damn, this came at me hard, the culmination of a night that was in every way better than Monday's already "okay, I saw Prince; therefore it is good' show: sound, energy, set, pace. It had joy--and ass. My friend reported that an audience member nearby declared loudly during the "Do Me/Lover" encore that, to paraphrase, something was happening to her underwear.

He really is a sexy m.f. And ageless, too.

Anyway, at this juncture, there was such a great groove going, it was clear we were reaching the ecstatic apex of the show proper, which we slid deliciously back down with "Purple Rain" and an actual, gawddamn weep-inducing guitar solo played under a glitter-rain of confetti. We were all testifying, child. TESTIFY. Oh, this was a show.

So, yeah, back to that groove apex: until I heard the chorus I had the barest sense of recognition of this song.

Here it is, "Mountains," paired here as it was last night with "Everyday People," but featuring Sheila E., at the LA Forum shows in 2011.

video


But really, you should watch this clip from a Parade-era show, to feel me on this one.*

Prince Parade Tour Mountains

Anouk | Myspace Video


If you watch the "Purple Rain" clip in the set list link embedded above all the way through, Prince implores us to remember "we're s'posed to take care of each other."** Hollowly pontificating from the lip of your multi-million-dollar stage, was he? Do I believe him? I do. It's the same idea he laid down over Wendy and Lisa's track in "Mountains:" There's nothing greater than you and me.

Plus, there's a genuine simplicity about Prince now. It's apparent in an interview with Greg Kot that appeared in the Trib. He's out of the game. He's free to just make music, and give us what he called in his all-caps email interview with Time Out "A NIGHT 2 REMEMBER."

Oh, it was. To remember after, and remember during.

*edited to add: I have a feeling that for some, a Myspace login (!!) is required to view the Parade concert video. You can also try this: 



**edited to add: I withheld some information. The clip proves that I did hear right and Prince did tell us to "read your Bible" during the peak of "Purple Rain." But this, like the way I noticed he won't sing "in and out around your legs," "you got an ass like I never seeeeeeeeen" and other naughty bits in his older, racy material, I am going to ignore in deference to the greater good, i.e. my  having had a blast at these shows.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

He's the rolling stone

This isn't a Your Guilty Pleasure*. It's a great song.

This interview/focus on the song from BBC radio (which starts around 1:04), is a lovely remembrance of an unforgettable song and an empathetic, agile artist who, sadly, leave much of a legacy.

Man, this song has it all: screaming guitar solo, hip-shaky bongo noises, soaring,otherworldly riffs, and that take-it-to-the-bank saxophone solo, which, as explained in the BBC piece, was created by Gerry Rafferty, not saxophonist Raphael Ravenscroft.



It is so legendary that I submit that the Sexy Sax Man pick up his shiniest axe and purvey this smooth riff across some Kohlses and hell, why not a Thanksgiving Day parade, this fall.

And guess what? I can dig into this song myself as the nights begin to chill and shadows lengthen earlier and earlier.

*a song that you didn't know you liked, liked but didn't want anyone else to know, or that you find is making your mind or butt involuntarily move.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Baby, have you got enough gas?

Pregame, avec boot.



















Ow-WAH!



















I think the set list was printed in oversize format on the top of the piano, which also hid his synths and beats and shit. That was my favorite portion of the concert proper, the blazing medley (still, medley, dammit) that ranged from "When Doves Cry" and "Nasty Girl" to "Sign 'O The Times" with the total tease of the opening strains of "Darling Nikki" wedged up there in the middle. It was within this segment that he called out "Too many hits -- we got too many hits!"



















Was that a hint? 

The post-encore encore (and post-stage sweeping--and that took so long that I began to hope that the stagehand would off his workclothes and lights would bump up to reveal Prince in purple sequins within) was the best part of the night. More than thirty minutes after Prince left the stage, around midnight, the band came back and jammed, seen here. I ran back inside the arena from the concourse when I heard a cry rise up from within. Then Prince rode out on a white bicycle to take his place and proceeded to melt my whole self with "1999" and "Little Red Corvette."



















Quite a night. Five-hour energy, child.

On Repeat: Anticipation of a bite from the apple of yes

Finally grabbed the entire lp this weekend. My wait is rewarded.

I can't stop listening to this extra slinky track, a delectable merging of seductive beat and honeyed voice. It makes my shoulders move.



Of course, I missed their show in August; I had my own going on.

As always, next time...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Paint a perfect picture

Dammit, I have to say that I prefer the Purple Rain-era version. He got all quiet storm on this. I miss (and love) the big synthy fills from the original.

I would have posted it, but the clip from the film--complete with a hacked off Morris Day and Apollinia and Prince eyeballing each other--with the French dubbing, she gone from the interwebs.

Will I hear this tonight?


Prince Performs The Beautiful One's Live! on... by Doloresdu92

George Lopez has(d) a talk show?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I want to talk about you

This is my favorite track by Trane. I think I bought a cassette copy of Soultrane at the old Radio Doctors on 2nd and Wells. This was probably around 1990, when I was listening to a lot of jazz, having just become friends with my friend John and also having spent an interesting evening in the company of a rising star in jazz, one Branford Marsalis.

And Radio Doctors! I had to poke around Google for a few minutes to come up with its name, which I couldn't remember. I could remember exactly where it was, and how long it took to walk there from my dorm (about 15 minutes), and that I discovered it all on my own when walking around downtown Milwaukee, just exploring (which was exactly how I saw Corbin Berenson on Wisconsin Ave that fall when Major League was filmed around the city).

Radio Doctors was magical. I can't remember what it looked like inside, but I can picture how the light felt inside, and what Squeeze looked like when did an in-store there. And Radio Doctors was old -- I mean, in 1979, it was old.

...A white girl from Kentucky buying Coltrane cassettes at a venerable record store in Milwaukee.

It was a wonderful world, even back then.

Happy birthday to John Coltrane.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

But I would love to spill the beans with you till dawn

I acquired these today so that I will go get a turntable already.


I can hardly wait to see you come of age

A long time I ago, I copied and pasted URLs here to share photos of cute baby animals.

Now I don't have to do that any more.

This remains a jukebox, not a bragging aunt's photo album, so here's one of a big brother and a little sister for the ages. And it'll do for a while.

























Up and away

Refreshed, resolved resolve to post on this blog every day. It is a jukebox, after all.

This quote made me do it:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Aristotle

I can't guarantee excellence at every turn (again, a jukebox), but nothing's pulling the plug outta the socket on this machine.




Friday, September 21, 2012

Of a favorite song

I didn't think I could love this song more until I found this performance that's introduced via a bit with some very special guests.


I don't  have time right now to wax poetic over the riches that Burt Sugarman's Midnight Special has generally brought to my eyes and ears, but I will. Oh, I will.

I will say this: I think I got more chops when I've karaoked this shiz than Rupert.

But maybe he just needed to untuck that jacket from his pants.

Monday, September 17, 2012

On Repeat: And should I be sung and unbroken by not saying

This is one of My Most Favorite Songs Ever, ever. It is the most favorite song wherein the favorite status is not caused or created by lyric, or the marriage of lyric and sound, but solely is its sound. Only its sound, which is, to me, the sound of a heart hoping. The ache conveyed in this song is the ache of re-feeling what has been felt, and anticipation of feeling more. Flying down East Lafayette Hill Road on a yellow bike. Push play. Rewind. Repeat. Inside the apartment, after shutting the car door, insides screaming like a girl who spied a teen idol's hair flop just so over his eye during the concert. Push play. Rewind. Repeat.

This song stretches luxuriously up, and up even more.



It is on repeat every time I play it.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

You sock it to me, mama

Here's a belated--and smoking--Hal David shout-out.

I love the back-up singers' woh-WOH! at the start of the song, adding to that slow burn. This is really masterfully orchestrated--and no wonder, it being a Bacharach. The overture for the album, really.




It's a track heavily favored by modern hip-hop and rap. Biggie to Bushwick Bill.

I favor this one, though (you'll want to click through to this. Damn, son).

This song spun on Dad's turntable; he had a copy of Hot Buttered Soul that I think I have. Gotta do a cabinet check on that one.

Gotta stop talking about it every two months and get the flipping turntable up in here!

Friday, September 07, 2012

How can I escape this irresistible grasp?

1. I know. 80s-era Pink Floyd. I know.
2. But there is an absolutely incredible mullet in this video (around the 2:14 mark)
3. And this song reminds me of boring afternoons working at Randalls grocery store when I was in high school.
4. I was pretty lucky to be able to listen to the radio while I was working at my job during high school.
5. That is why I knew who Robbie Robertson was when I was 17. But didn't truly discover The Band until I was 37.
6. Victoria Beckham's autobiography (from 2001?!) and a video album by Hilary Duff are both titled "Learning to Fly."
7. This is my favorite "Learning to Fly." Not really this one (though the video is rather funny). Too much of an earworm.
8. PF's LTF sits in the middle, straddling meaning and memory. Well, the weight is mostly on memory's side (see number 3).
9. Of all Pink Floyd songs, this one makes me feel something. Even when I heard it bleeding from Wrigley this June into the rehearsal I was in, up the street on Wilton Avenue.
10. I seem to gravitate toward making lists about Pink Floyd.



Thursday, September 06, 2012

I'm still hanging on

Something brand-new! Too new for a jukebox, even. Well, a real one that whirs and flips and involves belts.

And I like it.




Tuesday, September 04, 2012

You've got to lead where your heart says go

The actual tune starts about 1:45, but the interview is worthwhile.



I feel hopeful listening to this. Maybe because I read (most of) my party's platform today. Maybe because I'm planning good things like travel and reconnecting friendships. Or that Prince is coming.

The lyrics hit me like a delicate scent wafting out of a full-blown-summer flowerbed. And those aren't going to be around much longer; it was dusk at 7:45 tonight). Instead of feeling the loss, I just felt the sunset.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Little by little by hook or by crook

Continued catharsis direct from Tampa, thanks to Jon et al.



"Reframing the broader debate as tyrannical Democrats versus freedom-loving Republicans is one that the Republicans can win."

"But that's not the real debate--"

"It is--now they've CHANGED IT."

Hard to believe all of that assholic chicanery went down exactly where I saw this: