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.


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.