Tuesday, January 16, 2007

January 2007
Bob's CD


Well, I've finally mailed out my disc to all of you. There's not too much of a rhyme or reason to this compilation -- It's primarily a collection of music that makes me smile for one reason or another. I had too many choices to fit on one disc -- if I was putting this together next week, I'm sure half of the songs would be different.


I hope that at least some of this is new to you. Dan's CD was great for introducing me to some new performers. It's pretty obvious that I'm no longer in the loop with whatever "those kids" are listening to these days. I'm just an old fogey stuck in the past.

Still, I thought I'd post a few comments by the tracks to let you know why I enjoy them.

1.
Billy Bragg, The World Turned Upside Down. Billy is one of my favorite live shows. For better (in my opinion) or worse, about half of every BB show is Billy expounding on random topics.

2. Liz Phair, Divorce Song. When Exile in Guyville came out in 1993, my friend said she thought that the only reason that guys liked Liz Phair was because she says "F%#*" all the time. I don't think that's true at all. I think it's the raw sound that she used and the song by song response to the Stones. Plus, she says "F%#*" all the time.

3. Fine Young Cannibals, Suspicious Minds. I think that I like this version better than Elvis. Both Roland Gift (the lead) and Jimmy Sommerville (of Bronski Beat and the Communards, backing vocals) are amazing.

4. The Magnetic Fields, Epitaph For My Heart. I'm a sucker for clever lyrics and stupid jokes. What can I say?


5. Fountains of Wayne, Stacy's Mom. Is this silly? Yes. Is it a perfect pop song? Quite possibly. Fountains of Wayne has such versatility. Welcome Interstate Managers has great examples of all sorts of pop. My wife never thought she'd find a pop song about a quarterback, let alone one that she loves.


6. The Proclaimers, Over and Done With. It's sometimes hard to understand the accents, but they're definitely having a good time.


7. Eddie Vedder with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, The Long Road. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's voice just digs deep into you. I have a couple of cds of his more traditional Qawwali, but the tracks are too long to use here. This track with Eddie Vedder gives a good introduction to him.


8
. Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk), Non Specific Gamelan Taiko Fusion. This one's pretty random. I came across this group after hearing them on Weekend America and like this track.

9. Charlie Hunter Quartet (featuring Norah Jones), More Than This. I love Norah's voice, but got burned out on her after hearing her every 13 minutes for a year. This track is a little different from the usual suspects.


10. Shawn Colvin, This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody).
I really like this Talking Heads song and Shawn is one of my long-time crushes.

11. Los Lobos, Dream In Blue. Another band that puts on a great live show. This is from my favorite Los Lobos album, Kiko.


12. Rufus Wainright, The Origin of Love. This track is from a benefit album of songs from and inspired by Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I enjoyed Hedwig when I saw it (and the movie's a pretty good interpretation of the show, in case you're interested). It's not often that you have a rock musical with songs by Plato.


13. Mahlathini & Mahotella Queens, Thuntshwane Basadi. It's hard to stay still when I hear a track by Mahlathini and the Queens. I saw them on one of their last tours together and they could really move!

14.
Pink Martini, Lilly. I hesitated about putting this song on the CD. It's one of those songs that stays in my head for about a week every time that I hear it.

15. They Might Be Giants, Doctor Worm. TMBG is (are?) another of my "don't-miss" shows. I'm convinced that this song was the direct result of having played on The Tonight Show with Doc Severinsen. Here are some other interpretations of the meaning of the song, courtesy of This Might Be A Wiki:
I think the song is about an old, washed-up guy who always wanted to be a musician but never made it. The "doctor" thing may be to infer his age and experience (therefore he points out that he is not a real doctor), while contrasted with "worm", a creature often downtrodden and considered worthless. I think one of the important lines that reveals what the song is about is "I'll leave the front unlocked 'cause I can't hear the doorbell". His inability to hear the doorbell might show extreme age, (or possibly Doctor Worm is simply hard-of-hearing, not old) but he leaves the front unlocked because he wants people to come hear him so he can be recognized as a great musician.
OR
I think this song is about tequila. In this song, tequila is the doctor. It relieves one from pain, alienation, inhibitions and the like. There is a worm in good tequilas. The part of the song about playing the drums is simple. Whenever I have got drunk off of tequila there has been a massive headache afterwords, almost as if someone is playing the drums in my brain. Not hearing the doorbell can have a double meaning. When you get plastered and pass out, the doorbell won't wake you up.
OR
I don't think that this song has any long complicated meaning, I think that John thought it would be funny to sing about the irony of being a worm, as well as a drummer.
Which one's right? You can decide for yourself.

16. Mohammed Rafi, Jann Pehechaan Ho. I first heard this song in the opening title sequence to Ghost World and had to find it. (The movie -- especially the opening sequence - was pretty good, but the book is better.)


17. The Bad Plus, Big Eater. Currently my top "must see." If you have the chance to see The Bad Plus, you owe it to yourself to see them.


18. Elvis Costello & Steve Nieve, Just About Glad. Who was she?


19. Billy Bragg & Wilco, California Stars. Well, we're back where we started (sort of). This is really a Wilco song (with lyrics by Woody Guthrie). I wasn't sure which Wilco track to include, so I went with a sentimental favorite that would bring us full circle. If we make it through another round of cds, I'd bet there'll be another Wilco track on it.

That's all for now. Hope you like the disc!