January 12, 2012

135 Calamity Music

  1. "We Belong" Big Daddy's Pizza in Brighton has good pizza, excellent hot sandwiches, tasty fried dough bites, the best crab rangoons, and a dance remix of this Pat Benatar on their "hold" music.
  2. "Every Little Kiss" I have wanted this Bruce Hornsby & The Range CD for twenty-five years. The drums and synths sound super-dated, but I don't even care anymore.
  3. "Crash And Burn" The synths on this 'til tuesday song also sound dated, but Aimee Mann is so terrific, I have been trying to squeeze this song onto a mix for 10 years.
  4. "Dawned On Me" My favorite song from Wilco's new album The Whole Love.
  5. "Secret Smile" I have been a fan of Semisonic even since I read the drummer's memoir of their one-hit wonder moment in the spotlight: So You Want to Be a Rock & Roll Star. This ballad has that post-Achtung Baby "One" production sound.
  6. "She's The One" When I heard this World Party song on the radio, I was immediately reminded of...
  7. "Still Fighting It" Ben Folds
  8. "Kiss From A Rose" When I was a radio DJ in 1994, I played this Seal song on the radio at least 6 times a week for six months, so naturally, I spent most of the last 17 years avoiding it. However, the karaoke version on Community cracks me up and has resurrected the song for me.
  9. "Crazy On You" Heart: The classical guitar intro fits nicely with the baroque feel of the Seal song.
  10. "Calamity Song" I love every song on The Decemberists new album The King Is Dead. This is the latest favorite. Andalusian tribes, indeed! Fits nicely with the "end of the world" 2012 Mayan baloney going around these days.
  11. "Romance" I used to play this R.E.M. song on the radio when I was in high school. It's from their "best of" album Eponymous, released at the end of their contract with IRS records. According to the sleeve notes, the song "used a microsecond in the still despairing Alan Rudolph's 1987 film "Made In Heaven".
  12. "Never There" CAKE
  13. "Crazy Love, Vol. II" Paul Simon
  14. "Long, Long, Long" The Beatles
  15. "I'll Be Back" I forget where I heard that Shawn Colvin covered this obscure Beatles track. She only released it on her Best Of collection, but, in the era of iTunes, you don't have to buy a Best Of collection to get the one new song anymore!

January 04, 2012

MELLOW GOLD Collection

The track listing of the three-LP collection MELLOW GOLD. The magic of the Internet: for only $33 (minus whatever songs you already own) you can recreate this collection with mildewy sleeve and no changing the platter five times! I think I have 14 of these songs already, so, assuming nothing's out of print, I am $19 away from bringing this collection BACK TO LIFE!

Side 1
"Sundown" Gordon Lightfoot
"Midnight at the Oasis" Maria Muldaur
"I Say a Little Prayer for You" Aretha Franklin
"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" The Casinos
"Long Train Running" The Doobie Brothers

Side 2
"You Were on My Mind" We Five
"Sunshine" Jonathan Edwards
"Cherish" The Association
"Hey Jude" Wilson Pickett
"Ma Belle Amie" The Tee Set
"That’s the Way I Always Heard it Should Be" Carly Simon

Side 3
"How Can I Be Sure?" The Rascals
"I’d Like to Get to Know You" Spanky and Our Gang
"Everybody’s Talkin’" Nilsson
"My Special Angel" the Vogues
"Love the One You’re With" Stephen Stills

Side 4
"Anticipation" Carly Simon
"Dock of the Bay" Otis Redding
"Doctor My Eyes" Jackson Browne
"Feel Like Makin’ Love" Roberta Flack
"One of a Kind (Love Affair)" The Spinners

Side 5
"Summer Breeze" Seals & Crofts
"Baby, I’m Yours" Barbara Lewis
"Hello, It’s Me" Todd Rundgren
"Send in the Clowns" Judy Collins
"She’s Gone" Daryl Hall and John Oates
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" Aretha Franklin

Side 6
"Fallin’ in Love" The Souther, Hillman, Furay Band
"Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues" Danny O’Keefe
"Baby Don’t Go" Sonny and Cher
"Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town" Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
"Everything That Touches You" The Association

When I Was Eleven: 1983

This is not a "my favorite songs from 1983" playlist. This is a "when I was eleven, this is what I listened to" mix. I even think I thought "Der Kommissar" and "Major Tom" were the same song. If I ever heard a mashup of those two, my brain might melt.
  1. "Der Kommissar" After The Fire
  2. "Major Tom (Coming Home)" Peter Schilling
  3. "Break My Stride" Matthew Wilder
  4. "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" Daryl Hall & John Oates
  5. "Bang The Drum All Day" Todd Rundgren
  6. "Steppin' Out"    Joe Jackson
  7. "She Blinded Me With Science" Thomas Dolby
  8. "Who Can It Be Now?" Men At Work
  9. "Only Time Will Tell" Asia
  10. "Rosanna" Toto
  11. "Tainted Love"    Soft Cell

When I Was Ten: 1982

This playlist represents what I remember about pop music just before I began to pick what I wanted to listen to for myself. Basically this is music I was exposed to by my mother, and by whatever Top 40 radio managed to break through to a boy who didn't listen to the radio yet.
I was ten years old in 1982. The mix for 1983 is much, much different.
  1. "Gloria" Laura Branigan
  2. "Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" B.J. Thomas
  3. "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" Crystal Gayle
  4. "When I'm Sixty-Four" is the first song I remember singing with my mother. We would go on to harmonize on several other Beatles songs, including "If I Fell"
  5. "Elvira" Oak Ridge Boys
  6. "Rainy Days And Mondays" The Carpenters
  7. "Take Me Home, Country Roads" John Denver
  8. "Danny's Song" Anne Murray
  9. "Leaving On A Jet Plane" Peter, Paul & Mary
  10. "Monday, Monday" The Mamas & The Papas
  11. "Flowers on the Wall" The Statler Brothers
  12. "The Boxer" Simon & Garfunkel
  13. "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" Melissa Manchester
  14. "Back In Baby's Arms" Patsy Cline
  15. "A Boy Named Sue" Johnny Cash
  16. "Theme From Greatest American Hero (Believe It Or Not)" Joey Scarbury
There should probably be some Ricky Nelson and Barbara Mandrell in there too- I distinctly remember their well-coiffed photos on the covers of their Greatest Hits LPs.

December 19, 2011

Concert Souvenirs?

It's always nice when my favorite band releases an official live album to accompany a tour I attended. And every once in awhile an actual performance I saw is recorded and released. These days it's easier than ever for a band to make every recording available. Three concerts I went to were recorded and released on offical live albums:

"Eleanor Rigby" live at the Worcester Centrum February 9, 1990 
Paul McCartney: Tripping The Live Fantastic

Unlike the contemporary trend towards releasing an entire concert from one night, McCartney recorded many dates of his 1990 tour. The resulting two-disc live album appears to select the best recording of each performance from the rigid set list. The result? The 37-track album was recorded in ninteen different cities. For example, eight tracks are from an eleven-night series at Wembley Arena, but they're from five different nights, and no two songs from the same night are presented together. I has a great time at the show (I had just turned 18, and had been a rabid Beatles fan for exactly 30 months) even if the Rolling Stone concert review spoiled all the surprises in the set-in-stone set list.
In the spring of 1990, six months before Tripping was released, while in New York City on a school trip, I visited a Greenwich Village record store and bought a three-LP bootleg recorded in Los Angeles the previous autumn. The bootleg was pressed on white vinyl with red, white, and blue spin-art designs in the vinyl. (photos to come)

Pearl Jam live at the Orpheum Theater Boston, April 12, 1994
The best rock concert I ever attended was the penultimate date of the 1994 Vs. tour. Thanks to my friend Meg (Goldstein) Chapman, who sold me her tickets. The show, when they finally started, was amazing. Mudhoney was the opening act, then there was a long interval (at least 45-60 mins) before Pearl Jam came on. I remember loving "Go" and "Animal" and the new song "Not for You". In 2011, Pearl Jam released a three-CD Deluxe Edition of Vs. including a full CD of the Orpheum show. Due to size constraints, the disc leaves out a third of the set list:

  • Oceans
  • Even Flow
  • Sonic Reducer (Dead Boys cover)
  • Immortality
  • Glorified G
  • Daughter
  • Not For You
  • Rats
  • Blood
  • Release
  • Tremor Christ
  • Once
  • Fuckin' Up (Neil Young cover)
  • Dirty Frank
  • Rearviewmirror
  • Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
  • State Of Love And Trust
  • Hard to Imagine
  • Go
  • Animal
  • Alone
  • Better Man
  • Yellow Ledbetter
  • I've Got a Feeling (The Beatles cover).

Ben Folds Live at Avalon June 8, 2002
June 8, 2002, three months before we would meet for the first time, my future wife and I would both attend this Ben Folds solo show at the former Avalon nightclub in Boston. It was a lot of fun, even if I am not a fan of the Reinhold Messner album.  The live album recorded during that tour features a photo taken at our show (I am not pictured) At least one song from the CD or limited edition bonus DVD was recorded on the night we attended.