Saturday, April 15, 2006

Songs Ninety-Nine to One-Hundred and Six

On my marathon plane flights I got to catch up on my reading, and it wasn't all Program Review Policy drafts or meeting briefs, either. I finally got to read Allegra Goodman's Intuition, majorly great. If Edith Wharton wrote a novel about a cancer research lab, this would be it. Realizing how quickly I was tearing through the book, I picked up a complete trash novel, Gigi Levangie (Mrs. Brian) Grazer's Starter Wife at the airport, way fun; a Judith Krantz for the aughts. At one point, the heroine realizes she's become the Prince-listening version of her mom, sending a shiver of recognition through this blogger. Moms, waxed or unwaxed, we are the world. And, then I started Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, which is achingly beautiful and definitely not the book to read if you've been away from your children for five days--unless you want your row to witness you in tears for 6 hours. So, I switched to People. Apparently, Julia Roberts is unbelievably happy these days, and Matt LeBlanc is a dog. Ah, showbiz. Okay, more songs.

Song Ninety-Nine: Colin Hay, "Waiting for My Real Life to Begin." I hit the celebrity playlist of Ms. Mandy Moore and found this song. (Perhaps inspired by Z. B.'s tastes?) Who knew the Men at Work guy would have a second act? He has a really solid voice, and the openness of the song lets it work clearly. This could be shorter.

Song One-Hundred (enter celebration cake blog right): Elton John, "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters." One of the times I was pregnant (they were very close together and seem like one continuous two year period), we were obsessed with Untitled, the director's cut of Almost Famous. This is a great movie. And, I became obsessed with this song (and cried everytime it played . . . hormones, dear readers)--but not obsessed enough to buy an Elton John album (being out of junior high and everything). So, when I realized I could buy it on iTunes, yippee!!! A fantastic song and a great 100 milestone. [Elton John? Where'd you park your time machine?]

Song One-Hundred and One: Patty Griffin, "Let Him Fly." Another Mandy Moore cut. (Hey, she was really good in that movie about Christians with Macauley Culkin, Sarandon's daughter, and other marginal celebristars.) I know I've heard this song before but don't know where. It's a good song, and she has a grown-up voice--which is nice for a borderline folkie.

Song One-Hundred and Two: Boz Scaggs, "Heart of Mine." One of the cool things about iTunes is that one can buy just the one or two songs you remember loving in one's feckless youth. On my drive back from the airport last time, I heard another Boz Scaggs song on the radio and was completely transported back to the Southridge Mall. So, given that--as my husband noted--I am in possession of a time machine, I decided to download a couple Boz Scaggs song. You can't go wrong; they are so over-produced that you need a steak knife to slice through, plus killer drum fills, and his smooth, smooth voice. Full on cool!

Song One-Hundred and Three: Jerry Reed, "Amos Moses." I found this on an iTunes Essentials pre-mix entitled (no joke) More Cowbell! Well, it doesn't get more cowbell than this. I actually just flipped through one of those Smokey and the Bandit movies the other night, the one with an elephant. Gosh, the 70s were some time. What other decade could produce such a freaky spectrum of music--and Famolare shoes? This song is awesome. Insert rainbow here!

Song One-Hundred and Four: Low, "Monkey." Very scary opening--like Rob Base crossed with P. J. Harvey. Heavy drums, sonic depth. You can feel this song in your chest. Apparently, according to the lyrics, the "monkey" is dying this very evening. I'm not certain what that means, but it's certainly spooky and reverb-y! Has a very Eli Roth feel.

Song One-Hundred and Five: Ida, "Late Blues." Down tempo remembrance of things past with an organ, I think. Long musical break is pretty, melancholy, but the song is eventually a bit boring. I feel pained rather than feel their pain. Probably not what they're going for.

Song One-Hundred and Six: B. C. Camplight, "Richard Dawson." I'm not sure if it's that Richard Dawson, but let's pretend, dear readers. Very peppy song, 70s-style horn breaks--that completely recall Love American Style--and 80s-style drums. The lyrics amount to nothing but purposive rhymes. Quite disposable but fun.

259 to go.

Songs Ninety-Three to Ninety-Eight

Back again after a hiatus, though I have actually been listening to much music. Taking two 9 hour trips sitting next to odd individuals whom one very much wants to avoid will do that for you. As will buying an iTrip, which is some space age device that converts the notes that come out of my iPod into radio waves and then into sounds that come out of my car radio. All with no cords or connections whatsoever. Very Willie Wonka! I'm looking forward to a similar device that can convert my desire to purchase objects into the cash that's required to buy said objects--or even into the objects themselves. Ah, nirvana! Okay, I'm 14 songs behind, so this here entry starts the full-on catch-up.

Song Ninety-Three: Roisin Murphy, "Ramalama (Bang, Bang)." Nice big, big drums, as might be suggested by the title. The song has lots of texture and layers to it, kind of like a 70s shag cut. The chorus doesn't really kick-in until the last third, which is interesting. Prior to that it doesn't even seem to have a clear throughline outside of the drums (which seem synth-y). Fun.

Song Ninety-Four: The Weepies, "World Spins Madly On." The opening music of the song screams VW-ad circa 2000s. I like this song a lot. It has a melancholy feel (perhaps not surprising given the group's name) with clear, lovely vocals. The melding of the male and female vocalists is quite nice, too.

Song Ninety-Five: Madeleine Peyroux, "Careless Love." I remember reading at some point about her going missing (a la Roddy Frame) then turning up. This is a vintage-y song. If Norah Jones had more depth to her voice, this is what she would sound like. The tune itself is not especially deep, but Ms. Peyroux voice has a warm, smoky feel. But, it also sounds a little too much like a Billie Holiday cover show. Nice, but why not just listen to Lady Day.

Song Ninety-Six: Jamie Lidell, "Multiply." Total blue eyed soul, dear readers. Welcome to the world of Otis Redding if he lived in Notting Hill, ate take-away, and went to boarding school. This is not to say the song is bad; it actually is quite catchy. And, it has some electronica bits thrown in for reasons known only to Mr. Lidell, I think. Could be a little shorter.

Song Ninety-Seven: The Chalets, "Sexy Mistake." The song has a girl group feel with an Elastica sound, down to the backing tracks. Kind of a musical take on girls gone wild--pub version. Peppy, disposable, retro pop.

Song Ninety-Eight: Psapp, "Tiger, My Friend." I think I got this off of a Grey's Anatomy soundtrack. It's been so long since I downloaded this batch of songs. It has a mellow vibe to it, with a kind of liquid sound (difficult to describe, but you'll hear it if you have the song). It could use less repetition of the vocals. The last 40 seconds are literally whispers and rain. I guess this is avantgarde, or else someone left the microphone out in the rain (with that cake that so depressed Richard Harris).

267 to go.