I am sitting here trying to feel it. Got some Chris Whitley on the iPod, “Dust Radio”:
Baby got vision child
Like a loaded gun
She use my body
Like carrion crow
Doing our transmission thing
On dust radio
Baby call the number
Nobody left in town …
I’ve got the cold, cold Bombay Sapphire and tonic, splash of sweetened lime juice, in easy reach.
“So what’s it going to be then, eh?”
Now we’ve got some Jeff Beck going: “Led Boots.” He is razoring the atmosphere.
Another sip of gin. And another.
Stones. “Satisfaction.” I can’t get no. No, no, no. Hey hey hey. That’s what I say. Jagger-Richards-Chaucer on the songwriting credits, I believe.
There are few things in life as disappointing as tonic water that’s lost its fizz. The drink tends to get bland near the end. I’m going to have to finish it quickly.
Mick is still getting no satisfaction.
Janis now. “Down on Me.” I must have stood out in the sun too long today. It sounded like she just said “pedagogically.”
A fresh bottle of tonic awaits. Come to think about it, I’m going to have to open a new bottle of gin, too. Tanqueray. Today in the liquor store I thought I needed something other than Bombay to change my luck.
R.E.M. now, “Country Feedback.” This one goes out to cMac.
Ah, back from the bar: fresh ice, fresh tonic, fresh lime juice, fresh gin. I still am wondering if anything is going to come of this post.
Richard Thompson now: “Woods of Darney.” Richard Thompson is one of the best-kept secrets in popular music: A dazzling and imaginative guitar player, a first-rate songwriter and a writer of lyrics that engage the brain. This song is about a World War I soldier who finds a woman’s photo in a dead soldier’s belongings. He tracks down the woman, tells her her husband is dead, courts her and marries her, then wonders if she thinks of her dead husband (“Is it him that you see when we make love together?”) during their life together, which ends when he is called back to war, carrying her photo with him.
Man, what a downer. I was having so much fun until now. Here’s hoping the shuffle livens things up. In the meantime (sipping and swallowing noises).
It’s Mellencamp: “Mansions in Heaven.” Mellencamp once said Richard Thompson could say more in one line then he could say in a whole song. Personally, I think the former John Cougar was being overly tough on himself — but I can relate to that.
“Walter’s Theme.” R.E.M. again.
Hendrix: “House Burning Down.” Yeah!
More Richard Thompson. Twenty-nine hundred and fifty songs, and the shuffle isn’t shuffling. “Dimming of the Day,” with ex-wife Linda doing the singing. Beautiful voice, but I need something like Mountain’s live “Dream Sequence” now.
Springsteen. “Wild Billy’s Circus Story,” certainly among my five favorite Springsteen songs (from his brilliant, repeat, brilliant “The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle”). I saw Springsteen for the first time in November 1975 and the concert hall was maybe a little more than half full — and it probably only held 4,000 tops to begin with. “Jesus sent some good women to save all you clowns.” Beautiful!
More Mellencamp. “Your Life is Now.” I really need some variety here! I’m going to break the unwritten You Must Listen to Shuffle-Chosen Songs rule and hit the forward button.
Jeff Beck. “Come Dancing.” Let’s hit forward again.
“Texarkana,” R.E.M. Forward to —
OK, we’ve got the old hippie thing going: “Triad” by Jefferson Airplane. I liked this song when it was new so many years and so many worlds ago, and I like it today too. Hearing the Airplane takes me back to high school, especially “Volunteers,” one of my favorite records from that time, except the memory has been spindled a little because the title track recently was co-opted by an investment company for a TV commercial, and it seems to me that on “We Can Be Together” from “Volunteers,” when the band was singing “Up against the wall, motherfucker,” they probably were singing about people like investment bankers.
Song’s coming to an end. Let’s see what’s next. A man’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll mix another drink. Peter Gabriel. “Red Rain.” Tough to step away to the bar during this one, but I’ll hit “pause.”
Fresh ice, fresh gin, fresh tonic bubbles. Ah …. Whenever I drink gin, I think of the following Warren Zevon lyrics:
I drank the heartbreak motor oil and Bombay gin
(I’ll sleep when I’m dead)
Drank it straight from the bottle, again and again
(I’ll sleep when I’m dead).
In the meantime, red rain is still coming down. I hope it doesn’t get into my drink.
Red rain. Redrum.
Bowie, “Rock and Roll Suicide.” Thanks, but not tonight. “Perfect Blue Buildings,” Counting Crows. “I want to get me a little oblivion, baby” — well, that makes two of us, pal. “How’m I going to keep myself away from me?” This album came out during my guitar-lesson-taking years, and I remember asking my instructor to teach me “Mr. Jones” — well in advance of its becoming a hit. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Hey, this is the guy who was ahead of the crowd on Springsteen, remember?
OK, now we’re ready to rock out again: The Replacements, “One Wink at a Time.” How can anyone not like the ’Mats? “She’s got the devil in her eyes/Only one way to exorcise him:/One wink at a time.” Just went to add it to my “workout” (read: “treadmilling music”) playlist, but it’s already there. Some songs just make you smile. This is one of them.
Hey, where the hell did the cursor go?
“Tattoo,” The Who. Someone please tell Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey that they are not The Who. The Who died when Moon the Loon died. The classic rock question is “Beatles or Stones?” but there are many days when I’d answer that question “The Who,” and many other days when I’d answer “Cream,” and the odd day when I’d answer “Mott the Hoople.” There is a federal law that requires people blogging about rock to mention Mott the Hoople at least once a year. Speaking of Mott, when guitarist Mick Ralphs left the band to play in Bad Company, he was replaced with a guitarist with the greatest fake guitarist name in rock history: Ariel Bender.
“Hard Times,” Ray Charles. Man … let’s hear it for Brother Ray.
The National, “Val Jester.” Oh, here’s some really cheery stuff. “You shoulda looked after her better/You shoulda looked after her more/You shoulda locked the door.” Have a nice night. Is there any reason I have to sit here and listen to this?
“The World I Know,” Collective Soul. I’m having a tough time picturing the Wal-Mart smiley face right about now.
“Say Goodbye,” Chris Whitley. I know we heard from Chris earlier, but this is just a great, great song: Once upon a time/You knew where you belonged/But time slips away/Now there’s no return/Say goodbye to yesterday/You can kiss the past so long/Nothing matters anyway/Say goodbye, it’s already gone. The first time I heard this song, I pushed the “replay” button three times.
“Buffalo,” Kathleen Edwards. Edwards isn’t blessed with the best voice, but her songs are so good, it’s tough to stop listening to her. This is from “Asking for Flowers,” which is a pretty good album — one I bought without having heard a note from it or knowing anything about the artist. I just took a flyer on it, the same as I did in the fall of 1972, when I bought my first Mott the Hoople record.
Jethro Tull: “We Used to Know.” My favorite Tull song. Crank it up. Gotta quit typing:
Each to his own way. I’ll go mine.
Best of luck with what you find.
But for your own sake, remember times
We used to know.
Thank you. Good night. Gotta go.
Filed under: Popular Music Tagged: | A Clockwork Orange, Ariel Bender, Bombay Sapphire, Bowie, Chaucer, Chris Whitley, Counting Crows, Cream, Hendrix, Janis, Jeff Beck, Jefferson Airplane, Jethro Tull, Kathleen Edwards, Keith Moon, Keith Richards, Linda Thompson, Mellencamp, Mick Jagger, Mick Ralphs, Mott the Hoople, Mountain, Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Ray Charles, REM, Replacements, Richard Thompson, Roger Daltrey, Springsteen, Stones, Tanqueray, The National, The Who, Zevon