When I go in for my dental cleaning, I like to avoid the ambient light rock, so I bring my own music. Usually I wear the same noise-reducing earphones I use while flying, but today I wore a more open in-ear model which I bought for running. I listened blithely with the hygienist leaning over my shoulder never really considering the relative lack of isolation of my new earphones.

Until the iPod shuffled up Eminem's "Under the Influence."

Yeah, I'm not sure what my hygienist thought of that.
As charged by [livejournal.com profile] chickenfeet2003:

Reply and I’ll give you a letter. You have to find five songs that start with that letter and post them to your journal.

"Keep Me In Your Heart For A While," Warren Zevon
"Killing Floor," Howlin' Wolf
"King Of Rock," Run-D.M.C.
"Kirsten Is A Fuckmachine," Tiger Tunes
"Kung Fu," Curtis Mayfield

Five songs starting with the letter K. (Megaupload.com)

I do memes

Aug. 17th, 2006 11:30 pm
From, originally, on my friends' list at least, [livejournal.com profile] buffyannotater:
Here are the rules: Answer all the questions with the song titles of one band/group/artist. Multiple albums are fine (recommended, in fact). State the band/group/artist you're using in the subject line. Perty simple.

Use songs whose titles answer the question, not songs whose lyrics do. Not all of us know these songs, so it's not as fun.

Covers are NOT legit unless it is on a normal (non-live) CD.

For a true 10 questions challenge, do this without the aid of the internet/CDs/outside sources.
1. Are you male or female?: "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man"
2. Describe yourself: "Baby I'm A Star"
3. How do some people feel about you?: "Why You Want To Treat Me So Bad"
4. How do you feel about yourself?: "U Got The Look"
5. Describe your girlfriend/boyfriend/interest: "Another Lonely Christmas"
6. Where would you rather be?: "Alphabet St."
7. Describe what you want to be: "The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker"
8. Describe how you live: "Computer Blue"
9. Describe how you love: "Shy" (erstwhily "International Lover")
10. Share a few words of wisdom: You know, I'm actually drawing a blank on drawing wisdom from Prince song titles. Lyrics, sure, but titles? Uhhh . . . "Let's Go Crazy"?

Also from [livejournal.com profile] buffyannotater, and more interactive, try to determine my favorite:

1) Television drama
2) Television comedy
3) Movie
4) Band
5) Novel (I'm going to accept any of three for this)
6) Painter
7) Pie

Good luck!
This sojourn through Finland has been terrifyingly self-relevatory. I've had to question some of my basic assumptions and break down my very sense of self. Apparently, I'm just not as blond as I once thought. Or, at least, in the right light you can see my eyebrows, which is more than I can say for many of the people here.

Today was a short and fatigued spin through the center of Helsinki, buying cherries at the fishless fish market, visiting the plain interior of a Lutheran church and the exuberance of an Orthodox Cathedral, and then climbing a hill to crawl into a church carved from its own bedrock. Hot chocolate in the middle of the boulevard as they set up the bandstand across the green. The Andean pan flutists I had run into before in front of Rouen Cathedral and in Copenhagen's Rådhuspladsen and all across Europe and once, memorably, overheard playing in Covent Garden while on the phone with [livejournal.com profile] rahael, have put on Sioux-style headdresses and leggings and are now marketting themselves as "The Mohicans." They're still playing panpipes, authentic as they are, but I didn't stick around long enough to hear if "I'd Rather Be A Hammer Than A Nail" was still the mainstay of their repetoire.

Tomorrow brings us to Petrograd, where I hope it gets darker.
Having landed at Cleveland Hopkins at eight this morning, dozing through only one disc of Aaron Copland and some of "Bring the Noise," and coming after two straight nights of no more than four hours of sleep and a solid week of no more than six, I'm far too exhausted to write a recapitulation of the 2006 ATPo Gathering with concision, coherency or tact. Will I persevere through anyway? Perhaps; I keep floundering wading in the littorals of this post, rather than just diving deeply in. But what washes over me currently is sleep, and what sentiments I might bubble out burst before they breach my placid surface. And I'm half-tempted now to swap the ATPo icon for one of my SCUBA ones, so I will quit before my only public recollection of the Gathering becomes my snide spite at the painting at the seafood restaurant that paired a (Caribbean) Queen Angelfish with an (Indo-Pacific) Clown Trigger. That would be paralipsis, by the way, and for tonight the rest will be ellipsis . . .
Speaking of spurious assumptions about sexual dichotomization, I find it interesting that at my gym, the windowless, ochre, musty free-weight room gets one of the local Classic Rock stations pumped into it, heavy '70s music. Generally everyone in there is male, and both younger and buffer than I am, which makes me embarrassed to go in there and have to set the pins on the floor so I can do my standing cable fly. The fitness center, which draws a more mixed crowd, is newly renovated, brighter, airier, and smells better. It contains all of the cardiovascular equipment and the stack machines. In the fitness center, we listen to CDs mostly of the peppy, poppy eighties. Just yesterday, they were playing, as they always seem to be, the greatest hits of Duran Duran. Which is fine, because I like "Hungry Like The Wolf." But then that CD finished and they put in a mix of what seemed to be Mtv's biggest songs: "Video Killed The Radio Star," "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)," "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" and, wait for it, "Hungry Like The Wolf" again. So if anyone could send me an mp3 of "Hungry Like The Wolf" I'd appreciate it. If anyone ([livejournal.com profile] lynnmonster) could send me an mp3 of Carolyn Kelley singing "Hungry Like The Wolf," I'd be ecstatic. And, to indulge the heavy '70s side of my fitness regime, I'm also out here, hat in hand, asking for a copy of Bob Seger's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man." Thank you all very much.
I've lost myself in a daze of nostalgia over the last month, and one of the worst things I have done was digging up the journal I kept from the end of my senior year at high school to the start of my sophomore year in college. It was originally intended as a repository of story ideas, but quickly devolved into a collection of keenings about women; rereading it now, I'm glad of this, as the story ideas are often banal but the keening is top-quality. I was surprised to see, though, several mentions of a song I hadn't listened to since 1990. I discovered "Six O'Clock" on a crappy Hollywood Records compilation cassette of the Lovin' Spoonful, and I fixated on it as the perfect accompaniment for a life then composed mostly of infatuation and regret.

I'm sure the tape has long since disintegrated, but I found a torrent of what seems to be the complete discography of the Spoonful, or at least those bits of their career before John Sebastian departed. I've been known to buy CDs for a single song, but this is the first time I've ever downloaded 257 megabytes for a two-and-three-quarters minute song. Right now I think it was worth it, but I'll let you be your own judge.

The Lovin' Spoonful -- "Six O'Clock" (MegaUpload.com).
We scheduled the meet with [livejournal.com profile] atpolittlebit and [livejournal.com profile] ladyhelix for last Saturday without realizing that it would be the third game of the Cavaliers-Pistons series. As Cleveland had looked hapless against Detroit, getting blown out in the first game and being dominated in the second, I wasn't too put out about that, but I did resolve to keep an eye on the tv at PF Chang's. Well, the best laid plans and all that and I managed to drink much of a bottle of champagne and forget about the game until the next morning, when I was surprised to discover that Cleveland had won. Monday, before game four, we had packed and turned in the cable converters, and I had been too tired and dirty to feel up to go anywhere that might show the game. Again, the Cavs won. Wednesday was spent unpacking in Memphis, where my mother as yet does not have cable, and having been separated from the internet and television since Monday, I hadn't even known there was a game scheduled. Cleveland was again victorious. So that had been three straight games I hadn't watched, and three straight wins.

I'm not superstitious, but I still don't have cable, so I spent much of last night following the game on ESPN.com's live scoreboard. This was frustrating to say the least, especially when it their computer kept rolling the Cav's score between 59 and 61 between the third and fourth quarters, undecided as to whether or not Flip Murray's final shot had gone in. But it was involving enough that I could be heard vociferously swearing as action was reported to me in the style and at the speed of the telegram. Well, with the game tight and three and a half minutes to go in the fourth, I had had enough of that, and decided that I would walk up to this bar I'd seen earlier and see if they were showing the game. I arrived with 1.4 seconds: Cleveland was down two with LeBron on the foul line; he'd just made his first free throw and had to intentionally miss his second. Zydrunas Ilgauskas got the rebound but couldn't sink his shot for the tie. I managed to see just enough of the game for the Cavaliers to lose.

As I say, I'm not superstitious, but it's probably no coincidence that I'd planned to spend tomorrow between 3:30 and six Eastern time down at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Unfortunately, they have the temerity to be closed on Sundays, and I'm now in great danger of further testing my apophenia and dooming the Cavaliers.
I think the lyrics quiz has run its course. Congratulations go out to [livejournal.com profile] ladystarlightsj, [livejournal.com profile] midnightsjane, [livejournal.com profile] londonkds, [livejournal.com profile] deevalish, [livejournal.com profile] dlgood, and [livejournal.com profile] buffyannotater. The remaining songs were:

3. "Dreams are strewn across the sand /
You won't need (you won't money) /
Oh no"
"The Road To Ruin" by The Libertines.

4. "Hip shakin' mama, I told ya /
I'm in love with only you /
Gotta, do it baby why don't ya /
I'll give ya everything you want."
"I Can't Turn You Loose" by Otis Redding.

9. "Jingling a wish coin that I stole from a fountain that was drowning all the cares in the world /
When I get older climbin up on the back porch fence just to see the dogs runnin."
"Go It Alone" by Beck.

I'm not all that surprised that these went unnamed -- I doubt very much that I would have recognized any of them. I might have known which album the Beck came from, but I definitely wouldn't have known the song title.

I've gathered all ten songs together and uploaded them to YouSendIt. There are now only 10 downloads allowed to non-members, so let me know if it runs out.
There's been a rather listless response to my last update, from which I have determined that I suck you may not be as familiar with the music in question as might be hoped. I've added a few lines to the seven remaining lyrics, should that serve to shake anything free.

2. "Well, New York City really has it all /
Oh yeeeeaaa-ah, oh yeah." ([livejournal.com profile] buffyannotater recognizes "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" by the Ramones.)

3. "Dreams are strewn across the sand /
You won't need (you won't money) /
Oh no"

4. "Hip shakin' mama, I told ya /
I'm in love with only you /
Gotta, do it baby why don't ya /
I'll give ya everything you want."

7. "Do things do things do things bad things with it /
Do things do things do things good things with it." ([livejournal.com profile] dlgood correctly notes that this is "For the Love of Money" by the Ohio Players The O'Jays.)

8. "On stage or on record /
Go to the Wiz and select it /
Take it off the rack, if it's wack put it back /
I like the Whopper, fuck the Big Mac." ("It Takes Two" -- Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock as ascertained by [livejournal.com profile] dlgood.)

9. "Jingling a wish coin that I stole from a fountain that was drowning all the cares in the world /
When I get older climbin up on the back porch fence just to see the dogs runnin."

10. "Hugging like a monkey see, monkey do /
Right beside a riverboat gambler." ([livejournal.com profile] dlgood again comes up with the identification: Terence Trent D'Arby's "Wishing Well.")

There, nothing passive aggressive about that.
I feel a little guilty because I haven't been spending enough time with the one I really love, the one whom I can't live without; I'm speaking, of course, of my poor neglected mp3 player. However, since the October trip to Egypt, I've amassed a considerable playlist. Here are ten almost randomly selected lyrics from that playlist:

1. "You're the reason for the word 'bitch.' " ([livejournal.com profile] deevalish nails it as "Roses" by Outkast.)

2. "New York City really has it all."

3. "Dreams are strewn across the sand."

4. "Hip shakin' mama, I told ya."

5. "And don't try to dig what we all s-s-s-say." ("My Generation" by the Who, as identified originally by [livejournal.com profile] ladystarlightsj.)

6. "You'll always find us . . . out to lunch." (Correctly named by [livejournal.com profile] londonkds as the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant.")

7. "Do things do things do things bad things with it."

8. "I like the Whopper, fuck the Big Mac."

9. "Jingling a wish coin that I stole from a fountain that was drowning all the cares in the world "

10. "Hugging like a monkey see, monkey do."

<FONT COLOR="white">Around your answers would be appreciated.</FONT>
Ben Ratliff:
SEVERAL weeks back, someone directed me to a Web site to see a clip of George Clinton and the Parliaments, in you-will-freak-out tones. I looked on the Internet at youtube.com and found my way to it. I was freaked out, though not just by the music.

There is Mr. Clinton, in 1969, on "Say Brother," a television show produced by WGBH in Boston. (This is early Clinton, even before Funkadelic's first album; the Parliaments would soon become Funkadelic.) He is wearing a purple jumpsuit with crossed suspenders over bare shoulders and a kind of rounded Mohawk, a shaved band of scalp below a bulbous crown of hair.

The band plays a series of vamps. The first builds on Sly and the Family Stone's "Into My Own Thing." "What is soul?" Mr. Clinton yells, in the middle of the song. "What, brother?" responds the band's other lead singer, Fuzzy Haskins. "Soul is the hamhock in your cornflakes!" Mr. Clinton intones.

After a break, the Parliaments stretch out at length, playing their acid-Motown for almost 10 minutes, going from vamp to vamp; at a climax, Mr. Clinton rolls on the floor. The band becomes a mob of rising fists and shaking hips. The sequence ends with the guitarist Eddie Hazell detuning his strings and distributing a cloud of feedback, with various band members whacking cymbals.

I am not a collector of music, or of video. I have had friends play me the best clips from their music video collections, in full, collectorish, this-will-freak-you-out mode, and enjoyed it. Still, I don't really love music on video, per se. It reduces a performance so brutally.

But a missing link of performance history as potent as that George Clinton thing? Even if on bad video? It's hard not to keep looking.
That's right, I scooped The New York Times.

In related news, I went to see The Constant Gardner at the fifty-cent movie theater the other day. The movie itself was made more interesting by the tourettic fellow a couple of rows behind me. But what stuck with me was the preview for The Family Stone. I've long complained about the producers' attempt to piggyback on the success of a well-known brand, though perhaps I should not overestimate the confusion created. After all, one of these things is not like the other:


The Family Stone


Wall-to-wall white people

(Pace Tavon, that is.)

What I hadn't known until I saw the trailer, though, is that at some point in the movie lily-white Luke Wilson counsels ceramic-complected Sarah Jessica Parker, "You have the freak flag . . . you just don't fly it," co-opting the other founding father of the black bohemian bourgeoisie, Jimi Hendrix.

But Rachel McAdams is cute.
This must be seen. (It's thirteen minutes and eighteen seconds, so I suggest hitting pause immediately and letting the whole thing load before playing.) The Parliaments, back in 1969, appearing on Boston public television. I never before realized that Mr. T got his haircut from George Clinton. And while Clinton takes the lead on a burning "Testify," the Parliaments temptation walk, but they're temptation walkin' with anarchy. I knew this was their Temptations-on-acid period, but it surprised me how synchronized they got with it. Clinton was probably looking for one of those four-headed microphone stands like the Temps used, too. Anyway, Fuzzy Haskins sounds amazing on the leads he takes, and you'll get to hear an early version of "Maggot Brain" . . . with words.

From this I Love Music thread, brought to my attention by TMFTML.
Aretha Franklin. Elvis Costello. Solomon Burke. Taj Mahal. The Blind Boys of Alabama. Cissy Houston. The music of Sam Cooke. I just got my ticket.

That's an incredible line-up; but I dread NPR-ready phunque. Actually, considering that my favorite "cutting-edge" artist is always the most prominent Jimi/Sly/Prince-throwback (Outkast elbowed out Beck a few years back), I should dread realizing that I am the primary market for NPR-ready phunque.

I gotta put on Live At The Harlem Square Club. Loud.
Oh, look! Schloss Neuschwanstein to the left! The problem with posting such a vertical picture is now I have to write enough to justify the expanse. Blah, blah, blah. Blahditty, blahdittum. With such sterling prose on display I'll never understand why this LiveJournal is hemorrhaging friends, not to mention the entire nation of Saudi Arabia. As a bit of a reward (or perhaps a goad) to those who have remained, I offer: music. Twenty-six songs, for those who want them. Inspired (cowed) by [livejournal.com profile] lynnmonster's example. Strange covers! Egyptian funk! Secret Parliament! Parental warnings for strong language, sexual situations, and using Hurricane Katrina as an excuse to slam President Bush.

I haven't put any thought into how these should be sequenced, and the quality is variable as the tracks I've ripped are usually at a much lower bit-rate than the ones I've taken from this or that audioblog. But enough of my mewling; let's see what we have.
  • "Hideous Mutant Freekz" -- axiomFunk. From the Bill Laswell-produced compilation Funkcronomicon, I picked this up almost exactly ten years ago, and with its monster-movie-music allusions, this song makes me think of Halloween, though the freekz in question are more likely encountered in junior high school than in satanic ritual. The track reunites George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Garry Shider, and Mudbone Cooper, but I'm sure there are legal reasons it's not P-Funk.

  • "Going To The Country" -- Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Rollers. Mr. Jocque's girlfriend has developed a substance dependency problem, so instead of staging an intervention and getting her into rehab, he goes into the swamp in search of a black cat bone. Now it is my suspicion that black cat bone signifies some sort of Viagra etoufee, but the real voodoo here is that anyone could ever get such a funky sound out of an accordian.

  • "Milk & Honey" -- Beck. "Arkansas wet dreams." "Do you know the way to the Soviet embassy?" Recorded concurrently with the impeachment trial, Midnite Vultures probably doesn't actually contain secret commentaries on President Clinton, but with lines like "You can smell the VD in the club tonight," it's easy to pretend it does.

  • Twenty-three more songs, from Ella Fitzgerald to the Scissor Sisters )
Ok, I'm off to Egypt tomorrow, so enjoy the music in my absence.
Soul Sides today has Revolutionary Mixtape: Songs That Made the Movement, an annotated collection of tracks from the Civil Rights era. Go listen.
Also (this time from Joyce Wadler's Boldfaced Names):
"What up, G!" shouted MARISKA HARGITAY, elegant in a sleeveless black and white polka dot gown, at ICE-T at Entertainment Weekly's Academy Awards viewing party at ELAINE's.

"What up, gangster!" Mr. T responded.
To be fair, Boldface Names is as much an ironically distant comment on gossip columns as it is a gossip column, and it is quite likely that this is as much a comment on as an example of the Times's tendency of calling the singer Meat Loaf "Mr. Loaf" on second reference; however, isn't the preferred style not to split up hyphenated names? I mean, I'd pity the fool who called Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakoff "Mr. Korsakoff."
Robert Wyatt, whose Soft Machine toured the US as opening act with Hendrix for over a year, recalls, "I saw [Larry] Coryell once -- he was one of the few people who ever got up and tried to cut Hendrix. It was at the old Scene Club in New York, and he was leaping backwards and forwards, his fingers flying, and Hendrix -- when it came to his solo -- just went 'ba-WO-O-O-OWWWW' and it just erased the last ten minutes [laughs] with one note. It was silly for Coryell even to try. It was like walking into a blowtorch . . . the fool!"
Charles Shaar Murray, Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and the Rock 'n' Roll Revolution.
In passing, [livejournal.com profile] hermionesviolin mentions Songs Inspired By Literature, by "Artists For Literacy." This reminds me that I had once thought that if I got nothing else out of the Lit Hum syllabus, at least it ought to be good for a mix tape. However, after Led Zeppelin's "Achilles' Last Stand," "Tales Of Brave Ulysses" by Cream, and Tom Lehrer's "Oedipus Rex," the idea sort of petered out.

(As a preemptive strike in my defense, I'd like to point out that I merely used the site that came up first in my Google search on "lit hum syllabus.")
There are only four copies of Verdi Without Words at public libraries on the CLEVNET system; however, two of those copies are owned by the Shaker Heights Public Library, so that solves that.

I'm now impressed by and fascinated with the rhyme of "opera star" and "repertoire."

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