something not quite right

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

This mix cd attempt never really came together. I took too long -- I started it probably in late September or early October and only officially declared defeat this week. One of the problems with keeping it open so long is that I listened to it a lot driving the million and one miles back and forth to my Crazy Lady job, and it became tainted with Crazy Lady Cooties. In addition to these very reasonable reasons, a couple of these were songs I thought I'd love forever, but it turns out I only wanted to hear them 143 times (or however many) and now I don't need to hear them any more. Most of them, however, are great songs that need to find their way onto the right mix. This one just wasn't it.

Temporary title: We're all gonna die so let's have fun and give things away -- this was my attempt to tie together all the disparate songs together. I believe that the sentiments and actions described are true and worthy, but this mess wouldn't convince anyone. It does not cohere.

1. The Underdog -- Spoon: fantastic! it's worth it for the horns alone, but then there's everything else. "you got no time for the messenger/ got no regard for the thing that you don't understand/ you got no fear of the underdog/ that's why you will not survive. this song makes me think of people who are willfully ignorant (like our current administration) and gives me hope that they will get their eventual comeuppance.

2. Twentieth Century Boy -- T. Rex: eeeeeeeeee! I still lo-oooove this song. I was considering adding another glam rocker on here so T. Rex wouldn't have to be the only band wearing jumpsuits and glitter glam platform boots, but this idea was too late to save the mix.

3. We're Going To Be Friends -- The White Stripes: oh, I love this one too! I've thought for a while that you can roughly divide the White Stripes' catalog into either angel or devil sitting on your shoulder songs. (they make this conveniently easy to imagine by wearing only black, white and red.) This is a sweet (angel) song and was seasonally appropriate because of the whole back to school theme. I also like the sentiment. "I can tell that we are gonna be friends/ yes I can tell that we are gonna be friends." Sometimes you just know.

4. The Painter -- I'm From Barcelona: I got this from the Believer Magazine's summer mix CD. I still like it a lot, but I think it's not quite right here. (it drives me crazy because I want to know why are the cops are on their way, what did this self-described crappy painter do?? and how great is it that even as he leaves one step ahead of The Law that he tosses off "don't give up on your dreams, nobody!"?? )

5. Find Love -- Clem Snide (radio session): This is a song about necessary generosity. directions: a) find love b) give it all away. There's a bit more in the in-between (some of the places you might have to look involve tangling with bears and bees and my favorite, sharks). What I love about this song is the notion that the thing worth fighting for -- not just fighting in that "oh, it's a struggle" way, but worth FIGHTING KILLER BEES FOR -- is not worth anything if you don't then give it all away. Not just some of it, but ALL OF IT. I want to say it's very zen, but that's not quite right. It's never over, I guess. You have to find it and give it away all of the time. It's like hunting and gathering in caveman days -- do it all the time or you'll starve to death.

6. Open Your Heart -- Lavender Diamond: Another Be Generous Of Your Heart song, with a violent yet delicate sensibility -- "open your heart/ tear it apart" This song is the opposite of romantic anti-bacterial soap. It advocates the 5-second or longer rule. You have to not only open your heart, but if it drops on the floor you need to be okay with that or you will end up contracting some super-virus that will kill you dead because you have no immunity to anything built up in your system.

7. Roadrunner -- Jonathan Richman: insanely great in the car! Actually, it's great anywhere, but it's especially great in the car when there's not much traffic so you can drive fast. "roadrunner once, roadrunner twice/ I'm in love with rock and roll and I'll be out all night!"

8. Heart It Races -- Architecture in Helsinki: So fun and snotty! But then I hit the wall and started skipping it. There's one little boingy noise at the beginning that sounds just like the error message on old macintosh computers.

9. I Believe In You -- Yacht: I love it. He's very sincere (but not obnoxious) and very generous. He doesn't want to sell you anything, he just wants you to know how awesome you are. "your magic's real, so why aren't you using it?/ you can have the world for yourself/ you don't ever have to worry about losing it/ the magic inside of you is infinite" He does have a list of things that might help (climbing lampposts, writing lyrics, touching leaves, tasting raindrops, THE USUAL. but unlike some bossy singers, he never suggests that the only way to access your innate magic is by doing what he tells you to do. It's like Dorothy and her ruby slippers -- you have the power already!) -- I picture him conducting seminars in the forest surrounded by acolytes wearing t-shirts with rainbows and unicorns on them. (I would wear such a t-shirt in order to attend!)

10. Human Fly -- Nouvelle Vague: so fun! It must have been October when I added this one because it sounds like a halloween old-school stripper song. bump grind bump "I've got a garbage brain and it's driving me insane"

11. Rain -- Bishop Allen: I'm pretty sure the weather and my mood dictated this choice -- "Oh, let the rain fall down, and wash this world away/ or let the sky be gray/ cause if it's ever going to get any better, it's got to get worse for a day."

12. Easier (Alternate) -- Grizzly Bear: this version is also from the Believer CD, and I think I like this one better than the official album version. Or maybe I just heard it first.

13. Honey Honey -- Feist: I believe I have already rambled on about why I like this song so much (and I DO), so instead I will say that I worry I'm in the early phases of a beekeeping obsession. You know how it starts -- books on urban beekeeping start falling across your path or articles crop up in the paper. One day it's all "oh, sure -- it might be fun someday" and next thing you know you're in a net suit taking hive statistics.

14. Be Kind To Me -- Michael Hurley: It asks the important question: "why be mean when you can be nice?" which I honestly think more people could stand to ask themselves.

15. Thirteen -- Big Star: Still great!

16. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea -- Neutral Milk Hotel: I love this song, but I think the one I really wanted was Holland, 1945. I do love that this takes such a jolly view of what is often a somber subject: "and one day we will die/ and our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea/ but for now we are young/ let us lay in the sun/ and count every beautiful thing we can see" .... "and when we meet on a cloud/ I'll be laughing out loud/ I'll be laughing with everyone I see."

all in all some really wonderful songs, but not ones that belong together quite like this. I think I could salvage about 1/2 of it together, and find good homes for the rest. I just had too much going on all at once.
3 comments on "something not quite right"
  1. I am reminded that my knowledge of music is equal to my knowledge of the human foot. I know where to find it, I know what it looks like but I am not sure what to do with it. I like music, probably more than I like feet, but I just don't know how to find the good stuff. Also, I run the risk of feeling something unpleasant when I play music, like emotions. I am not always comfortable with that. Katie Dill has had me on an emotional seesaw lately. I really love her but does she have to be such a heavy reminder? I should add that I am loving your daily posts. I am also aware that it is only the 9th...but the posts are fun and relevant so, um, GOOD JOB!!!

  2. Ooh -- I know exactly what you mean about the risk of the unpleasant feeling. That's why I've spent far too long with a cheer-me-up playlist filled with songs vetted to not upset me. (although sometimes they still do, which means I have a very speedy "NEXT SONG" finger.) One of my goals for this month is to expand the list a little bit and stick my toe back in the ALL SONGS water.

    Daily posts are killing me. KILLING ME. I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying them so that my death by daily posts will not be in vain. I am really in awe of people who manage to post 5 days a week. Even if they're short, that's a lot of work. Why did I pick a month with THIRTY ONE DAYS?? although 2008 is a leap year, so even february wouldn't be a good bet. (I feel like a combination of archie bunker and andy rooney, which I think means I've complained about it ALMOST enough. hee hee hee.)

  3. I guess if you threw in Lou Dobbs with the Andy and Archie combo you would definitely have complained more than enough. Whenever I think of you blogging every single day of this month I picture the deliciously and devilishly annoyed look on your face in the photo of you with the lovely dress. It seems to fit. As far as songs go, I think I am a bit of a freak. Sometimes the most boring songs just get me all weepy and weird. I do think that this is not a new problem for me but it is one that I do not enjoy. Not that problems are generally enjoyable...whatever.


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