For some obscure reason, I was singing “Istanbul (not Constantinople)” in the locker room of the Albany Y a few weeks ago. I noted to one of my compatriots, Phil, that the original came out in 1953, the year I was born, but I didn’t know who performed it. (It turned out to be the Four Lads. It entered the charts on 10/17 and went to #10.) Please know that I don’t USUALLY go around singing “Istanbul”.
I’m involved in this CD exchange among two dozen bloggers, organized by Chris “Lefty” Brown (May 23). The first disc to arrive was on that same day from a guy named Greg Burgas, and what’s on it? “Istanbul”! It’s the They Might Be Giants version (which I own), but still pretty spooky.
It’s a pretty eclectic mix from Delenda Est Carthago, the name of his blog. Some of it I liked a lot. The title cut is a relatively obscure Diana Ross and the Supremes hit, “Forever Came Today,” a fine song (though how that defines the theme of the disc, I’m not quite sure yet.) Only two songs I didn’t care for, and I attribute that to a generational thing. (A Fred Hembeck lets me know that I’m the second oldest one in the exchange; he has 5 weeks on me.) One was Ugly in the Morning, an apt description of the Faith No More song, and the other some Jane’s Addiction song that would have driven me to drugs if I didn’t have willpower.
On the other hand, a lot of stuff worked. Alison Krauss’ Down to the River to Pray (the second O Brother cut on the disc) oddly segues nicely with the guitar noodling in the beginning of a song by the hard rockin’ Cinderella! Who knew? There are other links like that throughout.
But for me, THE find was: “Somewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, a classical chamber music ensemble, a Brasilian marching street band and Japanese film noir is the 12-piece Pink Martini. Tasty. I want MORE.
(Oh, and I just figured out WHY Greg was first – his wife just had a baby. Congrats, Greg, but did you think having a baby might interfere with blogging and making mixed CDs? Can’t understand THAT.)
OK so I wrote that, but now I have two dozen MORE CDs I should address. Four I haven’t heard, and – fortunately – a few I haven’t received yet. Don’t know that I’ll be as verbose in the future. BTW, I expect that, eventually, the song lists of all of these bloggers will show up on Lefty’s page. If Chris’ list shows up on the page, I’ll link to that. MY list will show up on THIS page, also eventually.