Songs That Move Me, 40-31

40. Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart – the Supremes.
Much of Motown lived on the bottom, and this did too, but had lots of other elements, including a great vocal.

39. Got to Get You into My Life – the Beatles.
The Fabs get soulful. I’d play the (US) Revolver album once through this song, then, if my parents weren’t home, play the song again very loudly. This made Tomorrow Never Knows particularly noisy.
Feeling: hopeful.

38. Barabajagal – Donovan (With The Jeff Beck Group)
It’s jazzy, it rocks, it has those sexy female vocals.
Feeling: love IS hot.
HERE.

37. Hurt-Johnny Cash
If I included my feelings about the video, this would be even higher, maybe even Top 10. Still that insistent keyboard is quite affecting.
Feeling: sadness.
HERE or

36. Season Of Hollow Soul – k.d. lang.
Very sad, very autumnal song from her pop breakthrough album, Ingenue. Unfortunately, this anime video cuts off.
Feeling: hollow.

35. Church-Lyle Lovett.
I feel like I’ve BEEN to church after this. The second song from the CD named after the sixth, seventh, and eighth books of the Bible, Joshua Judges Ruth.
Feeling: righteous.
HERE.

34. Maybe I’m Amazed-Paul McCartney.
A song on the first solo LP as good as anything his old group did. the bridge and the end are especially strong.
Feeling: joyful.

33. Sunshine of Your Love – Cream
Of course, there’s that quintessential opening hook. But it’s also the shared lead vocals, the oddly effective harmony, and the Blue Moon bridge.
Feeling: good.

32. ‘Til I Die – Beach Boys
While the verse and chorus structure is evocative, it’s the end part stating the title, and the vocals wrapped around it that is most moving.
Feeling: reflective.
HERE.

31. Can’t Get Next to You – the Temptations
After David Ruffin left the group, it was the wisdom of producer Norman Whitfield to cop the shared vocals motif from Sly Stone, to great effect.
Feeling: mind-blowing.

ROG

Top 10 5 Albums of 2007

I only got 13 albums that came out in 2007, all CDs, as opposed to downloads or vinyl. Unlike the movies I didn’t see, this fact does not particularly distress me as much as it might, since I did download some individual cuts as well as older albums I had on vinyl.

So coming up with a Top 10 seemed silly. I will discuss all of them, but then give you my Top 5, which is pretty soft.

Across the Universe SOUNDTRACK – It’s OK. Too much of it sounds the same. Didn’t see the movie, though, and that might have helped. I love EDDIE IZZARD doing Mr. Kite, though.

Like A Hurricane-Neil Young Tribute, Uncut Magazine. Pretty good actually, though invariably uneven.

It’s Not Big, It’s Large- Lyle Lovett. As I wrote here, I like it, but haven’t played it in over a month. Might rank higher when I hear it again.

Memory Almost Full-Paul McCartney. I liked it, especially some of the latter songs. The cut that explains the meanings of the songs really enhanced the album for me.

Magic-Bruce Springsteen. I enjoyed it quite a bit actually, but with a couple of exceptions, it sounds as though it could have come out a decade or more ago.

Live In Dublin-Bruce Springsteen. This lives heavily on the songs from the Seeger Session of 2006 that I loved so much. Works well here, too, plus some great reframing of the Springsteen oeuvre, and a surprise or two.

We’ll Never Turn Back-Mavis Staples. Lefty Brown turned me onto this album, and it was in constant rotation in the summer, one track in particular.

Photograph: the Very Best of Ringo Starr. Quite possibly all the Richard Starkey I’ll ever need. A mostly known commodity going in, and some good songs. Beatlefan magazine posed the question a couple months ago whether Ringo, as a solo artist, deserved to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; I’d say no, as commercial success, and is largely not a criterion.

And now, my Top 5:

5) West- Lucinda Williams. This might be is a hard album to love for me. Sometimes the lyrics are weak, sometimes the music, though usually at least one element is outstanding. Some of the lyrics are as nonsensical as Dylan’s most obtuse. There’s a 9-minute quasi-rap song that somebody on Amazon called the WORST SONG EVER. But when it clicks, it really works for me. It’s no “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road”, but it is a worthwhile effort about loss.

4) Dirt Farmer – Levon Helm. – Maybe I’m a sucker for a feel-good story. Helm, the voice of the legendary group The Band, survived throat cancer, but he was unable to talk, let alone sing. But with treatment, he was able to do both. And this album, which sounds like The Band mixed with the music of the group’s roots, is outstanding. His daughter Amy, who sings with the group Olabelle, is also present here.

3) Chrome Dreams II-Neil Young. What Nik said about the eclectic nature of the project. BTW, Tosy once had a post about the longest and shortest album cuts. He and I had the same Dylan cut as the longest, but Ordinary People on this album at 18 minutes surpasses that. (I have since discovered that I have a 20-minute live version of Frank Zappa’s Don’t eat the Yellow Snow.) Here’s a review from the United Methodist Church website!

2) Raising Sand- Alison Krauss/Robert Plant. Actually, I bought this for my wife for Christmas. I always buy Alison Krauss for my wife for Christmas or her birthday when she has a new album out. While there were some duets that sounded more like her fare, there’s at least one cut that’s louder than anything on any Krauss album I’ve heard. In any case, it works because of genre-bending song selection and a great production by T-Bone Burnett. The more I hear it, the more I like it.

1)I’m Not There SOUNDTRACK- (Nik: this is how I write every day – I just quote other people.) As Nik says, compilations are tough, but this one works exceedingly well, even though I didn’t see this movie yet, either.

The album I’m most likely to get, sound unheard, based on everyone else’s reviews: LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver.

ROG

Lyle turns 50


I have a very specific recollection of the first time I became aware of Lyle Lovett. I was watching the Today Show one morning in 1989, and Lyle and His Large Band performed “The Blues Walk” and “Here I Am”, the first two songs from Lyle’s third album. Afterwards, Bryant said something like, “That’s country music?” Soon, I got Large Band, which I loved, the swing-infused side one, contrasted with the more countrified Side 2. I especially enjoyed his cover of “Stand By Your Man”, which would be used to great effect in the movie The Crying Game.

From then on, I was Lyle-obsessed. I got the first two albums. The first album features God Will, which was later covered by country artist Patty Loveless – the albums are adjoining in my collection. Pontiac is a good album, but a bit melancholy. Joshua Judges Ruth supplanted Large Band as my favorite, with the great song Church. I Love Everybody was a slightly lesser effort which came out during his Julia Roberts period, but features Record Lady. The Road to Ensenada, which is still my favorite Lyle album, features That’s Right(You’re Not from Texas).

It was a long time from Ensenada (1998) to what I felt was the next “real” Lyle album, My Baby Don’t Tolerate (2003). In between, there was a double album of covers, a live disc, a greatest hits album, and a collection of songs for which he contributed to soundtracks. Tolerate had some good tunes, especially the title track.

I’m very fond of the new album, It’s Not Big, It’s Large. I can”t say where it’ll end up fitting in my Lyle pantheon, but it’s already top 4. I think it’s enhanced by the DVD that came with the album which gave me a greater understanding of the songs.

I’ve also seen him as the closing act at the Newport Folk Festival in Saratoga Springs at some point in the last decade with Nanci Griffith, Joan Baez, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Alison Krauss, Bruce Cockburn, Marc Cohn, and Lucinda Williams. Great show! And I’ve seen him as a non-singing performer in movies such as The Player and TV shows such as Dharma and Greg.

He’s even name-checked in a couple songs, such as Mary Chapin Carpenter’s I’m Lucky.

Happy birthday, Lyle. You’ve brought me much enjoyment.


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Robert Goulet died recently. I actually have two Goulet songs in my collection: Sunrise, Sunset from some Columbia compilation LP and You’ve Got a Friend in Me from the Toy Story 2 soundtrack. Actually, I like them both, FWIW.

A Couple Interrogatives

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal this week that I found quite disturbing, but true. Here’s the abstract:

Moving On: Are We Teaching Our Kids To Be Fearful of Men?
Jeffrey Zaslow. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Aug 23, 2007. pg. D.1

When children get lost in a mall, they’re supposed to find a “low- risk adult” to help them. Guidelines issued by police departments and child-safety groups often encourage them to look for “a pregnant woman,” “a mother pushing a stroller” or “a grandmother.”

People assume that all men “have the potential for violence and sexual aggressiveness,” says Peter Stearns, a George Mason University professor who studies fear and anxiety. Kids end up viewing every male stranger “as a potential evildoer,” he says, and as a byproduct, “there’s an overconfidence in female virtues.”

TV shows, including the Dateline NBC series “To Catch a Predator,” hype stories about male abusers. Now social-service agencies are also using controversial tactics to spread the word about abuse. This summer, Virginia’s Department of Health mounted an ad campaign for its sex-abuse hotline. Billboards featured photos of a man holding a child’s hand. The caption: “It doesn’t feel right when I see them together.”

So, as the article notes: The implied message: Men, even dads pushing strollers, are “high-risk.” “Very sad” doesn’t begin to cover it. What are your thoughts? Anyone wanting the whole article, please let me know.
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On a much lighter note, Jaquandor tagged me with 7 Things, but added a twist; one of these is false. Which one?

1. I had a nosebleed so bad that I was hospitalized.

2. I enjoy sushi.

3. I’ve talked with a Supreme Court justice.

4. I was terrible as a percussionist in my junior high school orchestra.

5. One of my favorite books is “Growing Up” by Russell Baker.

6. I’m cited in two books.

7. I’ve never read, never even started, the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
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My Fortune Cookie told me:
You will risk becoming eternally dependent upon misguided bishops.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

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Amazon has on sale a Mel Brooks box set. It features one of my favorite films of all time, Young Frankenstein, and one of my least favorite movies of all time, History of the World, Part 1.
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I own only about a half dozen Lyle Lovett albums. He has a new one, which he describes here.
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I thought there were only eight candidates running for the Democratic nomination for President. I was wrong.
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Oh, yeah: according to my previous poll question, 13 of you have already seen the Simpsons movie, 3 will in theaters, 3 will on DVD.
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Albanians: listen to WMHT-FM (89.7) tomorrow, Sunday, Aug. 26 at 6:00 p.m. — they are broadcasting Albany Pro Musica’s ‘s March 2007 concert, “From Holocaust to Hope.”

ROG