Meme of Solace

I’m sure the title refers to a James Bond film; I’m swiping this from SamauraiFrog.

List 10 musical artists (or bands) you like, in no specific order (do this before reading the questions below). Really, don’t read the questions below until you pick your ten artists!!!

There is something to be said for following the instructions in this case.

1. The Beatles
2. The Beach Boys
3. David Bowie
4. The Rascals
5. The Rolling Stones
6. Linda Ronstadt
7. The Supremes
8. The Temptations
9. Talking Heads
10. The Police

What was the first song you ever heard by 6?

Something early, probably “Different Drum”.

What is your favorite song of 8?

“I Can’t Get Next To You”. From the rowdy opening to the Sly Stone-inspired shared vocals.

What kind of impact has 1 left on your life?

Massive. I have a ton of their albums, both as a group and as solo artists. I know arcane things about their album releases. People say to me, “What album is X song on?” and far more often than not, I’ll say “American or British album?” And then peg both of them. There’s a picture of Lennon in my office and a photo of the Imagine imagine from NYC in my house.

What is your favorite lyric of 5?

Probably the chorus of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. “But if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need.” From Let It Bleed, probably my favorite Stones album. The organ noodling of this song during the early funeral sequence of The Big Chill cracked me up, while others in the audience wondered why.

How many times have you seen 4 live?

Never, though I’ve seen them live on TV once or twice.

What is your favorite song by 7?

“Love Is Like An Itchin’ In My Heart”. What an insistent bass line. there’s a version that’s about 30 seconds longer than the single I particularly enjoy.

Is there any song by 3 that makes you sad?

Ashes to Ashes
Time and again I tell myself
I’ll stay clean tonight
But the little green wheels are following me
Oh no, not again

What is your favorite song by 9?

“Making Flippy Floppy”, probably because I saw the Talking Heads during the Speaking in Tongues tour in 1983 or 1984 at SPAC in Saratoga.

When did you first get into 2?

It’s really odd, actually. I had a compilation album with I Get Around and Don’t Worry Baby in 1965, and the Pet Sounds album in 1966, both of which I liked. But I never considered myself a real Beach Boys fan until I got Surf’s Up, which was a mainstay of my freshman year in college, 1971-72. THEN I went back and got into the earlier music, and bought the retrospective albums that came out in the mid-1970s.

How did you get into 3?

I was in my dorm room in my freshman year and somehow won Hunky Dory from my college radio station, WNPC on a radio call-in contest. I liked almost all of it; my roommate Ron only liked Changes.

What is your favorite song by 4?

“It’s Love”, the last song on the Groovin’ album, featuring flute by Hubert Laws, plus a great bass line. When I got a new turntable in 1987, the track ran so close to the label that the album would reject before the song would end; drove me nuts. Actually bought the CD five years ago largely for this one song.

How many times have you seen 9 live?

Once, but it was one of the two greatest shows of my life, along with the Temptations in 1980 or 1981.

What is a good memory concerning 2?

A mixed memory actually. I had this friend named Donna George, and I bought her the Beach Boys box set. Before she died of brain cancer a few years ago, she assigned another friend of hers and me to divvy up her music. I took the Beach Boys box, and I always remember her when I play it.

Is there a song by 8 that makes you sad?

The Temptations with a Lot o’ Soul is full of melancholy songs, but I’ll pick No More Water in the Well.

What is your favorite song of 1?

A truly impossible question. Seriously. It’s dependent on mood, what I’ve listened to recently. I’ll say Got to Get You Into My Life, but reserve the right to change that.

How did you become a fan of 10?

Almost certainly listening to WQBK-FM, Q-104 in Albany, NY, a truly great station that also turned me onto the Talking Heads, the Clash and a lot of other music of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
ROG

Music by the Decade QUESTION

Groundhog’s Day is for recollecting: It’s not THAT neat and tidy, but it seems that each decade of my music collecting life was dominated by a few groups or solo artists.
1960s: The Beatles, the Supremes. Sure, I could add the Rascals, the Rolling Stones, the Temptations, Simon & Garfunkel, and undoubtedly others.
1970s: Clearly Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon. I have every album each one put out (yes, even Stevie’s Secret Life of Plants). Other contenders: Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading, Beach Boys, Elton John, Neil Young.
1980s: Talking Heads, the Police. I also considered Bruce Springsteen, Prince, REM, Neil Young.
1990s: Johnny Cash and Nirvana. Also Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lyle Lovett, U2, Beatles.
2000s: There hasn’t been an overriding group, but I’ll suggest that compilations by Fred Hembeck and Lefty Brown (along with Lefty’s fellow travelers) has definitely shaped my music the most this century.

So what music has dominated your life at various points? You don’t have to break it down in 10-year periods, as I did, but whatever bite-sized time frame you wish. ROG

Underplayed Vinyl: The Talking Heads


While I liked the Talking Heads well enough on the radio in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I’m not sure I reached that critical point necessary to actually buy one of their albums until I saw the group at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, August 3, 1983, still one of my two favorite concerts ever. After that, I HAD to buy some of their music, and ended up with most of, if not all of their output. I started with the then current selection, Speaking In Tongues, released in June of ’83.

Here’s the playlist:

A1 Burning Down the House 4:00
A2 Making Flippy Floppy 4:36
A3 Girlfriend Is Better 4:25
A4 Slippery People 3:30
A5 I Get Wild / Wild Gravity 4:06
B1 Swamp 5:09
B2 Moon Rocks 5:04
B3 Pull Up the Roots 5:08
B4 This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) 4:56

I LOVED this album. I practically played the grooves off. “House”, of course, was supported by that strange video. I don’t know which of the next two songs is my favorite. “Slippery People” has a beat that evokes Tom Tom Club. The Progressive Ruin feeling of “Swamp”. The vulnerability of the vocals in “This Must Be The Place”.

Eventually, I had to replace the LP with a CD, at some point after 1987. I was playing it, but only half listening, since I was so familiar with it from repeated play. Yet it sounded…different.
Burning Down the House 4:00
Making Flippy Floppy 5:50
Girlfriend Is Better 5:41
Slippery People 5:02
I Get Wild/Wild Gravity 5:15
Swamp 5:09
Moon Rocks 5:40
Pull Up the Roots 5:08
This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) 4:56

It WAS different. Cuts 2-5 and 7 were longer, sometimes substantially. “Flippy- Floppy” even has an extra verse.

When CDs were introduced in the early 1980s, the record companies were trying to induce buyers to purchase this shiny new technology. Synchroncity, the Police album that also came out in June ’83, had an extra song, “Murder By Numbers”. Other albums did likewise.

The longer versions, to my ear, have now become the standard. Now I listen to the TH LP and the songs sound truncated, incomplete. I wouldn’t be surprised if one can buy yet a different package with both versions, but I’m not purchasing it yet another time.

Oh, not so incidentally, David Byrne turns 55 today.
***
Shoulda known Fred would remember Rocco’s birthday.
ROG