Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Thank Jeebus for Ashley who introduced me to Jamie Cullum in 2004 after we graduated high school. His Twentysomething album remains a favorite after all these years, and I look forward to every concert of his: he's a wee man who can scat and play the piano with his ass. His covers always impressed me too. He has the gall to replace the Jimi Hendrix's guitar with horns in "Wind Cries Mary" and sings with as much soul as Jimi does. Both Ashley and I think his performance of this song was the first instance of an audience rushing the stage at Carnegie Hall.
Sorry I spoke about "Wind Cries Mary" rather than "Twentysomething," but the latter speaks for itself in today's category.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
George Michael's "Freedom '90" can easily be a song I can dance to -- I'm chair dancing to it as I type -- or one that's a guilty pleasure, but it's more accurately one that I can't believe I love because it's so cliché and sung by a pop singer responsible for one of the worst hits ever. Sometimes you just have to dance around in your apartment and belt this one out like a supermodel.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Badfinger became my official cleaning soundtrack in 2008, and "No Matter What" quickly became a song to be played when I needed a quick pick-me-up or inspiration to do something I'd been dreading.
Roy Orbison's "You Got It" holds a similar position. Both these songs present a certain level of commitment from a man to his partner. Coincidence? I think not. Hence, the "guilty pleasure" aspect.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I'm not a Paul McCartney fan; his style is too pop for my taste and manipulative (he knows he's tugging at your heart). However, when someone played Macca's eponymous first solo album -- on vinyl! -- it came across as genuine. I later discovered that McCartney played all the instruments on McCartney, which gives it a rawness his other albums lack. If you need more proof that McCartney is more than just fluff, listen to the original version of "Maybe I'm Amazed"; I'm in love with the scratchy quality of his voice and instruments.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I also tease them a bit. A few months ago some spam arrived in my inbox, so I forwarded it with a note Who's in charge of e-mail? to -- get this -- the guy in charge of e-mail. He cracked a smile.
Honestly, I'd rather be "one of the guys" and hang out with them at the company x-mas party -- we did shots of tequila every hour last December¹ -- than with others who don't share my sense of humor.
Sadly, though, I'll never be one of the guys, because I'm not a guy. Since they're in IT, they're all a little nerdy, a little goofy -- apparently a new hire once asked: "What does a breast feel like?" -- so surely they're enjoying more than just my personality when I hang out with them.
I'm going to admit something a "modern woman" never would: It's fine, and it's a two-way street. Sometimes you need to have a drink after work, get a little flirty, receive attention, and leave it at that.
My buddy's birthday was earlier this week, so I joined him for two beers at lunch. I knew he was out with someone who reports to him, but I didn't know he was out with this other guy, so it was a surprise when I saw him at the bar. A nice surprise, since I haven't seen him in months. When I mentioned this to a friend, I likened him to Roger Sterling: a well-meaning yet unabashed drunk, but he wears a badass leather jacket, buys me drinks, and offers me the last cigarette² in the pack. What's not to like about that?
I'm two weeks into Beastanetics, a high-intensity workout class. After the first workout, my glutes were killing me, something someone in IT said he could help with. After the second workout, my inner thighs were sore, so I told the instructor that I had stretched in my buddy's office for "both our benefit."
Desk jobs make you desperate for entertainment, and there's nothing wrong with it. I'm getting paid "four times"³ less than they are, but not because I'm a woman nor because our relationship is anything but platonic -- it's because I'm at the bottom of the totem pole in my twenties and they're twice my age and have been with the company since before my brother was born.
It's funny, though, when they're having trouble with their iPhones or Twitter and ask me for help. Always a pleasure doing business with you, guys.
¹ I didn't join them to the strip club.
² I'm only a smoker when the cigs are free.
³ It's not like they never offend or insult me. I was livid when someone mentioned the difference in our salary. It's impolite conversation.
I could have chosen a lot of songs for this one, among them "American Pie" (but who wants to listen to all of that?), and decided to go light with Monty Python's "Lumberjack Song."
Another contender is George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" -- sure, you think it's the same words repeated until you get to the Hindu gods -- so here's a video from the Concert for George, complete with Dhani Harrison.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Fleetwood Mac's "Over My Head" served as a pre-break-up song for the fellow who participated in the certain event that inspired this post.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I first listened to P.J. Harvey's "Good Fortune" (from her masterpiece Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea) at the Not For Tourists headquarters at 2 East Broadway. My then co-worker Annie played the album, and it brings back great memories of my first job: petting NFT mascots Buster and Tramp, successfully navigating through crowded Chinatown streets with a wagon and two bookcases during the blackout of 2003, ordering Lombardi's for lunch on the company's dime, and downing my first St. Patrick's Day car bomb. The only negative of the office? The Chinatown summer miasma, which I quickly learned how to avoid.
Monday, April 11, 2011
The best present a mother can give her daughter is Patsy Cline, so this one's for Mom.
I had to include "'Till There Was You" as performed by the Beatles for my grandmother. I'd do homework at her place in high school, and if it were possible to warp a CD, the mix my uncle made of the Beatles would be destroyed by the amount of times we played it.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I have a complicated relationship with the Grateful Dead. Since it's sperm donor's favorite band (and a stoner band), I've hated the group for years by association. Last year, however, my company's fitness instructor began playing a mix of the Dead's hits during class,¹ "Box of Rain" being first, and there was no denying the beauty of the songs -- "Box of Rain" in particular.
I listened to it on repeat for weeks on end, making it a break-up song after sobbing when Phil Lesh sings: "Maybe you're tired and broken / Your tongue is twisted / with words half spoken / and thoughts unclear." Digging deeper into the rest of its lyrics, it's an even more appropriate break-up song. It makes me cry when I think about how quickly the relationship turned sour, and I tear up when wondering why a cancer to my family couldn't have been taken by the disease instead of someone else.
¹ And I remembered all the songs from my childhood, even the lyrics in come cases, though more than a decade had passed since I last listened to them. I've always had a good memory, but it was impressive that day.
Friday, April 08, 2011
A few years ago, author Joe Hill was interviewed¹ and asked what his version of hell would be. He answered it'd be a place where nothing but Rush was played. I can't help but agree. I can't stand Rush mostly because of the lead singer's nasal voice but also because of the nonsense lyrics.
Speaking of nonsense lyrics, Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" comes in at a close second for this category. I just don't get it.
¹ And no matter how hard I try to find the quote with Google, I can't. It's from 2007 when Heart-Shaped Box, easily the most frightening novel I've ever read, came out.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Inspired by Mister Disco, I'm taking the Thirty-Day Song Challenge.
"Time" from Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon is my favorite song, hands down. There used to be this Web site acting as a Pink Floyd intensive course (sadly, it's no longer available), and the instructor called "Time" the best rock song. I don't know if I'd agree with that statement objectively, but it's got a lot going on. "Time" is multi-layered musically with experimentation (the clocks) and a kick-ass guitar solo (<3 Gilmour). Its existential lyrics would make you want to kill yourself -- or at the very least cry at life's meaninglessness -- if not for David Gilmour's and Rick Wright's lovely performance.
The Dark Side of the Moon marks Roger Waters's first Floyd album as the band's full-time lyricist, and "Time" is the only song for which all band members receive a writing credit. The whole of Pink Floyd is greater than the sum of its parts, and there is no better example of this position than this album and this song.
Here's a live performance of "Time" (along with "Breathe" and its reprise) from Gilmour's last tour. Wright joined him, and I attended the first night's performance at Radio City Music Hall. Though I miss the the energy that the lady back-up singers bring to the studio recording, the light show more than makes up for it.
PS -- I'm going to try very hard not to make this challenge "thirty days of Pink Floyd."