Take thousands of notes.
More music. Talked with an old friend today who like me came up through midwestern local music and whatnot. We hadn’t talked in a while and hadn’t talked music in years. I said so, and asked what he’s listening to. He said not much, because of what’s going on in his life and how he lives. Mostly listens while running, and then mostly to the same old stuff as always. He doesn’t prefer it that way, but there it is. I told him about how Burial was probly the music I’ve most been excited about in a long time, certainly the contemporary music. He said he’d check it out, and also said that the stuff we were into back when music dominated our lives, and the way we were into it, probably had a lot to do with being people with the time to be into music that way, and able to stay out very late. I like all the changes in my life that make it so I don’t live like that but I miss the feeling of being part of all that, and I miss the milieu, lots of good dynamic artists currently being productive, and finding out about it as it was happening. I told him how I’d been thinking that in the absence of current involvement and without music that I know of that currently articulates my experiences right now in a way that I connect with heavily, I figure I’ll aim for breadth, musical well-roundedness. I’ve been poking around here and there into various things. I figure I’ll try to listen to all the songs in one or the other of these –
Starting with the 1st one…
1. $1,000 Wedding – Gram Parsons
- I didn’t like this at first but it’s grown on me. I like the harmonies, the sadness, the steel guitar, and the story component. After it ended a track called Medley Live From Northern Quebec started on spotify. I gotta get rolling but I like it. I should listen to more of this guy.
2. 007 (Shanty Town) – Desmond Dekker
- I remember really liking that song but I had to listen to it again. I like that it starts with a snare hit. The guitar sounds good, both the music and the tone. I dunno if it’s the version I’m listening to or my headphones or what but the bass is loud. Works for me. Beautiful singing and harmonizing! Understated guitar solos.
3. (Get your kicks on) Route 66 – Nat King Cole
I like the piano and the bass. Nice singing. Nice to hear the origins (? or at least early expression) of that phrase. Makes me want to know more about the highway system and its history. Joplin, Missouri, funny to hear that mentioned, I dunno why. I like the guitar solo, both how it’s played and the tone. Ditto the piano solo, more so actually. I like how the higher pitched notes clip slightly, I hope that’s not just the version I’m listening to. They sound really bright, sparkly.
4. Martha and the Vandellas, “(Love is like a) Heat Wave”
Ah, I’d heard this one before. Not sure if I’d heard the original or not, probably, but I know I’ve heard a cover of it. Great tune for the shift from fall to winter. I like the drums, with the piano and horns backing up the beat, probly good for dancing. Of course the vocals take center stage. Pretty harmonies in the background, powerfully sung main vocals, and the hook is catchy. Genre aside, my kind of song.
5. Bettye Swann, “(My Heart Is) Closed for the Season.” Never heard this one before. I love the understated guitar. Any song with guitar like this, I will like it. Or at least like the guitar… Again beat-driven music with most of the instruments playing/emphasizing the beat. Good breaks, dynamic. I always like all that. Lovely singing voice, very expressive, and who doesn’t love a sad heartbreak song? I also like that she’s like ‘yo fuck off, we are through.’ “You’re no longer irresistible, irritating instead.” BOOM.
6. Otis Redding, “Dock of the Bay.” Otis Redding’s voice rules. I like the bass and guitar and horns, real chilled out accompaniment but good too, and the beach sounds in the background are funny. The whistling at the end is nice and spare. It’s also lyrically a very good sad song, and I relate. Just sitting, wasting time, feeling sad.
7. The Ronette, “(The Best Part Of) Breakin’ Up.” Simple beat, could be more interesting. Great singing, wall of backup singers. Music’s good.
8. Wayne Smith, “Under Mi Sleng Teng.” Never heard this before. I like his voice and the vocal rhythm but I’m not into the music, the synthesizers or whatever. Probly sounds better when intoxicated.