Inhuman Swill : Music : Page 10

October's CD mixes of the month

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A sad day. As of this month, I will no longer be able to attend every meeting of the CD Mix of the Month Club. I'm just too fucking busy, and that's a shame because everyone in the club is just so damn nice.

But that doesn't mean I still won't have a monthly mix. In fact, this month I had two, and if I had been able to attend this evening my contribution to October's club would have been Band for Life, with I've Never Been So Insulted! thrown in as a special Hallowe'en trick-or-trick bonus mix.

This is not goodbye! I will try to get to at least four outings a year, gang! I promise!

(The story so far.)

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From the ever irrepressible Walter Becker:

http://walterbecker.com/escape.html

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When R.E.M. walked the earth

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I joked in my tribute to the class of '84 at my 20-year high school reunion that my friend Darin was the only one in the school who had heard of R.E.M. That might not strictly have been true (which I alluded to in the version of my speech I actually submitted to the reunion committee beforehand), but here, for you young kids, courtesy of Amazon, is some video of what Darin was all excited about back then:

"Radio Free Europe/Wolves, Lower" by R.E.M. (1983)

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In these hallowed halls

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I left work a little early yesterday to attend a press screening of a film I'll be reviewing next week. The screening room was located in the Brill Building, I was delighted to discover. I had never been to the Brill Building before, or even noticed before it as I walked along Broadway, but this is the famous building where hordes of ambitious songwriters would crank out tunes for hire day in and day out back in the '60s. Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Gene Pitney, Jim Croce, Kris Kristofferson, Paul Simon ... the list goes on and on, and defines a whole generation of popular song. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker even worked there for a bit.

I didn't see any famous songwriters there yesterday, but I did arrive at the elevators at the same time the movie—two big reels on a handtruck—did.

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September's CD mix of the month

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August's CD mix of the month

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Tonight is the second anniversary of the New York CD Mix of the Month Club. I will be unable to attend the party, though, because there's just too much still to do before leaving for Worldcon tomorrow.

So, my contribution to the August CDMOM, which [info]lunchboy has graciously agreed to deliver for me, will be How Did They Do That? (a/k/a "The Adverb Mix").

(The story so far.)

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Jump, jump for my love

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I have been infected by [info]baldanders (well, I asked for it) with the music meme where you get a letter and have to list ten songs that start with it without consulting any reference material. Just the first ten songs that come to mind.

This was much harder than I thought it was going to be. Here is my list:

  1. "Jump" by Van Halen
  2. "Jane Says" by Jane's Addiction
  3. "Jack of Speed" by Steely Dan
  4. "James" by Pat Metheny Group
  5. "Jack Frost Blues" by Jack Frost
  6. "Jump" by N*E*R*D
  7. "Jumpin' Jive" by Joe Jackson
  8. "Joy" by Lucinda Williams
  9. "Jesus He Knows Me" by Genesis
  10. "Japanese Cowboy" by Ween

If you want a letter, let me know.

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Brigham Young & Crazy Horse

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Oops, sorry, I mean the Osmonds, from their hard-rockin' period:

I mean, seriously, this would have scared the shit out of me if I'd seen it on television at the time (1972). But they do seem to be having a great time going "crazy."

You know, Jimmy Osmond hit on my sister once at the BYU library....

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My favorite song

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I've talked here before about the home music server I created, which lets me and Laura listen to any of our 43,193 (and counting) MP3s from any location with a web browser and a broadband connection. My server has been operating for nearly three years, though it was only in February 2004 that I enabled it to keep track of what I listen to.

I hadn't checked my stats for quite some time, but this morning I thought I'd take a look and see what my most-played tracks are. I was pleased though not exactly surprised to see that Steely Dan's "West of Hollywood" (from Two Against Nature) occupied the top spot, with 23 virtual spins in these past 29 months. Less than once a month may not seem like very heavy rotation, but it's pretty significant when you consider that in that same span I've only listened to 23,898 of the tracks in my collection. (That's unique tracks I'm counting there, not the number of times those tracks have been played.)

I figure this is as good a measuring stick as any for saying that, in practical terms, "West of Hollywood" is my favorite song. And it is a great song. The lyrics hook me and always suck me in, and when Donald Fagen gets to the bridge part and croaks out, "She reached out for my hand while I watched myself lurch across the room, and I almost got there, I almost got there," I never fail to get a shiver. But the best part of this track is the, like, four minute Chris Potter sax solo, where Donald and Walter put the poor cat through a truly punishing series of changes and he just doesn't quit. It's an amazing outro to an amazing record.

So yeah, that's totally fair. I'll cop to "West of Hollywood" as my favorite song.

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Babble on, brother

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One wonders if this Fox commentator really gets the joke. It's kinda hard to tell.

I've long been a devotee of the Steely Dan web site, and their tongues are usually so far in their cheeks they're in danger of getting bitten off. Like with this 1999 letter to Rudy Giuliani.

(Via Laura.)

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