Sunday, October 07, 2007

Music Miscellany

For the introduction of a new kind of music must be shunned as imperiling the whole state; since styles of music are never disturbed without affecting the most important political institutions.
Plato (c. 427–347 BC), Greek philosopher

I love attempting to match quotes with posts. When the Chandira sent me a personal note about the Bob Dylan idea and I had to use it, but I also realized it was a clever marketing ploy. Hence, the quote from the Tom Waits song “Step Right Up.” I went to my library of CDs and see if the lyrics were included and the lyrics to all the songs except one, “Step Right Up” were included. The note under the song title said:

For the lyrics to Step Right Up send by prepaid mail a photo of yourself, two dead creeping charlies and a self addressed stamped envelope to the Tropicana Motor Hotel, Hollywood, California c/o Young Tom Waits. Please allow 30 days for delivery.

You gotta love Tom Waits. I wonder if he ever received any requests? I found the lyrics on Google, the answer to most everything.

Lately, I have been supporting the troops per George Bush’s request, I’ve been a good consumer making myriad purchases of CDs. However, the artists don’t seem to appreciate the president’s encouragement to shop. John Fogerty has three songs that point out the decider’s shortcomings, Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell all have songs that are very critical of the administration.

Here are my thoughts:

Revival from John Fogerty – This is a terrific CD. I highly recommend it. If you buy individual songs, then, I have a couple of suggestions, the first being “Don’t You Wish It Were True,” which as the lyric poignancy of John Lennon’s “Imagine” with a infectious happy tune. The entire CD is excellent and he is an example of a truly under appreciated rock and roller from the late ‘60s, who because of legal skirmishes faded to the background, but he has been back for a while and Revival is a classic. Everyone who I have played this for has asked for a CD.

Shine from Joni Mitchell – Starts off with a nice mellow jazz sound and continues with the personal convictions that make Mitchell the force she has always been. She takes the war to task in “Strong and Wrong.” My current favorite is “If” her adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s poem of the same name.

Magic from Bruce Springsteen – Bruce is always Bruce. His music takes a few listenings to appreciate and let it grow on you. I find that if I read the lyrics I have a better appreciation of his songs. The problem with most of Springsteen’s music is that the lyrics seem loss in the sound of the music. He points out the hardships and hypocrisies of life in the US of A in “Gypsy Biker,” “Last to Die,” and “Devil’s Arcade.”

The War (soundtrack to Ken Burns’ film) – I thoroughly enjoy being transported to a time of relative innocence and patriotism as our country fought the last justified war. He brilliantly mixes the old song with contemporary artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Nora Jones with the giants of the time such as The King Cole Trio, Count Basis, Duke Ellington & his Orchestra, and many others. Among my favorite songs: “Solitude,” “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” “How Long Blues”

The very best of Diana Krall – I wanted this because it had three recordings I didn’t have (yes, this little marketing ploy worked because I enjoy her take of my favorite songs), “The Heart of Saturday Night” written by Tom Waits, “Only The Lonely,” and “You Go To My Head.”

Songs of Mass Destruction from Annie Lennox – I haven’t listened to this enough yet
to pick a favorite, but it sounds like classic Lennox

Sophie Milman and Make Someone Happy from Sophie Milman – the Los Angeles Time Jazz critic gushed over her performance at Catalina’s Jazz club, so I figured I would take a chance and her “Make Someone Happy” CD with “Something I the Air Between Us,” “Rocket Love,” “Undun” and others was so good that I purchased her first CD too. This is just solid contemporary pop jazz in the style of Dean Martin, Peggy Lee and others. Great for a quiet romantic evening.

It’s Not Big It’s Large from Lyle Lovett and his large band – This
is another one that I have not listened to closely to yet. I played it once, maybe twice and it was a bit too country for my taste, but I will eventually try again.


Anonymous said...

Just a month ago I watched a documentary made a couple of years ago by Rosanna Arquette called All We Are Saying, which was basically a compendium of moments from Arquette's visits with various musicians to capture their thoughts on the state of the music industry and art in general. Her visit with Joni Mitchell was perhaps the saddest, because Joni talked about how she was done recording not because she no longer heard the muse but because she had simply begun ignoring it. She was just disillusioned with the way art is made and marketed. Clearly, the dire state of the world exceeded the dire state of the industry such that she couldn't ignore that muse any longer.

The Misanthrope said...

Teresa, Your last sentence sums up what she said recently in an interview, I believe on NPR, she was just so disgusted by the state of the country and the world.

Anonymous said...

On the Mark says: As far as records go, Krall has been lazy for a while. While all good, there was the live in Paris album, then her last album in which it was obvious she didn't put a lot of effort into it, and now the Very Best Of...I, too, bought it (begrudgingly) for the three tunes. But "Only the Lonely" is wonderful and it's nice that she stayed true to Sinatra's version, almost as if we were listening to her sing along to Sinatra's recording.

The Misanthrope said...

OTM,I like all three tunes, of course "Only the Lonely" is the best, but I like her version of the Tom Waits song too. Her "Girl in the Other Room" CD was excellent.