Somehow, between one year and the next, most of folk singer Carrie Newcomer's ouevre has ended up on Youtube, so now I can subject you to my favorites (and maybe actually catch up on her newer albums).
"Betty's Diner" "Regulars and Refugees" was a concept album, with all but one or two of the sings supposedly sung by the owner and regulars of "Betty's Diner." The chorus to this really touches me ... even the parts of it that don't make sense:
"Sit right here and rest your bones,
No one's ever so alone,
You can take this world down off your shoulders.
I don't know why or how,
All I know is here and now,
You can take this world down off your shoulders ... ."
Springsteen looks like such a kid in this, although I think he was actually close to 30 at the time. The in-concert energy is palpable even over the Intarwebs, both among the band members and out in the audience.
Looking at this and listening to it just makes me feel so much better. Because even today, the Boss still loves us and stands up for what's right.
ETA: The video embed service on DW seems to be messing up—it doesn't load, and at one point I got an error that the server (on DW) wasn't responding. You can view it over at LJ or use the YouTube link. It's a live performance of "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" from 1988.
Ahh, college (university)! When romance and sex became real, and where I had my first clinically diagnosed depression (brought on by loss of socialization as I left my high school friends behind and lack of sleep from the noisy dorms, in which the rest of the students were discovering alcohol). Once I settled in, the major social axes for me were the Historical Simulation Society (strategy gaming club, where the hot new thing was this little game called Dungeons and Dragons) and the Society for Creative Anachronism.
The latter introduced me to British folk/rockers Steeleye Span. I quickly obtained most of their extant albums. At one Yule Revel, the Princess of Atlantia requested a carol, and everyone in the shire who could carry a tune was rounded up to sing this:
I was also into the art-rock group Renaissance at this point (Carpet of the Sun, live) and the Moody Blues (Nights in White Satin, live) — the latter actually old stuff by this time, but I loved them.
A young rocker named Bruce Springsteen had started to burn up the airwaves on radio at this point, but I loyally agreed with my Styx-loving housemate who called him "The Employee" (vs. "the Boss"). Fifteen years later, Springsteen would become one of my favorite artists.
By the end of high school, I was active in the Diplomacy Club (we played the strategy board game Diplomacy), the Science Fiction Club, the school literary magazine, and Stage Crew, where I held the lofty position of Assistant Electrician and got to help order costume supplies from New York, from a real Broadway costume outfit.
On the other hand, inviting friends home was almost impossible (mom needed enough lead time to make everything spotless, and we were always on tenterhooks for her to have a meltdown).
But I had *friends* with whom to share books and music. And a regular babysitting gig. I was able to buy record albums and concert tickets. During this period, acts I saw included Rick Wakeman, Paul McCartney and Wings, Seals & Crofts, and David Bowie. But my favorite act was Queen, recommended by my friend Charles' younger brother. I barely knew the word "androgyny," but there was something very special about Freddie Mercury. A Night at the Opera was *the* album at that point, but "Killer Queen" pretty much sums up what drew me to the band:
Like everyone else in DC (it seemed), I was a fan of "Bohemian Rhapsody," but other favorites from Opera included guitarist Brian May's science fiction ballad "'39," the sweet love song "You're My Best Friend," and the music hall-inspired "Seaside Rendezvous." And Brian May had a university degree in astrophysics! It just didn't get any cooler than that for me at 17.
Middle school was rough, as it often is. My friends always seemed to disappear (they didn't stop being friends, but one was only in the area because of her father's temporary assignment, another went off to private high school in 9th grade for religious reasons, and so on), and things were getting rough at home, too. Although I would not realize it for several years yet, my mother's mental illness was becoming a factor.
Still, at home, I could mostly be my geeky self. I listened to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel at that point, and this song sums up my feelings about home (minus the romance subtheme, which didn't really exist for me yet):
In a more cheery mood, I also liked Seals & Crofts and was starting to get into Elton John.
This is also one of the songs that I categorize as "the life of musicians on the road," along with (much later) Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" and Jackson Brown's "The Load Out." I still like that kind of theme.
Today, my favorite S&G from this period is "Kathy's Song."
So RL has been kicking my ass, and I haven't wanted to post about it because I feel that would be whining (especially in comparison with what others are going though). Instead, I'm going to try a meme. scribblemoose has been doing this, and it's something I'd thought of doing myself, on and off, for years.
I grew up with my parents' music and what I heard in public and religious school: Broadway, light classics, some modern folk and Americana ("Roll On Columbia"), Jewish folk music and traditional liturgical music. About two thirds of the way through grade school, I suddenly became aware of pop music. It was the middle of the 1960s, and the first record I ever asked for by name was the Beatles' album Help. Here's the title track, with its lively melody and delivery at odds with its subject matter, a contrast that appealed to me even at age 8:
I see that I did this only about 6 months ago, but the heck with it, I love me some constrained randomosity (in that there is a set number of songs, but within that set, it's random)... .
You can tell a lot about someone by the music they listen to. Hit shuffle on your iPod/iPhone/iTunes/media player and write down the first 10 songs.
Then pass this on to 10 people. ... No tagging here, but I'd enjoy seeing your song lists.
- Hakol Over (This Too Shall Pass) - Idan Raichel Project
- A Lonely Voice - October Project
- Come to My Window - Melissa Etheridge
- Golden Slumbers - The Beatles
- Two Tickets to Paradise - Eddie Money
- Downtown Train - Everything but the Girl (Rod Stewart cover)
- Helen O'Grady/Drops of Brandy - Maggie Sansone (solo hammer dulcimer)
- East St. Louis Toodle-oo - Steely Dan (Duke Ellington cover)
- Car on a Hill - Joni Mitchell (YouTube link)
- Northwest Passage - Stan Rogers
The Joni Mitchell is one of my favorite songs ever, from the opening sax riff to the strange bridge in the middle to the sad, dreamy finish:
"It always seems so righteous at the start
When there's so much laughter, when there's so much spark
When there's so much sweetness in the dark ... ."
Haven't done a meme in, like, forever. I narfed this one from oonaseckar.
Using only song names from one artist/band, cleverly answer these questions. Pass this on to 15 people (hey, you guys, do it if it strikes your fancy - that's all!). Try not to repeat a song title.
Pick Your Artist/Band: Billy Joel
Describe yourself: All About Soul
How do you feel: And So It Goes
Describe where you currently live: Sometimes A Fantasy
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Zanzibar
Your favorite form of transportation: Downeaster "Alexa" [ETA: a "downeaster" is a type of boat, usually a fishing boat ... but hey, it's a boat)
Your best friend is: Uptown Girl (my sister Amy, in this case)
You and your best friend are: Keeping The Faith
What’s the weather like: Scandinavian Skies
Favorite time of day: This Is The Time
If your life was a TV show, what would the title be: A Minor Variation
What is life to you: Everybody Has A Dream
Your relationship: A Matter Of Trust and/or You're My Home
You Fear: I Don't Want To Be Alone
Whee! Hey, I have an alternative call to action for you: link me to a meme that you particularly enjoyed doing, on your journal. Thanks muchly!
These songs are all about being a band on the road, and the relationship between audience and artist during the performance:
Bob Seger: Turn the Page
Jackson Browne: The Load Out / Stay
Boston: Rock and Roll band
Anybody have any others to add to the set?
I always wanted to do this, but in years past, I didn't use my iPod. About 18 months ago, I actually loaded the thing, and have even added things to it from time to time. So here goes: I just put it on shuffle and clicked through 20 songs, which are —
- The Dog Days Are Over - Florence + the Machine
- Peggy and Her Gallant Soldier/ The Rolling Wave - Tinsmith
- New Year's Day - U2
- Dirty Paws - Of Monster and Men
- Under the Milky Way - The Church
- Rebel Rebel - David Bowie
- Do It Again - Steely Dan
- It's Too Late - Carole King
- Somebody's Baby - Jackson Browne
- Ayal-Ayale (The Handsome Hero) - Idan Raichel Project
- Marrakesh Express - Crosby, Stills & Nash
- Take My Hand - Dido
- Mama I'm a Big Girl Now - Hairspray (Original Cast)
- Demon Lover - Steeleye Span
- Don't Stop - Fleetwood Mac
- Straight On - Heart
- Fire at Midnight - Jethro Tull
- Before the Fall - Carrie Newcomer
- That'll Be the Day - Linda Ronstadt
- Sweet Surrender - Sarah McLachlan
Hmmm, less folk/world than I would have expected.
Somehow I missed the fact that someone has actually put this up on YouTube. It's my 585 theme song:
Everything but the Girl: "We Walk the Same Line"
Tracey Thorn's voice slays me. It's not that it's spectacular, but somehow it's super comforting and cozy to me.
(And yo, Dreamwidth, what's up with all the extra space? Grrr ... Ah ha, it was only in the preview.)
For whatever reason, any bad mood I'm having is instantly lifted and temporarily repelled from the moment I hear the first bars of this:
The singer's offer in the first verse, I'll buy you six bay mares to put in your stable, six golden apples bought with my pay, is odd enough to make the whole song fantastical, personal enough ("bought with my pay" - this is not inherited wealth) to make it intensely romantic to me. The drumbeats of the refrain are a call to action and to leave maundering behind to follow him.
I'm on a Harry Chapin kick tonight. This one is my favorite, I think: the instrumentation and the chorus hit me right in the heart:
Oh, she is always seventeen:
She has a dream that she will lend us and a love that we can borrow,
There is so much joy inside her, she will even share our sorrow,
She's our past, our present, and our promise of tomorrow,
Oh, truly she's the only hope I've seen, and she is always seventeen.
(Lots of possible interpretations. I believe he meant that to him, idealism was always a young woman of seventeen.)
"My City of Ruins," Bruce Springsteen, from The Rising.
The entire album is really a 9/11 tribute:
Acoustic piano version of "You're Missing," recorded in rehearsal in 2002.
From the same album, "Mary's Place" - the sorrow is now tempered with hope: From that black hole on the horizon, I hear your voice calling to me ... turn it up, turn it up, turn it up, turn it up! (From the 2002 Barcelona concert.)