; Tangled Up In Blue: October 2005

Sunday, October 30, 2005

C.2005 Tangled Up In Blue Writers

Okee dokee. Things have been a little slow around here, so it's time to wake EVERYONE up and write a song together.

So here's the deal. You have to use real lyrics from top 40 songs. DON'T worry about the melody (for now). Let's get a complete song lyric first. I'll start us off, but I want/hope EVERYONE will jump in. Here's our start:

Once upon a time there was a tavern
It was a wild world and I'll always remember you like a child.
But now that I'm getting older so much older, I wonder where do the children play.
And if you could read my mind love,I'd tell you na na hey hey kiss him goodbye.
But you say hello, and I say goodbye and we look at love from both sides now
And do a little dance, make a little love get down tonight.

(Okay you fledging songwriters, your verse...or at least next line or two)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ghosts and Spirits and Monsters, Oh My....

So, it's Halloween. There have been so many songs relative to this holiday in "spirit" or in theme.
I'm sort of tired,so I'll just start off with a few, but let's see how many Spirits In The Material (and beyond) World we can name.

Monster Mash (too obvious--sorry)
Ghost Riders In The Sky
Strange Things Happen In this World (Last Night At the Dance I Met Laurie)
I Had To Much To Dream Last Night
Teen Angel

Okee dokee. You ghoul it a try!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Maggie May calls it quits

My dear Rod—

It’s that time of year. School started weeks ago. And here you are whining again that you really should be getting back. Just go already, okay? I mean it this time. I want you to leave. It’s over. Your books are there on the shelf where they've been for the past thirty-four years.

Look, it's been a good long run. We’ve had some fun. Like that time we wrecked your bed. Wow, that was a night! But I've got things I want to do with the rest of my life. So, please, do us both a favor and get on back to school.

Frankly, I’m a little tired of hearing about how I kicked you in the head. Hell, it was an accident. You know that, right? My knee flinched. Given where your head was at that particular moment and what it was doing down there, well, that sort of thing is bound to happen, wouldn't you say? And while we're setting the record straight, I did not make a “world class fool” out of you. You came by that distinction honestly, bucko. You and your old man, the pool player.

You’re always saying, “I wish I'd never seen your face.” I know you mean that as a compliment, but it’s kind of cruel. Did you ever think about that? And that other line – how does it go? “The morning sun really shows your age.” Cheap shot! I won’t lower myself to be so unkind, but take a look in the mirror, my friend. Time has a way of leveling the playing field.

Well, that’s all I have to say. Pack up your belongings. I want you out of here by day’s end. And don't come slinking around here next spring break. I'll be in Europe. I’m seeing someone else. His name is Paolo. He’s my personal shopper at Nordstrom. We’re planning a tour of the Etruscan countryside together. Who knows? Maybe we’ll settle down there. Open a cheese shop in a cave. Why do you think I’ve been taking those Italian lessons? You really are as blind as a fool can be.

I’ll miss you, Rod. You stole my heart, too. Stay in touch. Call me when you get your degree. What was it again? Oh, yeah – music theory. Good luck with that.


Maggie May

Courtesy of Jack! @ Peeling Wallpaper

Maggie May - "She wears it well, though, doesn't she? A little old fashioned but that's alright..."

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Greatest Live Albums

Being a Deadhead, I love to hear live music, mostly bootlegs. But there have been a lot of other good live albums over the years. Here is a list I found that ranks the 100 greatest live albums of all time. One of my all-time favorite albums, "The Allman Brothers at the Fillmore East" is second on the list. Although I really like the Who, I have to admit that I am not at all familiar with "Live at Leeds". I was surprised that they put "Frampton Comes Alive" at number 14. I thought it would have been ranked higher. Johnny Cash "Live at San Quentin" was an awesome album. Yet it came in at number 19. Seeing Kiss "Alive" on the list at number 28 really brought back some memories. I used to listen to that 8-track back in the late 70's when I wasn't even 10 years old. Although I never had Kiss action figures or a Kiss lunchbox, I loved Kiss back then. What is your favorite live album? Do you think that these guys got it right?

BTW, sorry about the way the site is looking. I have a tendency to make people mad sometimes. I am just sorry it affected you guys.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Music Artist Names that belong together

This dropped in my mailbox today; for your enjoyment as someone had some extra time on their hands! Very cool research, nonetheless...

~ Anita Baker and Humble Pie
~ Asleep at The Wheel and ZZ Top
~ Bad Company and Motley Crue
~ Blondie and Split Enz
~ Bob Dylan and Wheezer
~ Boston and Cream
~ Cracker and The Jam
~ Crash Test Dummies and Third Eye Blind
~ Cream and Puff Daddy
~ Dizzy Gilespie and Ten Times Fast
~ Donna Summer and Edgar Winter
~ Eddie Rabbit and Echo & the Bunnymen
~ Fine Young Cannibals and Missing Persons
~ Flock of Seagulls and Everybodyduck
~ Foreigner and Bad English
~ Guess Who and The Who
~ Jethro Tull and The Clampetts
~ Josie & The Pussycats and Cat Stevens
~ Kajagoogoo and The Babies
~ Kansas and Toto (and add Ozzy)
~ Meatloaf and Salt-N-Pepa
~ Michael Jackson and Enigma
~ Milli Vanilli and The Pretenders (or Milli Vanilli and Cheap Trick)
~ Neneh Cherry and Fiona Apple
~ Pearl Jam and Bread
~ Phish and Styx
~ Ratt and Poison
~ Smashing Pumpkins and The Smithereens
~ Spice Girls and Simple Minds
~ Styx and Stones
~ Tammy Graham and Cracker
~ T-bone and Skillet
~ The Beatles and Black Flag
~ The Cranberries and Juice Newton
~ The Lost Dogs and Stray Cats
~ The Mamas and the Papas and The Offspring
~ The Monkees and Bananarama
~ Three Dog Night and Bow Wow Wow
~ Traffic and The Jam
~ Twisted Sister and the Doobie Brothers
~ Us3 and U2
~ Vanilla Ice and Cream

Any other pairings?

courtesy of

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Just Like Don Johnson's Follow Up Album

"I'm Searching for Hearrrrt Beeeeeet" Don screechingly announced to us all. Since he didn't really record much (at all?--too lazy to research it right now) after that album, I'm guessing he either found a really good one beneath a pair of 36DDs or relinquished his own.

Same thing with this blog. Where is everyone? Are we done waxing rhapsodic about Dylan, posting the requisite tributes to the Beatles and then giving up? Does no one have anything to add? This is Music City, where every cab driver, data coder and physician eats breaths and sleeps the trebel scale. Where Every Good-ol' Boy Dreams Fruitlessly. Yet we are done discussing music here, I guess. Perhaps we are all observing a moment of silence for The Better Beatle. (Sorry, all but even batcrap crazy, Yoko speaks the truth some times. John WAS a better musician than Paul. However, Paul wins 'showman', 'playboy' and 'would never sleep with May Pang' hands down.)

Music. I haven't listened much lately because I've been in my Fortress of Solitude, where tunes, gossip and other details of the real world drift away. But today I'm back, and sucking greedily at the iTunes teat to make up for lost time. iTunes. Has it been the rebirth of music or the death knell? Now that we can have our songs in 99cent Happy Meal bites are we killing the symphonic soul? Would you listen to Sgt. Pepper in dollar Big Gulps? The Wall? Then again, is long-format album release just an excuse to nestle mediocre songs as "support" for the really good ones? I mean, honestly. Who here doesn't think--deep down--that Young Lust ruins the album, cutting in with its cheap "Are all these your guitars" and screamy ranting for a dirty girl? If you don't know that I'm speaking of The Wall, run out and listen to it all the way through at least once and understand why Mother is an integral part of the soundtrack of my life. Except my mother won't even let me sing, because I'm crappy at it.

What were we talking about again? Oh yeah. Nothing. Come on, folks...if I can blog about music half asleep, so can you!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

65 IF

Today would have been John Lennon's 65th Birthday. I get this visual in my head of John on the computer. I think he would have loved the Internet. He would also be celebrating Sean's 30th birthday.

So, your favorite Lennon songs and why? Let's do both Beatles and solo.

With the Beatles:
In My Life--best love song EVER.
I'm Only Sleeping--Really overlooked gem on Revolver.
All You Need Is Love--First worldwide telecast. Historic. And, it's as true then as it was 2000 years ago as it is today and will be 2000 years from now.

Imagine--How could this classic not be on the list?
Watching The Wheels--My personal favorite. Describes me, perfectly.
Working Class Hero--John had a lot of angst. Good way to channel it
Mother---John had a lot of pain, and never was it more evident than his literal primal screams for his Mother.
Nobody Told me--I LOVE this one. "There's UFOs over New York, and I ain't too surprised." Great rocker tune.
Across The Universe--Magical Jai Guru Devi Ohm (Glory To The Most High)
Mind Games-- Really underrated. "Some kind of Druid dude..." "Yes is the answer." Same message, but vastly different feel to it than others with same message.
Instant Karma--"How in the world you gonna see? Laughing at fools like me? Who are earth do you think you are? A Superstar? Well all right you are. But we all shine on...like the moon and the stars and the sun." And..."Instant Karma's gonna get you. Gonna slap you right in the face. Better get yourself together brother. Join the human race." Yep. That about says it all.

Okay. I am going to stop now. Let me hear some of yours!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A philosophical question

I have a philosophical question for all of you. I've always had eclectic tastes in music. And when I think about this, it makes perfect sense. Music seems to me to be universal. It's possible, after all, to enjoy music even though we're completely unfamiliar with the musical tradition behind it. I've enjoyed listening to an Indonesian Gamalan orchestra, for example, although I have absolutely no background and am competely unfamiliar with the scale or arrangements being used.

At the same time, there's music I can't bring myself to like. Although I enjoy some Johnny Cash and other "classical" country singers, most country music leaves me cold. I feel like I'm listening to something completely over-produced that is meant to conjure up some caricature. In short, I find the entire genre artificial. There are several reasons for this. Consider, for example, the fact that country music must be virtually the only music genre that must be sung with a specific regional accent to sound authentic. Of course, country music isn't unique in this respect. A lot of music probably appeals to us solely because of its ideological or cultural associations. Into this category, we could place, in addition to professionally-produced country music, things like protest songs, national anthems, or L'Internationale.

So my question is what part of music is universal and what isn't? Is it possible for anyone with enough time on their hands to enjoy pretty much any type of music? Are some types of music more universal than others? Ten-thousand years from now, is there any music from our century that people might still enjoy?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Who Is Your Favorite Rock and Roll Singer

I thought about this question on the way home from work last night when I heard my favorite singer on the radio. For me, there has never been a better singer/front man in rock and roll than Robert Plant. There have been a lot of good ones, but nobody could sing like Robert Plant, in my opinion.

What do you all think? Do you agree with me on Robert Plant? Maybe you like Elvis, or Freddie Mercury, or Elton John, or Linda Ronstadt. Maybe it is somebody new.

How to Copy

When the increasing popularity of iPods combine with the music industries obsession with preventing file-sharing, the result is unhappy customers. The Sony BMG and EMI record labels are releasing their new CDs with DRM protection, preventing fans from, not only sharing their music over the internet, but from copying their music to their iPods to listen to on the go. One person I know personally has switched from having never downloaded an "illegal" song in his life to listening almost exclusively to "illegal" music for this very reason.

The muscians are fighting back though. The Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, and the christian band Switchfoot, have all posted instructions for beating the copy protection on their websites. I'm curious if such will be enough to keep fans listening. Most of the people willing to go through the steps (and sometimes expense) required to copy the copy protected discs into an iPod campatible format already know how to do it, and I'm sure most other simply will decide to not spend money on a CD that they will have to conduct a "work around" on just to listen to it on their music player.

Regardless of the file-sharing controversary, the record companies need to adapt to their consumers. If they don't, file-sharing will be the least of their concerns.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

You Always Remember the First

I picked up the 30th anniversary deluxe edition of Elton John's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy today. As I noticed the sticker on the CD that said "30th anniversary" I commented to the clerk that it made me feel old, remembering that I bought the album (on vinyl -- got a confused look from him there) when it was released in 1975.

Elton was my teenybopper idol. In that regard, I'm fortunate because I can still listen to his music (unlike a lot of people who threw away their Donny Osmond or DeFranco Family records) after all these years. I got into Elton when I was 14, right about the time his first Greatest Hits album came out. I don't know what it was, but I left my country music upbringing to listen to Elton.

I still remember when I first heard Captain Fantastic. We lived in Daytona Beach, Florida. I was searching the AM dial (ah, those were the days) and I stopped on 1510, WLAC out of Nashville. They were playing the album in its entirety. There was no mistaking Elton's voice. (Love him or hate him, you must admit that no one sounds like him!) I lay in the dark, listening to the new music as the station faded in and out surprisingly very little during the album's run.

As I listened to the live version of the songs (Elton performed the album -- in order and in its entirety -- during a June 1975 concert at Wembley Stadium) today, I didn't feel "old" because it had been 30 years since the album was released. Instead, I felt great, that joy that hearing a masterful album can give you.

In many ways, Captain Fantastic was a bold move on Elton's part. He was at the apex of his career, riding the crest of two back-to-back number one songs ("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Philadelphia Freedom") as well as singing back-up on friend John Lennon's #1 song "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night". Every album since 1972's Honky Chateau made it to number one. Amid all this commercial success, Elton put out a very uncommercial and personal album. It wasn't an album about honky cats and yellow brick roads and crocodile rockin' and tiny dancers. Rather, Elton and Bernie Taupin gave us ten songs that chronicled their beginnings as songwriting partners and dreams of success in the music business. It was introspective ("has this country kid still got his soul?" Bernie asked in "Tell Me When the Whistle Blows"), it was personal (Elton recounts how he nearly committed suicide over a girl [yeah, I know, insert joke here] in "Someone Saved My Life Tonight"), it was bitter ("Tower of Babel" may be one of the most scathing exposes about the record industry ever written) -- and it was, as the title says, fantastic.

This autobiographical album that was released with no apparent concerns of commercial success (only one single was released from the album -- "Someone Saved My Life Tonight") became the first album in the history of the Billboard album charts to debut on the chart at #1. And, unlike the second album to debut at #1 (Elton's follow-up, Rock of the Westies), Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy still holds up well over time.

Happy 30th anniversary to Captain Fantastic -- the first album to debut at #1. No other album of that era was more deserving of that honor.

We've thrown in the towel too many times
Out for the count when we're down
Captain Fantastic and the brown dirt cowboy
From the end of the world to your town

Choosing my confessions - musical pleasures probably best left unstated

At my age and position in life, any street cred or vestige of coolness is mostly a wispy memory akin to 45 RPM singles and packs of baseball cards containing cardboardesque bubble gum. With this confession, any hope or dream for returning to coolsville is shot.

I enjoy listening to Enya at work (at least for 10 to 20 minutes at a time).

I think that Kelly Clarkson's 'Since you've been gone' is a great song. I even sing along with the chorus when I'm sure I'm alone and even my dog can't hear me.

I've always loved 'Sugar Sugar' by the Archies, even more than the wonderful cover by Wilson Pickett.

I still think that MMMMM-Bop by the Hanson boys is nearly perfect pop music.

I also sing along with REM's stupidist, cheesiest song ever - 'Shiny Happy People'.

I still own my copy of Iron Butterfly's epic 'Inna Gadda Da Vida', which probably should have been listed as one of the worst songs ever.

I love the Go-Go's song 'Our lips are sealed' despite one of the worst videos ever made to go along with the song. The lip synching is atrocious..

Finally, and now even my dog Sparky is embarrassed by this, the Backstreet Boys, 'Shape of My Heart' has this wonderful chorus that always gets to me.

I'm not sure there are enough rosary beads and Hail Mary's to balance all that out...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Anybody For Widespread Panic

In two weeks, Widespread Panic will be playing at Starwood. It has been a long time since I have seen Widespread. In fact, I have never seen them since Mike Hauser died. I probably went to about 25 to 30 Panic shows back in the old days, but not lately. I miss seeing those guys. If any of you Nashville area folks are interested in seeing Widespread Panic, please let me know. My friend that I normally see jam bands with says that he probably won't be able to make it. Hopefully there is at least one Spreadhead in this bunch. Even if you don't know anything about Widespread Panic, just think about how cool it will be to see a short haired 35 year old business man hippie dance.