; Tangled Up In Blue: November 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

the top then songs that pop into my mind when i am running the leaf blower

1. “Love Removal Machine” by the Cult. I replace the word “love” with “leaf” and it becomes quite the theme song.
2. “Blow It Out” by the Features. This one is self-explanatory.
3. “Blow Wind Blow” by Tom Waits. As is this one.
4. “Scotland, the Brave”. A good leaf blower begins to sound like bagpipes after a while. However, this song generally gets me a little choked up, and that is not the sort of state one wants to be in while manual laboring.
5. “It’s A Long Way To the Top (If You Wanna to Rock ‘n’ Roll)” by AC/DC. Again, it’s the bagpipes. But this one makes me want to rock, and that is a perfectly acceptable state for lawn maintenance.
6. “Alone Again, Naturally” by Gilbert O’Sullivan. I can’ explain this one. Perhaps leaf blowing is a lonelier task than I realize.
7. “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO. It is hard to be outside in decent weather for long periods of time without this one popping into your head.
8. “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band. It was in the movie Blow. I know it is a stretch, but it really does pop into my mind while leaf blowing. I don’t have to explain myself to you.
9. “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I eventually want to think of a Kurtis Blow song, but I do not know any and instead have this Skynyrd classic running through my head with “Sing me a song, Kurtis Blow” as its chorus.
10. “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Group. This is really a song for all occasions, and it is rarely far from my mind.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving/ I'm Alabama Bound

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Like a lot of people I am traveling this weekend to my home state of Alabama. Everytime I head down to the Heart of Dixie, I always play the Skynyrd song "Mississippi Kid" in my head. It goes like this.

I'’ve got my pistols in my pockets boys,
I'’m Alabama bound.
I'’ve got my pistols in my pockets boys, I'm
I'm Alabama bound.
Well, I'’m not looking for no trouble
But nobody dogs me '’round.

Well, I'’m going to fetch my woman, people
Tri-cities here I come.
Well, I'’m going to fetch my woman, people
Tri-cities here I come
'cause she was raised up on that cornbread
And I know she'’s gonna give me some.

Of course I am not coming from Mississippi, but Tennessee. I have never owned a pistol. My "woman" happens to be from New York and she hates cornbread. I am not even heading to the Tri-Cities (Muscle Shoals, Decatur, Florence). The guy in this song was probably coming into the state on a Harley, I wll be in a Toyota Corrolla with the wife and kid.

Okay, maybe this song is a little inaccurate and maybe I am not a cowboy. Nothing wrong with a little daydreaming though, is there?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Pete Townsend and Justin Kreutzman Blog Too

Sharon Cobb tipped me off to the fact that Pete Townshend is now blogging. When I was reading through some of the comments on Pete's site, I noticed the name Justin Kreutzman. I knew that Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzman had a son named Justin, so I checked it out and sure enough, it was Bill's son. His blog is awesome. He is a photographer and he shares a lot of cool photos, in addition to some really good stories about growing up with the Grateful Dead. Being Bill Kreutzman's son, he also befriended many other musicians. I especially liked this post about a conversation that he once had with his friend and former Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Leon Wilkeson. If you are a fan of Southern Rock, I highly recommend you read that post. What a find!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Augasm - an eclectic menagerie of aural pleasures

We all love our music - from the time we were rocked in our cradle to lullabyes... I remember those early parenting nights rocking my son to sleep when the only song I could coherently sing at 3 am was the National Anthem. Nowadays, we rock out to our iPods, computers, MP3s, surround sound, some smoky music venue, whatever radio throws our way and even dare venture out to other types of music found for example on Jack FM or Lighting 100.

We all have memories of hearing a great tune and that sense of "discovering" a song or band that no one was aware of - or before a performer's first LP ever released - for me, is was the Allman Brothers, Alice Cooper, Robert Palmer, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen...I would be remiss if I didn't share with you my "musical find" -

This blog - aurgasm - by Paul Irish reaches in our own backyard and around the world and simply fishes out musical gems - you have to be adventurous and very open to sample musical offerings from various categories; some that I never knew existed - japanese turntablism // traditional remixed, singer songwriter //indie folk, afro-cuban // cuban son, funky house // french house, conscious hiphop // old-school, folktronica // indie electronic // post-rock...

Paul also takes the time to explain each selection, provide a little research and photos as well - You'll will feel right at home on your PC, listening to great tunes while taking an online music appreciation course. Paul explains why he is so passionate about music:

aurgasm brings to you an eclectic menagerie of aural pleasures. I scout out music you've never heard and deliver only the finest. Expect music curiously different, yet simply enjoyable. I want music to move me. I listen to how it sounds and consume how it feels. I want it to groove my soul, wrench my heart, nod my head, or fascinate my brain. The exceptionally distinctive sounds I hear are the ones you'll see on aurgasm; they'll resound inside you as well.This music is here for evaluation purposes ONLY.That's what I want you to do: eval-u-ate: try on this music for size, see if it fits you. If you enjoy it, learn more. Explore the artist, delve into the genre. Take an active approach in finding music you love. Only you can find what you love. Immerse yourself in it. Buy the CD. Go to the show and meet your favorite artist afterwards. Tell them their music changed you. Support the artists whose work you adore. Be passionate about music. It'll love you back.
Now realize you'll never hear these songs on the FM dial, or in your local record store... Some of my "finds" are:

Canceling Stamps At The University Of Ghana Post Office (Goin' postal in Ghana)

Rebirth Brass Band - You Move Ya (Love to hear a marching band do this song at halftime!)

Beady Belle - Goldilocks (Soundtrack to the Hummer commercial?)

Lizz Wright - Old Man (Neil Young classic - jazz style)

An eclectic menagerie of aural pleasures indeed -


Fritz Lang had a less than pleasing encounter with Neal Cassidy's son.

Sounds like Cassidy Jr. was a bit of momzer, and left our poor Fritz tonguetied and less than impressed. I, of course, only think of Robert Hunter's lyrics in connection with Cassidy, and none of his actual poetry. Funny, when the man memorializing you in song is the much better poet. Life has irony like that.

Rest assured, Fritz, that the Younger Cassidy is just pimping daddy's name to get some (as we've been known to say on Tour) ass and grass.

Hey. I linked to the song. This post is kinda musical. Kinda.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Where's the Ode to the Turkey?

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it just occurred to me that we have thousands of famous Christmas songs but no Thanksgiving songs (that I know of). Why is this?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Another Dream About Warren

For the last year of his life, I dreamed about Warren Zevon at least three nights a week. They were usually strange--because they were dreams--and sad--because he was dying. No whackawhacka guitar because they weren't those kind of dreams. Just dreams where we'd talk, or I'd be the observer watching him live out his last days with friends and family. It always made me feel stalkerish, especially since I wasn't too open about my fandom. I didn't have a Warren web site, I didn't send him fan mail and I didn't get too involved with other fans. It was more of a private thing. I enjoyed his music and was incredibly moved by it. So why we spent so many unwaking hours together I have no idea. On 7 September, 2003 the dreams stopped. Warren died, and apparently my subconcious made peace with his death immediately.

Until last night, it seems. Another dream, this time I was sharing a hospital room with another woman, and Warren showed up to ask us both to go on tour with him. This could be one of three things. It could be a foretelling of my own death, I suppose. I hope not. I'm only 35 and not quite willing to loose this mortal coil. It could be the beginning of a modern retelling of Paradise Lost, where my guide through Heaven and Hell is a more modern poet than Virgil. It could also be my subconcious playing dirty tricks.

Regardless of which, I think it says something about the power of music in our lives. When you find the artist, the album, the song that just clicks, it becomes a part of you. Sharon has Lennon and Bono. I have Van Morrison, The Dead, and Zevon (obviously). Who has moved you and graduated from entertainer to poet laureate of your life?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Worst album covers ever...I wanted to share

There may be weirder or 'sicker' covers out there somewhere, but it's gonna be hard to beat these.

This first one has to be from the hills of Kentucky..in the land of 'i'm my own grandpa'..

I don't find this guy's life quite as loveable as he appears to...

Here's one for your next party...Didn't Curtis Mayfield finish this guy off..or was that another Freddy?

What the hell were these guys thinking?

Tino, Tino, Tino...ok, i'm speechless.

HT: holly anderton

Tangle Up in Blue CD

Everyone on the Tangled Up in Blue crew (and others who comment) should keep track of our favorite songs and eventually create a CD set.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Loggins and Messina's Danny's Song

These days, I've been listening to one of my favorites songs, the Loggins and Messina hit Danny's Song. I've always loved this very pretty song as it embodies so many of the values I hold dear--the idea that love and commitment are more important than money along with a healthy excitement about a child being born. I wish more popular music would abandon the dark, neurotic themes for this sort of celebration of natural and healthy human feelings.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Legend Lives On...

Thirty years ago today, November 10th, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank. What was a "local" story became an international incident thanks to Gordon Lightfoot's song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", which hit #2 on the Billboard charts a year after the tragedy. Now the Weather Channel, each November 10th, recalls the storm that was over Lake Superior, and the Discovery Channel has tried to recreate the accident using computer-generated animation.

All of this leads to this question: Lightfoot's classic is not the first song to be based on a true event. What are your favorite songs based on actual events? Lightfoot's song ranks high on my list, as does the Boomtown Rats' "I Don't Like Mondays." Was (Not Was) did a song about JFK's assassination called "11 MPH" that is very good.

In country, there's "The Great Titanic" (or "The Sinking of the Titanic"), done by various artists (the best versions being by Pop Stoneman and Roy Acuff). Tom T. Hall's "The Year That Clayton Delaney Died" is very good (Lonnie Easterly was the guitar player's real name). Johnny Cash did two gems: "Remember the Alamo" and "The Ballad of Ira Hayes."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What Makes You Feel Good?

Well that's a loaded question. Actually I am talking about music here. What music makes you feel good? Is it Coltrane? Is it that High Lonesome Sound? How about Garcia? Nothing soothes my soul like the sound of Jerry Garcia's guitar. The man had the power to bring tears to my eyes.

Stevie Ray Vaughn's version of the Jimi Hendrix classic "Little Wing" is one of those records that actually causes me to pull the car over and feel it.

When I am down in the dumps, I play Bob Marley's song "Three Little Birds". That song reminds me not to worry about a thing because every little thing is going to be alright.

When I am feeling close to God, I play Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic". It is so good to know that when that foghorn blows, I will be coming home.

When I am feeling nostalgic about my youth when I was "working on mysteries without any clues", I like to hear Bob Seger's "Night Moves".

I can't tell you how many late nights I rode in my car alone listening to the BB King song "Hummingbird".

Whatever state of mind I have ever been in, and whatever emotion I have ever felt, there is a song for it. How about you?

Monday, November 07, 2005

I'm A Working Man In My Prime...

Michael at Chez Bez cast me back into the memory hole.

All last week at Disney World I had the frabjous callay of being surrounded by Very Important Men Of Business shouting down the cell phone towers. Filing purchase orders, scheduling meetings, checking their football picks--and letting everyone in a two-yard radius know just how valuable they were to the turning of the planet. Ah yes. These men had not only jobs but Careers. I felt so damn inferior. Writers can't call someone on the phone and shout out important sentences or plot developments with gravitas and swagger. Well, they can but it looks kind of stupid. Not only that, but this writer had decided to not worry about her work for a week and enjoy the vacation that cost her family a fair few ducats. But still. Standing on the bridge and looking at the giant Spaceship Earth with its slow-moving ride tribute to communication I couldn't help but wonder. Have I failed mankind? I haven't stopped cancer or AIDS and the work I do is largely menial. No one fails to get their heart pumping if I screw up the margins on prepress.

Then, one iPod and plane ride home later it hit me. "It" in this case being Van Morrison. What better song to describe my life at this point than his Cleaning Windows?

You know...the song about how he is working a menial job washing windows in Dublin because it gives him time to really dive headlong into his true passion of learning about the world?

I heard Leadbelly and Blind Lemon
On the street where I was born
Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee,
Muddy Waters singin' "I'm A Rolling Stone"
I went home and read my Christmas Humphreys' book on Zen
Curiosity killed the cat
Kerouac's "Dharma Bums" and "On The Road"

What's my line?
I'm happy cleaning windows
Take my time
I'll see you when my love grows
Baby don't let it slide
I'm a working man in my prime
Cleaning windows...

I'll see YOU when my love grows. In the meantime show your wife some respect and leave the damned cell phone in your hotel room.