Song Lyric Sunday: Hide|Beat Happening

Hide / hiding / hidden … what do I hide?  Secrets, I guess.  And money.  Forbidden love.  (I share the wine and chocolate, so I never have to hide that.)  I’m selecting a song by the great Beat Happening, a low-fi, sort-of-punk band from Olympia, WA.  This is Calvin Johnson, who practically invented DIY in the 1980s and 90s.  (Plus, there’s extra credit all the way at the bottom.)

Song:  “Our Secret”
Album:  Beat Happening
Artist: Beat Happening
Song Writer:  Calvin Johnson, Bret Lunsford, and Heather Lewis.

Thanks to Helen for the challenge;   Song Lyric Sunday

I was walking in our town
I was walking through the store
I saw a pretty girl
She held open the door
I said I like you
She said that she liked me
And we could be friends
In our special stupid way


I went to The Central(?) Cafe
There she was again
So I said hey
We should go swimming in Capitol Lake
We had a lot of fun but then it got real late
So I walked her home
And had dinner with her family

That’s why we’re running away
That’s why we’re running away
That’s why we’re running away
That’s why we’re running away
That’s why we’re running away
That’s why
I had dinner with her family

We went to her friend’s house
To have a cup of tea
She said that it was true
She was in love with me
I knew right then we had to be alone
‘Cause no one in this whole world could ever understand

That’s why we’re running away
That’s why we’re running away
That’s why
I had dinner with her family  There is some confusion about the name of the café that our hero went to, I changed the lyrics to what I thought.  Should we take a poll for what different people hear?


For extra credit, I’m adding this clip from an old TV show, I’ve got a Secret, featuring one of my great heroes, John Cale, pre-Velvet Underground.


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Favorite Albums

My friend William asked me to assemble a list of my favorite albums. I’m up to the challenge, yet a little bit loathes to make such a list. I am sure to leave something off , and in a couple of years, it’ll be shuffled with new finds and old favorites. Thus, I’m offering a truck load of favorite albums, but not a definitive list.

I’ve settled on a handful of rules to pick 20 albums.

  1. No compilations. This includes an album of multiple artists, movie sound tracks, or ’best of’ issues. The soundtrack for Until the End of the World is fantastic, but not on the list.
  2. Make the collection, but don’t rate the albums. This is just a list, not an enumerated list; I am not suggesting that the second album is “my all-time second fav” or anything like that. The exception, as I’ve said before, VU is the best. Always.
  3. A corollary to #2, I will bubble the best entries towards the top, so the #3 in the list, I think, is better than #17, but there is no way of knowing that #16 is preferred to #17.
  4. One album per artist, even though we all know that all the Beatles and all the Velvet Underground could dominate the list.
  5.  Sometimes I break rules.

Plus, I’ve assembled a YT playlist with samples from the first ten albums.
1. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico
This album is raw but learned. It is experimental, noisy, proto-punk, and beautiful. It combines the avant-garde with street-cred poetry and musical forms not yet identified in 1967. They’ve inspired others to form bands, others have tried to copy them, but nobody sounds like VU.

2. Tom Waits – Rain Dogs
Innovation rules, and a gravelly voice cleaned up just enough to not scare away the masses makes Rain Dogs a high-ranking favorite. The rhythms and instrumentation are insane. I think they’re literally hitting a brake drum with a rock to achieve percussion.

3. The Clash – London’s Calling
Joe Strummer made punk matter. Smart, righteous, and innovative, he surrounded himself with musicians and sang like he had something to say. This album is the pinnacle of an entire belief system.

4. Patti Smith – Horses
I was really struggling, Horses or Easter; which one makes the list?  Easter includes “Because the Night”, which was her breakout moment. That’s important (although the song was written by Springsteen).

Horses documents the beginning of the band, and what she was trying to achieve. She started out at poetry readings, then added guitar accompaniment. Later, after a set, she exclaimed in the microphone, “We’re looking for a drummer. You know who you are.” They met JayDee. They turned into a punk rock band.

Both are important albums that I love very much, so you get them both.

5. Patti Smith – Easter
There’s something to be said for taking on taboo; spit in its face, throw it to the ground, and hold your foot to its neck. That’s what Patti does with the N-word; I still can’t say it or type it, but Patti can scream the fuck out of it.

6. Nina Simone – Sings the Blues
Damn Nina can sing! Received as part of a record-of-the-month club two years ago. Good grief, how had I never listened to this before.

7. John Cale – Words for the Dying
My interest in classical music began with John Corigliano’s movie soundtrack, Altered States. My devotion to what classical music could be was solidified with John Cale’s work. (Plus, I like Beethoven and all the rest.) Now, can people help me identify full-orchestra music that has the punk ethos and raw emotions? I’m still searching.

8. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Good Son

9. Paul Simon – Graceland
Loved this album when it was released over 3 decades ago; I’ll listen now and it’s still fresh, innovative, and danceable.

10. Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense
It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.

11. Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
12. The Chameleons UK — Strange Times
13. The Pixies – Doolittle
14. Hoodoo Gurus – Stoneage Romeos
15. The Who – Quadrophenia
16. Nirvana – Nevermind
17. David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
18. The Beatles – The White Album
19. The Psychedelic Furs – Mirror Moves
20. The Verve – A Northern Soul

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5 Random Things (plus one)

I come across things very randomly.  I’m always listening to this, finding that, oh-wow-check-this-outing.  And then I’ll save stuff, and not figure out how to share or incorporate into a blog post.  What follows is the only logical conclusion, an aimless, completely illogical collection of stuff.

Does anybody have a question?

  1. Newen Afrobeat (featuring Seun Kuti & Cheick Tidiane Seck) – Opposite People (Fela Kuti)

I can’t get over how beautiful this is.  All those sounds – I count 21 people making noise, and I’m trying to be careful to exclude cameramen and other staff.  And what sounds they are making!  And the sweat!  I love sweaty bodies.

I had to go looking … turns out this album is 120 million years in the making.*  “Newen Afrobeat is the first Afrobeat band in Chile, formed on 2009,” says their bandcamp page.  Go there and you can buy their CD.  (Except, aaaaaaaaaaacccckkkk, the shipping is more than the actual thing.  I’ll try my local record shop first.)

Everyone dey dance
Dey dance for enjoyment (Dey dance!)
Everyone dey talk
Dey talk for communication (Dey talk!)
Everyone dey hear
Dey hear for ideology (Dey hear!)
Everyone dey think
Dey think for him progress (Dey think!)

*Because, you know, Pangaea.

  1. New friend Colton just shared this. Single should be released shortly after the New Year.

Kelly Finnigan – Catch Me I’m Falling

  1. There is a great compilation album of rock bands playing theme songs from 1970s Saturday morning cartoons. It’s called, Saturday Morning Cartoons.  I listen to it with some frequency, but I’ve never gone looking for any associated videos.  A friend’s comment on FB made think to go looking for this … and, OH what I found!   (The astute observer will note a broken guitar string at 0:29.)

The Ramones – Spiderman

  1. I found this some time back. Mind popping:  simple percussion makes for crazy rhythms.  What is going on here?  This is beautiful.

The Dixie Cups – Iko Iko

and then I came across this …

  1. More from Colton. I’m trying to get him to do a soul playlist with me.  Keep our fingers crossed.

Otis Rush – I`Cant Quit You Baby

  1. I know what to do with this.

The Who – Love reign over me


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Song Lyric Sunday: Search | The Pixies

Yet again, I pull out the mental thesaurus … “search”; searching, looking, seeking, wishing, wanting; find …

The song I wanted is from Seattleite Christy McWilson, but “Wishin’” is not on YT.  (She is not obscure, but she is local, and the album is ~20 years old.  I’ve been thinking of her recently, for some reason.)  I kept having a thought for some new wave song but couldn’t place it.  I came across a song that I really love, but the lyrics have always been opaque.  Is this OK when the challenge appears to be about interpreting lyrics?  Then I read this Frank Black quote:

“It’s all nonsense, a bad Talking Heads imitation. Just like any other cool rock ‘n roll song or pop song, the CONTENT isn’t what hits you.”  (Music Express, October 1990)

(I used to play the intro on guigar, too…)

Song:  Dig for Fire
Album:  Bossanova
Artist:  The Pixies
Song Writer: Frank Black


Thanks to Helen for the challenge;  Song Lryic Sunday

There is this old woman
She lives down the road
You can often find her
Kneeling inside of her hole

And I often ask her
“Are you looking for the mother lode?”
No, my child, this is not my desire
And then she said

I’m digging for fire
I’m digging for fire
I’m digging for fire
I’m digging for fire

There is this old man
Who spent so much of his life sleeping
That he is able to keep awake for the rest of his years
He resides on a beach in a town
Where I am going to live

And I often ask him
“Are you looking for the mother lode?”
No, my child, this is not my desire
And then he said

I’m digging for fire
I’m digging for fire
I’m digging for fire
I’m digging for fire

Song Lyric Sunday: Sleep| Daniel Lanois

This is a theme that could go in a lot of directions.  Sleep makes me think of the end of day and night time, which makes me think of the sunrise.  Sleep makes me think of dreaming.  Sleep is often a metaphor for death (ala Dylan Thomas), or the end of days.  Of course, most rock ‘n’ roll is about some kind of party, antithesis to “sleep”; staying up all night makes me wish for sleep.

Let’s see what I come up with.

Song: “Sleeping in the Devil’s Bed”
Album: Until the End of the World soundtrack
Artist:  Daniel Lanois
Song Writer: Daniel Lanois

The song comes from the acceptably weird movie, and astoundingly great soundtrack, Until the End of the World.  Except for this song, I only know this guy as a producer.  A recent discovery of mine is his production work with Bob Dylan on Oh, Mercy.  Dylan’s description of working with Lanois, in the autobiographical Chronicles, Vol. 1, is one of the great things I’ve read this year.

The song appears to be about love and love lost, but sometimes interpreting poems is a sore point for me.


Thanks to Helen for the challenge;   Song Lryic Sunday


I thought of you in blue and red
I thought of you when you were playing
I thought of you in my bed
You were there bound and chained

I thought of you there next to me
Wearing your pretty face
I thought of everything that you could be
Sleeping in the devil’s bed

I looked for you when the lights were low
And I paid for what I had
I looked for you way down below
‘Til I felt I was going mad

I think of you when I tell myself
And the fever rises high
I think of you and I get what’s coming
Sleeping in the devil’s bed

Oh why, why, why, why, baby, why?
Oh why, why, why, why, why, why, baby, why?

I thought of you up there on the ladder
I thought of you when I heard the news
I thought of you and it didn’t matter
If I accepted you’ll refuse

I wanted you and I wanted more
I wanted everything
I wanted what I couldn’t get
Sleeping in the devil’s bed
In the devil’s bed

I woke up in the steady rain
I woke up when you said
It’s late and I’m feeling heavy
Could you hold my aching head?

I found myself tangled in wire
I found you there in my dream
I found you in desire
You had left the devil’s bed
You had left the devil’s bed
Oh, baby, why?
You had left the devil’s bed

lyrics found at


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Playlist #8: Soundtrack for Road Trip

The portability of recorded music is unique in the arts.  You can go to a museum to look at objects, go to a theatre to watch a play, or go to a venue to take in a concert.  Recorded music can play in your home, your car, on your MP3 player for a walk, a run, at the gym; take it to the office, the woodshop, or the airplane.  Your music collection becomes a soundtrack to your life: you select songs and albums for the setting, the mood, the time of day.

Planning for a road trip through part of Oregon, what should I take along?  I’ve had a

IMG_2338 (3)
Capturing a wave just at its crest.  Pure, clean ocean waters.

separate stack of CDs for a few months, stuff that I hadn’t meant to ignore, stuff I’ve wanted to give a second chance, newer stuff that hadn’t made the home playlist yet.  The stack grew to 3 shoeboxes.  Finally, for this road trip, I cleaned out the CDs from my car, and picked out a couple of handfuls of the special stack for this trip.

Typically, “road trip music” interprets as music that is good to have on in the car when driving.  Simple enough.  I have expanded the meaning along a second prong, “music that I purposefully bring along, because I need to listen to it”.

Wordy, not pithy, but that’s what I’m doing.

The way I do it, until somebody has a better idea, the playlist is on YT, with the listing and liner notes below.  I hope you find something new.

Playlist #8: Soundtrack for Road Trip


  1. Destroyer – “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood”

I guess the album is pretty good, but I really just like the one song  … and it’s really good.

  1. SuperOrganism Something For Your M.I.N.D.

I finally bought the CD, instead of listening to just 2 songs on YT, I can listen to the whole thing.  The 2 songs I previously knew are the best by far, but it’s a good record for me to listen to; lots of fresh ideas.

There is one stanza, I’d swear she’s singing, “I know you think I’m a social path …”; in fact, she sings “sociopath”.   Still, what might a “social path” be?


IMG_2392 (2)
Instead of shooting the pretty orange ball, how can you use the gentle light of sunset?  In this shot, coupled with the very low tide, I worked with the waters’ murmur, the sands’ textures, and the sounds only eyes can hear.

I think it would mean an avenue to meet people, or to be invited to a party, or to join a new clique.  Something like that.  I think “social path” should be added to the English lexicon.

  1. Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – “Master and Slave”

Formed in Eugene, OR, not far from where I am as I write this, in the late 1980s.  When Brian Setzer gave us the mid-1990s Swing movement, CPD slid right into place.  Cool band.

  1. Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – “Zoot Suit Riot”

Anybody that has heard of CPD knows the song “Zoot Suit Riot”; if you haven’t heard of them, it’s a good song.

  1. NW ShoeGazzer Bliss

My memory might be ill, but I seem to recall receiving this as a gift for attending a show at The Crocodile Café.  The Croc used to do this; I have other gift CDs from shows there.  This is a 2002 release from Reverb Records.  It includes, for example, The High Violets and “44 down”

In case you don’t know about shoegazz, Wikipedia says, “Shoegazing is a subgenre of indie and alternative rock that emerged in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s.  Its sound is characterized by an ethereal mixture of obscured vocals, guitar distortion and effects, feedback, and overwhelming volume.”

  1. Black Nite Crash – See Her Tonight


  1. Elvis Costello – “Lip Service”

Elvis is a tough one.  I was never really exposed to him, and then a few years ago my nephew made me buy This Year’s Model.  It’s fun to listen to, but it never makes it into my home rotation.

  1. Janáček – Piano Sonata 1.X.1905 (“From the Street”) – Lazar Berman

FB friend posted this while I was on the trip.  Does listening to songs in the hotel count as part of the road trip?  It must.

  1. Get Well Soon – “If this Hat is Missing, I have Gone Hunting”

Do not watch the video whilst driving a horseless carriage, thou.

  1. Tommy Good – “Baby I miss you”

Driving through the Umpqua Valley, from the Coast to Bend, Oregon, I stopped in Roseburg for lunch, and picked up the community quarterly, UV.  There’s an article about a local guy that curates 1970s soul.  I’m asking him to work on a playlist with me for Community Noise.  Stay tuned.  One song I learned from him, “Baby I miss you”.

  1. Paul & The Broken Bones – “Apollo”

I just happened upon this, searching for YT videos.  I love these guys.

IMG_2435 (2)
Fort Rock in Central Oregon.  Steampunk volcanic action — you’ll have to read about it on Wikipedia.
  1. Eighth Blackbird – “Variations”

I’ve featured this ensemble before; I think these guys are incredible.  Far away from my roots in pop and punk rock, this music is complicated, intense, and learned, but remains enchanting.

My hope is that their music finds a touchstone for people that allows for the exploration of more musical forms.  It’s fun to watch them play, unfortunately, I couldn’t find any live versions of this album, Thirteen Ways.

  1. The Fiery Furnaces – “Quay Cur”

It was a trip to London in 2004, previously documented in these pages, when I stumbled upon the Rough Trade record shop.  I asked the shop attendant for new music that I should give a try.  The bloke behind the counter handed me this, Blueberry Boat. (This is one of my ploys to find new stuff – ask the attendant for whatever he or she is listening to.)

It’s a tough album to figure out.  That’s why I lost it in the archives.  It will take some time for me to find my way with it, the right mood, the right time of day, all that.  There’s something going on though, and I think this is a record worthy of the time to work it out.

  1. Nick Cave and the Badseeds – “The Good Son”

I don’t need to remember to listen to this one, it takes effort not to play it to death.  This album is perfect; every song is beautiful and there is song-to-song cohesion. The voices, instrumentation, the emotions: perfectly intertwine.

This album, The Good Son, is a masterwork of Western Civilization.


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Song Lyric Sunday: Photograph | Get Well Soon

I am coming to this week’s theme a little bit sideways, but I am not cheating.  I am on a roadtrip in Oregon.  Amongst my goals is to renew my interest in photography, and to refind some music in my archives that I have not meant to ignore.  I will be compiling a playlist for my blog; this is a preview.

For the photo I am sharing here, I spent a lot of time trying to capture the angle and the timing. Clean, pure water was breaking right before my eyes.  I got wet, but not as wet as you might imagine.  Neat.

The song is from an oddly beautiful album that I’ve never made sense of it.  Parts of it are amazing.  The hook in this song, with that woman’s voice and change of tempo, always catches me.  While the subject matter is dark, what really bothers me, is I have no recollection of how, why, when, or where I acquired this.  It must be that somebody in a record shop suggested I check it out, but I have no memory.  That is unusual for me – almost every record and CD I own, and I have a story behind it.

One final note: I’d never watched this video before searching it out for this post.  Whacky thing.

Song:  If This Hat Is Missing I Have Gone Hunting
Album:  Rest Now, Weary Head! You Will Get Well Soon
Artist:  Get Well Soon
Song Writer: Konstantin Gropper


Thanks to Helen for the challenge;  Song Lryic Sunday

This time we will end it
This life ain’t got no future, girl
Don’t say it’s not my business
It’s tragic you don’t feel my pity
Just think of all the others
What they think, they feel, they seen
But the letters are not golden
Till they write them on your tombstone, girl

Shoot, baby, shoot, Baby, pull the trigger
Fire a bullet, an arrow or a poisoned dart, baby
Shoot, baby, shoot, Free us from the pressure
With a rifle or a gun, we can’t live forever

It takes just one second
I’m trying not to cause you pain
They say that this forest’s haunted
You soon will find new friends in ghosts
Just hope that I will aim right
But if it’s over soon

Shoot, baby, shoot, Baby, pull the trigger
Fire a bullet, an arrow or a poisoned dart, baby
Shoot, baby, shoot, Free us from the pressure
With a rifle or a gun, we can’t live forever


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Song Lyric Sunday: Car|Springsteen

Any affinity I once had for The Boss is long gone.  Missing.  Perhaps my loss, he fell off my playlist when I added Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, The Smiths, X, Hoodoo Gurus, Psychedelic Furs, and on and on.

Struggling with this week’s theme – I was thinking through Gary Numan and Ric Ocasek’s The Cars – I finally, this morning, reached down into the dustier recesses of docile brain cells, and pulled out this lyric,

I’m driving in my car
I turn on the radio

Who was that?  It’s just a google search away.

Song:  “Fire”
Album:  written in 1977, but not released until The Promise box set in 2010
Artist:  Bruce Springsteen
Song Writer:  Bruce Springsteen

I’m giving two versions; the Pointer Sisters recorded this for a hit in 1979 (lyrics adjusted accordingly).

Thanks to Helen for the challenge;  Song Lryic Sunday

I’m driving in my car
I turn on the radio
I’m pulling you close
You just say no
You say you don’t like it
But girl I know you’re a liar
‘Cause when we kiss
Ooooh, Fire

Late at night
I’m takin’ you home
I say I wanna stay
You say you wanna be alone
You say you don’t love me
But you can’t hide your desire
‘Cause when we kiss
Oh, Fire

You had a hold on me
Right from the start
A grip so tight
I couldn’t tear it apart
My nerves all jumpin’
Actin’ like a fool
Well your kisses they burn
But your heart stays cool

Romeo and Juliet
Samson and Delilah
You can bet
Their love they didn’t deny
Your words say split
But your words they lie
‘Cause when we kiss
Mmmmmm, Fire
Fire  (I fixed a couple things)


September skies come
Dry, soon wet, cold, dark; Winter
Will last seven months

But that’s me.  September is a fine month by itself, but also an omen of days to come.  Anyway, Happy September.

Lots of people have good songs about September, so let’s listen to some.  “September Song” is very old, much covered, and people play around with the lyrics.  I wanted to feature that, but extend to other songs, and keep the list at 5.  (My rules don’t always make a lot of sense, and I don’t always follow them.)

Earth Wind and Fire – September

Frank Sinatra – September Song

Ian McCulloch – September song

Ella Fitzgerald – September Song

Brian Setzer Orchestra – September Skies

Barry White – September When I First Met You


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Song Lyric Sunday Theme: Fear

It took me a few minutes, but “fear” brought memories of Julian Cope.

Julian sits in a special place for me.  His early work with the Teardrop Explodes and his first two solo records were great back in the day – that was the stuff to listen to.  It’s what the cool kids down the hall had.  No small triumph, not to brag, but I found all 4 vinyl albums and a couple of singles in the record stores.  (By the way, doesn’t “teardrop explodes” create the greatest mental image?)

I think a lot about “staying power” when I listen to music from my collection.  It turns out that, while I still listen to a fair amount of 1980s music, a lot from that decade now sounds tinny or the synthesizers are simplistic, or it just isn’t as good as I used to think it was.  Julian stands up a little better.  He has a nice voice and he sometimes has an astounding way with words.  Sometimes his music sounds naïve, but occasionally, decades later, some songs remain a real treasure.

Today’s selection is “Land of Fear’; originally found on a 7” EP.  (Now you will find it on Fried re-releases as “bonus material”.)  The song, to me, describes how it is to be in a relationship; scary, sure, but holding hands with the right person can make everything OK.  Also, there is clever adaptation of a biblical phrase to a love song.  (I guess it’s clever anytime someone does something useful with a biblical phrase.)  There’s another version, from studio tapes, mostly him noodling, playing with the words.  It’s an insight of how he worked through the scripture text to figure out how the words could work into his song.  I can’t find version that on YT.

Song:  Land of Fear
Album:  Sunspots EP (7” vinyl)
Artist: Julian Cope
Song Writer: Julian Cope

Thanks to Helen for the challenge;   Song Lryic Sunday


when I walk
through the land of fear
beside you
become over you
walk with me
through the land of fear
I don’t look to my left
I don’t look to my rear
cause I’m not afraid anymore
somehow I’m not afraid anymore
cause when I walk
through the land of fear
there’s no one there,
I make damn sure
I judge the stakes
against myself
the count has grown
up above the shelf
I’m not afraid anymore
somehow I’m not afraid anymore
cause when I walk
through the land of fear
the crying and the glancing out
abandon thee
incorrigibly tamed
they’ll never see
beyond my gaze
in the land of fear
the land of fear   I fixed up the found lyrics best I could.