Day 30: A song that reminds you of yourself

U2: “Until the End of the World”

It’s not that I wear the gloom of Armageddon, but the visual of everyone having a good time at a party except me: that’s familiar.

We ate the food, we drank the wine
Everybody having a good time
Except you
You were talking about the end of the world

I don’t listen to a lot of U2.  They have some good material, and Bono’s writing is unimpeachable, but I figure enough people listen to them.  But these lyrics…

This is a pretty good movie, by the way, and the soundtrack is fantastic.  Try this:  Nick Cave – Until the End of the World:

I’m  DONE!  The end of the 30-day challenge us upon me!  Yeah.

Day 29: A song you remember from your childhood

I was gonna go with Sonny & Cher – “I Got You Babe”.  After listening to a version, I couldn’t do it.  Growing up, there were tons and tons of variety shows on TV.  (I promise I don’t remember and won’t play anything from the Mac Davis show, Donny & Marie, Hee Haw…but there I was, in front of the TV back in the day.  All the time.  Well not Hee-Haw.

I was ahead of my time when Saturday Night Live came around – I was much too young to watch that and it was on late.  But I had older siblings and my parents were pretty much done trying to raise kids.  So I was watching that and all the cool music that was on.  Fridays, too.  The Midnight Special, American Bandstand.  There were series and there were specials.  Great stuff.

I remember Kiss singing this ballad.  I’ve never listened to it much since then, but I remember being stunned that those guys could play a quiet song like that.

Day 27: A song that breaks your heart

I suppose I’m cheating again.  Music, generally, makes me happy; if I like it, its exciting, if I don’t like it, I don’t listen to it.  I have to interpret this another way.  For today’s challenge, I’m selecting Gil Scott-Heron and “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.

It’s nothing new.  There have been stories about abusive powers, warnings about corruption, calls for the people to take action.  And here we are.  Remaining in power are people incredibly crass and inhumane.  Progress has been made in some areas and great debacles.  Meanwhile, middle class wages have been stagnant for 40 years and the poor must be lazy criminals.  That breaks my heart.

Also, I have a suspicion that not many people know who Gil Scott-Heron is.  He’s a terrific poet and after some cajoling, really demonstrates some good musical talent.  He has a lot of material that I return to over and over.  People don’t know who he is, and that I guess breaks my heart.


Day 26: A song that makes you want to fall in love

I started to type this up and thought, “Love? … didn’t I do this one already?”  I guess they’re all running together now.  But we’re almost done with the 30-day song challenge.  Yeah!

Years ago in Seattle, we had a Pixies-cover band called Number 13, Baby.  They could really play, man, and their covers were really great, and the crowds came in great force.  !!! (Of course, “crowd” in a pub meant for 100 is still a crowd when the sweaty place is full.)  One night at the Crocodile Cafe this girl was pleading with them to play her favorite song, but they didn’t think they knew it.  She went and bought 2 pints, and tried to bribe them to play her song.  They conferred, practiced a little with amps off, nodded their heads, and gave it a go.  They let the girl keep her beer.  The guys killed it!  The girl danced crazily, and I had myself a new crush.

I wrote a personals ad, knowing it was hopeless, but a week later I received an e-mail.  “I got your ad!”  And I think to myself, ‘Wow, these never work.’  And she continues, “My boyfriend and I were packing up to move, and I just happened to notice the personals page packing dishes in the kitchen, and I stopped to read it.  And I said, “Hey, that’s me!”

And I’m thinking, “why the fuck send me an e-mail when you have a boyfriend and he’s the father of your child and you’re living together?”

The Pixies, “Is She Weird?”  Cool song.

Day 25: A song you like by an artist no longer living


I’m going with a little of the ol’ Ludwig van for this challenge.  Here we have Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, conducted by Leonard Bernstein.  He was a good guy, but more than a little ornery with the hearing problem.

This is what I’ve had in mind for more than a week.  I’ve already used several songs by dead guys during this challenge, and I’ve been getting more interested in classical music over the past few years.  This is a good reminder of that.  Enjoy the choir!

When I was out for a walk this evening, Syd Barrett’s “Here I Go” came over my headphones, and I thought that would be a good song for this challenge.  I really love that song.  But I think I want to write a longer piece about why, put some good thought to that, and put down some clever words.  Also, I featured that song in a mix for a friend last year, and he didn’t like it so much.  I want to better understand that as an angle for the piece.


Day 24: A song by a band you wish were still together

Velvet Underground.  No question.

I mean, it’s OK that they’re not together now – it’s been 50 years and half the member are dead – but I would be a happier guy if only there initial catalogue, with John Cale, was larger.  I’ve often, lost in a record store, searched for new VU – maybe tapes were found in back of the vault or lost video of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable were found.  You never know.

Here’s the Velvet Underground with “Venus in Furs”.

You can feel the antagonism, hear the odd noises, feel the cool.  Love these guys.