Monday, July 21, 2008

A Robot Saved My Life

I dreamt last night that my hand was made of iceberg lettuce...a piece of cucumber had gotten stuck within the leaves and I was tearing at my skin to get rid of it. But I had to stop because I was in danger of ripping my hands to the point where they wouldn't work anymore. Ah, sleep. I have a heavy heart lately.

1. 'Afro' by Erykah Badu from 'Baduizm'

I love this album, don't get me wrong. My reactions today are more a product of where I'm at than the music I'm hearing. Today it strikes me as self-satisfied and smug. 9 times out of 10 this album turns me on. Today it turns me off.

2. 'I Wish' by King Missile from 'The Way to Salavtion'

This song sort of captures my mood. He wishes for things he knows he cannot have, even things he knows cannot exist. But there the wishes are anyways. He recites these spoken word things over the music and in a way it doesn't give the music the props it deserves, the joy of a melody kicking in at the right moment. 'I Wish' this band had found a great lead singer instead of a whiny nihilist with too many spiral bound notebooks filled with detritus.

3. 'Let The Bad Times Roll' by Paul Westerberg from 'Stereo'

I am a fire and this is gasoline.

4. 'Crossfire' by Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble from 'Greatest Hits'

His guitar playing doesn't seem real to me. It springs out of the fabric of the music but it is completely separate at the same time. He was simply better than anyone else. Ever. I think he is my favorite guitar player of all time. He is. Stevie Ray Vaughan is my favorite guitar player.

5. 'Little Farley' by Harry Connick, Jr. from 'Star Turtle'

Why is the iPod intent on playing 'Star Turtle' every day? I guess it could be worse, it could play Pink's 'Mizunderstood' over and over. This whole album has such a rich texture, it is packed to the gills.

6. 'Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner' by Warren Zevon from 'Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon'

Only Warren Zevon could write a three minute pop song about a Norwegian mercenary who comes back from beyond the grave to kill the CIA operatives who double crossed him during the uprising in the Congo. Good lord. I want whatever drugs he was taking.

7. 'Body Language' by Queen from 'Greatest Hits'

Even Queen can't really pierce my mood today. This song is about as weak as Queen gets. Which is still pretty strong.

8. '(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais' by The Clash from 'Live: From Here To Eternity'

This song on wax was a battering ram of insight. Live it is a horde of archers scaling your walls, all the while convincing you that you'd be better off fighting with them, benevolent conquerers.

9. 'Done Wrong' by Ani DiFranco from 'Dilate'

She can nail it from time to time. Sometimes her jazzy strumming makes me feel like I drank too much instant coffee and only ate a sugared doughnut and smoked too many cigarettes. Occasionally she keeps the nerves from jangling and breaks your heart. My heart was broken when I woke up so she barely had to try.

10. 'Cold Sweat' by James Brown from '20 All Time Greatest Hits'

Damn funky.

11. 'Less Than Zero' by Elvis Costello from 'My Aim Is True'

That little hiccup he throws in after 'Everything is less than zero/HEP!' is what makes him great. He thinks it's all the fancy wordplay and collaborations with opera singers and collage artists. It ain't, it's the off the cuff yell after he says what he thinks he meant to say.

12. 'Rock Island Line' by Johnny Cash from 'The Sun Years'

Thankfully this erases the Dan Zanes version I had to sit through the other day. This doesn't seem so much like music as like rock brought up from a quarry.

13. 'Dirty Worxx' by Ipanema Girl from 'The New Brazillian Sound'

This whole album is like a group of hot chicks just out of earshot whispering about the shape of what the waxer left behind.

14. 'Soul Fire' by Lee 'Scratch Perry from 'Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread'

'Soul fire/And we ain't got no water'. How much plainer does it need to be stated?

15. 'Angels Walk' by Paul Westerberg from 'Eventually'

I've written about this album before at length, how I instantly disliked it, how I turned my back on my hero after hearing it, how wrong I 'eventually' was about it. He is so subtle you might think he doesn't have much to say. But it would be you who didn't have much to listen with.

16. 'Airbag' by Radiohead from 'OK Computer'

I wish a robot would save my life.

I need a robot to save my life.

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