Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jzzs, Debbie, and Jofus

My niece is fascinated with the Nativity. For some reason she refers to Mary as Debbie. She calls Joseph Jofus, as if he is some sort of Middle Eastern redneck, and Jesus gets all the vowels taken out of his name.

Melody's niece, when told it was Jesus' birthday, looked up at her mother and said, "Cupcakes?!?"

I have been left to my own devices for the past few days, as Cashel is off in the desert with his mom and uncle and Melody is still in North Carolina. This is not good for me. I have not fallen apart completely but give me time and I'll surely crack.

217. Damned Ladies - Rufus Wainwright from 'Rufus Wainwright'

This one is probably my least favorite song on the album which is sort of like saying it is the least favorite of my favorite Shakespeare plays. It's ALL SHAKESPEARE.

218. Shine - Dolly Parton from 'Little Sparrow'

Dolly takes a middling modern rock hit by Collective Soul and tricks it out in her usual fashion. This song did nothing for me in its original state and Dolly has breathed new life into it with her considerable lungs. Ahem.

219. If (Instrumental) - Wild Colonials from 'Home Movie Sound Kit (Disc 2)'

I am friends with Shark, the guitarist for this great Canadian/LA band. They were in the middle of trying to extricate themselves from a bad contract and Shark came up with the idea of releasing their songs as instrumental tracks to be used in movies. Their dense atmospheric melodies are perfect cinematic accompaniment. Moody and sensuous.

220. Scream - Michael Jackson from 'HIStory (Disc 2)'

What can you say about this guy? He didn't seem all that interested in doing a duet with his sister until he needed a comeback. Kind of says it all.

221. Airbag - Radiohead from 'OK Computer'

Trying to explain my appreciation for this album is like attempting to define the best part of oxygen. It is self-explanatory. I can still remember the shock of seeing the videos to these songs and realizing that Radiohead was, all of a sudden, the best and most important band in the world. That doesn't make them my favorite but it's fifteen years later and nobody has knocked them off the hill yet.

222. Freedom Road - The Divine Comedy from 'Absent Friends'

My sister Sheila insisted that I listen to this guy and in retrospect I can see why. I know hyperbole is a staple part of my writing but The Divine Comedy has got to be the single most underrated songwriter of the past thirty years. No one knows who this guy is and then you listen to his stuff and it is like entering a world where there was another Beatle. Who wound up being the best one.

223. Broken Face - Pixies from 'Surfer Rosa & Come On Pilgrim'

Replacements fans everywhere drool at the prospect of a reunion like the one the Pixies treated us to in 2004. They'd toiled away during their heyday and hit the amphitheaters for what was essentially a victory lap.

224. Skip To My Lou - Dan Zanes from 'Family Dance'

I was delighted when I discovered these albums for children and I would still recommend them to anyone with a little child. Just be prepared for the moment in the future when you want to grab Dan Zanes by his skinny little neck and shake him until his big stupid hair shakes on top of his annoying head.

225. Hold Me - Stevie Wonder from 'For Once In My Life/Uptight'

One of those songs you know you've heard a million times but never quite paid enough attention to. Joyous and beautiful singing and playing.

226. Dead And Lovely - Tom Waits from 'Real Gone'

When Tom Waits dispenses with all the overwrought grunting and bizarre instruments there is no one who can touch him. A haunting and disturbing elegy of loss.

227. Smooth Sailing - Ella Fitzgerald from 'The Very Best Of Ella (Disc 1)'

I liken my feelings about Ella Fitzgerald to my feelings about Al Pacino. Any criticism must be prefaced with the basic fact that, hey, it's AL PACINO. So he is annoying and over the top in 'Heat' and 'Scent Of A Woman', that doesn't erase 'Dog Day Afternoon', 'The Godfather Movies', or 'Donnie Brasco'. Same thing with Ella. When she starts to scat (the aspect of her work that everyone else seems to love the most) I immediately want to tear my hair out. And hers. But she's still ELLA.

228. Brainstorm - New Mischief from 'New Mischief EP'

Timothy Buzz and I captured lightning in a bottle.

229. Sea Anemone - Jets To Brazil from 'Orange Rhyming Dictionary'

They skirt the self-indulgent line perfectly in this song because even thought the narrator is supposedly contemplating suicide in a hotel room he still has enough energy to belt the shit out of this song.

230. Cheeze Surprize - Pimp Fu from 'Shocker'

To his fans, Pimp Fu had always been the crazy guy, caught in the corner of his own mind, raving and raging against himself, to himself, about himself. So when this album came out it was obvious that this was not THAT Pimp Fu. The explicit content makes 2Live Crew look like storytelling time for kids at the local library and strippers blushed at the brazen come-ons peppered throughout this bawdy hilarious album.

231. Rid Of Me - PJ Harvey from 'Rid Of Me'

Hey PJ, take a nap and let the Pimp Fu have a crack at ya. He'll cheer you up.

232. Big Time Woman - Leon Redbone from 'On The Track'

My parents were big fans of Leon Redbone. They let Sheila and I stay up late to see him on Saturday Night Live. We couldn't stop laughing at the deep bassoon sound coming out of that little white-suited weirdo. We probably annoyed our parents by our lack of appreciation but he sure stuck in my head. To the point where this is now one of my favorite albums of all time.

233. In The Darkest Place - Elvis Costello With Burt Bacharach from 'Painted From Memory'

At the time I thought Elvis was just being impossibly pompous and pretentious. But in keeping with the re-flowering of my love affair with Mr. Costello, I hear something very different now. Ultra classy sophisticated pop music.

234. Fantino - Sebastian Tellier from 'Lost In Translation'

Fantino? Fantastic!

See ya bitches.