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A penny for your thoughts indeed. Around here that would be a raise.

What makes a good blog? I think thematic consistency, a little exhibitionism, and honest writing. I can promise you the last one.

Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

Oh-- and please welcome God to the APW team. We're thrilled and humbled to serve as His earthly vessel.

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Location: NYC

I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.

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The Friday Game: a Random 10
Friday, March 16, 2007
Apparently there is this game going around, Random Fridays. The idea is to list 10 songs that just popped up on your iTunes, set to random across your entire library of songs.

I like the random play function on iTunes-- especially with maximum crossfaade selected; it sounds like a radio station trying very hard to please just me-- but I seldom use it on my whole library, preferring instead to listen to a playlist I've created, generally dedicated to a genre or mood. But I like to feel like part of the cool crowd, so what the hell...

And of course I have that Last-FM thingie down there on the lower right of the sidebar, so you can pretty much always see the last 10 songs I've played on iTUnes. So I'm going to write about the 10 songs, because really, if you don't do any writing, it might as well just be one of those stupid blog quizzes, like the one ("Which member of the Welcome Back Kotter cast are you?") that told me I was an Epstein.

Oh, and no links. I trust you can find your own way to Amazon.com.

"Uncle John's Band," Greatful Dead, American Beauty. I never listen to this. Man, is it a perfect, exquisite piece of voices-and-acoustic-guitars folk rock. Usually if I listen to this band its live, so I was expecting it to segue into a 12-minute jam, then a drum solo, then "The Other One." So I totally didn't see all the song craft coming.

"Wherever You Are," Neil Finn, One Nil. Not a great segue. A lot of the Finn Bros stuff (especially post-Crowded House), I just dumped onto my iPod without really listening to (its all there in a playlist called, er, Finn Brothers.) So these songs, when they pop up, are often unknown little gems. I'm sure I played this record at least once, but totally don't recognize this song. The cheesy keyboard line is a tad insistent, but overall, a fine haunting dark/catchy Finn song.

"Sexual Healing," Marvin Gaye, 2-CD anthology. Yeah, un hunh! Now that's what I'm talkin' bout! Excellent segue by the way.

"I'm a Fool to Want You," Billy Holliday, Lady in Satin. I'm not making this up. Similar thematically to the Finn tune. Sweet, classic swinging stuff that makes me want to put on a pretty dress and shoot junk. This deejay is now my new favorite.

"I Want to Know," Ray Charles, The Birth of Soul cd 2. 3-disc set of Ray's '52-'59 Atlantic output. Every track is great, and you should buy it right now. God I love this stuff. This one is a nice bluesy call-and-response between Ray and the Ray-lettes.

"The Natchez Burning," Howlin' Wolf, Chess Box cd 2. Not one of my very favorite Wolf tunes, but right there in the pocket, all 50s-sounding, with that all-the-time-in-the-world slow drunk swagger of classic Chess blues.

"All Night Long (alternate take)", Muddy Waters, Chess Blues cd 1. Really, its "Rock Me Baby." Big sound, very sparse instrumentation; big voice, insistent guitar riff, slow searing harp (Junior Wells?) A little piano. Hey! Its snowing out! (sorry, that's the ADD talking.) Just great stuff (better than the Wolf track by far.) I reiterate, I am not making this playlist up, and this is definitely my new favorite deejay.

Buy this now; its only $28.49 for 3 CDs!

"5:15," Chris Isaak, San Francisco Nights. Yow. A slow, dark moody scary vamp of a train song (same time as Townsend's train, but a totally different line.) "Oh what dreams we had, now I watch those dreams all fade and die," like the trains, the trains, that go by... This guy's baby didn't just leave him, she left him for dead.

"Josie and the Pussycats," Josie and the Pussycats, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. See, this is the problem with random and my music collection. All during the time that all that cool soul and blues was popping up, I was actually sitting here thinking, again hand to God, "Oh yeah-- but with me, at any moment the next song could be Josie and the Pussycats." Ah, cruel fate. Hiss! Meow!

"Keith Jarrett, "Prayer," The Impulse Years- Death and the Flower. In the mid-70s, Jarrett maintained two combos-- an American one and a European one. The American combo featured Jarrett on piano; Dave Holland on bass; Dewey Redman on sax; and Paul Motian on drums. Redman and Holland are two of my favorite jazz musicians, and so I'm a fan of this quartet (you ask me, Dewey Redman is the most underrated horn player in jazz.) This is just Holland and Jarrett though; a long, meditative piece, Jarret's notes raining down into little puddles over Holland's tasteful bass. 4 minutes in and I've completely forgotten about Josie.

I have to say, outside of the anomalous Pussycats, I could have done a far worse job hand-picking this playlist. For aesthetic sake I would have replaced Josie with, I'm going to say, something by Louis Jordan.


Posted by: --josh-- @ 12:41 PM  

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