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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Waits’

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Okay, maybe it’s time to end this little game. That was real, yo!

How about this: things we don’t need:

organic massage*

weight-loss hot pants

Dancing with the Stars

“news” about Dancing with the Stars

TV

Reality TV

celebrity haircuts

celebrity dresses

celebrity suits

pantsuits

It is Wednesday, November 16, 10:24 pm in Singapore.

In less than a month it will start getting dark at about 3:30. The sun will set at around quarter after four.

It is already too dark at 4:15 every afternoon. It’s not even afternoon, it’s a bad joke. I am shocked by the darkness. I should be asleep like a farmer, every night at 5:30 pm, 6 at the latest.

*as a massage therapist extraordinaire, I take offense to the Groupon which advertises services for “organic massage.” AHEM and WTF? I want it stopped

[insert curlicue pause here to indicate change of subject]

or maybe use these: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tom Waits + youtube= falling down the rabbit hole

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Hubby is far away. Really far. To exotic places: Burma, the Myanmar Penninsula, Phuket, but really only in the vicinity. He’s in Singapore, though maybe hasn’t landed yet.

I picture food cooked with limes and hot peppers; purple orchids; turquoise water. I’m shut down and I’m busy and I’m tired. So that got me thinking about Tom Waits and “Shore Leave.”

But then, something else happened, something wonderful. I found Cowboylands, the blog of an old pal. And on that blog, I found Glenna Bell.

I’m not sure how all of this works as far as the technology goes and as far as copyrights are concerned. But I think if you click through on these links and then click on each of these songs, it will work and it’s hunky dory. It is her own myspace page after all, right? I sure like her music and I don’t even speak Spanish or know anything about Cowboys and Texas.

la-casa-que-yo-amo-40169726

can-t-get-my-mind-off-you-40169721

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I know this seems like a summer song, but like any good summer song worth its salt, it goes a little deeper and ends up being about more than just sunshine and fluffy clouds.

You may be getting the idea that I’m a huge Sinatra fan. I’m not. I’m pretty ignorant of a lot of his work and of the bands and musicians that backed him. I don’t like a lot of what he did. I do like that he’s called The Chairman of the Board and let’s face it, he has lasting popularity because he had charisma up the wazoo, could really turn a phrase, and was one of the greatest singers of our time (not that we ever have to chose in these contrived “greatest” contests).

With the coming of the autumn equinox, this is perhaps a better song for the week.

You know I’m not for sappy without substance, so I love Ella Fitzgerald doing it, don’t much care for Sinatra, like Sara Vaughan (dozens more people sang it). And Lotte Lenya? She’s in her own category and in my sacrilege opinion, easy to make fun of because of that accent, just like we used to make fun of my mom because she couldn’t say “pants”–it came out sounding more like pents. Any female German torch singer cannot escape a comparison to Lily von Shtupp either. But don’t feel too bad for making fun of Germans. Trust me, we’re allowed to give them their comeuppance for decades to come.

I really love Lou Reed doing this (from the 1990s album Lost in the Stars whose greatest track is probably Tom Waits’ version of “What Keeps Mankind Alive?”).

I apologize to any of the purists among you, but as Hubby just said to me, “Weill was a communist and a Marxist, do you think he stuck to tradition?” I won’t speculate on what artists do and don’t do in reality even if they espouse certain ideas. Not to mention that once you align yourself to any one cause or affiliation, you are rather stuck, ja?

You can see from the lyrics that the song is actually pretty dark. Reed deletes some of the most beautiful lines, adds his own and turns it joyous and poppy.

September Song

lyrics, Maxwell Anderson; music, Kurt Weill

When I was a young man courting the girls
I played me a waiting game
If a maid refused me with tossing curls
I’d let the old Earth make a couple of whirls
While I plied her with tears in lieu of pearls
And as time came around she came my way
As time came around, she came

When you meet with the young girls early in the Spring
You court them in song and rhyme
They answer with words and a clover ring
But if you could examine the goods they bring
They have little to offer but the songs they sing
And the plentiful waste of time of day
A plentiful waste of time

Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December
But the days grow short when you reach September
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
One hasn’t got time for the waiting game

Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few
September, November
And these few precious days I’ll spend with you
These precious days I’ll spend with you

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We went to Crane Beach on Friday, which entailed about 2 hours, 15 minutes in the car each way (we stayed overnight). Not bad to get to an ocean beach (compared to 12-14 hours, one way, from Kent, Ohio where we used to live).

I’ve written about this before: kids in the car on road trips. Of course, they’ve graduated from singing songs at the top of their lungs to us playing CDs to them feeding songs through the car stereo via iPod. Not so much the radio on, but it all works, it’s fun, and it’s All-American.

Current Top Ten Road-Trip Songs (in almost no particular order):

ONE

This works especially well because we have to drive on “128 when it’s dark outside” to get to or home from any North Shore beaches. A classic.

TWO

“swear it had the power to repair itself”:

THREE

How can you go wrong with Lucinda covering Gram Parsons? We all belt along with Lucinda and we sound real good.

FOUR

You already know how I feel about Woody and Songs to Grow On. My dad used to sing this to me.

FIVE

This made my top ten Beatles’ songs on our Christmas card last year, so you know it had to make this top ten list, too. Hubby says it’s a bit obvious, but I told him baby, you can drive my beat up old mini-van and baby I love you

SIX

Who says you can’t dance and drive at the same time? Safer than texting!

SEVEN

The Man in Black. ‘Nuff said.

EIGHT

I sure can’t choose a favorite Hank Williams song, but I do have a 2-disc CD compilation that I play ad nauseum on car trips. Not a song about the road, but all of Hank Williams’ songs are road songs.

NINE

Switchin it over to AM, searching for a truer sound/Can’t recall the call letters, steel guitar and settle down/Catching an all-night station, somewhere in Louisiana/ It sounds like 1963, but for now, it sounds like Heaven

TEN

Would any top ten music list be complete without a Wilco song? Well, no, but you’ll have to listen to “Passenger Side” on your own because I wasn’t too happy with the youtube versions. Instead, you get J. Richman and the Modern Lovers again. This is sans the intro which is half the reason the song is so good. Gotta find that intro by your lonesome, too.

ELEVEN

It goes to eleven? I tried to find the scene from Spinal Tap in which Michael McKean sings “All the Way Home,” but could not.

Postscript: I am well aware of the lack of females representin’ here. Chrissy Hynde “Middle of the Road” was a thought and Aretha is good music in (and out of) the car, forever and always. I love my Mahalia in the mini-van, Sweet Honey, too…you know I may need another top ten road-trip songs some day. I am an American after all.

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