Turn It Up
I recently submitted to the McSweeney's Internet Tendency Column Contest, which I did not win (evidently) but which required me to write one full example column for the submission.
I have been occasionally known to say I am in a relationship with my blog, which is only about 25% a joke.
Please excuse the recent radio silence. I have been moving, an endeavor which takes relatively little time in the physical world but which has CONSUMED MY BRAIN with a potent mix of dread and excitement and a catlike desire to pee everywhere in my new place (but the pee is colors and music).
Several (many) months ago I made this statement, which has periodically resurfaced to haunt me ever since: Neutral Milk Hotel's "In The Aeroplane Over the Sea" is the greatest folk song of our time.
Gonna talk about something I don't really talk about: I was on Jeopardy! and I won.
I was 22 years old and it was not College Jeopardy!, it was regular.
There are two kinds of people - people who get crushes, and another kind of person I don't want to contemplate.
I have a crush on this song, which I have played on Turn It Up with Amy Wilson each of the last three weeks, for some reason always between 5AM and 5:30.
The song: The Four Tops, "Ask the Lonely (a cappella)"; 1965
By all accounts Levi Stubbs, the lead singer of the Four Tops, was a well-adjusted and contentedly-married person despite having a voice that can get into your soul and stay there.
In this world fun is where you find it.
And if it's murderously hot and a once-a-year festival has descended upon your town and everyone is united by a shared feeling of irritation and rage (not a bad way to be united frankly),
The song: Trails and Ways, "Nunca"; 2012
I want to let this song speak for itself, because I think it can.
If I were in charge of the music for a Wes Anderson movie,
I'd put this song on the soundtrack.
The song: The Beatles, "Anna (Go With Him)"; 1963
I'm not asking you to like her music; that's a matter of personal preference.
But I just can't help but want to throw my hat in the ring of first-flush reactions and comments to Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D which hit theaters near you on Thursday.
One of the most wonderful and also difficult things about music is how closely it can be associated with certain people, times, and places.
I started my blog with a Grocery Store Song.
This is another, of a slightly different genre: perhaps I could call it the Department Store Song.
OH HELL YES.
Version v. Version (v. Version v. Version) RETURNS with a track that -- just like "The Tracks Of My Tears" -- is just, essentially, such an amazingly good song that it can sustain the interpretations of many different artists.
When I tell this story I never feel that people believe me, but deep down inside I really think this actually happened:
When I was in third grade, I had this grand epiphany that writers could just SAY THINGS. And that writing could be just that, the art of just saying things. "She had green eyes." Etc.
What is art?
But here's what I think:
It's what is beautiful and meaningful and universal and yet also very specific.
you find yourself on an inner tube on a series of man-made cascades and you have flipped over several times and lost and found the same helpful stick several times and you are paddling furiously to put yourself back in the current but not moving a single inch and you have just seen a dog in a shirt in a kayak and you just feel the urge to just open your mouth and just SING wha
Since everyone (including myself) seems to be interested in songs that remind us to Do Crazy Things because Who Knows What Could Happen (this one is probably my personal favorite of the genre, because the image of grabbing somebody sexy and telling them 'hey!' never fails to produce a quiet internal chuckle, which is a pleasant feeling)
In continuing my recent efforts to turn outward, I have found myself attracted to the Story Song.
(you know, those with a defined setting and characters and a plot arc and [usually] an AWESOME narrator)