Tuesday, August 30, 2005

if i needed someone

it's no secret that george was the far most underrated beatle, and was content to be so. this is why i love him.

this and the fact that his songs, though 15 years or so older than me even, say the things i think all the time...

if it'd been some other day, it might not have been this way, but you see now i'm too much in love... (not exact but close)

boy, i could count 'em on both hands... sheesh

george - my favorite beatle

Monday, August 29, 2005

a scratch in the groove...

already i am unhappy with what i am doing here. i already feel as if i am trying too hard with these, trying to conform them. that is not what i set out to do here.

so i begin again.

and i am gonna begin with my favorite songs and a brief biography of my relationship with each.

a) tempted - squeeze
the summer of 1994. GHP. k castle, residing across the hall, would use this as my morning wake up call. she'd open her door, check that miss passarello (my roommate) was up already, and then hit 13, with the full knowledge that my favorite song would always get me outta bed, just like those geezers in the folger's coffee commercials. after all, if you're gonna spend your last high school summer locked inside the boundaries of a college campus with a bunch of smart kids and waking up at 8 to go to class every morning, you're gonna need a little something.

b) in my life - beatles
my daddy, the greatest man to ever live, loves the beatles. and he'd be damned if his little girl wasn't gonna love them too. and she does.
she tried to dislike them. as early in my life as i can remember, i would prune up my face when i heard the sound of john or paul's voice coming from the den where dad kept his stereo system. until one day (age 5) i was sitting in my bedroom window sill and i caught it. rather myself. singing. along with "michelle." the charade was up. i loved the beatles.
hard to imagine, i know, but years on i found myself an introverted, horribly self-conscious, fat teenager in a town too small and too backward to hold the slightest bit of my attention. i spent a large part of my adolescence on our porch swing with either my nose in a book or daydreaming with my headphones on.
on this particular evening i was jumping from fm station to fm station, landing more often than one would think on the oldies station. it was the first time i had ever really paid attention to what john was saying in this song... and to the eminant truth of growing up... and without warning, i cried.
nothing spectacular. just that.

c) here i dreamt i was an architect - the decemberists
a recently-acquired love courtesy of a newly-acquired love. one of the first things the russian ever did for me was find me a copy of Castaways and Cutouts. i had seen the decemberists live on a whim of sorts, and i recalled that there was a beautiful song they did that damn near brought me to my knees.
months later, i awoke for one of the first times in his (the russian's) bed, elated to find he was really there, when that very song appeared... as much as a song can.
that will always be my first thought whenever i hear it.
i am 4 months from the day that i will become that russian's wife.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

already lost count of track numbers... how sad - late in the day

it's been a supergrass kind of week. how appropriate.

today i was working on the birthday mix cd for my best friend griffin. i thought as i poured over my music library, i haven't given In it for the Money a good listen in ages and pulled it up in winamp.

so many good tunes, but the one that always sticks out is "late in the day." a love song, heidi? how dull.

but no.

a love song indeed, but what an odd and yet beautiful one.

"I sleep on the road,
Dreaming of a sound,
Coming my way,
So long,
So long for me,

All the time I thought of you,
In an ordinary way,
Check back down the heart away,
And all I really have to say
Is people pass along the way,
Thoughts of you and me again,"

sure it's clearly the occupational hazard that possessed steve perry to write "faithfully" or peter criss to write "beth" - being in love and being a rock musician are not an ideal combination - the lyrics are nothing special in this regard. it's the stuff of almost every rock ballad.

but what make it special to me are two things - well more than that, but these two especially:

1. while it begins as the typical slow, pretty ballad, the chorus is upbeat and damn-near danceable. it gives hope to the idea, though you never can be positive whether the you and me he speaks of is a you and me that have long ago said their goodbyes or if it's a you who's waiting at home. in either scenario, it's nice that he ain't pleading or sugarcoating anything. he's just saying, at the end of the day you're on my mind and i like to think i'll be where you are.

2. i loved a musician once. he wasn't on the road all the time - or ever really - but sometimes it could feel that way. he loved this song and put it on a mix cd he made for my birthday. a mix cd i loved more than any gift he ever gave me. a mix cd that i always know the location of, and that i listen to as regularly as i do supergrass. we aren't a you and me any longer, but we are still in each other's lives. this song - strangely enough - reminds me of that and how grateful i am for it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

hidden bonus track - medley

in february i embarked on my "birthday mix cd frenzy." it was nik's bday and i was determined to make her a mix cd to end all mix cd's.

she ended up with two.

should i not get to some of these here, i have listed them in the order in which tey appeared, complete with subtitles where included.

"Get Down with Your Bad Self" Featuring…
1. Supergrass in Alright
2. Hot Hot Heat in Talk to Me, Dance with Me
(or Heidi’s dance anthem)
3. Franz Ferninand in Michael
(or Straight Boys Playing Gay Are Hot)
4. VHS of Beta in Night on Fire
5. Interpol in Obstacle 2
(or the sexiest song EVER)
6. More Supergrass in Grace
(or I heart British Trios)
7. Pulp in Disco 2000
8. Death by Chocolate in Magpie
9. Arab Strap in Cherubs
10. Pinback in Microtonic Wave
11. Snow Patrol in Ways and Means
(or Gary Lightbody, please marry me!)
12. Portishead in Wandering Star
(or Sex with Russians…. Sorry – I had to)
13. Richard Ashcroft in New York
(or a song that reminds me of July 2004)
14. Radiohead in Talk Show Host
15. Placebo in Special K
16. Yeah Yeah Yeahs in Y Control
17. Yo La Tengo & Extra Special Guest in Hedwig’s Lament/Exquisite Corpse(or Sorry, this is Exquisitely Funny Standing Alone)
18. New Order in Temptation
(or the Trainspotting Song)
19. Death Cab for Cutie in Company Calls
(or A Song for the Wind-down)

and "Mellow Moods" featuring
1. Modest Mouse in Dramamine
(or Heidi in/on Ecstasy)
2. The Decemberists in Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect
(or The Most Beautiful Song in the World)
3. Travis in Writing to Reach You
(or The Reason I Love Banjos in Rock Songs)
4. The Reindeer Section in The Opening Taste
(or If I Marry an Irishman, please God Let it Be this One)
5. Death Cab for Cutie in License and Registration
(or a song that makes me cry every time)
6. Elbow in Newborn
7. Keane in Bedshaped
(or Hey, No Guitars!!!!)
8. Wrens in Happy
9. Elliott Smith in Waltz #2
10. The Shins in Caring is Creepy
11. The Lucksmiths in Camera Shy
12. Iron and Wine in Such Great Heights
(or He Might Not Be the Postal Service)
13. Jeff Buckley in That's All I Ask
(or He Might Not Be Nina Simone)
14. Ed Harcourt in She Fell Into My Arms
15. They Might Be Giants in The Long Grift
(or They Might Not Be The Angry Inch)
16. Freedy Johnston in Enough for Us
(or He Might Not Be XTC)
17. XTC in Harvest Festival
18. Badly Drawn Boy in Once Around the Block

track three - moving

august 2000. justin would not stop singing it.

not my first exposure to supergrass. just as for the rest of the world, that was "alright." just as for the rest of the united states, it's because it was on my Clueless soundtrack.

but the day i left my first post-college apartment (the one shared with casey d), assisted by my parents, my boyfriend and his brother kevin, was the first time i heard this song - at a table at the majestic, eating eggs and toast.

for the six or so hours that it required to move me from dixie to mclendon, i heard justin's a capella version of the first few verses of this song no less than 24 times... until finally having decided to not spend my first night at my new address actually at my new address, he played the real thing for me...

and "i (heart) supergrass" was born.

my favorite moment to listen to "moving" is leaving work, especially on a thursday afternoon (thursday is my friday). put Supergrass in the player, roll down the window as it opens...

Moving, just keep moving,
Till I don't know what's sane,
I've been moving so long,
The days all feel the same,

"Moving, just keep moving,
Well I don't know why to stay,
No ties to bind me,
No reasons to remain"

and take off just as it hits that inital tempo change.

"Got a low, low feeling around me,
And a stone cold feeling inside,
And I just can't stop messing my mind up,
Or wasting my time"

someday when i make my ultimate road music mix cd, this will without a doubt be the opening track.

this is one of those that sparks not one but several emotions. while we may no longer share our lives in the same way, there was a time when we were total bright spots in one another's existences... and i am grateful for that and that he's still around.

track two - without you i'm nothing

the first time i heard placebo, i hated them. i continued to do so a good 8 years on until i discovered the Sleeping With Ghosts album, and more importantly the song "english summer rain." but that is for another post...

after spending a month solid with only that album on repeat, i decided to branch out - and buy the other placebo albums. starting with Without You... as i had heard a rumor it was the end all, be all of placebo albums.

i was at a weird place in my life at the time... a good one, but very surreal. i had just metamorphosized (is that the word?)from a fat girl to one suddenly very comfortable in new skin. i had just freed myself from a near 4-year relationship with someone i loved very much, but who was definitely travelling a different path from myself. i was living on my own for the first time in quite a while.

and with that came a fresh sexual liberation.

and THAT is where this song takes me.

every time i hear it, i feel that chill just beneath the skin. you have had your eye on that one all night, all month, for years. and suddenly their eyes are finally looking in your direction. and no one has to say, "hey you wanna go somewhere and romp around all night?" it's just there.

and it's fun while it lasts. and sometimes it stays that way. and sometimes it doesn't.

the song is so dark and so sexy. and about drugs i am pretty sure, but that's irrelevant. a song, i have learned in all these 28 years, really can mean anything it wants to. and this one is all about those beautiful ups and downs of sexual freedom.

the opening notes are like the first bit of sunlight pouring through the window the morning after... that moment when half-asleep either the panic starts to set in, or the excitement that this thing happened and now is either the time to sneak out from under the covers and make tea or to sneak back under them to start it all over again...

"Strange infatuation seems to grace the evening tide
I'll take it by your side
Such imagination seems to help the feeling slide
I'll take it by your side
Instant correlation sucks and breeds a pack of lies
I'll take it by your side
Over saturation curls the skin and tans the hide
I'll take it by your side"

sometimes they lose their minds after. sometimes you do. sometimes nothing. sometimes you drive them back to their cars and they move on. sometimes to the other side of the country. sometimes you're relieved, and sometimes you wish you could live that night before over and over again until your flesh is raw.

"I'm unclean a libertine
And every time you vent your spleen
I seem to lose the power of speech
You're slipping slowly from my reach
You grow me like an evergreen
You've never seen the lonely me at all"

and sometimes just nothing.

on a side note, i was thrilled to learn that there existed another version of this song on which my beloved David Bowie duets with Brain Molko. until i heard it.

i could never imagine that bowie could ruin anything, but damn if he doesn't negate the entire effect here...

track one - intro

somebody got blog-happy this month.

and she decided to start a blog based on a comment that her beloved russian said this morning and most mornings...

heidi: oh my god, i love this song.
russian: you love EVERY song.
heidi: not EVERY song.
russian: ok. every OTHER song.

so this blog is dedicated to the truth of that statement.

if smell is the sense most strongly connected to memory, music puts sound in an ever-closing second. and it reigns over my emotions like nothing else on earth.

so welcome to my music diary.