Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Blahdie blah blah

Well, I turned in the Wanderer paper. Not one of my better performances. Sometimes the words come, and sometimes they don't.

Tonight I burned a CD called "Paul's Soundtrack, Vol. 1." I'm not sure how many volumes there will ultimately be, but I'm guessing around 50 (I'll need at least 4 CD's just to get the right versions of the right Grateful Dead songs collected in the same place). So, really, a song's appearance on volume 1 doesn't mean it's more important than other songs, just that it probably speaks to a very specific time in my life.

Anyway, to kill time, I also wrote brief little descriptions because in a previous life I was a music critic. And maybe a 5th century Geatish mead-swigging poet-warrior. And probably Caligula Caesar.

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The Seeker – The Who
Until about 6 months ago, this song pretty much summed up my life. Included here for background purposes.

Nobody Told Me – John Lennon
I lived in Rochester, NY, for the 1983-84 school year. I remember riding the bus to French Road Middle School and singing this song along with a few other kids.

Express Yourself – Charles Wright
Anyone who knows me well knows I dig the funk. For the record, I've been listening to this song for at least 15 years, well before Madison Avenue got its greasy little rat claws on it.

Tramp – Otis Redding
In the movie of my life, this song plays during the montage scene where the scuzzy hero has dating misadventures.

My Old Friend the Blues – The Proclaimers
From the guys who did "I'm Gonna Be 500 Miles." Who knew Scottish dudes had so much soul? A Steve Earle song; check out the awesome guitar solo.

Message in a Bottle – The Police
The more I listen to the Police, the more I realize how goddam smart their songs were. A great workout on guitar; I always feel like I have carpal tunnel syndrome after playing it.

What I Am – Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians
The problem with the modern infatuation with the 80's is that its focus is on kitsch instead of the truly innovative stuff college radio had found. I think this one's wah-wah guitar and "weird" lyrics spoke to my inner hippy.

I've Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash
Detroit, Decatur, Rapid City, Brookings, Aberdeen, Rochester, Casper, Laramie, Casper again, Champaign, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Seattle, Huntington, Lexington, Edwardsville, and Laramie again.

Walk On – Neil Young
"Ooh baby that's hard to change/I can't tell them how to feel."

Get Up Offa That Thing – James Brown
The one and only real band I was ever in was a ska band, and the one and only show I ever played was at the University of Illinois student union a few days before I moved to Phoenix. That has nothing to do with this song, except that our drummer and I really liked James Brown.

Sun King
– The Beatles
Italian, I think, in a pop song. When I finally get the band back together we're going to play all of Abbey Road live.

Back on the Chain Gang – The Pretenders
Another 80's song that just doesn't get enough credit for its brilliant lyrics. Seriously, there's amazing stuff going on here. I'm in the process of tabbing out the guitar parts; the bedroom troubadours in the Dearest Readership should definitely learn how to play this one acoustically.

Punk Rock Girl – The Dead Milkmen
You have to love a song with lyrics like "We got into a car and away we started rollin'/ I asked how much she paid for it she said 'Nothing man it's stolen.'"

Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs – The Minutemen
The Minutemen's influence on the early 80's L.A. punk scene is really impossible to estimate, not to mention the seriously avant garde musicianship – I still can't figure out some of D Boon's guitar work. I could go on and on about bassist Mike Watt's 1997 album "Contemplating the Engine Room," a concept album which uses his father's Navy life as a metaphor for his own experience in the Minutemen and D Boon's death in a car wreck. You have to hear it to believe it.

Here Comes Your Man – The Pixies
The Pixies were required listening in the early 90's.

Till I Gain Control Again – Willie Nelson
If you can't relate when Willie sings about being alone, you ain't human. One of the keys to understanding the cowboy's solitary ethic is realizing that he knows the price that comes with it.

Ballad of Easy Rider
– Roger McGuinn
Rivers are, naturally, easy images to invoke for poetic effect . . . so you always have to be careful when you write or sing about 'em. That said, this song's unashamed wistfulness really appeals to me. I think being a kayaker has something to do with it.

Walk of Life – Dire Straits
I love Dire Straits, and this song is just plain fun. Mark Knopfler is an amazing finger-picking guitarist.

Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
I won't even attempt to write about this song. Listen to it yourself.

Back to My Wyoming Home – Gerald and Dixon
A joke, but only kind of. This is one of my favorite cowboy songs about Wyoming, and there are quite a few.

4 Comments:

Blogger david said...

i believe, paul, that you have stumbled upon a name for the band that we may some day yet start...

the bedroom troubadors.

i fucking love it.

and by the way - buckley's "hallelujah" over leonard cohen's? that's a tough call.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Wow! That's quite a collection you have there! I can't wait to see what's on volume 2 and 3.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not that I want to remain anonymous, I'm just too lazy at the moment to create an account (desk shifts will do that to you)...love the Beatles, love Abbey Road, and I am a little dissapointed you never actaully sang Get Up Offa That Thing, I would have payed money to see that.

--Kathryn

10:40 PM  
Blogger brian said...

Hey Paul,
Saw Pearl Jam play last week at a Moveon.org fundraiser to help elect anyone other than the current boss. They opened their second encore with "The Seeker". During that song the third balcony at the Fox Theater was bumping up and down and was actually kind of scary in a rockin sort of way. I've seen them seven times, and that was definitely one of their finest live moments. As far as I know it is the only time they've ever played it. Had to share with you.

6:05 PM  

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