Wednesday, December 31, 2008

this sounds a bit like goodbye, in a way it is i guess

i'm a big ricky gervais fan. 'the office' is, dare i say, the greatest show ever.
but my favorite thing about gervais is that he knew when to quit. the show ended after two seasons. perfect. it never had the time to go bad.

you see where this is going?

yes, kids. i'm ending the blog. this will be the last post on 'follow the sound'. shhhhh. don't cry. it'll be ok. i'm gonna start a new music blog, tentatively titled 'the minor fall, the major lift'. it'll be all about music, nothing about my personal life. what a relief! and qner, the list you asked for will be the first post.

thanks for reading. i know this thing was kinda personal. it helped me in some ways, but it's become really difficult to air all of my innermost feelings for all to see.
thanks for reading. i'll let you all know when the new one is up and running. now, go listen to some music.

love,
jim

i'm gonna repost the best thing i ever put up. john cale doing 'hallelujah'. enjoy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

must i paint you a picture?- billy bragg



the most beautiful soul song ever. every word is perfect.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

but not for me- ella fitzgerald



i love new york in june.
i love a gershwin tune.

how 'bout you?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

where do you go to (my lovely)- peter sarstedt



a really lovely song featured in one of my favorite films, 'the darjeeling limited'.

Friday, December 26, 2008

my favorite musical moment of 2008


Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Reeds drifting on by you know how I feel

Its a new dawn
Its a new day
Its a new life
For me
And Im feeling good

that's it. that's how it starts. acapella. that ghostly voice. the loud hush in the background, like the musicians can't sit still in their seats before they rip into that sultry riff. nina simone. 'feeling good'.

i used to go to the limelight almost every thursday night with jrod and the rose throat. it was nice. it was the first night of my weekend and i looked forward to it. i could relax a little and be with people i liked. and, as you all know by now, i had a huge crush on the rose throat. my pulse did, in fact, become rapid when i saw her stroll in behind jrod every thursday, around 7'ish.

so, this particular thursday, she brought her ipod. i think she might have been on a bit of a mission to play me something i hadn't heard before. she did. while i was a casual nina simone fan (which seems sacrilege. nina simone deserves DEVOTION!!), i hadn't heard this song before.

getting ahead of myself.

the bar was sorta crowded that night. strange for the 'light, which is almost always empty. my favorite thing about it. i had been there for a bit before they got there. the throat strolled in, waved, and headed straight for the bar. i fidgeted. y'know. the way i fidget. she and jrod finally got to the table. i, as usual, greeted jrod and immediately focused all of my attention on the rose throat. to my delight she threw headphones over my ears. said 'listen to this'. then that voice filled my ears. the quote above.

sometimes i get in a trance listening to music. even if it's in the background. we may be in a deep conversation, but if i hear something interesting from a ways off i will focus on it. hear every note of it. some of you may have witnessed this. i zone off. i'm gone. it's overwhelming! all those instruments! all those notes!! all of it coming together, constructing this beautiful whole! like how different colors and lines can create a masterpiece! y'know, it's magic. when you think about it.

that's the moment i had. i remember looking at the throats' quite beautiful face, and thinking 'i'll never be able to concentrate on this song'. then the drums hit. POP! Like a sledgehammer on a blanketed cinder block. and the horns descended, slightly sinister, slightly holy, totally soulful.

the room turned dark. i remember her face, and i saw stars, and i closed my eyes. if i was a better writer i could describe the rest of it.

i'm kinda glad i can't. it was perfect as it was.

next thing i remember was jrod ripping the phones off my head and being pissed we were ignoring him.

but it's ok. he got over it. i don't know if i did tho'.

it's been a good year for music. i got into alot of new, good stuff. enhanced my collection. saw some good shows.

but nothing matched that moment.

thanks, rose throat, for bringing magic back into my life.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

ricky nelson- the christmas song




not only my favorite christmas song, but one of my favorite songs ever. what a gorgeous melody! written by mel torme, who also does a stellar version. i like this one too. it's kinda...um...sweet.
merry christmas to you all, my friends. i love you guys.

sorry. feeling a touch sentimental tonight.

it'll pass.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

elvis costello and the cheiftans- st. stephens day murders

continuing my downer christmas series. i love this song. especially the 'get rid of them' echo chorus.gluttony? drinking? murder? ah, that's my kind of christmas!! play it loud!





St. Stephen's Day Murders

(Paddy Moloney/Elvis Costello)

I knew of two sisters whose name it was Christmas,
And one was named Dawn of course, the other one was named Eve.
I wonder if they grew up hating the season,
The good will that lasts til the Feast of St. Stephen

For that is the time to eat, drink, and be merry,
Til the beer is all spilled and the whiskey has flowed.
And the whole family tree you neglected to bury,
Are feeding their faces until they explode.

Chorus:

There'll be laughter and tears over Tia Marias,
Mixed up with that drink made from girders.
’Cause it's all we've got left as they draw their last breath,
Ah, it's nice for the kids, as you finally get rid of them,
In the St Stephen's Day Murders.

Uncle is garglin' a heart-breaking air,
While the babe in his arms pulls out all that remains of his hair.
And we're not drunk enough yet to dare criticize,
The great big kipper tie he's about to baptize.

With his gin-flavoured whiskers and kisses of sherry,
His best Chrimbo shirt slung out over the shop.
While the lights from the Christmas tree blow up the telly,
His face closes in like an old cold pork chop.

Alternate Chorus:

And the carcass of the beast left over from the feast,
May still be found haunting the kitchen.
And there's life in it yet, we may live to regret,
When the ones that we poisoned stop twitchin'.

Regular Chorus Repeat

Monday, December 22, 2008

i'll be home for christmas- chris isaak



what's worse? to not have a home to go to for christmas, or to not be able to get to the home you want to? probly the later.
this is for j.s. hope you make it home, bonita.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

shane macgowan- christmas lullabye



It seems like a freeze out
It seems like a freize
Stumbling I fell down
And prayed on my knees
The ice wagon's coming
To pick up the stiffs
Had a chat with an old one
He was gone in a jiff
And Santa and his reindeer
Jumped over the moon
So hush little child
Santa's coming here soon

Tura lura luray
Tura lura lie
Tura lura luray
It's a Christmas lullaby
Tura lura luray
Tura lura lie
Tura lura luray
It's a Christmas lullaby

I hope you grow up angry
Just like your dear old dad
I hope you grow up brave and strong
Not like me - all weak and sad
You said "Daddy, daddy,
You're stinking of booze"
I kissed him and said, "Kid,
I was born to lose.
But you have a future
And a big world to save
And I hope you'll remember
All the love that I gave."

Tura lura luray
Tura lura lie
Tura lura luray
It's a Christmas lullaby
Tura lura luray
Tura lura lie
Tura lura luray
It's a Christmas lullaby

Heres to all the little kids
Who haven't got no clothes
Heres to all the little kids
Who haven't got no homes
It's Christmas time in Palastine
It's Christmas in Beirut
They're scrapping 'round for rice
Not for tutti fruits
And the Christmas lights, they blew up
Now the 'lecky's all gone dead
I look like a coal miner
And I've a pain inside my head

Tura lura luray
Tura lura lie
Tura lura luray
It's a Christmas lullaby
Tura lura luray
Tura lura lie
Tura lura luray
It's a Christmas lullaby

Tura lura luray
Tura lura lie
Tura lura luray
It's a Christmas lullaby
Tura lura luray
Tura lura lie
Tura lura luray
It's a Christmas lullaby

Saturday, December 20, 2008

william s. burroughs and kurt cobain- the priest they called him



something all parents should read to their children every christmas eve. the priests final act of generosity and selflessness is a good lesson for kids to learn. and cobain's ultra grating guitar work keeps it all razor sharp. a tough but rewarding listen.
and shouldn't you reward yourself too this christmas?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

father christmas- the kinks



my fave xmas song. at once cynical and compassionate. and totally rockin'!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

in my room


if i could take a picture of my mind this is what it would look like. dingy, cluttered, dark, and messy. but, ah...all that music....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

david byrne- one fine day



from the eno/byrne album 'everything that happens will happen today', a late contender for album of the year. i wrote a piss poor review yesterday that i've removed. they can't all be winners. this clip explains it all much better anyway.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

bruce springsteen- i want you




how did i not know this existed? springsteen covering one of my fave dylan songs.
i've always been drawn to dylan's love songs. there's never been anything simple about them. they're complicated and sad and scatter shot and pleading and angry and completely loving. which is how i feel lately.
and for all the wordiness in this song, all the characters and metaphor, it could have been edited down to just the chorus:

i want you
honey i want you
i want you
so bad.

sometimes i wish i was somewhere else. sometimes i wish i was in the audience in philly, '75, hearing this song live. sipping a lukewarm domestic, sneaking peeks at the girls dancing slowly at the front of the stage.

that's not where i wish i was tonight.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2fer

these are for jenny and kevin, 2 really nice and cool people. hope you enjoy!




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

brian eno- mother whale eyeless




there's something about brian eno's music that touches me deeply. it's incredibly emotional, but, somehow, detached. like a psychiatrist reading his notes. or a sociopath pretending, convincingly, to be empathetic. uduhno. it hits me.
like the lyrics to this song. so abstract, but it says something concrete. to me at least. some lines seem literal, some float away. and besides all that psychobabble, listen to the music! the 'in my town' part is fucking glorious! ahhhhhh.....

brian eno-mother whale eyelss

'I can think of nowhere I would rather be
Reading morning papers, drinking morning tea:
She clutches the tray
And then we talk just like a kitchen sink play
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Living so close to danger,
Even your friends are strangers
Don't count upon their company.

This is for the fingers,
This is for the nails:
Hidden in the kitchen,
Right behind the scales.
What do I care?
I'm wasting fingers like I had them to spare,
Plugging holes in the Zuider Zee.
Punishing Paul for Peter,
Don't ever trust those meters
What you believe is what you see.

In my town, there is a raincoat under a tree.
In the sky, there is a cloud containing the sea.
In the sea, there is a whale without any eyes.
In the whale, there is a man without his raincoat.

In another country, with another name
Maybe things are different, maybe they're the same.

Back on the trail,
The seven soldiers read the papers and mail
But the news, it doesn't change.
Swinging about through creepers,
Parachutes caught on steeples
Heroes are born, but heroes die.
Just a few days, a little practice and some holiday pay,
We're all sure you'll make the grade.
Mother of God, if you care,
We're on a train to nowhere
Please put a cross upon our eyes.
Take me - I'm nearly ready, you can take me
To the raincoat in the sky.
Take me - my little pastry mother take me
There's a pie shop in the sky.

Monday, December 8, 2008

john lennon- jealous guy



god, such a beautiful melody. and those lyrics. what a fucking waste. 28 years today. r.i.p.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

miles from nowhere- the only ones




there is staggering beauty everywhere. i saw it on a bus yesterday. i saw it in a restaurant today. i'm hearing it now.
a man walks into a bar....
no.
a man stumbles out of a car...
no.
a man, flat on his back in his room. a rented room in a town he vaguely remembers coming to. years can pass easily. you don't see them coming and you don't feel them pass. there is a fog that helps obscure what is too ugly to look on.
there is mist and there is rain.
there is a man clinging to life.
there is a man pissing his away.

still the beauty.
and you can't escape it. it's why you're here. you've seen it and you can't look away. to go to sleep is to hide from it. to die is to dismiss it. but it can't be ignored. you know it's there and that's where the sorrow comes from. it's there and now you can't find it. it's hiding from you. it doesn't want you.
can't you hear me?
i used to reach for the stars but now i've reformed.....
i'll turn my back to the beauty.
it's too ugly to look on...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

get happy!





'are you depressed?'
i get that alot. just cuz i spend alot of time on the couch. early in my pajamas. little to say.
yeah, i'm depressed.
but jesus, that's nothing new.
i know. i know. it's a drag for my loved ones. people are concerned at first. then they get pissed. and rightfully so. get off the couch, ya fucking baby, you're a grown man!
i'm trying,really.

i've been listening to alot of sad bastard music lately. elliott smith, townes van zandt, 'blood on the tracks', etc. i know, i know. it's throwing water on a drowning man.

so. today, i thought i'd try something new. i thought i'd listen to, if not exactly happy, energetic music. tho' i didn't really feel like it.

know what? it worked like a motherfucker.

first i listened to the gun club. 'las vegas story'. certainly not a feel good album, true. but powerful. not lying on the couch music. jeffrey lee pierce singing his heart out, trying ferociously to exorcise his demons. wow. that doesn't sound happy. but you gotta listen to kid congo powers destroy a guitar solo to know what i mean. (hint, hint, buy a fucking gun club album). i had my eyes closed the whole time i listened to it. staggering. it made me want to try. that's been missing lately.

then i put on van morrison's 'his band and the street choir'. positively fucking joyous. the squealing saxophones! the piercing trumpets! the growling, huffing, blurting, howling voice of van the man! jesus, why don't i listen to him more? i made the record skip 'cuz i did a leg kick during 'domino' and landed it hard on the floor. don't tell anyone. but i dance like a drunk when i'm listening to music. it moves me. music should always make you feel physical. to make you feel like fighting or fucking. or dancing. shutting off yer brain and enjoying not thinking.
it's so good. please listen to it.
how could you not?
....
....
ah....

then i put on the only ones anthology. you probably don't know them unless you're a replacements fan and have heard a live version of 'another girl, another planet'. possibly the greatest power pop song since 'septemeber gurls'. oh yeah. listen to big star too.
if i had to settle it once and for all i'd have to say power pop is my favorite form of music. cuz it's usually downer lyrics. with beach boys melodies. great harmonies. swirling guitars. it makes you consider you're present state while taking you far, far away from it.

so, am i depressed? yeah. horribly.
but i have my moments of euphoria too.

do you 'happy' people have those?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

chelsea hotel- rufus wainwhright



one of the most beautiful songs ever put to tape. one of the most beautiful performances to ever pass through my ears.
a leonard cohen song.
this version is the ultimate.
i really, really hope you watch it. and listen to it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

bob dylan- dreaming of you

current leader in the 'song of the year' category. this song killed me the very first time i heard it. the insistent guitar line perfectly captures that paranoia and obsession that comes with wanting someone who is not coming back. it's a drag, but at least good music comes from it. so, i guess, that's something. enjoy this. i gotta get back to dreaming.







The light in this place is really bad
Like being in the bottom of a stream
Any minute now I'm expecting to wake up from a dream
Miss so much, the softest touch
Like the grave of some child child
Who neither wept nor smiled
I'm hiding my faith in the rain
I've been dreamin' of you
That's all I do
And it's driving me insane

Somewhere dawn is breaking
Light is streaking across the floor
Church bells are ringing
I wonder who they're ringing for
Travel under any star
You'll see me wherever you are

The shadowy past is so vague and so vast,
I'm sleeping in the Palace of pain
I've been dreamin' of you
That's all I do
But it's driving me insane

Maybe they'll get me, maybe they won't
But whatever, it won't be tonight
I wish your hand was in mine right now,
We could go where the moon is wide

For years they had me locked in a cage,
Then they threw me onto the stage
Somethings just last longer then you thought they would
And they never ever explain
I'm dreamin' of you
That's all I do
And it's driving me insane

Well I eat when I'm hungry
Drink when I'm dry
Live my life on the square
Even if the flesh falls off my face
It won't matter as long as you're there

Feel like a ghost in love
Underneath the heavens above
Feel further away then I ever did before
Feel further than I can take
Dreamin' of you, that's all I do,
But it's driving me insane

Everything in the way is so shy like the day
In queer and unusual form
Spirals of golden haze here in there in a blaze
Like beams of light in a star.

Maybe you're here or maybe you weren't
Maybe you touched somebody and got burned
The silent sun has got me on the run
Burning a hole in my brain
I'm dreamin' of you,
That's all I do
But it's driving me insane.

Monday, December 1, 2008

beach boys- in my room

y'know, concern and advice are nice. we all need them. but sometimes it's nice when someone just puts their arm around you and tells you it'll be ok. this song does that for me. hope it does for you.

it'll be ok.