Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Greetings and Salutations

Good morning, Gentle Readers...

I thought about how to introduce myself to you and to my fellow writers (whom, except for Kelsi, I have just 'met', if that is the right word for beginning a collaboration with people I have never spoken to- but that is not really a discussion for this venue...), and I decided that the best way would be to take a look at my 'Most Played' playlist and go from there. So I started with the top 25, and after I limited the artists that appeared in the list more than once to a single representative piece I am left with thirteen songs with which to begin to present myself.

Million Miles by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan, of course, is classic, and I have always enjoyed his music. When Time Out of Mind came out, though, I was blown away. This was a new Bob Dylan... a lot more country-bluesy, a lot more just plain fun. The lyrics remain his unique mix of poetry and half nonsense, and this whole album just rocks. This song also encapsulates one of my favorite musical themes: that of loneliness. I am sure that will be apparent as you work your way down the list...

Boogie On The Beach by The Red Elvises

Russian surfer guitar rock? Yes. Yes, yes, yes. I found these guys because of the movie Six String Samurai. You should check that out, too...

I Never Cared For You by Willie Nelson

Another classic performer. I am not sure I even have the vocabulary to sing Willie's praises. In the little bit of space I am allotting myself here; I see a much more detailed posting in the future.

Thirteen by Johnny Cash

If I had to pick a single favorite artist, it would be Johnny Cash. His music is smart, sometimes funny, and so diverse. How can you not love a man who Glen Danzig writes songs for?

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction by Cat Power

One of my other soft spots, musically, is a good cover. Not a note-for-note rendition with no imagination; I mean a real cover, a re-interpretation of the original. This song is just that.

Barricades and Brickwalls by Kasey Chambers

This is the opposite of loneliness; this is, 'You're mine and I am going to do whatever it takes to have you.' I like that, too. Kasey Chambers, though, I am ambivalent about. Half of her music is kick ass, like this, and I love it. The other half is whiney and just. so. tired. At least, to me. Your results may vary.

Paper Kitten Nightmare by Margot & The Nuclear So and So's

This is one of my more recent favorites. The chorus kills me every time.

Long Way Down (Look What the Cat Drug In) by Michael Penn

Michael Penn is another of my all-time favorites. His lyrics are smart and subtle and even scathing at times, and full of depth. This particular one, as you might imagine, is probably my favorite of his. It is heart-wrenching in that way that it must be apparent to you by now that I really like. (Is that sentence really awkward or what?)

Whisper by Slovo
Audio Link to Whisper
I find this one to be heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Maybe that makes me soft. But what can I say, it speaks to me...

I'm the Only Hell My Mamma Ever Raised by Johnny Paycheck

Along with some of Johnny Cash's stuff and a lot of David Allen Coe's, this Johnny Paycheck song represents a certain sub-genre of country music that I like to think of as Redneck Thug. It's pure genius.

Come As You Are by The King

For someone like me who likes a good cover, this is the motherlode. An Elvis impersonator covering Nirvana's Come as You Are as if Elvis had it re-arranged for himself. It is mind-blowingly good. And he has a whole album of stuff like this...

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Apocalyptica

Another fantastic cover, if you can call such a radical treatment a cover. Who would have thought that Metallica would be so well served by a cello quartet?

About You by Bugs

This is the first electronica that I discovered I liked. I stumbled across it by accident, and fell in love with it, for which I am very grateful. It really opened a lot of doors for me, musically speaking.

And that's the list! I hope that you found some things that you like, and that you will be back for more...


kelsi said...

i've been saving the red elvises for a rainy day. but you're more qualified to bring them up, anyway.
awesome music, all around.

Jez said...

I'm not supposed to watch youtube at work, so I'm wondering, is that What the Cat Dragged In song by Michael Penn a Poison tune? Now that's something I'd like to hear. But only once.

The Ursine Calamity said...

Thanks, Kelsi! and sorry to steal your rainy day post...

Jez- it is not. But that would be awesome.

Boo said...

Cat Power does some amazing covers, as does mister Cash. Check out Rasputina for an amazing Barracuda cover.

Aaaand this could turn into another post. Nice to met you urs!