My Blog (Our Blog!), The Sequel

During high school, my answer would have been U2's "Bad"; the Wide Awake in America version has just the right subtlety (i.e., none), just the right urgency and crescendo for a fumbling teenager. During college, though, I definitely would have answered Van Morrison's Moondance, side one, of course, for its ups-and-downs, from the slow build of "And It Stoned Me" to the whispered "Crazy Love" to the just effin' transcendent of "Into the Mystic".

As an adult, I will amend the challenge, with respect, from make-out music to straight-up panty-dropping music. On that tip, Jimmy Smith's sweet organ just can't be beat. Now, I tend to skip Jimmy Smith's more Sanford-and-Son-sounding stuff in favor of the Kenny Burrell accompanied after-dark action. Back to Mr. Smith, the brutha's going after it with his hands and his feet... a full body, doin'-it-to-you-in-your-earhole experience. Plus, look at the photo, people. He's making love RIGHT THERE. And, by the way, Jeff has a great Jimmy Smith story.

MP3: Memories of You - Jimmy Smith


My Blog (Our Blog!)

I hereby challenge Glycerin, Alex and Joel to a Blog-Off!

The subject...
Make Out Music!!!
As in
Pick some.
My choice is the second Adagio from the Elgar Cello Concerto by Jacqueline du Pre.
My reasons:
(The reasons why we're here)
1. The Cello is pretty heated.
I know my make out partner prefers it to all other instruments and it is pretty hard to argue about the sultryness of a stinged instrument that is right in between a baritone and an alto. It is part Kathleen Turner and part Dimitri Hvorotovsky.
2. As far as the cello goes, I don't think there has been anyone who plays more passionately than Jacqueline du Pre. She attacked that thing with Anglo Saxon fire.
3. Speaking of Britain, they don't get enough cred for their Timberlake style ways. Supposedly Elgar wrote this piece about World War I.

It doesn't sound that way to me.

MP3: Elgar Adagio - du Pre


no, this picture is not of the singer, just what I imagine he looks like

This is one of those things that gets emailed around, but it struck me as pretty good. His vocals are nice, and his sentiments, strong.

workplace song


a big, big boat!

And this I know Leonardo DiCaprio
what a gas it was to see him
upon the silver screen in another starring role
with her lips she said, Rose said

"Hey Jack, Hey Jack, I'm going to jump off the back
Hey Jack, Hey Jack, I'm going to jump off the back
of the Titanic, Titanic, Titanic...
a big big boat!"

Okay, so it's originally a Pixies song - called Gigantic...


Happy Diez y Seis, everybody

Meet Agustin Lara, Mexico’s best singer/songwriter (photo left). From the romantic (yet somehow never sappy) lyrics to his tastefully frilly piano-playing to his impassioned vocals to the natty clothes, this brutha was clean. We move then from Mexico’s finest songwriter to Mexico’s finest vocalist, Jose Alfredo Jimenez. Let the listener beware: This muhfuh can emote.

And what’s a Mexican mix without accordions?

So we cross the border (insert joke here) to Texas’ Steve Jordan’s duet with then-wife Virginia Martinez. Over to LA for two from Los Lobos…some fine gritos on the live Volver Volver. Finally, invoking the ghost of Dan Del Santo (KUT, represent, represent), my brother’s tale of crashin’ quinceaneras at the KC Hall and an instrumental inspired by border crossings, partly recorded near a bus station in Ciudad Juarez.


Agustin Lara: Solamente Una Vez
Agustin Lara: Farolito
Jose Alfredo Jimenez: El Rey
Jose Alfredo Jimenez: No Me Amenaces
Steve Jordan: Siempre Hace Frio
Los Lobos: Maricela
Los Lobos: Volver Volver
David Garza: Conmigo
David Garza: Asylum

I won’t trouble you with translations to all of the lyrics, but you oughta know at least what Jose Alfredo Jimenez is singing. Thanks to Mama Garza for these.

No Me Amenaces
Don’t threaten me, don’t threaten me,
When you make up your mind to seek a new life
Select your course and leave.
But don’t threaten me.
You are big enough, you understand life, you know what you are doing.
Because you claim that you will leave, will leave
That you will leave and will leave,
That you will leave, and you haven’t left.
and I am awaiting your love,
awaiting your love
awaiting your love, or awaiting your oblivion.

Don’t threaten me, don’t threaten me,
If it is your destiny to forget my path,
Select your course and leave

But don’t threaten me, don’t threaten me
Go ahead and try your luck – you’ve got the deck
But I’ve got the aces.

Because you claim that you will leave, will leave
That you will leave and will leave,
That you will leave, and you haven’t left.
and I am awaiting your love,
awaiting your love
awaiting your love, or awaiting your oblivion.

El Rey
I know that I am on the “outside”
But the day that I die
I know that you will cry
Cry and cry, cry and cry.

You will say that you didn’t love me
But you will be very sad
And that is how you will remain.

With money or without money
I always do what I please
And my word is law
I have neither throne nor queen
Nor anyone who understands me
But I am still king


Cat Power - The Greatest

Do You Like This?


Two Good Things

1. Britney Spears cover by Nickel Creek


2. A new band that I love: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

I Am Warm And Powerful


Tu Es Bueno!

This is a Diet Dr. Pepper fueled entry...

So following the advice of many intelligent people, including my wife, I have made a feel-good kind of playlist. A "come on and buck up little camper" kind of thing that I based on B's "You Are Great" playlist title.
It is called "Tu Es Bueno", which is probably grammatically incorrect, but since when has that stopped me from mangling another culture's language (and maybe even our own)? There are 29 genres and 315 songs representin'. One song that just got added is Christina Aguliera's "Beautiful".
What an interesting phenomenon this song is!
I think it is more popular now than it was a year or two ago. Maybe it is our generation's Wind Beneath My Wings. It is definitely an inspirational song in the style of that Easy Listening hit. And easy listening is prejorative, so, how can I give in to this pablum, you ask, highly sophisticated reader. At first I was impressed by what a savvy move it was to follow up "Dirrty" with "Beautiful". The video was so brilliantly designed to reach an audience that isn't existing in the conventional stereotype of glamorous American youth (The OC, Paris Hilton, Christina). And, it did seem like a message that needed to be said at that time. It was just smart. And I'm sure it was the main reason that album sold so many copies.
Plus the songwriting is just bulletproof. Check out the second verse:

To all your friends, you're delirious
So consumed, in all your doom
Trying hard, to fill the emptiness
The piece is gone, left the puzzle undone,
Ain't that the way it is

It builds and then settles. She does do all that crazy up and down stuff, but not too much. It uses a Beatles-ish descending chord progression. It's good.
"Beautiful" has gotten a lot of attention too, especially with her new album coming out. Check out what Sasha Frere Jones just wrote in the New Yorker about it:

Aguilera’s second album, Stripped contained several tracks written with Linda Perry, originally of the dull nineties rock band 4 Non Blondes and now one of pop music’s reliable hired guns. (She is responsible for some of this decade’s best radio hits, including Pink's Get the Party Started) Aguilera’s irrepressible voice brings out the schmaltz in Perry. On Stripped Perry’s most significant contribution was “Beautiful,” a barn burner for everyone who has ever felt less than cute on a Friday night. “I am beautiful, no matter what they say—words can’t bring me down,” goes the chorus. The way Aguilera hits the last five words—which Perry wrote as a descending line, momentarily slowing the rhythm, in a motion that pulls against the lyric’s prideful claim—produced her “Rocky” moment. You know she’s going to raise her fists and jump when she reaches the top of the steps, but you get goose bumps anyway.

Well Said Sasha.
Anyway, I put on my list and listened to it on my way to work on Tuesday.
The main reason I created the playlist was to help me deal with my evil, evil boss. Sure enough, that afternoon, when my boss started asking me if I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I calmly said to her, "Maybe."

Thank you Linda, Thank You Christina.
We Did It!
We kicked her ass!
I am Beautiful in every single way!

MP3: Beautiful - Christina Aguilera

Special Bonus!

MP3: Beautiful - Clem Snide

Mp3: Beware Of Darkness - George Harrison