A Real Rhapsody playlist blog of questionable quality

Friday, July 29, 2005

Fresh Catch Playlist, Misty Cool Edition

A short but sweet playlist, like a tree planted by the river of water, which bringeth forth fruit in due season, to celebrate the anticipated reduced humidity and lower temperatures this weekend.

Misty Cool Fresh Catch

Misty Morning - Bob Marley
Cool Change - Little River Band

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Novel Soundtracks - Kafka On The Shore

When Drake put up his first Novel Soundtrack, I thought it was a revolutionary use of the Rhapsody playlist form, and vowed to give it a whirl if I ever finished another book. Well lo and behold many moons and a couple hundred diaper changes later I done read me Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami.

Quite some time ago I stumbled on my first Haruki Murakami novel, A Wild Sheep Chase, on a shelf in a guest room. I fell right in and didn't look back. His novels offered everything I needed in a good read: ordinary people walking out the back door into heady spiritual otherworlds, hallucinatory dream sex, and preparation of plenty of great, simple meals described in exquisite clinical detail. I'm sure there were some characters, plots, and mind-altering metaphors in there somewhere, too. Who knows.

His other novels were frequently variations on the theme of searching for a missing someone who may or may not be found on the physical plane. Sometimes the characters and situations involved made for great reading (Dance Dance Dance, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) and sometimes they fell a little flat (Norwegian Wood, South Of The Border, West Of The Sun).

Kafka On The Shore fell in the middle of this spectrum for me. It got off to a damn fine start and went down some interesting roads, but in the end just left me flat. Luckily for today's purposes, however, the novel incorporates music in some pretty remarkable ways. Some of the songs in this playlist, particularly Beethoven's Archduke Trio and My Favorite Things performed by John Coltrane were practically pivotal characters in their own right:

"Somewhere along the line Coltrane's soprano sax runs out of steam. Now it's McCoy Tyner's piano solo I hear, the left hand carving out a repetitious rhythm and the right layering on thick, forbidding chords. Like some mythic scene, the music portrays somebody's - a nameless, faceless somebody's - dim past, all the details laid out as clearly as entrails being dragged out of the darkness. Or at least that's how it sounds to me. The patient, repeating music ever so slowly breaks apart the real, rearranging the pieces. It has a hypnotic, menacing smelll, just like the forest."

Kafka On The Shore Novel Soundtrack

Schubert Piano Sonata in D Major
Crossroads - Cream
Heigh - Ho - Andre Rieu
Mi Chiamano Mimi - Puccini (Maria Callas)
As Time Goes By - Billie Holiday
4th Time Around - Bob Dylan
(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding
Corcovado - Getz/Gilberto
Sexy MF - Prince
Archduke Trio - Beethoven
My Favorite Things - John Coltrane

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Fresh Catch Playlist, Line Drive To The Back Of The Head Edition

Here's a halo of songs that might swim around your ears after taking a line drive to the back of your head.

Line Drive Fresh Catch

Cheese and Onions - Galaxie 500
Was A Sunny Day - Paul Desmond
Bittersweet - Hoodoo Gurus
Forward Ever - Jacob Miller

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"I Know That Nobody Out There Came To Be Mellow Tonight, Now Did You?" Playlist

Here's a smattering of songs from the live rock albums of the seventies, with an emphasis on some of the classic moments in commercially released stage banter.

Seventies Live Albums

1978 - Double Live Gonzo! - Ted Nugent - Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
1972 - Live Full House - J. Geils Band - Whammer Jammer
1976 - One More From The Road - Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme Back My Bullets
1975 - Kiss Alive - Kiss - Rock Bottom
1976 - All The World's A Stage - Rush Fly By Night/In The Mood
1979 - Live At Budokan - Cheap Trick - I Want You TO Want Me
1976 - Frampton Comes Alive - Peter Frampton - Do You Feel Like We Do
1970 - Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! - Rolling Stones - Love In Vain
1979 - 8:30 - Weather Report - Teen Town
1973 - On The Road - Traffic - Light Up Or Leave Me Alone
1978 - Waiting For Columbus - Little Feat - Dixie Chicken
1972 - Live - Santana/Buddy Miles - Them Changes
1978 - Stage - David Bowie - TVC15

Monday, July 25, 2005

Day Old Fresh Catch Playlist

A batch of songs that someone left out overnight, a little dessicated and overrun by ants, but otherwise fascinating.

Day Old Fresh Catch

Bow River Falls - Dave Douglas
Dirty, Filthy - Gwar
Too Many Puppies - Primus
Like To Get To Know You - Spanky & Our Gang

Friday, July 22, 2005

Vertically Challenged Playlist

This one pretty much explains itself I reckon. I actually saw Ronnie James Dio a couple years ago and was blown away. He really packs a whallop. But it's true: he's a diminutive gentleman. He even had a rule that the guys in the opening band aren't supposed to stand on the monitors (allegedly only he is supposed to take advantage of their vertical benefits). I guess there's gotta be two sides to every bell curve, and the folks in the populous middle gonna crack jokes about those at either end.

Vertically Challenged Playlist

5' 3"
Ronnie James Dio - Man On The Silver Mountain
Sammy Davis Jr. - You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
Judy Garland - How Long Has This Been Going On?

5' 2 1/2"
Prince - I Feel For You

5' 2"
Paul Simon - Late In The Evening
Tori Amos - I Don't Like Mondays

5' 1"
Iggy Pop - Five Foot One (just a song: Iggy Pop is actually 5' 7 1/2" tall)
Sheena Easton - Sugar Walls
Bette Midler - I Never Talk To Strangers (with Tom Waits, who is 6' even)

5' 0"
Dolly Parton - If I Lose My Mind

4' 8"
Edith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

Randy Newman - Short People

I'd like to point all height data hungry souls to the fine Famous People Height List which contributed valuable input to this playlist.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Get To The Wine Thursday

I've been distracted from Rhapsody for the first time in a while the last couple days, helping Northampton rock troupe Drunk Stuntmen process songs from their impending release Trailer Life for various online purposes.

So today instead of the usual RealRhapsody playlist, here's a link to an mp3 version of a most ecclesiastical track from Trailer Life:

Get To The Wine

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Super Womb Wednesday

I wish I could remember what record I was listening to that suggested "You may also be interested in the following album:"

Sounds Of The Womb

I'm pretty sure it was a spoken word record by Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky. Interestingly, Rhapsody also suggested a fan of historical narration may also be interested in Marching Cadences of the US Marines and the Jerky Boys. I tell you, sometimes I think those Rhapsody algorithms can see right into my very soul...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Captain Songs Playlist

Putting together a playlist of Captain songs was going to be a lark until Rhapsody returned some 378 results. I gave up auditioning them all after the first page of 100. There were some truly atrocious abuses of a captain's absolute authority in there. Here then, is the elite of the elite: the top four percent of all Rhapvailable Captain songs to give you hope in uncertain times.

Captain Playlist

1. Captain Kennedy - Neil Young
2. Captain Midnite - Ronnie Laws
3. Captain Pungent - Melvins
4. Captain Easy Chord - Stereolab
5. Captain Sunshine - Neil Diamond
6. Girl Named Captain - Robert Pollard
7. Ride Captain Ride - Blues Image
8. Captain Bacardi - Antonio Carlos Jobim
9. Captain Jack - Billy Joel
10. Captain Pugwash - Across The Pond
11. This Is Your Captain Calling - Colin Blunstone
12. Captain Saint Lucifer - Laura Nyro
13. I'm Your Captain - Grand Funk Railroad
14. Captain Kennedy (Bonus Track) - Nikki Sudden

Monday, July 18, 2005

Freshy Catch Playlist, Unlicensed Edition

Mostly fresh tracks pulled from the River of Schmaltz in high season. Don't tell the warden the hooks aren't barbless. Of note, the heart of this Chet Baker/Paul Desmond track sounds like the soul of "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" which follows it.

Freshy Catch Monday

In The Morning - Nina Simone
Night Rabbit - Giorgio Moroder
You Can't Go Home Again - Chet Baker (feat. Paul Desmond)
Never Gonna Fall In Love Again - Eric Carmen
Baby Come Back - Player

Friday, July 15, 2005

Give The Writer Some

Here's a short playlist of two versions of two fine songs. The first versions are by the relatively unsung, prolific writers who created them. The second versions are by the people who had the voices to actually sell a heap of records. Happy Friday.

Do Right Lineman Playlist

Wichita Lineman - Jimmy Webb
Do Right Woman - Dan Penn
Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
Do Right Woman - Aretha Franklin

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Thursday Fresh Catch Playlist

The newest batch of keepers trolled from the RealRhapsody waters.

Thursday Fresh Catch

Get Out Of My Life Woman - Joe Williams
Don't Touch My Tomatoes - Calypso Mama
This Train - Hank Thompson
Girl On The Moon - The Neanderthals
My Mammy - Kenny Rogers

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Woggles Sampler

Never really part of the Daytona mindset, one of the most memorable spring breaks I had involved soaking up the sun in Dayton, Ohio and Athens, Georgia. Our host in Athens was Senor Devlin, proprietor of the Bizarro Wuxtry comic shop and frequent artist for retro-rock upstarts the Woggles.

Those kids doing belly shots in Cancun don't know what they're missing. Athens left such an impression that my traveling companion Suzie moved down there a few years later, where she commands an unholy interspecies army to this very day.

Well, four Woggles albums just became Rhapvailable, so here's a super-sampler to jump start your day.

Woggles Sampler - playlist in comments

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Bob Wills Sampler

I've been delving into the true Texas originals recently, and am gradually extracting playlists. The first to come together is a Bob Wills sampler.

Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys reinvented an already unique style of music, Texas swing, starting in the 1930's. Their amalgam has a raucous big dance band sound featuring fiddle, steel guitar, and piano as opposed to the big brass of straight jazz big bands. Even the laments are woven through with a playfulness that raises the corners of the lips and sets the toes a-tappin'.

More accurate history and fine photos are at the Texas Playboys site.

Bob Wills Sampler - playlist in comments

Monday, July 11, 2005

Song Reflex Trigger Phrase 02

I came across another one of my song reflex trigger phrases while reading the Sunday paper yesterday. Luckily I don't come across this one as frequently.

Yes, through a bit of star-crossed synapse malformation, I can't get past the first couple words of the phrase "never be the same again" before my mind immediately takes on the cadence of serial schmaltz monger Michael McDonald, that most dubious of Doobie Brothers. So, there's another bit of data to add to the Bucket in my effort to document the song reflex affliction.

Song Reflex Trigger 02 - I Keep Forgettin'

Friday, July 08, 2005

Fresh Catch Playlist, Invasive Species Edition

So we brought in the nematodes to fight the algae bloom, but they got persnickety, so we airlifted in some rainbow beetles, but they went on to decimate the pygmy toads. We thought some well-placed wombats would balance everything out, but they just became snacks for the snake-headed fish.

Sometimes it's a similar descending, dark spiral trying to get a song out of your head. Take it from one who learned the hard way, and never use the first two songs in this playlist to try to unstick a persistent melody. If such a tragedy should occur, the last five songs should be administered promptly.

Invasive Species Playlist

I've Never Been To Me - Charlene
Don't Cry Out Loud - Peter Allen
Help Me Somebody - Brian Eno/David Byrne
Looking Forward TO Seeing You - Golden Smog
You'll Have To Go Sideways - The Soft Boys
Look To Your Orb For The Warning - Monster Magnet
After Hours - Velvet Underground

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Those who can, rock. Those who can't, blog.

So last week Robert of the Radish sent an email asking for a contribution to a group post about overrated songs. I had nothing, but put together a little something about the Fall that explicitly included the words "tongue" and/or "cheek". All in good fun, right?

The Top 13 Most Overrated Songs post first appeared on Robert's Rhapsody Radish, FIQL, and Blogcritics. The response was overwhelmingly hilarious. The majority of the vitriol was directed at the "asshat" who didn't know that Robbie Krueger (sic) wrote "Light My Fire", not Jim Morrison.

I got off easy, being referred to merely as a "Pavement-loving schmuck". Well, I won't argue with that. The same comment also challenged me to explain "why i should listen to The Smiths." Well, Elizabeth, since you brought it up (and nothing in my post hinted at them), I suspect you've been waiting for decades for an excuse to love the Smiths. I only wish Rhapsody had more to offer you along those lines.

Then somehow the whole thing got greenlighted on FARK, and attracted a mass of comments surpassed in number only by discussion of the bombing in London. Let's just let it be said I haven't laughed this long and hard in quite some time.

In summary, I'll just echo the most astute comment of "trez" who, near the current end of the FARK thread said "this should've been mentioned WAY earlier... overrated doesn't necessarily = bad. overrated usually means 'it's good/okay, but not NEARLY as good as people seem to think it is.' those of you defending the songs on the list are really only proving the list accurate. i shouldn't be as amused by that as i am."

Amen, trez.

Playlist Found On A Shelf In A Laundromat That Changed My Life

Many Louvin Brothers songs serve as the Jack Chick comics of country music history. Their artistic skills in their chosen medium certainly surpass Mister Chick's, but many of their songs share the same peal of lurid Christian morality. Consider titles like "The Drunkard's Doom", "The Beast", "A Demon's Nightmare", "Satan's Jeweled Crown", and "Insured Beyond The Grave". Which are Louvin Brothers songs and which are Chick tracts? Here's a playlist to help sort it all out.

Louvin Brothers Tracts Playlist

The Christian Life
The Drunkard's Doom
The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea
The Angels Rejoiced Last Night
Satan's Jeweled Crown
Dying From Home, And Lost
Are You Afraid To Die
Insured Beyond The Grave

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

More Fresh Catch, Shoe Scrapings Edition

I'm still in deep summer jukebox mode. So today, another grab bag playlist of fine songs that stuck to my shoes while wandering the Rhapsody wilds yesterday.

Shoe-scrapings Playlist

I Zimbra - David Byrne
Here's To Your Fuck - The Gits
Rush Rush - Blondie
Never Been To Spain - Elvis Presley
Hong Kong Flu - The Ethiopians

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fresh Catch Playlist, Woodsman Edition

Here's a wildcrafted batch of aromatic tunes, dessicating slowly after removal from their native habitat.

Wildcrafted Fresh Catch Batch

Crawdad - Moses Rascoe
Loose - Blake Babies
Easy To Love - Jack McDuff
I Wanna Be A Lifeguard - Blotto
Watermelon Man - Satan & Adam
Amoreena - Elton John

Friday, July 01, 2005

Boombox Pedestrian

Well, I'm still dealing with some of the musical memories stirred up by the Birth Year playlist challenge a couple weeks ago. Back in junior high I used to wander around town with my trusty boombox, listening to what I considered the finest music of the day.

Listening to music in public was more of a commitment back in those days, at least where weight of the equipment is concerned. That trip to the library, the comic book store, the record store, or a friend's house was always a little louder with fifteen pounds of plastic and D-batteries cradled by your side. I usually went with the "resting face-up on the forearm" hold as opposed to the "up on the shoulder" carry. Just a matter of personal style.

None of these songs are classics, but I was surprised by how good The Hurting sounds even today (given the eventual lengths Tears For Fears went to to obliterate any musical edge they may have once had).

Boombox Pedestrian

Mad World - Tears For Fears
Flesh For Fantasy - Billy Idol
Cache Cache - The Who
Cat People - David Bowie
Big Mess - Devo
Car Jamming - The Clash
Sort Of Homecoming - U2
Neighbours - Rolling Stones

(Image gleaned from the very impressive Boombox Museum at pocketcalculatorshow.com)