Listen in Love

Tuesday, August 21, 2001
What follows is the text that originally appeared on this “listen” link. I’ve edited a few entries I never finished, but here it how it was supposed to read:

What I listen to…usually when I'm futzing on the computer.

They Might Be Giants—Factory Showroom
I love TMBG and I have been listening to their special brand of adventure since I first heard "Ana Ang" and decided I needed a new favorite band (to join all the others).

Joni MitchellBlue
This is quintessential Joni. I remember a talent show back in high school where the school’s aspiring folksinger performed flawless versions of every song on this album…at least that’s how I remembered it.

Tracy ChapmanTracy Chapman
I can barely believe that her debut album is over ten years old. Every time I hear "Fast Car" I have to hold back the tears, it gets to me so.

Loreena McKennitt—The Mask and the Mirror
This goes back to why I like Dead Can Dance, modern songs in a traditional folk mode.

The Great Ladies of Jazz—Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey
You hear their names tossed around like they are royalty and they are: The Original Sophisticated Lady, The First Lady of Jazz, The Queen of the Blues, The High Priestess of Jazz, Lady Day and The Real Pearl. All on two CDs. Thank you, Russell.

The Smiths—Best of…I, II
I first listened to the Smiths first back in ’88, since then I’ve followed Morrissey and collected these two compilations of their best hits.

Claude Bolling's Suite for Violin and Jazz Piano Trio
This Album says to me that the seventies were not so bad as I remembered and the Twenties Art Deco revival back then was not half as bad as the Seventies revival we see today.

The Beautiful South
When I was introduced to this band's wonderfully cynical lyrics back in '96 I swore that someday I would own all their albums. I now own Welcome to and Choke. Their songs are catchy, I love the lyrics and Blue is the Colour could be their best album. I stripped these onto my computer as MP3 files so I could listen to them with out the CD along with my Sunday's albums. They make a wonderful mix of cynical lyricism.

The Sundays—Reading, Writing, and Arithmatic
I listened to them obsessively back in '93 and '94 when I finally purchased their first album. The vocalization of Harriet Wheeler combined with David Gavurin's layered guitar riffs are to me the quintessence of urban living and the melancholia that results from relationship angst. They inspired some way cool web sites too.

Kate Bush—Hounds of Love
Ever since Running Up That Hill first appeared on MTV, I was hooked. Kate is a goddess and someday I will own all her albums and not just The Whole Story.

Yo-yo MaSoul of the Tango: The Music of Astor Piazzola
Tango, tango, tango! I remember coming across his work first on an album by the Kronos Quartet and thinking I had discovered the meaning behind the movie Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Yo-yo Ma makes Piazzola's melodies come alive and weave their magic in such a subtle passionate way that you will have your breath taken out of you before you realize that you are listening to one of Argentina's greatest composers.

Deep Forest
Okay, I know this is "world-beat-techno-trance-mainstream" schlock but it is: Still cool listening even after all these years...spawned all sorts of similar sounding cool "bands" like Enigma. Hey! They have a great web site. If only I could find that URL!

Malcolm Mclaren's Paris
I am told he stole all the tunes shamelessly from Frenchmen, and even though the poetry is really cheesy, this is an incredible album.

Dead Can Dance—The Serpent's Egg, Spiritchaser
Need I say more?

ZBS—Ruby, the Galactic Gumshoe
The best radio drama on the net.

—March 9, 1999

Monday, August 20, 2001
Since the Seattle Public Library has moved into their temporary Annex at the new Convention Center Expansion, I've been making regular visits to loan CDs. The selection is limited, but I've managed to come up with one or two gems: a recording of Carmina Burana, the debut of Girl with 100 Heads (personally knew Scott, the lead singer several years ago when he recorded the album), Mozart piano concertos.

I've also been hanging out on Aimster downloading new music that I want to own. Recently my attention was brought to Alison Goldfrapp, a young woman with an exquisite vocal range and style who recorded Human with collaborator Will Gregory. While online a short while ago, a person who was downloading some Elliott Smith started up a chat with me and raved about Rufus Wainwright. They listed off a handful of songs that they felt epitomized his talent, “Chocolate milk and Cigarettes”, being one of them. I was hooked the instant I heard these lyrics: “…Everything it seems I like’s a little bit stronger/ A little bit thicker, a little bit harmful for me…”

Rufus, Rufus, Rufus...I think I am in love. His lyrics speak to an identity that I've been attempting to create for myself and now, seeing him casually write songs to that end I am convinced that the only way I can claim that for myself is to go out and buy a guitar and become a pop singer. It helps that he is Canadian, queer and a "One Man Guy", which is to say that he's his own person. You have to love a man who can craft a lyric like "And you will believe in love / And all that it’s supposed to be / But just until the fish start to smell / And you’re struck down by a hammer..." Shades of my idol Joe Orton's death. I wonder if it is intentional. Rufus's lyrics make me want to believe..."clap your hands if you believe in fairies." *clap, clap*

Bumbershoot is coming up and Mr. Wainwright will be playing in the Opera House Sunday night...I am thinking of attending just so I can play out my sycophant fantasy. He also is opening for Tori Amos in September, I am told by a friend. It would be sensible to attend that and be assured a seat…hmmmm.