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Sunday, June 26, 2005

As you know, I never do memes or collabs or challenges or anything of that sort. Sometimes it’s easier than coming up with something to write about on my own, though. Still, if it hadn’t been Deb who tagged me (and if it hadn't been about music), I probably wouldn’t be doing this one. Anyway, here goes.

Total volume of music on my computer:

5.74 GB. I also own about 1,500 CDs, although nobody asked.

Last four CDs I bought or received:

Paint Me On Velvet, by the Austin Lounge Lizards. I’ve been playing their Employee of the Month to death for months, and so I decided to add to my Lizards collection. This one from 1997 is almost as good. It’s hard to resist song titles like “Grandpa’s Hologram” and “That Godforsaken Hellhole I Call Home,” but the material has to live up to the title. It’s hard to say it doesn’t.

SinVerguenza, by Bacilos. Same situation here. I’ve loved their Caraluna since I bought it after seeing them on the Latin Grammy Awards show a couple of years ago. Once again: almost as good.

I Got Mexico, by Eddy Raven. This is a compilation of his hits from the mid-1980s. His music is country for sure, but with a spicy dose of Cajun and a dash of R&B. I looked all over the stores and online for a collection of his hits but ended up having to buy this one from a private seller. It was worth the trouble.

Let Yourself Go, by Stacey Kent. This one is a collection of Fred Astaire songs. I heard her version of “They All Laughed” on the Singers & Standards satellite channel and fell in love with the voice and the interpretation. These are all great songs, of course. Astaire was a genius, but I already had his greatest hits album, so I bought this one to go along with it. The thing is, it stands on its own very well.

Favorite song from those albums:

I can’t sing a note but I love to sing along. It’s a good thing I live alone, isn’t it? And my car has such great acoustics that even I sound okay as long as the engine is running. One of my favorites to sing along with is “I Could Use Another You,” by Eddy Raven, because it has such a driving beat but doesn’t stray too far from my limited vocal range.

Song playing now:

“How Could I Know,” by Jennifer Shaw. I was watching a short film collection and this song was featured. I did a massive search and found a version I could download. I play it all the time, over and over. It’s one of those songs.

Songs or bands I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me:

Paul Simon. Jimmy Buffett. Rosanne Cash. Emmylou Harris. Jackson Browne. Randy Newman. Bonnie Raitt. Van Morrison. I have multiple CDs by most of these artists, in some cases just about everything they’ve ever released. I like melody, and I like lyrics that make me think or feel or both. Or that just make me smile, like Jimmy Buffett’s “Miss You So Badly” or Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al.”

Some of my favorite albums are Blue, by Joni Mitchell; Blood on the Tracks, by Bob Dylan; Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Nanci Griffith; In the Dark With You, by Greg Brown; Viva Terlingua, by Jerry Jeff Walker; Juke Box Music, by Doug Sahm... What? Stop already? Okay.

Streetlights, by Bonnie Raitt. Just had to get that in. There’s nothing more sublime than her version of “Angel from Montgomery.”

I’d need a lot more space to include everything I like by the Beatles, James Taylor, Steve Goodman, Gillian Welch, Michelle Shocked, Eric Clapton. Not to mention Clint Black, George Strait, Crystal Gayle, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride. And have I told you about my jazz collection or my classical CDs or the blues records by everyone from Robert Johnson to Robert Cray?

13 June 2005

Wispy clouds, over the oak.

Lately I’ve been into classic country, listening to a lot of Eddy Arnold and Loretta Lynn and the like. I get to the point where all I want to hear is Merle Haggard’s version of “That’s the Way Love Goes,” or Kenny Rogers doing “Love or Something Like It,” and I play those tracks until I’m ready to move on to something else. I have no idea what that something else will be. It’ll probably be something completely different, but still something I can sing along with. You won’t want to hear that, though.

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I have to admit that I didn’t watch every minute of the A’s 16-0 bashing of the Giants today. I mean, when your team is down 11-0 before they even gets their first hit, and that turns out to be their only hit, it's best to look away. Not only would it have been too painful to absorb, but there was also the little matter of NASCAR visiting Sonoma, about 25 miles from where I’m sitting. Let me tell you, that race was way more competitive (and a lot more entertaining) than any major league baseball games played in the Bay Area today. Tony Stewart spent about ten laps trying to get around Ricky Rudd and finally did it just before the end for his first victory of the year on the eleven-turn road course. Other teams that have been struggling, most notably Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., continued to struggle today at Infineon (which we locals still call Sears Point).

Recent recommendations can be found on the links page.

One year ago: Shortcut
"But as I mentioned to Eric, we really had the advantage, because we knew that win or lose, after the game the Giants would still be in first place. And the A's would still be in Oakland."

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