Thursday, May 30, 2013

May Music Picks

Wow! May was a big month for us. After 18 years in the same building and 13 years in the same apartment (7 for my wife), we finally moved. (See post here.) 

All this moving business got me really nostalgic, so that colored my music mood and got me into some sweet, mellow tunes I've enjoyed over the years living here. So, here friends, is my May playlist:

1. Ella Fitzgerald - It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing - The very first item I moved into my own apartment 13 years ago was a tape player. And the very first piece of music I played on it was off of an Ella Fitzgerald cassette tape. I moved down from an upstairs apartment, went straight to my new empty bedroom and plugged in my tape player with an Ella tape. I sat there listening to this, excited about my first, solo apartment.

2. Colin Blunstone - Caroline Goodbye - Okay, this one's old hat amongst the veterans out there, but if you're a newbie Mod kid getting burnt out on the "Mod! Mod! Mod! Rah! Rah! Rah!" music, then invest in Colin Blunstone. Former (or current, I guess) lead singer of the Zombies, Blunstone put out some absolutely beautiful solo music. And hey, if you're at a point in your life where you're looking to impress the chicas, play some of his music for them. They'll either soften up and see you as a sensitive, deeper-than-a-Mod-kid-should-be fellow or just not get the beauty of Blunstone. And if the latter, they ain't worth your time! I found this CD again when I started packing up our collection and just had to hear it.

3. Twin Engine - Give My Love A Chance - Another CD I found in the archives. Old pal, Pat Johnson turned me on these guys years ago when I was trying to explore more Byrdsy-country sounds. Listening to this again after so many years made moving a lot more easy. I don't know a whole lot about Twin Engine, but seems their back-up included guys like Clarence White, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke. Sold! (Unfortunately, I couldn't embed a YouTube clip, so you'll have to check the link yourself.)

4. Nick Drake - Northern Sky - Of course, moving always brings up some good nostalgia and although Nick Drake, for me and many others, is timeless, hearing this CD always brings me back to a period when I started to get real adventurous with music. My buddy Aaron used to always turn me on to great stuff that took me out of my Mod/soul comfort zone, including country, late '60s hard rock, and '60s/'70s folk, like this one. But as hard as he tried, I still had my limits (sorry Grateful Dead). But Bryter Layter and any Nick Drake is always welcome on my player!

5. Rodriguez - I'll Slip Away - Yes, we're still on a Rodriguez high and his music has been playing non-stop on our system while we packed up. Kind of makes it hard, though, when you're trying to hurry up and box up some books, but need to stop and take in a moment for a song like this. Many times, I had to tell my wife, "Hold on... let me just dig my jam for a bit and I'll get to the next box..."

6. Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys - Love That Man - Many times, my wife was in control of our CD player (can you tell by now that our turntable was one of the first things to get packed?) and that's always a good thing since she puts stuff on that I forget about sometimes. We're huge Big Sandy fans and need to make more attempts to see him and his band live when they come through. A fantastic backing band, great voice, and beautiful music in a more '50s vein. I don't know about you, but 'rockabilly' music is A-OK with me!

7. The Jam - In The Crowd - I can't tell you how many times we drove back and forth between our old and new place dropping things off. And one of the CDs my wife kept playing was a Jam CD. I never find myself putting The Jam on, not because I'm tired of them (I still love them!) but because there's so much other great music I like listening to. But it usually takes my wife to remind me of good music like this. Everytime I jumped out of the car to drop boxes off, this was the song that remained playing in my head.

8. Johnny and June Cash - If I Were A Carpenter - This was off a different CD my wife had playing in the car. Off of a compilation of country music that we got while part of a CD club with friends, this number was the one I kept waiting for whenever it was on. The CD itself was filled with great stuff, but hearing this cover, which was a new one to me, is what kept me relaxed during the drives back and forth.

9. Nick Lowe -  Long-Limbed Girl (This video features Chris Barber)! - On our last night, all I had left music-wise was my iPhone. This was one of the last songs I remember listening to, late at night, while packing up shoes. Man... Nick Lowe is one of the few who has aged so gracefully and gotten better with his music. Don't believe me? Then play the video.

10. Jefferson Airplane - Embryonic Journey - Yeah, I know I put this in the last post, but I'm including it here anyway. Whereas Ella Fitzgerald was the first thing I played when I moved into my own place 13 years ago, this song was the last thing I played as we left. I was fooling around, really, as my wife walked out filming the empty apartment. I put the song on my iPhone as she was shutting the door as a joke, but when I saw the look on her face and the tears welling up, even I got super sad! Didn't help when one of the newer neighbors walked by looking at us like we were crazy.

Well, that's it for this month. In case you're wondering, our music system still isn't plugged in. (But our TV system is, so Arrested Development, here we come!) And our records and CDs are piled everywhere. I think this'll be the weekend to finally get some good music playing at the new place.


1 comment:

  1. Nick Drake's greatest achievement may have been having Gabrielle Drake (Lt. Ellis from UFO) as his sister.