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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Confessions Day, (Part Two: Wherein the Tart reveals the true nature of her dilettantism)

Well as my co-blogger Puppet Show last posted his confessions I guess with some behind the scenes arm twisting (oh kidding!) I'll oblige and do the same. It's true, when we were just becoming friends, I asked the Pup what his secret sins were in terms of music? What did he like to listen to that his friends would tease him for or that people generally wouldn't expect a guy like him to be into? I love knowing other people's secrets! It's interesting to know what the secrets are and also to think about what they're willing to really tell you. So here we go (and in the interest of keeping this "short") MY Top 5 musical skeleton confessions and why.

5. Tell Me Something Good mp3, Rufus: Rufus, 1973. Now once you get to know me, and especially if you realize my weirdo intra generational existence you'll understand this, but at first glance it seems odd. I'm 44, so technically I came of age in the late 70s, early 80s and was a bit young for the real age of funk music. But all my siblings were much older than me, and my brother was a huge influence on me, so Funk hit me hard. In my mind the best, most get-down-and-dance Funk is the early 70s, epitomized here by Rufus' Tell Me Something Good, with the wonderful Chaka Kahn on vocals and written by Stevie Wonder.

4. Billy Bragg: The Peel Sessions, 1988(?). Ok, cultural whiplash, sorry! I'm obsessed with this man. It's almost shameful but I take comfort in the fact that I agree with most of his politics and his roots are in some fine punk music. So while he may have mellowed in our collective middle age, Bragg is still a great musician and an amazing lyricist. And no, he's never claimed to be a first rate vocalist so that just blows all my claims to what makes a great song, oh well! The Short Answer is so bittersweet, I love the story it tells and I love the way this version presents it so simply. Also kudos to the best opening line in any song ever! "Between Marx and Marzipan in the dictionary there was Mary..."

3.Light The Skies (Retrobyte's Classic Electrobounce Mix) mp3, Armin Van Buuren, A State Of Trance 2007 [CD1]: I was totally shocked at myself when I discovered trance music! Being an old flapper who gave up the club scene ages ago, I somehow missed all this. A friend gave me a mp3 track last year and said, what do you think of this? It was love at first listen. After hearing a lot more trance music (about 5G more!) Light The Skies is still my favorite track. (yeah, the first 20 secs or so are silent/quiet, sorry for that!)

2. Green Grass and High Tides mp3, The Outlaws: The Outlaws, 1975. Biography might help here (oh god, I'm hoping!), I spent the second half of my youth in the South, the deep South of the U.S.A., and well, we were barely removed from being hillbillies before that. So, whatever you want to call this song, be it Southern Rock, Country-Rock, or just Rock (which if you live in the South is what we called it), this is the quintessential song. Dual lead guitars, one on each stereo channel, and beautiful vocal harmonies make this a classic track of Americana. I remember hearing it on the radio a few times a day for years, they probably still play it down there. I can't help but hear this as "normal" music though I think it might sound weird to you indie fans out there.

1. The Sky is Crying mp3, Steveie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble: The Sky Is Crying, 1990. How can I live in Chicago and not be a blues fan? I actually came to this city long ago, from the South and the transition was made so much easier because of the Blues. There's nothing like standing on the corner, waiting for a bus, in the cold and rainy early Sunday morning with Stevie Ray wailing out The Sky is Crying. Nothing like it.

It's all good stuff that I listen to, it's just not the kind of music that you might expect ;) Although as this blog takes shape, I'm beginning to realize that even I don't know what to expect on these pages!

P.S. Welcome Elbows readers :)

buy Rufus
buy Billy Bragg
buy State of Trance 2007
buy The Outlaws
buy Stevie Ray Vaughn

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