Monday, December 9, 2013


Heya, Let's get a date nailed down for our year end music club. It's the holiday season so I'm sure this is going to be a breeze!!! I'll throw out Friday, Dec. 27th. Yes? No? Marcy

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I'd like to be proven wrong but I think 2013 was a blah year for music.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Serious" Art is Ruining Pop Music - Discuss

We may need to have this as a point of discussion (debate?) at our next gathering, but I wanted to share an article that really resonated with me.  For a while now I have been struggling with what feels like a loss of creative purity.  To me creative purity is art born from earnest not art that has been productized, strategized, or even made with an intention to be monetized.  When it comes to music, I am referring to music for the sake of creativity, not the pursuit of endorsement deals, Twitter followers, or downloads.  My favorite book ever, Ever, EVER (yes that is a tongue in cheek nod to an of the moment "artist") captured one era of pure creativity (that I'm obsessed with BTW...) amazingly well and has an example of what seems missing today in the music world.  In 'Just Kids' Patti Smith tells a story of Kris Kristofferson and Janis Joplin sitting on the floor in a room of the Chelsea Hotel as "Bobby McGee" rose not from from their production team but but grew from six strings and a creative purity (and OK, yes, probably a bottle of bourbon but you get the idea).   

Back to the article though... it focuses on the recent trend of packaging music as/with high art and how it has not really panned out.  For the musicians it just comes across as pretentious and for the artist, the music is not a resource for deepening our sense of love or spontaneity to their art-forms.  Can I get a "I know, right?!" ? I mean riddle me this Lady Gaga - the release of ARTPOP is apparently meant to inspire me to run down to H&M for some off price fashion, get behind the wheel of a re-designed Kia, DVR SNL, and amidst all these relatively down-market marketing opportunities have me associate you with high-art?  And Hova, come on! Barney's, the 40/40 Club with its golden bats and bubbly, Picasso?  I get it, you got out of the projects but putting yourself on a gilded pedestal and proclaiming yourself as being high-art carries more an air of arrogance than demonstrating any appreciation for or understanding of creative purity.     

I don't know that the comments on Kanye resonate for me, but check the article out and in addition to the next UMCHofF debates, maybe we can opine on creative purity too.

Here's the link:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Unofficial Music Club Hall of Fame II: This Time It's Personal

Congratulations Bruce Springsteen! 
Because the process involved in the induction of Elvis Costello proved to be be as intoxicating as the extraordinarily aerated wine we were drinking, it was decided we would bring another artist into the UMCHoF fold. There were also perceived slights, both imagined and very real, in the first induction that many felt needed to be avenged. Some members were upset that Pink Floyd was so unceremoniously denied a nomination in the early rounds of the first induction. They became paranoid when PinkFloyd was discarded in the second nomination process. The whole nomination process was called into question when Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Son Volt, the Gossip, and Radiohead were all nominated in a second time. Why was Feist and Flight of the Conchords even eligible? Why are we even debating whether Band of Horses deserves induction over Depeche Mode? 

Bruce made short work of Lyle Lovett. Radiohead in the Elite 8 (Grape Ape) was no competition. It wasn’t until the semi-finals when Bruce faced off with the formidable Johnny Cash that debates took an exasperated, pleading tone. Some members took objection to the fact that while Mr. Springsteen was obviously very talented and influential, he none the less had no right challenging Mr. Cash in such an audacious and insolent manner. It was stated that without Johnny Cash there would be no Bruce Springsteen. It was subsequently stated that that was utter bullshit. That while Mr. Cash was obviously very talented and influential, he none the less had no right challenging Mr. Springsteen in such an insolent and audacious manner, without Bruce Springsteen there would be no Johnny Cash. Again, bullshit was rightly called. No it isn’t. Yes it is. No. Yes. No. For maybe 20 or 30 minutes this continued until finally a deciding vote was cast. If you disagree, Jay cast that deciding vote. 

Personally, I think if Elvis Costello had been present when he won over Madonna, he would have laughed and laughed. Then he would have whipped out his guitar and sang a medley that started with “I Want You”, segued into “Crazy For You”, which segued into “Vogue”, which finally ended with a rousing version of “Lipstick Vogue.” Then he would have laughed some more while dedicating his win to Lady Gaga and singing a couple of lines of “Born This Way”. If Bruce Springsteen had been present when he moved on to the finals instead of Johnny Cash, he would have been horrified. He would sung a mournful version of  “Ring Of Fire” and said without that song he would never have written “I’m On Fire” or any of the Nebraska album. Then he would have wept. Poor Bruce.

Then Bruce Springsteen went up against Stevie Wonder. Music Club members were mostly exhausted and grumbling over the previous round. Bruce could still be heard sniffling in bathroom. Three votes were cast for Bruce and two for Stevie Wonder. Again, the last vote, the vote that decided if Bruce won or a tie necessitated a more lengthy debate which to tell you the truth, no one was prepared for. Unfortunately for Mr. Wonder, Jay was told that one of the two songs used to make Mr. Wonder eligible was “Isn’t She Lovely.” Jay immediately voted for Mr. Springsteen. Thanks a lot Eric.

Bruce was made eligible thanks to a Deep Dive/ Triple Shot of songs entered by Deb, “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” “Thunder Road,” and “Living Proof.” “Used Cars” was entered by Greg for the Modes of Transportation theme. “Sea Of Heartbreak”, a duet with Rosann Cash (Ooh, Burn!), was entered by Gina for a Roll-Your-Own theme. Interestingly (not really) Aimee Mann would not have been eligible had she not covered “Reason To Believe” with Michael Penn. Greg submitted that for our Covers theme.

Dry your eyes, Bruce. You deserve this whether you think you are worthy or not.

Unofficial Music Club Hall of Fame Inaugural Induction

Congratulations Elvis Costello! 
After a surprisingly easy series of debates and votes (at least in comparison to our second inductee (more on that later)), Elvis Costello is officially the first inductee to the Unofficial Music Club Hall of Fame  (UMCHoF). 

Eligibility was determined for these first couple of inductions not by how long they have been making music, how many recordings they made, whether they had anything to do with the birth of rock, or even whether they were any good. Eligibility was based solely on being a selection for a Music Club playlist, regardless of theme, more than once.

The names of all eligible artists were then placed roughly into a hat to be  drunkenly drawn two at a time by a present Music Club member (all members not present were not permitted to draw). The member then chose which of the two artists would be a nominee and the other artist was roughly and drunkenly discarded. The hat was passed from member to member until 16 nominees were selected.

Nominees then faced off, with MC members voting for who should progress to the next round. Losers of each face off were discarded less roughly than before, but no less drunkenly.

Mr. Costello had seemingly little trouble in his initial face-offs with Aimee Mann and Whiskeytown. In the semi-finals Radiohead gave a moment of pause, but again Costello handily defeated his opponent. Madonna met Elvis in the finals. For some members this was an easy choice to make. For other members this was an easy wrong choice to make. With very little serious debate, Mr Costello became our first inductee. Much fan was fared (or perhaps much fare was fanned).

Elvis Costello was submitted under duress to our Desert Island Disc theme by Greg with the song “Allison”. “American Without Tears No 2” was submitted to our Summer Song meeting by Pat. Deb brought “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” to our Colors theme, and I entered “No Action” as part of last night’s Friday Night Pre-Func theme. As I recall, Gina made late submissions of “Veronica” and “God Give Me Strength” as part of our Collaborations theme. Well represented and a worthy victor in these proceedings. 

Our second inductee was also selected last night, mostly because the first was so much fun. I will post about the more heated debate regarding that inductee later. In the meantime, welcome Elvis Costello to the UMCHoF. Long live the King of America.

Friday, November 8, 2013

If I was able to write lyrics, I'd write this one.

There's no crime of passion worth a crime of fashion The only thing savin' your life Is that I don't look good in orange and I hate stripes

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's the theme? Friday Nite Lite? Or is it Happy Tunes?

Or songs that improve your mood?  When do we want to do this?  Can we make it a Friday?  Our Thursdays are booked, or even a Wednesday?  Pat and I will host. How about Wednesday November 13th or Friday the 15th? I ask a lot of questions.


Carol and I saw him at the Paramount or maybe the Moore. He was good. It was the Magic & Loss tour, I think. Smaller than I would have thought. I was surprised how many of his songs I knew. I was surprised by his walk. Kind of up in his toes, a little stiff. I always pictured him strutting.
I had New Sensations on cassette. A friend of mine insisted Down At The Arcade was a sign that Lou Reed was a horrible song writer. The more he said that, the more I could not get the song out of my head. I haven't heard it in maybe 20 years but I could sing you the chorus, no problem.
My room mate had VU. Foggy Notion played all the time. I was surprised when Greg chose it as a defining song. I honestly didn't know anyone else had listened to it more than once or twice.
I had the banana album on cassette, too. I liked the mix of sweet and pretty with drone and noisy. Don't know that I ever realized how dark the lyrics were. every once in a while I will sing for no particular reason, "I could sleep for a thousand years."
When MCA died, even though I knew he had cancer, I was reminded that people my age die. I hate that reminder.
With Lou I guess I never really thought of him as having an age. I knew he was old, though I didn't know he was sick. I guess it just never occurred to me that he would die. He was around for as long as I could remember.
So many bands I like would not be the way they are were it not for the Velvet Underground.
He was good in Far Away, So Close, too.
Because he sang, "But she never lost her head/ Even when she was giving head," Bon Jovi felt he could sing, "I walk these streets. a loaded 6-string on my back/ I play for keeps 'cause I might not make it back." That was a not good thing. I realize head and back each have two meanings, but you shouldn't rhyme them with themselves.
I'll miss him. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Kids today...

So in my Cognitive Psychology class today, we replicated an experiment where we sang a line of a song and then checked to see how close our pitch was (the results of the original study are that a surprising number of people, even non-musicians, have close to "perfect" pitch).  To prep, I asked them to write down their favorite songs and hand them in last Friday.  I made this playlist on Spotify, so that I could easily play the songs in class.  This is, literally, what the kids are listening to!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In honor of our birthday girl Gina Turner

Yacht Rock Quiz time - Match the song with the Artist and no cheating. Song 1 Chevy Van 2 Key Largo 3 Lonely Boy 4 Magic 5 On and On 6 Peg 7 Sailing 8 Show and Tell 9 Steal Away 10 What a Fool Believes 11 What You Won't Do For Love 12 Baby Come Back 13 Africa Artist a) Al Wilson b) Andrew Gold c) Bertie Higgins d) Bobby Caldwell e) Christopher Cross f) Doobie Brothers g) Pilot h) Player i) Robbie Dupree j) Sammy Johns k) Steely Dan l) Stephen Bishop m) Toto

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Smells Like H.O.F.

Could be a GREAT class for the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame this year!

When will MC go on a field trip to the ACTUAL Hall?!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shuffle time!

Yeah, yeah.  Haven't posted for quite awhile so I will start a iPod/Pandora/Spotify/whateverthehell shuffle thread.

The Books -- All You Need is a Wall
CHVRCHES -- The Mother We Share
Viva Voce -- They Never Really Wake Up
Dr. Dog -- We All Belong
Old 97's -- Just Like California
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah -- Over And Over Again (Lost and Found)

Oh, and by the way I forgot to say my question/answer song choice:

Q:  Frank Zappa -- Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?
A:  Kings of Leon -- Sex On Fire

I'll show myself out.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Question/Answer Songs

The "10 at 10:00" theme tickled me on WXPN this morning. It was Question and Answer songs.  Here's the list:

1. Steve Winwood - Why Can't We Live Together?
2. Elliott Smith - Because

3. Van Morrison - Why Must I Always Explain
4.  The Undisputed Truth - Smiling Faces Sometimes

7. Brian Seymour - What's Wrong With Me
6. XTC - Senses Working Overtime

(My favorite)
7.Men At Work - Who Can It Be Now?
8. David Bowie - Scary Monsters

9. [HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED] - Why Should I Cry For You
10.  4 Way Street - Several Thousand  (This one I didn't really get)

Can you think of any good ones?  This was mine:

Diana Ross - Do You Know Where You're Going To?
Black Joe Lewis - Come to My Party

Monday, July 22, 2013

Under The Influence

Politi: Marvin Gaye Pat: His parent's record collection Marcy: Swinging Doors show on KEXP Jim: Literature Greg: Southern rock Debbie: Austin City Limit festival

Friday, July 19, 2013

51 Entries #2

#50 – Do You Know What I Mean by Lee Michaels

Favorite karaoke songs:
  1. Do You Know What I Mean
  2. Never Been To Spain
  3. Folsom Prison Blues
  4. Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show
  5. Loser
Songs I would like to karaoke but haven’t for whatever reason (unavailability or the below guidelines):
  1. Most anything by The Hold Steady but especially Your Little Hoodrat Friend or Cattle and the Creeping Things.
  2. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
  3. Beyond Belief by Elvis Costello
  4. Mama Told Me Not To Come (there is something about Three Dog Night and karaoke for me)
  5. R.E.M. (wrong range but I would probably still try Don't Go Back to Rockville).
  6. Pretzel Logic by Steely Dan
  7. Debra by Beck (mainly just to do the line “I said 'Lady, step into my Hyundai'”).
My Karaoke Guidelines:
  1. Know the song. Not just the chorus. Know the whole damn song.
  2. The shorter the better but four minutes is about the limit.
  3. Repetition is not your friend.
  4. Keep it in your range. This eliminates about 99% of recorded music for me.
  5. Obscurity is not your friend either.
It’s weird that I like karaoke. It is still going to be a rarity for me to get up in front of a bunch of strangers but with friends at Rock Box or something like that I have a blast. The first time I ever did it was sometime in the late 80’s at the Ram in U Village. Kim, Gene and I were roaring drunk and there was a smallish crowd in the bar and everyone absolutely sucked. Kim and I decided we would go up and do I Shot The Sheriff, and as we were heading up to where the mike was he mentioned “Oh, uh, by the way I don’t know anything but the chorus so you’ll have to do the singing.” Fucker. Later I was flirting with some girl and she offered to be my backup singer if I went back up there so had my first solo with Takin’ Care of Business. Shut up, it’s a fun song.

Anyway, even though Do You Know What I Mean flirts with breaking guidelines 3 and 5 it tops my karaoke list. It’s a song that people tend to at least recognize and the repetition gets broken up at least a little bit, plus you have the little “hoo” in the middle of it that makes it if you can hit it right. I’m also happy with it as an entry here because when I told Marcy that it was going to be next she said “That’s one of your top fifty songs?!” I thought about that and realized that this was a song I loved as a kid when it came out, have always been happy to hear, enjoy singing it 40 years later and that’s enough reason for me.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Music Club field trip

Jason Isbell is playing a show at Neumo's on Sept. 10th. Yes, it's on a lame ass Tuesday but it's also only $17 and his newest album is AMAZING and I'm DYING to hear the songs live. Cone on, I'll get the tix. You say "oh yeah".

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Houston, we have a problem.

hello, and thanks for reading. I have a few questions.

Is it possible to have lost all of my purchased music in iTunes? My phone reset itself last night out of the blue and when I tried to restore it my laptop died, well died-ish. So I got this great idea to load iTunes on my work machine and deactivate all other computers... I tried to restore my phone from the back up but it didn't take and ended up wiping the whole thing... back to it's original settings, without any music on it... and when I look at my iTunes account on the new work laptop, there's no music.


help me music club, you are my only hope.

your best friend in America,


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

51 Entries About 51 Years

#51: Impossible Things #2 by Looper

I have no idea how this is going to evolve.

Back in January 2012 I made the mistake of mentioning that enough time had passed to take on another list project; and since I was turning fifty that spring the theme was going to be Pat's Top 50 Favorite Songs. I figured that gave me at least four months to cobble a list together, or at the very worst a year and four months, since as long as I was still fifty when it came out everything would be cool.

Well, yeah. Turns out it is pretty hard. I don't have a list. Tell the truth, I haven't even thought about it all that much other than the initial brain dump of stuff I like (and as an aside this song was not on that initial list at all. Which reminds me, I never know exactly how to handle asides. My one rule of writing is to keep my writing voice as similar to my speaking voice as I can; but I go on tangents when I speak and it can be tricky to capture that on the page without rambling, such as now.) Whenever I think about diving in I feel overwhelmed and anxious and change my focus as quickly as possible.

But you gotta start somewhere. I don't know how often there will be entries, I don't know if an entry will contain multiple selections or not, I don't know if there will even be another entry much less fifty more. I do have some concept of things that will be at or near the top but other than that we are driving blind here.

I do know this: I am giving myself very wide leeway as to what constitutes an entry. It could be a single song, it could be an album or it could be a portion of an album. An entry will be whatever speaks to me. I am not limiting myself by artist or time frame either. I'm sure if and when we end I'll be disappointed by some of the stuff that is in and also about things that should be but aren't; but that just needs to be accepted up front. Really, consider this a catch-all of stuff that means something to me at the moment and that I felt the need to share.

Honesty dictates I mention that sharing is currently a bit of a challenge thanks to recurring depression and the related awkwardness and self loathing it entails. Because really, the whole idea of a list is all about sharing, since it is the emotions and experiences that we associate with a particular piece of music that makes it an all-time favorite in the first place.

Given this current state of ineptitude and introversion plus the immensity of not being able to get my head around this toxic heffalump of a project it is rather fitting to start with Impossible Things #2 by Looper. It is the story of an awkward shy boy and an awkward shy girl who write to each other (and occasionally meet) for a very long time, and it is gentle and sweet and melancholy and more often than not has me on the verge of tearing up a little bit.

For about two years in my mid-twenties I had a long distance relationship. During that time we spent probably an hour and a half on the telephone every day. When you are infatuated (in hindsight that was exactly what it was) and not able to actually see and do stuff with the person you feel this way about then phone conversations take the place of watching and learning about her from observing how she interacts with the world. They become incredibly important and confessional and relevant because at that age you are still trying to figure out who you are and what your place is in the world, and having the opportunity to do that makes you feel evolved and liberated and real and yes, in love. In time you learn its proper context and where it fits in who you are but I'm sure that's a subject for some entry down the line.

The same thing should apply with letters, so even though it is not spoken of in the song and there is a distinct impression that this could be an Impossible Thing when I listen to this I just want them to be together and young and happy; and any time you can make me feel that way about make-believe people in about five minutes then I think you've accomplished whatever goal you were aiming for.

A goal such as starting a series.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A fifth of tequila + 22 Mexican beers + 1 bottle of red wine + 1 pint of Egg nog ice Cream + 1 enchilada casserole + 6 animal spirits = A colorful night!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tomorrow's forecast lends itself to margaritas, Mexican beer and.some colorful tunes played in my ghetto backyard.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sipping some ros? in the backyard + Don Slack = bliss

Especially in March.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Way to go music clobbers!

I listened to our latest play list this morning walking the pooch. Count me as a fan.

Friday, February 22, 2013

CVB in Ballard

Hey no one said anything about Camper Van being at the Tractor tonight. Anyone going?
I can't unfortunately, but someone should.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I'll Take Care of You(r Grammy)!

Drake finally took home a trophy (sadly awarded to him though in the afternoon, non-broadcast ceremony) and these highs and lows sum it up well IMO...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My iPod just played Jim's Dirty Projectors song and Pat's Frontier Psychiatrist in a row! Great spinning iPod!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Turntable love

I love playing my albums again. What a delight. Hearing the music the way I first heard it (I swear it sounds different), it's divine. Tonight I played "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" because of an AVCLUB article.,90888/ Yes, I bought that album with my baby sitting money 40 years ago. After playing the album tonight, it was one fine purchase indeed.

Live in 2013

Okay the first show I saw in 2013 is Lady Gaga. Not something one would have predicted, but you don't know me. When she sings BORN THIS WAY my mind slips very easily into RESPECT YOURSELF (Don't tell Madonna. She'll just make a bigger stink), but I also slip into a disco version of GOLD DUST WOMAN for some reason.
Quotes from the Lady:

"I know I don't tell you very often, Ma, because I'm busy being a popstar, but I love you."

"I know your tired. You've been working all day. But I don't give a shit. Get your pussies off the floor and jump."

"I don't know why you're crying. You look gorgeous."

"Jesus is the new black."

"Even Black Jesus has no fucks to give."

Over-all it was a more adult version of Free To Be You & Me, but at one point Marlo Thomas dresses up like a motorcycle.

I enjoyed it.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I'll Take Care Of You

The chances are that not all of these links will work. Oh, well.

I first became aware of I'll Take Care Of You when it was on Mark Lanegan's album of covers (I've got to have that, right?) I liked it immediately.
It was, it turned out, a cover of this by Bobby Blue Bland. Very similar, all the way down to the organ.
Then I heard Gill Scott Heron's version in 2010. Considered it for song of the year, but it started to great on me and I didn't like it as much as the Lanegan version.
Then I considered it again in 2011, when I heard the remix by the guy from the XX.
Then I heard that Drake put his version out at the end of 2011. We all already have that version. I considered it, but I couldn't make the leap.
You may have heard this cover of Drake by Florence and the Machine. She has a tendency of making covers her own. I'll give her that.
Van Morisson and Etta James also do versions. It's agreed, then. This is a good song.
Now I hear this. There must be a million of these out there. All Music Club ready.

Friday, June 22nd?