Let's see here... Odelay! by Beck? No, I refuse to talk about this album. I'm not going to change anyone's mind on it; it's one of those records that you either love or hate. Furthermore, people have discussed this album to death. People were so convinced of Beck's genius after this record came out that he had no choice but to disappear up his own ass in a self-defensive fit of ego-stroking. I'm not going to add to that train wreck, nosiree.
Moving on... I notice I Just Can't Help It by The English Beat. I bought this album solely for the song "Mirror In The Bathroom". Actually, I'm going to play that song now that I'm thinking about it. It's absolutely classic; all of the promise of ska wrapped up into one infectious, extremely danceable package. I was probably eight or nine when I first heard this song (thanks to an older brother who was discovering New Wave). It definitely lives in a special place in my heart; you can dole out equal blame to English Beat and John Coltrane for my later interest in the saxaphone. In fact, I'm sitting in front of the computer now with the goofiest smile on my face as I nod my head to the beat. I was about to decry the lack of songs like this on modern radio, but then I remembered No Doubt's "Hey Baby", undoubtedly one of the top ten singles of 2002 so far. It's good to remember why I initially twigged onto No Doubt when they first came out; after a period of slogging through the doldrums of proving they were, like, SERIOUS MUSICIANS, they seem to have remembered that the reason they picked up their instruments in the first place was because they liked to party. Nowadays, I'm finding it rare to find unapologetically fun songs on the radio, so hearing No Doubt return to their roots is captivating to me.
Moving on from English Beat, I'm going to stroke my ego a little bit and play a song recorded at the last Concordia Society concert where I had a solo. The song, "Trois Beaux Oiseaux du Paradis" by Maurice Ravel, is an absolutely gorgeous a capella number with oodles and oodles of lush harmonies that features a soprano soloist, but has little bits for an alto, tenor and BARITONE. I don't mean to sound egotistical, but MAN did I nail that baritone solo! Listening to things like this adds ammo to the little voice inside of me that keeps saying, "SCREW your day job, go all-out with the singing thing!" Then, I remember that we have bills to pay and sanity reasserts itself. At any rate, if Joei is successful, then I'll be able to live a life a relative leisure which will allow time to do more singing. YAY! (No pressure, honey.) Okay, I have to take this off before I break my arm patting myself on the back.
"Shake Dog Shake" by The Cure. I haven't heard this song in AGES. Man, it's just as brilliant as it was the first time I heard it. I remember that very well; I was 16 and had just grabbed a copy of the tape at a local record store. The only thing I knew about The Top was that its single was "The Caterpillar", so I was approaching this album with the expectation it was going to be a frothy, sunny romp. OH HOW WRONG I WAS. From the opening drum rool, my attention was ensared. I played that cassette five times straight through, marvelling at how disjointed the songs were. But, even as the differences leapt out at me, I couldn't imagine ten songs that fit together quite so well as the ten songs on this album. There was a good long period of time where I wasn't sure if my favorite Cure album was The Top or Pornography. The presence of "Siamese Twins" eventually tipped the scales for Pornography, but listening to the deranged guitar harmonics and pounding drums of this song makes me wonder if I made the correct decision...
Hmm, after ten o'clock. I need to go now. How funny; I'm certain this is the longest entry I've ever written to this blog and I didn't even know what I was going to say before I sat down. I'm sure tomorrow I'll have an editing frenzy fixing typos and fleshing out disjointed thoughts, but at the moment I'm thinking that that nothing gets the old fingers typing quite like vodka. (No Mom, I'm not an alcoholic. Stop worrying. Heh, it's not like you read this site, anyway.)