Waking Ear

We have a pact, you and I. I write down what song I had in my head when I woke up in the morning. And, maybe, why. You click on "What's in your waking ear?" and tell me what's in your head right now. We discover new music and maybe learn something about how our minds work. Yeah?

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"Sweet Baby James"/James Taylor - I dug out my James Taylor Greatest Hits CD (Phantroll: wince) last week after not having listened to it since college. My plan was to have something soothing to listen to in the car to stop me from yelling at drivers. I also like to torture Phant when he's in the passenger seat. Anyway, today, after listening to a few songs, I realized I wasn't necessarily soothed. I was kinda sad. I forgot I used to listen to James Taylor almost every day when I was in Spain, because his voice was so bland and middle-American that it reminded me of home.

Usually I could drown out the song and concentrate on Spanish literature or whatever, but one line from "Sweet Baby James" -- a song I otherwise hated -- always made me homesick. (Forgive the corniness of the "frostin" and "Boston" rhyme.)

"Now the first of December was covered with snow
And so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston
Lord, the Berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go"

I'd think: Snow! Boston! Road trips! And here I am in freaking Madrid with no one who speaks my language...

Isn't it funny how the grass is always greener?

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

U2 "Where the Streets Have No Names" -I was in the shower last night. (yeah, I know, pretty damn sexy). And as the water was running down the front of my bare chest and towards my nether regions (okay, that's gross) I was overcome with singing. I started signing this song and is subsequently is stuck in my head this morning. This is my all time favorite song to sing in the shower. I have some other favorites and I'd like for y'all to list some of your favorites if you have any. If you are not a shower singer, you should be because, why not?

"Leif Erikson" -Interpol
"You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You" -Dean Martin
"Levitz (birdless)- Grandaddy
"Alabama Song" -The Doors
"Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" -The Beatles

Anybody Else

Monday, March 29, 2004

OutKast/"Ghettomusick" -- Why wasn't this a bigger hit? "The Way You Move" had what Inskeep called the "salsa-tastic" vibe, and we all know about the universal appeal of "Hey Ya." But I'm even hearing the feces-referencing "Roses" on the radio more than I did "Ghettomusick," which seemed to me to be a pretty natural progression from "B.O.B."

Was "Ghettomusick" just to dance-y for hip-hop radio? Was the abrupt cut into the Patti LaBelle sample too disjointed? Or is my memory just too short and the song actually got pretty good play?

Friday, March 26, 2004

Prince/"When Doves Cry" -- I used to be one of the karaoke doubters. It seemed silly and self-demeaning, like reading your bad poetry in a coffee shop or standing naked in front of everyone for shock value.

But alcohol changed all that. With alcohol, karaoke becomes a socially acceptable way to unleash your inhibitions, to pretend you are someone famous, to scream, to dance, in front of other people. It's thrilling and challenging -- Can I get the crowd riled up? Did I pick the right song for the right moment? Am I going to fall over?

Girlfriend and I performed the dark, lovely Prince ditty last night, and I think things went pretty well. We stared lovingly into each other's eyes and sang "I feel the heat -- the heat between me and you." But I think my all-time-best karaoke performance was Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus." I really let loose with the swagger.

Thank you, alcohol, from the bottom of my liver.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Chicago medley/Samsung style

I was attending a trade show for my client this past week and part of the "entertainment" for our booth was a Chicago-themed medley. Starting with a Latifah-esque actress singing that "mama" song. Followed by three women and a man dressed in skimpy outfits telling the audience how they were imprisoned for not being able to deal with their significant others' bad cell phones. If only they had gotten the Samsung!! (this was sung to the tune of "they had it comin')
Lastly, we all were treated to a group rendition of "All that Jazz"

I had to listen to this medley about 7 times a day, for three days.
I can't take it anymore. And it's been stuck in my ear for that long. All night. Never leaving.
If I never hear the music to Chicago again, I will be a happy happy girl.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I would totally love to post a song, but I'm up to my ears in search warrant affidavits, phone calls, county commissioners and attorneys. FUN.

I would pose a musical-related question to ya'll, but I'm at a loss.

Maybe songs and artists usually blamed by parents for causing destructive behavior? Or songs that mention toilets?

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I really don't have a song in my head today. So instead of not posting or trying to come up with something intelligent to talk about, I am going to tell a joke I hadn't heard before. I am surprised to know that this passed my childhood by.

"Knock. Knock."

"Who's there?"


"Pee Who?"

"What? Do I stink or something?"

Monday, March 22, 2004

Memo to TV on the Radio's sound guy: the vocals were way, way, way too high, and the guitar was inexplicably buried. I'm not normally picky about sound, but that show at Hailey's in Denton was crap.

It would've been nice to hear the band under more acceptable conditions, though those cool harmonies and vocal effects proved impossible to reproduce live.

Friday, March 19, 2004

N.E.R.D.'s new song "She Wants to Move" from the upcoming Fly or Die has all the necessary components -- a jittery beat, a viral hook and Pharrell's strangely adorable rock scream. It's a little more clubby than most of the N.E.R.D. stuff, and that ain't bad.

I like Pharrell because he loves music. Sometimes you can just tell. Bands who love clothes or being in bands or drugs or whatever -- not so much. I don't care if it's pop or rock or hip-hop or whatever, I just like it when they add those little flourishes here or there that make it obvious that they've been listening to music since they were born and need it pulsing in their ventricles.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

"KC Accidental"/ Broken Social Scene

After The Unicorns canceled their show last night (apparently one of the band members was having Visa troubles and couldn't leave Canada), Phantroll and I decided to see this Canadian band instead. (and a big thank you to him as he has seen them before)

What a great show! Seeing this band last night was a perfect fit for the mood I was in. Extremely tired. Pissed about work BS. Yet still wanting to feel inspired...ta-da! Broken Social Scene.

Not knowing much about the band or their current album, You Forgot It In People, I went to the show with an open mind. This song was one of the first they played and I really enjoyed it. A transfer from a standard 4/4 beat to a 3/3 beat - forgive if I'm using the incorrect terminology; apparently my knowledge of 5 years in band are withering away -
I love when bands switch up the beat. It makes me think, wow - this band has their shit together. B/c it's not the easiest thing to do that.
Well, point being, this song is a great example of flipping the beat back and forth. And overall, a thumbs up to the show. I popped the CD in this morning and am thoroughly enjoying it.

On an additional note, listen to BSS's "Anthems for a 17-Year Old Girl" and you'll hear a song that scares Phantroll. Creepy-time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Decemberists/ "Red Right Ankle" -- Continuing on the SXSW-visits-Dallas tip, Phant and I saw the Decemberists last night in Denton. I hadn't heard many of their songs beforehand, but I absolutely LOVED this show. (Save, at first, for the lead singer's slightly annoying, fake-English voice... but it grew on me after a few songs.) "Red Right Ankle" was among my favorites, where an ankle and its accompanying leg are compared to a choice encounter between two people. There's probably several other metaphors in there that I probably didn't get, so feel free to click on the song link and read it for yourselves.

Some of the songs do feel a little too erudite, to quote Pitchfork. But they've got a hold on my brain now -- I feel like Googling as many songs as I can and reading them all like short stories.....

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The Righteous Brothers/ "Unchained Melody"

Last night, Bri-ness, Phant, Chelle, and I went to Denton to see The French Kicks and The Walkmen. A really great show. I was impressed with The French Kicks new stuff as, but Phant was right that it lacked the three part harmonies that they used to exercise more...but then, as I have shown before, I am a harmony whore. The Walkmen were amazing as well and as Bri-ness pointed out last night, the lead singer of the Walkmen's voice DOES have a Bob Dylan quality to it with it's swooping vocals. Of course, it also reminds me of all the Discord label vocals as well. Great entertainers...all of them.

On the way home, we began talking about a new sing along mix and "Unchained Melody" is one of those songs that I suggested. Of course I made one of my grandiose statements like, "one of my top ten songs of all time". Of course, I say that a couple of dozen times a day.

Monday, March 15, 2004

TV On The Radio/"Staring at the Sun" -- I'm worried. Last week, Chelle discovered that TV On The Radio and the Wrens were playing at Hailey's up in Denton, Dallas' goofy college-town cousin. But now I can't find tickets where they're supposed to be, and the Wrens' site lists no tour date, and the booking agency makes no mention of the Wrens being on the bill.

Please, Wrens, come to see us.

Friday, March 12, 2004

I had to disappoint somebody today. I'm terrible at it. I'm better at confrontations than I used to be, but I'm still not very good at letting people down. In this case, it was not that I did something wrong, just that I made a decision that was good for me but that was not what someone else wanted. An "it's not you, it's me" thing. (Not relationship-related; Girlfriend and I are fine.) It was about as fun as dental work.

Anybody got a good cheer-up song?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

"Deathly" by Aimee Mann; Magnolia Soundtrack

In between my snoozes (I usually do 3 to 4 - is that a lot?) this morning, portions of this song were stirring around. I grabbed the cd and listed to it on the way to work this morning. I didn't know much about Aimee Mann before this soundtrack, but I've become a fan.
Reading the liner notes, it amazes me that PT Anderson framed the entire movie around this song, beginning with the openning line:
Now that I've met you, would you object to, never seeing each other again?

The song goes on about the fear of falling for someone, being hurt. The idea that it may be better to not let yourself go at all.
On a personal level, I can understand these ideas and I think that's one of the reasons I have grown to enjoy Aimee's music so much. As PT Anderson says, she writes lines that are so simple and direct...she is a great articulator of the biggest things we think about.

Also, I would just like to say how I enjoy soundtracks featuring one main artist. Gives some consistency to the feel. About a Boy from Badly Drawn Boy is a good example. Are there others to mention?

PS - it's nice to have time to post again!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

"The Angels Rejoiced" -Dolly Parton and Sonya Issacs

This cover of the Louvin Brothers' is absolutely amazing. Was listening to it this morning before going to work because it makes me happy. Whenever I hear harmonies as intricate as these two singers create, I am floored. For some reason, no matter the genre, no matter the song, I can find myself enjoying it. I feel like harmonies are lost in rock and roll today outside of a singer who records over his own vocals. Anybody else feel this way?

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Girlfriend's offsite today, and I was too busy to post yesterday, so I'll fill in now. Just want to point you all to our friend Paz's latest experiment in sound under his stage name, DJ Demasiado: "It Ain't Hard to Tell (Fallin' in Love Again)." He's doing some Kanye shit to Joni Mitchell, and the results are fun.

Check out his other stuff while you're over there.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Exploding Hearts/"You're Black and Blue" -- I like when you know a song's title just by listening to the song. I think the Exploding Hearts had this down. This decade's best reminder, thus far, to buckle up.

I'm still burrowing through records I missed from last year, and haven't listened to much 2004 music. It's kind of nice to not worry about staying up to date. 2003 was a pretty good year anyway. Why leave?

For the last couple of days, I've been trying to think of a really good record that would've been better sans one of the members, a la Schmubb's misguided take on Led Zeppelin. Nevermind without Dave Grohl? Nah.

But I did think of a great movie that could've been better without one of its main (albeit secondary) characters. Dumb and Dumber's only critical flaw was the presence of one Karen Duffy, formerly known as MTV VJ "Duff." Every time I see her spit out her water in a poorly rendered imitation of surprise or whine, "C'mon, let me do him!" in some weird Northeastern accent, it makes me cringe.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

"Stairway to Heaven" -Led Zepplin

The perfect finale to a middle school dance when you are circling the room looking for a girl who might, just might, want to dance with me...a short fat kid with a terrible sense of humor.

Robert Plant= weak link of Led Zepplin. Maybe I am the only one who actually thinks this. I am not trying to imply that Robert Plant wasn't amazing, but he really was the weakest link. John Paul Jones, John Bohnam, and Jimmy Page were just out of this world. I want an album where they have all the songs of Led Zepplin in the correct album order only without the scream of Robert Plant. I bet it rocks even harder.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Dilemma: Two bands, one night. Broken Social Scene or Unicorns? Thoughts?


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