Thursday, October 9, 2014

WIWW: Top 5 Songs That I Just Happen to be Listening to Tonight.



Yep, it's another one of those nights where YouTube is my best friend as I tune the FM dial in my head to sing along to something while I clean the kitchen.

Instead of jumping off into Freelance-Land today, I spent some of the day refining my linkedin account, my about.me page, scoping out Content Mills and generally getting acquainted with this world. I spent the rest of the day spinning around in another existential crisis: What's my niche? Do I have a niche? Is it important to have a niche? Should I spell it with the fancy é? OH LOOK! KITTEN VIDEOS!

Then, I took a nap.

If I'm going to do this, then I am going to have to get cozy with my old nemesis...

...Top 5 Lists...

My Top 5 for tonight are all the songs that have just plopped themselves down in front of me and begged for my attention. They have floated down my stream of consciousness and embedded themselves in my brain, I hope they do the same for you.

Enjoy...

#5 The Five Stairsteps: "O-o-h Child"

The first on the list is the first in my head as I stack dishes near the sink. Instead of succumbing to the dread of dishpan hands, I start singing the first few bars, and all of a sudden, my world turns a certain shade of Kodachrome. I grew up with this song. This song might have gone the way of just about every other song from the early 70s and just vanished. Luckily, the melody and message is timeless and has fortunately been rediscovered and covered every five years or so since its first release in 1970, most recently in the film, "Guardians of the Galaxy". This song is cherished to the point of being regarded as an American standard, and I have no problem with that. Yes child, things will get easier and you will walk around in the beautiful sun. You can't get much more positive than that, some days. Go ahead sing and rejoice. Sing and let the spirit move you. Sing along...you know you want to...ya turdblossoms! :)







#4 The Left Banke: "Just Walk Away, Reneé" (yay! I get to use fancy é!)

All it takes is one song from a particular time, and I just can't seem to walk away from it easily. If I think of one song, then another one invites itself in. Then another. Then another. And before I realize it, it's 3 in the morning and found myself still trying to stump YouTube, and then giving up and watching more cat videos. I fear it has bested me again (shakes fist in air). I was barely walking when most of these songs were released, and yet I remember them all. I blame Casey Kasem. A favorite and a staple of the Chamber Rock era, here is The Left Banke with the often covered, "Just Walk Away, Reneé". (yay! I get to use it again!)







#3 Colin Blunstone: "Caroline Goodbye"

Still riding that wave of childhood memories when I would sequester my mother's reel-to-reel player, slap on my pair of Realistic NOVA 40 Hi Fi Stereo Headphones (suck it, Beats by Dré....YAY! AGAIN!!!) and fall in love with a mix tape that my uncle made for her. It was all greatest hits by The Zombies. Side two was more Zombies with a few solo tracks from former lead singer, Colin Blunstone. My uncle is an audiophile. Maybe it was the way he manipulated the levels just right, maybe it was the headphones, but I searched high and low for an original recording; When I found it again years later, it was digitally remastered, and lost that lovely, cavernous, Phil Spector-type quality that went along with accommodating a full orchestra at the time. Thanks to the internet and a generation of people who just won't let vinyl die (thank you, by the way) I have found something close to what I was looking for. The acoustic solo stays with me. It's a scene from some French movie that I will never confess weeping to. It's the morning fog that rolls in off the ocean on an overcast autumn day. It's the memory of someone I can never let go...give a listen, you'll know what I mean.







#2 Bill Withers "Hope She'll be Happier"

Again, going back to my mother's reel-to-reel and pilfering her mix tapes, the other one that has stayed with me over the years is Bill Withers' "Hope She'll be Happier". Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he recorded this song more than once? I'm not sure. Again, maybe it was the strict recording practices my uncle enforces on everything he plays and listens to, maybe it was my headphones, maybe it was where my head was at at the time and looking back with an older set of ears... Maybe it wasn't the song the way it was, but it was the song the way I wanted to remember it, I have yet to find the one recording that is just right. The Goldilocks version, as it were. The only one that comes close (that still exists) is his recording from his concert at Carnegie Hall. Stark, haunting, deeply moving. Carnegie Hall is famous for its acoustics, which is why you can almost hear a pin drop from the audience when he hits that one, glorious, rip-your-heart-out-of-your-chest note. One of my favorites...






#1 Chris and Thomas: "Incarnation Song"

I know, I know...quite the shock to go from an all 70s lineup to a song that was released a couple of years ago. It was around the time earlier this evening when I got the notion to compile this list when I turned on my Spotify player. I had forgotten I had added this recently. I fell in love with the harmonies and rich, cavernous recording quality. Not much to know about this American Folk duo who has spent a lot of time playing in British pubs, other than they're a favorite over at NPR, they score films, and they love to cook. First few notes hooked me right away and I must remember to buy this album soon. Tell me what you think of this....






Right. Well, off to bed now. I suppose I needed these tunes to ease my mind tonight while I focus on the task at hand. Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity. Thank you for sticking around, and I hope you enjoyed.

What are the top 5 songs you're listening to right now?