Archive for September, 2011

Five Songs, Part 49

September 30, 2011

Hi, and welcome back to Five Songs, where you never know what’s gonna set some crumbling memory flake to falling from the walls of the remote reaches of the insides of my brain.

Well, the initial flake-off this week came from a friend who posted on Facebook that she was looking for some dharma. And I suggested Buck Dharma … of Blue Oyster Cult. And put up this song from the end of their golden age of leather. Dreams So Real was another serious memory flake from nowhere; “Bearing Witness” is one of those songs I’d love to record one day. And Lady Flash? Whoa — that’s one, all right. Definitely mid-’70s New York meets Motown.

Anyway, here’s the rest. Enjoy the dying hours of September:

Can’t Get Over These Memories — John and the Weirdest

Mirrors — Blue Oyster Cult

Bearing Witness — Dreams So Real

Where Have All the Good Times Gone? — The Kinks

Street Singin’ — Lady Flash

Five Songs, Part 48

September 23, 2011

Was thinking of a doing a (More Than) Five (R.E.M.) Songs; we’ll see. But here’s the usual not-so-usual fare for this week.

And BTW: the Springsteen tune was a mere coincidence, a free-association from the song inspired by “Kitty’s Back.” I had forgotten that today’s his 62nd birthday. I’m sure he wasn’t thinking about his 60s when he said “When you’re getting old, these things mean something” that night in Passaic when he was just about to turn 29:

10-5-60 — The Long Ryders

Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone? — Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

The Boys Are Back in Town — Thin Lizzy

Kitty’s Back (Part 1 & Part 2, Capitol Theatre, Passaic, N.J., 9/20/78) — Bruce Springsteen

Kid — The Pretenders

Lesson (re)learned at a wedding

September 19, 2011

Went to the wedding of two wonderful people, Jay and Brooke, last evening. They held it at a friend’s beautiful, estate-sized, ’50s-vintage ranch home east of here, with a sprawling, tree-canopied and gorgeous back yard where the ceremony took place. The bride was radiant to say the least, the groom was dapper and the guests were gorgeous.

And the dinner was also outside, under a chandelier hung amid a perfect sky and perfect temps. And during one of the toasts, Heather, the maid of honor — like Brooke, a local theater person of renown — told of their bonding moment, during a production Brooke was directing a few years ago. Actually, the two of them acted it out:

Brooke: Why does everything have to be so harrrd?

Heather: Because if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth doing!

And as we laughed, I kinda realized that this has been the story of my life the last three or four years. And it’s probably a good way of summing up many of your lives, too.

So I came away with a pretty nifty gift of my own from the wedding …

Five Songs, Part 47

September 16, 2011

Okay, here’s what. and What. And, in one case, Wot. Five Songs asks a lot more questions than can be answered in five songs this week.And since I’m slowly rounding back for the moment into newspaper work for the moment, I’ll forgo most of the questions a reporter is supposed to ask — Who? What? Where? When? Why? etc. — and settle on What?

And the weird thing is it all started with a jagged memory from the mid-’80s — free-associating from reading about Anthrax playing the Big 4 concert with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth this week at Yankee Stadium. Free-associating back to the pre-Anthrax S.O.D. days.

So anyway, what are you up to this weekend?

And BTW: This is not meant to be a comprehensive list … just what struck me at the time:

What’s That Noise? — S.O.D.

What? — Judy Street

What? — Soft Cell

Wot — Captain Sensible

What Am I Going to Do? — The Dovers

What’s the Matter With You, Baby? — Marvin Gaye & Mary Wells

What’s Love Got to Do With It? — Tina Turner

What Does It Take to Win Your Love? — Jr. Walker & the All-Stars

What About Me? — Quicksilver Messenger Service

What Do You Dream Of? — Marshall Crenshaw

What Can I Say? — Boz Scaggs

What’s Going On? — Marvin Gaye

“What’s Happening?” intro

What Is Life? — George Harrison

What’s My Name? — The Clash

What’s My Scene? — Hoodoo Gurus

What’s This Shit Called Love? — The Pagans

What’s This Shit Called Love? — The Meatmen

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? — Elvis Costello & the Attractions

Five Songs, Part 46

September 9, 2011

Five Songs this week isn’t entirely at random. One song relates to me tentatively rejoining the workforce today after 2 1/2 years of unemployment. And a couple others were inspired by a long chat I had the other night with someone back East who, until now, was an online friend. Four years after we virtually met in the myspace days, we had a nice, long talk, and it was great.

And thus, I end the week on a high note — or several:

The Golden Age of Leather — Blue Oyster Cult

Got a Job — The Miracles

Bar-B-Q — Wendy Rene

I Can Hear Music — She & Him

Come Anytime — Hoodoo Gurus

We interrupt this unemployment …

September 9, 2011

Well, I’m not sure whether I should say something — jinxing myself, etc. — but barring any last-second glitches, I’m about to re-enter the working world. At least for now. And in a twist of something, it will be at the very same place that laid me off. Go figure.


Five Songs, Part 45

September 2, 2011

Howdy. Here’s the Labor Day edition of Five Songs — all songs guaranteed at random from the recesses of my cluttered skull. (You should see all the records and CDs strewn about on my mental floor — reminds me of my apartment in Westville.) Anyway, go enjoy …

Boy Blue — Electric Light Orchestra

Claudette — The Everly Brothers

We Got More Soul — Dyke & the Blazers

You Don’t Love Me — The Epitome of Sound

Seether — Veruca Salt

The winter of discord, discontent, dislocation and discombobulation (Dancing on the Cliff’s Edge, Part 2)

September 2, 2011

Ready to roll again as winter turned to spring. The new bike before its first ride, April 2011.

For Part 1 of this epic, click here.

Mid-January. My final night in Connecticut, I stayed with my dear Paola in New Haven, had one final New Haven pizza at Abate’s, and she drove me to the Connecticut Limo airport service at Long Wharf in the morning. It would bring me to Bradley, where I took off for Oakland, a night’s layover in San Francisco, and then, begrudgingly, back to the Big No. (But my plane did take off from Bradley six hours before the start of the Blizzard of 2011 – the worst since ’78, which dropped about three feet of snow in the Northeast.)

I had been hoping someone would call me about a job while I was home – especially since I included that little tidbit in the cover letter, and told New York employers it would be nothing for me to get on Metro-North and head in to see them.

Well, wouldn’t you know? The limo van was somewhere between North Haven and Wallingford when my job cell phone rang. It was a girl from a PR place in New York where I had sent one of my résumés. She asked me, “Well, how serious are you about coming back East?” I told her, “Well, most of my stuff is packed; all it would take is someone offering me a job.”

She told me to call her when I got back East. Not “Well, we think you’re good enough to want to interview” — it was, “We don’t want you unless you’re here.” Wonderful. Just wonderful. Just my timing. Just my luck.

And thus began my winter of discord, discontent, dislocation and discombobulation.