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List of the Moment No. 12

No introduction required, but briefly…

The List will be up generally on Tuesdays. As ever, the list is broad-ranging and is a simple collection of what I am listening to or discovering at any given moment. The list is myriad – diverse, because my taste in music runs the gamut and I also sometimes include what I’m not so keen on to get a reaction and to see how others respond, to get valuable input, as well. Enough introduction – likely you know the list already and if not, you’ll catch on very quickly. Thanks, as ever, for tuning in.
s.r.p.

“Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds – A huge eighties club band, Simple Minds had many great hits and that echoed through the black-painted walls of clubs with names like “Spit” (or at least the ones I remember) and while I may have heard this at Palladium once or twice, it wasn’t that kind of song. It was, to be sure a fun and still memorable song, but never one that I heard while out in the larger venues. Simple Minds is a memorable band and for die-hard fans there is a great site with everything from discography to tour dates, a tour diary and even a shop (but likely you would know this already.)

“The Ghost in You” and “Love My Way” by the Psychedelic Furs – Is it that mercury-like, ethereal voice of Richard Butler that makes the Furs? It’s a voice drenched in mercury and just one too many cigarettes and yet it works here. The songs and I apologize, I could not choose just one, and each has its merit. “Love My Way” may be more assertive (and in some ways could be construed as a very early precursor to David Garza’s “Kinder” – which made The List a few times back and is worth more than a listen).

“Which Will” by Nick Drake – Life is full of choices, and Drake is not about to let whoever the subject of this song is off the hook, swinging casually between he and some other. She will have to choose and though the choice may not be easy, it is one that must be made. Drake doesn’t sing this song as any kind of ultimatum or threat, but more as a kind of rumination. Drake’s death, much like Jeff Buckley’s (and the two have been compared in many ways), was never completely cleared of suicide. Drake, like his music, always had a mournful side to him and his lyrics and this song in particular bears that out (well, almost any Drake song does…). “Which Will’s” lyrics:

    Which will you go for
    Which will you love
    Which will you choose from
    From the stars above
    Which will you answer
    Which will you call
    Which will you take for
    For your one and all
    And tell me now
    Which will you love the best.

    Which do you dance for
    Which makes you shine
    Which will you choose now
    If you won’t choose mine
    Which will you hope for
    Which can it be
    Which will you take now
    If you won’t take me
    And tell now
    Which will you love the best.

I’m not sure he needs to say, or I need to say more than he’s said there. That pretty much sums it up.

“Oceanside” by the Decemberists – This song I had not heard until relatively recently and the words here are full of wist and want and the whole “if… then” equation of love, that it just works. If he could only get the “sweet Annabelle” oceanside, then it would all work out. His self-deprecation doesn’t come off as self-pity here – it comes off as his own sincere concern and desire to be quite simply good enough. That’s my take. A pretty song that sticks very fast the way certain melodies just catch. Nothing too complicated here, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a worthwhile song… it doesn’t have to move mountains or have some huge social meaning to be important to you personally or to have personal meaning, amen.

“Napoleon” by Ani de Franco – An excellent fuck-you song when required and right up there with my much beloved but impossible to find Dean and the Weanies “Fuck You.” (Everyone’s a Fuckin’ ) Napoleon is what the title here says: that at the end of the day, no matter what you are promised and by whom, that people will ultimately not only live up to your negative expectations of them, they will surpass them. Ultimately, this is a song about being let down by just about everyone and although the target here may be the collective “they” of the music industry (one gathers from the lyrics), the sentiment could be taken that much further and is felt more deeply and is carried forward into such songs as “Untouchable Face.”

“Southern Mark Smith” by Jazz Butcher – Though not so well-known in this country (apparently), Jazz Butcher doesn’t get their due or the chance to get their due. “Southern Mark Smith”, for example, is one of the best songs you could ever hope to hear if for nothing but the jingle-jangle guitar. All the elements fall into place and it’s just right. You can buy Jazz Butcher through Amazon (see link below) as part of a two-CD boxed set and I highly recommend the songs “The Human Jungle” and “Just Like Betty Page,” but there are so many it’s hard to pick one over another. Expensive, so you may wish to try downloading first – if so, try this first or “The Human Jungle.”

“Jesus Was Way Cool” by King Missile – Well, wasn’t he? Is it wrong to point out his good points? Granted, so much of what King Missile does is tongue-in-cheek but nothing they say here is untrue – or biblically untrue anyway. And more, all of it is said with a good sense of humor, a healthy ribbing, not a hurtful tease or a nastiness (you know how that can get ~ such a fine line and that can so easily be tipped. It takes skill to walk that line.) Not everybody has that skill. What I like in this case is that you can be (as I am), quite religious and (I was not anyway) in the least offended by this song (or by “Dear God” by XTC or any other for that matter so maybe I have a higher threshold?) From the same band who bought you “Sensitive Artist” I would expect nothing less than their very best effort and hey, what better time of year to listen to this? I admit, there is a fair amount of tongue-in-cheek aspect and they are being cheeky, but it wouldn’t be funny without that… if you’re easily offended, don’t bother. If not, anything by King Missile is damn funny.

“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak – This song has been stuck in my head lately like a record on repeat that just won’t move forward or whose arm is set to repeat the way a song gets stuck in anyone’s head from time to time. In this case, I thank my personal god that it’s not a bad song at all.

Was it Twin Peaks that used this song? I can’t recall now, but it was one such popular television program which then added further to the already popular song. The whole notion of ‘not wanting to fall in love’ and the last part, almost an afterthought, ‘with you.’ This is the most haunting song of the whole list here — and the final line here — “nobody loves no-one” could send a shiver up you spine were you to believe it as true. Clearly, it is the guitar and the bass that make this song, and Isaak’s own haunting, lilting and southern-accented voice.

The only time I saw Isaak live was at an impromptu performance at a downtown crossing where he leapt from overhang to overhang of department stores with a microphone singing “Wicked Game.” He was like a snake moving among the crowd, making eye-contact with the women, almost predatory in his manner and it worked. There was something slightly unnerving about the whole thing and there is something slightly unnerving about this song.

“Our House” by Madness – Was literally a song about OUR house, which made this song work because so many people likely felt the same way with the same super-imposed chaos. With so many siblings and comings and goings, not much changed even as we got older. Everybody always had, and still has, a key to my (as the oldest) place, so there you have it. It was the kind of working-class song that came on and just made everybody happy at this time, much the way Cindi Lauper made everyone happy as well with her working class roots presenting a united front. “Our House” had a similar effect. From the same group that brought us the great song and the great video that went with it “One Step Beyond” …. Who could forget.

Thanks for helping us remember.

s.r.p.

About Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti

  • http://gohah.blogspot.com Gordon Hauptfleisch

    Sadi–I agree about Richard Butler’s voice. He really shows it off to full force in Psych Fur’s “Into You Like A Train”–from first or seconnd LP, which I think is about as hard-edged as they got.

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi ranson-polizzotti

    Richard Butler has a unique, one-of-a-kind voice, but it’s sort of reedy and think and mercury like with a sort of power behind that wants to come out but that sometimes (to me anywa) doesn’t always quite get through (on every song anyway ~ They weren’t a hard-edged band in my view, and others can disagree, but i’m not sure they wanted to be. Hard edged would have been what i was going to put on the list and will be on next week’s list… ; ) I just need to double check some basic research on it first…

    i liked the Furs a lot and i’ve been listening to them a lot lately to see what it was i was really into so much (tho they do bring back so vivid memories of exboyfriend that i’d rather avoid… *ugh*) … such is life.

    I found this for anyone interested – it’s the closest i could find to an official site…

    Furs

  • http://chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Great list Sadi! Simple Minds and the Furs were two of my favorite bands in the late 80′s…great song choices. Jim Kerr is such a great singer, he really has a way of inviting the crowd into the song when he performs. I had no idea they were still touring, I’m definitely going to try to check them out if they do any US dates.

    Madness is great, I love that song, if only for the nostalgia—nostalgia for the song itself, and the time it played, and also for growing up in a house full of siblings (i’m the youngest).

    ooohhhh and Chris Isaak….I don’t remember exactly how old I was when that song came out…maybe 13-ish? But I do remember that it was the FIRST song to ever actually turn me on! HOTT!!

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi ranson-polizzotti

    hey Chantal ~ ! glad you found The List — have tons to say but must dash to an appointment but yeah, check out the sites i listed (i think i built in the links so should be easy enough).

    Chris Isaak is amazing… or that song was ~ not sure of his other stuff; was he, and pardon me for not knowing (do not jump down throat) a one hit wonder or did he do some other gret stuff… ?

    i know he’s pretty much remembered for Wicked Game … He was amazing that day i saw him by chance – i think it was a publicity stunt but a good one at that… till the cops came and ruined it but it was cool cool cool… very neat stuff….

    more later… must dash or i’ll be late… it’s SNOWING here!!!!! How absurd is THAT!!~ just great….

    cheers and speak more soon…where’s Steve, et all? i didn’t see a post from him yet? or Scott for that matter…

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi ranson-polizzotti

    hey Chantal ~ ! glad you found The List — have tons to say but must dash to an appointment but yeah, check out the sites i listed (i think i built in the links so should be easy enough).

    Chris Isaak is amazing… or that song was ~ not sure of his other stuff; was he, and pardon me for not knowing (do not jump down throat) a one hit wonder or did he do some other gret stuff… ?

    i know he’s pretty much remembered for Wicked Game … He was amazing that day i saw him by chance – i think it was a publicity stunt but a good one at that… till the cops came and ruined it but it was cool cool cool… very neat stuff….

    more later… must dash or i’ll be late… it’s SNOWING here!!!!! How absurd is THAT!!~ just great….

    cheers and speak more soon…where’s Steve, et all? i didn’t see a post from him yet? or Scott for that matter…

  • Steve

    Re. The Furs, I only have their small UK top 40 hit “Heaven” and their US Top 40 hit “Heartbreak Beat” but “Love My Way” was pretty good too, though I was never a huge fan of theirs.

    Simple Minds are one of my all-time faves, I even prefer them to U2!! Their 1989 UK #1 “Belfast Child” is my all-time favorite song. I’ve got most of their albums from 1982 onwards, their last album, “Black & White 050505″ just came out last year but I haven’t seen it in stores here.

    Funny, Madness took a while to grow on me, I did not like their early stuff at all, but by the time “Our House” came out, my resistance to them was starting to drop. I have their 24 track best of “Divine Madness”, which is great if you like that kind of funny Brit stuff. They came out with their first album in 6 years last year, a series of covers (mostly reggae) called “The Dangermen Sessions Vol. 1″.

    Re. Chris Isaak, yeah, when I think of 1989-1990 period, this is definitely a song that comes to mind, really drips with atmosphere. The only other songs I have of his are “Blue Hotel” and “Don’t Make Me Dream About You”, both from 1991.

  • Steve

    Yeah, Sadi, I think Isaak only had 2 or 3 albums total but he did have a very risque TV series on in the 90′s whose name escapes me ’cause I never watched it really.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    that Isaak tune sure could have been used in twin peaks.

    Psychedelic Furs…hoooboy, remind me of when i used to put on records in college and hurl myself against the wall just for fun.

  • http://gohah.blogspot.com Gordon Hauptfleisch

    “Into You Like a Train” was on the same album as a more appealingly raucous original version of “Pretty in Pink.” Butler decried the commercial direction the band was “hauled” into but I’m thinking he didn’t mind the fame and money too, too, much.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    he certainly didn’t mind the ‘commercial direction’ he took when opening for the Go-Go’s and the B-52′s a few years ago.

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi ranson-polizzotti

    sorry all – i’ve been away and will be away for few days as well (not like you need me here anyway) but stll… yeah, Mark S. – i thought that song was used in Twin Peaks but mabye i’m conflating two weird things…. very possible…lol.. pray they have internet access were i’m going… hope so…

  • Steve

    Apparently Sadi, the song was used in the David Lynch film “Wild At Heart” in 1990.

    I will pray they have internet access for you, Sadi, I know how much you love your computer!!

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi ranson-polizzotti

    Isaak’s done some intersting stuff.. i should Google him… no doubt he has a fan site of some sort for screaming young girls… see what i can find.
    i’m off to pack…. still praying for computer access.

    over and out for now.. will rejoin chat when come back… ; ) ~~ S

  • Scott Butki

    Ah, good ol’ Madness. I was thinking about the band – and downloading some of their songs – the other day after encountering someone my age who asked me to define ska.
    I felt suddenly old.
    This was only a few days after I was asked who Frank Zappa was.

  • http://blog.myspace.com/blog/rss.cfm?friendID=19453654 J. P. Spencer

    It’s so easy to be cool and say “I’m a Nick Drake fan” to try and gain street credibility, but I AM a Nick Drake fan, I have been since 1992 (I know; late bloomer) and “Which Will” is one of his best.

    Another great list, Sadi.

  • Steve

    OK, folks, I have a quiz for you…

    For those who haven’t said so already…what is your favorite song/album of each of the above acts mentioned in the article???

    Just curious…

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
    Psychedelic Furs – Into You Like A Train
    Nick Drake – not a huge Drake fan so i’ll cheap out and say Pink Moon
    Decemberists – only heard one of their records once
    Ani – one song? impossible. 32 Flavors…no…Coming Up…no…
    Jazz Butcher – completely unfamiliar with this one
    King Missile – The Boy Who Ate Lasagna And Could Jump Over A Chruch
    Chris Isaak – In Th eHeat of the Jungle
    Madness – Baggy Trousers

  • http://chanaleh.livejournal.com/ Erica Schultz

    Sadi my love… I think of you every time I hear “Beast of Burden” on the radio. :-) I keep meaning to ping you, but I can’t find a public email address for you, so I think this will have to suffice. Drop me a line sometime, I have job news and much else.

  • Steve

    Wow, Mark, you did better than me with that list. In addition to what I mentioned before, for me -

    Madness – “Lovestruck”

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    i have to admit though, that i discovered that Madness tune because somebody used it in a freaking toothpaste ad (“the colgate pump”). sheesh!

  • Steve

    LOL, Mark.

  • Steve

    Hey, Sadi,
    Hope you had a great trip, and that the next List will be out soon (hard to believe it is Wednesday already!!).

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi ranson-polizzotti

    hey steve… hi all… !!! Sorry i haven’t been about and participating… i’ve been away and been absurdly busy and then this ridiculously computer of mine (never buy a Gateway unless you already have one and love it in which case i got a lemon) who knows … but anyway… this weeks’ list.. i’m trying desperately to get out… it’s a good one too i think and hope you’ll like it. i have the list, just have not filled out the entries… I’ve spoken to EO so as soon as i get to it, i will post it and post here… right now, i have a gazillion things to get to… don’t hate me for not getting it done!!! sorry for not doing it by Tuesday (life lesson, never commit to a day…. but anyway…) it will be when it is…. and meanwhile, i’ll keep you posted as i keep along but i have to finish up another project or two first b/c i’m under tight tight tight deadline pressure…

    is that okay….? i hope so… miss particpating, and will be able to again soon. i’m alive (just barely, my feet haven’t hit the ground ~ i’m flying along here…. just barely stopping for air… whew!)

    do i sound stressed much????

    okay, whew…

    bear with me… i’ll deliver …. promise. list is good i think. hope you all will think so too. as i said, just needs filling out and this week’s has a theme tho it may be pushed to the weekened or so, just b/c of time… hopefully not but it’s possible…. will keep you posted.

    ping me occasionally if you like,

    xo

    sade

  • Steve

    OK, Sadi, good to know you’re home safe and sound, that’s the main thing. I know you have a book deadline this month, so whenever you’re ready with the List is fine.

    By the way, what is a Ping??

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi ranson-polizzotti

    hey Steve, and thanks ~ : ) for understanding and all… a ping is just a “call out” basically – to see if someone is there or checking an IP address to see if it bounces back or sends back a signal. so when you “ping” someone they can “ping’ you back if they are around and so on, that’s all… just tech, speak. sorry… my job has jaded me….

    will get all done within good time… pray pray….

    be well, til then….s

  • Steve

    Cool, Sadi.

  • Steve

    Hey, Sadi, looking forward to the new List this week!
    Wishing you and yours a Happy Easter Sunday!

  • Steve

    Hey, Sadi,
    Just wondering when the next list will be out, time sure is flying!! Hope you met your book deadline ok.

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi ranson-polizzotti

    Steve, hey, you’ve been/ are being great… things are nuts on my ends. i just truly need to fill in the entries for the list. maybe i can do that while i’m out today.. ie. bring the songlist with me and that way i can fill it out… either way, should be done by tonight (i think…. fingers crossed) i’ll ping you here for sure either way, i promise…. : ) thx. for patience….try not to ping back. this way i can just focus on task at hand for now and not worry about dealing with eamails etc which i’m trying to ignore until i get done what i need to get done…. thanks as ever, Steve… time goes way way way too quickly….

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi ranson-polizzotti

    (uh, pardon earlier typos… that’s what you get for typing so quickly and in a rush!!!)… sorry about that…. s

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi ranson-polizzotti

    hey Steve… it’s now in the Pending folder… so it should be up soon… : ) thanks for being so patient and hope you like it…. i have some others to add in comments as well but i did spend time on the list…. anyway… back to NEXT article… argh!!!

  • Scott Butki

    Oh I used to be in Psych Furs big time but not so much lately. And I think he has a new solo album out that got panned pretty hard.

  • Nate

    found this page after searching for lists of favorite songs with the song Oceanside in them. That’s my new favorite song currently and I want more songs and artists in my collection, as my collection is still quite small. So, needless to say, I’m going to give the rest of these a listen. Thanks.

    but from some of the things that I’ve seen here, I have a feeling that you might enjoy some Jeff Finlin. Not many have heard of him. His best song (sugar blue) is widely available on any Napster-like place, if you’re into that; his other stuf is more hard to find. His songwriting ability has been compared to that of Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan. His voice is one of the more unique voices I’ve heard in quite some time, very gravelly yet somehow smooth as butter.