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The List of the Moment: The Grand Central Mix, May 28, 2008

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I’ve been away, in every sense of the word — mentally and physically in a different space, working on another project that has taken up much of my time but has been truly  worthwhile. None of this means that I have not missed The List of the Moment, which YOU may have forgotten, but I have not — and some of you have written to me, so here is my most recent list.

Very eclectic, but I created a list for my most recent foray into New York City called The Grand Central Cha-Cha and here are some of the songs that work for me during rush hour at Grand Central, that fabulous place off of Lex and 42nd, NYC. Many songs on that playlist and it’s very difficult to cull it down to the few that should make the list because frankly, they all made my list, so to choose, I have given a small taste of everything here – or as much as possible, while leaving off some of the really new music (because whenever I write about really new music, nobody knows or few know what the f*** I’m talking about). This is May 28, Wednesday, New York City, Grand Central Station at 5:36 p.m. and it is about eighty degrees and humid and the people are milling and all is right and all is wrong but you know it will be alright — somehow, you just know this.

"Love to Love You, Baby" by Donna Summer – The extended mix, of course, is the only one worth listening to if you’re going to bother. Call me boring, old-fashioned, an atavist, call me whatever you like, but this is still one helluva sexy song and ranks right up there with the other song on my Grand Central mix, “Sweetest Hangover” by Diana Ross, which are back-to-back on my iPod and work perfectly well in concert.

There’s something almost erotic about rush hour at Grand Central on a hot May day when the humidity is high and the beautiful women come out and the stylish men are there and you move slowly through the crowd on your way to the number 7 or the S train after a couple of drinks at the bar at Grand Central and everything is right with the world. This was me, moving through the crowd, my summer dress on, hips swaying in time to music — this and the Gap S.O.S. Band's "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" — with my Converse sneakers on, perfect complement to my dress, to which a friend I trust says, “It’s the Lolita factor that works for (me)” and in that moment I buy it, because all is right with the world.

Say what you will, but in that moment, these three songs made all alright and at that moment, that’s saying quite a lot for not a half hour earlier I had been crying on Madison (don’t ask) as I made my way up the slow, sloping hill to Grand Central but once my mix came on – everything changed. Something to be said for that. So those are my first three songs. Moving right along…

"ABC" by the Jackson Five – Michael, Michael … he may have done a lot of very weird things since the time of this song but truth to tell, it’s the music I care about, not the person, so frankly, I could give a toss whether he’s bleached his face or has had a gazillion nose jobs because that’s his option. The child stuff – I won’t even go there. But that’s not the point. "ABC" is a great song. It has an upbeat, up down turnaround jump and sing thing that makes you want to be a part of the freakin’ Jackson Five and that’s something for a white Episcopal girl from Scotland to say. But one can dream, no? If you don’t know this song, you could love it, you could hate it. If you have a light heart and are in the mood for this sort of bubble-gum pop (retro-pop), then yes, absolutely seek this out. It’s the perfect “happy” song and frankly, the song of the moment.

"Can We Still Be Friends?" by Todd Rundgren
– Okay, this one hurts a bit – a lot – but that’s personal, but isn’t every song to some extent? Isn’t that part of why we listen? I’ve been told that men listen to the music and the riffs whereas women listen to the lyrics more. Frankly, I listen to both, but would very much welcome your comments on this (not just this song, but all songs, all music, because I’m not sure I buy this theory). So here is a song about loss and grief and longing and wanting to just still be friends after some kind of parting in what seems to be an impossible situation. A great song – used in Vanilla Sky during a particularly weird scene, but perfect for the moment – but we’ve all been there. I’m there. It speaks volumes. It still works, years later.

About Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti

  • Steve

    Well, Sadi, interesting List as always…(by the way, I have a few songs by Moby, Massive Attack and Orbital so I look forward to your next List, but anyway, I digress!!)…

    Re. Donna Summer, yep, I have her ‘Gold’ compilation, including both those songs you mentioned. My mother used to own the vinyl single “I Feel Love” actually. I also have a 1995 ‘Rollo’s Mix’ (Rollo of Faithless fame) of the song which gives it a 90′s ‘trippy/trance’ kind of feel. ‘State Of Independence’, a song she covered which was done originally by Jon & Vangelis, was a fave of mine by her.

    Speaking of Faithless, I know what you mean about their sound, in part because they utilize more than one vocalist. One of my faves of theirs is one of their biggest European hits from 1996 called “Insomnia”, not because of the lyrics, but because of the atmospheric dance music, very evocative of UK/Europe for me, for some reason, perhaps because of the English sounding vocal in part, and the emphasis on synthesizers, which is so much more prevalent in mainstream European music, than in North America.

    I don’t recall the Rolling Stones song, and I’m not familiar with Regina Spektor.

    I’ll write more in my next comment…

  • Steve

    Re. Diana Ross, I have about 10 of her songs, not a huge fan, but she has had a few great songs over the years, not sure I know the one you mention, Sadi.

    Re. the S.O.S Band, I have 2 of their songs from the mid-80s, ‘Just Be Good To Me’ (the 9 minute 12″ is amazing), and ‘Just The Way You Like It’.

    I also have a song ‘Finest Dreams’ by Richard X feat. Kelis, which samples ‘The Finest’ by the S.O.S. Band and ‘The Things That Dreams Are Made Of’ by Human League (originally from their mega-selling ‘Dare’ album). Richard X has sampled various 80′s artists (e.g Spandau Ballet and Gary Numan) in his own music and work with other acts. You should look him up online, Sadi.

    Re. the Commodores, yeah, they’ve had a few good songs, though I prefer Richie’s solo stuff, simply because I prefer 80′s over 70′s music typically, it just sounds less dated to these aging ears lol!!

    I’ve heard of the other artists you listed I think, but don’t have any of their songs, except a duet with Todd Rundgren & Bonnie Tyler from 1985 called ‘Loving You’s A Dirty Job But Somebody’s Got To Do It’!!

    If I missed anything, I will post it later…

  • Steve

    Oops, I forgot the Jackson 5. My fave Jacksons’ tunes are probably ‘Can You Feel It?’ from 1981 (sampled to great effect on ‘Feel It’ by the Tamperer feat. Maya from about 1998, lyrics aside at least!) and ‘Torture’ (1984), I generally preferred their stuff from that time period, than their earliest and latest material.

    Who is Erin Alden, Sadi??

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/why-lewis-carroll/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    hey Steve – I do not have the Rollo mix of I Feel Love, so must hunt that down somehow. Rollo does some interesting work – maybe you can tell me more about them – are they their own group and they take other people’s work and sort of trans-hop it etc. sometimes, from what i’ve heard and I really like it… most of it… interesting, so tell me more …

    You need to hear “I Feel Love” and “Love to Love You Baby” at rush hour at Grand Central to get why they work so well in that space, place, and time. They just do. There’s something infinitely sexy about GC anyway, i think – which is why it has bars and shops and people flock there and lovers meet there and it is in the title of so many great books – hence, I made this mix for my monthly trips to NYC and so I have my Grand Central mix…

    Faithless/Reverence – I’ve heard by both names. I know Insomnia, of course .Good song, but not my favorite. Postcards, I think, is terrific. It has everything going for it – lyrics, music, that perfect beginning with Dido (before she was really known in the States anyway, so that’s interesting to me – how did that happen?)

    I like the 70s stuff as well as the 80s stuff – but I like a lot of different music. Hey, I also like the freakin’ Monkees “I’m a Believer” which I think is a terrific song and will certainly feature on a list in the near future because you have to have fun in life. I adore new bands and live and breathe new music, but sometimes you gotta hear Neil Sedaka etc.

    moving on…

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/why-lewis-carroll/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    Oddly, I do not know the other S.O.S. songs you list – I don’t know them at all, which is weird. I must look those up… what is the sound like? Mellow? Dance-like? You know what sort of stuff I like, I think, taking into account that I”m very eclectic. Suppose it couldn’t hurt to download something or try to find on YouTube and take a listen. Right now I’ve been listening to, of all things, The Blower’s Daughter, which is stuck in my head nonstop on a loop – not by choice, but just is – had it in my head all through NYC while walking down Madison, etc. Columbus, wherever I was, it was the bloody Blower’s Daughter…

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/why-lewis-carroll/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    re: Erin Alden – just Google her name and cross reference it with mine, if you like. She made the list with a version she did of Hello/Goodbye, cover by the Beatles, which is just super. She’s an amazing singer and she, I believe, quotes from The List on her site somewhere, so seek her out. If you can’t find her anywhere, let me know. Actually, I need to upload this music to Tant Mieux so you can take a listen so I”ll put Erin up there as well so you can hear her etc… It should work…. I’ll let you know once the songs are posted, and if that doesn’t work for some reason, let me know… tho it should. Also, I believe you can probably buy a song of hers through iTunes or Amazon. It really is quite worth it, but maybe have a listen on Tant Mieux first.

    Speaking of Tant Mieux, …. see next post….

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/why-lewis-carroll/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    We just won Best of the Web from SnapShots or notable, etc. However they word it, they chose it as one of their outstanding sites, which is super and they are having a competition vis my new book on Lewis Carroll, so I thought I’d share the link with you… If you submit a quote and I pick the best quote, you win the signed book, plus a mad hatter’s tea set… v. cool… : )

    Here’s the link to them…

    tant mieux on snaps

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    hi sadi, i’m a snapshots member and got the email that links to your site. congrats! really great stuff.

  • Steve

    OK, Sadi, re. Rollo (from Faithless), he and Dido are brother/sister, hence the connection (Dido’s new album, which has been much delayed, because of family troubles I heard, should be out before year’s end). She also recorded a 2002 UK hit with them called ‘One Step Too Far’. ‘Reverence’ was the name of Faithless’ 1996 album which contains the two songs I’ve mentioned.

    Re. the S.O.S. Band, I would call them a funky, R&B black group (they had some hits, mostly smaller ones, from 1980-1987). Their ‘Best Of…’ album came out in 1995, it has ‘Just Be Good To Me’ on it (7″ version I think).

    Never been to New York myself, though I did have a relative live there for a few years.

    Thanks for the link, Sadi, I will have to check that out later…

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/why-lewis-carroll/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    hey Steve – you are a wealth of information! So Rollo is part of Faithless… that makes sense. I never could figure out the Reverence/Faithless disconnect… so they changed their name. I discovered them by total accident on a mixed album that came with MoJo…. and I love the Dido song, One Step Too Far, which of course, I do know…I didn’t know she is Rollo’s sister (what is his real name? any idea? and is this Rollo who does all of the remixes like Sia, etc? Have you heard those? I imagine you have… and if so, is that connected with Faithless?)

    Question for you – what in your view is the best Orbital album? Or Massive Attack? I’m working on another piece and like bits and pieces from many, but am curious as to your idea since you and I like v. similar music it seems.

    Am already working on a new list… busy as hell.. but the list is, in some ways, a respite from the other work I have going on…

    Should I upload some of the songs to Tant Mieux?

    Let me know…

    cheers, best, etc.

    Sade

  • Steve

    Hey Sadi,

    Rollo is short for Roland. He has also recorded as Rollo Goes Camping (UK#43/1994 hit ‘Get Off Your High Horse’), Rollo Goes Spiritual (UK#32/1995 hit ‘Love, Love, Love – Here I Come’) and Rollo Goes Mystic (UK#26/1996 hit ‘Let This Be A Prayer’). As far as I know, he is responsible for all those ‘Rollo Mixes’ by other artists. By the way, his mix of ‘I Feel Love’ was a UK#8/1995 hit, so it should be downloadable from somewhere, I have it on Volume 30 of the UK ‘Now…’ series.

    Re. Orbital, I only have a few of their songs, their first hit, 1990′s ‘Chime’, and from the film of the same name, 1997′s ‘The Saint’. The latter sounds less dated and I think it’s pretty good, alas it is not on their ‘best of’ album ‘Work 1989-2002′, only on the soundtrack to the movie as far as I know (I have it on the afore-mentioned UK ‘Now…’ series Vol. 37).

    Their 1999 album ‘The Middle Of Nowhere’ was their biggest album (making UK#4 and the only one to make US Top 200) but the critics seem to prefer 1993′s Orbital 2′ or 1994′s ‘Snivilisation’ (their second biggest album, also UK#4). When in doubt generally, I get the ‘best of’ first, then proceed from there if necessary. It’s amazing how often I don’t proceed any further lol!

    Re. Massive Attack, again, I only have a few songs, ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ (UK#13/1991), ‘Sly’ (UK#24/1994), ‘Protection’ (UK#14/1995) featuring Tracey Thorn from Everything But The Girl, ‘Special Cases’ (UK#15/2003) and ‘Teardrop’ (UK#10/1998).

    Their ‘best of’ was called ‘Collected’ from 2006. Their biggest album was 1998′s Mezzanine’ (UK#1), the critic’s fave was that one and their debut, 1991′s ‘Blue Lines’. I should add, they do an amazing version of the old classic ‘Nature Boy’ with David Bowie on the ‘Moulin Rouge’ soundtrack from 2001. Spine-tingling stuff.

    Hope this helps.

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/why-lewis-carroll/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    I love Rollo’s mixes, but didn’t know of all of the associations (that he is Dido’s brother, which makes sense, and that he was/is part of Faithless, also makes sense as was and/or is she, etc etc.) it all starts to fall together. So interesting.

    I can’t find ANY Rollo songs available to download online, but would be up for an MP3 trade if you are.. (?) Let me know… and we’ll work it out. No doubt I have some things you would really like… and vice versa.

    Orbital: I have one of their albums — just “Orbital” which i don’t think is particularly good. I do have their theme from The Saint etc and Trainspotting, if i remember rightly that was them, also Fluffy Little Clouds (who is the woman speaking in that mix? Any ideas -I heard that it was Sissy Spacek, but I can’t confirm that and I would really like to know…).

    Let me know about MP3s – i should love to have that version of Love to Love You Baby – that one I really covet… can’t find it to buy anywhere either. Any links? Can you find it?

    Let me know

    S.

  • Steve

    OK, Sadi, just to clarify…

    ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ (I don’t have that song, so I don’t know who does the vocal, interesting idea though!) is by the similarly named The Orb, totally different band in terms of personnel but somewhat similar in sound (one of their members in the 80′s became part of The KLF in the 90′s). The only song of theirs I have is ‘Blue Room’ which was their first UK Top 10 hit in 1992.

    I believe it was Primal Scream that did the title track for the movie ‘Trainspotting’. I only have 3 songs of theirs (‘Rocks’ a UK#7/1994 hit, ‘Loaded’ a UK#16/1990 hit and ‘Country Girl’ a UK#7/2005 hit, if I recall correctly.).

    Alas, I don’t have any Rollo songs.

    Re. ‘I Feel Love’, I’ll have a look around for you.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ (I don’t have that song, so I don’t know who does the vocal, interesting idea though!) is by the similarly named The Orb

    …which heavily samples Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, layered electric guitar provided by Pat Metheny.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Miss Sadi- By way of friends songs, that Stones song has always struck me badly. It sounds like the point is that Mick can’t get it up, so he’s just looking for consoling talk.

    By way of friend songs that you might likely not be familiar with, try “Friends” by Vincent Leeds.

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/why-lewis-carroll/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    hi Steve – so “Little Fluffy Clouds” is by The Orb? Hunh, interesting. Then most places have it wrong… duh on them… and duh on me for trusting them… good to know… thank you for letting me know that. I wish I knew who does the vocal… but i did hear that rumor, but it could just be that – a rumor – or some random person, i don’t now… i’ll try to find out…

    Will check more into the Orb….

    thanks… : ) always,

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/why-lewis-carroll/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    Al!!!! LOng time no see!!! Nice to see you : )

    Funny about Mick – hadn’t thought of it that way (sentimental fool I), but you could well be right, when considering that it’s Mick… durr.. I’ll def. check out your recommendation. What kind of music is it, or is hard to categorize? I’ll just try and find it… Right now I”m into, of all people, Todd Rundgren (“Couldn’t We Still Be Friends?”) – which i think is a great song… but then… im’ stuck … which i fully admit…

    cheers to you,

    s.

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/why-lewis-carroll/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    Steve, hi….

    KLF – i have them listed as “Timelords, Doctoring the Who” if you’ve heard that – but that may be mislabelled also… not sure. It’s obviously the Dr. Who theme, but done as sort of trance-like, sort of. You need to hear it. Again, I can upload these to Tant Mieux so you can take a listen…

    Rollo did a remix of Sia’s Breathe Me, which is really quite good. But Rollo has done a lot of mixes, etc.

    Tried looking up Rollo on Limewire and didn’t get anywhere. Anything I have by Rollo i got by total accident by looking for another song (and then came up the “Rollo Re-mix” etc…

  • Steve

    Hey, Sadi,

    The Timelords did ‘Doctorin’ The Tardis’, and they later became The KLF. As The KLF they did songs like ’3am Eternal’, ‘America: What Time Is Love?’ and also did ‘Justified And Ancient’ as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu with Tammy Wynette. I have all of the above songs.

    Re. The Orb, their ‘best of’ album is called ‘U.F. Off: The Best Of Orb’. Apparently, the vocal on ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ is from Rickie Lee Jones –

    ‘The single appeared in November 1990, sparking the wrath of the sampled Rickie Lee Jones, whose dialogue with Levar Burton — from the PBS-TV children’s program Reading Rainbow — was sampled for the chorus and title of the track; Big Life later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.’ – AllMusic.com

    (If you have a Firefox browser, you can add a toolbar for AllMusic.com. Very handy for finding out things fast!).

    Re. getting names wrong, Sadi, not to worry, I’ve had a few CD’s that have the track-listing mixed up, if you aren’t making a list of the songs for your own reference like I do, it’s easy to get confused, as your computer can’t tell you they’re wrong either!!

    Re. ‘I Feel Love’, it’s the Rollo & Sister Bliss Monster Mix you are looking for. Found it at Amazon for $17 used, rather pricey for a 4 track CD single methinks!! (Sister Bliss is another member of Faithless, by the way).

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/why-lewis-carroll/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    That’s right – The Timelords – I love that song. I have that floating about somewhere….

    it’s frustrating how many places get the title and/or singer/performer/band wrong for a song… it’s really annoying, esp. for someone who is trying to write about music! ack!

    Rickee Lee Jones should have been honored… it’s a great song. I don’t know why she was a pill about it. Probably because they must have made money on it and she wanted a cut, which is fine, but why be a pill? It sounds like she was, which is stupid…. it’s such a great song. It does sound like her, now that you mention it… and it’s a great song, I think…

    You are a veritable wealth of information – gosh, where do you get it all! I love music too, as much as you no question – you and i could rap for hours no doubt — you never said, is there anything you want ot listen to that i should upload to tant mieux?

    Let me know… oh, I should include this URL… We just got Best of the Web from Snaps…

    snaps

  • Steve

    Aww, Sadi, you’re such a sweetheart.

    Well, music charts have been a hobby of mine on and off since about the age of 12. So I know all the best resources for finding out anything I need to know on the subject, I have a little reference library here at home to help me out if memory fails.

    Re. The Timelords, it’s actually 20 years ago this month that they made the UK #1 slot with that song! Boy, is that scary, now I know I’m getting old lol!! I watch the occasional rerun of the BBC TV series from late 70′s/early 80′s, always loved that theme tune in all it’s different incarnations. The new series version is great too. The stories and the production values were not always easy to watch though lol!! Definitely done on the cheap, though the new series is the most lavish of the lot, though that’s not saying too much (about a million pounds an episode apparently).

    To be honest, Sadi, I’m not looking for new music right now, money is a bit tight. If I’m turned onto something new, I like to buy it. Maybe when I’m back to work…

    Many congrats on your award, not easy to win that I’m sure, with all the websites out there.

    I think I understand your appeal. You seem to write without an agenda, you just research and share, giving your opinion sometimes perhaps, but always making clear the difference between the facts and your opinions. Always nice to read stuff by someone who has a real interest in what they are writing about, without having an ax to grind, it makes for enjoyable reading if one is interested in that subject, and the effort is still appreciated even if one isn’t.

  • Steve

    Hey Sadi,

    Any chance of another List this month?

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/bob-dylan-on-tant-mieux-/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    Hey Steve : ) Nice to hear from you always,

    Yes Another list this month definitely. I have some music that I’m really into right now and am looking forward to doing the next list. It’s of course very eclectic, but I hope will be fun for all to read. So I guess I’ll find out!! But am putting it all together. After that one, I’m thinking of doing my favorite Dylan songs (tho that’s harder, because it’s tough to pick just a few – so I’m torn on that one)… But anyway, the next list is the Madison Avenue Mix – give me a few days and if it’s not up, bother me to remind me!

    Hope all is well with you -

    I send my very best, of course,

    S.

  • Steve

    OK, Sadi,

    I’ll look forward to that then, definitely keep my eyes open for that.

    And the same back at ya!

  • http://tantmieux.squarespace.com/bob-dylan-on-tant-mieux-/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    hey Steve – glad you are looking forward to the next List. AS I said, it’s my Madison Avenue playlist, so it’s interesting (well, i hope so anyway…) and is a real mix of stuff, i’m sure you know most of it, but it’s quite eclectic …

    All for now… Speak to you soon,

    S.

  • Steve

    Hey, Sadi,

    Any word on when the next List will be ready?? Hard to believe it’s been a two months already since the last one!!

  • Steve

    Hey, Sadi,

    I hear the new Paul Weller album (’22 Dreams’) came out last month, the first single is called ‘Have You Made Up Your Mind?”. Have you heard any of the album yet??

  • Steve

    Hey Sadi,
    Hope you had a great summer holiday.

    Just wondering when the next List Is going to be?

  • Steve

    Hey Sadi,
    Please check out my comments above (#26-28), I would like to hear what your thoughts are!