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The List of the Moment, Volume No. 24

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I’ve been gone… I’ve been two weeks in the hospital for the usual reason, epilepsy — called a persistent bell-ringer, knocking, ringing at the door for a while, but better now… driven away.

It’s always too long between lists, but I don’t do a list unless there is really something worthwhile. Something that moves me, and that I think may move you too. If you don’t know the songs, or the covers, I try to include the ones that I think are the best. So, that said, I hope you enjoy this list, and if you don’t know the songs, visit tantmieux.

"Ooh, Child (Things Are Gonna Get Easier)" by Beth Orton – There are many covers of this song, but it was originally performed (from what I could trace) by The Five Stairsteps (four brothers and a sister from Chicago). It was, as performed by the original group, a pop song but with a soul sound (it’s often performed by gospel groups as well). This version by Beth Orton is an acoustic of the song. The original song has that beautiful molasses sounding voice at the beginning which is hard to beat, but then, I don’t think Orton’s version is meant to compete – it’s just a good cover. I actually came across this by accident when searching for the original performer (and discovered that Marvin Gaye has covered it, among many others), but it is Orton’s version that I really like. I admit, I don’t know anything else by Orton – so I can’t vouch for her music across the board, but in this particular case, she’s hit a winner.

"Honey Don’t Think" by Grant Lee Buffalo – I found Grant Lee Buffalo by means of another song, “Truly, Truly” which I also love and I include, informally, on this List. Both songs are terrific. Honey Don’t Think reminds me of some mellower work by Ryan Adams in a way, only less folksy. It has the smoothness of Prefab Sprout – without Paddy’s voice, of course, but with a nice mellow thing going on that is really quite appealing. I stumbled across this quite by accident, but am glad that I did. For a listen, always visit the Tant Mieux page and visit List of the Moment where you can take a listen to any current songs on this list…

"Belle" by Al Green – If you like Al Green but don’t know this song, seek it out (you can take a listen on Tant Mieux), but this is one of his best. It’s gentle, lyrical, and honest. Well, perhaps as honest as one can be in this world (I no longer have any illusions about complete truth with a capital T in the Platonic sense of the word – it’s like Love with a capital L – I have become like Diogenes, a true cynic, alas). That does not prevent you from enjoying “Belle.” Green is better known for other songs, especially “Let’s Stay Together” (also a great song), but in this reviewers humble opinion, I’d go as far as to say that “Belle” is a better song in many ways – rare, quieter, and worth the listen.

"The Reason Why" by Rachael Yamagata – I don’t know how I’d classify Rachael Yamagata because she has a range. I saw her marked as “jazz” which made me think of Norah Jones, but she doesn’t remind me at all of Norah Jones or that style. Yamagata’s songs like “Worn Me Down” have a hard edge to them – a pissed-off, hurt edge – that works because it seems sincerely felt. “The Reason Why” is no exception. It’s clearly the end of something big here – something achingly lost, and while we have all had break-ups, this is something else entirely for it seems to carry more weight. Yamagata expresses what I want to express but simply cannot find the words for. Given that, here are some of the lyrics;

    I think about how it might have been
    We'd spend out days travelin'
    It's not that I don't understand you
    It's not that I don't want to be with you
    But you only wanted me
    The way you wanted me

    So, I will head out alone and hope for the best
    And we can hang out heads down
    As we skip the goodbyes
    And you can tell the world what you want them to hear
    I've got nothing left to lose, my dear
    So, I'm up for the little white lies
    But you and I know the reason why
    I'm gone, and you're still there
    I'm gone, and you're still there
    I'm gone, and you're still there

    I'll buy a magazine searching for your face
    From coast to coast, or whatever I find my place
    I'll track you on the radios, and
    I'll sign your list in a different name

    But as close as I come to you
    It's not the same

    So, I will head out alone and hope for the best
    We can pat ourselves on the back
    As say that we tried
    And if one of us makes it big
    We can spill our regrets
    And talk about how the love never dies
    But you and I know the reason why
    I'm gone, and you're still there
    I'm gone, and you're still there
    I'm gone, and you're still there

    So, steal the show, and do your best
    To cover the tracks that I have left
    I wish you well and hope you find
    Whatever you're looking for
    The way I might've changed my mind,
    But you only showed my the door

    So, I will head out alone and hope for the best
    We can pat ourselves on the back
    And say that we tried
    And if one of us makes it big
    We can spill our regrets
    And talk about how the love never dies
    But you and I, you and I know the reason why

"The Things We Do For Love" by 10cc – Years since I listened to this song and it takes me right back to my youth and in a distant country. This is one of those ageless songs though. It has a definite seventies sound to it, but the lyrics are great and could apply at any time – and even the sound of the song, which does have that seventies synth feel, holds up just as much as 10cc’s other big hit, “I’m Not in Love” – a bit of a cynical song in some ways, but the way it is worded and sung, we know not to buy it. It’s a wink and a nod to the listener, much the same way John Waite’s “Missing You” is also an “I fucking hate you, but I miss you like hell.” “I’m Not In Love” may not have the anger in it, but it does have the willful blind refusal to look at what is there, even though he knows it is there. “The Things We Do for Love” is a more cynical song about love in general. This seems to be a central theme running through 10cc’s music, but then, love is a central theme that runs through almost everyone’s music – it’s the oldest story in the book and no matter how many times we tell it, we never tire because the same story can be told a million, myriad different ways – and that is the stuff of life that keeps us interested.

"Hello, Hello" by Poe – You may remember this if you saw the film Stir of Echoes as it is the closing track. This was the perfect song for that film, and is a perfect reach out in general. It has a bit of a spooky feel to it – and a sorrow as well, but it’s a beautiful song. Wistful and lilting, something to seek out.

"Dirty Water" by the Standells – I had to include this because “Love That Dirty Water (Boston You’re My Home)” is a classic and hard to forget – especially if you have lived in Boston or live there and know the Charles River, then you know it’s all too true. Since this song was written, the Charles has been cleaned up, but that has little bearing on the staying power of the song (I still wouldn’t recommend swimming in the Charles). This holds up like “Roadrunner” by The Modern Lovers – another song that applies to Boston with “128 when it’s dark outside” (though likely this can be applied to many places, I always think of Boston and the lyrics seem tailor made to fit. Certainly “Love That Dirty Water” is the ultimate anthem for Boston and known by Bostonians. Awww, Boston you're my home….

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About Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti

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

    i don’t see your comment posted here, but i received an email about it – to answer your question, the purpose of the List is to list what is on my current playlist shuffle….. the List has been around for a while (obviously since this is volume 24), but didn’t think it needed explaining –sorry if that wasn’t clear….

  • Steve

    Sadi,

    Long time no hear! Good to see you writing again. Sorry to hear about your rough times, I hope you can still enjoy your Christmas time.

    I haven’t heard of Rachel Y., Standells or Poe.

    However, I am familiar with the 10CC song, I have their ‘Changing Faces’ best of, that includes the work of Godley & Creme, whom I have also enjoyed in the past (‘Wedding Bells’, ‘Under Your Thumb’ and ‘Cry’ were all UK hits and faves of mine when I was a kid). Both they and 10CC often had humour in their songs, which I enjoyed sometimes.

    As far as Al Green goes, other than the Tina Turner cover, and his duet with Annie Lennox on that Christmas song from the 1988 movie ‘Scrooged’, I’m not all that familiar with his stuff.

    Beth Orton I have heard of, have a rough idea of what she sounds like, but I don’t have any of her songs.

    GLB I’ve heard of, but really don’t know their songs or sound at all.

    I just finished sorting my Christmas songs into 4 categories (‘Original’, ‘Traditional Cover’, ‘Contemporary Cover’, ‘All New’), as I find the latter two often aren’t all the Christmassy-sounding (pardon my English lol!), so rather than listen to CD’s that have a mix, I think I’d like to seperate them out. I’ve just started to get into the Christmas mood the last week or two, with Christmas music at the malls and on the radio now.

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

    Hi Steve:

    I tried to put things on the list that you/people everyone probably hasn’t heard of yet with the intention of putting the music onto tant mieux — i’ve been having some trouble uploading the files tho – but as soon as i do, i’ll post here and let you know, OR you can click through and see what there is there already from last time, and also, i’ll continue to upload the new stuff….

    i think you’d really like a lot of the stuff – Rachael Yamagata has come a real sorta favorite of mine, and Beth Orton is pretty great too…. Obviously, Al G. is wonderful and “Belle” is a terrific song – i think his best – I’ll put it on the site for you…

    Christmas covers? Like who doing what? Now i’m really curious…. what songs? who?

    nice to see you too!

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

    steve – all – i’m having trouble uploading things to Tant Mieux right now for some reason, so the songs are not there right now, but i’ll post as soon as i can get them there…. how frustrating! i don’t know why the site is stuck in this weird mode… will fix it… and tell you.

    sade

  • Steve

    Hey, Sadi,
    Re. the uploading, sure, just let us know when it’s ready..

  • Steve

    Re. Christmas covers, I have 57 tracks in the Traditional (or ‘faithful to the original’) category and about 44 tracks in the Contemporary (or ‘radically different from the original’) category.

    I’m going to post a selection of both categories in two separate comments below, as I tried to do it all in one, but lost all the info when I pressed the wrong button…shucks!!!….

  • Steve

    Contemporary –
    ‘Angels We Have Heard on High’ by Zoegirl
    ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ by Tom Jones With Cerys From Catatonia
    ‘Christmas Wrapping’ by Spice Girls
    ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ by Third Day
    ‘Hark The herald Angels Sing’ by Rebecca St. James
    ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ by Cliff Richard
    ‘Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!’ by Jaci Velasquez
    ‘Little Drummer Boy’ by Jars Of Clay
    ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ by Steps
    ‘O Holy Night’ by Barlow Girl
    ‘Sleigh Ride’ by TLC
    ‘Winter Wonderland’ by Avalon.

  • Steve

    Traditional covers –
    ‘All I Want For Christmas’ by Samantha Mumba
    ‘Ave Maria’ by Rachel Lampa
    ‘Blue Christmas’ by Shakin’ Stevens
    ‘The Christmas Song’ by Michael Buble
    ‘Fairytale Of New York’ by Ronan Keating (ex-Boyzone) feat. Maire Brennan (ex-Clannad)
    ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’ by Jaci Velasquez
    ‘Last Christmas’ by Billie Piper
    ‘Mary Did You Know?’ by Clay Aiken
    ‘O Tannebaum’ by Johnny Mathis & Mannheim Steamroller
    ‘Silent Night’ by Sinead O’Connor
    ‘Sleigh Ride’ by Billy Gilman & Charlotte Church

    Any questions about the above two lists, just let me know…

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

    hey Steve: i’ll let you know when Tant Mieux lets me upload the songs…. not a problem…. : )

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

    hey Steve – that’s really cool you posted the covers for me…. i’ll def. check them out and see what’s what…. excellent!

    I should be able to upload songs to TM later on today (likely later this afternoon) but i’ll post a note here as soon as I’ve done it…. : )

    I want you to be able to hear some of the songs… I think you’d like them….. but who knows….right? I like them, so they’re on my playlist (always eclectic…. someone asked What does _ and _ have in common? – and the only answer is that they are on the playlist, which is why it’s called The List of the Moment – because it’s what i’m listening to right now. I’m also listening to a techno mix of Ave Maria but I believe, Moby, though it could be Thievery Corporation – i can’t remember right now….

    anyway, gotta rush right now or will miss train…

    love, etc. More later

    Sade

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

    hi Steve – i remember when i was younger and you know so many families play relgious music at Christmas time, etc. and carrolls, which is appropriate, and my family would play Elvis’s Christmas Special music and so i remember growing up with that. With my first boyfriend, i went to his parent’s house and i remember they put us in separate bedrooms (no problem) but his father, who collected Bibles – (!!) put me in the ‘BIBLE ROOM” – so there i am, away from home, surrounded by Bibles, somewhere far from home and they are playing all of this religious music and Carrolls’ i thought they were nuts. I remember calling my mother and saynig, “Mummy… they’re playing religious music….. After all of those years of hating Elvis’s Christmas Specials etc I came to realize how much i missed it. Now i own the disc…. of course….

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

    still trying to upload the songs – for some reason I am having ridiculous problems. If this keeps up, i’ll write to my hosting company (they’re very very responsive) and ask them to help me out and sort this problem out because i really want you to hear the songs. The other thing you can do is use the contact link at tant mieux and find Contact (on the left navigation) and write to me with ur email if you like and i can send you the songs…. ?? What do you think?

    cheers, etc.

    Sadi

  • Steve

    Wow Sadi, a techno mix of ‘Ave Maria’, sounds interesting!

    I was never a fan of Elvis Presley as a kid, but I do have his ’30 #1’s’ album from 2002 now. Funny how some music can grow on you as you get older.

    Re. religious music at Christmas time, I had agnostic parents, so I was never into religion as a kid, was actually an atheist from about 12-19 years old.

    I could still appreciate the music of Christmas though, by ignoring the lyrics, which I’m pretty good at doing typically!! I actually have 2 or 3 albums with ‘parental advisory’ stickers on them, and with one of them at least, I still haven’t ascertained why the sticker was required!!

    No rush with the songs on your site, whenever is convenient for you…you’re a real sweetheart, Sadi!!

    Gosh, I’m looking forward to Christmas, I apparently have a big surprise coming from the family…can’t wait to see what it is!

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

    hey Steve – i think i managed to upload most of the stuff to tantmieux so it hopefully is there – if not, ping here and i’ll see what i can do about uploading it… i’m working WiFi from a remote location, so it’s a little harder, but i’m about off and on…

    Totally know what you mean about Christmas music… hard for me to get into it; i’m not into the hymnals and carrolls etc… just not my thing (as you can prob. tell from previous lists!)

    let me know if you like anything on tant mieux… i;ll also try to find that Techno Remix of Ave Maria and get it up on the site as well…

    love and best to you, steve,

    s.

  • Steve

    Thanks so much Sadi,

    Listened to the tracks I was unfamiliar with on your site (although I could not open 3 of them, I do not appear to have the program for them – Ryan Adams, Cowboy Junkies and the track ‘Hello Goodbye’).

    I liked almost all of the rest of them really, except the Standells who have a ’60’s Rolling Stones’ sound to them that I’ve never liked.

    The Al Green tune was OK, needs to be updated for the 21st century though IMHO.

    I must confess to being somewhat disappointed with Paul Weller’s solo output over the years (at least his singles, haven’t listened to his albums), but I must say, your track was probably the best of his I’ve heard.

    Poe and Rachael Y. were both pretty good too.

    Grant Lee Buffalo were OK, but what a ridiculous name for a group lol!! Makes them sound like old country or folksy stuff, but they have a more polished sound than their name would suggest.

    Anyway, thanks for your hard work, Sadi, you’re a real sweetheart! Hope you had a great Christmas, and that you enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

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

    hey Steve – i wonder why you couldn’t open the other files…. odd…. : ( i think they are for some reason M4A files (tho i am not sure of the difference, but clearly there is one) –

    Yes, Grant Lee Buffalo is a strange name. I don’t know much about rather than the songs i put up. He has some really other good stuff that i’ll put on The List that i really like.

    Rachael Yamagata i’m totally enamored of at the moment and think she is terrific…

    Weller has been pretty good – I think the song is called “Sunshine” that i like a lot – so i’m into that one… and i really like “Sweetpea” a less often heard song that i can never find anywhere. Which album is that on? Any ideas?

    Poe are sort of interesting, i think…

    Beth Orton I like a lot … As to Al Green, i actually really like “Belle” but it would be an interesting song to see covered. Weller could do a good cover of that (Paul Weller, duh) but he would be an interesting person to do it, as would even totally diff. Erin Alden….

    hope the holidays are going well….

  • Steve

    “Sweet Pea” can be found on Weller’s 2000 album “Heliocentric”. According to allmusic’s website, your particular song can be downloaded from Napster.

    Holidays have been good, I was given a ticket to see the Queen musical “We Will Rock You”, which I saw yesterday. Very strange story, but if you like their music, you get alot of it!!

    Hope you’re having fun with your holidays!!