Top Five Tuesday :: Thought I’d be out of here by now

Concrete+Blonde

Top Five Tuesday :: Concrete Blonde

After listening and reliving the album Free, and all it rehashed memories, I found myself on quite a Concrete Blonde kick. There are so many songs I love, each of them cocked and loaded with a myriad of memories. Johnette’s is one of those moments that feels like an arrow, or sometimes a jaggedly rough knife, straight to the heart, something in her tones and lyrical refrains and growls that just carve me up and stir up my insides. It seemed fitting to do a Concrete Blonde Top Five Tuesday, even if it is not Tuesday anymore (this week just got the best of me), though it has been tough as hell to pick only five songs, but I did my best. Following are my five song choices with three sentence reasons why:

5. Joey (acoustic)

Joey, baby,
don’t get crazy.
Detours, fences,
I get defensive.”

Perhaps one could perceive this as the obvious choice, as it was their biggest commercial hits, but regardless of perception, it is a song I have loved since the first time I heard it and will most likely love for the rest of my days. This version, the acoustic one which can be found on their greatest hits collection, is my personal favorite (second to actually hearing them play it live). A love song of forgiveness to an addict, a feeling I know all too well from my life.

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4. Rosalie

Hang it up,
cut the line,
run as fast as you can,
to his side.”

Last year I had the opportunity to see Concrete Blonde play live for the first time. The first song they sang was this one, Johnette stood there, so close I could have reached out and touched her, and sang this in the most heartbreaking, soul aching, gorgeous way. I stood there, in musical awe, with tears streaming down my face, and in that moment it became one of my forever favorite songs of theirs.

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3. Little Conversations

These little conversations,
well, for me they’ll never do,
now what am I supposed to do with,
broken sentences of you?”

When the conversations stop and the words cease to exist, it is then that I know a relationship is completely over, or, in some cases, impossible to start. Words hold so much significance and meaning to me, and if I cannot have a conversation with you then I will never be able to fall in bed, or in love with you. I need all those little, and big, conversations, I do.

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2. Take Me Home

Every minute,
every hour,
is another chance to change,
life is beautiful,
and terrible,
and strange.”

There is something about that lyric above that I love to the core of me, and that reminds me of another lyrical refrain I love that goes “well never mind, we are ugly but we have the music“, from Leonard Cohen. They seem like counter points to one another and they reach right to me, wrapping around like an embrace, becoming part of the way I see the world, and myself in it.  I see myself in this song, and feel a part of it, so completely.

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1. Still in Hollywood

And I swear I heard the voices singing to me,
singing to the rhythm of the beat of my feet.
I swear I heard the voices singing to me,
keep on,
keep on,
keep on.”

I spent my formative years, one might say, in and around Hollywood. I could echo the words of Dickens and say they were the best of times and they were the worst of times, and it would be so very fair to say. In some ways I got out just barely alive, and in other ways, it made me more creative, more open minded, more myself, and that city, she helped me keep on. I do not regret a single moment.

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