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My Top Ten Male Singers :: Top Ten Tuesday

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My Top Ten Male Singers
Top Ten Tuesday

The flip side of the last list by request. These lists continue to be near impossible to narrow down, and this was yet another tough one. The list of my favorites would go on, and on, and on – well past “ten”, but this is a “Top Ten Tuesday” list, so I painfully cut and put this list together. Some of these slots are subject to change, others will always be where they are. All that said, for today, for right now, this is a list of My Top Ten Male Singers on Top Ten Tuesday.

My Top Ten Male Singers

1. David Bowie

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“Heroes” :: David Bowie

“And you,
you can be mean.
And I,
I’ll drink all the time.
‘Cause we’re lovers,
and that is a fact.
Yes we’re lovers,
and that is that.”

2. Ryan Adams

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“La Cienega Just Smiled” (live) :: Ryan Adams

“And, I hold you close in the back of my mind.
Raise my glass,
’cause either way I’m dead.
Neither of you really help me to sleep anymore –
one breaks my body,
and the other breaks my soul.
La Cienega just smiles,
waves goodbye.”

3. Leonard Cohen

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“Famous Blue Raincoat” (live) :: Leonard Cohen

“Well, I see you there,
with the rose in your teeth;
one more thin, gypsy thief.
Well, I see Jane’s awake.
She sends her regards.”

4. Pete Yorn

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“Crystal Village” :: Pete Yorn

“You were there,
and it was good in the beginning.”

5. Bryan Ferry

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“Slave to Love” :: Bryan Ferry

We’re too young to reason,
too grown up to dream.”

6. Paul Weller

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“Wild Wood” :: Paul Weller

“High tide,
mid-afternoon,
people fly by,
in the traffics boom.
Knowing,
just where you are blowing.
Getting to where you should be going.”

7. Sam Cooke

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“Bring It On Home to Me” :: Sam Cooke

“You know I’ll always be your slave,
’till I’m buried and buried in my grave.
Oh, honey bring it to me,
bring your sweet loving,
bring it on home to me.”

8. Elliott Smith

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“Waltz #2” (live) :: Elliott Smith

“I’m never gonna know you now,
but I’m gonna love you,
anyhow.”

9. Mick Jagger

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“Wild Horses” (acoustic) :: The Rolling Stones

“No sweeping exit,
or offstage lines,
could make me feel bitter,
or treat you unkind:
wild horses couldn’t drag me away.”

10. Noel Gallagher

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“If I Had a Gun” :: Noel Gallagher ‘s High Flying Birds

“Excuse me if I spoke too soon,
my eyes have always followed you around the room.
‘Cause you’re the only god that I will ever need.”

That’s My Top Ten Male Singers for Top Ten Tuesday. Who would be on your list?

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My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 2/28/17

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My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 2/28/17
Listen here at Spotify

Tuesdays. The day felt heavy at its start, stresses snaking in to interrupt freshly brewed, strong coffee, and music to press play to. But, I pushed through, persisted, turned the music up louder. Five music obsessions came together quickly, as they often do, and started to spin around and around, turning this Tuesday on its head.

The five got started with some love from The Thrills, that worked its way into “The Hardest Walk” circa Psychocandy. Big Star came around with a song that holds one of my favorite lyrics – “would you be an outlaw for my love?”. Eddie & The Hot Rods and a cool cover from The Stranglers tied it all together, and there it is, today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day.

You can click to listen to each video below, or choose the Spotify link to listen to the My Top 5 Song Obsessions of the Day :: Top Five playlist. I will add each five songs shared to the playlist each day. 

1. “Not for All the Love in the World” :: The Thrills

“So, baby lets spread tonight,
I got a tank full of gas to light –
we could drive for miles and miles.”

I forgot how much I love this song. It snuck up on me today, part of a Spotify playlist – the “Discover Weekly” they populate based on my listening habits. This feels like a road trip song, a b-side (if there were sides to mixes) that would be thrown after the sun had been down for a good five or six hours. The strings, the lyrics, the melody, the chords, it feels a bit precious. It calls for a hand to hold, an extra stop on the side of the road, maybe even a few wishes on stars in the sky.

2. “The Hardest Walk” :: The Jesus & Mary Chain

“The hardest walk you could ever take,
is the walk you take,
from A to B to C.”

Its hard for me to separate this song from the movie, Some Kind of Wonderful. I feel like I discovered so much music from John Hughes films.

I can’t recall what came first, with this song, though. Did I buy the album Psychocandy after seeing Some Kind of Wonderful, or did I already have it in my collection? They are so intrinsically tied together now.

3. “Thirteen” :: Big Star

Won’t you tell me what you’re thinking of?
Would you be an outlaw for my love?”

One of my all-time favorite songs. Those lyrics up there…sigh.

4. “Do Anything You Wanna Do” :: Eddie & The Hot Rods

“Gonna break out of this city,
leave the people here behind.
Searching for adventure,
it’s the type of life to find.”

Another road trip song. This was the first song I heard this morning, pre-sun, pre-coffee; a musical attempt to cut through today’s stress.

5. “For What It’s Worth” :: The Stranglers

“There’s battle lines being drawn.
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.”

How did I never know The Stranglers covered this song? This is a pretty cool cover, most definitely.

The lyrics certainly hit right now.

I hope you enjoyed Tuesday’s tunes from My Top 5 Music Obsessions.

What are you listening to today?

 

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Blue Valentine (2010) :: Monday Movies

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Blue Valentine (2010) :: Monday Movies
Written by Cami Delavigne, Joey Curtis and Derek Cianfrance
Directed by Derek Cianfrance

What’s your name?” ~ Dean

Go away.” ~ Cindy

Go away? That’s a weird name.” ~ Dean

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About the movie:

Blue Valentine is a 2010 film, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance. The film was co-written with Cami Delavigne and Joey Curtis. The film originally premiered in competition at the 26th Sundance Film Festival. Michelle Williams (Cindy) and Ryan Gosling (Dean) played the lead roles, and also served as co-executive producers for the film. The band Grizzly Bear scored the movie.

The film focuses on married couple, Dean and Cindy Heller, shifting back-and-forth in time between their meeting, dating, marrying and the dissolution of said marriage several years later.

Michelle Williams received an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination for her performance in the film. Michelle was twenty-one when she first received the script. Ryan committed to the film four years later, but filming did not begin until 2009, when Michelle was 29. Originally the filmmaker had wanted to film the “young” and “older” scenes several years apart, but lack of funds put constrictions and delays on the project.

The film was to be shot in California but production was moved to Brooklyn, New York and Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Michelle had wanted to stay close to her Brooklyn home to take care of her daughter, Matilda, so the director chose Honesdale due to its proximity to Brooklyn.

Ryan and Michelle improvised dialogue during the film. For instance, the scene where there characters wander through New York, was improvised. Also, before filming the marriage dissolution, Ryan and Michelle prepared by renting a home, bringing in their own clothing and belongings, buying groceries with a budget based on their characters’ incomes, filming home movies and taking a family portrait at a local Sears with the actor who played their daughter, and staging arguments between them.

The film was shot in Super 16mm and Red One. The former was used for the pre-marriage scenes and the latter was used for the post-marriage scenes. Andrij Parekh used only one professional light in the filming of the outside scenes, otherwise using only practical lights for the inside scenes.

“You & Me” :: Penny & The Quarters

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My Thoughts:

This movie crushed me when I first watched it. I felt so much for these two characters that I was shaken up when it was obvious there would be no resolution in the end for them. I kept wanting there to be a glimmer of hope, a moment’s pause, a small gleam of light in the distance. There was none though, and in more ways than I can articulate, that was the more realistic ending, and it is why the movie crushed me so hard.

After watching it for the first time I had trouble shaking the characters off of me. They stayed with me for days and days, and I kept going back and forth on deciding if it was one of the saddest movie I’d ever seen, or one of the best movies. Looking back, and revisiting now, I’d say it is very much both.

The story of Cindy and Dean is heartbreaking to me, and also very familiar. I have been there, been in that magic of first meeting and falling in love, and I have been on the flip side when it all falls apart, and I know exactly what that kind of decimation of love feels like. Scenes in this film felt ripped from moments of my own life and it hurt badly to watch. That dreamer in me kept holding her breath for a happy ending, even though deep inside I knew that there just isn’t one. Just like in life.

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I got us a song. You know, like our song that will just be for you and me.” ~ Dean

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“Jackie” :: Sinead O’Connor :: SOTD

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“Jackie” :: Sinead O’Connor
From the album, Lion & the Cobra (1987)

“And I’ve been waiting all this time,
for my man to come,
take his hand in mine,
and lead me away,
to unseen shores.”

About the Song:

“Jackie” is the opening track of Sinead O’Connor’s debut album, Lion and the Cobra. Sinead was twenty years old when the album was released, in 1987. She recorded the album while pregnant with her firstborn child.

The album featured well-known session musicians: John Reynolds on drums, Marco Pirroni on guitars (formerly of Adam & The Ants), Rob Dean on guitars (formerly of Japan) and Mike Clowes, from Friction Grooves, on keyboards.

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My Thoughts:

Something about this song always reminds me of Emily Brontë’s novel, Wuthering Heights. Something about it calls to mine Cathy and Heathcliff, and the Moors, and their brutal tragedy of a love story. The protagonist of the song feels like Heathcliff, waiting for Cathy, believing she will return.

The Lion and the Cobra was one of my favorite albums of 1987, my last year in high school. I played it, first-to-last song, over and over again. I loved the drama of “Jackie”, the way it opened the album emotionally. The sadness in this song, the passion and strength, comes back around with track four’s “Just Like U Said It Would B”, and track six’s “Troy”.

“Jackie” (live)

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Misplaced fortunes and three small words :: a Monday Playlist

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Misplaced fortunes and three small words :: a Monday Playlist
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“To Cry About” :: Mary Margaret O’Hara
“Crying” :: Roy Orbison
“505” :: Arctic Monkeys
“Crucify Your Mind” :: Rodriguez
“Shivers” :: Divine Fits
“Fuel” :: Ani Difranco
“Oh! Sweet Nuthin'” :: The Velvet Underground
“Can’t Hardly Wait” :: The Replacements
“The Only One” :: Manchester Orchestra
“Don’t Throw Your Love Away” :: The Searchers
“Good & Gone” :: Frank Turner
“Silver & Gold” :: Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros
“I Don’t Wanna Die in this Town” :: Old 97’s
“Things Happen” :: Dawes
“K” :: Cigarettes After Sex
“Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly) :: The Icicle Works
“Soul on Fire” :: Spiritualized
“Something Makes You Feel Like” :: Cornershop, featuring Soko
“Slip Inside this House” :: The 13th Floor Elevators
“Can I Sit Next to You” :: Spoon
“Float On” :: Ben Lee
“Save Me” :: Aimee Mann
“Hey Joe” :: Charlotte Gainsbourg
“You On My Mind In My Sleep” :: Richard Ashcroft
“All the Beautiful Girls” :: Keren Ann
“Gypsy” :: Fleetwood Mac
“A Man/Me/Then Jim” :: Rilo Kiley
“Out of the Woods” :: Ryan Adams
“Halifax” :: Pete Yorn
“Dream a Little Dream”:: Pink Martini & The Von Trapps

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My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 2/27/17

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My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 2/27/17
Listen here at Spotify

Monday again. I woke today with an overwhelming feeling that it was going to be a good day, a good week, an almost-here good month. I put my turntable on, this morning. I wanted to start the day with an album playing, and I’m trying hard to make this new place feel like my home. It doesn’t yet, not at all, but music helps. Music always helps.

Let’s start with a Rodriguez song – one that makes tears come to my eyes. On from that, a track from the album I was playing before the sun came up, this morning. Next, how about a little “Shake Some Action” to get Monday started? Then a dip into 1989, with The Replacements. The last of my obsessions for today? A song that has been an daily obsession close to a dozen times, at least – my favorite Velvet’s tune.

You can click to listen to each video below, or choose the Spotify link to listen to the My Top 5 Song Obsessions of the Day :: Top Five playlist. I will add each five songs shared to the playlist each day. 

1. “Cause” :: Rodriguez

“‘Cause the smell of her perfume echoes in my head still.
‘Cause I see my people trying to drown the sun,
in weekends of whiskey sours.
‘Cause how many times can you wake up in this comic book and plant flowers?”

Watched Searching for Sugar Man over the weekend and was blown away by Rodriguez’ music. First thing this morning, looking for this song to share, I see that he’s playing nearby, in May. It will be incredible to see him play live.

2. “She’s Not There” :: The Zombies

“But it’s too late to say you’re sorry,
how would I know,
why should I care?”

Listening to the album Begin Here as I readied for the day today. The crackle of vinyl weaving into the drip-drip-drop of the coffee machine. The sun was fighting for purchase of the sky, contending with the clouds above. Its going to be a good day today, I can feel it.

3. “Shake Some Action” :: Flamin’ Groovies

“I will find a way,
to get to you some day.”

This is the song I woke up with, spinning in my mind.

4. “I’ll Be You” :: The Replacements

“Well, I laughed,
half the way to Tokyo.
I dreamt I was Surfer Joe.
An’ what that means,
I don’t know.
A dream,
too tired to come true,
left a rebel without a clue,
and I’m searching for somethin’ to do.”

Paul Westerberg’s lyrics always make me smile. There is this cleverness to them, self deprecation mixed with pop culture mixed with a certain vulnerability that makes it all resonate true. This is one of my favorites – melodically, and lyrically.

5. “Oh! Sweet Nothing” :: The Velvet Underground

“Cause everyday she falls in love,
and every night she falls,
when she does.”

The love I have for this song is immeasurable. I’m sure it has made its way to this list more than a dozen times, and I’m quite certain it will make its way into it again. This song makes me tear up, it tugs at my heart and teases a sigh from my lips. The story it evokes, in me, unwinds further with each listen. One of these days I need to stop and write it all down.

So there’s Monday’s tracks from My Top 5 Music Obsessions.

What are you listening to today?

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Bathtub Songs :: Friday Five

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Bathtub Songs :: Friday Five

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” ~ Sylvia Plath

Playing along with the Music Theme of “Clean”, this week’s Friday Five is Bathtub Songs. Bathtubs can be a thing of childhood. They can be a space for lovers, or a space for solace, renewal, individual “cleansing”. Baths can be intimate, playful, sensual or healing. Oh, and of course, you can get yourself clean in them.

How many songs can you think of that mention the bath?

Bathtub Songs :: Friday Five

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1. “Norwegian Wood  (This Bird has Flown)” :: The Beatles

(The Beatles version is not available via YouTube. Cover below. Beatles original available here)

She told me she worked in the morning, 
and started to laugh.
I told her I didn’t,
and crawled off to sleep,
in the bath.”

2. “Sylvia Plath” (live) :: Ryan Adams

“She’d ash on the carpets,
and slip me a pill,
then she’d get me pretty loaded on gin.
Then maybe she’d give me a bath.
How I wish I had a Sylvia Plath.”

3. “Bathwater” :: No Doubt

“But I still love to wash in your old bathwater,
love to think that you couldn’t love another.
I can’t help it,
you’re my kind of man.”

4. “Bathtime” :: Tindersticks

“Are the taps running, darling?
Is the air thick with steam?
Can I find some place to cry these tears of shame?”

5. “Bathtub” (live) :: Waxahatchee

“Morning,
bathtub,
my skin soft and hot.
I was sure you were right,
but you’re not.”

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Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: February 24, 2017

Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday ::
February 24, 2017

It’s New Music Friday again. Are you ready for the best of the new album releases today? I’ve sifted through the newly released albums, EP’s and singles, and come up with the five best of the week for your perusal. So, sit back, secure your headphones, and have a listen to a few albums and a single, or two, that are the standout best Top New Releases for the week of February 24, 2017..

Top 5 New Releases:

1. Sick Scenes :: Los Campesinos!

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Three-Sentence Review: Immediately catchy and accessible, Sick Scenes reminds me of what I saw in Los Campesinos! back in 2007, with the songs “We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives” and “You! Me! Dancing!”. Indie in its sensibilities, but pop/power pop in the delivery, this album has the potential of being bigger than their recent releases. I’m awfully fond of the slower, softer moments, too (see “The Fall of Home”), with its waltz-feel, and late night confessional lyrics.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Sad Suppers”, “The Fall of Home”, and “A Litany/Heart Swells”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“The Fall of Home”

2. “Can I Sit Next to You?” :: Spoon

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Three-Sentence Review: Can the new Spoon album be out today? This is the second pre-album single to be released, and it is a stunner. I was immediately grooving to it from the first notes, and as the song went on I knew I’d be hitting repeat as soon as it was over.

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Can I Sit Next to You?”

3. Don’t Get Lost :: The Brian Jonestown Massacre

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Three-Sentence Review: A new album only four months after their last, Don’t Get Lost continues with the band’s electronic experimentations, fusing it with the psychedelic sensibilities that have always been a big part of their sound. Tim Burgess, of The Charlatans, guests on the track “Fact 67”, one of the strongest song songs on the album. The album itself gets lost in its own wanderings at times, lacking a cohesion that at first glance the song titles would presume it has, but there are some interesting, stand-out moments to stop on along the way (see especially “Fact 67” and “Dropping Bombs on the Sun”).

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Fact 67”, “Dropping Bombs on the Sun”, and “Acid 2 Me is No Worse than War”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

“Fact 67”

4. S/T :: Dirty Projectors

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Three-Sentence Review: Dirty Projectors’ so-called “break up album”, which I picked up on in first line of the opening track, “Keep Your Name”, which feels and sounds like Bon Iver, to me. The production, and electro-infusions, keep this album from sinking too deeply into melancholy, while not completely taking away the expression of heartbreak. This album works best when the beats and vocals are messed with, causing lifts and falls in sound, and where the Indie R&B styles are allowed to flow through.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Keep Your Name”, “Death Spiral”, and “I See You”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

“Death Spiral”

5. Wilderness of Love :: Shadow Band

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Three-Sentence Review: Late sixties psychedelia influenced, dark and dreamy, I feel like I want this album in Autumn, but I’ll take it for now (and most likely revisit it in October). This debut album is a DIY/home recording musical offering; close your eyes and can’t you just see the smoke-filled rooms they created, and recorded, this in? “Morning Star”, my first listen favorite, reminds me a lot of the Zombies.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Endless Night”, “Morning Star”, and “Daylight”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 3

“Daylight”

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My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 2/24/17

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My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 2/24/17
Listen here on Spotify

Here you are. Friday. Finally Friday. Friday’s My Top 5 Music Obsessions starts with my favorite track off of The Juliana Hatfield Three’s album – a quintessential album for me, from 1993. Then we return to my Brit Pop rediscoveries with a band I neglected in the past. Oasis comes around again with one of my current favorite songs of theirs, then its one of my all-time favorite tunes from “Uncle Jarvis”. Friday’s Top 5 ends with some Weller, a track of his that was spinning in my head before the sun came up today.

You can click to listen to each video below, or choose the Spotify link to listen to the My Top 5 Song Obsessions of the Day :: Top Five playlist. I will add each five songs shared to the playlist each day. 

1. “For the Birds” :: The Juliana Hatfield Three

“I don’t care for boys or girls,
I’d rather hang around,
with the birds.”

This song reminds me so much of 1993. That apartment on Valencia with the big front room that was our bedroom. We didn’t have a TV. Didn’t have one in the first two places we lived in. Just books and music. So much music. I played this CD, over and over, every song memorized and sung-a-long to. This one was always my favorite. I would sing it to my baby daughter in the early mornings, holding her close in my arms.

2. “Walkaway” :: Cast

“If you’ve heard all they got to say,
you looked,
but turned away –
walkaway, walkaway.”

Cast is a mid-90’s Brit Pop era band that somehow passed me by. In my recent music rediscoveries I came across them, and have been exploring their tunes. This one is a standout, to me.

3. “Shakermaker” :: Oasis

“But, when you’re happy,
and you’re feeling fine,
then you’ll know it’s the right time.
It’s the right time,
to shake along with me!”

This may be my current favorite Oasis, possibly tied with “Whatever”.

4. “Disco 2000” :: Pulp

“And I said,
let’s all meet up in the year 2000.
Won’t it be strange when we’re all fully grown?”

I hear this song and picture a Danny Boyle film, 90’s era, circa Trainspotting, Shallow Grave and A Life Less Ordinary. I’m not sure it ever made it on any of those soundtracks, but that’s where my train of thought goes.

Also, I love this video.

5. “The Changingman” :: Paul Weller

“Is happiness real?
Or am I so jaded
I can’t see or feel?”

This is it. The song that was spinning in my head when I woke up this morning.

And there it went…the “Friday Five” from My Top 5 Music Obsessions.

What have you been listening to today?

Where were you in 1990? :: A Throwback Thursday Playlist

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Where were you in 1980? :: A Throwback Thursday Playlist
Listen here on Spotify

“Candy” :: Iggy Pop, featuring Kate Pierson
“Here’s Where the Story Ends” :: The Sundays
“Wicked Game” :: Chris Isaak
“Caroline” :: Concrete Blonde
“The Emperor’s New Clothes” :: Sinead O’Connor
“The Only One I Know” :: The Charlatans
“Step On” :: Happy Mondays
“Strawberry Fields Forever” :: Candyflip
“Move Your Body” :: Xpansions
“Vogue” :: Madonna
“Freedom! ’90” :: George Michael
“Groove is in the Heart” :: Deee-Lite
“Clean” :: Depeche Mode
“This is How it Feels” :: Inspiral Carpets
“Creep” :: Radiohead
“Suedehead” :: Morrissey
“There She Goes” :: The La’s
“Cherry-coloured Funk” :: Cocteau Twins
“Classic Girl” :: Jane’s Addiction
“Dig for Fire” :: Pixies
“More” :: Sisters Of Mercy
“Disappear” :: INXS
“Birdhouse in Your Soul” :: They Might Be Giants
“Ball & Chain” :: Social Distortion
“I Don’t Know Why I Love You” :: The House Of Love
“Crystal Clear”:: The Darling Buds
“I’m Free” :: The Soup Goods
“Pretty Pink Rose” :: Adrian Below, featuring David Bowie