Today’s the last day of April. Last days lead to first days. Last days are not goodbyes, but more like see you later’s. Last days are doors closing so others can open. Last days are wiping slates clean, writing out lists and wishes, and letting go so you can let new things in. And, last days are just like any other day sometimes, too. It’s all about perspective.
I’m feeling positive this week. I’m feeling good about things in my life. Most of them, at least. I’m feeling both motivated and accomplished. A month ago there were things I wanted to change, and they are changing. I’m changing them. I have a lot more work to do, and there are things that are not working in my life, but I see the progress. I feel it. I feel good. Even with the ebb and flow of anxiety, I am feeling (mostly) good.
Today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions feel it, too, I think. They feel good, or they make me feel good, at least. I played them all, off and on, all morning and afternoon. Turn them up loud and I hope you enjoy all 5 of them, too. You can stream on Spotify and YouTube – or just press play below.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – April 30, 2019
1. “There is an Everlasting Song” by Belle and Sebastian
from the album, How to Solve Our Human Problems (Parts 1-3) (2018)
Not on YouTube
“There is an everlasting morning near the sun.
It burns a hole in my heart,
makes me want to run.
And, I would run all day if they give me the choice.
I hear your voice,
I hear your voice,
I hear your voice.”
A 100% feel good song. Even melancholic tracks by B&S make me feel good. They always have, ever since I discovered the album If You’re Feeling Sinister, back in the mid-90s.
This is recent. Last year recent. Though I’m just discovering it now, the album(s), and the song. This is my first listen favorite.
It reminds me of falling in love. That first falling feeling. And, it reminds me of feeling that love long after the first fall. The way that it can be still big and bold and beautiful, if you let it. If you let your heart love like that.
For a long, long time I believed it to be fleeting. Never as good as in the beginning. But, I think differently now. I believe it doesn’t have to be that way. Though I fear, often it is just that – especially when the other person believes in the fleeting, and first rush love-spiracy.
You can’t love big for both people. You can try. But, it only works when both people show up, and believe.
2. “Sodajerk” by Buffalo Tom
from the album, Big Red Letter Day (1993)
“But if my patience,
were a spaceship,
high up in orbit.
Then I would rise here.
Risen from where I sit.”
There isn’t a time when this song doesn’t remind me of two things: My So-Called Life, and working at Tower Records.
This song, and the band are synonymous with both – and with who I was in my life back then. Its like sonic ’90s time travel.
3. “Time is the Killer” by Rain Phoenix and Michael Stipe
from the EP, “Time Gone” (2019)
“Time is the killer.
Time is the killer.
Time is the mirror.
Time is the healer.
Time is the teacher.
Time is the killer.”
This is beautiful, heartbreaking, poignant, relevant, and everything I obsess over in a song.
I’ve always loved the duets that Michael Stipe does. Like with Kristin Hersh, Natalie Merchant, Syd Straw, Dashboard Confessional, this one, etc.
The rest of this EP is wonderful, too. Though this is definitely my favorite track. It says/sings a lot of the things I am feeling lately. It speaks/sings to mindfulness, to me.
4. “I’m On Fire” by Electrelane
from the album, Singles, B-Sides, and Live (2006)
“At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet,
and a freight train running through the middle of my head.
Only you can cool my desire.”
How many people have covered Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”? I feel like I could build a playlist with just covers of this song.
No matter how many I hear though, I never seem to get tired of it. I’m always crushing on every new version I find.
I love how this one feels/sounds like a ’90s riot grrrl clash with an ’80s new wave band…in the best way.
5. “Midnight” by Altered Images
from the album, Happy Birthday (1981)
“Somebody left their blood on my door.
Serial numbers 024.”
Speaking of new wave. One of my favorite new wave bands is Altered Images, and I’ve always enjoyed this track without actually digging in deep to the lyrics. They are actually very disturbing.
Part of me wants to go back to when this song was just something I danced to at clubs in the late ’80s, and earlier, in my teenage bedroom.
TOP 5 MUSIC OBSESSIONS – WEEK OF APRIL 29, 2019
She calls me April’s fool as I fall into May’s embrace
“Stayin’ Alive” by Lizzo
“You Wouldn’t Like Me” by Tegan and Sara
“Stutter” by Elastica
“Why Can’t I?” by Liz Phair
“Supercut” by Lorde
“Sleepover” by Hayley Kiyoko
“Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star
“i love you” by Billie Eilish
“Wicked Game” by Gemma Hayes
“Reasons Not To Die” (Demo) by Ryn Weaver
“Glory Box” by Portishead
“All Apologies” by Sinéad O’Connor
“Killer” by Phoebe Bridgers
“Past Life” by Maggie Rogers
“Friend Like Me” by Betty Who
“Hollywood Lawn” by Jenny Lewis
“Erase/Rewind” by The Cardigans
“White Flag” by Dido
“Do What You Have To” by Sarah McLachlan
“Ruin” by Cat Power
“Head Alone” by Julia Jacklin
“Cartoon People” by Billie Marten
“Post Love” by Kimbra
“Black Star” by Gillian Welch
“Seventeen” by Sharon Van Etten
“Raspberry Swirl” by Tori Amos
“Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush
“Don’t Tell Me” by Madonna
“Troubled By the Way We Came Together” by Natalie Imbruglia
“I Don’t Want To Wait” by Paula Cole
She calls me April’s fool as I fall into May’s embrace
The ABC’s of Tori Amos
A lyriquediscorde favorites playlist
A Monday Playlist
“Enjoy the Silence”
“Frog On My Toe”
“Hey Jupiter” (Dakota Version)
“The Power of Orange Knickers” (featuring Damien Rice)
“Muhammed My Friend”
“Ode to the Banana King (Part One)”
“Silent All These Years”
“Tear In Your Hand”
The ABC’s of Tori Amos
I’ve been buzzing about Lizzo since I heard her song “Juice”. I knew she was one to watch/listen to, and I’ve been doing just that – watching and listening to her. Watching the Netflix movie Someone Great last week I heard another Lizzo track, her new single “Truth Hurts”. I have been playing it off-and-on ever since.
“Truth Hurts” by Lizzo
Song of the Day
“Why men great ’til they gotta be great?
I just took a DNA test,
turns out I’m 100% that bitch,
even when I’m crying crazy.
Yeah, I got boy problems,
that’s the human in me.
then I solve ’em,
that’s the goddess in me.”
The track inspired me to make a walking playlist for myself, and a second playlist for when I re-sign-up for the gym (when I can afford it again) because this song makes me want to move. It also has me singing-a-long loudly, while feeling all the empowerment the lyrics are full of. This is one of those songs that I want to blast loudly while hanging out with my best girlfriends. This song is meant for “dancing it out” with a best friend (think Cristina and Meredith dancing it out, early “Grey’s Anatomy”). It’s too bad that most of my best girlfriends live so far away.
For now, I’m going to shut my office door, press play, and turn the volume up. I may have to dance it out myself.
Influenced by Houston rap, gospel soul, and experimentalists like ANOHNI and Missy Elliott, Lizzo is a musical acrobat. The singer-rapper writes songs that, in equal measure, balance her unique sonic interests and lyrics that tackle womanhood and identity. (from Pitchfork)
Lizzo, born Melissa Viviane Jefferson, is the founding member of indie hip-hop groups The Chalice, Grrrl Prty, The Clerb, Ellypseas, and Absynthe. She released her debut album, Lizzobangers, in 2013. Her second in 2015, called Big Grrrl Small World, and her most recent, Cuz I Love You, released this year.
“Truth Hurts” is her latest single, which is already making me want another new album.
The last few days of April. Rain still coming and going in LA. “April showers” is a thing, but rain in Southern California, not so much. I’m getting accustomed to it though and will miss it when the rain is gone. Today is a day of change. New office in a new part of Los Angeles. We are in a space with more space, with exposed ceilings, and giant windows everywhere. I can stand up and see the ocean. This gifts me a sense of peace. An unexpected blessing. I should have known it would, to be honest. The sea and me, we go way back. The ocean has always been something magical to me, calming and hopeful, and full of peace and possibility.
Today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions are songs that have been bubbling up over the last few days. Songs I keep hitting repeat on. Songs that make me feel good, which is important right now. I’ve struggled a lot lately, more than I have since I was so much younger. I didn’t expect to ever be reacquainted with my twenties-anxiety, but it came back to me over the last year. I’m always one to find the good in things, but it’s been quite a struggle to find the good in all this anxiety. Today, as I was driving one thing, did occur to me…all this anxiety inspired my investigations into mindfulness, into meditation, healthy eating, walking, and breathing. Writing and music have always been tools, but these others are new to me – and they are helping my anxiety, along with some other internal, and external things.
It’s slow going. Any change is. But it’s been a gift to my life. So, I suppose, that is the good in the anxiety. It has led me to live more healthily, with more vulnerability and mindfulness. It is helping me be more awake, and alive.
The first track in today’s Top 5 is from Minnie Riperton. It’s a tune that recalls my childhood, reminding me of riding in my family’s light blue station wagon or lying on the floor in our living room listening to the music coming out of the bigger-than-me-at-the-time speakers. Next up is the perfect end-of-April song by the incredible Patti Smith. I feel like I’m always uncovering music of hers, and I’m grateful for that. Jennie Lawless is a new discovery singer that I recently added to a walking mix of mine. I can’t seem to get enough of this track of hers. Today’s 4th song is another one of Juliana Hatfield’s Olivia Newton-John covers. I really don’t think I’ll ever tire of hearing ONJ’s songs, by her, or by Juliana. Bedouine is this week’s newest discovery – discovered today on my way into work. It reminds me of 60’s music my mom used to play back in that car, and living room, I mentioned before.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – April 29, 2019
1. “Les Fleurs” by Minnie Riperton
from the album, Come To My Garden (1970)
“Ring all the bells,
sing and tell the people that be everywhere,
that the flower has come.
Light up the sky with your prayers of gladness,
for the darkness is gone.
Throw off your fears,
let your heart beat freely at the sign,
that a new time is born.”
This song seems perfect for a day of change, like today for me. It has a feeling of joy and hope to it. That said, after its recent use in the closing credits of Jordan Peele’s film, Us, there is something foreboding about it, as well. And relevant to the movie’s story (“…for the darkness is gone.”)
I first knew of Minnie’s music through her 70’s hit “Lovin’ You”, a track my late husband used to love for reasons he never truly explained (but that I credited to his own childhood). I also remember hearing “Les Fleurs”, and the album Come To My Garden growing up. I’m pretty certain it was among my mom’s large record collection.
Minnie is the mother of Maya Rudolph, a favorite actor/writer/comedian of mine. She died tragically from breast cancer, in 1979. At diagnosis, which was unfortunately late, her prognosis was dire. Nonetheless, Minnie continued touring and spoke out with the American Cancer Society.
2. “April Fool” by Patti Smith
from the album, Banga (2012)
be my April Fool.
you’re the only one.
Come on your rusted bike.
we’ll break all the rules.”
“April Fool” reminds me of my young adulthood. Being in my very late teens and early twenties. My first car. The freedom that came with it. The hope I tied to everything and everyone I met, even though my life should have shadowed me with jadedness and doubt.
It also reminds me of my younger life. My first bike. The freedom that came with that, too. Riding around the neighborhood. My clip on radio playing. Feeling the Summer breeze whip my hair back. Feeling like I could be anyone I wanted to. Feeling like I could be anyone but me.
3. “I Want To Believe” by Jennie Lawless
from the EP, Two Songs (2018)
“I shut out the part of my doubtful heart.
Shudder at the thought of it spreading out.
Impressionable me cannot let it spread –
I wanna keep my head.”
I stumbled on this song when I was putting together a walking playlist for myself, and it stuck out to me, feeling very relevant to how I am lately. Seeking my optimistic self that has been dimming lately. Resurrecting her. Breathing new life in my hopeful side.
“I Want To Believe”. I want to keep believing. I want to get back into seeing this world as a beautiful thing, and my life as something so very good. I’m tired of feeling so doubtful and negative. I need the light that’s always been so vital to me and my life.
4. “Have You Never Been Mellow” by Juliana Hatfield
from the album, Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John (2018)
“Have you never been mellow?
Have you never tried to find a comfort from inside you?”
I’ve written a lot about Olivia Newton-John’s music, and what it meant to me as a young girl. She was one of my favorite things, and her songs are part of the DNA of me. I was beyond excited (understatement) when Juliana Hatfield (one of my favorites from my twenties) released a cover album of Olivia’s songs.
No matter how many times I play the album, I never get tired of the songs. Never. I just love them more. This morning, “Have You Never Been Mellow” came on and it felt so perfect for how I’m feeling today, and lately. My need for mellowness, for mindfulness, for calm, and for happy. I feel like I’m surrounded by so much negativity, in all aspects of my life, and its been very hard on me.
But, I’m taking back happy. It is a choice, even when the choice is hard and feels insurmountable. Maybe we can’t be happy all the time. I know we can’t. But, I do believe we can choose to see the good in things, repeat to ourselves what we are grateful for (or write them out), and realize that in so many ways we are lucky to be here, to be alive, to love, and be loved.
Optimism, mellowness, and love do not fix everything. Money seems to beat out all of those things, even love, as does worries about money. But, somewhere in each day, we should appreciate love. I try to appreciate it. Love. As well as music, movies, books, the weather and blue sky, and all the random things that make up a day. I try to appreciate that I’m still breathing, too. Life is short and fleeting. Shorter than any of us think. We don’t get today back. We don’t get any of these moments back. Not ever.
5. “Come Down In Time” by Bedouine
from the single, “Come Down In Time” (2018)
“Come down in time I still hear her say,
so clear in my ear like it was today.
Come down in time was the message she gave.
Come down in time,
and I’ll meet you half way.”
What a gorgeous Elton John cover.
I came across this today via the Discover Weekly Playlist from Spotify. Bedouine’s cover of “Come Down In Time” was an insta-obsession. I kept hitting play, over and over again.
Bedouine is the name of Azniv Korkejian’s musical project. It is a take on the word Bedouin, meaning a nomad, or wanderer. Azniv is a bit of a Bedouin herself. She was born in Aleppo, Syria, grew up in Saudi Arabia, and then moved to the US when her family won a Green Card Lottery. Since then she’s lived in Boston, Houston, and now LA.
If you could go wandering today, where would you go?
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Week of April 29, 2019
The Morning After
“It’s been three months since she last picked me up. Three. It was April. Late April, I think. It wasn’t raining though.” musicforthemorningafter murmurs to himself, leaning his vinyl frame to the left, his soft tones trying to shutter up hurt like an unwanted, too sunny morning.
It’s midnight though, with no sun to speak of. Instead, there’s rain, a lot of it, three days and four nights of it, despite the cliché that it never rains in Southern California.
“Hey, I’m not a cliché!” It Never Rains in Southern California interjects, reacting defensively from the right side of the crate. Insulted.
musicforthemorningafter doesn’t respond, or maybe he just doesn’t hear It Never Rains in Southern California, at all. He’s too busy fixating on her. On the lack of her. On how long it’s been since he’s seen her.
For years he’d held claim to her heart. He’d been loved like that childhood stuffed bunny with the torn ear and worn patches. He’d been held close like a lover whose meant to stay the course and played much more than often. It seemed like they were “meant to be”, another over-used cliché, yes, but one musicforthemorningafter couldn’t help believe in. He thought she’d keep spinning him until he was old and worn out. Until he couldn’t play any longer.
All the others in the green milk crates envied him. They fall all over each other, whispering, conspiring, pointing out all his flaws.
“Track six is trite. Repetitive,” Tidal says, stroking her long, straight hair and wrapping invisible arms around all her emotional depth.
“That fifth song always makes her cry. I never make her cry. Never, never ever.” London Calling brags, holding himself up straighter, chin jutting defiantly, fist-raising, vying to be the tallest in the row.
“Love is fleeting. You should know that by now,” Substance says, sorrowfully singing how love tears them all apart.
“You never were all that,” Rio says smugly. “She was mine in her awkward years. She left lipstick marks on me. Daily. Played me while she touched herself, pretending it was me. None of you will ever have fifteen and sixteen. I was her first.”
It had all happened so suddenly, musicforthemorningafter thought. He’d been her early mornings, her long afternoons, her off-to-dreamland lullabies. He’d seen her through two lovers, one failed marriage, and a six-month stint of self-imposed isolation.
She’d had two hair colors, one car crash (well, one and a half), three jobs, and one rent-controlled apartment since they’d met – all with his songs as her soundtrack.
Sure, she’d had flirtations with others in the crate. Some were best when she’d had too much to drink. Another set was just right when she wanted to wail and thrash her body around the room, crashing her right knee on the coffee table’s edge, or falling hard just to get back up again. Two were for tears, another for disappointment, and that one she hardly grabs for, she was meant for shame and sorrow. Afterward, though, she’d stash them all back in the crate, especially that latter one. I mean no one wants to replay their low points too soon.
Afterward, she’d always reach back in again – for him.
His songs crossed boundaries and moods. They could weave through almost all her good and bad days. He fit right into nearly all her “somethings”. She knew all his words, sang-a-long to each and every song, wrote them down in bound notebooks, and even had one from that so-called “trite” track tattooed on the inside of her left arm.
Take that, Tidal.
But something has changed. Something big.
It feels like she’s gone.
He has no one to talk to about it though. All those years as her beloved, as her favorite, has isolated him from all the others. Or, maybe he did it to himself. Puffing his chest out, taking up more space than his double-sleeve requires, boasting the scrawled signature across his front side, the fingerprints – her fingerprints – that pattern across his grooves. He’s let it all grow into a self-satisfied smile. He’s let it take him over. He loves being her number one. More than that, he’s felt happy, never needing anyone else’s soft touch, no one else’s but hers. He’ll wait here though. He’ll wait forever if he has to. Poised and ready for her red-lipped pucker, and that slightly out-of-tune voice that is unmistakably hers.
Even on her worst days, she is beautiful to him.
Even on her worst days, he has been who she’s reached for and clung to.
“Maybe you should dye your cover, redecorate, change your style,” Hunky Dory muses. “The universe is full of inspiration, possibility, infinite ways to be.”
“She’ll never love you back,” Songs of Love and Hate says. “I’ve been around a good long time. Been with three other beauties. It always ends. They always break our hearts.”
musicforthemorningafter doesn’t heed the advice or warnings. He brushes off their suggestions and opinions, assuring himself that he is different.
She is different.
But is she?
He traces back the days before this shift, rewinds them like the old cassette relics that came before him. Black Celebration and Purple Rain have told him about those “early days”, how their sonic ancestors had been smaller, their insides visible, and easily torn.
All the others in the crate, they are made to last longer. Their outsides stronger, their internal vulnerabilities nearly impenetrable. Vinyl forever – right?
He can hardly picture what that must have been like. All he’d ever had to contend with were the smaller versions of himself, still circular, but brighter, lighter, and easier to snap in two. She had one of him like that – a CD version – its case was cracked from rolling around in her car’s backseat floor.
He knows she prefers the weight he offers, his raw sound, the turn of each side. She loves to flip him over, and then over again.
Back before April, in those last leading up days, she had started to leave them all alone, sometimes for days on end. She would throw him on before leaving, turning him up loud enough to shake the wall behind where he plays. She’d rush around, manically grabbing at this and that, singing with him the entire time. But more often than not she’d only get through track three before she’d turn him off again. Leaving him face up and naked, lying in wait, his cover abandoned far across the room, open wide on the worn, second-hand couch.
“She’s in love,” The Libertines (self-titled) said, English accent heavy on the ‘ove, as the two symbiotic singers lean in closer to each other, playing at being in love themselves, to illustrate their point.
Is that what this is?
Is that what has happened to her?
But, he’d been there for love before. Twice. Three times maybe. Hadn’t he? They’d come and gone, like pop songs, addictive, sugar-sweet, and hot as hell, until she couldn’t bear them anymore.
He was always there afterward. To cleanse her palate. To sate her after their new smell wore off. Hell, he’d even been part of a few initial seductions. She’d used track two on quite a few “I’m falling for you” playlists, carefully positioning his song on one of those cyclical discs to give the new guy. Once she played his whole first side when she’d brought one of them home.
Whoever this one is he’s never come home with her. She’s never recorded any of his tracks for him. She’s never taken him along with her, either. Not even once.
Weeks have gone by. Dust is starting to settle on his sleeve. Tiny flakes slipping through, threatening to colonize each groove. He tries to shake them off, leaning further to the right side, rubbing against the crate’s hard plastic.
He is starting to lose count of how many days she’s been gone.
The other’s are starting to take notice, too. Silence turning into a kind of fading. The window above them, the one with the broken shade, brings in the hard mid-day sun. One day after another, and another, and another. Soon they will all lose their color, their shape, maybe even their sound.
He can barely remember what her touch feels like.
Then suddenly, unexpectedly, he hears her. Feels her as she slides him out from the crate – oh so carefully.
Is he dreaming?
Her hands are cold, damp, shaky. Her eyes are wide and rimmed in red, her skin is a pale pallor except for the lines of inky tears that snake down each cheek. Her breathing sounds labored, ragged, as she breathes in, then out again. musicforthemorningafter wants to say something to her. Tell her how much he’s missed her. Ask her where she’s been. Say “are you okay?”
But they don’t speak the same language. Not in words, at least.
She starts with the last track. “A Girl Like You”. Each line, each lyric, says everything he can’t. She sits as close as she can get to the song, laying him softly in her lap, swaying, and singing-softly-a-long.
More tears come. They slip into each word she sings. And when the track is over she plays it again. Then once more still.
Maybe this is goodbye.
Maybe she’s back…for good.
He doesn’t notice the boxes that show up over the next few days. He doesn’t pay attention to how she packs them, carefully, one-by-one. Shutting them up tightly with thick, clear tape. musicforthemorningafter doesn’t care to notice anything besides the fact that she’s back, that she’s playing him again – a lot. And that the others are all green as the crates themselves. Jealous once again.
He does notice the sun’s warmth when it hits him though. How glaring it is as she holds him close and carries him outside. The heat beats down on him as she lays him gently on a plaid woolen blanket.
The others are here, too. All of them. He sees them starting up into the sun as she picks him up again.
“This was my favorite,” she says, softly.
musicforthemorningafter has no time to consider her words as another set of hands take hold of him. Rougher hands. Much bigger than hers. He has no time to look at her – one last time – before he’s turned over and tucked under an arm.
Songs of Love and Hate’s words echo back in his memory. “She’ll never love you back.”
“I love that one so much, but there’s no room for my records at his place,” she explains. Her voice cracking, “you’ll love it, too.”
He has no time to tell her he’s loved her, too. That he loves her now. That he’ll always love her.
It’s morning. Bright and sunny, with no chance of rain.
Special thanks and credit to the following albums:
musicforthemorningafter by Pete Yorn
It Never Rains In Southern California by Albert Hammond
Tidal by Fiona Apple
London Calling by The Clash
Substance by Joy Divison
Rio by Duran Duran
Hunky Dory by David Bowie
Songs of Love and Hate by Leonard Cohen
Black Celebration by Depeche Mode
Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution
The Libertines (self-titled) by The Libertines
“A Girl Like You” by Pete Yorn
“It Never Rains In Southern California” by Albert Hammond
“Shadowboxer” by Fiona Apple
“The Guns of Brixton” by The Clash
“Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division
“Lonely In Your Nightmare” by Duran Duran
“Changes” by David Bowie
“Famous Blue Raincoat” by Leonard Cohen
“A Question of Lust” by Depeche Mode
“Purple Rain” by Prince and the Revolution
“Music When the Lights Go Out” by The Libertines
“Lose You” by Pete Yorn
The Morning After – The Mini-Playlist
Today’s music (so far) has included a lot of Pete Yorn songs, including a playlist of lyriquediscorde’s alphabetized favorites of his. That’s what happens, I suppose, when you wake up with a song and artist singing in your head. This PY day includes a Top 5 Music Obsessions track, one that was the first Pete Yorn songs I ever heard.
From there the Top 5 play-list goes to Dramarama’s ode to Earth Day. Though it says April 21st in the song, today is the official Earth Day (April 22). I remember when there used to be Earth Day festivities in Fullerton, back in the ’90s. It was at one of these that I heard Dramamrama perform this song live.
Next up is a track off of Ride’s 1992 album, Going Blank Again. I’ve been digging into Ride’s music lately, and this one is my current obsessive favorite song of theirs.
I stumbled on this LA-themed song (I love songs about Los Angeles) from The Church on one of this week’s Spotify Daily Mixes. This track was immediately filed in my ever-evolving collection of LA and California song. This track, I had to play about 5 or 6 times already this morning – a good indicator of a Top 5 Music Obsession Song!
Last, but definitely not least, is a favorite-music-obsessed song of mine from the early ’80s. Yaz and Alison Moyet’s voice just slay me and this track always pulls at my heart and emotions, every single time I press play – whether back in 1982, or today.
So, let’s press play now, shall we? And give all 5 of Today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions a listen. Be sure to turn the volume up.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – April 22, 2019
1. “Life On a Chain” by Pete Yorn
from the album, musicforthemorningafter (2001)
“I was alone.
You were just around the corner from me.”
“Take a listen to this, you’ll love this guy,” was the words of my late husband back in 2001. We’d been married a year and had made a crazy move to a state we’d only stay in for nine months. We were unpacking boxes and exchanging nervous looks back-and-forth, the anticipation mixing itself up with a hefty dose of anxiety, the stuff that big changes tend to bring.
He’d went to run an errand and stumbled upon a record store (always a find when in a new town) and picked up this album. He’d played it in the car on the way home and run in, excited, to share it with me. I can still remember that first moment, that first listen, and the first crackling sound of “Life on a Chain”.
That was the first time I heard the song. And yes, he was right, I fell hard for the album, and the song, right then and there. This track will always be one of my all-time favorite songs, from one of my all-time favorite albums.
2. “What Are We Gonna Do?” by Dramarama
from the album, Vinyl (1991)
“It’s April 21st,
and everybody knows today is Earth Day,
Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday to whoever’s being born.
And now I’m trying hard,
to think of something meaningful and worthy,
kind of earthy,
to make everybody ask themselves just
what are we doing here?
And what are we doing to her?
I don’t know.”
It was Earth Day. 1993 or 1994, I believe. We sat in the corner with our arms draped around each other as the singer (John Easdale) walked by. He stopped to talk to us, said he wished us well, and we did the same. When he sang this he said, “to the couple in the corner who still believe.”
Dramarama was one of our first shared loves. One of the biggest ones. It’s hard to separate our memories with the songs. I don’t think I will ever be able to.
I don’t listen often. But, I had to play “What Are We Gonna Do?” today. Earth Day memories. Its a great track.
Turn this one up to LOUD.
3. “Leave Them All Behind” by Ride
from the album, Going Blank Again (1992)
“Just to see,
we’ve got so far to go,
until we get there –
just let it flow.”
Back in the 90’s I somehow missed the ride with Ride. I knew who they were, had friends who were big fans, and yes, I knew the song “Vapour Trail”, but for some reason, I’d never dug in and listened to them.
They’ve been on my back burner, listen t this, get to it someday list for a long time. Years really. I’m finally on the Ride-ride, and I’m loving it. This song, “Leave Them All Behind”, the first track on Going Blank Again is my big Ride-obsession right now.
Do you have a favorite Ride track?
4. “Laurel Canyon” by The Church
from the album, Further/Deeper (2014)
“All those times we parted,
all those times we saw it through.
Couldn’t finish what I started.
I was diminished without you.”
The Church was one of my favorite bands in the ’80s. So many songs of theirs from that era I love so much. To be honest, though, I’d not followed the band past that.
I stumbled on “Laurel Canyon” through a Spotify Playlist, and became immediately obsessed with it. Not only is it a song about California/Los Angeles (an obsession of mine – music collecting wise), but it has all the aspects, sounds, and sensibilities that I always loved about The Church.
Now its time to play catch-up with the music of theirs I’ve missed.
5. “Only You” by Yaz
from the album, Upstairs at Eric’s (1982)
“All I needed was the love you gave.
All I needed for another day.
And all I ever knew,
Speaking of the ’80s, Yaz and “Only You” are definitely on my favorite ’80s forever song list. This song, sad and beautiful, heartbreaking and love-song-ish, always makes me feel so many things. Sometimes the song makes me cry. Sometimes it spreads surges of warmth through my veins. And, sometimes it just has me singing-loudly-a-long.
I love Alison Moyet’s voice. So much.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – Week of April 22, 2019
A new Playlist series starts with a lyriquediscorde favorite, Pete Yorn. The ABC’s of lyriquediscorde favorites – songs in alphabetical order for you to enjoy. For this week’s Monday Playlist lyriquediscorde is sharing the first one in the series.
photo by Jim Wright
The ABC’s of Pete Yorn
A lyriquediscorde favorites playlist
A Monday Playlist
“All At Once”
“Don’t Wanna Cry”
“For Nancy (‘Cos It Already Is)”
“The Good Advice”
“Iguana Bird” (with Scarlett Johansson)
“Long Time Nothing New”
“The Man” (with Natalie Maines)
“Never My Love”
“On Your Side”
“Pass Me By”
“She Was Weird”
“Turn of the Century”
“When You See the Light”
The ABC’s of Pete Yorn
“Just Another” is track 3 off of Pete Yorn’s debut album, musicforthemorningafter, one of my favorite songs off of one of my favorite albums.
I woke up early this Monday morning with it singing in my ears, the song a leftover from a dream I was having, I think. Though it’s all so hazy in that not quite remembered way that dreams sometimes are. No matter the contents or context though, the tune seemed to be vying to be today’s Song of the Day.
So I’m obliging (and singing-a-long).
“Just Another” by Pete Yorn
from the album, musicforthemorningafter (2001)
Song of the Day
“You were lying wide awake in the garden,
trying to get over your stardom,
and I could never see you depart us
and you’re my baby.
You’re just another girl.”
To me, “Just Another” has always been about taking someone off a pedestal to really love them. The song, to me, captures that moment when the initial rush of attraction passes and two people come together and see each other a more realistically. That place where I think true love begins. I also sometimes picture a story where someone “out of reach” lets down his/her guard to connect with another, like Daisy and Jay Gatsby (“The Great Gatsby”), if they both weren’t so awful – or maybe despite it.
The song also reminds me of a short story I wrote about a record who falls in love with the girl who owns it.
“Just Another” (live) by Pete Yorn
Stay tuned later today for a Pete Yorn lyriquediscorde favorites playlist, and the story about the album who fell in love with a girl, inspired by this song, and the album, musicforthemorningafter.
As I mentioned in today’s Song of the Day, I need a “big loan from the girl zone” today, so the Top 5 Music Obsessions for this Wednesday is all women in music all the time.
It starts off with the goth-gorgeousness of Siouxsie and the Banshees, with one of my favorite tracks of theirs, “Hong Kong Garden”. This one always makes me want to dance.
Next up is St. Vincent, and the song “Prince Johnny”. I’m often reminded of Siouxsie, Tori, and Kate Bush when I hear Annie Clark (St. Vincent), so this one really fits in well today.
Then we have “Caught a Lite Sneeze” by Tori Amos. I had to include it, don’t you think? Since I’ve been quoting it all day, here, and in this post, too.
Polly Jean Harvey comes at it for Obsessive Song #4, with “Rid of Me”, which leads in perfectly to today’s “last but not least” track, “Army of Me”, by the irreplaceable and ever-unusual Björk.
Cheers to today’s Music Obsessed “Girl Zone” for helping me get up and get through it. I hope these 5 help you, too.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – April 10, 2019
1. “Hong Kong Garden” by Siouxsie and the Banshees
from the album, The Scream (1978)
“Tourists swarm to see your face.
Confucius has a puzzling grace.
Disoriented you enter in.
Unleashing scent of wild jasmine.
Slanted eyes meet a new sunrise.
A race of bodies small in size.
Chicken Chow Mein and Chop Suey.
Hong Kong Garden takeaway.”
Always makes me want to dance, this track. It also now reminds me of the Sofia Coppola film, Marie Antoinette, which featured the track in a key scene.
All that said, and despite the fact that this is one of my favorite Siouxsie songs, there is something that seems racially/ethnically incorrect now. Reading the lyrics above, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable with them. It’s a long ways away from 1978, that’s for sure, and the lyrics definitely show it.
What do you think?
2. “Prince Johnny” by St. Vincent
from the album, self-titled (2015)
“I’ll mean more than I mean to you.
I’ll mean more than I meant to him.
So I pray to, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, to make me a real girl.
So I pray to, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, to make me a real girl.”
There is something other-worldly and magical to St. Vincent.
Sometimes I forget how much I get from her music. There is still so much of it I need to dig into and learn. This track is off what is probably my favorite of St. Vincent’s. This one, and 2017’s MASSEDUCATION.
“Prince Johnny” reminds me of Pinnochio (the real boy/real girl lines), and of the movie Ruby Sparks, for those lines, too. There’s a darkness in this song, a dreaminess, something speculative and as I said before, other-worldly and magical. And very St. Vincent.
3. “Caught a Lite Sneeze” by Tori Amos
from the album, Boys For Pele (1996)
“Caught a lite sneeze,
dreamed a little dream,
made my own pretty hate machine.
Boys on my left side,
boys on my right side,
boys in the middle,
and you’re not here.
Boys in their dresses,
and you’re not here.
I need a big loan from the girl zone.”
This song and this album cut to the core of me. I’d say they are odes to break-ups and heartbreak, but “ode” doesn’t seem to be the right word. They are reactionary, emotional, cathartic songs full of pain and loss and stages of grief and hopelessness and hopefulness and all of it. These songs can feel like train wrecks and cracks internal, but they can also feel like lifelines and understanding.
I so need that girl zone today. Maybe you do, too.
4. “Rid Of Me” by Polly Jean Harvey
from the album, Rid Of Me (1993)
“I’ll tie your legs,
keep you against my chest.
Oh, you’re not rid of me.
Yea, you’re not rid of me.
I’ll make you lick my injuries.
I’m gonna twist your head off, see.
‘Til you say don’t you wish you never never met her.”
The pain and the pathos, and all that glorious anger. Damn.
There are times when I could conjure up all that – all the feeling in THIS SONG – and keep it for days. All the pain of swallowed, all the hurt feelings, the neglect, the abandonment, the heartbreaks, and the disappointments, I wish I could fill myself up with them and then spit them out with this kind of melodic vitriol.
Also, my FAVORITE version EVER of this song is the live version below. I’m pretty sure it was THIS live video that had me following for PJ hard.
“Rid of Me” (live) by Polly Jean Harvey
5. “Army of Me” by Björk
from the album, Post (1995)
“And, if you complain,
you’ll meet an army of me.”
Badass women unite and join this army of me. That’s how I feel when I hear this song.
I also feel motivated, inspired, and strong enough to be my own army.
“Army of Me” was the lead single released off of Post, Björk’s 3rd studio album. It was written and produced by Björk and Graham Massey, who helped her in producing and writing the majority of Post.
The song reminds me of the film Tank Girl, which featured “Army of Me”. I remember seeing Tank Girl with a bunch of friends I worked with at Tower Records, together in 1995.
Tank Girl (1995)