songs

The Ocean Blue VOTD

“Between Something and Nothing” by The Ocean Blue

“Between Something and Nothing” by The Ocean Blue
from the album, The Ocean Blue (1989)
Video of the Day

“And I long to know you’re real.
And I long for you to be part of me.
I long to know you’re real.
And I long for you to be a part of me.”

The Ocean Blue Between Something and Nothing VOTD

Pete Yorn Top 5 Music Obsessions

Top 5 Music Obsessions featuring Pete Yorn

Sundays have always been my favorite day of the week. It started back when I used to work six days a week, Monday thru Saturday, back in the ’90s, when I was in my 20’s. Sunday was a special day. My only day off. A day when I’d get the urge to cook lots of food, and have people over to eat, drink, and have great conversations. Oh, and listen to lots of music.

Sundays don’t have that same charm anymore, yet the day still holds a specialness to it, for me. There is something peaceful about it. A day when I try not to have too many places to go, or too long of to-do lists. I like to ditch time on Sundays, taking the day as it comes instead of holding to schedules and places I have to be. It doesn’t always work out that way. What ever does? But today I’m happy to say is just like that.

I’m indulging in my second cup of coffee while sitting at my dining room table, listening to today’s selection of Top 5 Music Obsessions, and letting the songs take me where they want me to go.

I’m still struggling a lot and sleeping too little, but the music is helping some today. As is the coffee, and no particular place to go. I do have a to-do list. Laundry, a bit of housework, and a work project that’s deadline is tomorrow. But, I’m taking it slow, and taking some time to write, and listen to music. It helps.

So, let’s get right to it. To the music. To today’s Top 5.

Top 5 Music Obsessions – Sunday, June 2, 2019

Listen on Spotify and YouTube and Pandora

1. “Can’t Stop You” by Pete Yorn
Single released 2019

“(Imagine it)
Can’t stop you from hurting yourself.
(Can’t stop you)
It’s not you who’s driving us all away.
(It’s not you)
Can’t stop you from losing it all.
(Can’t stop you)
Can’t stop you.
Can’t stop you.”

Pete Yorn is one of my forever all-time favorites, and it shows here at lyriquediscorde. One of his songs was the very first post here, back in 2011, and he has been featured here countless time since. I love his music. His music gifts me so many things, comfort, hope, dreams, inspiration, and just that indescribable feeling that music that means the world gives.

Of the two new singles released this week, “Can’t Stop You” is my favorite. It resonates deeply with me right now. Both in how I feel/how I am impacted by things people I love are going through, and how I feel about the struggles and issues I’m trying to get through myself. This song is honestly just what I needed right now, and I am so grateful.

It has that tried and true Pete sound to it, but with a little extra flourish that makes it both timeless and contemporary. It feels like Summer. It feels like time at the ocean, times on the road with the windows rolled down, and times sitting alone in contemplation, worrying and wondering about someone (or yourself), and learning to let go of things you can’t control.

Give this track multiple listens. Then go out into the world, on a walk, or a drive, and play it again. You’ll thank me for it.

2. “Possibly Maybe” by Björk
from the album, Post (1995)

“Your flirt finds me out,
teases the crack in me,
smittens me with hope.”

Fitting right in with this month’s theme, and today’s Song of the Day, “Possibly Maybe” is the perfect crush song. A tune for when you feel that first flush of feeling from another person. There is excitement, desire, and the uncertainty of where it will lead if it leads anywhere at all. Possibly it could become something more. Maybe it could even become love.

This track also has a Summer feel. I guess my ears, and music obsessive heart is readying for the Summertime (though I could skip right over the heat – when it comes).

3. “Desire Lines” by Lush
from the album, Split (1994)

“We hold parties in our sleep.
We fill ourselves up in our sleep.”

I’ve been diving in deep to women in music in the ’90s for this month’s Song of the Day theme, and keep finding songs I can’t get enough of. This one is definitely in that category.

Sleep has been elusive lately. I’ve had three nights of very bad insomnia where I’ve hardly slept at all, and when I do finally doze off, bad dreams come to take me over. I wake suddenly then, full of panic and anxiety, and the struggle to fall asleep starts all over again.

I’m longing to fill myself up with sleep. I know my body, mind, and emotions really need it. Maybe it will be better tonight.

Maybe I need to make a lullaby playlist.

4. “Turn Me Down” by Julia Jacklin
from the album, Crushing (2019)

“It’s a lot to ask of you,
to believe in me,
when I can’t even promise,
I’d do things differently next time.”

I feel like this song, especially the lyrics above, were written for me, in my life, right now. They resonate so much it hurts.

Julia Jacklin is one of my favorite new discoveries of the year, and her album Crushing will definitely be on my favorite albums of 2019 list.

P.S. This song also feels like Summer, to me.

5. “Kinky Love” by Pale Saints
from the EP, Flesh Balloon (1991)

“Good to me.
Kinky, do all the things you should to me.
Wake up I’m nervous.
Sleep inside of me.”

Another “women in music in the ’90s” song. Another Summertime vibe kind of song. Sensual, sexy, soothing, and so beautiful.

I feel like I didn’t appreciate Pale Saints enough in the ’90s. I feel almost like I’m discovering them for the first time now. I’m sure glad I finally came around.

I want to swirl around in this song all morning, and afternoon.

TOP 5 MUSIC OBSESSIONS – JUNE 2019

Bjork It's Oh So Quiet SOTD

“It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk

Day 2 of June’s Song of the Day theme – Women in Music in the ’90s – features one of the most danceable, addictive, theatrical, feel-good songs from the ’90s, “It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk. “It’s Oh So Quiet” is tied with “Army of Me” as my go-to Björk track, tied for favorite, a tune that will always put me in a better mood. Always.

The song is track 4 from Björk’s 1995 album, Post, her second solo release. Something new that I learned about the song today is that it’s a cover. I’d always assumed it was an original. But no, it was Betty Hutton who recorded and released the catchy tune in 1951 as the B-Side to her single, “Murder, He Says”. But that isn’t the original either. Betty’s is a version of a German song, “Und jetzt ist es still”, performed by Horst Winter in 1948, with music composed by the Austrian composer, Hans Lang, and lyrics by Erich Meder. The English lyrics were written by Bert Reisfeld. A French title, “Tout est tranquille”, was performed in 1949 by Ginette Garcin and the Jacques Hélian Orchestra. (from Wikipedia)

Damn, this song has made its way all over the world. I think it’s time to have a listen, don’t you think? Let’s start with Today’s Song of the Day, Björk’s 1995 version.

“It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk
from the album, Post (1995)
Song of the Day

“The sky caves in.
The devil cuts loose.
You blow blow blow blow your fuse.
When you’ve fallen in love.”

Listening to “It’s So Quiet” this early Sunday morning I immediately remember a local bar my friends and I used to go to, in the mid-90s, that had this very cool jukebox (oh how I love jukeboxes). This was one of my favorites to play. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was always part of my rotation when I slid my money in to pick a handful of songs.

Bjork SOTD LD

It also reminds me of an apartment I had, my stereo in the living room, this song blasting out of the speakers while I danced around, bouncing up and down to the loud and soft (shhhh) intervals of “It’s Oh So Quiet”.

I’m getting that urge to dance around my living room right now, but I’m trying to “quiet” the desire and keep on writing. I mean, really, how can you not want to dance to this?

“It’s Oh So Quiet” became Björk’s biggest hit in the UK. It led to the Icelander’s subsequent single releases “Hyperballad” and “Possibly Maybe” also reaching the UK Top 20. Björk later virtually disowned the song by not including it on her 2002 greatest hits album. It is thought that Björk was disappointed that her most popular song is an unusual cover done in a style totally different to anything else she has recorded.

Bjork sotd lyriquediscorde

Björk was quoted as saying this about the song, in Record Collector, August 2002:

“It was sort of a joke really. It was a song Guy Sigsworth used to play on the bus when we were touring. Ever since I almost regret doing it because I wanted to put so much importance on making new music. So many people are doing old music and you’ve even got new bands doing old music. If I put something out in this world, it would be the courage to go ahead and invent things, so it’s ironic ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ became my biggest song. The best bit was the video.” (from Björk.com)

The music video (see above) was directed by Spike Jonze and was inspired by musicals of the ’40s-’60s, notably the 1964 film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Björk was ill with a fever and could only speak in a whisper during the shoot. (from Songfacts)

Let’s have a listen to Betty Hutton’s 1951 version now:

What do you think? Björk’s version is definitely a loyal cover of the high energy, musical-style tune.

Björk Song of the Day LD

I hit play on Björk’s take on the song again, and I inhale those feelings of listening to it back in 1995. I was 26. I remember really feeling this song, singing it with that glow and shine that usually accompany that first falling for someone feeling.

I’m reminded, too, that this was the year I’d see Björk play live for the first time. She played it then. My friend and I danced around in the crowd, my head spinning in that drunk and a little delirious kind of way.

Do you have any specific memories attached to “It’s Oh So Quiet”?

Let’s end today’s trip back to 1995 by going back to the 40’s, with the actual original.

“Und jetzt ist es still” by Horst Winter

Wait. I changed my mind. Let’s end instead with Björk performing the song live. Okay?

“It’s Oh So Quiet” (live, 1995) by Björk

Tori Amos Video of the Day

“Silent All These Years” by Tori Amos

“Silent All These Years” by Tori Amos
from the album, Little Earthquakes (1992)
Video by Cindy Palmano
Video of the Day

“My scream got lost in a paper cup.
You think there’s a heaven where some screams have gone?
I got twenty-five bucks an’ a cracker,
do you think it’s enough,
to get us there?”

Sleater Kinney Top 5 Music Obsessions

Top 5 Music Obsessions featuring Sleater-Kinney

The first of June’s Top 5 Music Obsessions is a mix of old and new, featuring two new tracks released this week that I can’t get enough of, a song by one of my favorite women of the ’90s (on theme), one of my favorites from my teenage years in the ’80s, and a sad and beautiful song that breaks my heart as much as it soothes it. Those are the best kinds sometimes, don’t you think?

I’m having a really hard time right now. So many people are struggling right now. I feel selfish complaining, and I find it hard to ask for help, or to speak on how I’m feeling at all. I’m grateful for those people in my life who are there for me, who remind me that I matter, and who don’t turn away or get upset if I’m not doing well. I don’t know what I’d do without them. It’s hard though, I feel alone and lonely, and I feel myself retreating inward, putting up walls and shuttering up my feelings. My writing has suffered for it, I’ve suffered for it, too. I need to make some big changes that will take a lot out of me, but something has to give. I can’t be this unhappy all the time. It isn’t good for anyone. It isn’t good for me.

Small changes first though. I am giving myself the time to breathe and plan and sort it all so I minimize regrets and curb my flight/run away fast knee-jerk reactions. Spontaneity and rashness are not always the right choice. So those small choices. Re-connecting with my writing, here and with my novel. Re-connecting with friends and mending things where they need mending, forgiving where forgiveness is needed, apologizing where apologies are needed, and that goes for me, too. I need to find her. The me in me again.

Enough of all that sad. Let’s turn up the music and celebrate a “first” day. A new beginning. The start of June.

Sleater Kinney Top 5 Music Obsessions Header

Top 5 Music Obsessions – Saturday, June 1, 2019

Listen on Spotify and YouTube and Pandora

1. “Hurry On Home” by Sleater-Kinney
Single release – 2019

“You know I’m unfuckable.
Unloveable.
Unlistenable.
Unwatchable.
But just hurry on home to me.
I’ve made more space for you.”

Produced by Annie Clark, also known as St. Vincent. Danceable and all those things above that say un. No, this track is all of those things. I’d fuck it, love it, listen to it, dance with it, and then do it all over again. Wouldn’t you?

I can’t wait to hear the full album.

2. “Some Jingle Jangle Morning” by Mary Lou Lord
from the album, Lights Are Changing (1998)

“Somewhere it all got crazy,
and now it’s like a dream,
and I knew that I blew it from the start.
I was too freaked out to deal with it all.
And too fucked up to care.
I stood right there and watched it fall apart.”

One of my favorites from the ’90s. I felt every word of that.

Of all the things I seem to do right, relationships aren’t one of them.

3. “Calm Down” by Pete Yorn
Single Release – 2019

“I wish I knew then what I know now.”

It’s always a better day when a new Pete Yorn song comes into my life. His music has always got me, and gotten to me, soothing the parts of me that feel broken, gifting me hope and inspiration.

“Calm Down” is no exception. I’m feeling so lost and so full of regrets, beating myself up for mistakes and for being me. But, I don’t have a time machine. I didn’t know then what I know now. All I can do is breathe, and yeah, “Calm Down”. As always, thanks, Pete.

4. “Medicine” by Daughter
from the album, Wild Youth (2012)

You’ve got a warm heart.
You’ve got a beautiful brain.
But, it’s disintegrating.”

Such a heartbreaking song. Such a beautiful song. It feels so relevant right now that it hurts to listen to, but I keep listening. It makes me feel less alone.

 

 

5. “So In Love” by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
from the album, Crush (1985)

Talk to me,
don’t lie to me,
save your breath.
Don’t look at me,
don’t smile at me,
just close your eyes.”

My favorite OMD song. This one takes me back to 1985 with the very first notes. I’m transported. A slide show of memories. A school dance in a church basement. The backseat of a friend’s car. The beach on a late Summer afternoon. The light blue walls (mostly covered in posters). Taping songs off the radio. My best friends.

Top 5 Music Obsessions – June 2019

Sarah McLachlan Song of the Day

“Good Enough” by Sarah McLachlan

Hello June, it’s so nice to see you. For this month I thought I’d have a Song of the Day theme. I’m going to be doing a theme for each Summer month this year, and who knows, if it goes well maybe I’ll do one every month moving forward. For June, the Song of the Day theme is Women from the ’90s. Think Lilith Fair. Think Riot Grrl. Think girl groups and R&B. Think alternative and indie and folk.

I was definitely all about women in music in the ’90s. The majority of my music collection were women artists. I went to every year of Lilith Fair, blasted Riot Grrl music from my car stereo, fell in love with Tori, Fiona, Liz, Courtney, PJ…and so many more.

Sarah McLachlan was one of those fell in love in the ’90s artists. I remember sitting on the hardwood floor of my second-floor apartment listening to Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, my baby daughter asleep in the infant seat next to me. I remember taking that album with me when I left a chapter of my life behind. Playing it over and over, picking new favorite tracks to put into mixtapes that I gave to friends, or hope to be lovers.

“Good Enough” was, and still is, one of my favorites from the album. It speaks so much to the woman I was then. 1994. Me at 25. Struggling with shaky self-esteem, trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted, a young mom who was clumsy at love, but who loved regardless. A huge music fan, but really, when haven’t I been? I wanted to feel “Good Enough”. I usually didn’t, but I wanted to. And I was drawn to people who made me feel a little bit that way. Not the best way to get self-esteem, from other people and from outside of myself, but it is definitely who I was at 25.

“Good Enough” by Sarah McLachlan
from the album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1994)
Song of the Day – Women of the ’90s

“I never would have opened up,
but you seemed so real to me.
After all the bullshit I’ve heard,
it’s refreshing not to see –
I don’t have to pretend,
she doesn’t expect it from me.”

“Good Enough” spoke to me at the time because of the relationship I was in. I felt lost and alone, hurt, and damaged in ways that would have a long-lasting impact.

I was in a crumbling, dysfunctional, emotionally abusive relationship at the time this album came out. Luckily for me, I met people, friends, as well as someone who would end up being one of the great loves of my life, who helped me see my way through it, and helped restore some of my damaged self-esteem. They helped me feel “Good Enough“, even though, as I wrote above, I should have worked on figuring that out for myself. Life is hard. Being in your twenties is hard. Love is hard. Growing up (if we ever really do) is hard, too. Very hard. And I was certainly struggling with it.

I still struggle with it. A lot. And I still spend many days (and nights) feeling not “Good Enough”.

Slowbrew album

I remember a year after Fumbling Towards Ecstasy came out I stumbled on this incredible compilation CD that had two tracks from FTE on it, one of them being “Good Enough”. Slowbrew: Music for a Cafe Culture became a quick favorite of mine. I knew and loved every song on it. I used to play it almost daily, in 1995. This was definitely a cafe culture era for me. I spent most nights at The Winged Heart, walking distance from that apartment where I first listened to Sarah.

Sarah SOTD

A few years after Fumbling Towards Ecstasy I would see Sarah sing “Good Enough” live, at the first Lilith Fair (and at the two that would follow). I remember standing there with a friend, crying my eyes out, as I sang-a-long. I was crying because it still felt relevant and true, and I was crying because I knew how far I’d come from who I was the first time I’d heard it.

I’m crying today, listening and singing-a-long to it, for those exact reasons.

“Good Enough” (live) by Sarah McLachlan

Unloved Top 5 Music Obsessions

Top 5 Music Obsessions featuring Unloved

Music discovery and obsession come to me from all kinds of places. Sometimes I wake up with a song stuck in my head, sometimes I’ll happen on a song that stirs a memory up, or elicits a feeling, sometimes I’ll be watching a film, or series, and a song will hit hard in connection with a scene, and sometimes I’ll get introduced to a track, via a streaming recommendation, or from a friend, or family members playlist, or song play in my car, or in my house. There are other ways that I’m sure I’m forgetting just now, but no matter the way a song hits my radar, becoming a press play priority, music is the one art form that moves and inspires me daily, since forever. I don’t see that ever changing. Like the voyager tendencies I wrote about in my last post, my sense of adventure and discovery is with music, too. My gypsy soul has an ever-growing soundtrack, and she is always hungry for something new.

I never grow tired of new, and new-to-me music. I always want more.

Today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions come from various music discovery and obsession moments. Two came from recent binge-watches of BBC’s Killing Eve and Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, one came from a “song I woke up with”, one came via a Spotify suggestion, and one just came to mind while I was compiling the five, a song that has so many memories attached to it.

Shall we begin?

Top 5 Music Obsessions – May 27, 2019

Listen on Spotify and YouTube

1. “When a Woman Is Around” by Unloved
from the album, Guilty of Love (2016)

“An eye for an eye,
is a blind man’s rule.
I wasn’t born to follow.
I’m nobody’s fool.”

Unloved When a Woman Is Around Top 5

Unloved is a new discovery of mine, one I heard in my current TV binge-obsession, Killing Eve. The music is almost as good as Jodie Comer’s acting is. I am team Villanelle, without a doubt, and also a fangirl for the music in this show (as well as the locations and clothes, and the writing, oh my stars).

team Villanelle

The show makes me want to get back to writing. It also nudges (hard) at my restless, gypsy soul. I’m craving travel so fiercely I can hardly contain it. For now, though, music, books, film, tv, and my own writing will have to suffice until I can sort out life and money stuff.

2. “Blood In the Cut” by K. Flay
from the album, Every Where is Some Where (2017)

Guess I’m contagious,
it’d be safest if you ran.
Fuck, that’s what they all just end up doing in the end.
Take my car and paint it black.
Take my arm,
break it in half.
Say something,
do it soon –
it’s too quiet in this room.”

K. Flay Top 5 Music Obsessions

Another show I’m obsessing and binging is Netflix’s take on the Archie comics character, Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Sabrina and Josie (and the Pussycats) were my Archie-jams, back in my childhood days, so I was interested and excited to see this darker, new take on Sabrina.

It took me a while to clear some time and space for the show, but I’m so glad I (finally) made it. I am digging it, so far – the story, the look and feel, the writing, the casting, and the music.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I’m glad it led me to this track, and to K. Flay’s 2017 album, Every Where Is Some Where. I foresee many listens (and song obsessions) in the near future, as well as a spot in some upcoming playlists.

Do you have a favorite song from the series?

3. “Atomic” by Blondie
from the album, Eat to the Beat (1979)

“Ah, oh your hair is beautiful.
Ah, tonight.
Atomic.”

Blondie was the first music (45’s) that I bought with my own money (second would be the Xanadu soundtrack). I’d walk the 9 blocks to this tiny record store in the Alpha Beta parking lot and use my saved up allowance to buy 45’s.

“Atomic” wasn’t one of those first 45’s, but it would become my favorite Blondie song of all-time after years of loving the band, and Debbie Harry herself, and having so many music-moments and memories that would attach to this 1979 track.

Debbie Harry

I remember dancing (so much dancing) to “Atomic”, kissing (and other things) to “Atomic”, driving in Hollywood in my first car to “Atomic”, and so many other memories.

It is forever a song in my life-soundtrack. One of my favorites in the ever-growing, my-life playlist.

4. “(The Girl With the) Raven Hair” by Jody Reynolds
from the album, Endless Sleep – Rockabilly Best (2010)

“Alone in my sorrow,
with no one to care,
dreaming of someone,
but no one was there.
A big flash of light,
broke through the mist,
revealing the angel I could not resist.”

Jody Reynolds Top 5

Whilst making this Top 5 playlist Spotify dropped this track into the suggested for this playlist spot.

I have a deep love of 50’s and rockabilly music, borne of a 12-year-old girl who fell for a rockabilly boy and befriended a 50’s obsessed girl, who led me into the abyss of throwback tunes and tracks.

Sometimes I forget how much I dig this era of sound and style until I hear it again.

Jody Reynolds Top 5 Music Obsessions

I never heard Jody Reynolds though, at least not to my knowledge – though I fancy I’ve heard a track or two in a movie, or tv series – at least once.

This track is so good. Thank you, Spotify.

I think I may go on a 50’s era, Rockabilly-style binge listen soon. Keep an eye on the Top 5 lists this week, you may see/hear more in this vein.

Any recommendations?

5. “Hurdy Gurdy Man” by Donovan
from the album, The Hurdy Gurdy Man (1968)

Thrown like a star in my vast sleep.
I opened my eyes to take a peek.
To find that I was by the sea,
gazing with tranquility.
‘Twas then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man,
came singing songs of love.”

Donovan Top 5

I woke up with “Hurdy Gurdy Man” in my head, with Donovan’s voice singing to my subconscious, a leftover sound-track from my dreams, I think.

I’ve been having nightmares lately. The kind that I fight to wake from. The kind that I can feel myself conscious of, lucidly trying to scream and kick and wrestle my way out of. This is the consequence of increased anxiety and unhappiness that I’m having so much trouble conquering. I put on a happy face, and wear my best dress of optimism, but inside I’m hurting so much.

I’m hoping that writing more will help. That more music will help. That time and change will help.

 

Top 5 Music Obsessions – Week of May 27, 2019

my weather vane collects tears in blue bottles

my weather vane collects tears in blue bottles a playlist lyriquediscorde

my weather vane collects tears in blue bottles
a playlist for May

listen on Spotify and YouTube

“Medicine” by Daughter
“Crystalised” by The xx
“Otherside” by Perfume Genius
“Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode
“Affection” by Cigarettes After Sex
“Rimbaud Eyes” by Dum Dum Girls
“Pale Blue Eyes” by The Velvet Underground
“Plainsong” by The Cure
“Young Blood” by Birdy
“Waiting” by Alice Boman
“Foolsong” by Still Woozy
“Roller Girl” by Anna Karina
“When a Woman Is Around” by Unloved
“I’m On Fire” by Chromatics
“Killer Shangri-Lah” by Psychotic Beats and Pati Amor
“Carolyn’s Fingers” by Cocteau Twins
“Someone Else To Be” by Peter Doherty and The Puta Madres
“Futile Devices” by Sufjan Stevens
“Rival” by Ruelle
“Addicted to Love” by Skylar Grey
“Jenny of Oldstones” by Florence and the Machine
“Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” by The Killers
“Alison” by Slowdive
“Ordinary World” by Joy Williams
“I Love You” by Billie Eilish
“Korean Dogwood” by Devendra Banhart
“Someone Saved My Life Tonight” by Mumford and Sons
“Venus Stop the Train” by Jay Bennett and Edward Burch
“Cherry-coloured Funk” by Arctic Lake
“Pearl” by Chapterhouse

my weather vane collects tears in blue bottles
a playlist for May

 

Sam Cooke Song of the Day

“You Send Me” by Sam Cooke

The first song I heard today was a track from one of my all-time favorite musical voices, Sam Cooke. “You Send Me”, today’s Song of the Day, was written and recorded by Sam Cooke. Historically, though, the song has been credited to Sam’s younger brother, L.C. Sam gave the writer credit to L.C. because at the time he did not want his own publisher to profit from the song.

Sam Cooke YSM SOTD

Sam’s transition from gospel to secular pop was complete when he penned “You Send Me.” Already a star in the gospel world as a member of the legendary Soul Stirrers, Sam really hit it big in 1957 on this, his first single under his own name (his first pop song, “Lovable,” was released under a pseudonym) — a number one smash for Keen Records, selling roughly two million copies.

Though he had been released from his Soul Stirrers contract with Specialty Records, the company nevertheless filed a lawsuit for royalties, claiming that the newly crowned superstar singer wrote and recorded the song while still under the company’s contract. Sam defended himself by claiming that the song was written by his brother, Charles L.C. Cooke (see above).

Sam had also hoped that L.C. would record and release “You Send Me”. It was meant to be a gospel track. A demo in that vein was recorded by Sam in 1955, but it was later, in 1957, that the classic track would be recorded, and then released that year as a single.  It was released as the “B” side to the track “Summertime”. But radio DJ’s preferred the “B”, and with that “You Send Me” went on to be the hit, staying in the #1 spot for two consecutive weeks in December of 1957.

 

“You Send Me” by Sam Cooke
released as a B-Side to the “Summertime” single (1957)
Song of the Day

“At first I thought it was infatuation,
but, woo, it’s lasted so long.
Now I find myself wanting,
to marry you and take you home.”

“You Send Me” is said to be the catalyst to Sam Cooke’s fame. The same year as the single’s release, Sam had been living in his producer’s apartment. But, after the single sold more than 1.5 million copies, Sam became a musical someone.

As was common practice in the 1950s, though, when it was unusual for hits in the black R&B market to crossover to the Pop charts, a cover version of “You Send Me” aimed at the Pop charts was cut by the white singer Teresa Brewer and released in October 1957.

“You Send Me” by Teresa Brewer

Symptomatic of the changing music scene, Cooke’s original was able to repeat its #1 R&B chart performance in the Pop field, eclipsing Brewer’s version. However, Brewer’s version of “You Send Me” reached as high as  #8, representing a strong improvement over her five prior single releases, although “You Send Me” would prove to be Brewer’s final Top 20 hit. (from Wikipedia)

Sam Cooke You Send Me

Since “You Send Me”‘s 1957 release, the song has become a landmark record of the soul genre, which Cooke helped create.

It was named as one of the 500 most important rock and roll recordings by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2005, Rolling Stone magazine listed Sam’s original version of “You Send Me” one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time (#115).

“You Send Me” has been covered by many artists. My personal favorite cover is by Aretha Franklin, released on her 1968 album, Aretha Now!

“You Send Me” by Aretha Franklin

Do you have a favorite cover of “You Send Me”? Do you have any other favorite Sam Cooke covers?

Patio Top 5 Music Obsessions

Top 5 Music Obsessions featuring Patio

Let’s hear it for a new month and for a new set of Top 5 Music Obsessions that includes 3 out of 5 new to me bands. Following suit with a musical obsessive friend of mine (who shares my first name), I’m trying to incorporate more new music into my May. She’s doing all new music to her all month. I’m not going that far. But, I am challenging myself to more new music all month. Starting off with 3 out of 5 for today is a pretty good start, I’d say.

Track 1 I heard on an NPR Podcast this morning (“All Songs Considered“). They are also responsible for introducing me to Track 3. Track 2 came from a story that the bassist from Patio told about writing Track 1. The band Washer is was a costar in a dream she had that led to the song, and they are also name-checked in the song itself (“Boy Scout”, today’s first track). The last two songs for today are from two favorite bands of mine that I fell for in the ’90s. Since the three new-to-me tracks remind me a bit of the ’90s it seemed fitting to add in some favorite ’90s bands of mine.

It’s always a good time to listen to The Lemonheads and The Breeders, I think.

Today feels like its rushing by a bit too fast. I’d like a few more moments to breathe. I’m grateful though that I took time for mediation this morning, that the sky is a beautiful blue, and that I’m going to the movies tonight with my boyfriend. Mid-week date night is a nice way to start the month.

I’d love to know what you are listening to, and obsessing over, on this first day of May. Please share in the comments, if you are so inclined. I will give every song a listen, and may even obsess over them myself.

Bonus points if you introduce me to something new (or new-to-me) so I can keep on with my May new music goal.

Until then, please hit play and have a listen. Turn up the volume and enjoy on  Spotify and/or YouTube. Happy May, everyone!

1. “Boy Scout” by Patio
from the album, Essentials (2019)

“I went shopping the other day.
This week,
I can afford to feel better.
I still wear all the same clothes.
Maybe by Friday,
I’ll feel better.
Maybe I’m just under the weather.
Maybe, I’m just.”

Discovered Patio, and their latest album, Essentials, this morning. I’m at once reminded of the late 70’s/early 80’s New Wave/Punk and 90’s female fronted bands, as well as both alt (think Breeders, Throwing Muses) and riot grrrl ’90s sounds/sensibilities.

“Boy Scout” is my first listen favorite, and the track that was featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered. During the NPR segment, they featured a short interview with Loren DiBlasi (vocalist and bassist) who said the song came to her in a dream.

She went on to describe the dream. That in it she dropped her guitar pick down a hole and when she reached down it to grab it and pulled it out, it had the words BOY SCOUT scrawled on it, in all caps. Also, in her dream, she and the band were playing with Washer, a band who is name-checked in the song with the lyric “I think I’m gonna go home and listen to Washer/ Instead of spending any more time with you.”

2. “Elbow” by Washer
from the album, All Aboard (2017)

“When you get angry,
scream into this bag and bury it.
From its place will grow,
a tree of everything you fear,
that you hold dear “

Washer Top 5

Talk about ’90s reminiscent, and of post-punk/punk. Something about Washer reminds me of Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr., and Sebadoh. They also remind me of Patio, the band that led me to them (see above).

I can picture these two bands playing together, like in Loren DiBlasi’s dream. Can’t you?

The lyrics to “Elbow” really resonate with me. They remind me of some of the mindfulness practices I’m doing. They also remind me of how I would bury artwork I made that I filled in with wishes, dreams, and fears when I was a kid – decorated with glued on leaves and flower petals and sprinkled with glitter. I used to think they were magic spells. That I was magic.

Maybe I was.

Maybe I still am.

3. “Drunk II” by Mannequin Pussy
from the upcoming album, Patience (2019)

“And everyone says to me,
“Missy, you’re so strong”.
But what if I don’t want to be?”

Mannequin Pussy Top 5

Those lyrics above hit right in the gut, and the heart, all at once.

I’ve been told by so many people in my life – all my life – “you’re so strong”. But, yeah, not only “what if I don’t want to be?” but what if I’m not? What if I need help? What if I fall from all that strength once in a while?

I sometimes think its a cop-out for people to say that. It’s justification for them to not help me, to not be strong for me, to lean too hard on me, to not be strong themselves. She’s strong. You’re so strong. That way no one has to show up for me. Not really. Not completely. Sometimes not at all.

Maybe that’s not what it is. Maybe that’s not what it is, at least not all the time. But, a lot of the time it really feels like that.

The strongest of us need things and help and people. And, we need a good post-punk song like this, too.

4. ” Hannah and Gabi” by The Lemonheads
from the album, It’s a Shame About Ray (Expanded Edition) (1992)

“I’m out wandering around.
You’re but one thing I’ve found.
I don’t mean to bring you down.
I’m out wandering around.”

The Lemonheads Top 5

There are certain bands and artists that I will forever associate with my twenties and the ’90s. Evan Dando and The Lemonheads are part of that associated twenties/’90s list, for sure.

I’ve been revisiting The Lemonheads lately, digging into some of the deep cuts that I’d forgotten about, or at least haven’t heard since I first owned the albums. It’s been a fun audio-ride filled with memories and nostalgia. That said, I’m also finding myself relating differently to some of the songs, making them more a part of my life now, and not just part of “thinking about the past” recollections.

“Hannah and Gabi” has been one of those seeing, and hearing, in a new light kind of songs which has led to a music obsession with the track (and inclusion into today’s Top 5).

5. “Divine Hammer” by The Breeders
from the album, Last Splash (1993)

“You’re the rod,
I’m water.
I’m just looking for the divine hammer.”

The Breeders Top 5

Maybe its because I saw Avengers Endgame a few days ago, but the first thing I think of with this song today is Thor and Thor’s hammer (along with a few other spoiler-things that I won’t mention here).

Beyond that, though, I’m reminded of dancing around my apartment to this song, my baby daughter in my arms, dancing with me. Or playing this song, and the album Last Splash, on many drives to-and-from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Do we ever find our “Divine Hammer“?

Do you ever not want to dance to this song?

giphy

TOP 5 MUSIC OBSESSIONS – WEEK OF APRIL 29, 2019

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