A life in song titles

I did a little music challenge in the early days of Facebook. I haven’t really delved into my love of Tom Waits on this blog, so I thought this would be a good way to demonstrate it.

The challenge was: Answer the following questions using only the one title s of one musical group or artist.

 

PICK YOUR ARTIST: Tom Waits

ARE YOU MALE OR FEMALE: I’m a “Gun Street Girl” for sure, for sure!

DESCRIBE YOURSELF: I am usually “Semi Suite”, but “In the Morning” I am “A Sight for Sore Eyes”.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF: I am a bundle of contradictions: “Baby, I’m Not a Baby Anymore” but “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” either.

DESCRIBE WHERE YOU CURRENTLY LIVE: I live in a quiet neighbourhood – in the “House Where Nobody Lives” at the intersection of “9th & Hennepin” and “Virginia Avenue” “On the Other Side of the World”. I used to live on “Heartattack and Vine” but I relocated on doctor’s orders.

IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD YOU GO: Am I in a “Los Angeles Mood”? Not today. I’ve always wanted to go to “Singapore”. Hmmmmm? “I’ll Take NY” anytime but right now “I Wish I Was in New Orleans (in the Ninth Ward)”.

YOUR FAVOURITE FORM OF TRANSPORTATION: The “Downtown train” of course.

YOUR BEST FRIEND IS: You, my sweet little “Coney Island Baby” (at least “‘Til the Money Runs Out”).

YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR IS: “New Coat of Paint”.

WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE: It’s like a “Flower’s Grave” out there right now. We are experiencing “Strange Weather”; “More Than Rain”. Last night I lay awake thinking “Blow Wind Blow” and in my dreams I imagined the “Earth Died Screaming”. They say “You Can Never Hold Back Spring” but my goodness, Mother Nature seems to be trying her best to just that. Brrrr.

FAVOURITE TIME OF DAY: Well it’s certainly not “Closing Time”.

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A TV SHOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: “Old Shoes (& Picture Postcards)”.

WHAT IS LIFE TO YOU: Wow, that’s a profound question.
Life is kinda like a “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis”, y’know?
You waste so much time “(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night” and “Fumblin’ With the Blues” that you end up with a “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” wondering “How’s It Gonna End”?
You stumble in the dark on the “Lowside of the Road” carrying your “Little Drop of Poison” in a brown paper bag.
But you keep going, drinking one “Jockey Full of Bourbon” after another; then you find a little tavern and “Tango Till They’re Sore” until “Everything Goes to Hell” and they toss you out on your drunken ass “Dragging a Dead Priest” in your wake looking for “Just The Right Bullets” with “$29.00” in your pocket.
You been “Falling Down” more than standin’ up and wonder why it feels like you got “Shore Leave” in a “Town With No Cheer”.
“What Keeps Mankind Alive” if “Misery Is the River of the World” and we’re all “Lost in the Harbour”?
Profound question indeed; what is life? “The Part You Throw Away” man, “The Part You Throw Away”.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE TO GIVE: You are “Innocent When You Dream” so when you feel like you are “Starving in the Belly of a Whale” just buck up and “Whistle Down the Wind”.
It may seem some days like “God’s Away on Business” but “Hold On” and just remember “Jesus Gonna Be Here” soon.
Oh and, “I Never Talk to Strangers”.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE YOUR NAME, WHAT WOULD IT BE: “Martha”  “Rosie” “Muriel” “Georgia Lee” “Alice” “Lucinda” Hoover.

YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD IS: That’s easy – it’s got to be a “Chocolate Jesus”.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “We’re All Mad Here”.

HOW I WOULD LIKE TO DIE: “All Stripped Down” – metaphorically of course 😉

MY SOUL’S PRESENT CONDITION: I used to feel like “Just Another Sucker on the Vine” – but “Lord I Been Changed” by a “Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love)”.

MY MOTTO: “Come On Up to the House”.

My Edmonton Folk Music Festival dozen

I’ve been attending the Edmonton Folk Music Festival for years now, rain and shine.

The quality of music I’ve heard over the years is consistently high, no matter if there is a big name headliner or  not, the quality is always exceptional. It would be way too much work to ran the artists and make a playlist based on my preferences – since they shift daily anyway. So below is a random sampling of a dozen songs by a dozen artists I look forward too seeing at the Folk Festival this year. Could I have included more? Sure. But then what would you have to look forward to?

  1. 100 mile houseHiraeth
  2. AltamedaQueen Of The Street
  3. Amadou & Mariam feat. Manu ChaoSénégal Fast Food
  4. Birds of ChicagoBarley
  5. Cécile Doo-KinguéAnybody Listening
  6. The DecemberistsDon’t Carry It All
  7. Valerie JuneShakedown
  8. Tim WilliamsNobody’s Fault & Poor Boy
  9. Shakey Graves (he was one of my hubby’s favourites when we saw him a couple years back) – Roll the Bones 
  10. The Jerry CansUkiuq
  11. La Santa CeciliaCalaverita
  12. DarlingsideThe God of Loss

I can’t wait to be on the hill again this August.

Women classical composers – the June edition

As is the case with all too many things historical, the talent of women composers is underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them women wrote, and continue to write, exceptional classical music that can be enjoyed today. They deserve more exposure, so it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are two female classical composers whose works I have encountered, with links to music samples for each of them.

Judith Bingham is an English singer and composer.

  • Find some links to her music here.

Helen Tobias-Duesberg was born in Estonia but lived in the US until she passed away in 2010.

  • Find some samples of her music here.

Classical composers – the June edition

I have broad, perhaps somewhat eclectic taste in music. This is by accident rather than design. Most of the genres outside what gets airplay on popular radio I have luckily stumbled upon while on other paths. Our culture doesn’t really expose young people en masse to much more than current popular music, and that’s a shame. I feel like it’s a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are links to 30 works of classical music by composers you’ll find on my iPod, and links to works by composers most of us would know – all artists born in June whose works I have enjoyed.

 

Igor Stravinsky

Robert Schumann 

Igor Stravinsky 

Richard Strauss 

 

 

 

  1. Edward Elgar
  2. Mikhail Glinka
  3. Peter Machajdík
  4. Felix Weingartner

    Ignaz Fränzl 
  5. Ignaz Fränzl
  6. Aram Khachaturian
  7. Vincent Persichetti 
  8. Leopold Auer
  9. Erwin Schulhoff 
  10. Albéric Magnard 
  11. Carl Nielsen 
  12. Ingolf Dahl 
  13. Heinrich von Herzogenberg 
  14. Tikhon Khrennikov 
  15. Antonín Vranický

    Ignaz Pleyel
  16. Georg Joseph Vogler
  17. Franz Danzi
  18. Charles Gounod
  19. Johann Stamitz
  20. Ignaz Pleyel
  21. Manuel Rosenthal
  22. Eduard Tubin
  23. Joseph Martin Kraus 
  24. Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach
  25. Pavel Haas

    Hugo Distler
  26. Carl Reinecke
  27. Hugo Distler 
  28. Joseph Joachim
  29. Leroy Anderson
  30. José Pablo Moncayo

 

 

 

 

May earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my May earworms.

10 Songs of Springtime

Spring is finally here in the north. It seems like we go to bed one day to dull, dead brown last year’s grass, and wake up the next to flowers, leaves and birds singing.

To celebrate the welcome arrival of colour and birdsong, here are 10 of my favourite popular music songs about spring.

  1. Frank Sinatra – Spring Is Here
  2. Astrud Gilberto – It Might as Well Be Spring
  3. Ella Fitzgerald – Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most (Holly Cole does a great version of this song too)
  4. Lou Rawls – Spring Again 
  5. Barbra Streisand – You Must Believe in Spring
  6. Judy Collins – So Early, Early In The Spring
  7. Tom Waits – You Can Never Hold Back Spring
  8. Sarah Vaughan – Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year
  9. k.d. lang – I Dream Of Spring
  10. Mario Lanza – Younger Than Springtime

 

Women classical composers – the May edition

As is the case with all too many things historical, the talent of women composers is underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them women wrote, and continue to write, exceptional classical music that can be enjoyed today. They deserve more exposure, so it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are five female classical composers whose works I enjoy, with links to songs for each of them.

 

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe (May 27, 1819 – October 17, 1910) was an all-round super woman, an author, poet abolitionist, social activist, and suffragist.

 

Anne Dudley (born May 7) was the first BBC Concert Orchestra‘s Composer in Association.

 

Debbie Wiseman (born May 10) composes for film and tv.

 

Maria Theresia Paradis

Judith Weir (born May 11) writes operas.

 

Maria Theresia von Paradis (May 15, 1759 – February 1, 1824) may have been Mozart’s inspiration for his Piano Concerto No. 18 in B flat major.

 

 

 

Classical composers – the May edition

I have broad, perhaps somewhat eclectic taste in music. This is by accident rather than design. Most of the genres outside what gets airplay on popular radio I have luckily stumbled upon while on other paths. Our culture doesn’t really expose young people en masse to much more than current popular music, and that’s a shame. I feel like it’s a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are links to 31 works of classical music by composers you’ll find on my iPod, and two links to works by composers most of us would know – all artists born in May, whose works I have enjoyed.

Richard Wagner

Johannes Brahms  

Richard Wagner 

Gabriel Fauré 

Erik Satie 

  1. Hugo Alfvén 
  2. Jean-Baptiste Barrière
  3. Ludwig August Lebrun
  4. Hans Christian Lumbye 
  5. Jean-Frédéric Edelmann 
  6. Carl Stamitz 
  7. Louis Moreau Gottschalk 
  8. Giovanni Paisiello 
  9. Julius Röntgen
  10. Jan van Gilse
  11. William Grant Still

    Joseph Marx

  12. William Grant Still
  13. Josip Štolcer-Slavenski
  14. Johann Baptist Wanhal 
  15. Franz Anton Hoffmeister 
  16. Giovanni Battista Viotti 
  17. Adolf von Henselt 
  18. Otto Klemperer
  19. Boris Parsadanian 
  20. Andrei Eshpai 
  21. Francesco Pasquale Ricci 
  22. Otto Klemperer

    Werner Egk 

  23. Jean Cras 
  24. Andrea Luchesi 
  25. Ignaz Moscheles 
  26. Józef Wieniawski 
  27. Jean Françaix
  28. Paul Paray 
  29. Claude Champagne 
  30. Isaac Albéniz 
  31. Alfredo Antonini

April earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my April earworms.

 

Arts intersecting – Pablo Picasso

I am a lover of all things arts. They are the happiness I pursue. So when any of the arts intersect it makes me very happy, I suppose that’s because it makes my pursuit of happiness a little bit easier.

For example music and the visual arts find inspiration in one another.

Probably the most well known example is Don McLean’s song Vincent (Starry, Starry Night), which I did my first Arts Intersecting blog about, but the song Pablo Picasso by Jonathan Richman is the crossover arts song that I am most likely to play on my iPod. I love that it successfully rhymes Pablo Picasso with the word asshole.

Well some people try to pick up girls
And get called assholes
This never happened to Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare and
So Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole

Well the girls would turn the color
Of the avocado when he would drive
Down their street in his El Dorado
He could walk down you street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
Not like you
Alright

Well he was only 5’3″
But girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
Not in New York

Oh well be not schmuck, be not abnoxious
Be not bellbottom bummer or asshole
Remember the story of Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
Alright this is it

Some people try to pick up girls
And they get called an asshole
This never happened to Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare and so
Pablo Picasso was never called…

This is may be my favourite, but it’s not the only song inspired by Picasso.

David Bowie incorporated part of the Johnathan Richman song into his own song called Pablo Picasso.

The lyrics for Picasso’s Last Words by Paul McCartney & Wings mention a grand old painter, but only the title references Picasso specifically. 

Bulletproof Picasso by Train doesn’t really talk about the artist but talks about the artistic character in a generic sort of way.

Citizen Cope also has a song named for Pablo Picasso. Why it’s named Pablo Picasso I don’t know because it never mentions the artist in the lyrics, but it’s the thought that counts.

Blue Period Picasso by Peter Bjorn and John is interesting. 

There is a song by Jay-Z too, but I don’t like it so I won’t include it. It’s my blog after all.

 

Cover image: Pablo Picasso, 1921, Nous autres musiciens (Three Musicians), oil on canvas, 204.5 x 188.3 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art