Thanks to Gawker, Jay-Z’s tribute to the Beastie Boys, performing No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn at All Points West.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written here . . . obviously.  But it’s time. 

I have been finding myself inspired by music and some amazing things have been flowing into my inbox and my iTunes.  

My iTunes is currently stuffed to the gills at 10549 songs, although decreasing by three as soon as I hit pause and delete Future of the Left, which I found through Idolator and Merry Swankster and Fluxblog.  Not my thing, screamy punk.    I do like that the two of the songs I have are “You Need Satan More Than He Needs You” and “The Hope That House Built,” only because the titles amuse me.  Farewell, Future of the Left.  

I am heading to Florence and the Machine as a palate-cleanser.  The new album Lungs . . . it’s good — but I am not yet in love with it.  I am currently loving the Halo cover from Live Lounge.  My live lounge collection is at 294 songs and it remains my prized collection.

I am dating someone with appallingly bad taste in music.  He’s only slightly older than I am, but the music he grew up with is apparently suckier than the Brit pop, New Wave, Ska, and other things I heard when I was young.  It’s actually shocking, but he makes up for his horrible taste in music by having excellent taste in other areas, though being with him in a car is a struggle.  He’s now proudly up to 1998 in rap, so that’s something, mentioning how much he liked “R Z A.”  I corrected him on pronunciation and complemented him on being down with the Wu and urged him to check out Ghostdog.  I received in response a blank stare.

I mentioned casually, that I’d heard “This is the Way We Ball,” on the radio as I arrived, a song at whose creation I was actually present.  Yeah, he had nothing.

I am culling the collection as I type.  Farewell, Magnolia Electric Co., though you remind me a bit of vintage Neil Young, Farewell, Summer Cats.

Bands that make me happy every time they pop up on iTunes: Phoenix (I am so crazy about them I am considering becoming their fan on FB, which I’ve never done for any band I don’t work with), Melanie Fiona, Noisettes, Kat Edmundson.  I will be writing about them in the future and why I am falling back in love with music.  My taste is currently hitting electronic, danceable hip hop, indie pop, and soulful r&b in equal measure.  I am rediscovering gems in my music collection and downgrading old favorites.

But the bottom line is that I am back to listening, loving, and passionately discussing music.

I skipped the whole thing.  I needed to do it to preserve my sanity.

So much has changed since last year and I was incapable of feigning any enthusiasm to stand around on concrete floors listening to bands I love or loathe.

It’s easier for me to listen to music these days than before but I am not as passionate about it.  Amusingly, I may be more passionate about the business than I’ve been for a while.

I still see a lot of really positive things happening and a tremendous amount of potential.  When I think back of when I started in music, the entire business changed.  A couple of times.

Here is Alicia Keys’s cover of The Fray’s How to Save a Life.

Enjoy.

Recently, I was driving around with my mother and heard the wackiest song. It was a Live Lounge cover with a man singing something about “got sick on my trainers” and “hands like a crustacean.” We listened to it twice on the Shuffle, so I had no idea what we were hearing.


After we parked and wandered along through the tiny park, I decided to do a google search on my low-tech phone. Nothing. Twenty minutes later, mom thought she remembered a couple of more lyrics “fingertips are holding on to cracks in my [foundation].” It was close enough to get me to Kate Nash’s Foundations.
The song we heard and fell in love with was Newton Faulkner’s Live Lounge cover of “Foundations.” In my humble opinion, it’s far superior to the original.



I started posting here a year ago today. I was inspired to start writing because I was thinking and talking so much about music when we were developing a couple of new music projects (one that I am still working to implement). I was on the road, writing in my little moleskine notebook, and emailing my thoughts about music back to friends and family.

I am feeling terribly wistful, as I often do at this time of year. I prefer to take time to reflect on the year past and plan for the year ahead. So, here is my first ever post. It’s a little ugly and awkward, kinda like the rest of the site.

Music is an intensely personal thing you share with millions . . .

I was bumping around the kitchen this morning, a lazy Sunday, while A was sleeping.

Sunday Bloody Sunday, a live version, perhaps from Under a Blood Red Sky popped up.

I loved U2 with the passion of an adolescent: War, Boy, October, Under a Blood Red Sky. It’s hard to believe they are the same band that still fills stadia worldwide. They felt like truthtellers passionately connecting us to the Troubles. We were a world at war.

(A remembers trying to make sense of “two groups of white people killing each other.” He felt a kinship with the Irish as an oppressed people, until he read about the Draft Riots. Eh, you can’t win them all.)

22 years. That’s how old Under a Blood Red Sky is. I had it on LP. I was 14 and I had my own stereo. It was one of the first detachable speaker boomboxes (similar to the aiwa we have in the bedroom) and I had the pinnacle record player: digital tracking. A button on the outside enabled you to move the needle to skip tracks. It was way cool.

I played this album over and over and over and over.

I would listen to the songs on repeat, teasing meaning from repeated listenings. It was all very intense and it felt like my own secret.

When I stopped listening to lps in favor of the far superior cassette tape technology, I moved from U2, though they were my first unaccompanied concert — Tampa Stadium with Kathleen and tens of thousands of our closest friends. They were the worst seats I’ve ever had for a show.

I haven’t followed them on their journey to being arguably one of the best bands ever. I left them behind for altenative, hip-hop, soul, etc. after craptucular Rattle & Hum. Still, it’s nice to hear some Under a Blood Red Sky and Unforgettable Fire and remember being a teenager.

Don’t judge me, but I flipped over from watching the game (go Bears!) to make sure I hadn’t missed the finale of I Love NY 2. (Again, no judgments.) Instead, I found VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s.

Wow, I am old.
The first thing I see is Montell Jordan’s This is How We Do It. Okay, B and I saw him in concert in San Antonio when he opened for co-headliners Mary J. Blige and Boyz II Men, so I accept this was the 90s.
Next up, Austin’s own Fastball with “The Way.”

Is it really possible this came out in 1998?

It seems so much more recent than that, perhaps because I used to drive past one of their houses every morning on my way to work so they were still on my mind this decade.

More likely, it is because they are still the nightmare story Austin musicians tell each other to warn about quitting the day job too soon.

Listen:

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