Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Panty Dancin' 2002

Tonight I really really really want to party 'til the sun comes up. But instead, I have to work on 1099s!!!! ... which totally sucks. So, as I slave away at the computer, trying to figure out who I have to stick it to with a 1099, I will have to party in my house alone. I wanted to pick a song for my surprisingly happy mood and I thought "Little Bitty Pretty One!"

So, I dug out a mix CD that I made five years ago for the sole purpose of dancin' alone and dancin' HARD in my UNDERWEAR, thus the CD's title, Panty Dancin'. It's too cold to dance in my panties tonight and I have work to do. Bleah.

Some songs that I recommend for dancing in underwear:
The Spinners - It's a Shame
Thurston Moore - Little Bitty Pretty One
Jackon 5 - I Want You Back
Lambchop - Your Fucking Sunny Day
Unit 4+2 - Concrete and Clay
Solomon Burke - Cry to Me
Harry Belafonte - Jump in the Line
Steve Miller Band - Jungle Love
The Chiffons - One Fine Day
Huey Piano Smith - Don't You Just Know It
Dean Wareham - Falling Out of Love with You
Asylum Street Spankers - Got my Mojo Workin'

But I'll have to dance in my office in front of this computer for now. Please note, that the same Steve Miller track from aerobics class still does it for me.

Little Girls?

Last Friday, I played one of my favorite songs on the radio, even though I doubt that many folks share my enthusiasm for this song. It is "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" by Maurice Chevalier. I don't know anything about the song except that it is from Gigi which I have never seen. The track is on an MGM musicals compilation at the station, so I don't even know what other songs are from that film. It is hard to imagine the context in which Chevalier performs this song:

"Each time I see a little girl of five or six or seven, I can't resist a joyous urge to smile and say: Thank heaven for little girls, For little girls get bigger every day. Thank heaven for little girls, They grow up in the most delightful way."

It's interesting how some songs just don't hold up as well in today's society. The melody of the song is very cute and springy, and Chevalier's French accent is charming and light. But god, what creepy lyrics. Maybe there was less fear of pedophiles in the 50's.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Music of Your Ex-Boyfriend

On Friday when I was pulling music for my radio show, I came across the Beth Orton CD in the library called Central Reservation. I've never played anything off this record because an ex-boyfriend of mine used to like that record and he put the song "Love Like Laughter" on a mix CD for me. If I played something off that record, I felt like it would just stir up old memories that I would rather keep unstirred. But I played the song on Friday after YEARS and it was a very beautiful song... and it did not stir up any unpleasant feelings for me.

There are other CDs that I have avoided at particular times in my life because of old boyfriend memories. Some are:
Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See
The Cure - Disintegration
The Reindeer Section - Son of Evil Reindeer
The Sea and Cake - The Fawn
That Lloyd Cole record with "No Blue Skies" on it
Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
Brian Eno - Another Green World

It's crazy that I gave up these recordings for sometimes years at a time because they brought back memories of ex-boyfriends. Thankfully, I can now play any of these without any pangs of heartache or sad memories, except I still finding myself skipping over Brian Eno's Another Green World on my Ipod. Oh, and anything from the Jam.

And I never ever go back and listen to mix CDs or tapes from ex-boyfriends (with one exception which I'll write about another day). There aren't that many mixes from ex's in my collection. It seems that in my past, I was the one who ended up making mixes as a wooing device. My track record goes to show that the way to a man's heart is *not* through his ear.

Maybe I need to learn to cook.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

New Order

The summer of 1989 played an important role in the development of my musically-obsessive disorder. This was the summer after my senior year in high school, when I discovered the Smiths catalog, the Cure catalog and an album called Technique by New Order.

That summer, I played my Smiths, Cure and REM cassettes alot, but not like I played Technique. I played this cassette so much that I wore it out and had to buy another. The second time I bought it, I also bought a HUMONGOUS wall poster of the album cover to put on my dorm room wall. Even though the wall poster is long gone, I think I still have my Technique cassette somewhere in my cassette collection. (Yes, some of us still save cassettes.) I listened to this album ALL THE TIME.

Being a naive (AKA stoopid) freshman, I signed up for a MWF Aerobics class that met at 8am. Holy crap... that was dreadful. Part of my final exam was to lead the class through an aerobic routine. And of course, I chose a song from that album... "Mr. Disco."

I just paused from writing this post and pulled out the cassette and put it on. I had to do alot of fast-forwarding and playing and fast-forwarding and playing until I got to "Mr. Disco." As I was heading back to the computer, I started doing my final exam aerobics routine... there was alot of jogging in my routine and lots of arms crossing. This song is so infectious!!!!

I remember that my aerobics teacher had a mix cassette of workout songs that she put together. The greatest joy of the class was doing aerobics to the Steve Miller Band's "Jungle Love" every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.

...oh, I can't find my piece of mind because I need you with me all of the time. I used to think about you night and day. I used to feel what language cannot say....

God, I love "Mr. Disco."

But anyway, on Friday's radio show, I played "Age of Consent" off of New Order's Power, Corruption & Lies record. And it made me want to find more New Order records. Any suggestions would be great.

My Ears Hurt

This afternoon, I drove from Burlington to Rougemont and I remembered to bring along my Ipod. One of the reasons that I love my new car (well, it's a year old now) is that I can plug my Ipod directly into a jack in the console. None of that Itrip radio static crap like I had to deal with in my old car. In my Prius, playing songs from the Ipod sound just as clear as playing songs from CD.

Anyway, I was driving and I was shuffling through the songs and I was bored with all of them thinking that I needed to reload my Ipod with new stuff... until it hit a song from the Funeral album by Arcade Fire. Holy crap! IT ROCKED!!!!

I decided to play the entire album as loud as I could in the car. And I mean LOUD. I had no idea that my car speakers could sound like that. It was amazing. It was so loud that when I stopped at a stoplight, all the mirrors were vibrating. I could feel the music pulsing in my chest. It made my ears ring. IT WAS SO LOUD!!!! I felt like one of those guys who drive around Durham in a beat-up 1981 Monte Carlo with the annoying-as-hell BIG bass speakers. I felt devilishly cool!

It was so nice to rediscover that album as I haven't listened to it in a year or more. I've heard that Arcade Fire are working on a new album... woo hoo! But until that's released, I am more than content with cruisin' 'round the hood with Funeral... but at a much lower volume.

But when I got to Rougemont, the contrasting silence of the country was a shock to the system. But a good one... my hearing probably couldn't take any more of that.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Radio Show - Friday, January 26th 8-10am

Erie Choir - Picture=Proof
Lullaby Baxter - What's Wrong With You
New Order - Age of Consent
The Beatles - Girl
Donovan - Catch the Wind
Ocie Stockard & the Wanderers - Wabash Blues
Eric Bachmann - Good Morning Sleepyhead
Beth Orton - Love Like Laughter
ABBA - Fernando
Maurice Chavalier - Thank Heaven for Little Girls
Lena Horne - Stormy Weather
Angela Desveaux - Heartbeat

Entire playlist can be found here.

I only received one phone call today on my show. A listener called in to praise my decision to play ABBA's "Fernando." He said that he loved the song even though it didn't fit with the WXYC mission statement. But if "Fernando" doesn't fit with the mission of WXYC, what does?

I Do Not Hate Fozzie Bear

All day, I've had "Hi-diddle-dee-dee! An actor's life for me!" as sung by Fozzie Bear stuck in my head. ALL DAY NON-STOP! Somebody, help. PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!

I have never liked Fozzie Bear, but only because when I was a kid, my little brother loved Fozzie. Therefore, I had to hate him.

And now, I am cursed with having this song stuck in my head. But, I have to admit that I am coming around to appreciating Fozzie Bear as an adult. Kinda like I came around to liking coconut.

Hey, this song is from Pinocchio, too. Just like Cliff Edwards.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Jiminy Cricket!! Free Dinner For Me

Holy crap, I had the best burger at the Federal tonight!!! It was the rawest burger I have *ever* eaten. It was heavenly. I ate the whole thing! After dinner, I pointed to a figurine on the wall and asked Chris if it was Jiminy Cricket. He said yes.

And of course, I made the comment that the voice of Jiminy Cricket in the Walt Disney film Pinocchio is the one and only Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards.... one of my uke heroes. Chris replied, "No, I think it was somebody more famous. Bing Crosby." I couldn't believe that Cliff Edwards wasn't famous enough to be in a Disney film for Chris. I replied, "Wanna make a bet?" Well, pay up, dude.

New Years Resolution (same as last year): LEARN TO PLAY MY UKULELE!!!!

Is That Pearl Bailey In That Cubicle?

Last Sunday, I was over at Christa's house and I was watching an episode of the Muppet Show featuring Pearl Bailey. It was great! She did this amazing duet with Floyd of "In the Good Old Summertime." I swooned.

Pearl Bailey is played fairly regularly on my radio show. Her voice has this sultry slur that is sometimes comical but always sexy. My favorite song of hers is one called "Tired" in which she says she "needs to go to one of them fancy doctors" for some "psychiatricks." That just makes me laugh. I even played that song last Friday.

Anyway, there is a woman in my office who sounds JUST LIKE PEARL BAILEY. Every time I hear her say something from across the office, I find myself waiting to see if she is going to break out into song. With muppets.

Maybe I need some pychiatricks.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Nighttime Is the Right Time for Playtime

Today was another rough day at work, but I ploughed through. Sara called and invited me over after work. She said that a friend recommended a French film to her and she ordered it off Netflix. It arrived yesterday and she asked if I wanted to see it. She walked away from the phone to find the name of the movie, and it was Playtime! Woo hoo!!!!

I was introduced to the world of Jacque Tati films a few years ago and I immediately fell in love. My first Tati film was Mon Oncle, which is an amazing film in its own right and features Mr. Hulot... this big lanky awkward guy that anyone would love to have as an uncle. Playtime features Mr. Hulot as well... ten years later. This film is beautiful and crazy and captivating and did I mention beautiful? When it initally came out, it was not highly regarded by its critics, but today is considered a masterpiece. Tati constructed three entire city blocks of beautful 1960's modern architecture. And Tati's play with sound and reflections is just absolutely mesmerizing. I highly recommend it and I am so excited to watch it again for the umpteenth time.

I used to have the soundtrack to Playtime on a burned CD somewhere. I wonder where that is. I might need to play some Tati film music this Friday at WXYC.

In the meantime, Sara and Playtime will have to wait for me to take out the trash. Bleah.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Golden Hour of Donovan

On my lunchbreak, I stopped by Offbeat Music to search for that Donovan record of which I've been obsessing the past few days. No luck, but I did run into a friend who works at Nice Price Books and and said that he would set aside that Donovan record (if he could find it) at his store to pick up after supper. But I couldn't wait until after supper... what if they didn't have any Donovan records at Nice Price!?! When I returned to work, I went ahead and ordered that Catch the Wind CD off Amazon and it was cheap! I also ordered Say Anything on DVD. Both were so cheap that I even used expedited shipping, so I could have them by the weekend.

Speaking of Say Anything, Ione Sky, who stars in that movie, is the daughter of DONOVAN!!!! Ione looks like her dad. Anyone needing a Lloyd Dobbler fix, please let me know... watching Say Anything is best done with others. I can play you some Donovan, too.

After I got home from supper at Blue Corn (the chicken with mole sauce was great!) and my trip to Nice Price Books, I pulled out my two new Donovan LPs and listened to side two of the Golden Hour of Donovan. The LP was full of pops which produced a cozy warmth that you just don't feel listening to a CD or an Ipod. The music was great and hearing "Catch the Wind" again just about made me melt. But I cannot figure out this record. It is some sort of collection put out by the Golden Hour label who put out other hits such as Golden Hours of Sounds Orchestral and Golden Hour Presents a Latin Happening. Nice.

Does Wayne Newton's Voice Creep You Out?

So, my earlier post entitled "Free Therapy" lists about a dozen songs that were included on my little radio show last Friday. That list was pulled from the thirty or so total that I played. I thought I could use the shortened list as fodder for posts this week. So again, today, I looked at the list and decided to express my feelings about Wayne Newton.

Wayne Newton. Wayne Newton. In so many ways, I absolutely LOVE Wayne Newton. But in one way, his voice kinda creeps me out. He kinda sounds like a cross between Helen Reddy and an elf with a little bit of cotton stuck in his mouth. But even with these thoughts in my mind, Wayne Newton's voice is still engaging, sexy and romantic. But I don't like to picture him at all. The picture of him on the CD cover makes him look like he would sing more like Perry Como, who is too schmaltzy for my taste. And to think that women still swoon and throw panties on stage when he sings in Las Vegas makes me cringe. But hey, we all have our passions... just wait until my post on Gene Kelly.

One of my favorite segues of the past few months has been from David Byrne's "Concrete and Stone" into Wayne Newton's "Strangers in the Night." It sounded fabulous and I was so thrilled with myself that I had found such a perfect segue (at least in my mind). I had played it specifically in honor of Christa, but I don't think she heard it.

Last Friday, I played "Strangers in the Night" only because I was feeling lazy when I was pulling music from the library before my show. I had no gusto to play it like I did before, and it segued into that Bob Dylan song which really didn't do it for me at all.

I am going to run over to Nice Price Books to find some Donovan records after dinner tonight. I need him. I haven't eaten at Blue Corn Cafe in years. I hope it's good.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Donovan Is Not the Same as Bob Dylan

Sunday, a week ago, I heard a song on Back Porch Music, that really resonated with me. The song was called "Catch the Wind." I thought to myself as I drove down the street, "Wow, I really LOVE this Bob Dylan song." I kept the song in my head until I was talking with Bill and I said, "Do you know a Bob Dylan song called "Catch the Wind?" He politely pointed out to me that it was not a Dylan song, but a song by Donovan. He played it for me. It is such a great song and so beautiful and so freakin' sad. It was perfect. Something in that song makes me want to somehow absorb it... soak it up like a sponge. I don't know how to do this, but maybe if I curl on the couch under a blanket with a cup of tea and just sit quietly and listen to it hard enough, I can make it a part of me. But I need to go out and get the record. I actually heard the entire first side of the Donovan's Catch the Wind record and just loved it. It is where I am right now. I have several Dylan records that I got from my parents, but for now, my love is Donovan.

Bob Dylan's latest release, Modern Times, has been sitting up in the new releases box at the radio station for awhile now. I hadn't played it until last Friday, because after hearing "Catch the Wind," I thought I need to start learning more about Dylan. But the track that I chose, "Thunder on the Mountain" just didn't do it. It sounded too produced and gloppy. I guess I need to try out some of the older Dylan records that I have: Nashville Skyline, Highway 61 Revisited, and Bringing It All Back Home. But right now, I just want to feed my Donovan craving.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Free Therapy

Friday, January 19, 2007 8-10am Radio Show

Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby
Wayne Newton - Strangers in the Night
Bob Dylan - Thunder on the Mountain
Neil Sedaka - Laughter in the Rain
Camera Obscura - Let Me Go Home
Essex Green - Rue De Lis
Elliott Smith - Somebody That I Used to Know
10cc - The Things We Do For Love
Pernice Brothers - Automaton
Fred Astaire - Cheek to Cheek
Johnny Hicks & His Troubadours - Hamburger Hop

Last weekend, WXYC djs signed up for a radio show slot for the semester. I was very nervous that I would not be receive my favorite radio show slot: Friday mornings 8-10am. But the other WXYC kids probably don't like to get up early (I sure as hell didn't rise before noon unless I absolutely had to when I was in school), so I could have been the only one to sign up for this slot. The 8-10am slot is so perfect for me. It forces me to get out of bed early and do something that is not WORK! And it makes Fridays at my job more bearable. After a radio show, I just coast through the rest of the day. It's also early enough in the day that I can find a parking meter close to the station.

Last week was a rough one for me, but I made it through with the help of my radio show. I didn't want to go in and I had to push myself to get through it. But what a difference a radio show makes. I have been djing at WXYC for TEN YEARS now. (I am so freakin' old!) These morning radio shows are so therapeutic. It is such a release. The rush of an absolutely perfect segue is like no other. It is one of the best feelings ever. Unfortunately, I did not have any mind-blowing segues, but the show lifted my spirits.

When I get really stressed out or down, my friend, Bill, tells me "Don't worry, Charlotte, it'll be ok." In honor of Bill's words, I started my show on Friday with the Beach Boys song "Don't Worry Baby." Even though I am a Pet Sounds enthusiast and rarely stray from that album for my Beach Boys fix, I absolutely love "Don't Worry, Baby." The harmonies are just beautiful and make me weak in the knees... that song might become the "Obsession of the Week" soon.

Last Sunday, I played music trivia at Local 506 on a team with some serious music geeks. I was scared that I would have NOTHING to contribute, but I actually knew some answers. No one on my team knew Neil Sedaka's "Laughter in the Rain" which is one of my favorite songs. I had to play that on Friday to honor my trivia team, the Vesuvians.

After Christmas, I had to go the maul and get a new cell phone. While I was there, I went into JCrew and I heard "The Things We Do for Love." I found myself kinda dancin' in the store because I love that song... I finally had to leave because I couldn't contain myself. I had no idea who sang that song... I had only heard it covered by the Wusses. But I found out that it was 10cc and since I had that song rattling around in my head since December, I just had to play it.

Elliott Smith is the perfect thing to play when you are sad. A friend once told me that he played "Say Yes" over and over for months after his wife left him. So, since I was feeling a little sad, I played an Elliott Smith song in honor of my sadness... kind of a symbolic way of releasing it. I like the song I played "Somebody That I Used To Know," but it didn't really do it for me. I used to be such a huge Elliott Smith fan.. I'll never forget the time I saw him perform at the Lizard and Snake opening for the Softies... I had found my new post-college Morrissey. Cuurently, I don't even have any Elliott Smith songs on my Ipod. Probably best that way... too depressing.

"Don't worry, baby. Everything's will turn out alright."

This Could Be the Start of Something Big

A couple weeks ago I read an memoir of a young widower, Rob Sheffield called Love Is A Mixed Tape. At the beginning of each chapter, there's a mix tape track listing, which upon reading, immediately rejuvenated my sometimes scary obsession with music which seems to have been somewhat dormant over the past several years. I had to read each mix tape before I could even being to read the rest of the book.

I loved reading of someone else's obsession with a single song... it makes me feel so normal. Sheffield's first mix tape was the Beatles' "Hey Jude" that he recorded in a continuous loop on each side of the tape. After polling a few guys I know, it's not uncommon for middle school aged boys to make mix tapes of a single song. Over the past year or so, I have been obsessed with Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind", the Stars covering the Smiths' "This Charming Man," and "Twilight Creeps" by Crooked Fingers. And "Razzle Dazzle Rose" by Camera Obscura was my summer anthem. I haven't gone as far as putting any of these songs on a continuous loop on a mix tape, but I am sure that my Ipod has recorded at least 50 plays of that Camera Obscura song alone.

Saturday, I went to the Father and Son warehouse sale with my friends Skip and Germ who suggested that I start writing about my obsession with music and my radio shows. So here I am. I am scared. I am scared of putting myself "out there" and I am scared of writing. I have always felt that finding words and putting them together coherently is not my strength. But I guess this is a good forum to experiment in, right?

But obsessing over music is something that I am good at... really good. Sometimes when I hear a snippet of a song in a TV commercial, I'll jump up and go try to find it in my collection so that I can hear it unadulterated. (The search for the Of Montreal song in the Outback commercial nearly drove me INSANE.) I can be sitting in a restaurant and sometimes I have to actively fight the desire to zone in on the background music playing just so that I can maintain table conversation. Listening to barely audible restaurant music can be distracting... but depending on the company, listening to the restaurant music may not necessarily be bad. AND if you end up finding out that a restaurant is playing your favorite Bobby Darin song, it makes the food taste better.

So here I am. Writing about music. Writing about me. Let's see how this goes.