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Playing With Playlists (2)

I’ve got about six blog posts started and not yet finished. It has been that kind of month, I guess. I have all these big ideas that are in the cake decorating sleeve and no matter how hard I squeeze, the nozzle is plugged.

I’m going to try to unplug it by working on my second installment of “why I put this song on my birthday playlist”. We are in February and my birthday was in September. At this rate, it will take me until my next birthday to finish this! 🙂

Closing Time (from Celebrate Canada) performed by Leonard Cohen): I’d call myself more of a Leonard Cohen admirer than a fan. I “get” why he is so revered and I do own a couple of Leonard Cohen tribute albums of other folks covering his work. The man can write. He just can’t sing. I’ll never forget the look of shock on his face in 1993 when he won Best Male Vocalist at the Junos and famously quipped “It’s only in a country like this that I could win Male Vocalist of the Year!” In any case, this song does not appear because of anything to do with Leonard Cohen. In the mid-90’s, J and I would often attend an aquafit class at the downtown Y and our favourite instructor used this song after the high energy cardio portion as a “warm down” and it has always sort of stuck with me, reminding me of splashing about in the pool like a three year old.

Come To My Window (from Greatest Hits), performed by Melissa Etheridge. Once again, Ms. Etheridge at her garment-rending best. The woman must have been a bodice-ripper in a former life.

Day Too Soon – Mock & Toof ReMix (From Some People Have Real Problems), performed by Sia: Still can’t find this actual edit anywhere on the Internet. Adore it. Apparently no one else feels as strongly.

DJ Play My Song (from Revival), performed by Jully Black: I have a friend who, until extremely recently, was a big time clubber. Every Friday, and most Saturdays, out she’d go to a variety of clubs. Lots of stories to tell, most of which prove to me that lesbians do not have a monopoly on drama. Straight gals got their fair share. Anyway, this song makes me think of my friend, the ex-clubber. Over the Christmas holidays, she travelled to Sri Lanka, met the man of her dreams, essentially got engaged, and will be moving there in the summer. Times change.

Donde Esta Yolanda (from Sympathique), performed by Pink Martini: I could be accused of thinking that EVERY Pink Martini song I hear is my FAVOURITE Pink Martini song. But, really, THIS is my fav. Honest.

Odd trivia – the aforementioned ex-clubber? She turned me on to Pink Martini oh so many years ago … sometime around 1998 I think, she handed me Sympathique and said, simply, “You MUST listen to this!” She was SO right, young and clever those Queen’s grads! She was about 23 at the time and I would have been about 35. The friendship, and the mutual adoration of Pink Martini, has endured. We went to their concert in March 2008 together and we both still agree it was the BEST concert either of us have ever been to, bar none.

Dreams (from Women & Songs 2), performed by The Corrs: Here is an example of a cover song that freshens up the original. Not many of those around.

Falling For The First Time (from Maroon), performed by Bare Naked Ladies: The album appeared right around the time that J and I were facing the beginning of the end of our relationship. This was also right about the time that I was nursing / fighting a massive crush on someone completely and ridiculously unavailable. This song reminds me of that time, in a good way.  The lyrics make me sit up and take notice, in particular these lines in the chorus:

Anyone perfect must be lying, anything easy has its cost
Anyone plain can be lovely, anyone loved can be lost

The video that I have linked to … it was the only one I could find that played the original tune as performed on the album.

Figure It Out (from It Won’t Be Soon Before Long), performed by Maroon 5: I’m a recent convert to Maroon 5. Love anything that leads with interesting layers of percussion, like this cut does.

Harder To Breathe (from Songs About Jane), performed by Maroon 5: The lyrics are … difficult for this feminist to get her head around. It really isn’t clear whether they are truly misogynistic or ironic or something else. Putting that aside for a moment, this song just rocks! I can’t believe that I entertain fantasies of singing lead on this Very Angry Song … it must touch my inner head-banger.

I’m Yours (from We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.), performed by Jason Mraz: What a cutie! The song is cute, the fella is cute and he has just about the cutest damn web site of any musician I’ve seen. Cute overload!!!

I Can’t Decide (from Ta-Dah!), performed by Scissor Sisters: This particular video includes the lyrics which are kinda R-rated. OK – confession time. January 08, I was gearing up to overcome major fears and quit the job I’d left teaching to do. The whole situation sucked. In order to get myself into the right mental space, I sang this song at the top of my lungs as I drove the 1.5 hours out there. To burn off the adrenalin after the conversation, I sang it at the top of my lungs all the way home. I especially love the lyrics in the bridge:

Oh I could throw you in the lake
Or feed you poisoned birthday cake
I wont deny I’m gonna miss you when you’re gone
Oh I could bury you alive
But you might crawl out with a knife
And kill me when I’m sleeping

I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ (from Ta-Dah), performed by the Scissor Sisters: I have nothing to say other than I LOVE THIS SONG!!!! Best heard at extreme volumes.

I Feel Lucky (from Come On, Come On), performed by Mary-Chapin Carpenter: My friend SPL and I are recovering line dancers. We met on the dance-floor, each with a different jo-ann. This song has exactly the right beat and timing for a raucous little two-step or line dance of some kind. This song, actually this entire album, reminds me of very happy times kickin’ up our heels and getting very retro indeed.

I Wanna Be Like You (from This Beautiful Life), performed by Big Bad VooDoo Daddy: I am so sad that I can’t find a decent version of this online. It’s a bitchin’ big band cover of the Jungle Book tune. When it comes on in the car when I’m driving, I tend to dance around in my seat like a very silly person.  Come to think of it, the original is pretty darn good, too.

Asian Vibes (from Real World Music), performed by JOI: This is one of those songs that I crank up when it shows up on my car sound system.

Just Came Back (to Say GoodBye) (from Sudden Stop), performed by Colin James: Love how the song segues from the old style blues guitar to gritty rockin’ big band blues.

Just Keep Me Moving (from Lesbian Favourites), performed by k.d. lang: Yes, I actually DO own a CD called “Lesbian Favourites”. Hey, it is a no nonsense title, straight to the point. Kinda like wearing comfortable shoes.

Like The Way I Do (from Greatest Hits), performed by Melissa Etheridge: And yet, I own only ONE Melissa Etheridge CD. Good lord, check out the hair in this video!!! I suddenly don’t feel so bad about my hair now.

History Repeating (no idea where this is from), performed by The Propellerheads with Shirley Bassey:  Don’t know how old Ms. Bassey was when this was shot, but I wouldn’t mind being in as good a shape as she is when I reach that number. Whoa. Rowr. Purrrrr.

Littlest Birds (from Blue Horse), performed by The Be Good Tanyas: Although this is their original video, the music is stronger on the actual CD recording. Also, the CD doesn’t speed up towards the end like this version does.

Come to think of it, I have several bones to pick with the Be Goods. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of Canadian female artists. But this is yet another time this particular bunch has let me down. This song, as recorded on Blue Horse, is gorgeous. Totally gorgeous. Intricate. Some may recall this was used in a Zeller’s commercial a few years ago.  However, the audio on the video sounds like it was taken from a practice track. My other major bone to pick has to do with the one time I saw them in concert in Toronto, a cold January a few years ago. I’d snagged one of the last remaining single tickets and I was sick as a dog, but determined to hear them sing Just This One Song. Well, to my enduring disappointment, they arrived on stage half in the bag and carrying plastic tumblers of red wine. They performed this song mid-point through the show, always debating the playlist in low mumbling tones, never making eye contact with the audience or speaking to us or acknowledging us in any way. Honest to pete, it took until part way through the song for me to even recognize that it was THE SONG I’d come to hear.

In spite of my issues with the Be Goods, this song still is very high on my list of songs I’d love to perform with a small all-female vocal group someday. Maybe after I retire.

OK – I should stop now … only 19 more songs to go to wrap up the first of three giant playlists!!! 🙂

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One comment to “Playing With Playlists (2)”

  1. Fun to see installment number 2 🙂

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