Friday, July 22, 2005

Songs from the Powellhurst Compound

We now interrupt our gripping series, Eastward Ho!, for a special PCJ's birthday month presentation. PCJ's birthday was on Friday, which means she has now joined me in being in her very late post-early-mid-30's. To commemorate this special occasion, we had a brunch and presents at my house. The occasion was made all the more special by the fact that my dog, Napoleon Baxtaparte did not bite (or even bark that much!) at anyone, despite the guest list including two friends he'd never snubbed before.

While I have eaten many a brunch, I have never actually hosted one, so it was a new experience for me. I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous about everything turning out well. This did not, however, stop me from trying out almost all new recipes. Luckily for me, everything turned out fairly decent. Some of it was even really good!

Anyway, part of the festivities was also giving PCJ some mix cd's I'd made for her. Since she has been gently reminding me for almost a week now that I need to give her the track listing for them, here is the one for Songs from the P'hurst Compound:

1. Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield. I know it's old and semi-dorky for me to admit, but I love this song. It was originally offered to Aretha Franklin. She turned it down, so Dusty recorded it instead. I really like her voice, however, it's the only song of hers that I've ever heard that I actually enjoy.
2. Hitler's Tears - John Wesley Harding. It might just be the cow bell, but I love this song! While Hitler is about as unfunny as you can get, the lyrics to this song crack me up. The idea that Hitler's actions all go back to some pop-psychology mumbo jumbo about a miserable childhood, being a frustrated artist and having bad luck with the ladies is patently ridiculous, but tongue in cheek, so it's ok.
3. Making Memories of Us - Keith Urban. This one was actually a Citizen R. addition.
4. Proud Mary - Tina Turner. Another Citizen R. favorite and example of my closet love for old school R&B. The thing that makes this song so great (beyond the obvious things) is that it really does showcase how lame Ike would be on his own. It's a shame he was such a bastard, because he was involved in making some pretty cool music. It's still not my favorite Ike & Tina song, but I do really like it.
5. Let Me Down Easy - Chris Isaak. This is one of the few songs that I really liked on his last CD, but I still love him. He just has this awesome tone to his voice that makes me melt when I hear it. 6. Time Enough for Rocking When We're Dead - The Magnetic Fields. Stephen Merritt has this great, deep, dark, almost creepy voice that still has a real beauty in its tone. He somehow manages to sound poignant and cynical at the same time. And his lyrics, well, they're just weird and great. The best thing about my favorite songs of his, though, are the melodies, which are lyrical and just plain lovely.
7. Misguided Angel - Cowboy Junkies. Thanks to PCJ, I went through a very heavy Cowboy Junkies phase in grad school. I don't listen to them as much as I used to (I don't know why and should probably start again), but this has always been one of my favorite songs of theirs. Margo Timmins has this great voice, like honey dripping from a jar. She never sounds like she's straining, which I love.
8. I Said I Love You - Raul Malo. Cheesy, but irresistable. This kind of song always makes me think of this time I was in a club in LA and this guy asked me to dance to a similarly fast song and was manically swinging me around the floor like a giant rag doll, which also makes me laugh.
9. Merry-Go-Round - John Wesley Harding. I could have subtitled this "JWH and Friends", because he appears on this mix a lot. All of the songs on this mix are live recordings that can be downloaded for free from Harding's website
Listening to him makes me happy, because it reminds me of the time between starting grad school and moving back to Oregon, which was, until my dad died, a really happy time in my life.
10. Wishful Thinking - The Ditty Bops. This is my second favorite song on their cd. My first favorite is "Sister Kate". Frankly, I've listened to it so often, that I'm ready for a brief "Sister Kate" break. Still, I really like this band. I knew I love them the moment I saw them on Conan O'Brien with their lead singer and her little Jazz Age hairdo and fringed dress. Besides just singing a great song, she inspired me to grow my layers out!
11. Let the Good Times Roll - Three Mo' Tenors. A definite Citizen R. addition, from a very eclectic cd, which is a collection of broadway, opera, jazz and whatever else came to mind when they were recording.
12. Fool in Love - Tina Turner. I have another newer recording of it that she did in the 80's, which I like better in some ways, especially because she was no longer an abused cash cow when she recorded and somehow sounds happier. On the other hand, her voice has more character and rawness in the original. Basically, I like them both. It's just a great, 60's pop song.
13. I Know Where I'm Going - John Wesley Harding. This is just a sweet, folksy song with some simple guitar for accompaniment. It has a lovely melody and I like the playing with perspective inherent in a man singing lyrics about loving handsome, winsome Johnny. It makes me wonder if maybe I'm not the only one who loves Johnny Depp.
14. Memories are Made of This - Dean Martin. Cheesetastic, I know, but it reminds me of muppets, so it had to be here. Also, just as a side note, the first movie that I consciously remember seeing was a Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis movie (maybe Cinderfella?, but I'm not sure) and I had a kiddie crush on him then - though not as big as the one I had on Jim Rockford. Well, I guess I've revealed all my secret shames here, haven't I?
15. That's the Way I Like It - K.C. and the Sunshine Band. Despite the passing years, the fading disco glory of this song still makes me smile. K.C. and the Sunshine band was one of the first albums I bought as a kid. It's a perfect kind of belting it in the car while butt dancing song. Sometimes you just gotta embrace your inner dork and groove and what better song is there for that?
16. Truly, Madly Deeply - Savage Garden. Another Citizen R request. I figured since I was using the Chicka-Cherry-Cola song on my other mix masterpiece.
17. Joy to the World - Three Dog Night. Did you guess Citzen R? Well, you're right. You win the cheesy mix cd you are already holding in your hand.
18. Out of the Window - Violent Femmes. The thing I love about Gordon Gano is that his whiny voice is not technically what I would call great, but he makes me like it anyway. I think PCJ summed it up best when she attributed their appeal to getting this window into the mind of the 20 year old male. I really like this song. It's pretty bouncy considering its subject matter.
19. Hamlet - John Wesley Harding. Anyone who can condense the whole plot of Hamlet into a 4:57 minute song is brilliant. Enough said. This is SO much better (and funnier) than Cliff Notes!
20. Now Comes the Night - Rob Thomas. This is a Citizen R. favorite, because it's "pretty". She is big on pretty. I like it a this song too, so don't think it was only Citizen R influenced.


Jen said...

Yay! I love mix-lists with descriptions (as you may have noticed). I think that mixes take on a life of their own once they are released into the wild, but I like knowing the little details of why songs are chosen. Sometimes it is because of the beat, or the fact that it has an accordion, or because it uses the word "obsequious", even (or especially) if it is just "because I dig it, fool!"

Another reason to like Rob Thomas (despite dubious choices): when confronted with the rumor that he was caught in bed with Tom Cruise he didn't go into a whole huge affronted denial thing. He simply said that if he were gay, Tom Cruise wasn't even near the top of his list! (That would be Brad Pitt)

Martina said...

I know you do, that's why I did it - in honor of birthday month! Just for the record I think that similarly to the inclusion of "palanquin", "obseqious" is an excellent reason to like a song!

That's pretty funny about Rob Thomas. I didn't know it, but it makes me like him more. Tom Cruise is proving himself to be the putz I've always thought he was. I just had a feeling. Maybe I'm psychic!

Jen said...

Who didn't have a crush on Rockford?? hee hee.

here's the other something else's I thought of when re-reading this: - for great guy singing lyrics without changing everything so it is NOT GAY, I would recommend (highly) the White Stripes version of Dolly Parton's Jolene. It is amazing! My second favorite Ditty Bops song (after Sister Kate) may well be Four Left Feet. It is charming and weird and gets the PCJ seal of approval. (actually, all of their songs do! Thanks for thinking of me when you saw them on Conan!)

Did you edit out some stuff from the Keith Urban section and the Merry-Go-Round entry, or am I LOSING MY MIND? (it is possible). I swear I saw reference to acoustic, and summery, but now I think I am hallucinating. OMG! You took out some stuff on the Femmes too. Am I going to have to google cache you? OMG! also the Rob Thomas thing. The post, she is a changing. (each OMG represents a fresh discovery from this blogger archaeologist.)

Although I really want the other mix-lists too, so I will contentedly think I have just gone nuts if that's what it takes.

Martina said...

Tee hee. No, you haven't gone nuts (nutsier). I was editing as you were reading, I think. When I started my edit yesterday, there were no comments. Then, when I finished it, you had commented, so I think we were both working at the same time. I've been waiting to see how long it would take you to notice. And, never fear, I will put up the listing for the other one too.

Jen said...

Hooray for the other one(s)! Speaking of Dean Martin, I saw that tonight on CBS they were doing a Martin and Lewis Made for TV movie starring the guy who played Duckie in Pretty In Pink and Jeremy Northam.

Sonya said...

Hey! I Have Dusty Springfield's version of "Son of a Preacher Man" on my Pulp Fiction Soundtrack :) It's a cool song...

I also love "Out The Window". I sing it so often in my head, that sometimes it leaks out my mouth and now my kids go around saying "we all go out the window" at rather odd & random moments. Chips off the ol' block, they are!

Jen said...

When I saw the Femmes last year (at Rose Festival, of all places) lots of people had their kids with them. More chips, more blocks, more people in the world who know all the words to Kiss Off. Right on!

Martina said...

It IS a cool song. I have lots of secret shame songs, but I don't care. One of the great things about liking all kinds of music is that you're open to cool songs of every genre. Sure, I have my preferences, but I've never understood how someone can say "I love music" and then follow it with, "...but I hate all rock, pop, classical, industrial, alternative, blues, jazz..." Also,

Sonya: I don't know if you know, but the Femmes are playing at The Bite on 8/12 (as are The Decembrists, another band I've grown to love). That might be something fun/cheap to do with your girls. I think that Jen and her sister and I are going (at least we talked about it a while back). I know I am going. Maybe I'll see you there. :-)