Thursday, May 26, 2005     « Music Baton »


This was taken in the lighting district which is a part of the Bowery where it meets Chinatown. I read a little bit of Luc Sante's "Low Life" on our last day in New York and was fascinated by some of the history of this area.

I finished "Lucky" soon after we arrived in New York and was struck by some of Alice Sebold's thoughts at the end of the book about how the places we are drawn to can reflect what's going on inside our heads. For instance she lived in New York on the East Side for a decade before realizing that she was attracted to the violence that was so out on the surface because it reflected a lack of safety that she felt inside. The honesty of it appealed to her in the way that the dishonesty of "safer" places, suburban places, couldn't because they create a phony sense of security behind a clean facade.

I'm not suggesting that I have the same issues, just saying that I think about these things.

Smudo passed me a musical baton.

total number of music files on my computer: 11.55 Gigs

the last cd i bought was: Oh my dear god I am horrified to say that I don't remember. It has been that long. Well, Davin has purchased cds that I listen to so it's not like new music hasn't entered the home. There have been vinyl purchases in there somewhere too. I think it may have been "Darker Than Blue: Soul from Jamdown". Excellent album.

song playing right now: "Lady Day and John Coltrane" Gil Scott-Heron

five songs that i listen to a lot (and that mean a lot to me): Okay this is one of those lists that can change according to my mood because honestly my pattern is to beat a song to death before moving on but here it goes...

1. "What" Tribe Called Quest- My brother and I have a history of singing* songs together since we both have an uncanny knack for remembering song lyrics. We used to pull this one out as a test 'cause it's got a lot of words. I admit I haven't listened to it in a while. *I'm using the word singing very loosely here because I can not sing. I did not inherit the musical gene.
2. "Thieves in the Night" Black Star - The song that kept me sane while working at a miserable job. Bad times, good song.
3. "The Perfect Kiss" New Order - Ah youth. Okay I could also choose "Ceremony" cause that's actually my favourite New Order song even though it is actually a Joy Division song. But really that entire "Substance" double album is a trip through grades 9 and 10, like that time I got the thin poster with the leaf design for my locker from Sunrise Records (grade 9). "Low Life" is my actual favourite New Order album though.
4. Okay I have to pick a Nina Simone song but which one... "Mr. Bojangles" is one that still makes me tear up. It's a tender portrait. "Suzanne" is another that I love but hell if I know what it's about. Leonard Cohen. "I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free" has a special place in my heart. It's a reminder to me that freedom is in the mind sometimes.

This would be a lot easier if I could pick entire albums or performers.

5. "A Change is Gonna Come" Sam Cooke. This was my theme song last summer when I was simultaneously birthing a light and carefree book while coming to terms with some of the badness from my childhood. "There've been times when I thought I couldn't last for long, but now I think I'm able to carry on..." Great song.

five people to whom i'm passing the baton: bob, john, keri, jason, ed.

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