The 80s is a gift that keeps on giving.
Next on the theme list: Songs about sports.
1. HOOPS Yes! (FC Dallas) - The Polyphonic Spree
2. The Stock Car Travels By Illusion - Austin Lounge Lizards
3. Centerfield - John Fogerty
4. Galway Farmer - Ceili's Muse
5. Catchers Drummers Anchormen - Eddie from Ohio
6. Sweet Georgia Brown - The Ray Brown Trio
7. Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen
8. Chess - Andersson/Ulvaeus
9. Surf's Up - The Beach Boys
10. Fight Fiercely, Harvard - Tom Lehrer
Yes, chess is a sport - it's a mind sport. So's bridge, but no one's written a musical about it yet. "Galway Farmer" is about a guy betting on a horse he'd dreamed about. We should all be as lucky as he was. Technically, "Sweet Georgia Brown" isn't about sports, but it's the theme song of the Harlem Globetrotters, so I say it's close enough. There's a whole class of stadium songs that could be admitted under a sufficiently loose definition of the theme, but I wasn't going to go there. What's on your playlist this week?
Gonna switch gears here for a couple of Fridays and do some themed lists. I was inspired to put a few of these together back when I did the spring songs and good songs lists, and I'm finally getting around to posting them now. First up is State Songs, ten songs about states:
1. New York State of Mind - Billy Joel
2. Stupid Texas Song - Austin Lounge Lizards
3. Garden State Stomp - Dave van Ronk
4. North Dakota - Lyle Lovett
5. Old Dominion - Eddie From Ohio
6. California Here I Come - Shorty Long
7. Massachusettes - Greg Greenaway
8. Carolina In My Mind - James Taylor
9. Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles
10. There's A Panther In Michigan - Trout Fishing In America
I could have included more Texas songs, but I figured geographical diversity was in order here. What's on your playlist for this holiday weekend?
I don't normally think of opera as being particularly controversial or threatening, at least not in this day and age, but apparently it can be.
The organizers of the second annual Opera Vista Festival suspected one of their featured operas would draw controversy. But when an anonymous letter threatening the founders of the Nova Arts Project arrived at founding director Amy Hopper's doorstep, she realized the show had potential to ignite a firestorm.
"We received this letter that was all about ignorance and hate, and that's the whole point of this opera -- to confront ignorance and hate. It makes it even more important to tell the story," Hopper said.
The opera is "Edalat Square," one of two works that won Opera Vista's inaugural festival competition in 2007 (think "American Idol" for opera composers). Written by Atlanta-based composer R. Timothy Brady, the opera recounts the true story of Mahmoud Asgari, 17, and Ayaz Marhoni, 16, who were hanged in Iran in 2005 for the crime of lavaat, or sex between two men. Brady was inspired by the story to craft a poetic work that offers an unblinking look at bigotry, but is also prayerful and mystical, said Viswa Subbaraman, artistic director and co-founder of Opera Vista.
On May 5, Amy Hopper found out the show was already pushing buttons here in Houston. She opened her mailbox to discover a hand-stenciled, anonymous letter that said: "You are pigs to mix Islam with gays. You must stop! We will not let you do it."
The festival's organizers actually are glad the opera could spark debate or criticism. That's part of the purpose of the performing arts -- to provoke discussion and ignite the emotions, they said.
Time for your weekly dose of random music. Ready, set...
1. Banish Misfourtune/Rabbit's Moon - Paisley Close
2. My Manda - The Mollys
3. Couldn't Stand The Weather - Stevie Ray Vaughan
4. Let's Get Metaphysical - David Gilmour
5. What Are You At? - Great Big Sea
6. Something So Right - Paul Simon
7. I Gotcha - Joe Tex
8. Her Modesty - Trish & Darin
9. Variations on a Theme by Eric Satie - Blood, Sweat, and Tears
10. Sometimes A River - String Cheese Incident
Today is an exciting day at our house, as Olivia's preschool has its gradution ceremony/party for the kids and their parents. Olivia's been telling us for weeks about the music they've been rehearsing for it. I'm about to find out just what's in store for us. She'll continue to be at the school through the summer, but will be saying good-bye to some friends now and many more in a couple of months as most of them will be going to other schools for kindergarten. She's eager to move up, but I know she'll miss her friends, and hasn't realized what that means yet. It's going to be an eventful year, that's for sure. None of this has anything to do with music, of course, but it is the backdrop for today. What are you listening to?
I totally relate to this.
For classical-music fans, nothing ruins a good story about a violist beating the odds, or love in the woodwind section, quicker than musical fouls.
So the moment in The Soloist when Jamie Foxx picks up a cello for the first time is a delicate one for the classical-music buff. Not only does Foxx have to convey joy, loss and redemption, he has to look like he can tell the bridge from the fingerboard.
"He was very convincing," said Norman Fischer, cello professor at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, a premier Texas music program. "To do what he was doing was very impressive."
"String playing is a very hard thing to really do," Fischer added.
Back to the well we go with ten more songs taken from the Every Song I've Got In iTunes pile.
1. The Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel
2. Guinness Dog - The Rogues
3. Take The "A" Train - Joe Henderson
4. Warmer Place to Sleep - John Mellencamp
5. Cakewalk - Asylum Street Spankers
6. Free as a Bird - The Beatles
7. The Mountain - Heartless Bastards
8. Cotton Club Stomp #1 - from the soundtrack to "The Cotton Club"
9. 11 Easy Steps - Trout Fishing in America
10. Come On (Part III) - Stevie Ray Vaughan
That's "Free as a Bird", not Freebird, which I think would have required a time machine to have been performed by the Fab Four. Which would have been awesome, but I'll leave it to the philosophers to debate. What are you listening to this week?
In case you've ever wondered what "classic rock" will be called when the format is updated to include stuff recorded after Ronald Reagan left office, here's your answer: Quality rock.
KDBN/93.3 FM, which had aired the classic-rock "Bone" format for more than seven years, underwent a format change Monday to "93.3 FM Quality Rock." The new format sounds like a mash-up of adult-album alternative and classic-alternative formats, with familiar tracks by acts such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Train, Counting Crows and Eric Clapton, and occasional sprinklings of less-familiar artists such as Gomez and nonwarhorse songs by the likes of Everclear, Barenaked Ladies and Beck.
The format flip followed a weekend stunt during which 93.3 played nothing but music by the Dave Matthews Band from Friday evening till 5 a.m. Monday. Dallas-Fort Worth radio fans with medium-range memories might recall that before "The Bone" launched in January 2002, the station played similar material first as "The Zone" and then as "Merge Radio."
But Jeff Catlin, the operations manager for KDBN and other Cumulus Media Dallas-Fort Worth stations, says there is a key difference between "Quality Radio" and the earlier 93.3 formats.
"The two main differences between FM 93.3 and any other station on the frequency in the past (Zone, Merge especially) is that we will be playing familiar songs and artists," Catlin said via e-mail. "All the way from classic hits and classic alternative, through the '80s and '90s up through currents from the likes of U2, Coldplay and Radiohead." The new format even dug into the '70s, with Van Morrison's 1970 hit Domino.
Anyway. I imagine the main difference will likely be the retirement of some 70s-era warhorses, to be replaced by a selection of approved songs and artists from the 90s. In commercial radio, this counts as innovation. Link via Mike McGuff, who notes that this may be coming our way to the Cumulus-owned 103.7, formerly known as Jack FM.
Because even mad scientists need love:
Finally, a Random Ten based on a shuffle of every song in the collection, not just a slimmed-down-to-fit-on-a-Mini playlist. What will the new much-bigger-than-a-Mini Touch give us?
1. The Mosstrooper's Lament - SixMileBridge
2. Jim Malcolm - Losin' Auld Reekie
3. Steamsville - Trinity University Jazz Band
4. Jim and Jack - Carolyn Wonderland & The Imperial Monkeys
5. Gobbledigook - Sigur Ros
6. The Star Spangled Banner - Eddie from Ohio
7. Split Decision - Steve Winwood
8. Be Bop I Love You - The Bobs
9. Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye - Ceili's Muse
10. Worlds Apart - Bruce Springsteen
I should add that the song that came on next was "The Will", by Maggie Drennon, who was the lead singer for both SixMileBridge and Ceili's Muse. I think the new Touch is trying to tell me something. What's your iPod telling you this week?
Friday random ten: If at first you don't secede...
Friday random ten: When the going gets tough, the tough download some free tunes
Friday random ten: Good songs
Friday random ten: Once more to the well
Friday random ten, Hawaiian style
Friday random ten: Life is skittles and life is beer
Your weekend moment of Zen
Friday random ten: Special guest star edition
Friday random ten: You say "70s throwback" as if it were a bad thing
Friday random ten: The eighties strike back
Friday random ten: You say it's your birthday
Friday random ten: Beginning to see the light
Friday random ten: Flight of the Genius
Friday random ten: Still more new music
Friday random ten: We the people
Friday random ten: New music, take two
Friday random ten: New year, new music
Friday random ten: My sister's list
Seeking iTunes help again
Friday random ten: Sleigh bells ring
Friday random ten: Karaoke!
12/19/08 | permalink
Friday random ten: Let's get groovy
Friday random ten: No Genius for you!
Friday random ten: A little jazzy, but not too much
Friday random ten - TGIF
Friday random ten: Don't cross the streams, but do cross the genres
Friday random ten: And now a short break from politics
Friday random ten: Putting it all together
Friday random ten: That's more like it
Friday random ten: Blues Genius
Friday random ten: How station managers do it these days
Friday random ten: Genius!
RIP, Cary Winscott
Houston: Hot or not for college grads?
It means "Suave and Debonair"
"I got a leather from my Fred"
Fight for Rice, Rice fight on...
RIP, Bo Diddley
Robinson versus Peveto, the continuing story
"Kuff and the Buttheads"
RIP, Danny Federici
Friday random ten: Live in concert
Top 100 novelty songs
Oh Danny Boy, you can come back now
Friday random ten: Genealogy time
Friday random ten: Why are there so many songs about rainbows?
Friday random ten: Pearland attacks
Oh Danny Boy, please go away
Friday random ten: Post-primocalyptic edition
Friday random ten: Post-primocalyptic edition
The death of radio, part 572
Friday random ten: Debate this!
Friday random ten: Super Friday!
Friday random ten: Actual randomness!
Friday random ten: Same name, different song
Friday random ten: Three times a cover
Friday random ten: Cover-two
Friday random ten: Cover me
How I spent (most of) my iTunes money
Help me spend some money at the iTunes store
As always, Merry Christmas, Mel Torme
Not silent enough night
Not silent enough night
Reports on the effects of the smoking ban
Just hear those sleigh bells jingling...again and again
The Lizards and Consumers Union team up again
Less local, more national
Cactus Records resurrected
Sing for the cure
Jack comes to the radio dial
"National Brotherhood Week"
iPod noise pollution
Walton and Johnson move to 950 AM
Talk radio changes coming
Don't stop downloadin'
Friday random music question
CD Death Watch: One more Christmas
Talking 'bout my generation
Friday random ten: The group participation edition
Monday random thirty
Friday random ten: The other side of the CD shelf
Friday random ten: The "Better Late Than Never" edition
Friday random ten: The next playlist
A radio blast from the past
A radio blast from the past
Friday random eleven
Salvaging my lost music
Friday random ten
A few things about my iPod
CD death watch: Car stereos