Saturday, December 6, 2008

Leftovers: The Refrigerator Clean-Out Continues...

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday – I love the non-commercial/no-agenda-ness of the intangible season that Hallmark has yet to find a way to hold us hostage with guilt and greeting cards. Grace abounds, as we are surrounded by ones we love who love us in return – in this spirit, despite economic woes, we count our blessings and realize we have much for which to be thankful.

I remain grateful to all the Starmakers for widening the circle, making me feel welcome and introducing me to so many wonderful artists and songs in my short time here – I also relish the opportunity to present a few more of my favorites before this week’s Tupperware is tossed (burp!).

Work: Papa Was a Rodeo

There used to be a very awesome image of a guy on a horse at a rodeo here. It has since been removed by request of the photographer. Click on this huge block of text to find it, and order a copy of it, from Lisa Cawte-Baker.

Kelly Hogan & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts: Papa Was a Rodeo


In my Jody Grind post a few days ago, I mentioned Kelly Hogan and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts… and thought to myself, “hmmm, if there’s ever a Career Theme, I have the perfect song” – going back through the archives once again, I discovered there had indeed been a Work Week!

I enjoy all 11 tracks on this CD, but I could listen to Papa Was a Rodeo (written by Magnetic Fields, I have since found out) eleven times in a row on repeat play and never tire of the way the narrator’s defense-mechanism bravada… segues to finding someone with similar circumstances… gives way to happily ever after… “tooooo”…

Civics Lessons: Buzzer

Dar Williams: Buzzer


No one here realizes what restraint it’s taken on my part not to submit a Dar Williams song each week, whose body of work (next to Joni's) is the litmus test by which I measure all others – when I first heard You’re Aging Well (which I still consider my personal anthem) over a decade ago on Joan Baez’s Ring Them Bells CD, it began the contemporary folk and acoustic music path upon which I peacefully embarked and joyfully continue. Dar has a lovely voice and better-than-average guitar skills… but it’s her lyrics that continue to captivate – from her relationship songs to her political tunes, smart layered thought-provoking turns of phrase invoke vivid images and issues of ephiphany.

Buzzer (which I would have submitted for Civics Lessons, featured the week before I came on board) is based on the Stanley Milgram experiment in the early-60’s, testing obedience to authority and individual responsibility – the robotic tempo of the song, coupled with the sensory-overloaded life of the woman who volunteered because she just needed some extra cash, helps one see “the big picture”, as the song extrapolates how just following orders can lead to questioning one’s ethics of stock purchase and clothes buying. Classic Dar – as she says on her Out There Live CD: “brilliant, brilliant”...

The Moon: The Moon and St. Christopher

Mary Chapin Carpenter: The Moon and St. Christopher


Danger… Warning… Caution – chick song alert!

And if you’re in touch with your inner SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy), you may also have a visceral reaction to this tune I belatedly offer up for Moon Week – it’s about regrets and what-ifs and one-may-never-knows. I’ve always thought it was a shame Mary Chapin Carpenter was pigeonholed as country during her early career – however, her last 3 or 4 CDs have garnered a larger audience, more interested in insightful songwriting than genre…

Now I have run from the arms of lovers,
I've run from the eyes of friends,
I have run from the hands of kindness,
I've run just because I can…”

My father was given his St. Christopher (patron saint of travelers) medal before he went to Korea as a Marine in the early 50’s – the priceless talisman now resides on my keychain to remind me of my dad's presence and to protect me on my journeys (emotional, spiritual and geographical)…

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