can't keep track of each fallen robin

dear friends,

it's been a grim day. grim news. grim weather. I am looking at disaster photos & feeling that awful, embarrassing, all too human "thank god it wasn't me" or "anyone I know" or "thank god it wasn't here". I wonder how long that can hold up.

on a less terrifying & mundane note, I am looking for assistance... I would like to have a concert listings area on the side of the page. how do I do this? anyone, anyone?

in honor of contributor tina, go here for a photo of a pony. I'm sure he's very strong.

speaking of assistance, here are a few songs people have put on mixes for me that I then listened to over & over again. since it takes me a few thousand YEARS to digest mixes you'll forgive me if there's not much in the way of recent. it is not chronological.

1. a girl named katie made me a mix once that had a song called can't find my way home by blind faith. an unearthly, beautiful falsetto vocal flies like a kestrel over acoustic guitar pickings. the voice sings the opening lines "come down off your throne/& leave your body alone" with such authority that it almost sounds like it means something. I researched & discovered that blind faith was not only a short-lived supergroup (!) but that the incredible singer was none other than steve winwood (!!!) of bring me a higher love fame (which was the only song of his that I knew at the time. shoulder pads & chaka. all the way, baby). I just couldn't believe that steve winwood could sing with such subtlety & be so relaxed & groovy. I also remember all this grooviness made me worry that I was gonna become a hippie or something but thankfully, that moment passed.

interestingly, when I bumped into katie, years later, I thanked her for putting that song on my mix. she did not recognize the title or remember the song even after I sang it to her for a few endless minutes on a cold street corner. like a jackass.

2. years ago, I prodded & poked my friend jefe into making me a mix which was so good I wound up making a song by song mix in response*. lotsa new discoveries on that one but my favorite was definitely robyn hitchcock's raining twilight coast which is a song that sounds like rain falling on car windows & feels like the saddest of loves (& keys?). when hitchcock tremulously croaks "see, I'm a fish baabyyyyy" I don't laugh. I can't laugh. it just sounds so gorgeous.

3. another friend, I'll call her q, whose mother always looked at me like I was a dirty third world child that was gonna steal the silverware & soil the carpets**, made me a mix which included a song by a fella called leonard cohen. I'd never heard him sing but I had read one of his poems in the norton's poetry anthology & I thought the line about touching someone's "perfect body with your mind"*** was very stupid. my teenage self was not amused.

however as soon as the song, chelsea hotel #2, started playing, I was hooked by cohen's deep, deep as underwater rivers voice. & that, thankfully, the intimate & rich lyrics had no perfect bodies marring the 23rd st. landscape. he sang about some girl he slept with at the chelsea hotel but the memory is somewhat muted by their mutual ambivalence, despite their afternoon delight. someone told me this song was about janis joplin, which surprised me since I figured that a lesbian sleeping with a man would choose a different sort than a depressed, nicotine stained canadian with a basso profundo voice & a notebook full of scribblings. then again, cohen does say "you told me again you preferred handsome men/but for me you would make an exception." now, that's MY kind of poetry.

4. contributor pete made a christmas mix that included a song by the left banke called pretty ballerina. they are usually known for their oldies staple walk away renee which is a beautiful song destroyed by too much inappropriate air play. what the hell is that, you ask? oh. the waiting room at the dentist. a muzak version at the supermarket. so on & so on.

pretty ballerina starts with the musical equivalent of a pirouette; the piano spins & spins around a touchingly hesitant vocal about a dream woman who winds up being very much that.

5. I once dated a boy who fell neatly into the BAD NEWS section of boyfriend-dom. & I, in turn, fell neatly into the BIG SUCKER category. needless to say, hilarity did not ensue. he gave me a mix once & since he was a rather uncommunicative sort of chap, I looked for messages in the songs. one of them, I can't see your face in my mind by the doors seemed especially telling. the song's merits soon outweighed any portent & it became a frequent bus ride favorite. it's the sort of song that made me wish I was more of a musician so I could properly describe the weeping woman guitar playing underneath the atypically understated morrison vocal. & the back & forth switches from groove to quiet. go hear it. iz nice.

I must go clean my biopsy wound. betcha haven't heard that one today! as another song goes, to all of you, "I wish you love".

love, d

* I called it a mirror mix & it took me a gazillion drafts & I still wound up screwing up the sleeve notes. have we ever discussed my nerdiness? we really should.

** q's mother actually went so far as to give me a lecture on returning things before q could lend me a time-life's guide to supernatural america book. naturally, I kept it, thieving minority that I am. I love to give the people what they want.

*** suzanne & her perfect body is considered a classic. & really, who am I to judge the pretty, pretty words?

songs to seek: can't find my way home/blind faith, raining twilight coast/robyn hitchcock, chelsea hotel #2/leonard cohen, pretty ballerina/the left banke,I can't see your face in my mind/the doors


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