if it's all the same to you

dear friends,

I am trying to drown out the sound of incessant reggaeton coming from outside my window with other music. it kills.

moment to ponder the fact that I am latin & I hate reggaeton. I don't even like the word. it sounds like the spanish work for rat, "raton", so naturally, every time I hear the word "reggaeton", I picture a rat dancing to reggae. which could be funny if rats were cute. but they are not.

before the ranting, part 1, contributor tina likes to stomp about purposefully wearing oven mitts*. if you like to eat & can follow recipes, go visit her newly revamped site, combustication which promises to provide a plethora of recipes for culinary treats plus photos. & combustication rhymes with mastication & that's a good thing as that other kitchen maven likes to intone!

before the ranting, part 2, for proof that the polyphonic spree were wearing charlie brown robes from someone that I've never met or spoken to, go read this post about the beck/across the narrows show at heart on a stick.

before the ranting, part 3, for all you secret or not so secret depeche mode maniacs go here on the people's dance party to read contributor liz's track by track take on the new dm album. good stuff.

I wish I could say that I can look past the blare of rodent reggae & see the rainbow on the other side but really I'm just way too depressed. must be seasonal. either that or reading about the moors murderers when one is on emotional tenterhooks is not a good idea.

quick cuts:

1. bettye lavette has one of those ancient voices that seem to come from the deep, grimy well. lavette, a former back up singer for otis redding & james brown among others, does a terrific cover of fiona apple's sleep to dream on her new album called I've got my own hell to raise. when lavette rasps in her soul drenched, I smoke BABIES for breakfast voice about how you should give her hers back & "take yo ass on there", ya know you've left teenage diaryland behind & entered the adult world of capital E 'xperience.

2. after a weekend of groupie observation, casually insulting new englanders that own 44 magnums, eavesdropping on litigating ghost conversation & fielding musical requests from contributors jared & steph, I realized that what I really needed was to hear nina simone's love me or leave me. in my estimation, simone hasn't been lauded enough for her contribution to the "mash-up" genre. what the hell am I talking about? go find love me or leave me. listen as her jazz combo gets gradually worked up over simone's bach-like variations on her piano "solo". you can almost hear the hair on their arms stand on end as they go "what in tarnation is she doin'!?" & reply with steadily building enthusiasm; supporting her five finger exercises with swing, swing, swing. she's so confident about the rightness of her "classical. meet jazz. make nice" style, the fusion of the two is so assured, just listen to how that delivery works to underscore the willfulness of our narrator when she sings the line "I'd rather be lonely than happy with someone else" with an evangelical fervor that's scary. but that is the genius of simone. powerful & slightly scary. I like.

3. britain is the factory of lifestyle music (something to go with your white couch, madam? a little keane, coldplay or perhaps a fine embrace?) & one of their prime imports in that genre is scotland's travis. sometimes, these gentlemen write songs with lyrics & sentiments that fill the head with unwelcome thoughts of dental exams. as in, strapped to a chair having something really unpleasant being done to the inside of your mouth while some really insipid lite fm plays on the speakers & you plead with your eyes to the dentist TO JUST MAKE IT STOP. PLEASE.

despite this, I rather like them. firstly, because travis's singer, fran healy, has a voice that makes me gurgle like an infant staring at a mobile* & secondly, because I met them once & they were really, really absurdly nice, humble guys & I'm a sucker. & that is the sad truth. so I don't feel so bad about wearing my travis t-shirt because every now & then, they throw me a bone by doing an excellent cover (all the young dudes, river) & writing a weird, sad song like last train from their cd, the invisible band.

last train still has some lyrical clunkers ("I'm gonna shoot everything, everyone" being particularly leaden) but the gentle strumming, mist-like keyboard accompaniment, tiny stripe of ambient guitar noise & of course, healy's cashmere tenor makes this tale of delusion & homicidal stalking work. at the end, healy's protagonist goes on a tangent about a dream where he sees a picture of che guevara sitting beneath a tree & part of me as a listener, thinks YES! stick to that! tell me more details of your dream, not just platitudes about the world turning or rain that always falls but then, just like it began, the song abruptly ends in a wash of chimes.

4. whilst up in rhode island I met a nice guy from a fine shoegazerin' trio called dreamend. unfortunately, I cannot remember nice guy's name (& if it hadn't been for everyone correcting me, I would've kept calling his band "the good one" instead of their real name 'cause my brain is spongy.) but what I do remember is him recommending a lee hazlewood & nancy sinatra ditty called down from dover by describing it as a song that reduced him & his manly man driving companion to silent tears. this I had to hear, so I did.

down from dover concerns a young woman abandoned by her lover & pregnant besides & at the song's incredibly messed up conclusion, she has realized that he is never coming back & there's nothing she can do but cry. sinatra doesn't sing about the lonely tears; she is actually crying. her voice cracks & veers wildly off pitch as she warbles her final verse. listening to it, I felt weirdly complicit in this hardy-like tale. because what should be a pleasant aural experience has turned into something slightly ghoulish, all for my...entertainment. some devastating stuff, I tell ya.

thanks nice dude from dreamend! you should check out the go! team's ladyflash which samples down from dover to vastly different effect.

hmmm...that reminds me, I never did my disturbing songs playlist... perhaps next week.

love, d

songs to seek: sleep to dream/bettye lavette, love me or leave me/nina simone, last train/travis, down from dover/lee hazlewood & nancy sinatra

* & if you bake, you really should be wearing joy division oven gloves. I'm serious. they're featured in MOJO magazine this month. it looks like your standard oven glove with this image on it.

** speaking of babies, when I read that thom yorke wrote sail you to the moon for his son as a lullaby, I had this image of a stupefied infant staring with fear & wonder at the sounds emanating from pops. lucky seedling.


Blogger liz o. said...

Yeah, reggaeton does sound like "raton." That made me start dreaming a reggaeton smash hit entitled "Raton con Cola." Thanks, D, now I have the beat stuck in my head.

2:27 PM, October 13, 2005  
Blogger d said...

welcome to my breakdown, liz!

2:51 PM, October 13, 2005  
Blogger tina said...

Thanks for the kinds words miss. You know, I can make oven mitts with all sorts of bands on them....that is a brilliant idea!

4:37 PM, October 13, 2005  
Blogger Tavie said...

You're evil, where's my album recommendation?

11:39 PM, October 13, 2005  
Blogger Mike said...

Nothing contradictory about being Latino and hating reggaeton. I'm Jewish and am no big fan of klezmer. I also do not like gefilte fish.

9:16 AM, October 14, 2005  
Blogger mary said...

oh, yay. I'm glad you spoke up on this, d. I hate reggaeton too (although I'm not latin). on the other hand, I am also not jewish, and I love klezmer.


7:54 PM, October 14, 2005  

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