Eight Songs I Am Diggin’ On Right Now:
Dude, I am so lame about music nowadays. There was a time when music was my life, I lived it and breathed it. I performed in coffee houses, made amateur tapes and dreamed of being a professional performer. I have 3 ring binders full of songs I wrote, gathering dust with my old drumsticks and three guitars.
Now I barely even listen to it anymore, and tend to say things like “I don’t understand these kids nowadays and their music,” or “this new band is just imitating X band from my youth. There’s nothing new under the sun”, &c. I spend more time watching TV and on the Interwebs, honestly. Even if I do listen to music, it’s often older stuff.
Have I grown up, or just become old?
Anyway, let’s see what I can think of…
1. Keane, “Is It Any Wonder.” I think this was a hit last year. Nice little emo/indie rock tune, showing the influence of U2, who they opened for on tour. I got into this song when it lodged in my head after playing five hundred times on the Madden 07 soundtrack.
Incidentally, my new Madden superstar is our big, tall adopted son, Bayard. He’s a rookie wide receiver for Kansas City this year, but I’m hoping I can get him a contract with the Giants. He’s a killer kick returner, too. He looks like a taller Tiki Barber. Hee.
2. OK Go, "Invincible". You’ve gotta enjoy the clever premise of a song that imagines the singer’s heartless lover forcefully thwarting an alien invasion. At least, I do.
Runner up: OK Go, “Do What You Want.” Mainly because you can never get enough cowbell!
3. The theme from “Cubis 2”. I play this game on my iPod almost every day during my commute, and the burbling, loopy synthesized soundtrack is now constantly stuck in my head. Fortunately, it’s a pretty good one. Unfortunately, I also find myself obsessively creating cube combinations in my head, just like I used to do with Minesweeper and Tetris, and Mrs. Nator now does with Sudoku.
4. Stevie Wonder, “Power Flower.” A classic from my youth. Not a hit, this song comes from The Secret Life of Plants, a double album of what was supposed to be a soundtrack for a movie that I don’t think was ever released. The album didn’t do very well for a Wonder release, mainly because a lot of it was atmospheric. I still liked it, though, and this is one of my go-to songs while singing in the shower. It’s a sunny love ballad to nature sung in the voice of Pan, the Greek god thereof. Avoiding the obvious bleat of a goat, however, Wonder sings in an unexpected, smooth falsetto that could put Smokey Robinson to shame. The synthesized backgrounds are a little hokey and dated, but this song never fails to put me in a calm, contented mood. I’ve been listening to it on occasion lately just to relieve stress!
5. Stevie Wonder, “Love’s In Need of Love Today.” Another classic, this time from Songs In The Key of Life. The theme can make you sad, but the melody and singing lift you.
Runner up: the equally good remake by Joan Osborne. Joan is one of my favourite current female vocalists. Honestly, she just kicks ass.
6. Scissor Sisters, “Better Luck Next Time.” Cornball, bouncy, snarky, gay alterna-disco. What’s not to love?
7. Kate Bush, “Cloudbusting.” Kate Bush is one of the most original pop artists out there, and Hounds of Love is still my favourite album of hers. In fact, it’s one of the few albums that makes me actually miss the LP format, as the tracks are divided to tell different stories on either side.
In this song, Kate is telling a story that is both heartbreaking and encouraging. Who is this woman? Why was her father taken away by shadowy men? And yet her memories of her father are filled with joy:
Ev’ry time it rainsKate Bush is one of the only artists whose songs have actually made me cry, even after repeated listenings. I also made my mom cry by playing “This Woman’s Work,” for her one time. I don’t know why this particular song of Bush’s has been in my head lately – it could be any of a number of hers, instead. But it’s so bittersweetly evocative that once it’s there it’s hard to let go.
I hear you in my head
Like the sun’s coming out
Ooh, I just know that something good is gonna happen
I don’t know when
But just saying it could even make it happen…
8. The Darkness, “Knockers.” HeeHeeHeeee… knockers! I just love The Darkness. They’re like the illicit love children of Queen and the band “Limozeen” from the Homestar Runner cartoons. They just crack my shit all up… and they can play!
I am still utterly heartbroken that the lead singer left before I could see them in concert. Sigh.
If money were no object, what would you be doing with your life?
Get a personal chef and trainer. Travel the world. Make a lot of donations, particularly for the boo-boo animals. Spend more time with animals and learn more about them. Give nice things to my family and friends. Buy a brownstone in Brooklyn and a vacation house. Learn to SCUBA dive & snowboard. Take writing and photography courses. Have my own home recording studio.
As most of you know, I did start a writing workshop recently, but had to stop due to the job madness. I still hope to take a SCUBA course this summer, though, if money and time allow.
Money is just that - an object, so why aren’t you doing it?
Um, as I said, I’m trying to do what I can when I can swing it. I did get to go to Costa Rica twice and Hawaii once, snorkel, hike volcanoes, and meet wild animals. I’m pursuing being a vet tech and SCUBA, and work on writing and photography when I can. I sponsor a child in Ecuador and give donations when I can. I try to give nice stuff for Xmas and birthdays, and it’s in our plans to buy at least an apartment someday. Uh, I sing in the shower…
So, really, I’m doing things I’d do with money, only on a smaller scale. Hey, just get off my back, people!
What’s better: horses or cows?
I try not to make value judgments on animals – just humans.
What do you think the secret to happiness is?
Great, now I’ve got that damn You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown song going through my head …
When was the last time you had a dream that you either remember well or did not want to awake from? Can you share a bit?
Um, I dreamt last night that my boss threw a party for my last week (fat chance) and on the stairs of the opera house made this big announcement that I could come back and see whatever show I wanted for free whenever I wanted. I was like “um… thanks.” I wasn’t sorry I woke up.
That’s actually not exemplary, because I tend to have very wild and symbolic dreams. I’ll tell you one of my favourites that I had when I was a teenager. I used to have reoccurring nightmares about tidal waves. I’m not sure why they started, but over time the waves grew smaller and smaller until the last few were puddles. I’d like to think this means I’ve conquered some fears they represented, or something.
Anyway, in this dream I was walking down a beach by a city. Suddenly people started running around hysterically screaming that it was the end of the world. I looked toward the sea and there was this infinitely huge wave rushing towards us. I could see animals, trees, cars and pieces of buildings roiling in it, like it had already been partly around the world and swept it away. I knew instantly that this was it – the water was going to engulf and destroy everything in a few seconds, and there was nothing I could do. I briefly wondered if I should pray, but then just as the first droplet hit me I suddenly thought aloud, “hey, didn’t it say somewhere in the Bible that God said he’d never destroy the Earth by flood again?”
No sooner had I said it than the water covered me. But then I heard a loud, deep, echoing voice say: “Hmm. I forgot about that. Maybe I’ll come back in a few eons sometime when I’ve thought of something else.” In an instant, with a gigantic zzzzooorcht like the emptying of a drain, the water was gone, and I had saved the world!
I woke up laughing. I told my father about it at breakfast, and I believe he worked it into a sermon that Sunday.
When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I went through the typical phases of fireman, astronaut and superhero. Does fantasizing about riding into my nursery school playground in armor on a white horse and rescuing my teacher, who would then marry me, count?
Later on I wanted to be a magician, and after that a rock star. So practical, I was!
Complete this statement: Love is…
“… a many spleeeendooored thiiiiing!”
But seriously, love is awesome. I am so grateful for those I love: my friends, family, and chosen family of the amazing Mrs. Nator and our critters. I had always been a romantic and hoped for a “soul mate” (bleeaurgh!), but I’d given up by the time I met her. Now, my life is gloriously changed and better than ever. I love you, Mrs. Nator, my Boo!
Can you tell a good story?
There once was a man from Nantucket…
Can you remember your last daydream? What was it about?
Um… buying scrubs for my new job. Hee. I’m so obsessed with them… they’ve become my little symbolic badge of being an “animal care professional,” I think…
My usual daydreams, however? Involve snuggling with the cats or diving someplace with gorgeous coral and sealife, like Hawai’i.
If you were to thank someone today, who would you thank?
Mrs. Nator, because I should thank her every day, for everything she does and is. (Awww!)
And that’s it. I shall tag Helen, mainly because she’s given me some good suggestions for music in the past. But I have no illusions that she will actually do this meme. Enjoy!