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Archive for November, 2015

“Hello”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 20, 2015

We’ll just call this a Friday round up since I don’t really have anything to say.  I just want to make sure I continue being a Tiny Pepper and post for Nano Poblano.  It’s the 20th today, and I’ve almost made it through the entire month; I’d hate to break the streak now.

I also want to note that this week marked the birthday of one of my dear, dear friends from high school, whom I recently reconnected with on Facebook.  Like so many of the people I spent those wonderfulconfusingexcitingdesperate years with, we lost touch.  She got married, had kids, moved up to NorCal. . . all the usual stuff.  The only reason I joined Facebook was to get back into touch in some small way with people like her, and I’m so glad I did.  This is just a little shout out to her, because knowing she (and all the other old friends I found) are out there is such a nice thing.

It’s an appropriate song, in spite of the fact that Adele is singing about such heartbreak in it.  I’m not heartbroken (one of the eternally pleasant byproducts of swearing off romance) about anything, and certainly not finding friends.  But this is just an awesome song by an awesome artist.  You might think that I’m a little behind since this has been making the rounds on the interwebs for a couple of weeks now, but the album just dropped today and I picked up a copy when I was at Target today; call it an early Christmas gift to myself.  I’m very much looking forward to listening to the rest.

I have to go now, because the kettle is starting to whistle and I really want my cuppa.

 

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Posted in Music, Pop | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

“Telephone Song”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 19, 2015

Wanna hear something goofy?

About a half hour ago, I decide to give my aunt a call to ask her a question (about fudge, if you must know).  When I pick up the cordless handset to my landline (yes, I still have one), the little screen on the phone says, in this order:

1 Missed Call (not unusual; something to do with telemarketers and robocalls)

No Line

Line in Use

There is no dial tone on the handset.  I check another handset in the office, same thing.  I check the one in Mom’s room, same thing.  Okay, obviously something is wrong with the line, and I’m just about to get online to contact Verizon about it, when I decide to try one more thing.

See, when Mom moved in we merged telephone systems.  That’s not as complicated as it sounds.  I had a three handset phone; she had a three handset phone.  I plugged all the handsets into outlets, and turned off the answering machine in the main base of one set.  Anywho, things have been fine (except for some issues with static that have been going on since the termite guys were here–but that’s a different story).  Today however, none of the handsets from my phone were working.  But I picked up one of the handsets from her phone, and got a dial tone.  And I know it’s working since I just hung up on a telemarketer.

See.  I told you it was goofy.

I have no explanation for this, except that the ghost of my father is trying to call the house for some reason.  Probably wants to talk about Pluto or something.  It does sound a little like there’s someone on the line–you know, that funny sound/non-sound/almost a pressure you get when there’s an open phone line but no one’s answering.  Either way, it’s irritating and a sign that it’s time to suck it up and buy a new phone.

Oh, and Dad, get off the line, please.

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Old Repost: “Sing”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 18, 2015

Rara put a request out today for something nice.  While the news story that inspired this post was not very nice, the sentiment is.  And given all the crappy news since last Friday, I think we should all remember to sing a little song once in a while.

Dan reminded me about this terrible story from Miami last week (original link broken). I get that public transportation has to have rules and regulations to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers. I get that they don’t want to encourage any activity that can be viewed as disruptive or illegal. I use public transportation, so I understand and make every attempt to abide by the rules. And I also understand that there are laws governing street musicians, and so on. But who in the hell thinks it’s okay to yank an old lady off the train just because she was singing hymns? She wasn’t busking for loose change; she wasn’t being offensive. She was just singing and tapping some object in time to the song. It might be against the rules, but I figure the rules can be bent a little to accommodate an 82-year-old woman. Seriously.

Dan’s post also reminded me of this little ditty from the glory days of Sesame Street. It’s a simple song, about a simple pleasure. Singing is something common to virtually every culture in the world. It’s the most portable form of music, and the easiest to participate in–all you need is some air and a voice. Not everyone is blessed with a professional voice, but so what? These days, half the professionals don’t even have professional voices. I, for one, like singing along with my music. I often find myself randomly humming or singing songs all day long. (Whenever I file things, I have the urge to sing “Strangers in the Night.” I have absolutely no idea why.) Now, when I’m on the bus, wearing the iPod, I’ll just mouth the words like I’m trying out for a lip-synching competition. But I’m singing in my head.

So today I’m going to encourage everyone to engage in a little act of civil disobedience and add a little beauty to the world: sing out loud in public somewhere. Sing on the bus. Sing at the grocery store. Sing while standing in line at the bank. Or the DMV. Emma Anderson refused to stop singing, so let’s all join in.

Posted in Music, Soundtracks | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

“Victims of the Darkness”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 17, 2015

Today is the birthday of one of my lovely blogging and Facebook friends, Sandee Harris.  She is fierce and beautiful and funky, so join me in wishing her many happy returns.

Please note that the choice of song today has nothing to do with Sandee personally.  In reality, the darkness would probably be a victim of hers.  I selected this Allen Toussaint number because it is as funky as she is, and I’m still missing his great musical voice a little bit.

Posted in Music, R&B/Soul | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Repost: “The Wind Cries Mary”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 16, 2015

I got nothing today, but it’s really windy again (we lost a pretty big branch from one of the trees), so I thought I’d recycle this post.  Sadly, in spite of the song title, the wind is still not calling my name.

While I haven’t heard any otherworldly voices calling my name, it’s been pretty darn blustery today. It’s not the nasty, hot Santa Ana winds we had last week (thank goodness!), but it’s really blowing out there in my area.

I’ve never really liked wind. I understand the ecological necessity of it, I just find it terribly annoying. For one thing, no matter how short my hair is and no matter which direction I happen to be heading, the wind always blows my hair into my face. Always. And since I’ve had potted plants outside, I’m constantly setting the poor little things back up when the wind blows them over. It’s to the point where I won’t keep anything taller than a couple inches on the porch, because it’ll end up on its side. (My brother and sister-in-law have a huge cactus–nearly as tall as me–that fell over in last week’s Santa Anas. I wonder if they picked it up?)

Wind is noisy, too. I don’t mean the cool whooooo sound that happens when it blows under the crack of the front door (or any other tiny space); that’s actually pretty awesome. And I’m not complaining about the wind chimes (although I’m wondering if any of my immediate neighbors want to). But the sound of broken gates banging into cinderblock fences, or the various clacks and rattles of general detritus and debris gets pretty old after a while. Not to mention the constant whooshing and the way the house creaks when it gets really, really gusty.

I suppose if I flew kites today would be one of my favorite days ever. And I’m sure something must be getting pollinated out there. But my cats are a little on edge, and I’m tired of picking up plants. I’d like to put in my request for Spring to get things accomplished with a little less force. A nice breeze, but nothing over 10 MPH, please.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear someone calling my name.

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“Master’s of War”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 15, 2015

A Facebook meme got me thinking about this song again.  It’s one of the most scathing pieces of music I’ve ever heard.  And anyone who thinks it’s an excellent idea to turn around and kill every single member of ISIS because of what they’ve done should give it a careful listen.

Bob Dylan wrote this about Vietnam in the 60s, but it still applies.  I get the desire to retaliate, but I’m trying to resist it.  Violence begets violence.  If we continue fighting the “war” on terror with the same violence we’ve fought every other war, we will only create more violence from the terrorists.  You can’t wage war on an idea; you only wage war on people.  If you kill one, ten more pop up in his place.  The only way to stop this insanity is to find better ways to fight.  Fight poverty and hunger.  Fight a lack of education.  Fight intolerance and fear.  Fight religious zealotry.  Fight back with courage and love and books and art.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.  Take a minute to look around.

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I’m Just Gonna Keep Posting These Songs Until This Shit Stops Happening

Posted by purplemary54 on November 14, 2015

There was a scene in Twin Peaks, when Dale had a vision of the giant come to him at the local bar.  All the giant kept saying was, “It is happening again.”  It’s terrifying and disruptive; the whole place feels it, even though they didn’t see what Dale saw.  That’s how I feel right now.

I’ve got two songs here: one I’ve posted a couple of times in response to horrific violence; the other is the one true thing I know, which everyone needs to remember now and always.  Here’s hoping I don’t have to post either one again any time soon.

Posted in Music, Rock, Singer-Songwriters | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paris

Posted by purplemary54 on November 13, 2015

I’ve been in this beautiful city, and I am horrified about what happened tonight there.  I don’t have any words to express the sorrow I feel for everyone involved.

I thought about posting a song by Eagles of Death Metal, the group whose concert was attacked; but they’re just a little too silly to listen to right now.  Traditional French music and the French national anthem just seem out of place.  (And the national anthem is just a bit too violent.  We need less violence, not more.  Although I think the French people are right to rally themselves with it.)  Edith Piaf didn’t fit either.  The scope of this tragedy is too big for most music to handle.

But then I stumbled across this video of a violinist playing outside Notre Dame, and it seemed to encompass both everything I loved about that city and everything I’m feeling right now.

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“Only a Lad”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 12, 2015

This one came out of the blue for me today, inspired in part by this Dangerous Minds post about a different song from the same album.  They used the word “spiky” to describe it, and that’s the best word I can think of to describe pretty much all of Oingo Boingo’s music.  Spiky.

Prickly is another good word.  Sharp and razor-edged also work.  There is nothing soft or easy about this band, and that’s a good thing.  I’m not a huge fan of their work, but I’d probably hate all of it if it didn’t sound like they’d all just gotten out of mental hospitals and been allowed to play with scissors again.

Oingo Boingo’s frontman Danny Elfman is best known today for his film scores, but it’s interesting to hear how he cut his musical teeth.  “Only a Lad” is one of the few Boingo songs I own, and it’s so much fun to listen to.  Dark, kind of subversive fun.  The kind of fun I used to get from reading Uncle Shelby’s ABZ’s or watching The Twilight Zone after midnight.  Come to think of it, those two things can be combined to form yet another apt description for Oingo Boingo’s music.  There’s something so wonderfully weird about it.

Around the time they got really popular was also about the same time they went to heck in a hand basket.  I know plenty of people who think “Weird Science” and “Dead Man’s Party” are great tunes, but those to me are kind of the hallmarks of their decline.  The edges were dulled by then, the spikes worn down to dull nubs.  They still needled and poked a little, but nothing ever broke the skin.  That was the beauty of Oingo Boingo in the early years: you never knew when someone was going to lose an eye.  And you know what they say.  It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

And then it’s just fun.

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“Amie”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 11, 2015

I heard this on the radio yesterday, and thought it might make a nice repost.  But as I was searching through my old posts, I realized I had never played this song on the jukebox before.  That’s a shame, because it’s one of those perfectly perfect little musical moments.  I don’t really have much else to say about it.  I’m too busy singing along.

 

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