“Singing in my Sleep”

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My repost from yesterday mentioned this mostly unknown song from 90s trio Semisonic*.  They had a hit with “Closing Time,” but really never caught fire commercially.  I liked “Closing Time” enough to invest ten bucks in the album.  There were a couple other songs I also enjoyed, but none rang out to me like “Singing in my Sleep.”

I’m not really sure why I homed in on this song the way I did.  Except maybe that I remember making mix tapes–for friends, for crushes, for teachers, for anyone I wanted to convert to my way of musical thinking.  I loved these sounds so much that I wanted share them with everyone.  (My god.  It just dawned on me that my blog is just one really long mix tape.)  Mix tapes were an act of love.  They were a way to bare your soul without the risk of actually saying what you were feeling (probably the reason I liked them so much).  It was a chance to show someone your deepest desires and fears, your dreams and wishes.  “Singing in my Sleep” captures that yearning to be heard so perfectly.  There’s something impossibly romantic about this song, something impossibly sweet and innocent.  It’s kind of wonderful to hear.

 

 

*Although listening now, “Come Anytime” isn’t really referenced in the lyrics.  The line is “come around from another time” and that made me think of the Hoodoo Gurus song.  Huh.  See, it is possible to read anything you want into music.

Repost: “Come Anytime”

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I’ve had this song half-stuck in my head since the computer randomly played it a couple days ago (“Half-stuck” means it pops up randomly, I sing a couple of lines to myself, then it goes away.)  But it’s such a great song, and I originally posted it so long ago that I really think I need to share it with you again.

The Hoodoo Gurus are an Australian band that achieved minor success in the late 80s with this song. They’re very popular in Australia; they just never got big anywhere else. When I finally tracked down the CD version of this on Magnum Cum Louder, it was used. And cheap. That’s how we did it in the days before itunes, kids. (Come to think of it, that’s how we have to do it with anything that hasn’t made it to itunes for whatever reason. The music from Cowboy Bebop, anyone?)

Of course, we’re so myopic here in the US, I had to look them up on Wikipedia to find out anything. Like that they’re still going strong today. And that “Come Anytime” was used as the theme for an Aussie TV show. But since it didn’t happen stateside, it might as well have happened on the moon. It almost did. Australia is really far away. It’s Monday there right now. I think I might be babbling.

“Come Anytime” is a wonderful gem of a song. It’s not a diamond in the rough; it’s fully cut, polished, and set. It’s catchy, with lyrics that have a nice edge to them–think double entendre, not sword. And I’ve always loved the opening guitar chords, strummed on an acoustic. They have a sly, laughing quality, almost like a come on–think a guy in a bar coming on with the cheesiest pick up line ever. In fact, that might describe the whole song. See, this is one of those songs that could use a little back story. The closest I can come to analyzing the lyrics is that it’s all on big come on. The guy in the song seems to have a friends with benefits arrangement with the girl he’s singing to (or guy. . . that’s another thing that’s not too specific here). He’s pretty easygoing, “What is it you want from me? There isn’t much I will not do. If it’s only company, you know I might need that, too.” He is willing to carry on a casual relationship, telling her to “Come anytime, I won’t give you pressure.” But he’d happily make it a more serious relationship if she gave the word: “Maybe I’m a gun for hire, but baby, don’t we make quite a team?”

This is one of those songs that never really got a fair shake over here. (It did get a mention in the musical litany of Semisonic’s “Singing in my Sleep.”) I hope this inspires someone to give it another chance. To make it easy, here’s the video (which really doesn’t do it justice, but that’s how I first heard it).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I wish everyone–coupled, single, or otherwise–a Happy Valentine’s Day. If you are in a couple, please remember to celebrate your love the other 364 days of the year. If you are single, don’t let social pressure make you feel bad that you’re not in a couple today. Love is not just romantic. If you are otherwise, well. . . have fun doing whatever the heck it is you do. Be sure to share all the love today with the rest of your family, your pets, your friends, and anyone else who makes you happy (but don’t violate any restraining orders, please). Love is everywhere, all the time, and it really is all you need.

But the Replacements never hurt, either.

President’s Song

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Sorry I went quiet again for a while there.  Nothing actually interesting has been going on–which is a good thing–but what has been happening caused me to retreat a little.

On my birthday, the place where I get my mammogram called and wanted me to come back for another mammogram and an ultrasound.  It’s just my damn cysts again, and I logically knew that, but lizard brain had to pitch a fit.  This has happened every single blessed time I’ve had a mammogram, and it’s really frickin’ annoying.  And my birthday was ruined, as was the weekend after; I had everything done the following Tuesday, and like I said, it was nothing but my damn cysts (I even got a piece of paper with “normal and benign” checked off).

I also saw some termites in the laundry room again, and I’ve been dancing around trying to get the termite people to come back and spray some more.  They’re insisting on doing an inspection again, and it’s been just the tiniest bit frustrating.  (It’s really hard to be zen about some things.)  I am relieved that the dozen or so I saw seem to be the only ones, but I still want it checked out.  Their earliest seems to be next Monday.  *sigh*

I got my eyes checked (between phone call and follow-up mammo), and my prescription didn’t change much, but I got some new spectacles anyway, along with my regular haircut.  (Not in the same place; I’m almost positive Lenscrafters does not include hairdressing as part of their services.)  And I’ve been getting back into the swing of the semester.  One of my online classmates is local (like within ten miles of me), and he works for the Long Beach Historical Society, so I might be doing some volunteering there soon (I’ll keep y’all posted on that).  Mom’s okay.  The cats are okay, although I did have to get Sasha another set of stairs recently so she could climb up on the couch with me.  Everything else seems to be status quo.

Sheesh.  This is a pretty long time to go without posting any music.  And the song I chose for today isn’t really related to anything else.  Heck, it’s barely even a song.  But Presidents Day is coming up, and I’ve always wanted to try to learn the exact order of all the presidents. I know Washington was first, Jefferson was third, and Lincoln was sixteenth.  I can name everybody from Teddy Roosevelt on out, although for some reason I always forget Harding.  But there’s all those guys in the nineteenth century that get kind of bungled up in my mind.  So here’s some presumably adorable children singing the names of all the U.S. presidents in order.  Just in case you wanted to learn them all, too.

Maurice White

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To say that this is all beginning to sound like a broken record is much too apt a comparison.  The music industry has once again been robbed of one of its visionary talents.  Earth, Wind, & Fire co-founder Maurice White has died at 74 as a result of his long fight with Parkinson’s.  It’s like the whole world has just become one long broken record.

If I feel like dancing, Earth, Wind, & Fire is always on the playlist.  They were one of the best and most successful R & B groups ever, and Maurice White was a large part of that success.  He was their leader in every sense of the word, from songwriting to performing to producing.  When his illness prevented him from performing with the group any longer, he continued to guide EWF from the sidelines, making sure that his group never strayed from his vision.  He also produced a number of other artists and had some solo performing success.

What really gets me, besides the loss of another artist I enjoyed and admired, besides the grief of another family that I understand only too well, is the fact that this won’t nearly be the end of our losses as fans and listeners.  All these great and influential artists from the 60s and 70s are getting older, and as Michael Wilbon of ESPN notes, Father Time is undefeated.  We’ll always have the music these people have made.  My beliefs tell me that no one is ever really gone; their existence is simply moved to another plane.  But that doesn’t make any of this feel any better on this plane of existence.  It still hurts.  In this case, the only way to deal with the pain is to keep on dancing.

I think Maurice would like that.