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Ah, criminey. Internet is down at home tonight, off and on. So what’s the point here? Well, just as the Russians wrote for the drawer, I write for the moment when the pipe to the world unclogs.

Brian and CapLion shamed me into this, so I’ll do it. Precious little else going on today, aside from the weather; storms rolled in, rolled out. The sun frowned down, then retreated, then returned to burn off the puddles; then clouds. Around suppertime one of those Belasco storms pushed through, and I feared for the trees. Then peace. Then the temps skidding down the basement steps and the rain returned. A real variety show, today.

Total size of music files on computer:

46.74 GB. Although this includes 43 GB of radio static, which I find very calming. (Actually, it includes about 6 GB of old radio, which isn’t a Tune in the iTune sense.)

Last CD purchased:

Garbage, “Bleed Like Me.” Not sure I can, and not even sure I’m willing to give it the old sporting try, Shirl. But glad to see you guys back.

Before that, an album of Nelson Riddle standards. How eclectic I am! Here, let me pat myself on the back. You know, the more you do that, the easier it gets.

Playing now:

“Cryin’ All Day,” Big Spiderbeck. Hitting shuffle: “Honey,” by Moby. Or the other way around.

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me.

Impossible question. Let’s take classical off the table.

Well, there’s lately, and there’s per year, and then there’s per decade, and per life, a category that means the Captain Kangaroo song shoves out “Workin’ for the Weekend.” (As perhaps it should.) Right now I’m listening to the usual mix.

"One Real Flower," Steve Hackett. Because it’s lovely.

"Waiting for the Sirens’ Call," New Order. Because it’s new, and has that New Order Feeling that makes me feel, oh, 32 all over again.

"Shangri-La," Jackie Gleason Orchestra. (Not a misprint.) Schmaltz by the 32-gallon drum, But driving home to Jasperwood after an afternoon at the lake, Gnat dozing in the backseat, the trees and sky overhead – it’s what life should feel like from time to time, lest you go mad. Maybe I should make a movie about it sometime, and show you.

"Crazy Little Mama," the El Dorados. I’m not a huge fan of fifties pop, but in the summer it hits the spot.

“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” Propellerheads. Never get sick of this one. John Barry plus brain-melting technopop. Makes it back in the playlist every six months.

That’s this week. Overall?

“Are you Going with Me,” Pat Metheny Group. Hard to explain, but I felt like a different person after I heard this album, and this song kicks it off. I felt older, and back then that was an unqualified good.

"Lip Service," Elvis Costello. The album that told me I’d have at least one guy in music who seemed to be reading my mind, including all the things I didn’t know I didn’t want yet. (And that meaningless line could have come from one of his songs, I suppose.)

"Theme from Twin Peaks," Angelo Badalamenti. Beautiful sadness. Makes Faure’s Pavanne sound like “Johnny B. Goode.” (You know, beneath all the donuts and damn good coffee and backward-talking munchkins and everything other peculiar detail that made the first season so unusual and mountain-fresh, there was a heartbreaking story at the core of it all, and Badalamenti nailed it from the beginning; the song sounds like parting advice from an angel. (It has lyrics, too - teen-love lyrics by Lynch that have that maddening simplicity that drives some people nuts. What corn! But I’ve always believed that he means it; he doesn’t set up innocence for the joy of corrupting it. He sets up the corruption to show the preciousness of innocence. In any case, I also like the TP theme for what it suggests, namely, a few albums of music connected to the show, including a Lynch / Badalamenti album with vocals by Julee Cruise. “Rockin’ Back Inside Your Heart,” for example, is a dreamy slow finger-popping number that just floats; get Brian Setzer truly & honestly drunk, play this tune for him, and he would bawl his head off. And he’d tell you it felt good.

Aw, hell. One day only. Here's an excerpt. Wait for the saxes. Oh yeah.

"The Stranger," Billy Joel. Sorry, okay? Again, time and place. Young man, spring, college, new girlfriend, Kool cigarettes smoked rakishly. Bonus points for providing the best whistling-while-walking-down-dark-city-streets theme, ever.

“James Bond theme,” Monty Norman. Please do not embarrass yourself by asking why.

“Hello There,” Cheap Trick. Everyone needs their favorite heavy-metal head-bobbing tune. This’ll do. Boils it down. Scales well. In their heyday these guys were good, and they were fun, and their capacity to RAWK has always been underestimated by the snooty side of metaldom.

That’s six. I had better stop now. It’s two-column night, after all. Oh: I mentioned there was a new Joe. Not really. Just a compare and contrast. Here’s the original first installment. And . . . . here’s an early draft of the first installment, redone for the book. The difference shows how far and fast the project came, at least for me.

New Fence; see you tomorrow.


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