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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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5) discussing politics
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Will, This Is What Jon's Listening To
2004-06-23 09:12
by Jon Weisman

Emboldened by the musical entries on the Will Carroll Weblog, I'm actually going to careen off-topic and describe what I'm listening to in my car this week.

Nothing current, I warn you. It's a mixed tape I made in March 1988, during my junior year in college. Join me in the Wayback Machine for ...

The Year of Living Effulgently
The title of the tape was a combination of one of my favorite movies and a word I learned directly from one of my favorite writers, Roger Angell.

Side A
Spare Parts, Bruce Springsteen Longtime readers won't be surprised to find a lot of Springsteen on this tape. I had spent the previous quarter of school in France, and was relieved that someone was able to get be a tape of the just-released Tunnel of Love album. There was such a crispness to this song that even though it wasn't my favorite, I liked the way it kicked off the tape.

Man in the Street, Joe Jackson From his live with a silent audience album, Big World. Not the best Joe Jackson song of all time, but one of the most interesting.

Bring It on Home to Me (Live), Sam Cooke A stirring, life-changing performance, preceded by a desperate, fervent "You Send Me" intro - not the entire song but a portion of it, and not the sweet happy version you customarily hear. From the indispensable Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963.

Straight to My Heart, Sting On the tape, this song rubs onto Bring It on Home to Me with no break - an accidentally great segue.

Hiding Out, Pete Townshend I love Townshend's solo stuff.

On My Own, Frances Ruffelle In November 1987, my friends and I got off a train in London's Victoria Station at 7:20 p.m. We walked outside, and there was a theatre with a show starting at 7:30. I was stunned by the idea that I could just step off the train and be at a London show minutes after arriving in town. We checked into the nearest affordable hostel/hotel, dumped our bags, and raced back to get student tickets. Unfortunately, the show was Starlight Express, the pseudo-roller disco musical which does not hold up well at all. The next night, however, we went to see Les Miserables, and like it or not, I was blown away. And I fell in love with Eponine, the ingenue, who dies with her love for Marius unrequited, consoled with only the worthless knowledge that she was heroic. I can't tell you how much I wanted to step in and sweep her off her feet. Perhaps in some way I did - I married a woman whose unrequited dream was to play Eponine on Broadway. This is her ballad.

The Boy in the Bubble, Paul Simon I liked to think, singing in my car with this song, that I actually could make myself sound like Paul Simon. I liked to think it, but it was completely delusional.

All for Leyna, Billy Joel There are a couple of mixed tapes I have with Billy Joel songs that don't quite hold up, I don't think. It's not that they're bad songs - they just don't seem to fit anymore.

Where the Streets Have No Name, U2 This probably needs no explanation.

Real Love, Lone Justice Anyone remember lead singer Maria McKee? Cool, unforgettable sound. I had actually expected to find Sweet Sweet Baby on this tape when I listened this week - both songs are great.

All Mixed Up, Tom Petty Like Wade Boggs, it was just one hit after another for Petty.

Side B
Because the Night (Live), Bruce Springsteen Natalie Merchant did a great cover, albeit with some lyrics changed, of this song, originally written by Springsteen and released by Patti Smith. My loyalty remains with Bruce.

Solid Rock, Dire Straits The Making Movies album has only seven songs, most of which are like 30 minutes long. Then there's this one, about 3 1/2 minutes, and it just, well, rocks. Solidly.

They Dance Alone, Sting Weird to listen to Sting singing about political prisoners and torture today.

Gypsy, Suzanne Vega Based on the lyrics of the song itself and the description Vega gave (when I saw her in concert) of the person she's singing about, I am nothing like him. But it's such a pretty song, I still wish it were about me.

All That Heaven Will Allow, Bruce Springsteen Bruce sings about Julianne. Love this song, but can hardly claim it for myself - my brother dropped down to one knee in the middle of a restaurant and sang it to his future wife when he proposed.

I'm One, The Who The Who was the unifying band of my high school friends. I'm proud to say that I saw them in concert in 1982 at the Los Angeles Coliseum on their farewell tour. That's right - farewell tour. (Opening acts: future Coen brothers music guru T-Bone Burnett, and the Clash, who performed so dysfunctionally that they were booed off the stage.)

Industrial Disease, Dire Straits At the Winter Olympics or some major event, Katarina Witt used the instrumental opening of this song in her long program, punctuating each crash of the cymbals with an incredible jump. Wish I had a tape of it. Figure skating could really use more good rock 'n' roll.

Suspicious Minds (Live Dress Rehearsal), Elvis Presley For a long time, I loved this song without knowing its title, and spent several excursions to record stores trying to find the Elvis album with "Caught in a Trap" on it. Fortunately, one of the Elvis albums I did buy, a live recording of a dress rehearsal of his Hawaii concerts, had this on here. It's not quite as good as the normal version, but I still like it. At some point in this rendition, I think he brings a kid - possibly Lisa Marie - on stage with him.

Rip This Joint, The Rolling Stones Great song. One of those songs you have to be careful not to get a speeding ticket while listening to it. College friend Joe DeMattia introduced it to me. Haven't seen Joe since 1992 - he probably won't show up at our 15th reunion this fall, but here's hoping that he does.

A lot of this, frankly, is still my taste, 16 years later. Most of the music my wife and I buy today is Raffi or the Wiggles. I haven't bought a new CD for myself in at least a year. No - I take that back - I did get Lyle Lovett's newest. Dar Williams and Aimee Mann might have been the only ones I purchased in 2003. Music radio stinks in Los Angeles - the demise of, what was it, 101.9 I think, really hurt. There's a new station down the dial in the 105 area that I've given a try - occasionally something pops up there. Will Carroll is always raving about how great some song is, but I don't like a lot of what I hear now - and when I do like something, so many stations today don't tell you the names of the song they play. Sort of like having Rick Monday as your deejay. I would download some songs from iTunes, like Will, if I knew what to download.

Hopefully, by the time my daughter is a teenager, I'll find a way to be, like, 10 percent cool again.

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