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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Perfect Playlist ! Part One !

After surgery, I’m in for a few weeks of being more or less laid up, so I need some spiritually uplifting music to stave off the madness. I figure I’d try to put together three perfect playlists. One playlist would feature of all female vocalists, one of all boys, and one of my favorite all-time songs. The only problem with this concept is that I’ve been trying to construct these lists for an eon (or two) and have come close, but just as I soon as I think I’ve got it, I get kind of tired of one or two of the songs, and then I swap. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Today, we’ll start with six artists with multiple songs sure to make “The Ladies” play list. Two of these women are friends, and one of those is like a sister to me. Two have been my social media buddies for a long time, and one a recent supportive contact. The sixth doesn’t know me from Grover Cleveland.

Dawn Langstroth (Top Left)

Her album "Highwire" is pretty much a perfect pop album. I've bought it two and half times! The songs sure to make the playlist.

Elevator Music: I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this song. Sometimes that symphony of early romance just sounds like muzak after a while. Fortunately, ten years into my marriage, the orchestra still swells and sweeps me away.

A Case Of You : Joni Mitchell has written two of my favorite all time songs and this is one of them. ( In fact it appears twice on this list alone.) Joni just had her 68th birthday. "I could drink a case of you, and still be me on my feet." Awesome!

No Prize : I'm a sucker for a song with a shuffly jazzy feel and Dawn could sing the angels down for a closer listen. Love it.

Enough for Two, Where Were You? , Stranded, and You Don't Want Me will almost all certainly make the cut as well. I'd put the whole album on there but that'd be overkill.

I actually dreamt Dawn had a new album out and half remember the title cut "Newly Blue" but I forgot it too quickly. I might still write a song with that title though,and give it to her.

Natalie Nicole Gilbert (Top Right)

Natalie's music strikes a chord in me that I can't quite explain, except that it fills me with inspiration and happiness.

Cut On Your CD off the album Skeletal : It's one of those fun breezy songs you can imagine being sung by a campfire with a guitar and a singer. It's also one of the few songs of NNG's I can actually sing, even if it makes me feel impossibly old when I change the lyrics to "Cut on Your LP."

Breathing Hope off of Summary : This song reminds me of my son David, in fact I quoted it when my blog was all about the Boo Monster, a "beautiful contradiction" if there ever was one. A gorgeous song, with lyrics that make my soul stir. As long as I remember to forget it was written about a vampire of the sparkly variety.

Santa Monica: Simply one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, reminding me the importance of every moment, every sight, sound, smell and touch.

Also certain to be on the final playlist: Sweet Australia and Danger Surrounding off of Summary and New Moon, Blue Sun respectively.

Natalie's in the midst of an exciting new project :

Check it out here!

NNG's other site!

Jane Monheit (Upper Center)

Jane Monheit has the mutant ability to reimagine my favorite songs and make them new again… except I know all the lyrics. . On her CD Surrender, with her song styling at the helm, she transported Moon River from Branson, Missouri to Heaven and Pure Imagination from a Chocolate Factory to Paradise Island, and her reworking of Stevie Wonder’s Overjoyed is a thing of an entirely new kind of wonder.

On The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me, Jane revitalizes one of my favorite Bacharach/David numbers with This Girl’s In Love with You, and performs the best Rainbow Connection since a banjo playing felt amphibian warbled it in the theaters. On a side note, I dueted that song with a Kermit puppet for YEARS when I was a karaoke host. Give me your number and I’ll do Kermit for you. His voice, I mean.

My wife and I sang If, the classic Bread song, at our wedding as a duet. Had we had heard Jane's version (along with Kenny Barron) off of the Come Dream with Me CD, who knows what we would have done with it. Mesmerizing.

Also on the list Jane's version of Over The Rainbow from her brilliant Taking a Chance on Love CD and A Case of You (along with Richard Bona) on Come Dream With Me.

I must see her perform live before I die !

Jane's site!

Jen Chapin (Bottom Left)

Jen's father is one of my top five artists of all time but she's a star all her own. The List features seven minutes of bliss in I Could Fall (in Love With You) and Jen's performance with the Rosetta Trio of a little ditty called Starman that I love because it reminds me of the 11th Doctor.

Jen's site!

Sandra Bernhard (The Other Center)

As the Light in the Darkness, and my Gemini-Genesee Sister, naturally I put her entire Whatever It Takes album in heavy list rotation, along with her rocking Lita Ford/Pink mash-up from her I Love Being Me, Dont you? CD. Sandy's currently on tour. Go see her. I. Love. Her.

Sandy's site!

Jennie Walker (The Blonde)

FINALLY ! Jennie's debut redebuted. The whole CD is gem with, lush strings, stirring piano and Jennie's goddess like vocals.

The haunting Simon, along with the fabulous Your Father Your Mother, the nifty Black Hat and I Wanna Show the World (and she does!) are on the list.

Jennie's site!

So there you have it. Maybe in a couple weeks I'll tell you how my search for the perfect playlists is panning out.

Oh yeah, and I'll update on that whole cancer thing too.

Love !


  1. Updates on that cancer thing always appreciated, darlin, though I more than understand the need to talk about Things Other Than Cancer.

    I'm sure all these ladies are glad that their creative output is helping you through this time; I too believe in the healing power of music--in fact, it's the only thing that got me through the worst times with my own illness--but I too would have a helluva time trying to assemble any sort of master playlist like this.

    The closest I got was back in the mid-90's, when I did mix tapes of the two guys from XTC (my favorite band)--one all of Andy Partridge's songs, and the other all Colin Moulding's songs (entitled, btw, "Colin Moulding: The Man, The God, The Overbite").

    I have a tendency to avoid female singers to some extent because of the whole professional-jealousy thing; the best example there is k.d. lang, who I've loved and adored for over twenty years now, but part of me dies inside every time I hear her sing because of how profoundly envious I am. (The fact that I also have a huge crush on her makes things that much more confusing.)

    Nonetheless, for your sake, I will try and give these gals a listen sometime (well, I already know what a phenomenal singer Ms. Bernhard is *tries to quell another stab of envy*)...cos dude, that is exactly how much you rate. *smooch* ♥

  2. I'm listening to k.d. sing "The Air That I Breathe" as I type !

    I'll put a collage up of all the ladies on the playlist soon ~!