Author Topic: Sarah Vowell comes up with a playlist!  (Read 1282 times)


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Sarah Vowell comes up with a playlist!
« on: July 25, 2007, 02:27:22 PM »
She of the Assassination Vacation, which was such a great idea I really wish I had come up with it (but I wouldn't have been able to execute it like she did!!!!  hahahahhhhhaaaa), has a piece in the NY Times today with a witty playlist she concocted.  I dunno what this says about her taste in music, I really don't.  From that standpoint, she might have almost reduced me to tears.  She has Randy Newman on there twice.  Is she kidding?  I hope so.  Oh, and Tom Waits too, although he doesn't bug me as much as Randy Newman nor as much as he obviously bugs other Friends of Tom.  But those are the first three items.  I think her tongue wasn't in her cheek at that point either.

Anyway, I appreciate a wry sense of humor, cleverness and eccentricity much more than I value "taste in music" (whatever that is, anyway, after all -- it's hopelessly subjective, unlike a wry sense of humor, which is of course COMPLETELY objective).  So I decided I should share this with you all.

By the way, coincidentally, in case anyone cares, I have also had "Old Dan Tucker" stuck in my head since I was a child, just as Sarah has.  So stuck in my head that I might hum or sing it when walking down the sidewalk, or someplace like that.   I had absolutely no idea that Springsteen ever sang it, however. 

Love, Fido

P.S.  Please pay some respect to Ernie Anastos.


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Re: Sarah Vowell comes up with a playlist!
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2007, 06:42:58 PM »
Whoopsie, forgot to attach the article.  Here it is, from today's NY Times:

July 25, 2007,  10:06 am
Living with Music:
A Playlist from Sarah Vowell
By Dwight Garner
Sarah Vowell (Photo byBennett Miller)
On Wednesdays, this blog is the delivery vehicle for “Living With Music,” a playlist of songs from a writer or some other kind of book-world personage. Why? Because books and music, on good days, just seem to go together. And because the “celebrity playlists” on iTunes never get around to asking writers to pitch in.

This week: A playlist from Sarah Vowell, whose most recent book is “Assassination Vacation.”

Sarah Vowell’s July 2007 Playlist:

1) Children’s Story, Tom Waits. Perfect bedtime yarn for the apocalypse. The lonesome, last orphan on earth finds out the sun is just a wilted sunflower, the moon is made of rotten wood and the stars are just a bunch of faraway dead flies pinned up in the sky. Nighty night!

2) I Miss You, Randy Newman. A too-little, too-late love song to his first wife even though he’s remarried. Jerky and lovely at the same time.

3) The World Isn’t Fair, Randy Newman. The greatest song ever about the tragic, genocidal legacy of Marxism and how that relates to trophy wives in Hollywood.

4) Primitives, T Bone Burnett. Oh, the mysterious pleasure of phrase repetition in the American vernacular: “edge of town, edge of town” rhymed with “shades pulled down, shades pulled down.” That’s some rhyme, some rhyme.

5) Fairytale of New York, The Pogues. This would be the perfect Manhattan wedding song but for the homosexual slur and the fact that no one in this town ever gets married anywhere remotely near a subway stop so you spend every summer taking buses to the Berkshires and trains to Sag Harbor and planes, then trains, then buses to the Cinque Terre even though St. John the Divine is really pretty this time of year what with the peacocks.

6) Chelsea Bridge, Gerry Mulligan and Ben Webster, It’s a Lonesome Old Town, Frank Sinatra, …. Tha Police, N.W.A., Riot in Cell Block No. 9, The Coasters, Moonlight in Vermont, Willie Nelson, This Town, Go-Gos. A few years ago Steve Erickson compiled a list for Los Angeles magazine of the best songs recorded in L.A. and it makes a very handy plagiarized playlist, as well as an amusing imaginary cocktail party in which Sinatra and Eazy-E battle for the affections of Belinda Carlisle only to be thrwarted by Willie, who clearly has the best hair.

7) I Live in Trafalgar Square and Oops!…I Did it Again and Summer is Incumen In, Richard Thompson: From his “1,000 Years of Popular Music,” a jolly work of pop scholarship.

8) Old Dan Tucker, Bruce Springsteen. I’ve had this song stuck in my head for 30 years ever since a character belted it out on “Little House on the Prairie.”

9) Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. Recently overheard in the breakfast buffet line at a resort on the Big Island of Hawaii as this song came over the loudspeakers yet again: “If I had a dollar for every time I heard this damn song in Hawaii, I could afford to stay another night in this damn hotel.”

10) Bach: Cello Suites 1, 4 & 5, Mstislav Rostropovich. I used to practice transcriptions of these on my baritone horn in 11th grade back before I quit being a musician what with my talent deficit. Rostropovich makes me feel good about my life choices.

11) Cattle Call, Eddy Arnold. Wonderfully wide open, especially when Manhattan gets a little cramped and asphalty.

12) The Lonely Surfer, Jack Nitzsche. This can make a ride down the elevator to get the mail feel like a heroic journey straight out of Conrad.

13) Disorder in the House, Warren Zevon. Why say you’re blue when you can say you’re “sprawled across the davenport of despair”?

Since this list clearly outs me as a 60-year-old man I might as well cop to some Dylan, like his aching but flirty version of Tomorrow Night. Just don’t put on With God On Our Side on your way home from your accountant’s office after paying your taxes.