What I’m Listening to – March 25

3 minute read. No audio track, no links.

This past week, I felt a need to dig into the collection as I readied myself for the annual celebration of my personal rotation around the sun.

Last week I heard Sinead O’Connor’s “Emperor’s New Clothes” one afternoon on WDIY’s afternoon mix of handpicked music (The Blend). Just hearing the “deep cut” motivated me to finger through the CD shelf. Not only did I find it, but also discovered that the collection needs a good shelf reading. It’s horrendously out of alphabetical order.

When I was a serious conservatory student, I sometimes felt ashamed of my love of 70s, 80s, and 90s music. I thought I should have only been listening to classical music. When I started gigging, driving to and from rehearsals with classical music playing would have killed me (falling asleep). I also needed to take a break from my studies. Singing along to harmonies and filling in drum solos on my dashboard kept me entertained through the miles. But I digress.

Sinead O’Connor (1990)
I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got
MTV watchers of the 90s probably remember the full face screen shot of her singing “Nothing Compares 2 U” with a single tear falling down her cheek. Prince’s song did well for her. But I also remember the video to “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” If you’d like a chuckle at her dancing, look it up on YouTube. Since her dancing was so unapologetic, it became my anthem dance for my birthday. I flung myself around hard. It was quite the work out. And felt fabulous.

Nora Jones (2004)
Feels Like Home
This is a great Sunday Morning album. The first track, “Sunrise” puts an easy groove into making fresh coffee and cracking open a can of refrigerator cinnamon rolls.

R.E.M. (1991)
Out of Time
Most popular tunes on this album are “Losing My Religion” and “Shiny Happy People.” First track is “Radio Song.” My head started bobbing right on that. I was amazed at how many details and lyrics came back. Great album for making a stir fry dinner. The tempo is really good for chopping vegetables.

Suzanne Vega (1987)
Solitude Standing
I went back into the vinyl collection for this one. There’s something really satisfying about hearing the crackle of the needle finding the first grooves. The first track is “Tom’s Diner.” I think the last time I heard that tune was more than 15 years ago. I forgot it was a cappella. But I remembered all the verses. Second track was the big one, “Luka.” If you heard that tune, you remember how sad it was. Even with a peppy tune, the lyrics about child abuse are heart breaking. Later in the evening, I was singing “Tom’s Diner” while cleaning up the kitchen. My kids thought I was singing Fall Out Boy. [smh] Is nothing sacred?

If you have a CD or a record collection, what are you listening to this week?

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