Meanwhile, elsewhere on the net

On the very occasional occasions when I write some stuff on other sites, I try to mention it here. So…

I’ve just written a couple of Amazon reviews: one for the new Melissa Etheridge album, and one for an out-of-print book of quotations. Writing a review of an out-of-print book may be the very definition of pointless.

Also, while I’m much more of a Facebooker than a Tweeter, there was a meme on Twitter recently I just couldn’t resist. The game was called “#rockretractions” — basically, the voice of a song revising what it originally said. I tried my hand.

My favorite one that I wish I’d written was, “On the other hand, I may be right and you may be crazy.” Also, while I’m quoting things that made me laugh, another recent meme on Twitter was, for some reason, “#namesfortinywhales.” Perhaps it was just localized to a few people I follow. Anyway, my friend Iain wrote “wee frilly”, and it’s been periodically cracking me up ever since.

Launchcast lyrics reloaded

It had been a couple years since the last one, so I decided that the time had come again to make a CD from my Launchcast station. Here, for your enjoyment, is another lyrics quiz to go along with it. There were 19 tracks on the CD — I’ve excerpted a lyric from each. The songs this time are, I think, a bit better known on the whole than the last batch. Guess as many as you like.

1. Smiling faces I can see / But not for me
2. Her good looks could’ve sailed a ship / But her will alone could’ve sunk it
3. When words mean nothing, I’ll be here singing
4. Spread the facts on the floor like a fan / Throw away the ones that make you feel bad
5. Everything under the sun is in tune / But the sun is eclipsed by the moon (jackbishop)
6. Baby you could never look me in the eye / Yeah you buckle with the weight of the words (kansasjenny)
7. Like a pillar of cloud, the smoke lingers high in the air / In fascination, with the eyes of the world, we stare
8. You saw me and you shut the door / And it only made me love you more
9. It must be the curse of the age/ What’s taken is never renewed (soul_diaspora)
10. Took my sweet time when I was bitter
11. I know the difference between wrong and right / Don’t make no difference in the middle of the night
12. I’m gonna turn that whiskey into rain (joenotcharles. Well, his wife, really. :))
13. I go to church on a Sunday / The vows that I make / I break them on Monday
14. A corner of your lips / Is the orbit of your hips
15. I stepped out of Mississippi when I was ten years old / With a suit cut sharp as a razor, and a heart made of gold
16. We may not know how or when / But don’t you wanna know why?
17. I had a brother at Khe Sanh / Fighting off the Viet Cong / They’re still there, he’s all gone (kansasjenny)
18. Would your eyes, like midnight fireflies / Light up the trenches where my heart lies?
19. We got to close our eyes / Cut up our losses into doable doses / Ration our tears and sighs

Aren’t you dying to know what I’ve read?

It’s meme time again here at >SUPERVERBOSE, this time with a list of books that have to do with something from somewhere, I’m not sure. I’ll bold what I’ve read. Other people have been italicizing what they’ve started but didn’t finish. I have this strange quirk — I always finish. I will finish even the world’s longest, most boring book once I’ve started it. I guess I keep holding out hope that the book will get better.

I have added comments here and there in blue as they occurred to me.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights (I found this dreadful when I read it in college. I might like it more if I reread it. Or maybe I’d like it less. Who knows? I’m not planning to find out.)
The Silmarillion (This always looked like the world’s dullest tome to me.)
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick (I think I would have broken my “no-quit” rule in the middle of this one, if not for the fact that I was reading it for a class and I had a fantastic teacher who helped me appreciate even the looooooong whale biology lecture.)
Ulysses
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey (I got one chapter into an IF adaptation of this, actually. I did it as a project for a comp sci class.)
Pride and Prejudice (one of my all-time favorites)
Jane Eyre (but I plan to read it before I read The Eyre Affair, which is on my to-read shelf)
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov (I love Dostoyevsky)
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
Emma
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods (it’s on my to-read shelf, though)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex
Quicksilver (I liked Cryptonomicon well enough, but I heard middling reactions to this, and my to-read shelf is already groaning, so pursuing the rest of the series is pretty far down on my list.)
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New world
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch
Frankenstein
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys (I don’t own this, but I’ll probably read all the Gaiman that’s waiting on my shelf at once when I get to it, so no doubt I’ll secure it then.)
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath (LOVED IT)
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
1984
Angels & Demons (It’s on the to-read shelf with the rest of the Gaiman)
The Inferno (I love the Divine Comedy. It was a big influence on me naming my child Dante.)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde is a pretty big influence on Stevie Nicks. There are a couple of lyrics where she quotes him directly, albeit without attribution. I remember being quite startled as I stumbled upon one of those lines in this book.)
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse (I actually remember very little about the Woolf I’ve read. I found it pretty uninteresting. But I believe I’ve read both this and Mrs. Dalloway sometime during grad school.)
Tess of the D’Urbervilles (I did read Return Of The Native, though, and was not a fan.)
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Totally on the “to-read” shelf, though)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune (I liked it, but not enough to pursue the bajillion sequel bricks. My parents, however, are big fans.)
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
Cryptonomicon (I have distinct memories of reading this on the beach in Mexico.)
Neverwhere
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Beloved
Slaughterhouse-five
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita (easily the most upsetting book on this list, at least among the ones on this list I’ve read)
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down (I still think “silflay” when I see bunnies eating at dusk. I get to see that a fair amount, as we have rabbits living next to the parking lot of our office.)
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Song letter meme

Via nothings, choose your favorite songs beginning with a given letter of the alphabet. Sean chose “F” for me.

Standard disclaimer about “favorite songs” lists: These are my favorites as of this moment in time. I can’t possibly construct anything like an “all-time favorites” list with something as emotional as music. Also, F seems to be a particularly strong letter for certain artists (for me, it was Liz Phair, Jackson Browne, and Simon & Garfunkel), so I’ve arbitrarily decided to limit the list slots to one per artist.

That said, here is the list:

  1. Aimee Mann – Fifty Years After The Fair (It hurts to even think of those days / The damage we do by the hopes that we raise)>
  2. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – Find The Cost Of Freedom (All the brave soldiers that cannot get older been askin’ after you)
  3. Jean Sibelius & Lloyd Stone – Finlandia Hymn (This is my song, oh god of all the nations / A song of peace for lands afar and mine)
  4. Led Zeppelin – Fool In The Rain (Well there’s a light in your eye that keeps shining / Like a star that can’t wait for the night)
  5. Simon & Garfunkel – For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her (And when you ran to me, your cheeks flushed with the night / We walked on frosted fields of juniper and lamplight)
  6. The Beatles – For No One (Your day breaks / Your mind aches)
  7. Jackson Browne – Fountain Of Sorrow (But when you see through love’s illusions, there lies the danger / And your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool)
  8. Buckingham Nicks – Frozen Love (You may not be as strong as me / And I may not care to teach you)
  9. Liz Phair – Fuck And Run (I woke up alarmed / I didn’t know where I was at first / Just that I woke up in your arms / And almost immediately, I felt sorry)
  10. Elton John – Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (The roses in the window box have tilted to one side / Everything about this house was born to grow and die)

Following Sean’s example, I’ve included a lyric snippet for those who don’t know the song, don’t remember titles well, or just like lyric snippets. Also copycatting, further explanations are behind the cut:

This one, I mean

Launchcast lyrics

I love my Launchcast station. Over the course of… wow, a long time, I’ve rated more than 13,000 songs, albums, and artists, and ended up with a music stream that provides a pleasantly random mix of favorites, like ’ems, and unknowns. Something I’ve come to appreciate about Launchcast is that no matter how many things you’ve rated, it will always throw in some stuff you haven’t rated. That helps to keep things feeling fresh.

Anyway, I recently decided to celebrate my station by making a CD of its offerings. That meant turning on the stream, writing down the songs I own, and capturing the ones I didn’t by the extremely high-tech means of running a cable from my speakers’ headphone jack to the input jack of my sound card. Then I split up the captured data and exported the songs into mp3 form, combined them with the songs I own, and voila, a CD. The mix was fun and surprising as usual, and as a bonus, makes me look hipper than I actually am.

Here’s a lyric from each song on the CD. (Well, almost. There were two instrumentals — a demo version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again”, and “Chico’s Groove” by the Chemical Brothers.) Since it’s not like this blog is crawling with readers, anybody can guess as many as they want.

  1. I can shake a chicken in the middle of the room
  2. I’m in a world of chronic discontent
  3. Just a few more miles, it’s a rock’n’roll weekend
  4. Dividing our country into colors and still leaving black people neglected
  5. I found a thrill to press my cheek tojoenotcharles
  6. Darlin’, on you I hold no legal claim
  7. Love, unlike lightning, can strike you twice
  8. I love you baby, but I sure ain’t gonna be your dog
  9. I have heard the blackbird pipe his note
  10. We need a helping hand from this abyss of sinking sand
  11. I need you always — you need me now and then
  12. Never start a band with a best friend
  13. I can’t wait for the oxygen to get thin
  14. I can never relax — I’ve got to keep it exciting
  15. I’ll change the way you feel inside, before it’s too late
  16. We could be friends, in our special stupid way
  17. Sex reminds her of eating spaghetti
  18. You always have my unspoken passionjrw

The ever-lovin’ answers!

Well, I was late to the lyrics-meme party, so it only follows I’d be late to the lyrics-meme-answers party as well.

Nevertheless, here they are:

1. I’ll say goodbye to Colorado, where I was born and partly raised.
This is Man Of Constant Sorrow. I was listening to Bob Dylan‘s version, from his first album.

2. You hold the percentage, but I’m the fool paying the dues.
Those who know me would find it highly unlikely that my CD player could choose 25 random songs without picking something or other by Fleetwood Mac. The Stevie Nicks song is coming up later. This particular song was actually a hit: Hold Me, from the Mirage album. I had always thought this was “you want a percentage”, but apparently not.

3. Think of ice cream sliding into a crack.
The Jesus And Mary Chain — Here Comes Alice. The one that came up happened to be an acoustic version, but the original is from Automatic.

4. Some things that happened for the first time seem to be happening again.
This is Where Or When, a Rodgers and Hart song from the show Babes In Arms. I was listening to Bryan Ferry‘s version, from his lovely album of standards, As Time Goes By.

5. Oh, let’s blame it on the Yanks. (So sorry, boys.)
No surprise to me that this one went unguessed — it’s the song London, from Roger Hodgson‘s long-out-of-print second solo album, Hai Hai.

6. Brace yourself: I’m bent with bitterness.
Probably the most non-mainstream selection in the whole thing: For What Reason by Death Cab For Cutie, from their album We Have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes. This is a band my sister got me into — thanks Jenny!

7. I’m living in an empty room, with all the windows smashed.
As so quickly and ably determined, that’s a line from Walking On Broken Glass by Annie Lennox, from the Diva album.

8. Under his nose was a dream come true.
Howard Jones — Pearl In The Shell, from Human’s Lib. Okay, so maybe I’m sorta stuck in the 80s.

9. Fear not, for you’re still breathing.
came close enough for me by determining that this is a cut from Sarah McLachlan‘s first album, Touch. And he came ever so close to actually identifying it as Ben’s Song.

10. As far as I can tell, I’ve been gone for miles now.
I’m a big Tori Amos fan, but I don’t know that I would have been able to identify this song as Sugar, a b-side whose live version showed up on the To Venus And Back album.

11. Oh, Mr. President, can I tell you a secret?
It’s John Mellencamp, or rather, back in those days, John Cougar Mellencamp, at the height of his “spokesman for the heartland” role, with Down And Out In Paradise from The Lonesome Jubilee.

12. Dive down deep down to save my head.
Barracuda was one of Heart‘s biggest hits, but unless you looked up the lyrics, you might never know this line was in it. The original was from Little Queen, but I was listening to the “unplugged” version from The Road Home.

13. Don’t give me that do-goody-good bullshit.
cut right through the bullshit to identify this as Money, from Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side Of The Moon.

14. In secret she says she needs to see him, but no words are spoken.
Now here’s that Stevie Nicks song: I Can’t Wait from Rock A Little. Yay Stevie!

15. Well you lied to me, cos I asked you to.
I’m a bit surprised nobody got this. There must not be any big U2 fans reading this journal, or they’d have identified this as Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, from good old Achtung Baby.

16. I used to need your love so badly; then I came to live with it.
Another super-duper-mainstream song, from Tom Petty‘s Full Moon Fever album: The Apartment Song.

17. Will this be our poisoned legacy?
Sacred Ground, which is hands down the most irritating song on Living Colour‘s newest album, Collideoscope. I actually wrote a lengthier review of this album on Amazon, in case anybody cares.

18. And he rubbed the pot roast all over his chest.
It’s difficult to find a line from Warren Zevon‘s Excitable Boy that doesn’t actually have the title in it, and nailed it. I heard in on A Quiet Normal Life, his greatest hits album.

19. It’s a different sport that is on its way.
This is another pretty obscure one, even if you’re a Joan Armatrading fan: The Game Of Love from The Key, though it was a live version that my carousel dialed up.

20. Right and wrong — it never helped us get along.
Hooray for my namesake Paul Simon, sometimes described as “the Paul Simon of songwriters.” Tenderness comes from the There Goes Rhymin’ Simon album.

21. I’m willing and able, so I throw my cards on your table.
Bob Marley — Is This Love? Lively up yourself, ! The disc in my player was Legend, a greatest hits album.

22. Like day from night, suddenly I saw a thousand faces.
Joe Jackson is another artist who had an excellent chance of coming up on my player’s random mode, and Another World had very good odds too, since I’ve got a few versions of it in there. This one was played by a piano-bass-drums trio on the excellent live album Summer In The City, but the original is on, appropriately enough, Night And Day.

23. She’s killer diller when she’s dressed to the hilt.
Beatles-lover had very little trouble identifying this as Polythene Pam, from Abbey Road.

24. Millions of kids are looking at you — you say, “Let them drink soda pop.”
This is one of many great lines from The Pretenders‘ scathing indictment of Michael Jackson, How Much Did You Get For Your Soul?, off of Get Close.

25. There’s frost on the graves and the monuments, but the taverns are warm in town.
A lovely line from What It Is, the single from Sailing To Philadelphia, charmingly mumbled by Mark Knopfler.

Thanks for playing, everybody!

My first meme!

Okay, I love the song lyrics meme so much that I have to do it. That meme would be:

Step 1: Get your playlist together, put it on random, and play!
Step 2: Pick your favorite lines from the first 25 songs that play!
Step 3: Post and let everyone you know guess what song the lines come from!
Step 4: Cross out the songs when someone guesses correctly!

I don’t have an iPod or anything, but I do have a carousel that holds a whole lotta CDs, so shuffle mode on that is a rough equivalent. I’ve eliminated duplicate artists. I also deleted spoken-word stuff, like comedy album cuts. My tastes are pretty dang mainstream, so if yours are too, you may have a field day here.

And away we go:

1. I’ll say goodbye to Colorado, where I was born and partly raised.
2. You hold the percentage, but I’m the fool paying the dues.
3. Think of ice cream sliding into a crack.
4. Some things that happened for the first time seem to be happening again.
5. Oh, let’s blame it on the Yanks. (So sorry, boys.)
6. Brace yourself: I’m bent with bitterness.
7. I’m living in an empty room, with all the windows smashed.
8. Under his nose was a dream come true.
9. Fear not, for you’re still breathing.
10. As far as I can tell, I’ve been gone for miles now.
11. Oh, Mr. President, can I tell you a secret?
12. Dive down deep down to save my head.
13. Don’t give me that do-goody-good bullshit.
14. In secret she says she needs to see him, but no words are spoken.
15. Well you lied to me, cos I asked you to.
16. I used to need your love so badly; then I came to live with it.
17. Will this be our poisoned legacy?
18. And he rubbed the pot roast all over his chest.
19. It’s a different sport that is on its way.
20. Right and wrong — it never helped us get along.
21. I’m willing and able, so I throw my cards on your table.
22. Like day from night, suddenly I saw a thousand faces.
23. She’s killer diller when she’s dressed to the hilt.
24. Millions of kids are looking at you — you say, “Let them drink soda pop.”
25. There’s frost on the graves and the monuments, but the taverns are warm in town.

1 – I always thought this was “hardly raised”, but it appears I was wrong.
17 – I actually find this song highly annoying, and had a tough time picking out a lyric I even like.