Yes, it’s that time again, when I hit shuffle on the Pod and tell you all what the first ten songs to tumble to the top of the list are. I’m a little groggy at the moment due to a head of novacaine and a recently filled cavity, so please excuse the rambling. And, without any further stalling or avoidance, my list…
1. Inaudible Melodies, Jack Johnson (Brushfire Fairytales)
2. Forever, Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers (Sam Cooke with Soul Stirrers)
3. New Deep, John Mayer (Heavier Things)
4. X-Ray Eyes, Guster (Goldfly)
5. Something Like a Hero, Charlotte Martin (Test-Drive Songs)
6. Easy Way Out, Elliott Smith (Figure 8)
7. Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles), Arcade Fire (Funeral)
8. The Other Side of Town, John Prine (Fair & Square)
9. Hazey Jane II, Nick Drake (Way to Blue)
10. Cecilia, Simon & Garfunkel (Simon & Garfunkel Greatest Hits)
Best music memory prompted by a song on this list: When I was 19, just after I had finished my freshman year of college, John Prine played a show at Oaks Park, the local low-tech amusement park in Portland. I bought two tickets and took my dad for father’s day. It was gorgeous day, one where it had rained most of the day, but stopped in the late afternoon, giving the grass almost enough time to dry out and leaving the air smelling clean. Oaks Park is in far SE Portland, and sits right on the river, so not only do you get to watch the show, but you get to watch the river and the life it supports as well. My dad and I got to the concert, and had just finished eating the sandwiches my mom had made for us, when up pops a friend of my dad’s. A friend who happens to own the local chain of independent music stores (Music Millenium for you Portlanders). They were sponsoring the concert in honor of the 35th anniversary of the store and had a VIP tent, into which he invited us to spend the rest of the concert. I didn’t get to meet John Prine (that may have been more thrill than I could have taken) but it was just a special night, doing something with my dad that we both enjoyed, outside, under a tent, among friends.
Six Degrees of Separation: I’ve got a couple (very) distant connections with two groups on this list. A cousin of some friends is in Arcade Fire and I met him one night when I dropped in to meet Shay to go to an aerobics class. It was right before they became biggish, and so I hadn’t really heard of them, except to know they were playing the Unitarian Church. A little brush with hipster greatness. The other connection isn’t nearly as interesting. My ex-boyfriend went to college with the members of Guster. He isn’t a fan.