(meme) 15 Albums

Snarfed from uisna on Facebook: Fifteen albums I’ve heard that will always stick with me. I’ll add: … and explain why… I’ll also note that I’ve been thinking about this as the albums that most influenced my life.

(1) The Rothschilds. Original Cast. This was the first musical I have a memory of seeing, and it will always stick with me. I just love Hal Linden’s voice. I used to wander around UCLA whistling the overture.

(2) Two Gentlemen of Verona. Original Cast. Whenever I’m down, I just need to listen to this album. Brings me up instantly. Clifton Davis. Raul Julia. Diana Davila. Just great voices.

(3) Album 1700. Peter, Paul, and Mary. I have all the Peter Paul and Mary albums, but if I was to indicate the most influential one, this would be it. When I was in Jr. High, “If I Had Wings” was my mantra. I have memories of my brother playing “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and “The Great Mandala” on his guitar. This started me into folk music.

(4) Bookends. Simon and Garfunkel. One of their finest crafted albums, from beginning to end. America. At The Zoo. Punky’s Dillemma. Hazy Shade of Winter. Mrs. Robinson.

(5) Cherish The Torah. Wilshire Blvd Temple Camps. The camps were/are a large part of my life, and this album captures my era at camp.

(6) Sing Unto God. Debbie Friedman. It is here that the distinction between “stick with me” and “influential” occurs. I could almost pick any Debbie Friedman album for “stick with me”. But influential? This was the one that started it all. Sure, it isn’t as polished as the later albums (the Concert at the Del is probably the best), but this was the beginning.

(6) Save My Soul. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Probably one of the best modern swing groups out there, this album can’t help but make me feel good.

(7) Politics Live. Tom Paxton. One of my favorite Paxton albums, this captures Tom at his very best. The juxtaposiion of “Peace Will Come” with “Jimmy Newman” with “The Unknown” is just stirring.

(8) Allen in Wonderland. Allen Sherman. Ask kids today who Allen Sherman is, and they will probably give you a blank stare. But Allan Sherman is in the same line as Tom Lehrer and Weird Al, making commentary songs to what were popular tunes at the time.

(9) Employee of the Month. Austin Lounge Lizards. Perhaps at the other end of the spectrum. Satirical bluegrass. I just love this group.

(10) Band on the Run. Paul McCartney. I’m going to use this as the example of the perfectly crafted album. Bookends, which I listed earlier, is another example, as is Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, as is Graceland. Hmmm. I see a pattern with these artists 🙂

(11) 70 Girls 70. Original Cast. Almost all — hell, all — Kander Ebb shows have great music, but this is one of my favorites. The other is Curtains.

(12) Sweeney Tood. Original Cast. In terms of Sondheim, this is perhaps my favorite. Every song perfectly crafted.

(13) Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road. Elton John. One of Elton John’s best. Finely crafted as an album.

(14) Ladies of the Canyon. Joni Mitchell. One of her early best. Always makes me think of my brother.

(15) Hard TimesPeter Yarrow. My favorite solo albums from any of the trio. Again, a pick-me-up.


Guess The Song Meme

In honor of tsgeisel‘s birthday, a meme he posted: Set your music player of choice to random, post the 1st line (or so) of N songs (that have lyrics), see who can guess them. As is to be expected, using Google or some other search engine is cheating. Note: I expect this to be hard, so I’ll give partial credit for shows if you can identify the composer, and extra credit if you can guess the particular artist and/or album.

ETA: Underlined completions are items that were not guessed.

  1. You want all my love and my devotion
    You want my loving soul right on the line
    I have no doubt that I could love you forever
    The only trouble is you really don’t have the time.

    Song: One Night Only (Highlights Version)
    Album: Dreamgirls (2006 Soundtrack)

  2. Late at night when the wind is still I’ll come flying through your door
    And you’ll know what love is for.
    I’m a bluebird, I’m a bluebird, I’m a bluebird.

    Song: Bluebird
    Album: Band On The Run (25th Anniversary Edition) (Paul McCartney & Wings)

  3. One Sunday morning, as I went walking
    By Brisbane waters I chanced to stray
    I heard a prisoner his fate bewailing
    As on the sunny river bank he lay.

    Song: Ballad of Moreton Bay
    Album: Sing of Our Times (The Brothers Four)

  4. Youand I, us together
    Dancing, forever and forever
    Round and round ’till the break of day
    Candles glow. Fiddles play
    Why not be wild if we feel that way?
    Reckless and terribly gay.

    Song: Round And Round
    Album: Fantasticks (1960 Original Off-Broadway Cast)

  5. Thestalk of grass tastes sweet upon my tongue
    A tiny bird above begins to scold me
    I stretch my toes up to the morning sun
    And dream your arms of golden brown will always hold me.

    Song: All of My Life
    Album: Roger Whittaker (Roger Whittaker)

  6. You need an older woman to teach you
    One who is barely reaching her prime
    Who thinks you’re fun–not someone to preach to
    What do you say? Let’s have a good time.

    Song: Only An Older Woman
    Album: The Boy From Oz (2003 Original Broadway Cast)

  7. Jennifer slept in a little bed
    Dreams of a rabbit in her little head
    Jennifer’s rabbit, brown and white, left the house and ran away one night
    Along with turtle and a kangaroo, and 17 monkeys from the city zoo
    Jennifer too.

    Song: Jennifer’s Rabbit
    Album: Very Best of Tom Paxton (Tom Paxton)

  8. They say that the tree of lovin’
    Shine on me again.
    Grows on the bank of the river of sufferin’
    Shine on me again.

    Song: Weave Me The Sunshine
    Album: Evening at Pops (Peter, Paul & Mary )

  9. You went out for a little fun
    Oh I know the bars all close at one.
    The morning sun and I are true
    It’s time to make it dawn on you

    Song: Be Good Or Be Gone
    Album: Pump Boys And Dinettes (1982 Original Broadway Cast)

  10. Belinda was mine until the time that I found her
    Holding Jim. Loving him.
    Then you came along, loved me strong, that’s what I thought
    Me and you. Well that died too.

    Song: Solitary Man
    Album: Hot August Night (Neil Diamond)

  11. You see, Brad and Janet, you are fortunate
    For tonight is the night my beautiful creature is destined to be born.
    Throw open the switches on the sonic oscellator
    And step up the reactor power import three more points…

    Song: The Sword of Damocles
    Album: The Rocky Horror Show (2001 Revival Cast)

  12. A lonely child, alone and wild, a cabinet makers son
    His hands were meant for different work, and his heart was known to none
    He left his home, and went his lone and solitary way
    And he gave to me a gift I know I never can repay.

    Song: Leader Of The Band
    Album: Greatest Hits (Dan Fogelberg)

  13. I’ll sing of Spiro Agnew, and everything he’s done.

    Song: Ballad of Spiro Agnew
    Album: The Compleat Tom Paxton (Live) (Tom Paxton)

  14. With tuppance for paper and strings, you can have your own set of wings
    With your feet on the ground you’re a bird in flight
    With your fist holding tight, to the string of your kite.

    Song: Let’s Go Fly A Kite
    Album: Mary Poppins (2005 Original London Cast)

  15. The house was always lovely, the neighbors are a treat
    They sometimes fight on a Saturday night, but never in the week
    Since I pay my bills on time, the milkman insists I call him Joe
    He brings me bread and eggs, and says I’ve got legs
    Like Marilyn Monroe

    Song: Entr’acte/Marilyn Monroe 2
    Album: Blood Brothers (1995 London Cast)

  16. I heard they exploded the underground blast
    What they say is going to happen is going to happen at last
    That’s the way it appears
    They tell me the fault line runs right through here
    So that may be, that may be.
    What’s gonna happen is gonna happen to me.

    Song: California Earthquake
    Album: Dream A Little Dream – The Cass Elliot Collection (Cass Elliott)

  17. She’sa walkin’ talkin’ breathin’ New Age wonder, old time heathens
    People don’t know what to make of Mary Jane.
    ‘Cause she ain’t tryin to be no swami, she ain’t mad at dad and mommy
    She don’t curse the storm clouds when it rains.

    Song: The River, Where She Sleeps
    Album: When I Go (Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer)

  18. Pop. Six. Squish. Un-un. Cicero. Lipschitz.
    Pop. Six. Squish. Un-un. Cicero. Lipschitz.

    Song: Cell Block Tango
    Album: Chicago (Movie Soundtrack)

  19. People ask me, “What is the essence of this special place?”
    Its genes? Its spirit? Its heart?
    What captures Walmart in a nutshell?
    What one idea sums us up? What sets us apart?

    Song: March Of The Executives
    Album: Walmartopia: A Musical On A Mission (2007 Original Off-Broadway Cast)

  20. He comes for conversation
    I comfort him sometime.
    Comfort and consultation
    He knows that’s what he’ll find.

    Song: Conversation
    Album: Ladies Of The Canyon (Joni Mitchell)


Make Your Own Music Meme

[Because I can’t resist these. Snarfed from barelyproper]

Put your music player on shuffle, and write down the first line of the first twenty songs. Post the poem that results. The first line of the twenty-first song is the title.

“The Last Picasso Was Just Acquired By Some Old Museum”

Ask me how do I feel?
A little gossip, a little chat.
They say he came from Germany back in 1838
The conversation pauses, while the waiter pours our tea.

We can’t always both be right. We sometimes disagree.
My grandmother’s house is still there, but it isn’t the same.
Say Al, you’re a guest here today, don’t you think you ought to start this tune?
Joesph’s luck was really out, his spirit and his fortunes low.

Everybody lives on street or in a city on in a town for what it’s worth.
I got a whole lot of things to tell her, when I get home.
No one ever tells you what it’s like to love and lose.
Though you’ve played at love and lost and sorrow has turned your heart to frost.

You’ve heard how us folks down in Texas
Embrace me, my sweet embraceable you.
Bye, bye love.
Just one look, and I fell so hard.

[Note: I didn’t include all instrumental songs. After all, what are the lyrics to the theme from “My Three Sons”?]


Music Meme / Advice Meme

Music Meme

Playing the song game, for which klellingson assigned me the letter “F”:

1. Reply to this post and I’ll assign you a letter.
2. List 5 songs you like that start with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.

[Side observation: Boy, I have a lot of songs on my iPod called “Finale” (about 160 or so). In fact, most of my “F” songs are called “Finale”]

1. From Alpha to Omega (“You’ll Never Know”, Pasadena Playhouse Cast)
2. Fine and Dandy (2004 Studio Cast)
3. First to Rejoice (Debbie Friedman, “One People”)
4. Five Minutes More (Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass)
5. Flatnose, The Tree Climbing Dog (Austin Lounge Lizards)
6. Flying Cloud Cotillion (Red Clay Ramblers)
7. Follow the Rainbow (Two Gentlemen of Verona)
8. Fools Fall in Love (Smokey Joe’s Cafe)
9. For Lovin’ Me (Peter, Paul, and Mary)
10. Four Jews in a Room, Bitching (March of the Falsettos)

Advice Meme

Snarfed from satyrlovesong, among others. The object of the activity is to share one’s wisdom with others, to give advice as it were.

1. Never ascribe to malace what one can to stupidity.
2. Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me. — Harvey
3. Don’t dream it, be it. — Rocky Horror, via my daughter
4. A mental mind fuck can be nice. — Rocky Horror


(meme) iPod 10 Meme

Just because I love this meme. Snarfed from troymccluresf.

The most recently played 10 songs, on random:

  1. My Favorite Spring (Tom Paxton; Tom Paxton Live for the Record)
  2. Easy Money (Bellamy Young, Sam Harris & Kevin Ramsey; The Life (1997 Original Broadway Cast))
  3. Sweet Charity (John McMartin, chorus; Sweet Charity (1966 Original Broadway Cast))
  4. Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray (Original Nashville Cast; Always…Patsy Cline (1995 Original Nashville Cast))
  5. Totem Tom-Tom (Julie Andrews, Giorgio Tozzi; Rose-Marie (Studio Cast))
  6. California, Here I Come (Concert Band Organ; The Spirit Of San Diego – Best Of Volumes 1 & 2)
  7. Buck’s Nouvelle Jole Blon (Buckwheat Zydeco; Best Of Louisiana Cajun Classics)
  8. Lady, Be Good – Finale Act 1 (Carol Swarbrick, Lara Teeter, Robin Langford, Ivy Austin, Ann Morrison, Michelle Nicastro, Ensemble; Lady, Be Good! (1992 Studio Cast))
  9. Tomorrow Never Comes (Glen Campbell; By The Time I Get To Phoenix)
  10. Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel; The Concert In Central Park)

How’s that. Eclectic enought for you?


Attack of the Pod People

Last night, when I was picking my daughter up from religious school, I struck up a conversation with a co-congregant about what I was listening to on my iPod. As I did, I realized that one’s selection of podcasts can tell one a lot about a person. Hence, the following question:

What podcasts do you listen to?

I am subscribed currently to four podcasts:

  • Broadway Bullet. A mix of interviews, theatre news, and in-studio performances. (iTunes)
  • Downstage Center. A production of the American Theatre Wing, Downstage Center features in-depth interviews with actors, directors, and producers. (iTunes)
  • Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. The NPR News Quiz, which is often hilarious. (iTunes)
  • CarTalk. I’ve been listening to Tom and Ray discuss car repair since the mid-1980s, but not regularly. Now I can, and I’m happy. (iTunes)

So what podcasts do you listen to? What would you recommend to me?