1. What is the total volume of musical files on your computer?
2. What are you listening to right now?
- John Prine, The Great Compromise, Diamonds In the Rough, Atlantic Records, 1972.
Good Memorial Day listening. Prine makes geekiness the metaphor for earnest American patriotism. It's a good choice, geeks really understand disillusionment.
Up next, more gently subversive Americana...
3. Last CD I bought?
I bought these two at once.
- Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust, Sony, 2005.
- Mos Def, Black on Both Sides, Priority Records, 1999.
4. Five songs you listen to a lot and which mean something to you
First off, I really identify with the narrator's outrage and bewilderment when the real world isn't how the book says it's going to be.
"Read About Love" is charming because it's such an affectionate satire of male privilege. The singer is a teenager with a lot of stereotypes about masculinity but no good advice about how to live up to them. It's a sad, funny song about what happens when a boy indiscriminately absorbs cultural messages about being Real Man and a great lover:
I did everything I'm supposed to do,
There's something wrong and it must be you...
His sense of outrage is directed towards his girlfriend, instead of the rigid social script that's left him feeling isolated and inadequate.
ii) Leon Rosselson, "Abiezer Coppe", Guess What They're Selling at the Happiness Counter, Fuse Records, 1992.
Rosselson is a Jewish atheist who is fascinated with the Christianity. Maybe there's some causal connection between his preoccupation and mine, I've been listening to his recordings since I was ten.
Abiezer Coppe was a capital "R" Ranter, a 1640s radical who preached a mystical brand of Christian socialism distinguished by its emphasis on drinking, dancing, swearing, and free love. In short, the guy really took the Gospel to heart.
This is Canada's answer to The Boxer--as told by someone who's inconsolable but struggling heroically against loserdom.
iv) Si Kahn, "New Year's Eve", New Wood, Philo Records, 1974.
A great song from one of my favorite albums of all time. Two other great tracks from New Wood are "Like Butter Loves Bread" and "The Better Half of You".