Monday, November 05, 2007


v e shadow

T E The Letter R S

Compiled by G. E. Light

Launches 02/15/2008

For now, an annotated playlist:

LoveLetters: The Compilation
A TNA Production © bulb November 4, 2007

"The Letter" 1:58 The Box Tops Back To The 60's

David McCarty would disagree whole heartedly, but I truly believe the first hit Alex Chilton had as a teenager was his best work followed closely by Big Star's "Mod Lang" which has its own record store!

"Box Full Of Letters" 3:06 Wilco A.M.

Wake me up when Jeff Tweedy returns to his alt country roots and stops making unmemorable and derivative alt rock guitar records. He never should have fired Oxford, MS's Jay Bennett.

"Excitable Boy" 2:40 Warren Zevon A Quiet Normal Life - The Best of Warren Zevon

Reason #103 why Letterman is cooler than Leno: BFF w/Warren Zevon.

"Feed Me with Your Kiss" 3:57 My Bloody Valentine Isn't Anything

Maybe the best indie rock single of the 1990s; I mean there's a whole genre called "Shoegazer" coming out of this song's riffs.

"Love Is All Around (Mary Tyler Moore Theme)" 1:48 Hüsker Dü Eight Miles High/Makes No Sense At All ep

Given the sophistication of HD's difficult love songs and their Minneapolis roots covering the theme song of the great 70s show about complicated relationships is so logical it just had to happen and it did.

"I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" 2:54 Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Let's hear it for regional accents—in this case South Yorkshire Pennines outta Sheffield steel. Somehow these lyrics should work as a pickup line . . .

"Searching For Mr Right" 3:04 Young Marble Giants Colossal Youth

The best record of 1983 is now the best reissued CD of 2007. 3 kids from Wales made a nearly perfect record: sparse, beautiful, and utterly sui generis not to mention my pick for best LP Cover Art of All Time (Black & White division).

"Idylls Of The King" 3:32 The Mountain Goats Tallahassee

One of my favorite "bands"; I even arranged my friend John Darnielle's 1st and as of yet only MS gig at W.C. Don's in Jackson a few years back. Tallahassee is my hometown and a very special place. Tallahassee is a very special album. Read about them here.

"Hearing Voices" 3:37 Galaxie 500 This Is Our Music

Two of my Freshmen classmates formed a band "Speedy & The Castanets." One of them, Damon Krukowski inherited a hand me down drum kit from his roommate Conan O'Brien. After college in 1985 they joined a former Dalton School friend and 1986 Harvard grad to woodshed and get signed by Rough Trade, becoming the great American indie band of the early 1990s almost know one in America heard. Dean Wareham went on to greater fame fronting LUNA.

"I Wanna Hold You" 3:42 Al Green Everything's OK

Because the mid-1970s' classics have become clichés, but the right Reverend Green has not. Listen to his guitarwork.

"L-O-V-E" 2:34 Nat King Cole The Capitol Collectors Series

Who doesn't love a musical spelling lesson-cum-torch song?

"Caldonia" 3:20 B. B. King The State/IB World "Movie" Mix

Lucille in full flight.

"Anthrax" 4:24 Gang Of Four Entertainment!

The greatest of the English post punk bands. Andy Gill shatters glass with his "angular" fretwork. Two channels; two different vocals. Simply brilliant avant garde stuff.

"I Found That Essence Rare" (live) 2:42 Band Of Susans The Peel Sessions

Robert Poss, Susan Stenger et al. cover Gang of Four for the World's Greatest Radio DJ.

"It's Over" 2:52 Boz Scaggs Silk Degrees

In 8th grade, this was my favorite song; I still think "It's cool"!

"All Or Nothing At All" 5:44 Billie Holiday The Silver Collection

Holiday's failing voice here provides the quintessence of the torch singer's art; don't listen to the late period naysayers and besides what sidemen!: Ben Webster on tenor, Barney Kessel on guitar, and Harry "Sweets" Edison on trumpet, for starters.

"Cut" 3:17 14 Iced Bears Epon

Formed in 1985 and the second best thing out of Brighton (Fatboy Slim wins that vote by a landslide).

"Sick Of Myself" 3:41 Matthew Sweet The Platinum & Gold Collection

After playing bass alongside ex-Voidoid guitarist Robert Quine (from whom he learned more than a riff or three) for Lloyd Cole's solo debut, Sweet became the power pop darling of the 1990s American indie rock scene. This was his biggest hit, almost cracking the Top 50 and a mainstay of college rock. It typifies his sophisticated discussion of the difficulties and paranoia of post-modern love affairs.

"I Only Have Eyes for You" 3:22 The Flamingos Doo Wop Classics, Vol. 1

The title alone says it all.

"That's How Strong My Love Is" 2:26 Otis Redding The Very Best Of Otis Redding

The personal significance of this song is too heavy for me to comment upon it meaningfully.

"When Will I See You Again" 2:58 The Three Degrees The Philly Sound: Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff & The Story Of Brotherly Love (1966-1976) [Disc 2]

One song that David McCarty and I absolutely agree on. Gamble and Huff and the Philly Sound at its highest peak.

"At Last" 2:59 Etta James At Her Best

If they slow dance in "Heaven", then this is their soundtrack; also provided a memorable closing in The Brick to a famous Northern Exposure episode, featuring the entire cast and a ton of extras.

"It's Only Time" 4:28 The Magnetic Fields i

Stephen Merritt is a major league misanthrope, but boy is this a lovely song. One to play at a pre-scripted proposal scene?!!?

ADDENDA 10:51 pm

Love is a Mix Tape

Rummaging through the closet while reorganizing stuff in my "Music Room", I found a mysterious box. When I looked inside it was the mother lode: a historical collection of mix tapes dating back to the mid 1980s at least. I'll blog about some of them (mine and gifst) next week when I have time, but for now a preview of the famous 5/23/91 tape Slow Grooves on Maxell XLS-II C-100 tape.


Here's the Cassette tape insert. It was created using a tweaked out version of my college classmate Dan Winkler's HyperCard program Cassette Labeller. A grad school friend, Jeff Erickson, helped me make the cut outs actually size properly to fit in the typical cassette box.



Side A
KC & Sunshine Band-Please Don't Go
The Last-Baby It's You
James Cotton-Baby Please
Etta James-At Last
James Brown-Prisoner of Love
Irma Thomas-It's Raining
Percy Sledge-Take Time To Know Her
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell_You're All I Need To Get By
Beach Boys-Here Today
Everything But The Girl-Apron Strings
Roxy Music-Avalon
Prefab Sprotu-When Love Breaks Down
Cocteau Twins-Those Eyes

Side B
Chris Cain-Never Knew I Could Be This Blue
Billie Holiday-Without Your Love
Jackson 5-Maybe Tomorrow
Roy Orbison-Only The Lonely
Otis Redding-That's How Strong MY Love Is
Jimmy Buffet-Stars Fell ON Alabama
Sarah Vaughan-The Sweetest Sounds
Frank Sinatra-Strangers In The Night
Ella Fitzgerald-Misty
[Lena Horne-September Song]
John Wesley Harding-50 50 Split
Mel Torme-1st Time Ever
Morrissey-Yes, I Am Blind
[Sly & The Family Stone-Family Affair]
[King Floyd-Groove Me]

Brackets denote hidden tracks

A Few Notes

KC exists in the Carribbean dance continuum that runs from Dizzy's "Manteca" to the Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine's "1-2-3." "Please Don't Go" not Donna Summer's "Last Dance" is the definitive disco ballad.

James Brown track is from the 1968 "Live at the Apollo" disc.

Irma Thomas was recorded live at Slim's in San Francisco.

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell-the glory of 7" vinyl!

Jackson 5 track is taken from the vinyl soundtrack to the ABC special Going Back to Indiana.

Jimmy Buffet's track was a great ballad before it became license plate fodder.

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