Mixtape: “Night Swimming”. . . MUSIC FOR BEFORE, DURING & AFTER THE REVOLUTION (Fiona Apple, TV on the Radio, R.E.M., Radiohead, Johnny Cash, Lyle Lovett, the Five Stairsteps, The Smiths & many more) . . . Nietzsche must have been watching some of these music videos when he said, “Music is closest to truth.”

(Hint:  The song at the very bottom is the best one).  

 

Fiona Apple  –  “Extraordinary Machine”  (oh my)

 

The Pretenders  –  “Message of Love”    (This is simply awesome.  Revelatory.   And the lyrics are spot on.  The fidelity is wonderfully lo-fi. . . like a juke box 45 at the roller rink that was the most popular choice in the machine for most of the early 80’s).

Now the reason we’re here
As man and woman
Is to love each other
Take care of each other
When love walks in the room
Everybody stand up
Oh it’s good, good, good
Like brigitte bardot

Now look at the people
In the streets, in the bars
We are all of us in the gutter
But some of us are looking at the stars
Look round the room
Life is unkind
We fall but we keep gettin’ up
Over and over and over and over and over and over

Me and you, every night, every day
We’ll be together always this way
Your eyes are blue like the heavens above
Talk to me darlin’ with a message of love

Now the reason we’re here
Every man, every woman
Is to help each other
Stand by each other
When love walks in the room
Everybody stand up
Oh it’s good, good good
Say I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you

Talk to me darlin’

 

 

TV on the Radio  –  “Careful You”    –    (Love this song).

 

TV on the Radio  –  “Trouble”    –    (Superb).

 

The Lumineers  –  “Ho Hey”   (perfect)

 

Rage Against the Machine  –  “Bulls on Parade”  (Spot on.  Listening to this song is like being launched into the air by ten jet engines.   There’s no stopping you.  Clear the area before pressing play.  There’s no band like Rage.  They are revolutionaries).

 

Lo Fidelity All Stars  –  “Battleflag” – uncensored.   You could accomplish just about anything after listening to this song.  Clean your apartment.  Overthrow a corrupt regime.  Run a 5 minute mile.  Make a new mixtape. . .

 

Florence and the Machine  –  “Dog Days are Over”

 

Cold War Kids  –  “First”

 

Simple Minds  –  “Alive & Kicking”

 

 

Kings of Leon  –  “Fans”

 

R.E.M.  –  “Nightswimming”    (  shivers  )

 

Julie London  –  “Cry Me a River”

 

Bruce Springsteen  –  “The Rising”

 

Lyle Lovett  –  “L.A. County”   (“The lights of L.A. county look like diamonds, when you’re driving through the hours with an old friend at your side”)

 

Frou Frou  –  “Let Go”

 

The Talking Heads  –  “Once in a Lifetime”

(This song from “Stop Making Sense” is actually starting to make sense.  “Same as it ever was.  Water flowing underground.  Into the blue again.  Once in a lifetime.  Water flowing underground. . .  My god, what have I done?!”   He’s completely right.   This has all happened).  

I met David Byrne once at a hotel bar.  He was reading a book written in hieroglyphics.  I don’t mean that there were some pictures of hieroglyphics in the book.  The whole damn book was written in hieroglyphics.  It seemed to make sense to him.

One last Talking Heads story.   My fraternity house caught on fire once (bad wiring).   Everyone was safely accounted for outside.   And then one of my jackass fraternity brothers ran back inside.  He put the song “Burnin’ Down the House” on his stereo and aimed the speakers out the window.  He was. . . a jackass.

 

Tricky  –  “Black Steel”   (“I got a letter from the government the other day, opened it, read it.  It said we were suckers.”)

 

Das EFX  –  “Freak It”  (mad hands)

 

Nas  –  “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”  (There’s a reason 4 million people have listened to this on youtube.  And it’s not just the fabulous Michael Jackson synth sample.  This man is old school smooth and his music is tight as a drum.  Your Nas record collection belongs on the shelf right next to KRS One).

Also, if you’d like a good laugh, watch Nas sit down with a Harvard poetry professor to explain his lyrics here at this second link.  She tries so hard. 🙂   https://youtu.be/GdmtQDSZS5I

 

Public Enemy  –  “Fight the Power”

 

KRS – One  –  “Outta Here”

 

KRS – One  –  “Higher Level”   (“Just chill out for a minute.  Take a second.  And check this out.”)

 

KRS – One  –  “Sound of da Police”

 

L.L. Cool J  –  “Doin it”

 

The Hong Kong  –  “Tongue Tied”  Ric Ocasek of the Cars produced one of their records.  (Saw them live in Brooklyn’s Bowery Ballroom.  The drummer is a friend of mine who lives in L.A. now.  A REALLY great guy.  So talented and a true gentleman.

I actually had the privilege of making a video of The Hong Kong’s song “Maserati” (NOT the video below).   I filmed the “Maserati” video the night of the concert in the Bowery Ballroom.  The video ended up on rollingstone.com!   That is the first and last music video I ever made.  It took FOREVER, because I had no skills and only the most basic software.  I also made the mistake of using the band’s studio recording (great audio quality) and matching it up with the live performance (which, of course, was at a different speed).  I think I spent 20 hours trying to sync words to lips.  Fun to do once, but never again :).  I have HUGE respect for video editors.    Unfortunately the “Maserati” video is no longer on the web.

The video below for “Tongue Tied” is awesome.  Great song.   Really kicks in around 2:50.

And here are youtube clips of two more Hong Kong songs if you’re interested:

Mazerati

Galaxies

 

Radiohead  –  “Bodysnatchers”  (best heard while looking out the window with a glass of smooth whiskey at 30,000 feet)

 

Kings of Leon  –  “Use Somebody”  (celebratory – listen to this once you win)

 

Silversun Pickups  –  “Lazy Eye”

 

The 1975  –  “Chocolate”   (fun pop)

 

Cypress Hill  –  “Stoned is the Way of the Walk”   (Forget the lyrics and the video completely.   Just listen to the groove).

 

The Killers  –  “Sam’s Town”     (Saw them in Philly.  Great show.  They’re so Vegas.  This song so captures the spirit of rebelliousness of 2007 in our community that informed some great positive change.  Things were just starting to crackle and pop again downtown.  Grateful that I had a chance to be a part of it with so many talented people who “pulled at the seams”.   Fun.   Looking forward to the next wave and all the adventure ahead!).

Nobody ever had a dream ’round here
But I don’t really mind that it’s starting to get to me
Nobody ever pulls the seams ’round here
But I don’t really mind that it’s starting to get to me

I’ve got this energy beneath my feet
Like something underground’s gonna come up and carry me
I’ve got this sentimental heart that beats
But I don’t really mind that it’s starting to get to me

Now, why do you waste my time?
Is the answer to the question on your mind
And I’m sick of all my judges
So scared of what they’ll find
But I know that I can make it
As long as somebody takes me home
Every now and then

Oh, have you ever seen the lights?
Have you ever seen the lights?

I took the shuttle on a shock wave ride
Where people on the pen pulled a trigger for accolades
I took a bullet, and I looked inside
And it’s running through my veins
An American masquerade

I still remember grandma Ditzy’s wake
I’ve never really known anybody to die before
Red, white and blue upon a birthday cake
And my brother – he was born on the fourth of the July, and that’s all

So why do you waste my time?
Is the answer to the question on your mind
And I’m sick of all my judges
So scared of letting me shine
But I know that I can make it
As long as somebody takes me home

Woo!
(Every now and then)
(Every now and then)

You know I see London; I see Sam’s Town
Pulls my hand, and let’s my hair down
Rolls that world right off my shoulder
I see London; I see Sam’s Town now

 

Dave Matthews  –  “When the World Ends”    (Great lyrics.  Self-explanatory & celebratory – “When the world ends, collect you things.  You’re coming with me.”)

 

Alanis Morissette  –  “Thank U”   (She got the “ironic” thing a little wrong, but then she went to India, got it all figured out and gave us this):

Reminds me of the wonderful TED speech “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brene Brown. Also another great TED speech:  “Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor.   I love TED.

 

Snow Patrol  –  “Just Say Yes”   (“It’s so simple and you know it is.  You know it is.  We can’t be to and fro like this.  All our lives.)”

 

Coldplay  –  “Warning Sign”

 

The Police  –  “Walking on the Moon”

 

The Cure  –  “Love Cats”

 

The Smiths  –  “How Soon is Now”    (“When you say ‘it’s gonna happen now’
When exactly do you mean?”).

 

Barenaked Ladies  –  “The Old Apartment”

 

The National  –  “Fake Empire”   –  (“No thinking for a little while
Let’s not try to figure out everything at once.”)

Stay out super late tonight
Picking apples, making pies
Put a little something in our lemonade and take it with us
We’re half awake in a fake empire
We’re half awake in a fake empire

Tiptoe through our shiny city
With our diamond slippers on
Do our gay ballet on ice, bluebirds on our shoulders
We’re half awake in a fake empire
We’re half awake in a fake empire

Turn the light, out say goodnight
No thinking for a little while
Let’s not try to figure out everything at once
It’s hard to keep track of you falling through the sky
We’re half awake in a fake empire
We’re half awake in a fake empire

 

Counting Crows  –  “Hangin’ Around”

 

Coldplay  –  “Square One”

 

Dave Matthews  –  “Crush”

 

Bruce Springsteen  –  “Tunnel of Love”

 

Marvin Gaye  –  “What’s Going On”

 

Marvin Gaye  –  “Mercy Mercy Me”

 

The Five Stairsteps –  “OOH Child”    (Live on Soul Trane “with the promise of a better life for all”.   Love that man’s hat).

 

Patsy Cline  –  “Back in Baby’s Arms”

 

Rolling Stones  –  “Miss You”

 

John Lennon  –  “Watching the Wheels”   (listen to these lyrics  🙂

 

 

The Rolling Stones  –  “Waiting on a Friend”   (“I’m just standing in a doorway.  I’m just trying to make some sense.”).

 

Death Cab for Cutie  –  “Marching Bands of Manhattan”

 

Live  –  “Heaven”

 

Dave Matthews  –  “The Space Between”

 

Vanessa Carlton  –  “Ordinary Day”   –  I’m not supposed to like this song or include it in any mix or play it anywhere ever.  (I’m sure VH1 DJcomics made fun of it relentlessly on “I love the 90’s”).   But 12,847,766 people can’t be wrong.  Listen to what she’s saying in this video.   She knows something. . . And if we knew it, I think we’d be in pretty good shape.

 

Paul Simon  –  “Born at the Right Time”

 

Paul Simon  –  “Father and Daughter”

 

Peter Gabriel  –  “In Your Eyes”

 

Bob Marley  –  “One Drop”

“They made their world so hard (so hard)
Every day we got to keep on fighting (fighting)”

“Feel it in the one drop
And we’ll still find time to rap
We’re makin’ the one stop,
The generation gap
Now feel this drumbeat
As it beats within,
Playin’ a riddim,
Resisting against the system, ooh-wee!”

 

The Beastie Boys  –  “So What’cha want”    (The perfect soundtrack to Bozeman, Montana circa 1993.   An ode to overeducated dishwashing ski bums loving life and nature).

 

Tribe Called Quest  –  “Electric Relaxation”    (“Relax yourself with a preset plan.”  Groovy.)

 

Stereo MC’s  –  “Connected”

 

Roxy Music  –  “Avalon”   (self -explanatory)

 

Depeche Mode  –  “People are People”   (Oh man, asymmetrical haircuts.  Dead or Alive.  Aha.   Europe vibe circa 1986.   Live Aid).

 

Phil Collins  –  “Take Me Home”   (Well, while we’re in the 80’s, can’t forget this one.   A great reminiscing song.   It served as the perfect soundtrack to Sonny Crockett flying through the wet streets of Miami late at night dreaming of a calmer life. . . )

 

Johnny Cash  –  “Get Rhythm”   (He’s right.  That’s sort of the point of this overall post :).

 

Eddie Vedder  –  “Hard Sun”

 

Sinead O’Connor  –  “Black Boys on Mopeds”  (Beautiful song.  And she sings it passionately.  This song could have just as easily been written yesterday.   Captures the feeling of this moment in history.  But don’t despair.    We shall overcome.  (Here’s an essay to read sometime.  It’s called 12 Reasons to Have Hope:  We’re Going to Turn this World Around!“).   https://clearblueskyoutwest.com/2017/09/11/what-gives-me-hop/

 

Black Boys On Mopeds

Margaret Thatcher on TV
Shocked by the deaths that took place in Beijing
It seems strange that she should be offended
The same orders are given by her

I’ve said this before now
You said I was childish and you’ll say it now
“Remember what I told you
If they hated me they will hate you”

England’s not the mythical land of Madame George and roses
It’s the home of police who kill black boys on mopeds
And I love my boy and that’s why I’m leaving
I don’t want him to be aware that there’s
Any such thing as grieving

Young mother down at Smithfield
5 am, looking for food for her kids
In her arms she holds three cold babies
And the first word that they learned was “please”

These are dangerous days
To say what you feel is to dig your own grave
“Remember what I told you
If you were of the world they would love you”

England’s not the mythical land of Madame George and roses
It’s the home of police who kill blacks boys on mopeds
And I love my boy and that’s why I’m leaving
I don’t want him to be aware that there’s
Any such thing as grieving.

 

Dire Straits  –  “Brothers in Arms”   (sad yet somehow hopeful.  Beautifully written)

 

Kings of Leon  –  “Arizona”

 

Live  –  “Lightning Crashes”

 

Live  –  “The Dolphin’s Cry”

 

Live  –  “The Dam at Otter Creek”  (this is what Pennsylvania felt like in the early 1990’s).

 

Live  –  “Laking’s Juice”

 

U2  –  “One Tree Hill”

 

The Doobie Brothers  –  “Here to Love You”   (GREAT lyrics.  So jealous of those who went to these 70’s concerts.   What an innocent time, relatively speaking).

“Here To Love You”

I’ve heard it said that the weight of the world’s problems
Is enough to make the ball fall right through space
That it ain’t even worth it to live
With all that’s goin’ wrong
Well, let me just go down as saying
That I’m glad to be here
Here with all the same pain and laughs everybody knows

Some men think they’re born to be king
Maybe that’s true
But I think passing love around
Is all we were born to do

Let them build their kingdoms
Let them make the laws for this world to heed
‘Cause you and I make life worth living
Right here in each other’s arms

I’m here to love you, baby
No more loneliness
No more emptiness
I’m here to love you

Let them build their kingdoms
Let them make the laws for this world to heed
‘Cause you and I make life worth living
Right here in each other’s arms

I’m here to love you, baby
No more loneliness
No more emptiness
I’m here to love you…

I’m here to love you

Just let me go on loving you
Don’t stop me now while I’m feeling this way…

 

Sting  –  “Fields of Gold”

(Another reminiscing song similar to “Take Me Home” above.  This is the soundtrack to driving the Holiday Inn van to the airport in sub-freezing temperatures in January 1993 in Bozeman, Montana.  The song came on one time as the sun was just beginning to rise over the Tobacco Root Mountains.   In 30 minutes, I’d have a van full of stressed out easterners.   For that moment though, there was a wonderful sense of peace.   Those snowcapped peaks were calling.

See “My Fiction” at the following link for stories about those mountains, being surrounded by coyotes, running out of food, discovering a high mountain lake, witnessing the aurora borealis, Emerson, Thoreau, hot springs, building log cabins, Black Elk Speaks, Carl Sagan and much more).

https://clearblueskyoutwest.com/2017/09/08/fiction/

 

Cibo Matto  –  “Sugar Water”  (GREAT groove)

 

Max Sedgley  –  “Slowly”  (slow it down and enjoy)

 

Coldplay  –  “Midnight”

(You’re flying at 30,000 feet at night, returning home from a momentous trip.  The trip was so good that you left a little piece of you back there behind you.  You can still feel the sand in your shoes.  Your passport has another stamp and so does your heart.  You look out the window at the tiny lights below as you listen to this song.  And it feels good).

 

Coldplay  –  “Speed of Sound”    (uplifting. . . takes me back to the early 2000’s, exploring the Chesapeake Bay cities and coves by boat.  Love the emerging lights.  Just like nighttime at anchor on July 4th in the Wye River.  From that spot at anchor, saw 5 different fireworks displays in the distance in cities and towns around the bay.  At night could hear the occasional gentle lapping of the water against the hull.    Then very early the next morning saw a stunning sunrise (it looked timeless and ancient).  Also witnessed a bald eagle steal a fish from a blue heron.  Revelatory music for revelatory adventures.   So grateful.   “All that noise and all that sound.  All those places I got found.”

sunrise shaw bay wye river.jpg
The photo of this primal sunrise was taken early on the morning of July 5th 8 years ago in Shaw Bay.  Shaw Bay is on the Wye River in the Chesapeake Bay.

How long do I have to climb,
Up on the side of this mountain of mine?

Look up, I look up at night
Planets are moving at the speed of light
Climb up, up in the trees
Every chance that you get
Is a chance you seize

How long am I gonna stand
With my head stuck under the sand?
I’ll start before I can stop
Before I see things the right way up

All that noise, and all that sound
All those places I have found
And birds go flying at the speed of sound
To show you how it all began
Birds came flying from the underground
If you could see it then you’d understand?

 

U2  –  “Where the Streets Have No Name”

 

Pete Yorn  –  “Alive”  (GREAT lyrics  –  “The sadness doesn’t matter when it’s gone. . . )

 

Simon & Garfunkel  –  “The Only Livin’ Boy in New York”

 

George Gershwin accompanying Woody Allen’s opening scene in one of the best films in the history of cinema:  “Manhattan”.   It really kicks in at 1:45.  Be sure to watch to the end to hear the music kick up as the train passes in front of the stadium and fireworks light up the city.   From 2:30 on is just priceless.

 

Miles Davis  –  “Blue in Green”  (Beautiful brushes on drums.  Blue in Green is probably my favorite song on earth).  

Note:   Something about this song (from 1:45 on) reminds me of Chopin’s Nocturne E Flat Major Op.9 No.2 — below).  

 

Chopin Nocturne E Flat Major Op.9 No.2  –  (Performed by Valentina Lisitsa)

Note:   Something about this reminds me of “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis — above).

 

Damien Rice  –  “The Blower’s Daughter”

 

Jeff Buckley  –  Hallelujah

 

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