So I got a letter recently from an anonymous writer, asking me for a list of my favorite songs, my own “top ten” so to speak. Good question – and a break from the bucket-load of questions from people either wanting to be in threesomes, or recovering from their threesome experiences. Really people. Menage a trois’ are so 1975. Get over them already.
So here ya go – my own personal mix – not in any particular order – just too damm hard:
“Blue in Green,” Miles Davis [Kind of Blue]
I tend to play this song on warm, rainy days with a bottle of good red in hand – and I’m usually either feeling absolute contentment or enveloping melancholy.
“A Distorted Reality is Now a Necessity to be Free,” Elliott Smith [From a Basement on a Hill]
While I discovered this song during one of the worst times of my life – trying to crawl out of the mental hole of a major depressive disorder, I still keep this song as a favorite because in spite of the appearance of balance, I’m really anything but. Sort of a swan song for all of us that have felt “in between” and nowhere all at once, almost all the time.
“Afro Blue,” John Coltrane [Afro Blue Impressions]
Need to get out of a creative rut? If this masterpiece doesn’t do it, then nothing will
“Best Friends,” Ron Sexsmith [Cobblestone Runway]
I can’t be in a bad mood when this song plays – an exquisite sketch of what being with your soulmate really feels like.
Tie Between “Take It From Me,” The Weepies [Say I Am You] and “Brothers on a Hotel Bed,” Death Cab for Cutie [Plans]
Jesus, I don’t know why, but these songs just break and heal my jaded heart at the same time. I guess one’s a beginning and the other, a bittersweet ending.
“Flamenco Sketches,” Miles Davis [Kind of Blue]
This song always seems to come on when David and I are at a cozy table, drinking either wine or coffee, while in the perfect urban landscape. I see it as foreplay for grown-ups.
“Parisian Dream,” Laura Veirs [Year of Meteors]
I absolutely worship and adore Laura Veirs. Her songs are this lyrical, tangled mess with offbeat music to match. She’s fucking brilliant. And I can’t believe her songs are not in every cool indie movie out there. This entire album is genius, but I like this one in particular because it’s her ode to love in Paris. A very close second off the same album was “Spelunking.” Every woman trying to trust someone can identify with this truth serum of a song.
“I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know,” Donny Hathaway [Extension of a Man]
It’s just a classic – every woman wants a man to love her this much.
“Tell Your Story Walking,” Deb Talan [Sincerely]
I’m a big fan of a good “fuck off and die” song – this one’s just done in a classier, more literate fashion than others in my cannon.
“When a Woman Loves a Man,” Billie Holiday [Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday]
Another one that just breaks my heart, yet makes me chuckle too (“Tell her she’s a fool, she’ll say yes, I know, but I love him so). Ah Billie, Billie, Billie – you were such a mess, and that voice. Jesus freakin’ Christ. If I could sing like anyone, it would be like you.
“She’s a Jar,” Wilco [Summerteeth]
If the tree is my personal totem, then this song is the theme on my soundtrack. “She a jar, with a heavy lid – my pop quiz kid. A sleepy kisser, a pretty war, with feelings hid. She begs me not to miss her…” Yep, that’s me in a nutshell.
Next time – guilty pleasures – and trust me, they’re bad. Deliciously dorky.