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Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

RADIO NOTES

Had to drive to Tacoma today for work so lots of radio time. Notably:

“Caravan,” the Juan Tizol standard from the Duke Ellington songbook, played by the local Django-inspired Rosenberg Trio of lead and rhythm guitar and bass. Never heard this group before. The rhythm guitarist swung it hot, and the lead player did Django right.

“Opus One,” the Tommy Dorsey classic composed by the great arranger-songwriter-singer-trumpeter from the Lunceford Orchestra, Sy Oliver. Great tune, with loud drums & sweet strings -- an unusual combination at the time.

“Sway,” wherein Dean Martin sends his phrase-ending pitches drooping off, deep below the written note, over a percolating Caribbean rhythm. Sexy and exotically grooving, with spicily metaphoric lyrics that show an interestingly passive approach to masculine eroticism, I mean dancing.

On a newly-found AM soul station, tuning in faintly, a Sly Stone early-’70s sounding funk thang, with comic Clintonesque vocals, until I recognized it as “Musicology” by Prince -- the song is a definite Yeah. I’m old, though, and have only heard the song twice & can’t remember the tune now.

“Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” Beach Boys. A song whose yearning teen-age romantic idealism I couldn’t relate to as an actually existing teen-ager, never having known teen love nor the wish that “every kiss was never ending”; as an adult I have known never-ending kisses, and I admire the ardor that wishes that every kiss could be such. Today the song’s coda -- “Good night baby, Sleep tight baby” -- struck me as chocolate-orange sweet and caressing tender in the song’s context of being forbidden to “say goodnight and stay together.” The other day I’d heard an earlier, less famous Beach Boys “can’t wait to get married” song, “We’ll Run Away,” which ends with the singer forgiving the hypocrisy of his parents forbidding the wedding while forgetting that they had run away and got married at the same age. Such tender sympathy for human weakness and foibles.

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