Friday, August 13, 2010

Diane's Uncelebrity Playlist

While I was walking daily on my vacation, I listened to a number of iTunes Celebrity Playlist podcasts.  It was fascinating listening to people like Jewel, the Edge, Mick Jagger and Slash put on their favorite records.  There was always hidden surprises to their playlists and I liked hearing their reason for choosing the various tracks.
Diane is listening to her beloved tunes on her iPhone 4.
I thought I would entertain you with my digital selections.  You might find some tucked away music you haven't discovered yet.  Or my tunes may call to mind a sweet musical memory.  Without further ado, here is my summer playlist.

The first number on my playlist has to be a catchy song with drama and can withstand repeated listenings.  I have been leaning slightly towards alternative country/folk.  I also need music that is peppy and full of acoustic guitar.   And It Spread by the Avett Brothers fits the bill.  They have a nice mix of vocal harmonies, poignant lyrics and hummable melodies.  I feel like I am sitting on their porch during a lazy afternoon listening to their little vignettes.

The next song I have to bring out is a Cleveland band that I heard on my local public radio station, 91.3 the Summit.  Love and Misery is a haunting song by the Modern Electric.  It is sung by Garrett Komyati who reminds me of male Janis Joplin.  We all have been in tormented relationships and I think this tune sums up the feelings very well.  The keyboards are brilliant on this song too.

In that same vein, I downloaded another local artist, Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden.  She was born in Ohio and moved to form her band in Seattle.  I like her music because it is guitar-driven and evocative.  Saturday Night is my favorite track off the album.  The song has a haunting melody and expresses the frustration of being under someone's influence.  By the way,  she will be in the area for Concert on the Square on September 3rd.

Now to lighten the mood, I have to put the latest popular summer song on my playlist.  Train's Save Me, San Francisco is a funny but plaintive plea for the band's hometown.  I like how the lyrics weave different musical metaphors to describe the band's historical transformation.  They touch on everything from disco to calypso.  What a rhyming way to describe the rough road to stardom.

After sharing a few current numbers, I have to include an older song to awaken some good summer memories.  Every time I hear this melody, I have to smile to myself.  Al Green has a serious gift for soul music.  I know I will have critics countering me but Let's Stay Together is his best work.  The strings, the beat and Al's velvet voice are mind-blowing.   I always think of a warm sunny place with my sweetie while listening to this track.

Although you must forgive me for experiencing my formative years during the disco era.  I have to include Got To Get You Into My Life in my playlist or it would be a serious omission.  Earth, Wind and Fire always fascinated me with their whole Egyptian getup.  I loved the costumes they wore for each performance (and this was back before music videos).  Granted they were a African-American R&B, Jazz band and not real Egyptian musicians.  If you ignore that, the band sultry presence with Phillip Bailey on vocals is stellar with killer horns!

I have to include one more oldie but goodie and it's all because of Natalie.  We were listening to it the other day and she was grooving with me.  If a seven year old likes a mature pop song, it must be a first-class number.  Thriller reminds me of summer drive in movies that were scary but fun.  What a timeless song.   I realize that Michael Jackson may have had a questionable personal life but the man had imposing talent.  

Back to the present, I want to submit The Outsiders  by Needtobreathe for my playlist.  It is a plucky anthem that talks about standing your ground.  I like the harmonies and banjo on this track.  It make me feel like I'm in a rural southern town listening to Bear Rinehart's supplication.

My second last entry of Diane's Uncelebrity Playlist has to be Just Breathe  by Pearl Jam.  The song has a quiet ballad vibe without being pretentious.  I like the open honest confession that Eddie Vedder makes to his loved ones.  The lyrics are just beautiful.

The final recording in my playlist has to be The Blackest Lily by Corinne Bailey Rae.  I like the song because it has a retro feel to it.  When I heard her iTunes Celebrity Playlist, she only had time-honored music.  I was impressed with how gracious she was towards the greats like Jimi Hendrix or Ray Charles.  Her song echos the funk scene and describes the buzz a person can get from a love affair.  

Well, I hope you enjoyed Diane's Uncelebrity Playlist.  You may have discovered some new tunes or unearthed a nostalgic remembrance.  In any event, may your summer be filled with many days of musical enjoyment.

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