this particular fridays’ list

now playing: alison krauss and union station, “broadway”

for todays’ edition of all time top five friday, i submit for your approval –

all time, top five albums for enhancing an already powerful emotional funk

now i have to say before i get started – if i were going to make this a true representation of my personal all time top five, it’d be mix tapes. i know, i know…they’re not really mix “tapes” anymore, but then again it could be argued that they’re not really “albums” anymore, but i still use that term pretty exclusively when i talk about collections of music.

i guess it’s just a me thing.

but – what with having eliminated mix tapes and all, here’s my personal picks for times (like right now) when no amount of peppy, upbeat music is going to do me any good, and all i can really hope for is to intensify an existing funk by mixing some truly sorrowful, poignant, wistful and sappy songs into my personal soundtrack of despair.

ok, so maybe i’m not quite there yet….but after a steady dose of these, i might be.

one – joni mitchell, “for the roses”

all that really needs to be said here is that if it’s not on your list, you’ve either never heard it or you have no concept of what i mean by a “funk”. this album is brilliant for countless reasons that may or may not take into consideration the overall melancholy theme of the album, but it’s perfect for quiet contemplation or reflection on your place in the cosmos. achingly beautiful songs.

two – the blue nile, “hats”

you know what? don’t even listen to the whole album. just put the disc in your cd player and cycle “let’s go out tonight” over and over a few times. in roughly half an hour, you’ll be on the floor of your living room in the fetal position, gently weeping and sucking your thumb. paul buchanan is one of the most amazing vocalists you’ll ever hear – he’s who bryan ferry and morrisey want to be when they grow up.

three – karla bonoff, self titled

“if he’s ever near”. “rose in the garden”. “home”.


i have to admit, i almost went with her second album, “restless nights” – and on another day, i might have gone ahead and made that substitution. they’re both brilliant records.

four – dan hill, “longer fuse”

alright – yeah, it’s that album. the one with “sometimes when we touch” on it. let’s get over that, for the sake of this discussion.

after you get past that song, you immediately go into a song called “14 today”, and you’ve soon forgotten that you know what was on this record at all. the title track is amazing, as is the final song on the album, “still not used to”….still not used to having people pay to hear me…

seriously, there are some great songs on this album.

honorable mention to a couple of other things he’s done – “frozen in the night” (another great album) and a single he released called “all i see is your face”…

five – janis ian, “stars”

yeah, another record by a one hit wonder that happens to have the one hit on it. sue me.

take this disc into your living room, put it on the stereo, light a candle and/or some incense, turn the lights down or off and curl up on the sofa and close your eyes.

a few days later, when your landlord and the police break into your place because of the complaints from the neighbors, they’ll find you right there…in the same place…with the same clothes on. you’ll still be there, looking painfully like christopher reeve at the end of somewhere in time.

when they finally succeed in rehydrating you and cleaning you up, you’ll leave the halfway house they’ve “strongly encouraged” you to camp at for a while and learn to slowly re-enter society…you’ll rebuild relationships with your friends, you’ll return to work, and eventually the whole thing will be written off by those you love as “that weird weekend”.

but you’ll never be the same. ever.

go out and buy it now. yeah, right now. wal mart is open.


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