Monday, November 13, 2017

Virtual Birthday Disc 2017 ...

There was a time when I'd invite a group of folks out to lunch for my birthday. It's been a number of years since I've been able to pull that off but I never lost my love for creating birthday CDs / place cards for the table.

This was the year I thought I might re-up the lunch tradition. Alas, life had other plans. But I spent some time compiling some tunes a few weeks ago and wrote up the "liner notes." So, in this era of Spotify and playlists, I'm sharing the virtual version of the birthday CD. Listen along in your head!

1. Adventure of a Lifetime, Coldplay
“Everything you want’s a dream away … we are diamonds, taking shape.” Indeed. Also, c’mon, that lick ... .

2. Thunder Island, Jay Ferguson
There’s a general theme to the songs on this disc. This catchy tune, though, is either “No way! I haven’t heard this in forever!” or, I hope, “Wow, I kinda love this!”

3. I Just Wanna Stop, Gino Vannelli
Because have you ever heard this song and been sorry? I haven’t. Also, the older I get, the more I appreciate tunes from further back in my musical life.

4. Love Make the World Go Round, Jennifer Lopez & Lin-Manuel Miranda
Written and recorded as a response to the Pulse massacre, it’s only become more poignant. “And love is love is love is love is love is love ... .” I am awed by Miranda’s talent.

5. Wonderful, Gary Go
I know it sounds like music for a commercial or the final scene of a rom-com but I love it for just those reasons, as well as the lyrics.

6. You Give Me Something, James Morrison
For a bit of a shift in tempo and tone. Also, I love the story of the song, love the delivery, love James’s voice.

7. Something Just Like This, The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
Yup, Chris Martin makes a second appearance. I was hooked the moment I heard this and I haven’t tired of it. What is going on in the chorus?! Also, there’s a symmetry to the notes that pleases me.

8. Shake It, Metro Station
We live in Chicagoland, kids. We get stuck in traffic. We need to prevent blood clots. (Yes, I’m now that old.) Music to dance in our cars! Let others see! Prevent road rage!

9. Best Days, Graham Colton
Because guys with acoustic guitars are underrepresented in American music. But seriously, I like Graham’s tune. Perhaps he should tour with James Morrison.

10. Dreams, Beck
Have you heard this tune? Then you understand.

11. What Is Love, Haddaway
Yep! (You know you love it!)

12. Sweetheart, Franke & The Knockouts
For some reason, this is the lone 45 I still possess. Loved it then and it holds up.

13. Looking Out, Brandi Carlile
Brandi and her guitar will never not wow me. So glad she opened for Shawn Colvin years ago.

14. Love Is All That Matters, Human League
Simple message, more necessary than ever. See No. 4. Also, a long-ago concert memory.

15. Drift Away, Dobie Gray
Because couldn’t we all do with getting lost in some rock ‘n’ roll and drifting away?

16. Talkin’ Bout A Revolution, Tracy Chapman
Revolution indeed. We’re so past due.

17. Night Fever, Bee Gees
‘Cause why not? We need more joy, kids!

18. Got To Be Real, Cheryl Lynn
Again with the movie-soundtrack tune but enough with artifice. Realness. Please. I crave it.

19. She’s The One, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Recorded live. In ’75. And still one of his and the band’s finest performances. It builds subtly then the piano at 2:03 unleashes ebullience the likes of which is almost never heard. True genius.

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