They All Come Out to Groove About

2340. Shrapnel 2341. Bunny Sigler: "I've Always Wanted to Sing...Not Just Write Songs" 2342. Silver Convention 2343. Horace Silver Quintet: Song for My Father (Cantiga Para Meu Pai) 2344. Karen Silver 2345. The Best of Carly Simon 2346. The Best of Joe Simon 2347. Paul Simon 2348. Simon & Garfunkel: Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. 2349. Simon and Garfunkel: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme 2350. Simon & Garfunkel: Bookends 2351. Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits 2352. Simply Red: "Holding Back the Years" 12-inch 2353. The Amazing Nina Simone 2354. Joyce Sims: All About Love 2355. Zoot Sims: One to Blow On 2356. Zoot Sims: Zoot! Mixworthy: "Song for My Father," #2343; "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be," "You're So Vain," and "Anticipation," #2345; "Mother and Child Reunion," and "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard," #2347; "Scarborough Fair/Canticle," and "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)," #2349; "Mrs. Robinson" and "At the Zoo," #2350; "Holding Back the Years," #2352. Spent: "Sounds of Silence," #2348. I like "You're So Vain" more right now than I ever have; "That's the Way" and "Antici- pation" I've loved for a long time, but it's only within the past year--helped along by one of those early Saturday Night Lives that are currently in syndication--that I finally started to come around on "You're So Vain." I think it was killed early on for me by an unbelievable amount of airplay when it was on the charts; logic says that it wasn't any more overplayed than any other #1 from the time, so maybe the ingenious- ness of its gimmick just made it seem that way. "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" pairs up well with Simply Red's "Holding Back the Years"; neither has any critical standing whatsoever, but I'd be hard-pressed to think of two bleaker songs ever to come out of mainstream Top 40 radio...The Simon and Garfunkel stuff is pretty ingrained in me from high school, the gateway to which, of course, was The Graduate. I guess I should have long ago started to recoil from the monumental simpiness of something like "Scarborough Fair," but it just never happened. It's easier to defend the other three songs I've listed, any of which is catchy enough for the Shins...So, do you think I came to Horace Silver through Steely Dan, or to Steely Dan through Horace Silver? If you don't know the answer, you haven't been paying attention. And if you have been paying attention, I know who you are. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2357. Frank Sinatra: Rare Recordings 1935 - 1970 2358. Frank Sinatra: Rarities: The Columbia Years 2359. Frank Sinatra's Greatest Hits: The Early Years 2360. Frank Sinatra: In the Wee Small Hours 2361. Frank Sinatra: Songs for Swingin' Lovers! 2362. Frank Sinatra: 20 Classic Tracks 2363. Frank Sinatra and Count Basie: An Historic Musical First 2364. Frank Sinatra: September of My Years 2365. Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music 2366. Frank Sinatra: Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back 2367. Sinceros: Pet Rock 2368. Siouxsie and the Banshees: The Scream 2369. Sister Sledge: We Are Family 2370. Skinny Boys: Skinny (They Can't Get Enough) 2371. Skinny Puppy: Remission 2372. Skinny Puppy: Bites 2373. Skrewdriver: All Skrewed Up Mixworthy: "Nancy (With the Laughing Face)," #2359; "In the Wee Small Hours," #2360; "It Was a Very Good Year," #2364; "Hong Kong Garden," #2368. Spent: "We Are Family," #2369. The most meaningful thing I can think to say about Frank Sinatra is that far from venerating him, I don't care for the person much at all. I've always been a little defensive about anyone who treats rock and roll with condescension, and the first thing that comes to mind for me with Sinatra is the way he was so contemptuous of the music he lost his teenage audience to in the mid-50s (from Ray Coleman's Sina- tra: A Portrait of the Artist, 1915 - 1998): "It smells phony and false. It is sung, played, and written for the most part by cretinous goons, and by means of its almost imbecilic reiterations and sly, lewd, in plain fact dirty, lyrics, it manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on earth." I think he more or less went into the same tirade when the Beatles came along a few years later. I know, standard-fare through the ages--most every rock star who's ever been supplanted by something new has reacted much the same way--and even almost charmingly petulant when you think about the mastermind behind such highbrow fare as Ocean's Eleven and Robin and the Seven Hoods complaining about the world's descent into cretinism (or, from what I understand, one of the great fuck-machines of his era fretting about lewdness). Much less charming is old Rat Pack footage of Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. doing all their Negro schtick--no matter how many times I hear about Sinatra's great dedication to Civil Rights, that stuff just totally creeps me out. (I also realize that it was a different world, that an argument can be made that they were subvert- ing racial stereotypes in the only way permissible at the time, and that it's very easy for me to sit here in 2005 and be critical. I understand all of that.) I won't spend a second trying to diminish his stature as an artist, but my problems with the person do interfere with how much I value his music (which, relatively speaking, I have very little of). In the Wee Small Hours is pretty great, although all I've got is an abridged budget version (I didn't realize how abridged till I checked the Coleman book--only 10 out of 16 songs), and "It Was a Very Good Year," where, in- stead of carping, Sinatra transforms his sense of the world passing him by into something majestic and profound, is in the pantheon--so good that even Homer Simp- son's "It Was a Very Good Beer" makes me sad. The rest of what I own, I appreciate at arm's length. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2374. Slade Alive! 2375. Slade: Slayed? 2376. Slade Smashes 2377. Percy Sledge: When a Man Loves a Woman 2378. The Best of Percy Sledge 2379. The Great Adventures of Slick Rick 2380. Slits: Cut 2381. Slovenly: Thinking of Empire 2382. Slow: Against the Glass 2383. Sly & the Family Stone: Greatest Hits 2384. Sly & the Family Stone: There's a Riot Goin' On 2385. Sly and the Family Stone: Anthology 2386. Sly & the Family Stone: Small Talk 2387. Sly & the Family Stone: Back on the Right Track 2388. Sly Fox: Let's Go All the Way 2389. Small Faces: Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake 2390. Small Faces: Greatest Hits Mixworthy: "Gudbuy T'Jane" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now," #2375; "Merry Xmas Every- body," #2376; "When a Man Loves a Woman," #2377; "Everybody Is a Star," "Everyday People," "Hot Fun in the Summertime," and "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)," #2383; "Family Affair," #2384; "Lazy Sunday," #2389; "Itchycoo Park," #2390. My first instinct was to list "When a Man Loves a Woman" as spent, but I think I some- times overcompensate in that direction. I heard "What's Going On" on the radio over the weekend, and I was reminded once again that if enough time goes by, songs that I may have once been sick of (and assume I still am) can catch me by surprise and sound good again. It was Norman Otis Richmond's show, a well-known local DJ on the same sta- tion that carries mine. While talking about the songwriting credits on "What's Going On," he let slip a malapropism worthy of my dad: "San Frandisco"...One of the trage- dies of classic rock radio--not a real-life tragedy; you know, more like the Marlins- winning-the-'97-Series tragic--is the virtual obsolescence of Slade thanks to that useless Quiet Riot cover. I can't say for sure that Slade would be getting airplay today if there'd never been a Quiet Riot--in their heyday, they never made it higher than #68 Stateside on the singles chart, and I know they never got played on CHUM at the time--but my guess is they would have eventually found their natural home. I was aware of them when I was 12 for the same reason I was aware of the New York Dolls: I'd seen Slayed? in record stores, and it's a cover you don't forget. Every September I take photos of my students for a running album I keep--mostly straightforward head- and-shoulders shots, but one year I had everyone hold up a favourite album of mine, and last year I had each one of them pose with my Nixon bobblehead. I think I might shoot groups of four next year and instruct them to give me some Slayed? action... J.D. Salinger and Syd Barrett may be the world's two most famous recluses, but I'd be much more interested in hearing from Sly Stone one of these days. There's always been a very stark split with me between the music of his I don't care for--"Dance to the Music," "I Want to Take You Higher," most of Riot--and the stuff I've listed, all of which I'm in awe of. I called Carly Simon's "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" bleak a couple of entries ago, and it is. The word isn't sufficient for "Family Affair"--that such a song would have made #1 says something about the mindset of the pop audience in 1971, although I'm not sure what. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2391. The Smashchords 2392. Frankie Smith: Children of Tomorrow 2393. Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns: Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu 2394. Patti Smith: Horses 2395. Patti Smith: Radio Ethiopia 2396. Patti Smith: Easter 2397. Stuff Smith Quartet: Swingin' Stuff 2398. The Smiths 2399. Smiths: "Hatful of Hollow" 2400. Smiths: Meat Is Murder 2401. The Best of Hank Snow 2402. S.O.S. Band: Just the Way You Like It 2403. S.O.S. Band: Sands of Time 2404. Gino Soccio: Outline 2405. Martial Solal: Le Jazz en France: Volume 7 2406. Solo Brothers 2407. Sonics: Original Northwest Punk Mixworthy: "Gloria," #2394. Lots of cultish stuff here that might inspire a lot of words from someone else--Huey, Frankie, and Patti Smith, the Smiths, the Sonics--but it all just languishes on the shelf, unplayed and uncompiled. It was only a school assembly devoted to the '70s a few years ago that got me excited about "Gloria," one of the highlights of a tape I compiled for the occasion; I'd also list the Smiths' "Panic" if I had it on vinyl (ditto Morrissey's "Tomorrow"). Martial Solal did the soundtrack for Godard's Breath- less--I saw him play in Toronto sometime during the late '80s. When I attended St. Michael's College a few years before that, "Gino" was a derisive term for young sub- urban Italian guys who were still living the Tony Manero life long after the fact. I don't believe the term traced back to Gino Soccio, and if it did, I don't remember any "Sylvester"s, "Monti"s, or "Felipe"s so christened at the time. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2408. Sonic Youth 2409. Sonic Youth: Confusion Is Sex 2410. Sonic Youth: Bad Moon Rising 2411. Sonic Youth: Evol 2412. Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation 2413. Ciccone Youth: The Whitey Album 2414. Sonic Youth: A Thousand Leaves 2415. The Best of Sonny & Cher 2416. Sons of Champlin: Loosen Up Naturally 2417. Soul Asylum: Made to Be Broken 2418. Soul Asylum: While You Were Out 2419. Soul II Soul: Keep on Movin' 2420. Soul II Soul: Vol. II - 1990 - A New Decade 2421. Soup Dragons: Hang-Ten! 2422. Soup Dragons: This Is Our Art 2423. Joe South's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2424. Spagna: Dedicated to the Moon Mixworthy: "Teen Age Riot," #2412; "The Beat Goes On," #2415; "Keep on Movin'," #2419; "Games People Play," #2423. (I'd also be listing Soul II Soul's "Back to Life," but the album version is very different than the hit single.) Between vinyl, store-bought CDs, and what I've downloaded, I probably own a third to a half of Sonic Youth's recorded output. "Teen Age Riot" is perfect: all those weird tunings they invented may as well have been brought into existence for that one song and that one moment, an eloquent and fortuitously timed farewell to something that had been plugging along for 10+ years at that point (or 20, or 35--depends whether you hear the farewell as being for punk, guitar-rock, or rock and roll in general) and appeared to be dying with a whimper just as hip-hop was beginning its ascendancy. Which is a very simplistic equation, of course: a) the song seemed to have been in- tended more as an "All the Young Dudes" rallying cry than as an elegy, b) much of that hip-hop was harder than the standard guitar-rock of the mid-to-late '80s (cf. #2417...)--i.e., was more rock and roll than the rock and roll it was replacing, and c) Guns N' Roses was situated on one side of the song, Nirvana on the other (the rel- ative merits of which I won't get into, because it's 2005 and who could possibly be interested in continuing to argue about such stuff?). In any case, it felt like an elegy then, and still does today, and they carried it off brilliantly. My other two favourite SY songs are Sister's "Cotton Crown" and Dirty's "Theresa's Sound-World," both of which I'd list, "Kool Thing" is great in whatever Hal Hartley film it turns up in, and I like some of their odd cover versions, "Personality Crisis" especially. After that, there's a lot of waste and not too many surprises. I'm happy to own a vinyl copy of A Thousand Leaves, which I got for $15 at a half-price sale out in the east end of Toronto. I'm confident it will forever retain its distinction as offici- ally the last chronologically released album (1998) in my collection. Maybe I'll eventually connect with whatever it was that inspired Christgau to give it an A+-- so far, based on a single once-through when I bought it three years ago, no...My inability to accurately remember lyrics from my favourite songs has been accelerat- ing steadily the past few years. Here are a couple from the mixworthy list above that are still lodged in my mind: "Why do people choose to lead their lives this way?" and "E-lec-tri-cally they keep a baseball score." (Ah, who am I kidding? I had to Google the second one to double-check--I initially thought it was "electronically.")

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