Thursday, July 05, 2007


Because it's just like me to be proud of odd things, I am proud of the eclectic nature of my music collection. And because I think you should care, I am now going to prove said eclecticism by telling you about the last eight CDs I've acquired:

Soul: Back to Black by Amy Winehouse has quickly found a spot on my list of ten best albums ever. Winehouse is a British soul singer often compared to Lauryn Hill, but I think a better comparison that is also often made is that she is basically the Billie Holiday of the 21st century. If you have little people who listen to your music with you, as I do, I recommend you buy the clean version of the album.

Reggae: Mind Control by Stephen Marley is Marley's first solo album, but he has been making music for years, most notably last year's Welcome to Jamrock by his half-brother Damian, which Stephen produced. Just like Jamrock, Mind Control is the perfect blend of the classic Marley family reggae sound and modern hip-hop.

Vocal Jazz: Unlike some friends of mine, I am not in love with Michael Buble. I did enjoy his last album, though, so I was curious about his new album when it came out a couple months ago. What convinced me to buy the album was a positive review I read on (a progressive hip-hop site, so reviews of white jazz vocalists are not all that common) combined with my curiosity to hear the song in which Buble collaborates with, of all people, Boyz II Men (who knew they were still alive?).

Pop: I've been wanting for a while to get a good Elton John collection. A good one came out this year. I bought it. I like it. The only song I wished were on the collection but isn't is "Levon," which I know only because a mission companion used to belt it in the subways of Madrid. I found the song on a download site and bought it there.

Hip-hop: Another artist I've come across in my never-ending crusade to satisfy a craving for more Lauryn Hill music that Ms. Hill is not likely to fill herself anytime soon is Ms. Dynamite, a British rapper/singer. I got her album off Marketplace for $0.01 (plus shipping) last month, and she's not Lauryn Hill, but she's good. I like her lyrics and her voice--she does this interesting thing where you never know whether she's singing or rapping--but the music itself seems kind of unoriginal to me.

Hawaiian: Another good deal I found on the Marketplace is The Best of the Ka'au Crater Boys. I bought the album because I really wanted their version of Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" and couldn't find it anywhere else--legally or illegally--but I'm glad I bought the whole collection. I was surprised to find so many songs I recognize, not only because these are mostly all Hawaiian-style covers of rock and country classics, but because these are the versions of those songs I grew up listening to. A nice little piece of nostalgia for me, and I imagine you might enjoy it even if you didn't grow up in Hawaii.

Gospel: During the intermission of the Seattle Men's Chorus concert I went to a couple weeks ago I made an impulse purchase. I absolutely love gospel music, see, and there was an album of gospel music called Soul Full featuring the Men's Chorus along with the Northwest Girlchoir, Urban Rhythms, and the Total Experience Gospel Choir. I was disappointed when I got home to realize the album is a live concert recording, as I much prefer studio recordings, but it's grown on me since then. I particularly like the combined choirs' rendition of "We Shall Not Be Moved," as the Civil Rights anthem gains new significance when sung by a gay men's choir.

Christian Rock: The most recent addition to my music library came this evening when a very kind friend gave me Jason Morant's Open, which is my first contemporary Christian rock album. I'm listening to it for the second time now, and really digging it.

Moral of the story: Gifts are always welcome, and I'm enamored of the idea of Mr. Fob the Eclectic enough that you probably can't go wrong with music.


Th. said...


I recently found the Ka'au Crater Boys on Pandora and they are Awesome. And, I just learned that the version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow I love is by Iz.

So I'm all about the Hawaiian music right now.

Samantha said...

You seemed to have overlooked my favorite genre--country music. Yeehaw baby!

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Anonymous said...

I bought a new album and saw a show on Broadway last Thursday night. I've wanted to see it for a while but finally got a ticket and learned what the show is about. You speak here of the Civil War anthem being sung by a gay men's chorus and how that takes on significance.

Wicked, as you probably know is about how someone different (in this case her skin is slightly green) becomes isolated, scapegoated, and finally viewed as "wicked" because the authority figures want to control the masses who look to them for direction and guidance.

Two songs were thought provoking ..."I'm not that girl" and "Defying Gravity." "I'm not that girl" should resonate, I think, with anyone who has been through a divorce or fallen in love with someone who is not available. Elphaba has just fallen in love with someone unavailable....

Musical: Wicked
Song: I'm Not That Girl

Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl
He could be that boy
But I'm not that girl:

Don't dream too far
Don't lose sight of who you are
Don't remember that rush of joy
He could be that boy
I'm not that girl

Ev'ry so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
But that doesn't soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in

Blithe smile, lithe limb
She who's winsome, she wins him
Gold hair with a gentle curl
That's the girl he chose
And Heaven knows
I'm not that girl:

Don't wish, don't start
Wishing only wounds the heart
I wasn't born for the rose and the pearl
There's a girl I know
He loves her so
I'm not that girl:


"Defying Gravity" has these lines...which I think many gay Mormons would find of interest. The "good" and the "wicked" witches of Oz have this little discussion.

(spoken) Elphie, listen to me. Just say you're sorry:
(sung) You can still be with the Wizard
What you've worked and waited for
You can have all you ever wanted:

(spoken) I know:
(sung) But I don't want it -
No - I can't want it

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

Can't I make you understand?
You're having delusions of grandeur:

I'm through accepting limits
'Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!
I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity

I guess you probably know all this since you follow music much more than I do, but it was very moving to see the show on Thursday. I really liked it.