Feeling Sad, Feeling Blue: A Guilty Weekly Top Ten
I realized yesterday that aside from my wife, my very best friend in the world is my dog, Max. And we’re about to embark on a trip to California without him. That makes me sad, blue. Good friends keep telling me that he won’t be wandering around the house going, “Where is he? When’s he coming home?” I know they’re right. Still, I don’t believe them.
So here’s to curing the blues, to missing Max, and to a safe trip for us and for you, wherever this weekly Top Ten finds you.
10. “Sugar on Sunday,” The Clique. From 1969, a song that you might believe Tommy James and the Shondells are performing, though not here, not now. The Clique was a Texas band and many on You Tube believe they should have had greater success. Their next song, “I’ll Hold Out My Hand,” was a record I won from WSGN-610 by sending in a note saying why I loved that song, why I was “turned on” by it. So, what turns on a 14-year old boy? Not leaving his dog behind, I’m sure.
9. “Your Best American Girl,” Mitski. She has a brand new record coming out; this one was from last year’s debut, Puberty 2. I love how this ballad builds, as all good ballads do. And yes, I’m a sucker for lush dream-songs. And those power pop chords. Isn’t pop about puberty most of the time? And vice-versa.
8. “Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler),” Marvin Gaye. Are things any better since this one came out in 1971? Oh Marvin. You knew so much. It’s not been a good week for Race in America. People keep asking, “Did you know it was this bad?” Yes.
7. “15 Step,” Radiohead. I think In Rainbows is my favorite Radiohead record, and this track kicks it off. Most of us have no idea what their songs mean, and it seems I’ve always gravitated to such inscrutable bands and songs. Remember “21st Century Schizoid Man,” “Sitting Still,” or even “After the Gold Rush?” Anyway, I love the resounding echoes of the inner harmonics buried deep in this one. That sounds like every Radiohead song, but it’s not. Trust me.
6. “Holly Holy,” Neil Diamond. So. I used to adore this Neil. Saw him, too, at a WVOK (The Mighty 690) “Shower of Stars” along with Rare Earth, Dennis Yost & the Classics IV, Vanity Fare, and Turley Richards. Mary Jane Terry was my date, my Baptist girlfriend back in 1969. We had to get her cousin a date, and turned to Jimbo Mulkin. Oh, and Neil did this song, his follow-up to “Sweet Caroline.” Sing it strong.
5. “Hungry Ghost,” Hurray for the Riff Raff. Strong sounds from the band. Singer Alynda was on Trevor Noah a few months back and thank god someone noticed how good she is, how rich her songs are. I get so pissed when people say that there’s no good music today. “I’m ready for the world.”
4. “This Old Dog,” Mac DeMarco. “Sometimes my love is put on hold…but all you need to know is that this old dog ain’t about to forget.” See. Mac knows. So does Max. This is from the album of the same name, and if you don’t own it yet, there’s nothing like the present.
3. “More Than a Feeling,” Boston. Twice this past week I heard this song on a TV show — the first was in the Netflix original series, 7 Seconds, which sadly, is not being renewed for a second season. The second was in the season-ending episode of “The Goldbergs.” You don’t have to be half-Jewish to like that show, but it helps. Erika Goldberg started a band with two of her girl-mates, and they covered this one. I loved it in 1976. I think I still do.
2. “Where is My Mind?” The Pixies. If nothing else, you gotta love the dog and cat in the video. But there is the song, too, from 1988, and The Pixies were a force. Still feels that way, and I thank my former students Stephanie and Brad for this. I love my students. And their minds.
And now…NUMBER ONE
- “Smile Like You Mean It,” The Killers. From 2005, a song my daughters played for me once in their room. They thought I might like it. “Change your ways while you’re young.” They still help me understand where good songs live, where they reside in that inner part of all of us. I mean it, too. “Dreams are what they used to be’ some things slide by so carelessly.” And as the title says, I’ll try to.
California…say goodbye Max. I’ll be back.