Friday, February 29, 2008

What's new on my iPod?

I'm giddy whenever I add something new to my iPod. There is no doubt that music is an integral part of my existence. I prefer a new playlist over a new pair of shoes. And I love shoe shopping. What makes music so different is that it never wears out. My feet never get sore with a new CD. I have never had blisters as a result of building a new mix for the iPod.
Some of the playlists consist of new artists I stumble upon via myspace, but more likely from Sean Daly's Pop Life blog. I have shamelessly downloaded more music since becoming a comment regular. When it comes to the timeless tunes of my youth, I rely upon Steve Spears' Stuck in the 80s and his blog/podcast devotees for song suggestions.
Recently, I was racking my brain for songs that are great, but put on the shelf and in need of a good dust bunny removal. This was due to a blog post by Spears. I was asking a friend his suggestions for such a list when it hit me who needed to be on that list: Joan Armatrading.
I recalled one of the first times I heard Armatrading's songs. I was visiting my brother at Eastern Illinois University. It had to be 1985. We were watching television and he exclaimed, "Joan Armatrading!" I've always thought women who played guitars were seriously cool. That is, women who weren't sporting Spandex and only using the guitar as a sexual symbol. Armatrading exuded cool to me. However, being a new waver, I just let the notion of her music pass me by. She was the woman who Tracy Chapman hoped she would be. This is, by no means, a hit to Chapman. She's great, too. However, in a side by side/song by song showdown Joan would win by more than a nose.
Last night I plugged her name into the music search on iTunes. Up came a bevvy of available music. I opted for her Gold album. It's awesome. If it was on cassette, I'd have it warped and worn out by the Ides of March. There are 43 tracks on this 'double' set. Get it. You need it. If not all of it, I recommend these gems: Me, Myself, I; I Love it When You Call Me Names; Love and Affection; Drop the Pilot; Willow; A Woman in Love. Oh hell, just download all of it. You can't go wrong.
As I typically do when I download music, I go on a video search on youtube. Scads of visuals of the divine Joan. This particular song made me think of a friend. His relationship with his significant other leaves me questioning what the hell is wrong with people. She verbally assaults him at every turn, but he's held on with high hopes that it will change. What was once a sturdy rope of hope is now a thin thread of silly string. I dedicate this video to him. Dorkus, it will get better. You know what ya gotta do.

1 comment:

  1. I thought the Long Distance Dedication schtick went out with Casey Kasem!

    A radio station here in albany used to play a lot of Joan in the early 80's and I remember it being this strange stuff i wasn't quite ready for. I was just making the break from Billy Joel to more experimental fair like Talking Heads and Devo. I don't think I was ready for a woman who could Rock. These days, it's just par for the course!


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