Confession: My favorite part of every posting was picking the music for the end.
When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a DJ, and I’d actually record myself on my eight-track spinning singles in my basement, introducing the bands, announcing the tunes, every now and then venturing a particularly catchy B-side (God, am I dating myself).
Later, I was one of those geeky dorky dweeby dudes who couldn’t share mix tapes and CDs fast enough. I have two friends who say they almost need entire rooms—or outbuildings—to warehouse all the music I forced on them. I always saw it as the perfect postcard, the best way to say hi and what’s up and lay my own trip out there without getting too, well, weird.
But hey, I’m weird. Just check out the tunes, you know that much.
I always got a kick out of sharing some of the obscurities I posted here—yeah, that’s me, the guy who’s always into “the best kept secret in …” (which explains my writing career, in more ways than I’d like to admit).
And so, in trying to determine what tune should conclude my stint here at Murderati, I was my usual exuberant, over-indulgent self, having too much I wanted to share, and only one last chance to do so.
So postmark this one, save it for later, play it in bits. This is my Murderati Mix Tape, with samples of a handful of the bands and singers and songs I had bookmarked to share but never got the chance, such as:
Ani DeFranco singing “(Fuck You and Your) Untouchable Face”
Dee Dee Bridgewater with Jimmy Smith performing Horace Silver’s “Filthy McNasty”
One Nation with Victory covering Roxy Music’s “More Than This”
The Sons of the Pioneers singing “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”
Vinicio Capossela (“The Italian Tom Waits”) performing “Ultimo Amore”
Los Straitjackets with “My Love Will Go On” (the “love” theme from Titanic)
Punk girl band Sleater-Kinney with “Start Together”
The Raindrops doo-wopping with “The Kind of Boy You Can’t Forget”
Kay Starr, with the Charlie Barnet Orchestra: “Sharecropper’s Blues”
Bonnie Raitt absolutely killing Randy Newman’s “Feels Like Home”
Randy Newman killing as well with, well, Randy Newman (“Shame”)
Sash! performing the hypnotic dance classic “Encore Une Fois”
The Bobby Fuller Four performing “Let Her Dance” on Shivaree
Renee Fleming with “Soave sia il vento,” a stunning tercetto from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte
Ultravox with the punk anthem “Saturday Night in the City of the Dead”
Slim Whitman singing the classic “Cattle Call”
Cleveland’s The Outsiders performing “Time Won’t Let Me”
Cleveland’s Joe Walsh (and ELO’s Jeff Lynne) kicking it with “Wrecking Ball”
Meg Hentges with the gay teen anthem “This Kind of Love”
A great video mash-up with the Nicholas Brothers tap-dancing to The Contours’ “First I Look at the Purse”
Guitarist extraordinaire Johnny A with “Oh Yeah”
Carmen Consoli with the plaintive, aching “Tutto su Eva”
Little Willie John (God, what a voice): “Leave My Kitten Alone”
Noel Coward (God, what a voice): “I Went to a Marvelous Party”
The jazz geniuses Ninety Miles: “Black Action Figure”
Bryan Ferry covering the Everly Brothers’ “The Price of Love”
Willie “The Lion” Smith performing the breathtaking “Echoes of Spring”
Fiona Apple’s haunting “Red, Red, Red”
The first four minutes of Bernard Hermann’s score for The Day the Earth Stood Still
Brazil’s Nação Zumbi (what The Who would have sounded like if Pete Townsend were Brazilian, not British) performing “Hoje, amanhã e depois”
And finally (for this set), this old chestnut titled “The Cruel Sea” performed by The Dakotas, from that bastion of surf culture, Manchester UK (yes, this one’s for you, Gordon):
There were, of course, also songs with a crime theme I wanted to share, such as:
Anita O’Day with the Stan Kenton Band: “And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine”
Steely Dan: “With A Gun”
The incomparable Raul Malo covering “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress”
Brave Combo with a killer cumbia version of the Mission Impossible theme
Gypsy wedding band Fanfare Cioçarlia performing the James Bond Theme
The (okay, not so obscure) O-Jays: “For the Love of Money”
Richard Thompson: “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” (how does he sing and play like that at the same time?)
Alabama 3 with the theme from The Sopranos
The Eliminators with “Dawn Patrol” (inadvertent theme for the Don Winslow novel)
John Hiatt with “Tennessee Plates”
Anita O’Day (again), this time with the Gene Krupa Orchestra: “Murder He Says”
And then all the sad goodbye songs I thought might bring a tear, a chuckle, or a sigh:
Bettye Lavette with “Let Me Down Easy”
Annie Lennox with my favorite version of Cole Porter’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”
Café Tacuba and Celso Piña with “Aunque No Sea Conmigo” (Since You Will Not Be With Me)
Shivaree (the band, not the TV show): “Goodnight Moon”
Merle Haggard: “Someday When Things Are Good (I’m Gonna Leave You)”
John Lennon. “You Don’t Know What You Got (Till You Lose It)”
Otis Redding: “You Don’t Miss Your Water (Till Your Well’s Run Dry)”
Raul Malo (again—God, what a voice), this time with J.D. Souther’s “You’re Only Lonely”
Santana with Alejandro Lerner (LOVE this song): “Hoy Es Adios”
Jimmy Buffett and Roy Orbison, “Beyond the End”
Emmylou Harris, with a song by Steve Earle, produced by Daniel Lanois: “Goodbye”
* * * * *
And with that, I bid adieu to all of you in this, my Murderati incarnation. I’ve made a lot of grand friends here, friends I intend to cherish in other formats and other locales, on the Murderati Facebook Page and beyond—beyond the end.
The Final Jukebox Hero of the Week: Who else, with what else—and a tease for Stephen’s final post this Friday:
And I couldn't agree with you more, my friend.
Oh, and I want to tell her that I love her a lot
but I gotta get a belly full of wine….
You've introduced me to a lot of music, my dear. xo
Can I just disagree that Nação Zumbi and The Who are nothing alike in my humble Brazilian opinion? Haha! 🙂
Thanks for all the music!
If I may, I'd like to add two artists/songs to your crime list, as my own adios to ya:
Howlin' Wolf – "Evil"
John Lee Hooker – "I'm bad like Jesse James"
I'd stick some Muddy Waters in there, but I couldn't find a suitably crime/goodbye-themed song. Take care, David. I always enjoyed your posts here, and learned a hell of a lot in the process.
Vaya con dios, amigo.
Hi David. This is great! From Sons of the Pioneers to Punk Rock. I'll play each and every one of them.
And on a final note (no pun intended) I'm about a third of the way through THE ART OF CHARACTER and enjoying every word of it. It's a reminder of all the really great posts you've written on craft.
The very best of luck.
Stephen: Yeah, looks like we have a pretty similar take on things, judging from our posts this week. It ain't over till the last track, and even then…
Reine: Your friendship has been one of the great joys of this gig. I'm glad I introduced you to a few good tunes. You introduced me to a great deal more, and I'm grateful.
Barbie: Yes, and Noel Coward doesn't have a great voice either. I consider it a personal failing that, after over 60 posts, I was unable to enhance your grasp of irony. 🙂
Jake: had a couple blues tunes in mind, then couldn't remember if I'd posted them before and ultimately blanked as I was rushing to get this in on time. Those are great selections, thanks. Here's a few I'd add:
Howlin' Wolf: Killing Floor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvwVuOM7aFQ
John Lee Hooker: Never Get Out of These Blues Alive (Bumblebee):
Otis Taylor: Three Stripes on a Cadillac: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJol_zL3scs
And believe me, I think I got twice as much as I gave, especially with comments like yours.
Richard: That's really kind of you. Glad you're enjoying the book. I was always happy whenever I saw your name pop up in the comment queue, brightened my morning, and I'll miss this connection. Let's try to keep it going someohow, somewhere.
I was always avid to read your posts, David, and the truly impressive conversations with commenters that ensued. I learned so much from the posts you created during the writing of the wonderful The Art of Character. And like Richard I am savouring the book. It is good to have a take away from the Murderati years since when the blog is done I won't be meeting any of you any more. I will miss your voice and those surreal music selections.
One of the joys of my life is when David Corbett says, wow that's great music, what's that? Playing stump the Corbett is a dangerous game as we have learned. Recently I gave him two CDs of Argentine folk music and tangos. You see, there's no end really to any of this, too much music, too much writing to do, more friends to meet and love and life goes on. The goodbyes to our forum, our favorite hang out is triste, but http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0RlxpS_zik (Edith Piaf, Non, je ne regrette rien, although it may not link). I love it all. David, thank you for your obsessiveness and thoroughness, it keeps the rest of us rocking.
You've introduced me to a playlist-worth of great music (among many other things) over the past couple years, David, thank you.
Don't think I'm quite ready for the Goodbye list yet, though–I've barely left the Denial stage.
It's been excellent, sir.
Awesome, thank you. Your posts always resonated with me and gave me a kick in the butt to get out of the office and WRITE, and I'll always value that. Onward on other boards, blogs and venues.
Damn, Dave, this is a treasure trove of musicality. I thought I knew a little bit about what's happening in the music scene, but I'm way off. Thank you for being my mentor.
Looks like I've got hours of listening here. Thanks for the songs and the posts, David. I won't say goodbye because we'll stay in touch. Expect to see the book for your editing service this fall.
One of the sad things about growing up is how much harder it is to find new music.
So thank you for your goodbye gift to us.
Like all your posts, there's so much here to unpack and discover.
Here's a song I love that I'd forgotten about and remembered today after reading your post.
Maybe because of my melancholy about Murderati ending or because it's from a French crime movie.
See you elsewhere on the Internet. And maybe again in person.
I was reading this post in my RSS feed and the lists just kept going and going and going until I started giggling at your enthusiasm and sheer tenacity for getting all these songs listed here, this one last time. I also found myself nodding in agreement at many of them, "yes, that's a good one" and "oh, I'll have to check that out" at others. Will definitely bookmark this and come back to eventually hear them all. Well done.
I've learned a lot from you, David, and certainly not all of it about writing. I'll miss your emotional intensity and wry humour and the mental calisthenics you always provoked in your posts. And the music. Thank you for all of it.
I've about had it with saying goodbye, so instead:
"I'll be seeing you,
in all the old, [un]familiar places…"
And I'm thinking not so much Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra, but the dulcet stylings of Jimmy Durante. 😉
Dee: You make me blush. I’m glad you’re enjoying The Art of Character, and that you enjoyed the posts where I was thinking my way through much of it. But don’t get too glum. We’ll all still be floating about cyberspce either at the Murderati FB page or our own pages, our own websites, guest posts on other blogs, etc. It’s not the end. It’s the beginning of The Next Phase: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6E8UIVcLPw
Thanks, Allison. Actually, I’m pretty easy to stump. Sadly. And I’m pretty sad at being easy. –Stumpy
Sarah: Gee, maybe I should have made a denial playlist! I’d kick it off with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drGEBY59iGo (Don't be a stranger!)
Marla: Thanks. I like being useful. (See Blood of Paradise, page 65). Thanks for being such a true believer all this time.
Stephen: You’re joking, right? Half this stuff is almost as old as I am. And I exhale dust.
Larry: That’s great news about working together. Meanwhile: Happy listening.
Shizuka: Wow, what am amazing track. Thanks for sharing it. What was the movie? And yes, we’ll see each other virtually for sure, and hopefully in person before too long. (Deb & I will no doubt discuss you in some detail when we get together at the DFW Writers Conference the first weekend in May. Pretty to feel your ears warming up.)
KD: Thanks so much. I know it was a challenge for you in any number of ways, no more so than always ending up in moderator limbo. Thanks for hanging in there with us. And with the mental calisthenics. I didn’t mean to be a taskmaster, honest. Meanwhile: You chose an excellent tune, regardless of rendition, and one very close to my heart. (Check out the dedication to Done for a Dime.)
The movie is "Ni Pour Ni Contre."
It didn't come together completely (maybe because I saw it in unsubtitled French
and missed a lot of the dialogue), but I liked the mood and some of the sub-themes
(i.e. the oppression of living in a high-rise, being an anonymous city dweller).
The soundtrack is beautiful.
Give my love to Deb!
Thank you for all the great blogs. And especially all the great music!! Thanks to you I have Steve Earles Copperhead Road video with me where ever I go. 🙂
It's all new to me, David, or at least most of it is. I'm amazed by how you manage to keep up with it all.
David, I have so much more listening to do now. I think I'll take a few weekend days to try to get to at least some of these.
And sorry not to have commented yesterday. I finally had a colonoscopy. Believe me, I'd rather listen to good music.
Thank you for everything you've done here, my friend.
Erin: Steve Earle's the gift that keeps on giving. Glad I played a part in your loving it so much.
Stephen: I probably waste more time listening to music than you do. That's how I "keep up." My form of writer's block.
Pari: Gee. I think that may be the best excuse for not commenting I've ever heard. You deserve a day or two of good music. (Especially check out the Kay Starr track. You can really hear the influence she had on Patsy Cline.)
It's been a pleasure, an honor, and a wonderful education being here. Thanks for including me.
Hi David. I'm catching up with the long goodbye….
It's hard to believe we're already up to people's last posts. April seems to have gone very quickly. It's been amazing (and at times intimidating!!!) reading your wonderful and thought-provoking posts. I'll miss them, but hope to catch up with you on Facebook (and one of these days in real life).
Thanks for the great juke box heroes, and perhaps you can post them on the Murderati Facebook page once a week or fortnight? Maybe even starting with these ones!