Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Golden Chick and the Briar Patch

It was a gorgeous afternooon for a bike ride, especially since I'd been cooped up in my office all day. One ritual that I have started looking forward to is riding past Golden Chick (it's on my route). The smell is intoxicating. Today I even circled around for a second ride through the invisible cloud of crispy, greasy, chicken goodness. Truth be told I don't even like skin on fried chicken, but I do love getting stoned on the smell.

As is my practice I watched out for anything unusual I could tell you about, but didn't see anything remarkable today besides the absolutely gorgeous sunny, blue sky. When I rounded a corner I thought I saw a guy peeing off the bridge but it was just a mom pressed against the railing, fiddling with her young kid (who was standing in front of her about zipper-high.) I did see the tree you see above, which reminded me of the fabled briar patch. I hate "Song of the South" because I think it's racist, but I can't help but love the story about the briar patch. I decided that this photo would be the show part of my show and tell today.

Here's my playlist.

Because I Told You So Jonatha Brooke

She’s Got A Way Billy Joel Not sure if it still is, but this used to be my ringer on Craig’s phone.

New York State of Mind Billy Joel Okay, this isn't the first time I’ve said this (and it will probably not be the last) but one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to in my life was Billy Joel’s 52nd Street tour in 1978. He played at the Erwin Center here in Austin and it was one of those shows where the sound engineer got things profoundly right. Listening to him play the piano was like having Bose headphones on. Anyway, I remember an elaborate backdrop of the New York skyline that lit up during the show, and it was pretty amazing (especially in 1978!) Hearing this song always takes me back to a fond memory of my teen years.

It occurred to me while I was riding today that probably one of the reasons I love Billy Joel is because he was classically influenced and trained but he had really distinct pop sensibilities. My mom was the same way. She grew up as a prodigious classical pianist and taught piano throughout most of my childhood. But she also became a mainstay in the Austin piano bar scene in the seventies and she absolutely loved musicians like James Taylor, Carole King, The Eagles, Linda Rondstadt and Leon Russell. Because of his jazzy, classical-tinged piano style, listening to Billy Joel play always reminds me of my mother.

Golden Lady Stevie Wonder

Your Head Holds Gold, Your Heart Holds Diamonds Bob Schneider

Losing Heart Brandi Carlile

Hollaback Girl Gwen Stefani There are a host of songs on my iPod that got there as a result of trying to build a playlist for our wedding in Long Beach. All six of our kids and a host of twenty-something nieces and nephews were there, and we wanted to get the dancing started. Craig thought he downloaded the clean version but… he didn’t. When the song came on and everyone was dancing, he kept trying to say, “Uh-huh, it’s my ship, it’s my ship.” Yeah, right.

I’d Be Lying Greg Laswell

Have You Ever Brandi Carlile

When You Walk On Eliza Gilkyson A great song about leaving this planet. My sister, brother and I are still trying to decide what to put on our mom’s headstone. We’ve tossed around several ideas but none have seemed right. Yesterday I walked around in the cemetery on Hancock Drive, thinking perhaps I would get some ideas on how people worded things about those they loved. It was a beautiful day and a really interesting experience. It warrants its own blog post, hopefully soon.

He Waits For Me Eliza Gilkyson

Spark Over The Rhine A great song about John Lennon

A Day In The Life The Beatles One of my favorites

The Long Way Around The Dixie Chicks This song always makes me think of my friend Jan. In 2007 we took a road trip from Los Angeles to Napa Valley and this tune frequently popped up on our playlist. I am going to try and find the DVD I made and do a blog post about it here. Anyway, Jan and I had both recently survived major tragedies and this was our exercise in "I'm gonna live, damn it!" We had a blast.

Frozen Man James Taylor This version is on Taylor’s live album, “One Man Band.” If you’re a James Taylor fan, you MUST get this disc. It’s a combination audio/video package, and is beautifully mixed and mastered. About 18 months or so before my mom died, Craig said, “Let’s invite your mom over, watch the concert on our big screen TV, and I’ll make dinner.” It was one of many get-togethers that I will always treasure because she sat here on the couch while we brought her food, poured her wine, and enjoyed the music with her. I am deeply grateful for a husband who would orchestrate such a wonderful night.

Let’s Get It On Marvin Gaye Oh, what can be said about Marvin that hasn’t already been said? A classic. I smiled as I listened to some of the cheesy lyrics (“If the spirit moves you, let me groove you good…”) Ahhh, the seventies.

Think About You Eliza Gilkyson Favorite lyric in this song: “I’m a sucker for a heart half-closed; a part withheld and a part exposed…”

Turpentine Brandi Carlile

Rockin’ Down The Highway Doobie Brothers