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What I Am Listening To Right This Minute

the late great Gene McDaniels

the late great Gene McDaniels

Back in 2009, rock nyc was more of a blog than a website and Helen Bach, Mike Nessing and I were posting all day wrong, 20, 30 posts a day, just pouring it on. We did things like what is on Jesus Ipod, imaginary concerts, and something like this, “what I am Listening To Right This Minute” posted in real time as we listened. That morphed over time to my daily 10 songs post. But 10 Songs isn’t favorite songs, I might be listening to something because I’m reviewing it, not because I like it.

So, here, for old times sake, is what I am listening to well, around twelve hours ago…

1. Point Of No Return – Gene McDaniels – I learnt this Goffin-King classic from Elvis Costello’s classic cover on the Spike Extended version and I preferred the Elvis version for the longest time just because Elvis was almost jumping out of his skin with excitement, Gene is more professional but he sings it better, listen to the way he gets the multi beat “and” down and the horns are superb. Thanks to Fred and Ethel  for the picture.

2. Rollercoaster – Bleachers – This is up there with Old 97’s and Sam Smith in the song of the year battle. Not just the melody, which sinks its teeth into you, but also the pacing, when Jack Antonoff slows it all the way before it lifts back up, just before the last chorus “why don’t you come a little closer, I’ve something I should tell you you’re such a roller coaster…” it is such a simmering desire that when it explodes on the next word you wanna jump for joy.

3. Leave Your Lover – Sam Smith – A vocal triumph on a song so sad and lovely and stunted in a desire hard to do much with: unrequited love is one of rock’s greatest subject matters and this song could have been covered by Amy Winehouse, Frank Sinatra… it sounds like a Great American Songbook Wee Small Hours song but better.

4. Zigzagging Towards The Light – Conor Oberst – Conor’s problem is he is a 30 something married man still acting like a disaffected younth in his teens, same aloneness, same moodiness, same cry out from the heart. He is misunderstood. It doesn’t work unless the song has a magicness and this death song has a magicness.

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