Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Up to Dad's and My Peace Record

I was up to my Dad’s for a couple days this week which was overall a
pain but I got to listen to my Peace Record mix going up and coming

Visiting was mainly a pain because I didn’t do anything while up
there. Normally I fix something electronic of his but this time I
worked on his 25 year old VCR and adjusted it to pick up the satellite
signal but while working on it something happened and it would not
play back tapes. On the TV nothing but static but the sound came
through. So overall his VCR ended up being worse than before.
Considering the very simple arrangements or adjustments you can do for
tape playback I think the heads fell out of alignment or something. I
will have to check the VCRs here and see if there is another one I can
bring him.

That was disturbing because I didn't do anything else while up there
except cook some steaks I brought while I got my car washed and we
went to eat twice and Jean made dinner once as well as most of the
meal I grilled my Omaha steaks. (I don't buy Omaha steaks - my sister
had given them to me.)

Back to the Peace Record - a very eclectic mix that I am really not
sure anyone but me would like. My ex-wife Pat intensely dislikes a
number of songs although my brother says he and his wife Amy like it.
Mixed reactions from other people. In the latest version I believe the
volume equalizer didn’t work and I know the
add-several-seconds-between-songs plug-in didn’t so I am going to
try again.

The following lists the songs and tells a little about them.

1. Ani Di Franco - Self Evident (9:10) I put this first because it is
poetry and very long and people who are not in the mood can skip it.
I really like it but would have cut a few minutes near the end -
probably when she goes off on trains. These first six songs are the
anti-war, anti-Bush section of the tape and many came from Salon.com.

2. John Mellencamp - To Washington (2:42) Different than first song, I
think more of a traditional protest song.

3. Chumbawamba - Jacob’s Ladder (Not In My Name) (2:52) I like but a
bit over produced.

4. Billy Bragg - Price of Oil (4:54) I never heard of Billy Bragg but
I like the lyrics.

5. Paula Cole - My Hero, Mr. President! (3:51) The best of the protest
songs, I think it would be a pop song playing on the radio if American
radio wasn’t now owned by large corporations. In the sixties and
seventies students listened to independent radio stations and many
anti-war, anti-government songs were big hits. Now she was afraid to
release this and just put it on her website where I found it. Some
very interesting lyrics if you listen.

6. Stephan Smith, Pete Seeger, Mary Harris, Dean Ween - The Bell
(3:27) My least favorite of this group - I debated putting it on but
hey, this was designed as a peace record and I had already left off
the Beastie Boys and a rap song I didn’t like. Very traditional
protest style song - simple point, counterpoint.

7. Enrique Iglesias - Hero (4:19) Now out of the protest songs. I
really like this by Julio’s son. He both wrote and recorded it and to
me thematically it seems related, as anti-war protesters can be heroes.
Technically this is not as good a recording as it was a lower bit rate
download I had to convert up.

8. Raimundo Sodr M’ban Samba (Brazil) (2:21) I like this - it is
African and not Portuguese I copied from a library CD called Songs
from the Coffee Lands. I have no idea what the lyrics mean. I like
some world music; I listen to KPFT a lot.

9. Tori Amos - Daniel 032203 (4:56) This is a pirate fan recording
from an Athens or Rome concert. This is a very different version of one
of my old favorite songs. Still somewhat related to anti-war songs as it is
about a blind Vietnam veteran going off to Spain. Has an odd
recorded-at-a-live concert sound.

10. Luka Bloom - Love is a Place I Dream Of (3:25) I really like this
which was a separate Salon.com download. Still somewhat on theme
— at least to me.

11. Soltero - Communist Love Song (3:24) Interesting lyrics, won’t
make American top-40 playlists. I like folk songs and usually pay
most attention to lyrics. I was told this was the worst song on the
CD because he is not a good singer and the subject matter. Again, I
like the Kerrville Folk Music festival which is just people singing on
simple stages or around a campfire so I didn’t mind the singer and
liked the ironic lefty lyrics. I might be influenced by first hearing
it as a download into Real player and watching Annabelle the Sheep
wearing dark glasses and rocking out to it.

12. Shana Morrison - I Spy (3:46) Very different than other songs on
CD, more modern Motownlike pop.

13. Linda Thompson - All I See (4:38) If I redid this CD I might
replace this - I sometimes skip this in my car because it seems to

14. Blind Faith - Can’t Find My Way Home (3:16) I was looking for
Alison Krauss’s version of this song from the new Crossing Jordan
soundtrack but found this instead which is OK but is also a slower
tempo than most on the CD. I am not a member of any of the file
search groups like Kazaa so it is harder for me to find mp3s.

15. Enya - Pilgrim (3:12) I had a hard time making the CD because I
wanted the anti-war mp3 downloads but all my CDs I placed on my
computer are WMA format instead and you can’t mix them when you
create a CD. I finally downloaded a format converter with a free 2-week
trial and converted some of the CDs I had already transferred to my
computer to mp3s. This is the song I most wanted as I like it and it
fits thematically.

16. Civ3 - Late Peace Civilization (1:01) A nice music theme from my
favorite game which fits. It is so different - oriental - that it
also a marker for the change in theme of the CD if you didn’t want to
go on with the hard rock sound of the last four.

17. Zevon - Basketcase (3:38) Last four songs are hard rock and funny.
Basketcase is only available online. Zevon made it as a favor for a
friend who wanted an example of a rock song for a murder mystery he
wrote. They decided it was good enough it might be on his next record.
On all of these last four you either think it is funny or you don’t
and you either like the music or you don’t.

18. Corky and the Juice Pigs - I’m the Only Gay Eskimo (2:25).
Someone else recorded from television and it ends abruptly, I would like
another version of this.

19. Tenacious D - Tribute (4:08) Silly song about poor college
musicians who are asked to play the best song in the world by the

20. Tenacious D - Screw Her Gently (2:16) Alternate title. There is
a good flash animated video on the net. Advice to a guy on how to
treat a lover.

With my making CDs I can give them to people and they can keep the
CD or transfer any songs they like to their computer to later create their
own CD.

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