Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday Random Ten

"Not Modern at All" Edition

1. "Secondary Modern," Elvis Costello
2. "Out of Nowhere," Charlie Parker
3. "Hesitating Beauty," Billy Bragg & Wilco
4. "I Walk the Line," Johnny Cash
5. "What a Crying Shame," The Mavericks
6. "Eat at Joe's," Matraca Berg
7. "I Wish You Knew," Jim & Jesse & The Virginia Boys
8. "Bye Bye Love," Wylie and the Wild West
9. Philip Glass, "String Quartet No. 5: III" Kronos Quartet
10. "Smokestack Lightning," Howlin' Wolf

Once we get past Elvis, the balance of the list hearkens back a half-century or more. Whether genuinely old recordings like Parker, Cash and Howlin' Wolf; covers like Billy Bragg's rescue of lost Woody Guthrie lyrics or Wylie's traditional country take on an Everly Brothers chestnut; or ccontemporary takes on old-school songwriting like the Mavericks country weeper or Matraca Berg's stroll down Tin Pan Alley, most of the list world be perfectly comfortable in a 1957 jukebox.

The one notable exception is the Philip Glass piece commissioned in the late 80's.

Friends who read this blog may have heard me carry on about the sad state of popular music today. Do I listen to new music? Sure. Check out this string concerto.