NPR's Song Of The Day: The Breeze/My Baby Cries

I am in love with NPR. For many reasons, but primarily because every morning in my email inbox is a link to NPR's Song Of The Day. Every weekday, NPR gives me the opportunity to discover music from artists both old and new. On 26 June 2009 I did just that.

The song is titled 'The Breeze/My Baby Cries', written and recorded in 1982 by singer-songwriter Kath Bloom, and it's a gift. Bill Callahan's cover made 'Song Of The Day', but Bloom's original track, featuring 'avant-garde blues guitarist'* Loren Connors, is available for listen, too. And this is the track that's been looping my iTunes for days now. I can't get enough because with every listen I hear something new. It leaves me feeling both fulfilled and unfulfilled at the same time. It's uneasy. There is depth and perfection in her lyrics and something about this song resonates with me.

"You can never be sure of the people you know,
When they don't want to show you their sadness.
Yesterday, I talked with my father.
He says that we can never win.
It's so hard for me to tell where I end,
And my father begins."

However, I am comfortably undecided about my feelings for Kath Bloom. Part of me wants to curl up in the fetal for her, and the other part would like to give her a standing ovation.

Listen here.

*So says Lars Gotrich, NPR.

Van Morrison

Van Morrison is notorious for walking off stage after performing just a few songs if he's not feeling the crowd. In the early 70's when my dad saw him at Winterland in San Francisco, he walked off after 5 songs.

This was not the case on May 2, 2009 when we saw Van Morrison at the Greek Theater in Berkley, CA. My dad prayed all morning and I managed my expectations. We both felt part of a privileged audience when he played a full two sets. After a one hour long set and a 14 minute intermission, he and his band performed Astral Weeks (released in November 1968 on Warner Bros. Records) start to finish, and then ended with Gloria, an old Them B-side (Baby, Please Don't Go recorded in 1964).

Overall, an 8 on the 1-10 scale: his strumming patterns are entirely unique, his voice is an instrument of its own (and he knows it), and, well, he's a genius, period, (which helps balance his funny look).

After such an incredible show in both quality and quantity, I feel a little ungrateful in wishing he would have played Into The Mystic. To quench my thirst, I YouTubed Into The Mystic and found this little gem, definitely worth sharing.

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
, Into the Mystic, November 23, 2007 at the Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, Canada

I wîsh

Found this somewhere. And I totally agree.


17 JAN 2009

Mike woke me on his way in. He had three orchids from the Farmers Market in hand. I dressed and we went to 'bagels'. An amazing day proceeded. From our morning adventures we brought home:

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
William Faulkner's Collected Stories
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolfe
Love Poems for the Very Married by Lois Wyse (x2)
Thoreau: On Man and Nature
Winter Has Lasted Too Long by James Kavahaugh

Stephen Stills, Stephen Stills
Joni Mitchell, Court and Spark
Joni Mitchell and The LA Express, Miles of Aisles
Neil Diamond, Hot August Nights

An old Adidas 'overnight bag'
Oak salt and pepper shaker set
Wine picnic bag
An application to show art work at The Great Bear
X-ray light box

We drove by Neal Cassady's old property in Monte Sereno, CA and we spent our afternoon reading in the mustard orchard in celebration of 'Jack Kerouac January'. After a stop in the Saratoga library, we came home and listened to our new Joni Mitchell record. I teared.

Florence and the Machine

Florence and the Machine from Ray-Ban Rooms on Vimeo.


One of my favorite Christmas presents this year was, ironically, a book I both gave and received from my parents, two of the wisest people I know.

"Inspired by the idea that one of the greatest gifts one generation can pass to another is the wisdom it has gained from experience, the Wisdom project, produced with cooperation from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, seeks to create a record of a multicultural group of people who have all made their mark on the world. Presented against the same white space, all of the subjects are removed from their context which not only democratizes them, but also allows for a clear dialogue to exist between them. In an attempt to create a more profound, honest, and truly revealing portrait of these luminaries, the project encompasses their voices, their physical presence, and the written word. This comprehensive portrayal of such a profound and global group is an index of extraordinary perspectives. Wisdom is an ongoing project. Additions to the list of contributors continues."

> Website


NPR Listeners Pick The Year’s Best Music

01. Fleet Foxes
Album: Fleet Foxes [Bonus Tracks]

02. Vampire Weekend
Album: Vampire Weekend

03. Bon Iver
Album: For Emma, Forever Ago

04. TV on the Radio
Album: Dear Science

05. Death Cab for Cutie
Album: Narrow Stairs

06. MGMT
Album: Oracular Spectacular [Bonus Features]

07. Flight of the Conchords
Album: Flight of the Conchords

08. My Morning Jacket
Album: Evil Urges

09. Coldplay
Album: Viva la Vida

10. Sigur Rós
Album: Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust

11. She & Him
Album: Volume One

12. Okkervil River
Album: The Stand Ins

13. Beck
Album: Modern Guilt

14. Kimya Dawson and Antsy Pants
Album: Juno (Soundtrack)

15. The Raconteurs
Album: Consolers of the Lonely

16. Girl Talk
Album: Feed the Animals

17. The Black Keys
Album: Attack & Release

18. Kings of Leon
Album: Only by the Night

19. Conor Oberst
Album: Conor Oberst

20. Jenny Lewis
Album: Acid Tongue

21. The Hold Steady
Album: Stay Positive

22. Bob Dylan
Album: Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs - Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006

23. Blitzen Trapper
Album: Furr

24. Portishead
Album: Third

25. Brian Eno / David Byrne
Album: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today