Category Archives: Music

Saturday Driving Music

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of driving, alone, for a total of three hours. Peter loaded up my iPod for my drive, and I couldn’t have been happier with his choices. There’s other music that I like, but this list seems to be a pretty good distillation of many of my favorites (with Seal thrown in as a pleasant surprise!)

Here’s the playlist, with links in case you want to pretend you’re me rocking out!

The Essential Billy Joel, vols 1&2
Fascinating Creatures, Frances England
Flood, They Might Be Giants
Graceland, Paul Simon
The Immaculate Collection, Madonna
Les Miserables, Original London Cast
Made in England, Elton John
Mortal City, Dar Williams
Newsies, soundtrack
O Sister! The Women’s Bluegrass Collection
Rotary Ahead, Mike DiBari Trio
Seal, Seal
Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits
Somewhere Near Paterson, Richard Shindell
Spy Game, soundtrack
Willie Bobo’s Finest Hour, Willie Bobo

Voyage of the Downeaster Alexa

fff|Voyage of the Downeaster Alexa
Voyage of the Downeaster Alexa,
originally uploaded by PeterWood.|fff

I’ve just fused together two memes that have been popular recently: ***memorymaps|*** and ***lyrical outlines|***. The result is a lyricmap. I’ve taken some lyrics from the Billy Joel song “The Downeaster ‘Alexa'” and annotated them on a ***Google Maps|*** image. If you click through to the photo on the right, you will be able to hover over various places and read the corresponding lyrics.

You may see more of these in the future… I had fun with it. 🙂

About Jonas

Inspired by ***Will|*** and the general meme that’s ***been going around|***, I’ve taken a song and rendered it into outline form. Source lyrics: ***|***.

  • About Jonas:
    • carrying the wheel
    • thankful for all you’ve shown us
  • Jonas’ requests:
    • sit next to me
    • pour yourself some tea
  • Jonas’ grandmother:
    • at one point made tea just like the tea Jonas is offering
    • made tea for when Jonas couldn’t find sleep
    • lived during a better time
    • was located in a den
  • The den:
    • Has been vacated
    • Story of vacating the den to be told
  • Choo-choo train:
    • Departure: on time
    • Cost of ticket: your mind
    • Length of trip, according to driver: all the way
    • Willing to pay said cost: yes
  • About Weepel:
    • has box full of your toys
    • toys are out of batteries
    • toys are able to make noise without batteries
  • Tell me what to do:
    • Now the tank is dry.
    • Now this wheel is flat.
    • And you know what else?
  • Mail received today:
    • Words of deep concern
    • From my little brother.
  • News from little brother:
    • The building’s not goin’ as he planned.
    • The foreman has injured his hand.
    • The dozer will not clear a path.
    • The driver swears he learned his math.
    • The workers are goin’ home.
  • Other notes:
    • Yeah, yeah, yeah!

New Sounds

We really enjoyed the soundtracks from two movies we’ve recently seen: ***The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou|***, and ***In Good Company|***. So we purchased the complete soundtracks on the ***iTunes Music Store|***, for $9.99 each.

Goodcompany Lifeaquatic

Both have some really great, listenable music. Life Aquatic has some nutty Casio-tone keyboard songs, as well as some contemporary hits rewritten into Portuguese as performed in the film by Seu Jorge, one of the ship’s crew members. Good Company has a good selection of very mellow music by artists such as Iron and Wine and David Byrne, and some nice original compositions from the score by Stephen Trask. Both are highly recommended for your listening enjoyment.

Marky Mark and the Turtle Bunch

I was home in Townsend over night Sunday/Monday. While I was there Dad decided to move their dvd/vcr/cd/tape deck/am-fm from their long time home into the closet in the den. During the transfer some of my old cassette tapes were unearthed. Peter was treated to a little look into my 6th and 7th grade taste in music. Believe me, I was just as appalled!

Tape one: A Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch single dated 1991. I don’t think I really liked the ‘B’ side song : “On the House Tip”, but I remember playing and replaying the ‘A’ side: ***Wild Side|***, a remix/make of an old Lou Reed song.

I’m not sure why I liked it so much, It just makes me laugh today. If you take a minute to read the lyrics in the link above, you’ll notice the long verse about Charles and Carol. It just so happens that that story took place here in Boson in 1990. I found ***this interesting article|*** that gives some background of the story. Maybe the fact that it was a local story made me more interested in the song. NOTE: the fact that the article has lyrics playing off the “Charlie on the MTA” is just a dumb coincidence to Peter’s previous posts.

Tape Two: ***Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:The Original Movie Soundtrack|*** vintage 1990. The tape features songs by such fantastic artists like, M.C. Hammer, Spunkadelic, and Partners in Kryme in addition to some great “talking song” bits by Splinter.

I am not too proud to admit that I saw all three TMNT movies in the theater and could also be found with Corey and Meghan on the back patio lip-syncing and dancing to the songs on this very tape. I was a huge TMNT fan, but I’m just starting to wonder about a few things. Well, one at the moment… Splinter was a pet rat from Japan, he winds up in New York, finds some radioactive sludge and four baby turtles. Splinter notices that the turtles and he start to grow abnormally; but he also senses his intellegence growing. WHY didn’t the intellect of the turtles grow as well? ALSO, if Splinter is such a big-shot Japanese rat, why did he name the turtles after Italian Renaissance artists instead of historic Japanese figures? I don’t get it.

Musical Degrees of Separation

On the drive to work this morning, I let the iPod choose the music. Here are the songs that it picked on my ride in, in the order they were played:

qqq|”Three Doors” by VAST from Visual Audio Sensory Theater
“20th Century Fox Fanfare” from Star Wars: A New Hope
“Little Drummer Boy” from the 2003 Christmas commemorative CD
“Hey Now Everybody” by They Might Be Giants from Apollo 18
“Elysium” from the Gladiator motion picture soundtrack
“Santa Evita” from the Evita motion picture soundtrack
“Bad” by U2 from The Best of 1980-1990|qqq

I thought that a fun game to play might be to attempt to connect each randomly-selected song together in some way, sort of like playing the Kevin Bacon game, but not really. So, any takers? Can you connect all of the above songs together in some way? For example, did any of the composers or musicians collaborate on any projects, or appear in television or movies together? Or did any of the composers make reference to any of the other music, movies, etc? I haven’t tried figuring it out myself yet, but I’ll keep you posted if I get anywhere.

I did “Shuffle Songs” again on the way home. Here’s what I got this time:

qqq|”High Speed” by Coldplay from Parachutes
“Airbag” by Radiohead from OK Computer
“Subway Fight” by James Newton Howard from The Fugitive motion picture soundtrack
“Darkwood V: Passage” by David Darling from Darkwood
“When You’re Gone” by The Cranberries from To The Faithful Departed|qqq

Still haven’t made any connections, but then I haven’t put much thought into it…


I walked outside today and discovered a lovely winterwonderland in the parking lot. It made me very happy. And got me thinking more about Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas…Those of you in the Boston area may have noticed that a certain radio station (Oldies 103.3) is playing nothing but Christmas music until the 25th of December. yikes! and they started this the Monday before Thanksgiving. It may be just me, but I think that that is just a little bit extreem. What if I wanted to hear oldies music? The only distributor of Oldies music in Boston is now ONLY playing Christmas tunes. Too much, says I.

Please don’t think that I do not enjoy Christmas music. I have been know to play Christmas cd’s in the middle of the summer…or to force friends and family to watch White Christmas long before snow falls. It is just that I think a solid month of it may be just a little off the deep end.

And if you need more proof that I like Christmas music I will supply you with a link to hear a very lovely one. It is a Christmas gift to all from fellow Gordon Alumnus Jake Armerding. ***Here’s|*** a link to his version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”. Enjoy with a hot mug of cocoa!

Tangle with the Woods

Saturday afternoon, Becky and I packed up the car and headed out to Tanglewood in the Berkshires to see Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion.

The weather was perfect – warm air, clear skies. We had a nice picnic basket all packed up with snacks, and added a couple of sandwiches and cookies from a Subway when we arrived in Lenox.

The entertainment was great, as any fan of PHC would expect. The atmosphere at Tanglewood, particularly in the lawn area where we were sitting, is incredibly friendly, laid back, and relaxing. It was wonderful to simply walk among the crowds, even while the performance was going on. The music and comedy routines could be heard easily from just about anywhere you walked – I even took a walk far back to take in this magnificent view, and I could still hear just as well as I could back at our seat. Families and friends were enjoying meals together on the lawn. Some had set up simple blankets, like Becky and I did, and had brought dinners with them. Others had elaborate setups on the lawn, complete with tables, mounds of grilled meats, and rings of candles set up around their spots.

With the food, the atmosphere, the company, and the entertainment, it was an amazing day over all, and we are certainly looking forward to visiting Tanglewood again. 🙂

I did take some photos, as mentioned above, and you may see them in the Tanglewood gallery.

In other news, on Friday, Becky finished reading the fifth Harry Potter book, Order of the Phoenix, and handed it over to me. I’m happy to say that as of tonight, I have also finished reading it. As before, it was an immensely entertaining piece of fiction, and I only wish that the final two books were already available for us to devour. 🙂

Finally, there are only a few more days left until Becky and I head out to Portland for the O’Reilly Open Source Conference. We’re both very excited for the trip! But before that, there are still a few days of work to get through…


Saturday’s TMBG concert was great! It marked my fifth time seeing TMBG live in concert:

1. Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH
2. Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
3. Avalon, Boston, MA
4. Avalon, Boston, MA
5. Avalon, Boston, MA 🙂

Suffice to say, seeing TMBG in concert is one of the few occasions I will frequent a smoky, crowded venue such as the Avalon. Their show was great, as always. They really know how to entertain a crowd! One of the best parts of the show was the ‘Radio Play-Along’… they hook up a KLH radio to the PA system, and then randomly tune to various stations. Then they try to play along with whatever is on the radio. Hilarious! As they said in the lead-in to RPA, “This is the part of the show that consistently disappoints! This is the part of the show that can tank at any time!”

TMBG managed to pack in a really full set of music into the hour and 15 minutes they were on stage. This time, I managed to bring along a notepad and jot down their set list. Unfortunately, there were a few songs I didn’t recognize (!!), but here it is:

1. Wicked Little Critta
2. James K. Polk
3. (???)
4. Black Magic Marker
5. Super Tasters
6. “No!”
7. Shout and Stomp (not a song per se…)
8. Birdhouse in your soul
9. The Guitar
10. Man it’s so loud in here
11. Don’t Cross The Street
12. Au Contraire
13. Rocket to the Moon
14. Radio Play-along (they tune in to random Boston radio stations and play along with whatever is on the radio)
15. Older
16. Another First Kiss
17. The Statue Got Me High
18. Doctor Worm
19. Drink!
20. Violin
21. Fingertips
22. Cyclops Rock
23. The Sun (is a mass of incandescent gas…) (The sun gets its power from the reactions of Route 95, Route 91, Route 84, and the Mass Pike…)

Encore I:
1. Christmas Tree (?)
2. Ana Ng
3. New York City

Encore II:
1. Robot Parade
2. Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

James Taylor and… who?

Many news and entertainment sites mentioned that James Taylor gave a live performance during the 45th annual Grammy Awards last night. But no one so far has mentioned who he was playing WITH… hmm… how about the 13-time Grammy winning Yo-Yo Ma? Huh? Did ya forget about him? Geez, just because he doesn’t sing? So James Taylor is a living legend… but let’s give a little credit to the guy who backed him up, eh?