Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flotsam and Jetsam

It's ridiculous (or perhaps fortunate) how little time I have had to blog lately. The Dutch tour wrapup post is on its way, but in the meantime, some disconnected (and probably idiotic) ramblings:

1. Last Sunday night at about 10 PM I found myself in that subset of the country (the world?) commonly referred to as "those who are disappointed in the ending of the Sopranos." (By the way, skip the next three paragraphs if you haven't seen the final episode yet.) This is primarily because lowly I -- not a "TV expert" like some of the folks who were trotted out in the media in the days before and after the end of the series, but a TV-ambivalent shmuck -- was able to predict more or less how things were going to turn out. (Me to Daphne, maybe three weeks ago: "I bet they'll leave the whole thing up in the air, sans closure.") Okay, Mr. Chase, I get it. Neat endings are not like life. The journey (so to speak) is more important than the destination. Look for the clues and decide for yourself what happened. Whatever. Maybe I'm just cranky because I'm struggling to reconcile the vast quantity of musical work I have to catch up on with the number of hours (days?) of my life I have spent watching your epic TV drama.

The fact that I can't imagine an ending that would have worked better for me suggests that on some level I just don't care anymore. Which is strange. I guess for whatever reason my Sopranos admiration has dwindled over the last few seasons (despite a riveting episode here and there). But I had to watch the whole thing, didn't I? (Maybe that's America's great contribution to world culture: addiction.)

Despite my disappointment, I remain a big fan of the show's use of music. Though frustratingly uncredited every week, and amazingly sparse (usually saved until the last few seconds of each episode), the musical selections (as far as I know there was little or no original music used in the series) have always been spot-on. And Sunday's reclamation of Journey (for an absurd moment of comedy and impending-death tension) was particularly tasty -- very much in the recent tradition of providing popular tunes with entirely new contexts (the use of "Sister Christian" in Boogie Nights is another favorite example of mine).

2. Sometime last week I found myself in that subset of the blogosphere commonly referred to as "those who are astonished at (and humbled by) DJA's blogging stamina." 24+ hours of realtime written commentary on a seminal NY concert event? Most of it insightful, engaging, and well-written? Plus way cool pictures? Are you fucking kidding me?! I'm in awe. The only thing that would have been more impressive would be if he had been actually running a marathon while blogging about the marathon.

3. Also sometime last week, two of my closest friends in the world went up even higher in my estimation (as if that's possible!) when they told me that they had given their newborn son what I think may be one of the coolest middle names ever: "Hippopotamus." I'm not sure if I'm at liberty to divulge who these folks are, so I won't. Suffice it to say that if Daphne and I ever have a boy (another child is very doubtful at this point, but you never know), I will strongly lobby to name that individual "Zeke." That's because for a long time I thought "Zeke" was probably the most badass name you could ever give a baby boy ("Dweezil" doesn't count, because the "Zappa Family Trust" probably has a copyright on it or something). Alas, now I know I was wrong.

4. Sometime last month, I started listening (and re-listening) to a lot of Carla Bley. Holy shit, I can't seem to stop. Have you seen her website, by the way?


Jeff said...

No time to truly comment, but a quick aside to say that HBO actually does an AWESOME job of detailing Sopranos music at their website. Every episode is broken down on their site.

For instance, he's for the opening of this season:

Phil is welcomed back from Florida in his social club.
Artist: The Crests

Tony and Carmela drive to the lake.
Song: FUNK 49
Artist: James Gang

Janice sings karaoke.
Artist: The Rolling Stones

Carmella sings karaoke.
Artist: Nazareth

Tony, Carmela, Janice, and Bobby go over rules of the board game.
Artist: Rocky Fellers

Games and more drinks.
Artist: Dave Brubeck

Bobby tunes the radio, and Bobby returns to his family at the lake house.
Artist: Ben E. King

Tony and Bobby meet with Canadians.
Artist: Lonnie Brooks

So, real specific...

(I liked the episode's end, tho Mindy thought the cable went out.)

And apparently, Phil's gas station is at the corner of 202 and 10 in Parsippany across from the Wendy's, one block down from Cuyler... small world. :-)

Andrew said...

Wow, that's very cool. Thanks for the tip.

(I imagine the DVDs have this info too?)

I wonder if they'll ever put out a comp of the closing credits tunes (i.e., the ones they play all the way to the end, not the foley-snippet music).

I'll bet they already have, but as you can tell, I'm too fucking lazy to look it up on the web...

Jeff said...

They put out two "soundtrack" albums, which covered the first 2.5 seasons, I think...

WTF, I'm at a client's waiting for an appointment to show up, so lemme check:

1. Woke Up This Morning (Chosen One Mix) - A3

2. It's Bad You Know - R.L. Burnside

3. It Was A Very Good Year - Frank Sinatra

4. Gotta Serve Somebody - Bob Dylan

5. Inside Of Me - Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul

6. I Feel Free - Cream

7. Mystic Eyes - Them

8. State Trooper - Bruce Springsteen

9. I'm A Man - Bo Diddley

10. Complicated Shadows - Elvis Costello & The Attractions

11. Beast In Me - Nick Lowe

12. Viking - Los Lobos

13. Blood Is Thicker Than Water - Wyclef Jean

14. I've Tried Everything - Euythimics

And on the second released (Peppers and Eggs):

Disc: 1
1. Every Breath You Take/Theme From Peter Gunn - Henry Mancini & The Police

2. Battle Flag - Pigeonhed

3. I've Got A Feeling - The Campbell Brothers With Katie Jackson

4. The Captain - Kasey Chambers

5. Shuck Dub - R.L. Burnside

6. Affection - The Lost Boys

7. My Lover's Prayer - Otis Redding

8. Certamente - Madreblu

9. Black Books - Nils Lofgren

10. Frank Sinatra - Cake

11. Baubles, Bangles and Beads - Frank Sinatra

12. Thru And Thru - The Rolling Stones

Disc: 2

1. High Fidelity - Elvis Costello & The Attractions

2. Living On A Thin Line - The Kinks

3. Girl - Vue

4. Vivaldi: Sposa Son Disprezzata - Cecilia Bartoli

5. I Who Have Nothing - Ben E. King

6. Return To Me - Bob Dylan

7. Make No Mistake - Keith Richards

8. Piove - Jovanotti

9. Space Invader - The Pretenders

10. Tiny Tears - Tindersticks

11. Gloria - Van Morrison

12. Core N' Grata - Dominic Chianese

13. Bonus Track - Dialogue From "The Sopranos"

... and there's another "unauthorized" album called "Fuhgeddaboudit! Music You Heard on the Sopranos"

Disc: 1
1. Woke Up This Morning (Theme Song)
2. Who's Sorry Now? - Connie Francis
3. Little Star - The Elegants
4. Prisoner of Love - Perry Como
5. Don't Bring Me Down - Eric Burdon
6. White Rabbit [Live] - Jefferson Airplane
7. Dreamer's Holiday - Ray Anthony
8. Smoke on the Water - BB Band
9. Non Ti Scordar Di Me
10. Goodnight, My Love - Ella Fitzgerald
11. I'll Never Fall in Love Again - Dionne Warwick
12. Core 'Ngrato - Beniamino Gigli
13. Baker Street - BB Band
14. Con Te Partiro
15. Hotel California - BB Band
Disc: 2
1. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles - Mary Ford, Les Paul
2. If I Loved You - Jan Clayton, John Raitt
3. Happy Organ - Dave "Baby" Cortez
4. Good, The Bad and the Ugly - Soho Strings
5. Speedo - The Cadillacs
6. Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio) - Slovak Chamber Orchestra,
7. White Cliffs of Dover - The Blue Jays
8. Powder Your Face With Sunshine (Smile, Smile, Smile) - Dean Martin
9. (Ghost) Riders in the Sky - Rick Gale
10. Sixteen Candles - The Crests
11. I (Who Have Nothing) - Ben E. King
12. Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
13. Take Me to the River - Tom Jones, Tom Jones
14. Gloria - BB Band
15. Call Me Irresponsible - Frank Sinatra
16. Parlez-Moi d'Amour - Lucienne Boyer
Disc: 3
1. World Destruction - Afrika Bambaataa, John Lydon, Time Zone
2. Jin-Go-Lo-Ba - Santana
3. Adagio in G Minor for Organ and Strings (Excerpt) - Georgi Robev,
4. Sally Go 'Round the Roses - Jaynettes
5. I Only Have Eyes for You - The Flamingos
6. Nancy (With the Laughing Face) - Frank Sinatra
7. Green Onions - BB Band
8. Oh Girl - The Chi-Lites
9. Regimental Company March - The Gordon Highlanders
10. Man With the Harmonica - Hollywood Studio Orchestra
11. Surfin' USA - BB Band
12. Oh, What a Night - The Dells
13. Dean's Vegas Medley: Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes/I Don't Care ... - Dean Martin
14. Woke Up This Morning (Theme Song)

So there. :)

I don't think I'll go thru the 88 episode guides to pull out which are closing credit music. :-)

Andrew said...

Ha! You're too much. Thanks for the info.

That Cake song, "Frank Sinatra," which I first heard via the Sopranos, is killer. One of my favorite tunes, in fact. I used to wonder if my enjoyment of it came from its association with the series, but nope -- it's just fucking great.