Tag 'n tell

You may be wondering who I tagged:

Everybody Loves Saturday Night,



and In the Quiet of My Heart.

I'm not sure that they all care to play such foolish games, but they always have something interesting to say regardless.

Ssssh! Let's listen now!



Joni Mitchell's late-70s period was never my favorite. The songs were too long, talky, and meandering for me, with hardly a discernible melody or hook. Hejira made my head hurt.

Now I understand -- it's the sound of art imitating life.

Joni's early records have a ferocious, Brandoesque quality to them that will never go out of style. What a searing sureness of emotion and appropriately stark, pared-down arrangements.

As Joni hits her 30s the timbre shifts, and she offers longer catalogs of images and impressions, doubts and recollections --

The drone of flying engines
Is a song so wild and blue
It scrambles time and seasons if it gets through to you
Then your life becomes a travelogue
Of picture-post-card-charms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

-- and appropriately wraps these lines in jazzier, more complex arrangements. Sure, she shifts toward stranger melodies; but at a certain age, life does take on a strange melody, doesn't it?

Dora says, have children!
Mama and Betsy say, find yourself a charity.
Help the needy and the crippled or put some time into ecology.
Well, there's a wide wide world of noble causes
And lovely landscapes to discover
But all I really want right now
Is to find another lover

I'm sure over the years people have explained all of this to me about Joni, but only today it arrived fully.

People will tell you where they've gone
They'll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself you never really know
Eeep! I've been tagged!

The scoop is, I post 6 odd things about myself, and then "tag" 6 others to do the same, sending them the link to this page.

Six odd things about me:

1. I floss after I brush, not before. (Then I rinse again.)

2. I almost always write songs with the radio on. Otherwise it feels too spooky.

3. I almost always leave a little food on the plate, as if to convince myself that I didn't really eat the whole thing.

4. When I was little I made up my own daytime talk show. It had a theme song. Perhaps this is the first song I ever wrote. In addition to reporting the news and weather, I enacted recurring dramatic segments such as Batgirl Story. I often interviewed my parents; they embodied a rotating cast of characters, such as a friendly neighborhood dragon, King Kong, Barbara Walters, and a daffy mermaid who sold used cars. I recorded all of this onto cassette tapes and still have them.

5. Last week I dreamed I was visted by a sweet, amazing dog. In my dream I knew that the dog was my grandmother. Now, a week later, I believe it really was my grandmother.