Bulletin Board, excerpt

Listen while you 'work'!

From (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Bulletin Board, June 10 and 16, 2004

Back to: Grab Bag

. . . . .

People: Too much time at the keyboard? Listen while you 'work'!

Writes Poet X of PDX: "To entertain myself through everlasting overtime, I spent much of the last couple months having 'theme nights' with the CDs I bring along to work and listen to as we peck away like woodpeckers at our keyboards.

"There was the night I listened only to artists I had seen perform live (a mixed bag: Damien Rice, Nickel Creek, Patty Griffin, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Queen, The Eagles, Firefall, Mary Wells, Elton John). I should do a night like that again.

"Singer/Movie 'Star' Night had me listening to Bobby Darin, Cher, Bette Midler, Eartha Kitt, David Bowie, and Frank Sinatra.

"I'm thinking I should do Tragic (or Early) Demise Night: Patsy Cline, Ritchie Valens, Bobby Darin (again), Billy Stewart, Janis Joplin, The Carpenters (I could add Nirvana to my collection just for the occasion).

"For two weeks I listened to music decade by decade, first going back in time to the '50s and then coming back to the present, never listening to the same CD twice. I followed those weeks by listening to the leftovers the third week. (Recent additions to the collection: Kay Starr and Vera Lynn; I'll be doing the '40s before you know it.)

"One week I started the week with groups I have five CDs of: Pink Floyd, Gary Moore. Tuesday: artists I have four CDs of. Et cetera.

"I used to know which CDs had the same song done by two different artists, but a few months ago my CD collection outgrew that area of my memory bank. Obsessive as I am, I put together a card system to keep track of them. With my cards, I invented my own version of 'However Many Degrees of Kevin Bacon.' The aim is to link as many CDs as possible with songs done by different artists. My current longest chain is 15 CDs.
"Here's a shorter example:

"On Johnny Cash's last CD before his death, he performed 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' (with Fiona Apple, who sounds like she just learned the words the day before).

"On another CD, I have Aretha Franklin performing the same song. On that CD, I also have her performance of 'The Weight.'

"On Joan Osborne's CD 'How Sweet It Is,' she performs 'The Weight' and 'How Sweet It Is.'
"I have a compilation CD with Marvin Gaye doing 'How Sweet It Is.'

"That's a chain of four.

"A co-worker says I have too much time on my hands."

And, from June 15, 2004, GAMES PEOPLE PLAY (II): Friday e-mail from, once again, "the musically bent (a great song by Matchbox Twenty)" Poet X of PDX: "On this day of mourning (Brother Ray, I mean*), I've assembled the CDs for tonight's 'Tragic (or Early) Demise' theme: Billie Holiday, Karen Carpenter, Ritchie Valens, Patsy Cline, Marvin Gaye, Bobby Darin, Bob Marley, Freddie Mercury (his solo album, and the Olympics tribute he did with opera star Montserrat Caballe: 'Barcelona,' an interesting and obscure treat), Sam Cooke, Janis Joplin and Billy Stewart. "(Honorary Mention: I don't have a CD on which only Otis Redding sings, but I have three different CDs which include his recording of '(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay' and another CD with the song being performed by The Drifters.) "A theme night I forgot to mention amid all those others: When Loretta Lynn released her latest CD, 'Van Leer Rose,' I added it to my collection, partly because there's a song on it entitled 'Portland, Oregon.' ('Portland, Oregon, and sloe gin fizz, /If that ain't lovin', nothing is.') I then realized I had enough CDs which qualify as country-western music to fill an evening: Johnny Cash (three CDs), Willie Nelson (2), Patsy Cline (3), Roger Miller (1), Nickel Creek (2) and Brad Paisley (1). There must be ice fishing on the Styx." *the "Friday" of the e-mail was the day after Ray Charles died and the National Day of Mourning and funeral of Ronald Reagan Band Name of the Day (6/15/04): Ice Fishing on the Styx

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