Saturday, October 20, 2007

One of the more enjoyable things I've been doing over the past couple years has been the Listening Club parties a handful of friends and I put on. Basically, we stole the idea from Rick Moody, based on his descriptions of it in pieces for The Believer and Black Clock. The rules are simple: get a bunch of people over, pick a theme, each person chooses two songs based on that theme, play a round of songs, eat dinner, then another round. We started doing this at the beginning of 2006; Eric Weisbard and Ann Powers hosted. Then I moved to New York and they to Los Angeles, but the Seattle baton was picked up by Jen Matson and Kate Silver, with Jen doing the hosting. Now I'm back in Seattle, Kate's moved to Brooklyn, and I help organize it with Jen. It's fun--much more of a social gathering than it had been. Below are the playlists for each, along with their themes.

FUNNY/SAD (one of each; we played them alternately, starting with funny)
Set One:
Charlie Aldrich, "Kinsey's Book" (me)
George Jones, "Just One More" (Rickey)
The Kingston Trio, "MTA" (Jill)
Hoodoo Gurus, "Bittersweet" (Donna)
The Cars, "My Best Friend's Girl" (Mark)
Pissed Jeans, "Scrapbooking" (Brian)
Middle of the Road, "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" (Kate)
Kid Creole & the Coconuts, "No Fish Today" (Robert)
The Thermals, "Here's Your Future" (Neal)
Elliott Smith, "Southern Belle" (Angela)
Barcelona, "I Have the Password to Your Shell Account" (Jen)

Set 2:
Judy Garland, "The Man That Got Away (Live at Carnegie Hall)" (me)
George Jones, "The King Is Gone (And So Are You)" (Rickey)
Aztec Camera, "We Could Send Letters" (Jen)
The Pierces, "Boring" (Angela)
Marine Research, "Hopefulness to Hopelessness" (Kate)
Von Sudenfed, "Flooded" (Brian)
Rosie Thomas, forget which one (Neal)
"Hypno Sexo" (mail-order 7-inch; hilarious) (Robert)
The Proclaimers, "Cap in Hand" (Jill)
Scott Walker, "Jacky" (Donna)
Sinead O'Connor, "Sacrifice" (Mark)

"ROAD" SONGS (Here everyone was asked to play songs they first heard/purchased while traveling, accompanied by anecdotes about the acquisition/hearing of the songs. The turnout was smaller than usual for this one, and a handful of people left midway through for a concert, so I'll ignore "sets" here.)
Jerry Lee Lewis, "Rocking Little Angel" (Rickey, at a record store in Tennessee)
Carl Douglas, "Kung Fu Fighting" (Robert, on the radio in the U.K.)
Laurindo Almeida & the Bossa Nove All Stars, "Route 66" (me, from a bossa nova comp bought at the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis)
Hubert Kah, "Rosemary" (Jill, on the radio in Germany)
Nujabes, "Feather" (Josh, in Japan)
Blow Monkeys, "Heaven Is a Place I'm Moving To" (Donna, in the U.K. I believe)
Shakira, "Ciega, Cordumuda" (Neal, in Spain)
The Corrs, "Run Away" (Angela, while studying in London)
Nadine Khouri, "Number One Boy" (Jen, recently visiting a friend in Lebanon)
The New Government, "Fat Horse" (Jen, ditto; this was the one she introduced as "a kind of Lebanese Franz Ferdinand," which fits; I've spent some time toying with the idea of putting up a link to the MP3 accompanied by breathless hype and see if "the Lebanese Franz Ferdinand" could become a meme)
Underground Resistance, "Death Star" (me, at Rod Smith's apartment in Minneapolis; he later gave me the 12-inch as a gift)
DJ Mitsu the Beats ft. Hunger of Gagle, "Intro" (Josh, in Japan)
The Antwinetts, "Kill It" (Robert, forget where he heard this but the track is one of the most insane female doo-wop records ever made, and as far as either he and I could figure has never been reissued--someone needs to do so pronto)
Bob Dylan, "High Water (For Charley Patton)" (Rickey, in Florida and unable to fly home during the week of 9/11)
Frente, "Bizarre Love Triangle" (Neal, not sure where--Spain again, maybe?)

Set 1
Dan Bern, "Krautmeyer" (Rickey, Charles Manson)
Funkadelic, "Let's Take It to the Stage" (me; Snoofus, Godmother, etc.)
Calle 13, "Tango Del Pecado (Rodney; forget who this one is about but it's a great song I need to track down; Rodney sez it's his favorite album of the year; tango-laced reggaeton-hip-hop, as I recall it)
Renegade Soundwave, "Kray Twins" (Brian)
Mo-Dettes, "Kray Twins (Live)" (Jen)
Loudon Wainwright III, "Tonya's Twirls (Live)" (Neal; Tonya Harding)
Luna, "Bonnie and Clyde" (Angela)
The Pooh Sticks, "On Tape" (Jill; forget who this is about)
Manic Street Preachers, "Tsunami" (Donna; forget who)
Television Personalities, "David Hockney's Diaries (Live)" (Smitty)
Boomtown Rats, "I Don't Like Mondays" (Cori; Brenda Spencer)
Kunstler Treu, "Hitler in the Sky (Beta)" (Josh)

Set 2:
D.A.F., "Der Mussolini" (Brian)
The Legendary K.O., "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" (Neal)
Gene Phillips, "Jimmy Carter Says Yes" (Cori)
Miles Davis, "Right Off" [excerpt] (Rodney; Jack Johnson)
Cake, "Frank Sinatra" (Angela)
Prince, "Starfish and Coffee" (me; an old schoolmate of Susannah Melvoin)
Peter Green, "Rattlesnake Shake" (Smitty; forget who)
Bill Drummond, "Julian Cope Is Dead" (Donna)
Marvin Gaye, "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You?" (Rickey; Anna Gordy)
The Left Banke, "She May Call You Up Tonight" (Jill; same Renee of "Walk Away" fame)
Sonic Youth, "Disappearer" (Josh; again, I forget)
Dolly Mixture, "How Come You're Such a Hit with the Boys, Jane?" (Jen; a Mo-Dette, tying in w/Jen's prior song)