Friday, July 06, 2007

Random Facts (and Rules)

I recently learned, via The Onion's AVClub, that Hitchhiker's Guide creator Douglas Adams and Bloom County/Opus creator Berkeley Breathed were friends. Now that's a pairing I both completely see working and yet still find unexpected. Then again, Adams had a pretty amazing group of friends, from Pythons to rock-star-naturalists to actual rock stars.

This quote is taken from The Onion's Random Rules feature, wherein a celebrity puts their digital music player of choice on shuffle and discusses the ten songs that come up.

SONG David Gilmour, "There's No Way Out Of Here"

Berkeley Breathed: Eric Clapton isn't God. There isn't one. But David Gilmour and Pink Floyd fill the void. My good friend Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, died shockingly early, but lived long enough to step onstage and play guitar alongside Gilmour for a birthday present. Almost worth dying young. I think of Douglas when this song pops up, and that's good.

AVC: Who arranged that present for him?

BB: Gilmour, who was a friend of Douglas'. There's something to be said for celebrityhood as a writer.

Still, that sounds like a lot of fun to try. Here are five tracks that my player spit out at random...

"Uncle Walter" Ben Folds Five from their self-titled debut.

I really like Ben Folds Five, particularly their first and third albums. I always thought Ben sounded like the guy from the Kleenex commericals in the 1980s, the ones with the jingle that ended with "Kleenex says... bless yooouuu." Except, I imagine Ben would change those lyrics to something a good bit more rude.

"Sleep to Dream Her" Dave Matthews Band, from Everyday.

Everyday was the album Dave released instead of the material from the now legendary Lillywhite Sessions, most of which was retooled for Busted Stuff. I remember being very disappointed in Everyday initially because it wasn't the same great songs I'd just heard in a live Dave Matthews concert some months beforehand. However, it's a great little album on its own merrit and speaks to the talent DMB possesses. It's sort of a, Ah, we don't fell like releasing all those fantastic songs we already recorded so we'll just dash off a few other fantastic songs and release them instead.

"Armida" Vinx from The Storyteller.

I like Vinx a lot, but I have to confess I've not listened to this particular album more than a couple of times in the 6 or 7 years since I bought it. I tend to listen to his debut album, Rooms in my Fatha's House, instead, which was produced by Sting and is just brilliant stuff. Actor Roscoe Lee Brown, who recently passed away, has a part on it and Sheryl Crow sings backup on a song or two (albeit billed as Cheryl Crow). I feel a little bad that I liked Vinx's first album so much yet haven't given his next two that I own a fair shake to stick in my head, nor have I sampled any of the 10 albums or so he's put out since.

"How We Won the War" Patton Oswalt from Feelin Kinda Patton.

Patton Oswalt is my favorite comedian working today. This track is particularly funny. He has a new comedy album being released next week. I'm there.

"I Know What I Know" Paul Simon, Graceland.

Whether it's true or not, I've long claimed to be my generation's greatest Paul Simon fan. Graceland was my introduction to him. Actually, his appearance on Saturday Night Live, round about 1987, just a few months before Graceland was released, was my first introduction to him. Since then I've gobbled up about everything he's put out and gone back to seek out past records, including, of course, Simon & Garfunkel. "I Know What I Know" is not my favorite song from Graceland, but I like it all the same.


Lee said...

I did this a while back on my own blog. Ever since I have gotten people landing on it looking for Garden State, Lucinda Williams, etc. downloads. I vacillate between feeling sorry for them because there is mostly knitting and no free downloads there, and being irritated (seriously, buy the album! There's nothing better than a good linear note).

And Paul Simon. He just seems to get into the bones of the matter, doesn't he? I just love that he can combine despair and hope with such ease and grace.

Lisa said...

"The Mississippi Delta was shining like a National guitar" may be one of my favorite opening lines of all times.

My first impression of him was on SNL dressed in a chicken suit, and trying to reconcile that image with knowing he was that folky singer my Dad liked.

crsunlimited said...

My first memory of Paul Simon is his video with Chevy Chase. That is also one of the only Paul Simon songs I care to listen too.

An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.