Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Where's The Fire?

How many times has this happened to you? You're in the middle of the city somewhere, in traffic. And if you're me, that means you've got the stereo on, and you're singing along really loud. And then suddenly, you hear a siren. And you start looking around from window to window, mirror to mirror, peering up and down the streets trying to figure out where the siren's coming from. Where's the fire? Where's the accident? Who's in trouble? Am I in the way?! AAAAAH! Where's that siren coming from?!

This happened to me this week. Twice. I'm sort of reluctant to admit that it happened twice. You'll see why.

So there I am, in the left lane at an intersection, which is almost about to give me the green light when I hear a siren. I look around, and I see nothing. No red and blue lights. No speeding ambulance. No firetruck barreling through intersections. No cops on the way to something really really important. So where's the siren? I turn down the music to see if I can better determine which way the siren's coming from so I'll know how to proceed...turn left, pull over, stay where I am...

And then I realize that the siren is coming from my stereo.


Yes. Twice this week I was listening to Cee-Lo Green's "Bright Lights Big City" and I was fooled by the siren imbedded in the tune. Gaaah. Which got me to thinking about all the other songs I've known in my life that I was momentarily fooled by, that got me craning my neck frantically looking for the emergency vehicles.

There's not a lot of them; at least not a lot that aren't full-on gangsta rap. And I made a promise to myself a long time ago that the Mistress of the Mix absolutely will not subject you to that (...and you're welcome). So the first half of today's playlist contains music with actual sirens in the song. The second half is my slightly pathetic attempt to create a well rounded listening experience by adding songs about sirens (real and mythological), including two of my very favorites: the Siren Song from the brilliant Cohen Brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and This Mortal Coil's Song To The Siren. 

As always, you can click on the play arrow below to stream today's Siren playlist, or you can visit the playlist directly on the Grooveshark website. 

  1. Bright Lights Bigger City - Cee-Lo Green
  2. Step On - Happy Mondays
  3. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived - Weezer
  4. How I Learned To Love The Boot Boys - The Auteurs
  5. Rainin' In Paradise - Manu Chao
  6. Sound of Siren - Major Lazer feat. M.I.A. & Busy Signal
  7. London Bridge - Fergie
  8. Fireman - Lil Wayne
  9. Slight Work - Wale feat. Big Sean
  10. Siren - Emancipator
  11. Song To The Siren - This Mortal Coil
  12. Siren Song - Alison Kraus, Emmylou Harris & Gillian Welch
  13. The Siren Songs - Red Riders
  14. Siren - Tori Amos
  15. Siren - Theatre of Tragedy

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cupid's Arrow

I'm starting to think Cupid's arrow might have been dipped in poison (instead of what I was hoping was perhaps absynthe). Hopeless romantic that you all know I am, I was intending to put together a list of incredibly sweet songs all pertaining to Valentine's Day. So I began to search high and low for songs that mentioned the word "valentine" and other than the classic My Funny Valentine, I was pretty disappointed with what I found. I came across My Bloody Valentine, Bullet For My Valentine, Toxic Valentine....egads! What's everybody got against valentines?

So I switched gears and started looking for songs about Cupid. But other than Sam Cooke's famous version of the song by that name, I was again let down. First by 50's star Connie Francis, who sang about Stupid Cupid, and then by current country star Carrie Underwood, who informs us that Cupid's Got A Shotgun! What the heck? Even the search for songs with "I Love You" in the title brought up things like I Hate You But I Love You.

OK, I thought, let's back up and try this from another angle. How about flowers? I found a song from Ray LaMontagne that sounded sweet, until the lyrics of You Can Bring Me Flowers ended with "when I'm dead and gone" and the R&B song Box Of  Chocolates included clips from Forrest Gump. Not exactly what I was looking for.

Let me tell you, faithful readers, it wasn't easy being all gushy and romantic (musically speaking) this Valentine's Day. I had to discard lots of deceptively titled songs that turned out to be filled with heartache and angst, like Fiona Apple's Valentine, about a woman who cuts herself because her valentine has eyes for someone else.

But if there's one thing anyone who knows me is well aware of, it's that I'm the most hard headed gal you will ever meet. I perservere. And finally, FINALLY, I found a song from an artist I'd never heard of before that says exactly what I think needs to be said on Valentine's Day. The lyrics were so sweet and perfect that just as I was on the verge of giving up, my faith in romance was renewed. And so, I offer you today's hastily assembled mix of musical bonbons full of love and romance, sugar and kisses, completely drama and heartache-free.

In the meantime, do a girl a favor, would ya? Perhaps you could oblige me by listing one or two of your favorite love songs in the comments section below, and hopefully we'll create a reader-generated playlist to share next year when we do this all over again.

P.S. For those of you who are planning a big, romantic night out with your sweetheart this Valentine's Day weekend, I encourage you to take to heart the advice of my favorite sex and relationship columnist Dan Savage. He has a steadfast rule of thumb for Valentine's Day lovers, that I give two thumbs up on: Get romantic BEFORE your dinner reservation. All those cream based sauces, red meat and rich, chocolately desserts are great for stirring up heartburn (and I'm not talking metaphorically here, I'm talking about actual heartburn) and gall bladder attacks and at the very least uncomfortably full tummies. So take a tip from Dan, and if getting naked is on your list of things to do with your lover on this particular holiday, put it at the top of your list, instead of at the bottom. Cheers!

  1. Valentine - Kina Grannis
  2. Cupid - Jack Johnson
  3. You're A Sweetheart - Benny Goodman
  4. Love You Madly - Ella Fitzgerald
  5. I Just Called To Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder
  6. My Funny Valentine - Chet Baker
  7. Embraceable You - Sarah Vaughan
  8. Cupid - Sam Cooke
  9. I Love You - Faith Evans
  10. I'm Still In Love With You - Al Green
  11. I Couldn't Love You More - Sade
  12. She - Elvis Costello
  13. Sweetheart - Mariah Carey
  14. Kiss - Tom Jones
  15. Happy Valentine's Day - OutKast
  16. Childhood Sweetheart - Chuck Berry
  17. I Love You - Django Reinhardt
  18. Sugar Sugar - The Archies
  19. Goodnight Sweetheart - The Spaniels