erik lundegaard

Music posts

Sunday March 13, 2016

Hamilton: 'A Gateway to Obsession'

Hamilton oops

Mea kinda culpa.

Today's New York Times Magazine has a piece on “25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going,” which, yeah, sounds a little pretentious, maybe a little desperate, and it doesn't help that they begin with Justin Bieber. The Times telling you where music is going is like your dad telling you. But I'll probably check out some of the songs since I'm nearly granddad's age these days. 

But I do know No. 2 on the list, “Say No to This,” from the Hamilton cast album, since I've been listening to that regularly since January 20. Patricia, in fact, laughed out loud when I read her the following this morning since it's so exactly me:

Back on Earth, there's the cast album: a 46-number souvenir for an experience most of us won't be experiencing. At less than $20 on iTunes, however, where it has been in and out of the Top 10 for months, this is a more-than-adequate substitute for the budget-conscious. It's a gateway to obsession. To know someone who has this album is to know someone who needs a restraining order.

I spread my arms wide. “I am legion,” I told her. 

The writer for No. 2, Wesley Morris, adds that the album has so many great songs, never great song, but he chose this one because it's the one he's listening to now. “Not only is this song funny,” he writes, “it's also kind of hot.” Yeah, I would lose that “kind of.” It's actually swirling-down sexy. The first time I listened to it I had to fan myself. It's a song that lets you know why Alexander Hamilton succumbs, and it does that. At the same time, I don't listen to it much, since, you know, it presages Alexander's political downfall. So I keep saying no to it. 

I probably would've gone with the first song, “Alexander Hamilton,” or the showstopper, “The Room Where It Happens” (already a metaphor for the disenfranchised, which is most of us), or the one Lin-Manuel Miranda worked a year on, “My Shot,” which melds Hamilton and the colonies: “I'm just like my country/ I'm young scrappy and hungry/ And I'm not throwing away my shot.” It's tough to go wrong, really. The album is the best deal in town.

“You laugh! But it's true.” The beginning of “Hamilton,” back in 2009.

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Posted at 10:13 AM on Mar 13, 2016 in category Music   |   Permalink  
Thursday October 08, 2015

I Belieeeeeeeve! That One Day I'll See 'The Book of Mormon'

I'm obviously late to this party but I finally saw Andrew Rannells doing “I Believe” from “The Book of Mormon” on the Tony Awards in 2011. And wow:

Favorite parts/lines:

  • The lookaway he gives at “What's so scary bout that?”
  • The little nudge he gives the warlord on “...Jesus has his own planet as well.”
  • The testify dance at the end, where he's the only one testifying.
  • “And I belieeeve ... that in 1978 God changed his mind about black people!”
  • “And I belieeeve ... that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri!”

I also like that the clunkier beliefs are embedded in clunkier lines. And how joyous it still is. 

P and I have tried to see “Mormon” a bunch of times but it's always sold out. But I believe that someday we'll have our own planet. Um, tickets.

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Posted at 05:25 AM on Oct 08, 2015 in category Music   |   Permalink  
Sunday September 27, 2015

15 Songs for the Super Blood Moon

In honor of tonight's super blood moon (three, three, three lunar events in one), a sampling of moon songs from my iTunes roster. 

1962 Moon River Audrey Hepburn
1970 Moondance Van Morrison
1971 Moonshadow Cat Stevens
1972 Pink Moon Nick Drake
1973 Grapefruit Moon Tom Waits
1988 Hawkmoon 269 U2
1989 Full Moon Full of Love k.d. lang
1991 Blue Moon Waltz Jimmie Day Gilmore
1992 Man on the Moon R.E.M.
1993 Crescent Moon Cowboy Junkies
1993 Why Look at the Moon The Waterboys
1995 Smog Moon Matthew Sweet
2000 Goodnight Moon Shivaree
2002 I Wish I Was the Moon Neko Case
2012 Dead Moon Calexico

It's not a bad list but I thought there would be, I don't know, more songs, I guess. It is the moon, after all. It's the ultimate romantic heavenly body. In China, they even have a holiday for it. 

The Shivaree song is really about wishing for the morning and fearing the night, but it's such a good song I had to include it. 


No tagsPosted at 03:07 PM on Sep 27, 2015 in category Music   |   Permalink  
Friday September 04, 2015

Will I Wait a Lonely Lifetime? Um...

On the way home from a hike today (Snow Lake/Cascades), Patricia and I were listening to shuffle on the iPhone, and for some reason it was giving us a Beatles-heavy rotation, particularly The White Album, and including, eventually, Paul McCartney's lovely song “I Will”:

But these words stuck out for me in a way they hadn't before:

Will I wait a lonely lifetime?
If you want me to, I will

That's a bit much, isn't it? Or mooch? A lonely lifetime? Why would anyone want anyone who wants them to wait a lonely lifetime? Or even half a lonely lifetime? Or a couple of crappy months? That's like agreeing to wait for a sadist. 

It's lines like these that make the opening of the Rutles' “With a Girl Like You” so perfect:

Shoot me down in flames if I should tell a lie
Cross my heart I promise that it's true...

Paul had a tendency to overdo it. 

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Posted at 05:20 PM on Sep 04, 2015 in category Music   |   Permalink  
Saturday June 20, 2015

Only a Pawn in Their Game: Reprise

It's amazing how relevant it all still is. It shouldn't be. We've had massive progress on many fronts, yet Bob Dylan's words about the assassination of Medgar Evers in Jackson, Miss., on June 12, 1963, still ring true for the racially motivated church killings in Charleston, S.C. on June 17, 2015:

A South politician preaches to the poor white man
“You got more than the blacks, don't complain.
You're better than them, you been born with white skin,” they explain.
And the Negro's name
Is used it is plain
For the politician's gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game


 One of the best first lines of any song, btw. 

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Posted at 10:13 AM on Jun 20, 2015 in category Music   |   Permalink  
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