Thursday, March 08, 2007

Up late with Babs

I'm going to try to stay up for most of the night tonight - in an attempt to switch my body clock around to working overnights for the next couple nights. As I've blogged before, this is actually quite fun as it reminds me of my days as a college student when I would routinely stay up till 3AM on the weekends and then sleep till noon the next day. I was such a night owl that Jeff would call me up at 2 in the morning simply because he knew that I'd be awake. Of course, there was one time that he did call and I had actually gone to bed at a decent hour and I tried to answer the phone. Actually, I don't remember answering the phone, but rather, suddenly, I was talking to Jeff on the phone with him saying "I'll just call you back in the morning." I probably sounded like a Neanderthal.

I spent a lot of time awake when I probably should have been sleeping back then. Of course, most of that time was spent listening to music and sitting at the computer writing. And this was in the days before the net. Once I got a dial up connection to telnet to the ISCABBS, I found myself in a world that I only dreamed existed. I remember sitting up listening to the very CD that I'm listening to tonight - Streisand's 1967 CD Simply Streisand. It was probably one of Babs' least well received of her 60s albums, but for some reason, it hits all the right notes with me. It is so damn short (29 minutes) and never even gets to mid-tempo, but still, it's classic. It's another example of how music can transport you back in time, just like you're stepping into the Tardis. You put it on, and you walk out into the past. It's so palpable you want to reach out and touch it, but you know that you can't. This album is very much that way for me. I think I bought it within the first few days that I was down at the U of Iowa and so it reflects how I was feeling then - lost in the shuffle, but ready to change that. I spent a lot of time in my single dorm room listening to it -- I was beyond help, I was such a geek. I was talking to XO earlier tonight about how music can also be used to get you through difficult times, and I agree with this. I do this to a rather large extent - music has always been where I've run to feel safe. I'm just wired that way - there's no getting around it. Consequently, so many songs have a bittersweet quality to them. Sometimes the bitter outweighs the sweet - and then I have a hard time listening to them again. But for the most part, the sweet part wins out.

Now that Simply Streisand has hit its end, I'm headed into Stoney End which is another one of my favorite Babs albums. This one is also one that I first listened to at about that same time - I special ordered it from Musicland if you can believe that. In these days of instant music gratification, it's hard to think about having to wait a week for an album to come in. In fact, I didn't even think about how in years past, I would have had to wait until after work to pick up the new Mary Chapin Carpenter CD, I just bought it off of iTunes at 5 in the morning and I had listened to most of it before I even left for work. But Stoney End is Barbra doing Laura Nyro so you can't go wrong. However, it also features a version of "If You Could Read My Mind" which would send Caryle into fits, so we won't speak of that any longer (although I do like that song.) Regardless, I have very vivid images of listening to "Time & Love" on my Walkman while heading down to Bruegger's for bagels on Sunday nights when there was no food in the dorm. If only people could have heard some of the unlikely stuff that was coming out of my headphones back then. Of course, the stuff that comes out of my headphones from my iPod is equally unlikely.

I have that Dixie Chicks documentary Shut Up & Sing out from Netflix right now and I think I might go up and try to watch some of that. I'm afraid that if I sit down in front of the TV, I'll start to fall asleep ("Whatever you do. Don't. Fall. Asleep.") That's the thing about trying to stay up, especially when you really do need to go to bed. Stop moving - or stop using your brain at all and it goes into complete shutdown mode. But we'll see.


Unknown said...

Hi Dan,
So unsure about all this technical stuff... But the Dixie Chicks' documentary is amazing! You don't have to be a fan to appreciate it. (Unless you are a Republican in accord with George W. Bush.) I feel so old! was a major step for me...I hope I can figure all this 21st century cool stuff out.

xolondon said...

To quote Sandra Bernhard: "Barbra? She crimped her hair and she went down the stoney end. She never wanted to GO down the stoney end!"

Aunt Phetamine said...

I remember singing along to "Stoney End" as a child. The tendencies were so clear so long ago... ;)

As always,
Aunt Phetamine