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Great song

"Having a Party," by Sam Cooke. I was just thinking about it today, and I think it's one of the sweetest songs that's ever been committed to acetate. 'Cause no matter how many people show up at this little house party, you know that the only party that's mattering to the singer is the one with his baby. Such that the DJ that's playing the songs probably isn't even in the house itself but just the guy spinning the discs on the AM station. And the party might be nothing more than a guy, his girlfriend, some cold beers or Cokes, and a little patch of floor to slow dance.

Did I say "nothing more?" Sometimes, that can be everything.

posted by Anon. 2:35 PM

Listening to Exile on Main Street today while driving up the 405 over to the 101. A lyric from "Rocks Off" flew out at me: "The sunshine bores the daylights out of me." And then I especially dug into "Loving Cup" and "Torn and Frayed." I read a Gram Parsons biography by Ben Fong-Torres last year, and he described Parsons being on hand in France for the recording of the record. (He didn't play on it, but he and Keith had been palling around for a while then.) You can certainly hear that Parsons influence on some of the songs. Even if the song that Keith credits Parsons with most directly inspiring -- "Wild Horses" -- is on Sticky Fingers.

posted by Anon. 12:19 PM
Need you at the dimming of the day

Saturday night, a few friends and I went for dinner at the Mandarette and then to the Troubadour to see Linda Thompson perform live for the first time in Los Angeles in 17 years. Linda, of course, recorded several excellent records with her then-husband Richard, culminating in 1982's tremendous -- at times sad, at times harrowing -- Shoot Out the Lights.

While Richard went on to continue a solo career -- my favorite solo records of his being Rumour and Sigh and his most recent Mock Tudor, in addition to his sometimes-in-print acoustic live record, Smalltown Romance -- his ex-wife recorded one solo album before succumbing to a strange condition akin to permanent stage fright or losing her voice.

This past year, she came back, with help from their son Teddy, also a recording artist, with the B-level effort of Fashionably Late. (As previously discussed here, her voice on the new record is great, boasting new texture; the downside is the material.) Saturday night, with the help of headphones allowing her to monitor her voice, she charmed and delighted the Troubadour crowd, with a fine band that included her son Teddy and daughter Kamila. She played most of the new album (the highlights being "Dear Mary" and "Wedded Life"), a couple of her older solo songs, and a fine Gerry Rafferty (yes, of Stealer's Wheel) number, "His Mother Didn't Like Me Anyway."

She reserved the encore for the only Richard and Linda songs of the evening. "Dimming of the Day," one of my favorite songs dealing with the longing and yearning of love, and "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight," a song that is nearly impossible to not shimmy to.

Richard was nowhere to be seen, as though he and Linda are friendly (friendly enough for him to play on her new record), she's been remarried since the mid-eighties. No, my Richard sighting had to wait for Sunday morning, as strolling by Cafe Montana in Santa Monica, I saw Richard in the window with Kamila and Teddy eating breakfast.

It took me a day or two to realize, that this same restaurant was where I first met a woman with whom I fell in love, and in that very first conversation, we talked about Richard Thompson (she said that her voice was similar to Linda's; and that day I had jogged listening to a Richard compilation I burned).

And here Richard was, in that same very restaurant. Wolfing down some breakfast.

There's a sign in that, somewhere. But I've always needed a hand interpreting signs.

posted by Anon. 12:16 PM