Bill Mallonee--"Goes Without Saying (live)" (mp3)
So. I suppose it's shocking, me being a sometime English teacher and all, but I traded my Barnes and Noble giftcard with my daughter for her Itunes giftcard. Both of us were satisfied with the trade.
It isn't often that I get to cruise through Itunes with $25 of someone else's money to spend as I please, so I thought I'd take you with me on the journey.
Gift cards are weird, at least for me. You'd think I could charge into the online store and spend quickly and with impugnity, but that was not the case. Instead, I sat here logged onto Itunes, staring at the main page and trying to thing of people to search for, people whose music I wanted. The name "Steve" came into my head, and I started looking for Steves that I like--Steve Earle, Steve Forbert, Little Steven (who isn't on Itunes)--but nothing captured me.
First stop. Of all things, after staring at the screen for awhile, I started thinking, what was that classical piece from Platoon that is so melancholy and moving? And before you know it, I owned Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings." $24.01.
Second stop. That made me think of other movies, and for a brief moment, I thought I wanted the basic theme from Last of the Mohicans, but I couldn't really find the right track, so onward. Then I switched to somebody live, try that new Jeff Beck, think maybe it's a bit too NPRish, and then notice that the people who bought him bought David Gilmour live, which reminded me that I've always liked "There's No Way Out Of Here" from his first album. Cha-ching. $23.02.
Third stop. Still thinking live, what was that Springsteen song Dillow played for me over the summer, the one with the pipe organ, the one by Suicide. Oh yeah, "Dream, Baby, Dream." $22.03.
Fourth stop. Now I'm looking to branch out. I like to play games on my Ipod when I sit in the 3rd floor bathroom in the late afternoon and lock myself away from humanity. Hmm. Trivial Pursuit. Might be fun to have on trips. $17.04.
Fifth stop. Back to live stuff, figuring there must be some Neil out there. Look for the short, live "Be The Rain," but don't find it. Then remember there are a couple of songs from Neil Young and Crazy Horse Live at the Filmore East 1971 that I don't have. I've got the long ones; now I need the short ones: "Winterlong" and "Wonderin'." $15.06.
Sixth stop. OK, I admit it, I'm getting itchy. I thought I'd take my time, plucking a song here or there, but now that gift card is starting to burn and I want to get it spent! Looking for a live concert, I head over to Phish, but get sidetracked by Trey, checking to see if he has anything new out. He does. Live in Atlantic City. A great line-up of his solo songs. A big band. I detour back to the Internet to look for some reviews and it seems to be pretty well-received. Like most musical trends, I came to Phish late and live, so I like the rougher, live sound and I don't have the hang-up of wishing for old Phish since they were already pretty much done when I started to get into them. Here's my bottom line: everyone needs a Jerry Garcia in his or her life, that guitar playing, thin-voiced, drug-troubled icon who tends toward excess, even on stage. Phil is my new Jerry. I like his sound. I click. $5.07.
Seventh stop. I'm in full virtuoso guitar mode. I head back to Jeff Beck Performing This Week--Live at Ronnie Scott's. I cycle through the songs. I get hooked by the clips. Jeff Beck is kind of like Radiohead in this way: rather than appearing to be human, he sounds like an alien who has mastered our instrument with an otherworldly technical profiency but perhaps without an understanding of the soul of it. Not that he doesn't have a soul; it just may not be a human one. I feel like that sometimes. I click. Gift card gone.
Last stop. Those clever math types among you will have realized that I have to okay the purchase of the Jeff Beck cd since, to get it, I will have spend beyond my $25 gift card limit. Itunes, you win again!
Gift cards are funny, like I said. Because they represent a kind of limited infinite possibility (you could have gotten any music with them), there's always a little bit of disappointment once your choices have been made and the infinite has landed on earth and in your Ipod. But then you put in the earphones, close your eyes, and enjoy the show.
Mallonee's cuts are from his 10-10-2008 show, available at archive.org.