RAMH@3: The Mix

Today, Running After My Hat turns three years old. Over the last couple weeks, I had the opportunity (if that’s the word!) to go back and read a whole bunch of posts from that time. I thought, y’know, that I could maybe identify more clearly what the blog is (even vaguely, if not exactly). At the very least, it might give me some place to start revising the About RAMH page.

(I should be scuffing my feet in embarrassment to have a hard time answering that question. But I’m sure those of you who’ve been following along understand the problem. Ha.)

One really surprising finding: way more than I’d ever imagined, there’s a lot of music here. In fact, if you count multiple versions of the songs covered in the “What’s in a Song” series, and videos (in the posts themselves and, rarely, in the comments), apparently I include music in a third of the posts at the site . This suggested that I could offer you a “mix post” (like a mix CD) today.

So that’s what this is.These tracks have little in common, as far as I know. There’s no “theme.” They don’t “tell the RAMH story.” That said, I tried to follow some rules:

  • Include music from 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11.
  • Don’t worry about arranging them in chronological order. Arrange them by sound.
  • No more than one song by a given performer.
  • No novelty songs.
  • The sequence just has to sound right.

That last item was the most challenging, given the diversity of musical tastes among RAMH readers. So I just decided to go with it, and let things get sorted out at the back end — i.e. yours — however you’d like.

Here y’go… The hyperlinks from the song titles take you to the posts where those songs appeared. And, of course, the little audio player thingamabob works as it always does.

Track Artist Song Time
1 Fleetwood Mac Rhiannon 4:12
2 Aretha Franklin Chain of Fools 2:51
3 Frank Sinatra Wave 3:19
4 Cowboy Junkies Blue Moon (I Want My Baby Back with Me) 4:27
5 Maria Muldaur Richland Woman Blues 4:33
6 Maxence Cyrin Where Is My Mind 2:45
7 Robert Cray Little Boy Big 5:12
8 Artie Shaw Begin the Beguine 3:15
9 DJ Dain Don’t Worry/I’m Yours 9:47
10 Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal Chamber Music 3:41
11 Natalie Merchant The Land Of Nod 4:05
12 Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Dream A Little Dream Of Me 3:04
13 Various Artists/Playing for Change Stand by Me 5:11
14 The Famous Come Home To Me 5:14
15 Patty Griffin You’ll Remember 2:09
16 Allen Toussaint St. James Infirmary 3:51
17 The Wailin’ Jennys The Parting Glass 2:20
(bonus) Ry Cooder I Think It’s Going To Work Out Fine 4:44

…and here’s the playlist-player doo-dad. (Total length of all songs together: ~75 minutes.)

(Note: The playlist goes automatically from start to finish, once you click the little Play button. To fast-forward to the next number, once a song is playing you’ll find a little fast-forward button to the right of its progress meter. And a fast-rewind to the left, for that matter.)

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Thanks to all the great bloggers whose exploits — in everyday life, in their minds, on paper, and in language — I follow every day. (Most of you reading this, whoever you are, are among them.)

And thanks, especially, to everyone who continues to visit Running After My Hat — for somehow, mysteriously, knowing exactly what to take seriously and what to laugh at.

…and maybe even for having some idea what the hell this is in the first place. :)

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  1. What a great idea! And what a great song to start with. Listening now. Happy anniversary!

  2. Congratulations! This is a place that always makes my day, in one way or another, when I visit. Here’s to many more years. TOAST!

  3. Congrats! Three years?? Wow! You’re an amazing writer John, not that I need to tell you that and your site is always there to make me think, make me laugh and sometimes, make me sigh.

    Thanks, and the play list is pretty amazing, too!

  4. Oh, this is so very wonderful. I love music but it’s not much of a part of my life. My husband gave me the tiny square i-pod for my birthday and he’s been dying to fill it for me. This will give me some ideas. Thanks!

  5. Thank you again.

    If music be the food of a blog, play on.

  6. Oh, and Happy Anniversary. Hats off to you!

  7. s.o.m.e.one's brudder says:

    So when do you do a mid-week music break on Ry Cooder? That might even bring Mr. Virtual Tiger to the blog, not just his Missus (Cynth)! Or better yet, a toast to Don Van Vliet? Maybe too much for RAMH?

  8. Thanks, everybody!

    This turned out to be much more challenging than I’d imagined… I transcribed all the song titles, and the corresponding blog post dates, titles, and URLs into a spreadsheet. It killed me to leave out some songs, but maybe that bodes well for a 2012 RAMH@4 mix. :)

  9. Thanks, Sherry — I have to confess (while feigning modesty) that I liked the idea of a mix post, and this specific mix. And on that note I should probably shut up!

  10. Jules, cynth, Squirrel, marta: thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you. You know I’m happy and proud to regularly find myself in your company, at your own sites or in the comments here. Very strange feeling to think that (well, with the OBVIOUS exception of cynth!) I didn’t even know that any of you existed three years ago…

    Maybe toiling in obscurity (at least from one another) for years is the one common thread, ha.

  11. brudder: I’ve featured Cooder here in one other post, a song from the same album — “Trouble, You Can’t Fool Me.” And Froog mentioned him in a comment just this past March. But I’ve only got two albums of his, neither recent — Bop Till You Drop and the soundtrack from Paris, Texas. Maybe the time is ripe to add another, even if I don’t do a midweek thing right away.

    In 2009, Froog also brought up the name of one Viv Stanshall. If you just read the first paragraph of his Wikipedia article, you may understand why I think that a better connection to our b-in-law may be with Froog rather than me!

  12. Have Bop Til You Drop in my collection as a result of a recommendation by the aforementioned Virtual Tiger. Will have to seek out the Paris, Texas stuff, as I have the title track as an individual file. A couple of other Ry connections worthy of note: “Little Village” super-groupish teaming up with John Hiatt, Nick Lowe, and Jim Keltner – many either hate it or love it. Seems not to be much middle ground. I believe that IS a standard for your critical consideration of many things, eh? The other is The Buena Vista Social Club. I’ll let you do the research on that one.

    Ah, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Vivian Stanshall! Could there ever be another: “The Intro and Outro”? Now that was a curious character! and what a nutty group of people he hung out with! Who influenced who more?

  13. brudder: It’s a long story, but I came this close to including a video of the Bonzos (including Stanshall et al.) in today’s whiskey river post. The song, “Gorilla,” includes a line when came the name of the band Death Cab for Cutie.

    As for the video itself, it’s apparently from the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour TV film.

  14. Ah, so you’re just a few years ahead of me! But so very well (so much more than I) established.
    Fantastic, eclectic playlist you offered your readers. The sequence is brilliant.
    You may be interested in looking at free, streaming music from Pates Tapes . I wrote about the tapes on one of my Frolics. They were compiled by an English gent (creative director/photographer) my sister works with in NH. Very nice mix, and his site went viral within weeks of putting it up.
    So much work–and all just for pleasure. Now that’s the mark of passsion.
    Thanks for your play list, and passion, as well. And Happy birthday (anniversary?) to RAMH! ;)

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