30 May 2008

Carried Away

My life was filled with the giggliest of pinks tonight as a quad of us (natch) went to the midnight showing of Sex and the City. We single types with an inclination toward the girlie lived and loved the series during the HBO years, and I couldn’t wait to catch up with my four favorite faux friends.

I laughed.

I cried.

I giggled.

I sniffled.

I swooned.

I shimmied.

I objectified the men, and I lusted after Miranda’s baubles.


I get to see it again on Saturday.

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28 May 2008

On Summer Break

Photo Credit: Favorite Boy

I'll be back next week — relaxed, refreshed, ready to write and read blog posts. I may post a mix tape on Friday, if I'm not sequestered with the jury.

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19 May 2008

The Belittling of the Little America Tour

Remember the excitement over my Little America Tour announcement, soon followed by God mocking and taunting me? Well, once again The Big Guy wins.

The Little America Tour has been whittled and belittled to two shows: Raleigh and Atlanta. No DC or NYC, Boston or Phillie. No visits with my beloveds … no meetups with beloved bloggers … not nearly enough nights dancing to my dearly beloveds.

Frickin’ sucks, doesn’t it? The reasons are many, but only a few are shared:

The car is still teasing me with a Check Engine light that blinks on and off like Rudolph’s nose.

Financial unexpecteds have drained the pennies my mechanic left in my savings account.

I forgot my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary falls during that first week, and I want to spend that evening with my mom.

But I’ll get to see my favorite boys with Favorite Boy. And I’ll be dancing my ample a** off in the Atlanta pit.

Still … I’m cuing up “Everybody Hurts,” throwing myself on the bed like Lana Turner in a Douglas Sirk flick, and sobbing like a little girl.

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16 May 2008

Mix Tape Friday: Anything You Can Sing

The adorably studious and flirtiffic Eebie inspired this week’s mix tape. I was mulling over what to feature when he asked if I had 10,000 Maniac’s “Peace Train.” Well, of course I do — and thus Anything You Can Sing, I Can Sing Better was born — the flip side to the recent Rhythmic Hotties mix tape.

We know the originals — but these babes prove that anything you boys can sing, we can sing better. Well, most songs; you can’t best R.E.M.

Björk :: It’s Oh so Quiet

Juliana Hatfield :: Don’t Lie to Me

The Raveonettes :: My Boyfriend’s Back

Liz Phair :: Turning Japanese

Letters to Cleo :: Cruel to Be Kind

The Jody Grind :: Wishin’ and Hopin’

Cyndi Lauper + The Minus 5 :: Midnight Radio

Big Brother & The Holding Company :: Piece of My Heart

No Doubt :: It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Queen Latifah, Shades + Free :: Mr. Big Stuff

The Cardigans :: The Boys Are Back in Town

10,000 Maniacs :: Peace Train

Linda Ronstadt :: Willin’

Sam Phillips :: Gimme Some Truth

Anna Waronker :: You’re so Vain

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts :: Crimson and Clover

Joan Osborne :: Love Is Alive

Aretha Franklin :: Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Angie Stone :: Groove Me

Sinéad O'Connor :: Nothing Compares 2 U

Amy Winehouse :: To Know Him Is to Love Him

Joss Stone :: L-O-V-E

Sarah McLachlan :: Wear Your Love Like Heaven

Ivy :: Let’s Go to Bed

Aimee Mann :: What the World Needs Now

Johnette Napolitano feat. Marc Moreland :: Hurting Each Other

Charlie Hunter Trio feat. Norah Jones :: More Than This

Velvet Belly :: The Man with the Child in His Eyes

Shelby Lynne :: The Look of Love

She & Him :: You Really Got a Hold on Me

Cat Power :: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Hem :: Rainy Night in Georgia

k.d. lang :: After the Gold Rush

Lucinda Williams :: Which Will

Shawn Colvin :: (Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night

Indigo Girls :: House at Pooh Corner

The Beautiful South :: Dream a Little Dream

Cry, Cry, Cry :: Fall on Me

Frente! :: Bizarre Love Triangle

Deborah Harry :: My Last Date (With You)

Neko Case :: Soulful Shade of Blue

Patti Smith :: Midnight Rider

Annie Lennox :: Train in Vain

Sheryl Crow, India.Aire, Lisa Lopes + Liz Phair :: Give a Little Bit

I’ll make it easy for you boys with the one-click zip file.

So many great tunes were cut this week. Yes, you should lash me for not including Siouxsie & The Banshees’ “Dear Prudence” or “The Passenger,” or Dido’s “Fire and Rain,” or any of The Pretenders’ brilliant covers. But at least I spared you Mandy Moore’s cover of “Senses Working Overtime” … for now.

Find the Buck :: Yeah, Peter’s there with Cyndi Lauper and The Minus 5 — but he’s also backing another babe on this tape, along with Mike Mills and Bill Berry. Where are my boys?

Be sure to listen to The Jody Grind’s cover of the Dusty Springfield classic. That lovely voice you hear is the amazing (and one-time Atlantan) Kelly Hogan; the song begins and ends with the late poet Deacon Lunchbox.

You should also listen to She & Him. She is Zooey Deschanel. She proved her pipes in Elf, and the debut CD is quite good.

Trivia Question :: I hope Johnette Napolitano's sublime “Hurting Each Other” sends the same shivers down your spine I get every time I listen. Who suggested the name “Concrete Blonde” to her?

Get all girlie on my comment box and let me know which babelicious cover tunes you’re dying to hear.

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15 May 2008

You Tell 'em, Keith!

Keith Olbermmmm was on a roll last night. In case you missed it:

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09 May 2008

Mix Tape Friday: Musical Roots

My life is ruled by my passions. I absolutely adore or abhor things. The passion that burns brightest — more than baubles, more than Favorite Boy’s four and a quarter above six feet, more than books or movies or margarita swirls — is music. It’s at the heart of everything I do. If I’m awake, I’m singing or humming or chair-dancing. If I’m asleep, my dreams are soundtracked with a wide variety of songs. I can introduce a musical reference in most conversations, and everyone at my company knows I’m the go-to for the best tune to open a presentation.

Where did this passion ignite?

In the womb. My mother has a musical soul — a trait her three children share, that my brother’s kids (especially my niece) have. My childhood memories are filled with the music she loved and we loved.

Mama was a great age for introducing me to all types of music — young enough to love Elvis and The Beatles, old enough to introduce us to Frank Sinatra and the standards she grew up hearing. Through her, I learned to love all genres of music — rock and pop, R&B and country, jazz standards and gospel.

The radio was always playing. If we were in the kitchen, cooking a meal or cleaning up, chances are we were singing. Music was — and is — a big part of our lives. The first concert was a family night out to see Willie Nelson with Waylon Jennings (and Leon Russell on piano). She gave us our first albums, and always took us to spend allowance on the latest 45 we couldn’t live without.

And so, on this Friday before Mother’s Day, I’m proud to publish this mix tape of her favorite songs, songs that remind me of her, songs that will always be special to me because they’re special to her.

The mix kicks off with the first song I remember loving: Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road, Jack.” My mother loved the song, and so I loved it. How could I not live a life of musical obsession when one of my earliest memories is loving that song?

Ray Charles :: Hit the Road, Jack

Little Richard :: Rip It Up

The Beatles :: Revolution

Rare Earth :: Get Ready

Steve Winwood :: Roll with It

Johnny Rivers :: Memphis

Elvis Presley :: That’s All Right, Mama

Van Morrison :: Blue Money

Michael Jackson :: Billy Jean

Parliament :: P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)

Marvin Gaye :: I Heard It Through the Grapevine

Rod Stewart :: Maggie Mae

Carole King :: Smackwater Jack

Squeeze :: Tempted

Barry Manilow :: Copacabana (At the Copa)

Robert Klein + Lucie Arnaz :: They’re Playing Our Song

Lena Horne :: The Lady Is a Tramp

Billy Joel :: Only the Good Die Young

Neil Diamond :: Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show

Dionne Warwick :: I’ll Never Fall in Love Again

Bobbie Gentry + Glen Campbell :: Little Green Apples

ABBA :: Fernando

Fats Domino :: Blueberry Hill

Etta James :: At Last

Frank Sinatra :: Stars Fell on Alabama

Kevin Kline :: La Mer

Bryan Ferry :: Falling in Love Again

Willie Nelson :: I’d Have to Be Crazy

The Platters :: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Elton John :: Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Gladys Knight & The Pips :: Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

Roberta Flack :: Feel Like Makin’ Love

Phoebe Snow :: Poetry Man

Nat King Cole :: Ramblin’ Rose

Leon Russell :: Back to the Island

R.E.M. :: Wichita Lineman

Janis Joplin :: Me and Bobby McGee

Waylon Jennings + Jesse Colter :: Suspicious Minds

Norah Jones :: Come Away with Me

Aretha Franklin :: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Tony Bennett + k.d. lang :: Dream a Little Dream of Me

Simon & Garfunkel :: Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall

Blood, Sweat & Tears :: And When I Die

Bobby Darin :: Splish Splash

Big Mama Thornton :: Hound Dog

Ruth Brown :: 5-10-15 Hours

Jerry Lee Lewis :: Good Rockin’ Tonight

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass :: Taste of Honey

Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo + José Carreras :: Funiculì, Funiculà

Download all these gems with one right-click to the zip file and get back to that handmade Mother’s Day card you’ve been working on all day.

"Revolution" kicks off a short set of some of Mama and OM’s favorite dance songs. Damn, those two could work a dance floor. They were perfect partners.

Okay, so chances are my mother has never heard R.E.M.’s cover of the Jimmy Webb classic “Wichita Lineman” … but Glen Campbell already appeared with Bobbie Gentry … and you know I had to work in the boys somehow. It’s a damn good cover.

But she has heard Parliament’s “P-Funk.” We’d often spend a weekend in the mountains during our junior high and high school years. My brother brought along his tape (maybe an 8-track?) of Mothership Connection for one drive, and Mama enjoyed listening to it. I don’t know if it’s wishful thinking in this embellishing Southern brain or a true moment, but I remember her singing along with the chorus. Yep, Mama’s cool.

Squeeze made it on the tape for a different — yet just as cool — reason. My parents, my sister, and I went to Europe in 1984 — a year of intense Tilbrook obsession. I’d read that he deejayed weekly at a club (if memory serves, it was something like The Yow Club) — and I was dying to go. Mama said if I could find it, she’d go with me. Hard as I tried, I couldn’t find it during our three days there. She’s damn cool, that one.

My parents saw They’re Playing Our Song — the musical story of Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager’s love affair — on Broadway in the late 1970s. During the intermission, Ruth Gordon grabbed OM’s arm, saying, “Isn’t this fun?” Mama brought home the soundtrack, and we listened to it all the time. I haven’t listened to the album in ages — but I had quite the Great White Way evening listening to the theme over and over (and over and over, for about 45 minutes) Monday — singing at the top of my lungs, dancing down the hall like a “Step It up and Dance” contestant, jazz-handing with the cat. I’m proud to say I can hold Lucia Arnez’s long note — not beautifully, but I held it.

Mama and I saw the great Lena Horne in The Lady and Her Music at the Fox Theater. We’ve shared some great concerts.

What are your mama's favorite songs?

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08 May 2008

God, Now I'm Saying "HA!"

Thanks to the cousin for this brilliant piece of irreverance!

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06 May 2008

This Is Why I Do It

Blogging is a great release from reality — a place in the virtual world where you can live out your fantasies and obsess about your obsessions. But sometimes you reach someone … touch her soul … make a difference in her life … change her in ways you never expected. Yes, you can affect someone’s life through blogging.

This is why I blog.

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05 May 2008

The Inquisition: Meme Style

My new favorite blogger, The Pagan Sphinx, recently tagged me with one of my favorite types of memes: listmania! I love making lists. I love writing about me. So lists about me … well, that’s just blogging gold, dear readers.

Ten Years Ago
I was working for The Coca-Cola Company and living with the Beloved Ex. Next to our first six months — that phase where everything is golden and giggly and glittery — that was probably our best time together. We were living in a condo with a yardette — an 8’ x 18’ yard with a privacy fence, which we turned into a riot of English garden color. Gardening wasn’t the extent of my Martha Stewartism: For Easter I baked a batch of sugar cookies shaped like eggs; Beloved Ex and I then decorated them like Easter eggs with buttercream frosting and those baking thingies, putting them on a bed of plastic basket grass (note that I even use Martha’s lingo).

Five Things on Today’s To-do List
Notice my priorities.
1. Call mechanic about the latest Check Engine light
2. Find pirate costumes [DONE]
3. Start on Friday’s mix tape [DONE]
4. Balance my checkbook and rework my budget
5. Write this meme post [DONE]

If I Were a Billionaire
So many things I’d do. P.Sphinx didn’t enumerate her If I Weres, but I’m going to give you five What I’d Dos:
1. Set up. I wouldn’t want my family or friends working. Sure, it’s a grand gesture, but it’s also a selfish one: If I decided to up and fly to Madrid, someone has to be able to go with me.
2. Donate. Time and money. I’d give money to organizations that put the majority of their donations in the field, such as Salvation Army and Samaritan’s Purse. I’d also start organizations to get less-privileged children and teens interesting in books and art.
3. Settle. I’d buy a house in the mountains, somewhere in western North Carolina or eastern Tennessee. New York is where I’d rather be; I just adore a penthouse view. And I’d keep a home in Decatur to be near family and friends.
4. Travel. I’d rather stay in fabulous hotels that have homes dotted across the world.
5. Reestablish. By buying my great-grandfather’s old grocery store. I’d start an art gallery collective, where the artists being shown would help man the gallery. It would be named Hamilton’s Market, as it was named in the 1940s and 1950s. We’d have live bands, author readings, all sorts of creative and cultural events.

Three Bad Habits
Boy, it’s hard to come up with three. Okay, to be honest, it’s hard to pick just three.
1. I bite my nails. Sometimes, like now, I can stop and let them grow … but I’m sure I’ll be gnawing again soon.
2. I interrupt. It’s the Coffey conversation style — perfectly acceptable around our dinner tables, but rather rude when chatting with people. I try not to, but then I get a thought in my head and …
3. I procrastinate. So many things can be put off until the last minute, y'know.

Five Places I’ve Lived
Although I always wanted to, I’ve never lived outside Georgia; in fact, other than my two years at the University of Georgia, I haven’t lived outside the metropolitan Atlanta area. Because most of you aren’t familiar with the various Atlanta neighborhoods, I’m going to pretend I’ve lived in these cities:
1. New York City
2. Paris
3. San Francisco
4. Sydney
5. Portland (preferably Oregon, but I’d fake Maine, too)

Five Jobs I’ve Had
I’m going with the non-career gigs:
1. Babysitter Extraordinaire, my neighborhood
2. Denim Shopgirl and Okefenoke Swamp Ridegirl, Six Flags Over Georgia
3. Route Accounting, Coca-Cola Bottling (high school and college summers/Christmas breaks)
4. Public Relations/Public Affairs Director, WRAS (Georgia State University)
5. Bookseller, Bookstar

I’m Tagging
1. The Beloved Ex met the challenge!
2. Write Procrastinator met the challenge!
3. Skyler’s Dad met the challenge!
4. Mathdude met the challenge!
5. Eebie met the challenge!

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02 May 2008

Mix Tape Friday: Rhythmic Hotties

The lovely and talented BeckEye (not too) recently tapped me for the perfect meme: a list of those musicians I think are the cutest and sexiest. What better way to answer her than combining it with a mix tape?

I spent a couple of weeks agonizing about this, winnowing down the list to a manageable twenty-one. I found that those who curl my toes curlier were not classically handsome, but had something that made them sexy as freakin’ hell. Most of them are guitarists, maybe something about the way their fingers tease the strings to get just the right note out of it. Listen to the songs; you'll get it.

What about a man do I find attractive? Height; I love tall men (Favorite Boy is a smidge over 6’4”; I get all smidgey standing next to him.) I adore funny, smart men. Men who are obsessed with music. Laughing eyes always get me. And a sweet ass makes me swoon.

And so I present Beth’s Fantasy Men: The Music Edition. The list isn’t in any particular order, other that something about one man leads to something in the next. Interesting connections, if you catch them.

Michael Stipe
Was there anyone more beautiful than Michael Stipe in the early 1980s? I prefer my Stipe with the wild curly hair. Those eyes … that mouth … mmmmmmmmmm. Funny, weird, mysterious; what’s not to love? I still find him attractive and I love his fashion sense these days, but I gotta go with the earlier version for my sexual fantasies. Could have had a shot at him back in those days, too. Maybe.

R.E.M. :: Kohoutek

Golden Palominos feat. Michael Stipe :: Boy (Go)

Peter Buck
Peter, on the other hand, just can’t pull off long tresses; I prefer my Buck cropped. He’s the kind of man who gets more handsome as he gets older. Well, maybe not; he was pretty f*cking hot back in the 1980s and 1990s, too … as long as his hair was tame. He hits all the marks above: Tall, check. Smart and funny: check, check. Obsessed with music: hells, yeah. If only he were as obsessed with moi …

R.E.M. :: Man-sized Wreath

Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians :: Madonna of the Wasps

Mike Mills
Not the cutest member of R.E.M. … but he had a short hot period during the Automatic for the People era. After Porter Wagoner and Gram Parsons, nobody rocks a Nudie suit better than Mike. Warren Zevon (and many a music critic) have declared him R.E.M.’s secret weapon; he’s a musical genius. Got a bit tipsy with my friend Joe at a Peter Buck/Kevn Kinney benefit in 1991, and stood behind Mr. Mills’ left shoulder all night, pretending to be his girlfriend. Surprisingly, I’ve never been slapped with a restraining order.

R.E.M. feat. Mike Mills on lead vocals :: Superman

Mike Mills :: Roadrunner

Paul McCartney
He was the first boy I loved. He set the stage for my visual taste in men for much of my life: dark hair, bit of a baby face, cute and snarky. Since I first fell for him when I was five, he seemed tall, so he probably contributed to that fixation, too. I look at photos of Macca today and still swoon a bit. Yeah, he’s showing a bit of age — but he still makes my heart skip a mini-beat.

The Beatles :: I Saw Her Standing There

Wings :: Arrow Through me

Nick Lowe
Nick’s the Jesus of Cool in my music bible. I’ve always thought Nick was handsome — back in the seventies, as pictured here, and today, with that lovely white hair. I saw him last week — damn amazing show. He still has it. If you didn’t get last year’s At My Age, I recommend you hit iTunes now; “I Trained Her to Love Me” is one of the tracks from the album. Have you heard Johnny Cash’s cover of “The Beast in Me”? Will tear out your heart. My cool cred: Nick and I share a birthday.

Nick Lowe :: The Beast in Me

Nick Lowe :: I Trained Her to Love Me

Elvis Costello
Don’t ick this choice. Elvis Costello oozes sexuality. Watch his eyes; so much humor and intelligence and life in those irises. Is there anyone who loves music more than him? He had pieces in Vanity Fair’s music issue two years running — one a list of his favorite album (our tastes are very similar; I hope he comes a-calling when he tires of Ms. Krall), the other a mix tape for 24 hours in New York City. Brilliant. I think, next to R.E.M., I’ve seen Elvis live more than anyone. I was supposed to see him on Monday, but his show has been postponed due to the concert hall being damaged by the tornadoes. Elvis, come see me soon!

Elvis Costello & The Imposters :: When I Was Cruel No. 2

Elvis Costello :: Green Shirt

Glen Tilbrook
I’ve had a crush on Glen Tilbrook since I heard my first Squeeze song in 1979. He has Paul McCartney’s baby face and turn of a witty phrase — with a more angelic voice. Saw Glenn live about 18 months ago, and he’s just as charming and snarky and funny as he was during his Squeeze days. I must confess that the only time I’ve flashed boobs at a concert was at a Squeeze show at the Fox Theater in 1985; he still deserves that honor.

Squeeze :: Black Coffee in Bed

Glen Tilbrook :: Genitalia of a Fool

Gram Parsons
Beautiful, an absolutely beautiful man. My fellow Georgian made the Nudie suit cool for non-country artists. He brought twang to rock music. He discovered Emmylou Harris. He partied with Keith Richards. His death gave us one of the best stories in rock. And, damn, could Gram sing. “She” has been on my Top 100 list for decades; never was there a more lovely song using just pronouns. He sang a great cover of "Wild Horses" while with Flying Burrito Brothers.

Gram Parsons :: She

Flying Burrito Brothers :: Wild Horses

Keith Richards
I figure eighty percent of you are cringing over this choice. But don’t. I have dreams about musicians all the time … and Keef is always the sweetest beau in that world. He’s funny. He was cute, before the drugs aged him and ravaged his face. He’s one of my favorite guitarists of all time, and I love his singing voice. (Favorite Boy loves him, too ... but don't most guys?) He gives Mick all sorts of sh*t. “Little T&A” gets me all distracted and naughty. And, c’mon, has anyone had more fun with life than Keith Richards?

The Rolling Stones :: Happy

Keith Richards :: You Don’t Move Me

Jeff Buckley
Jeff Buckley should be on every woman’s list of sexiest musicians. Swoonably handsome (the photo here isn't the greatest; even rock gods have bad hair days, I guess) — with pipes that could break your heart — and fan-f*cking-tastic guitar work. How many male artists can cover Zeppelin, Nina Simone, Schoolhouse Rock, and Edith Piaf? It still breaks my heart that he died so young. Can’t help but wonder what could have been next for his place on the CD shelf.

Jeff Buckley :: Hallelujah

Jeff Buckley :: So Real

Nels Cline
Wilco has been energized since Nels Cline joined them on lead guitar. He blows me away with every performance. Scrivener and I saw Wilco in Mobile in early March, and he was blistering hot. He made wonderfully noisy songs like “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” his own. Before their set, he joined opener John Doe on “Gimme Shelter” — and his guitar solo left me shivering. “Just a Kid,” from the SpongeBob Squarepants movie soundtrack, was the first song he performed with Wilco. Cute, isn’t he?

Wilco :: Impossible Germany

Wilco :: Just a Kid

Scott McCaughey
Ah, Mr. McCaughey. Peter Buck’s BFF, the Ron Wood of R.E.M., rocking those Ian Hunter sunglasses, having a damn good time. He’s the happiest rocker I’ve watched on stage. He writes great pop songs; y'all should be buying all his records. Cool cred: Paul Westerberg hired The Young Fresh Fellows to play at his wedding. More cool cred: Scott's bandmate and lead guitarist in The Minus 5 is our beloved Peter Buck (sadly, cropped from this photo shot at Athens' Georgia Theater). Even more cool cred: He wrote something very cool on my niece's T-shirt.

The Young Fresh Fellows :: I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight

The Minus 5 :: Cigarettes, Coffee, Booze

Lyle Lovett
When the news about Julia marrying Lyle hit the wires, I was one of the few who thought she got the better end of that deal. Lyle has great style; clothes hanf on him beautifully. Great eyes. You’ve seen the top of my mop, so you know I love his hair. Great on stage, great in movies. Bet he’s great in bed, too. Lyle also writes great songs, but here are my two favorite covers: The Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” (Lyle never sounded lovelier, and this song takes me to a lovely moment in my life) and Guy Clark’s “Step Inside This House” (a perfect song).

Lyle Lovett :: Friend of the Devil

Lyle Lovett :: Step Inside This House

Guy Clark
Guy Clark is the epitome of A Man — a Texan, to be exact. Nobody rocks the workshirt/faded jeans/boots look better than he. And he’s a Songwriter — thirty-plus years writing four-minute stories. And thirty-plus years running with pals like Larry Mahan, Jerry Jeff Walker, the late Townes Van Zandt, and Rodney Crowell. The two songs here are more recent, from the nineties — but I encourage you to check out his work from the seventies. If you like Austin singer-songwriters and you enjoy a good story, you'll love Guy Clark.

Guy Clark :: Baby Took a Limo to Memphis

Guy Clark :: Baton Rouge

Warren Zevon
You know I love him. You know I’ve kissed him (I really need to tell that story one day). He was too short for my standards (he was shorter than I), but his flirty nature, the way he’d cock his eye, the way he used words and chords more than made up for the missing inches. Damn, I still miss him.

Warren Zevon :: Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

Warren Zevon :: Bill Lee

Pete Yorn
Pete’s just plain pretty. His music hits my Pretty Good scale — not quite Great, but enjoyable all the same. He’s at the top of the list for soundtracks, so he’s recorded some great covers. Here’s his take on Zevon’s “Splendid Isolation.”

Pete Yorn :: Splendid Isolation

Pete Yorn :: Murray

Glen Hansard
Yeah, we’ve all been swooning since we saw Once. But I’ve been harboring the Hansard crush since Swirly Girl and I saw The Swell Season in concert last fall (and we’re going back for more in a couple of weeks). He’s damn handsome — but it’s his personality that won me over. Quite the charming Irish bastard, that one. Funny, too.

Glen Hansard :: Hungry for Your Love

Glen Hansard :: Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy

Lloyd Cole
Lloyd Cole is one of those who never got the attention he deserved. The handsome devil writes and sings great songs, and his work in the nineties has stood the fickle test of the turntable. He also played bass on Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend. He doesn’t leave me malcontent, not at all.

Lloyd Cole :: Mr. Malcontent

Lloyd Cole :: Tell Your Sister

David Bowie
I dare you to name a musician more stylish than David Bowie. Man still looks good. We saw him in concert — on the tenth row — maybe three summers ago, and my niece and I spent the evening oohing and aahing over his still-got-itness.

David Bowie :: China Girl

David Bowie :: Golden Years

Tom Verlaine
Of Tom Verlaine, Patti Smith once said, “Tom plays guitar like a thousand bluebirds screaming.” Isn’t that the best description of his playing style? One of the best punk guitarists — and definitely the cutest. Added bonus: I get to include “Marquee Moon” on a mix tape.

Television :: Marquee Moon

Tom Verlaine :: A Town Called Walker

Thurston Moore
Thurston eeks coolness — he’s 6’6” — he did a book on mix tapes before Rob Sheffield — he’s one of a small handful of folks to sing on an R.E.M. album — and he was on Gilmore Girls. Kim Gordon is one lucky woman. “Incinerate” is one of my favorite songs of the last couple of years — but I’ve included it on too many mix tapes. These two tracks are more than worthy to go on a hottie mix tape. You gotta love a man with punk sensibilities who can cover The Carpenters (my favorite one from their catalog, by the way) and cover it damn well. Spine shivers on this one.

R.E.M. feat. Thurston Moore :: Crush with Eyeliner

Sonic Youth :: Superstar (Carpenters cover)

If this list is too hot to handle individually, get ‘em all at once with the zip file.

Okay, girls and boys — who are your hottest musicians?

I’m off to fan myself and fantasize …

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