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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At 5/02/2008 02:02:00 AM, Blogger Moxie said...

I love the fact that you post these late on Thursday night - that way, when I remember to go check your blog, I get first dibs on downloading.

I like the unusually attractive men too - tall, smirky, thick/long/slightly unkempt dark hair. Out of all the ones on your list, I'd pick Peter Buck and David Bowie as my favorites.

At 5/02/2008 06:32:00 AM, Blogger BeckEye said...

Very nice job! Although I'm always a bit surprised when I don't see Eddie Vedder on these sexy lists. It just does not compute.

Pete Yorn almost made my list too. But, uh, Keith Richards was nowhere near it. :)

And, well, you know how I feel about Glenn Tilbrook. One of these days we will have to go see him together, flash our tits and let him choose between us, once and for all.

At 5/02/2008 06:33:00 AM, Blogger BeckEye said...

And I agree with Moxie...so happy to not be met with that awful "bandwith exceeded" message this morning! Woo!!

At 5/02/2008 07:54:00 AM, Blogger Pagan Sphinx said...

I'm with you on Nick Lowe. I just saw him last night and find him as gorgeous as ever.

At 5/02/2008 08:25:00 AM, Blogger FranIAm said...

Holy crap - if I were tagged to do this meme, I would simply link to your post.

I am a little bit afraid at how similar the choices would be!

BTW, I love tall men too but I ended up marrying someone 5'7".

At 5/02/2008 08:58:00 AM, Blogger mellowlee said...

5'7" isn't tall?? heeheee

I enjoyed reading your list Beth. Jeff Buckley is my favorite of course! *sigh* Thanks for the delish music mix! XOX

At 5/02/2008 10:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drooling here. And considering some rude catcall noises, but refraining for the moment.

Excellent list!

At 5/02/2008 11:02:00 AM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...



I just don't...


At 5/02/2008 11:31:00 AM, Blogger Mathdude said...

Lyle Lovett and David Bowie? I don't know... I'm a dude, so what do I know? My Wendy O. Williams infatuation probably raises some eyebrows, too, though. So, whatever floats your boat.

At 5/02/2008 11:58:00 AM, Blogger Tony Alva said...

Mad props and the Keith picks...

"You Don't Move Me" a true classic. If you like his solo stuff (and by owning any of that says you do) the track I can't get enough either from Main Offender or the Expensive Wino's live ablum is "Words of Wonder". Simply amazing!!!

BTW, if your car brask down this weekend call my brother, he's a master bug mechanic.

At 5/02/2008 01:07:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

I will give you Elvis Costello, no problem, especially the angry young man version (although he is maturing nicely), but I'm sorry, I agree with those who place Paul MacCartney on the Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians list.

Some very nice unusual choices there over all, though. Who would ever have suspected Michael Stipe?

I'm pretty sure you've been subjected to my list already, but if not, feast your eyes.

At 5/02/2008 01:51:00 PM, Blogger justacoolcat said...

Interesting list. How did I know Stipe would be #1?

At 5/02/2008 02:16:00 PM, Anonymous m said...

pretty good list of hotties you have there. if i had a list, i probably would have included every member of the umber-handsome wilco.

does obama sing? coz he is pretty much a rockstar. i would include him as well.

At 5/02/2008 04:50:00 PM, Blogger dguzman said...

Good call on Lloyd Cole, and Guy Clark (he's a MAN).

At 5/02/2008 05:33:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

Elvis Costello is foxy indeed, particularly when he teases, and flirts, and shines all the buttons on his little green shirt.

"It's easier to say 'I love you' than your 'sincerely,' I suppose" is one of my all-time favorite lyrics.

At 5/02/2008 10:33:00 PM, Blogger Gifted Typist said...

Nice picks Beth. I'm with you on Costello. He has that mod appeal or something.

And Keith Richards - the man has a face like the rocky road to Dublin - and yet
and yet...

At 5/03/2008 02:02:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

Cool list. But who were those first three guys?

Thurston Moore was on "The Gilmore Girls?" I didn't know that!

At 5/03/2008 08:52:00 PM, Blogger Doc said...

Well, out of your criteria for hot guys, I've got four out of six. I'm tempted to let you guess which ones but somehow that just doesn't seem right.

I'm not tall, and I fell out of much of the music scene when my children showed up and have no musical talent whatsoever, but other than that, I may have had a shot at making your list.

And you are right about E. Costello and D. Bowie. Always had it always will.


At 5/03/2008 11:16:00 PM, Blogger Eebie said...

Sweet! Great stuff!!

At 5/04/2008 12:50:00 AM, Blogger lulu said...

You definitely fit in with TenS and I. I think all our favorite guys are on your list.

(I've always thought that the Schmeckman looks a little like Lyle, although more attractive.)

At 5/04/2008 04:53:00 PM, Blogger Jewgirl said...

I did not know that you loved tawwl men. Ya learn something new every day. how tall are you, bubbie? Spill.

Warren Zevon was a looker, to be sure. What do you think about Peter Gabriel? Adam Duritz? Lead singer for Cold Play?

Agreed re: Lyle Lovett, he's so sexy.

At 5/04/2008 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Ha ;) Off the cuff, I'd include Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, Billie Holiday, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin . . .

At 5/04/2008 07:46:00 PM, Blogger Mountjoy said...

Bowie as style king? Hmmmmm. Glam maybe. I would have given the style nod to Bryan Ferry - or perhaps the late Robert Palmer?

At 5/05/2008 09:44:00 AM, Blogger Dale said...

I like that many of these guys I'd call ugly. I have a chance!!

At 5/05/2008 11:34:00 AM, Blogger Red said...

I'm hard pressed to come up with a list like this; largely because I really like the _music_ of guys like Ben Folds and Billy Joel, but they don't get me hot.

Did you ever notice how much Nick Lowe sounds like Nat "King" Cole? It's pretty striking to me on "The Beast in Me". I don't "ick" your Elvis choice at all, though he's a bit old for me. EG agreed with me when I dubbed him "Coolest living white guy."

At 5/05/2008 11:36:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

MOXIE: Late Thursday night for you West Coast kids is post-midnight for us East Coasters; time zones are working in your favor! I’d like to unkempt Peter Buck’s dark hair …

BECKEYE: While I think Eddie Vedder is as pretty as they come … he’s just too short for me. I can’t wait for our Tilbrook Tit-off!

PAGAN SPHINX: Wasn’t he amazing on stage? And don’t you want to ruffle that beautiful white mane?

FRANIAM: Consider yourself TAGGED! I would love to see who makes your hottie list. I’m so shallow; in the last ten years, I’ve plus-dated* just one man under six feet. (*plus-dated = more than twice).

At 5/05/2008 11:36:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

MELLOWLEE: I’m 5’6”, so 5’7” is definitely un-tall for me. I like craning my neck at handsome men. Wasn’t Jeff Buckley a perfect-looking man? I think he was too short for me, but since we never stood next to each other, I can pretend he was 6’2”.

THE FORMER DCUP: Nothing hotter than a man who can play an instrument, is there?

WRITE PROCRASTINATOR: Lyle. Notice how many of these chicks agree with me? Classically handsome isn’t what we’re looking for — personality and sexuality is.

MATHDUDE: “Cool” doesn’t begin to describe David Bowie; he’s so beyond those simple four letters. He’s not quite Wendy O … but he’s close.

At 5/05/2008 11:37:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

TONY ALVA: I have the Expensive Wino’s live album — and the video (on VHS, natch). p.s. Sorry I missed hooking up with y'all this weekend; damn car.

BARBARA BRUEDERLIN: Yeah, Macca ain’t the cutie he was … but I still get the giggles thanks to my preschool fascination. I’ll check out your hotties today.

JUST A COOL CAT: Surprising, isn’t it? He eye-flirted with me in a restaurant in 1985; I still get thrills remembering that brekkie …

M: Wilco has some cuties — but they’re shorter than my standards allow, for the most part. If I’d been able to find an MP3 of Obama singing, he would have definitely made the list.

At 5/05/2008 11:37:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

DGUZMAN: Guy Clark makes me feel all girlie. Love that man.

PISTOLS AT DAWN: Excellent use of “Green Shirt,” my man.

GIFTED TYPIST: One of the most romantic quotes I’ve read was Keith talking about Patty Hansen: I just love the bitch. Coming from Keith, it was like roses rolling off the tongue.

GRANT MILLER: Thurston, Kim Gordon, and their daughter — and Yo La Tengo, Sam Phillips, Joe Pernice, and Sparks — all on one episode. The Stars Hollow troubadour (Grant Lee Phillips) had been discovered on the square by Neil Young’s road manager and was picked to open his shows, so all sorts of musicians showed up to play. Very cool episode.

At 5/05/2008 11:38:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

DOC: Luckily, my cats haven’t taken away my time exploring new music. They’re a bit punk themselves.

(Hey, ladies — Doc has a sweet ass!)

EEBIE: Hope you enjoy these sizzling tracks.

LULU: We three should really be hanging out more often. But maybe we’re separated because the world needs some balance of chick cool.

JEWGIRL: Adore tall me. I’m average height — 5’6”. I get my penchant for tall men from my mama, who’s 5’8”. During my formative years, every time she talked about a handsome man, she’d start with “He was tall.” Made an impression. Plus, in my fantasy world, I’m 5’10” with legs up to here. Adam Duritz does nothing for me, although I find Peter Gabriel quite attractive. Chris Martin is cute, but isn’t my type.

At 5/05/2008 11:39:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

ERIK DONALD FRANCE: Do a post of your hotties! I always wanted to be Chrissie Hynde …

MOUNTJOY: Bryan Ferry is handsome and stylish — but he’s faded from view. Bowie’s still out there and still getting’ the fashion (beep-beep) done. How can he not, with Iman on his arm?

DALE: You’ve always had a chance, Bee Boy. Something about your stinger is so … hawt.

RED: Maybe you’re having trouble selecting a list of rock hotties because you know the Rock ‘n’ Roll Astronaut. Nick Lowe does have a Nat-ness to him, doesn’t he?

At 5/05/2008 02:19:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

For several months, I shared an office of sorts with a young woman who obsessed on Gram Parsons. She even met her future husband at a Gram Parsons revival thing held near Joshua Tree, got involved in some sort of web page, etc.

I learned the entire history of Gram Parsons more or less involuntarily. She was a good work friend...and that was way more interesting than what we were doing.

At 5/05/2008 08:38:00 PM, Anonymous favoriteboy said...

Here in Red State America, where men are men and the sheep are always well lubed, our radio choices are slim. Free radio is nothing but top 20 drivel, right wing lunatic blowhards, nutjob born-again false prophets, and Clear Channel approved feces. For fans of good music, you are a lifesaver. Your weekly mix tapes have become the soundtrack for my many hours on the road. This week's mix tape played me down the road for a much-needed Solitary Man in the Woods weekend. One of my favorite parts was Elvis followed by Glenn Tilbrook. These were two of the best of the second British invasion. I saw Mr. Costello and Squeeze at the Fox in 1981, and Squeeze again at the Agora that year. Sadly, none of the ladies at those shows were moved to display the boobies. Keep the great music and humor coming for us poor souls out here in Radio Nowhere.

At 5/06/2008 09:57:00 AM, Blogger the tippling gadabout said...

long time listener, first time caller...

I can see you have done your homework on this, but from a guys perspective I am inclined to add Kelly Willis and Beth Orton. I was lucky enough to see them together at the old Cotton Club in Midtown when it was next to yummy Frijoleros(R.I.P.). I probably should have worn track pants to the show to keep from suffering the embarrassing Larry David pants tent.

Keep up the great work!!!!


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