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Five Songs For The Heart

List Of The Day

I've always wondered if the heart actually has anything to do with love. We know it pumps blood and it definitely pumps more when it's, uh, excited. But is that really where cupid aims his arrow? Methinks it's somewhere in the brain. But that doesn't lend itself to the same poetry. And somehow putting a cerebellum on a greeting card doesn't really square up with anything. So, we'll let the heart have its day.

"Metal Heart"--Cat Power: On her new album of covers Jukebox, Cat Power covers herself! Yep, this tune from Moon Pix gets the piano treatment. It's already weird how performers create these alter-egos in the first place, the illusion that somehow a singular person is a band. Does this also mean they refer to themselves in third person? "Cat Power doesn't feel like performing tonight. Cat Power isn't feeling very powerful at the moment. Get some tender vittles for Cat Power, won't you, hon? You like Cat Power, don't you? You want to see Cat Power get better, no?"

"I'm Going to Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart"--Eels: Another one of these performers with multiple aliases. Eels is Mark Oliver Everett, who has also performed as Man Called "E." His father invented quantum physics or discovered it or something, but Mark has had to settle for writing quality songs, which considering how much I use quantum physics, well, let's admit, I'd give the MVP vote to Mark, if only for this very nice song about apologizing too late for something you did. Man, that sounds familiar.

"(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night"--Tom Waits: Didn't know "Saturday Night" could have a heart? Me neither. It's one lousy night for television I'll tell you that. It's as if TV programmers got together and decided to punish anyone without a social life. We'll just give them re-runs of The Apprentice, a half-dozen moldy game shows and a slew of home fix-it programs that'll make them leave the house. Well, no. It just means I do a lot more staring at the ceiling if you must know.

"Tiny Heart"--Frank Black & the Catholics: I admit I often choose my music based on how ugly the performer is. Lots of people buy albums by pretty little blonde girls and sultry brunettes. I buy albums by musicians with male pattern baldness and chronic acne. Most of these guys are smart enough to not use themselves as a "selling point." Instead, they try to write better songs. When it works, they sell nearly half as many records as those pretty blonde things. So you could almost say, the universe works half of the time. The rest of time it's really screwing us.

"Hearts"--Marty Balin: When Marty Balin sings "Is Everything Alright?" for like the 40th time in this song, after the fake ending, it's like he's doing it on purpose to annoy the heck out of you. As if he's daring you to finally break and say, "No, Marty, everything is not alright. And you want to know why everything is not alright? It's because throughout this entire lovely song it sounds as if you're taunting me, as if you're defying me to admit that my life is crap! Maybe it is, Marty, but I won't have you patronizing me about it! Now, about that money you said I could borrow..."

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