iTuned In: Blue

Five songs in my iTunes playlist that begin with the word “Blue.” (C’mon – you can at least guess the first one.)

1. “Blue Jean,” David Bowie. I sometimes wonder how certain, totally random things can be imprinted into your brain so distinctly. Case in point: Missy McLing, who sat in front of me in freshman science (until my partner Lisa and I were moved to the other side of the room because we talked too much), was singing Bowie’s “Modern Love” (from one album earlier) as she walked into class one day. I even remember the way she was sort of bouncing while she was singing it. I have no idea why.

2. “Blue Dress,” Depeche Mode. Squarely in college now. I remember driving around listening to the whole “Violator” album, feeling vaguely unnerved by the mood of the whole album.

3. “Blue Monday,” Flunk. Yes, I also have the original by New Order — the highest-selling 12-inch single of all time! — and the synth-rock cover by Orgy (don’t judge me). Oh, and “Can’t Get Blue Monday Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue, too, thanks to Mr. Bond, who funneled me a copy of “Boombox.” This version makes me imagine that Bjork also decided to cover the track, even though the band is from Norway and Bjork is from Iceland.

4. “Blue Buddha,” My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult. “13 Above the Night” came out while I was living in Grand Junction. I was fascinated by this disc’s sleazy/dirty/menacing disco vibe — especially Lydia Lunch cooing through “Dirty Little Secrets.” (The All Music Guide review refers to the album as “the perfect soundtrack to a pill-crazed romp through L.A.’s dirtiest and lowest whorehouses.”) Speaking of soundtracks, when we were still in Junction my friend PJ asked me to create a mix tape and concoct a fictional screenplay that the songs would accompany as the soundtrack; “Dirty Little Secrets” was the song for the inevitable “Sam hits rock-bottom in a strip club” scene. I think I assumed that “blue buddha” was some sort of marijuana reference, but according to Urban Dictionary, that’s not true.

5. “Blue Shadows on the Trail,” Syd Straw. (Apparently Syd Straw is just funky enough to have appeared in an L.A. Eyeworks ad, joining everyone from Amy Sedaris [as Jerri Blank] to Zheng Haixia [ah, yes: Zheng Haixia]. A whole gallery of the stars is here — above are a younger Patrick Dempsey; Dolph Lundgren; and Debbie Harry.)  The “Stay Awake” compilation is one I wish I’d never purged. (Along with the “Last Temptation of Elvis” I gifted to an Elvis fan who I knew would never appreciate its irreverance the way I did. Now you now where I got the Fuzzbox cover version of “Trouble.”) The tape included bands like The Roches and Bonnie Raitt covering Disney songs. Tom Waits doing a freaky version of “Heigh Ho”? Why did I give that up?  “Blue Shadows” is from a 1948 film called “Melody Time” that was apparently a predecessor of “Fantasia” in that it was films set to music.

WHAT SAM WORE: 12-09-09
The sweater: Long-sleeved cotton/nylon/silk V-neck from Gap.
The pants: “Lancaster fit” cotton trousers
from my trip to Ben Sherman, New York.
The shoes: Black loafers by Prada, from Last Chance.

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