Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself

Lloyd Cole and Robert Quine, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" (YSI link)

Tommy Hunt, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" (YSI link)

Dusty Springfield, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" (YSI link)

Elvis Costello, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself (live)" (YSI link)

The White Stripes, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself"
(YSI link)

I'm sure many readers were taken aback with my post yesterday filled with beautiful love songs. Fear not, dear reader, it was only a momentary lapse. It's time to get back to some of that good old-fashioned heartbroken music, the only stuff that you really remember. Admit it, it's the sad songs that help you get through that break-up or death or sadness that are dearest to you. It's those songs that you remember more clearly, that you turn to with an eagerness that the happy stuff in happy times can never understand.

Here's quite possibly the greatest sad song ever written, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself." The song's written by Mr. Burt Bacharach with lyrics by Mr. Hal David. Bacharach-David needs to be a part of any true music fan's life. I consider their work to be among the most important composing team in pop history. I'll get to them more in the future, but for now, let's start with one of their greatest songs. For me, the best and quintissential version is probably the most obscure. Lloyd Cole and Robert Quine did their version for Tzadik's Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach tribute and it is perfect. I love the simple, guitars only, minimalist take, allowing the heartbreaking lyrics to take front and center. Listen for the subtle drone throughout, as if a wailing person sits in the studio.

I'd say the best known comes from Bacharach regular Dusty Springfield. I'm sure you've heard her "Son Of A Preacher Man", but if that is all you know, you're missing out. She's got the most amazing voice, it easily conveys the sadness in this song. Elvis Costello's live version does the same, as this is an early version of Costello's recent poppier work (who did he collaborate with? Burt Bacharach!). Tommy Hunt did the original version in 1963, a tad too reserved perhaps for my taste, but it's hard to hate this song ever.

Until we hear the White Stripes version. Not feeling this one at all, the noisy interlude ruin the mood, doesn't work for me. I want to dedicate this post to [redacted] and [redacted], I hope that they are well. Hearing Cole sing the lyrics, "I'm so used to doing everything with you/Planning everything for two/And now that we're through/I just don't know what to do with my time" I want to cry. If it doesn't do the same for you, I can only guess you've never had a broken heart.

-I just don't know what to do with myself when I see how stupid and gullible the media are. The best example came this past week with the fake controversy over Nancy Pelosi and the plane she uses for traveling home from DC. It was a fake story started by the right wing nutjob blogs, hyped by the rightwing media like Fox and NY Post, and then picked up uncritically by the mainstream media. Suddenly, a lie becomes truth for lots of people. Oh, journalists, have you heard about what's happening in Iraq? Not good.

-I do know what I would with myself right now. Head over to Palms Out Sounds for an amazing Daft Punk post, covering all of the samples they've used in their work. If my jealousy at not having done this first is any indication, this is post of the year in the blog world.

-I do know what I'm doing with myself tonight. Uffie and the Ed Banger crew tonight at Hiro. More to come on this in a bit. Ed Banger? I didn't even touch her.

No comments: