D.Dancing-With-The-DevilToday is especially a hodgepodge of music – one of the best fiddlers around, a made up group, the Boss, a Mardi Gras party song, and Les Miserable.

My crappy title also reminds me of my favorite line from the first Batman movie; “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” Jack Nickolson was the perfect Joker for that mid-60s comic book feel. Heath Ledger was perfect as the grittier version of Batman in the 90s.

D has been a hard letter for music, but I’m sure that as soon as I push “publish” I’ll think of a song I absolutely love. C’est la vie.

Drink With Me

After I saw Phantom during my study abroad month during the summer of 1990 in London, I ended up going to four more – two plays and two more musicals. Let’s see, there was Les Mis (even bought a t-shirt over drinks afterwards!), Les Liaison Dangereuse, Cats (Jellicle Cats), and Burn This with John Malkovich (which was good, but only vaguely remember).

Les Miserables is, of course, awesome. I have a few vivid memories of going:

  1. Sitting way up high in the cheap seats with Mona (we had blown our budget on Phantom. Actually, it was her fault I spent all that money on Phantom. Her and her friends – we had all just met in the first days of the program – were all hyped up about Phantom. Not having any other plans, I went along. Also didn’t quite realize how much I had spent until I added it up later. Hence sandwiches as I mentioned in the “A” post. Anyway, we were good friends through college – loved a Wednesday study break at her house of 90210, Melrose Place, and her Cosmopolitan mag. Irma Kurtz’s Agony Column is still one of my favorite column titles.).
  2. It was HOT. Historic summer highs and no AC was not a good combo. We were both pretty much soaked by the time it was over.
  3. First time I almost cried during a movie/play/etc.– A Little Fall of Rain and Bring Him Home. Powerful, powerful stuff.
  4. The sniffles all around from everyone else crying after those songs (and On My Own and

I’ve always found Drink With Me to be overlooked. It’s not a flashy showstopper or comedic relief like Master of the House. It’s just a quiet song amongst friends as they worry about the possibility of dying and consider the consequences of revolution. Quiet, melancholy. It always makes me a bit lonesome for friends and family who are far away.

Don’t You Just Know It

The opposite of Drink With Me, this is just pure fun. I love cooking to the album this is on, Mardi Gras Party Anthems (my other go-to album for cooking red beans and rice is the Subdudes’ Annunciation). I’m usually singing along with this one when it comes on.

I’ve looked the lyrics up a bunch, but never remember them. Who the hell cares. HEY EH OH.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia

As an impressionable Catholic boy, I was hoping Johnny could play that fiddle hard. I love watching Charlie Daniels play this song – about halfway through I start wondering if his strings are going to make it. For some reason, the first time I can remember hearing this song is riding back to Maplewood from Lake Charles with Steven Thibodeaux and his mom and Mr. Hershel. Maybe it’s because I remember laughing when he said “sonofabitch.” Huh, that’s also one of my first memories of radio edits, because it was years later when I bought a cassette with the song on it that I heard the sonofabitch version again. Thanks, radio, for protecting my virgin ears. Whatever.

Dance With Me Tonight

From the movie “The Wonders,” which I’m continually surprised that I like, has some good music in it. This one’s my favorite because it sounds like Tom Hanks (who produced it) wanted it to – you could imagine this being a hit in the early 60s. Tight, snappy, pure pop in the best way possible. And Steve Zahn just looks like he’s having a blast during this one. Steve Zahn is hilarious in Happy, Texas as well.

And speaking of Tom Hanks, is he our generation’s Jimmy Stewart (without the war record – Jimmy Stewart piloted something like 20 bombing missions over Germany). They both excelleed in comedy (Bosom Buddies for Hanks and Harvey – a must watch – for Stewart); drama, romantic movies, and action. Stewart was in tons of Westerns and Hanks has been a hitman (Road to Perdition, which was really good) and, of course, in Saving Private Ryan.

Anyhoo, time to dance . . .

Dancing in the Dark

This is the first Springsteen song I think I actually really liked. I didn’t really appreciate Bruce until my late 20s. Went to see The River tour because Bruce was on my artist bucket list. I now see why people see him over and over and I’ll be one of them.

The main thing I remember about this video was Courtney Cox being plucked from the crowd in the video. The expression on her face still makes me giggle. And then she became famous! I remember being slightly let down when I read that she had been cast for that. Sometimes I miss being naive.

However, I wasn’t that naive I guess. I remember the crap over Reagan using the song Born in the U.S.A as a song of patriotism during rallies and that the Bruce wasn’t a fan of that. I also remember thinking “did anyone on the Reagan team actually listen to the lyrics.” As I would have said had The Princess Bride been made then, “You keep using that song. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

Devil in Me

Heard this about a year ago on a long run. Stopped and put the CD in my cart during a walk break. Just like it. Love a low, gritty voice like Gin Wigmore’s. The rest of the album, Gravel and Wine, is good as well.

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