Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Song of the Day: "Troubled Man"

John Mellencamp "Troubled Man" lyrics
OMG I'm tired. Apparently staying up until 3:00 working on slides, while fun and all, doesn't agree with my need to wake up in the morning. I envy my teenage sons and the other "retirees" I know. I did get to sleep in until 7:50 this morning and when I got downstairs to feed the dogs I found they'd already given up on me and woken David. Fortunately for him he can go back to sleep for 5 more hours (OMG I want a nap).

I got some new music last week ("new" being a relative term) including the astoundingly lovely Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves, Saturns Patterns by Paul Weller, something from Graham Parker & The Rumor and a couple of things from Tracey Thorn. I also got a year-old release from John Mellencamp, Plain Spoken.

If you've lost touch with Mellencamp since 2007's Freedom Road , or potentially since 1996 and "Key West Intermezzo (I Saw Her First)," his last Top 40 single (once there was a time when people listened to music via a device called a "radio" and some radio content conduits, or "stations," would provide a limited breadth of content that was coordinated with similar "stations" in other geographies [oh did I mention that these "stations" had relatively specific reach always limited by geography? It won't be on the test] so as to curry favorite with desirable audiences (mostly the parents of white kids and, to a lesser extent, white kids themselves). I really loved that song.

Since then he's gotten divorced; started dating Meg Ryan; created Ghost Brothers of Darkland County a horror musical with Stephen King and T-Bone Burnett and an accompanying concept album with Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Sheryl Crow and others; and made a couple more movies that didn't do as well as the one that you've probably never even heard of.

Which is something of a long introduction for Plain Spoken, a continuation of the folk rock milieu he's taken comfort in for a while now (I keep hoping for another dance record, sigh). "Troubled Man" was the first single and while the lyrics offer little in the way of poetry, they are at least earnest and direct. Obviously that's Meg Ryan's influence.

Song: "Troubled Man"
Artist: John Mellencamp

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