12 February 2004

so, tonight, shuffle interrupts my incessant playing of "o caroline," but more about that later. tonight, the wheel lands on...

marvin gaye, "can i get a witness?" this is about as close to stax as pre-whitfield motown gets. after a self-possessed start, marvin really lets go, effortlessly recalling sam cooke in a way that otis redding, who really had to work for the money, never could.

i had to re-write the above because what i realized on this particular listen was that my memory of the song, particularly of marvin's vocal, in no way corresponded to the real thing (fighting hard here to resist adding "baby.") i thought marvin maintained his cool throughout the entirety of the record, but, damn, he does rip it up. the first cassette i bought as an informed consumer, thereby discounting the california raisins' sweet, delicious & marvelous,was marvin's greatest hits. i would later buy a boxed set. in a pinch, relatives would buy me some compilation of his (given motown's track record, it tided me over for more holidays than you'd think). now, with a few exceptions ("when did you stop loving me...," "inner city blues," "stubborn kind of fellow") i don't listen to him regularly. a slip like this reminds me that i need to. how many other records might i have misremembered? (which is, of course, different from how many records have i misrepresented, you wags.)

but speaking of misrepresenting, i just noticed, listening to a lot of robert wyatt as of late, that i left "o caroline" by matching mole off the twee set, which means i need to re-record the whole of it, probably losing roxy. this is where i really wish i had a server to upload mp3s too, as "o caroline" is from a fairly obscure one-off. it's clumsy, endearing, cute, and finally heartbreaking, perhaps not a million miles away from david ackles' "down river" (and a direct forebear of belle & sebastian's entire aesthetic). which i'd also like to share. damn.

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