“Zoom” by the Cadillacs

This is probably only their third-best song (behind “Speedo” and “Gloria”), but it starts with Z. Since I used a doo-wop song to announce my A to Z theme, I figured closing with one was only right.

The Cadillacs have been pretty well forgotten by casual fans but are still highly influential. (No less than Billy Joel paid tribute to them in the fadeout of his hit “River of Dreams”. Bonus points if you can find it.)

So here’s the end. Somehow I made it all the way through the A to Z Challenge this year. I did cheat a little (throwing in an extra M and S in place of Q and X), but I did 26 posts. So there.

If all goes well, I’ll be moving on to some other fun stuff quite soon, namely a podcast. Check it out. With a little luck, I’ll have some real episodes rolling within a day or so.

“Will You Love Me Tomorrow” by Carole King

I could’ve easily picked another version of this song (usually done as “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”). The Shirelles probably did the most famous one, and Roberta Flack’s absolutely kills me. I had to go with Carole King’s because she did co-write the song. (She wrote the music with lyrics by her ex-husband Gerry Goffin.)

Another reason to choose this version is to mention Carole King’s amazing album “Tapestry”. It features a couple of other songs that other people had made into hits (like “Feel Like a Natural Woman” and “You’ve Got a Friend”) as well as a couple that you shouldn’t bother hear anyone else do besides Carole (like “So Far Away”).

In the age of shuffling through every song in your collection, “Tapestry” is one of those albums for which I will put everything on pause for a listen. I did it about a month ago. I might have to do it again today.

My (Possibly Not) Great Podcast Experiment

A big part of my motivation in starting my blog was learning about people’s lives outside of the straight white male “default”. My writing has wandered in many different directions since then, but I’m wanting to re-focus a little on that original mission. I figure the best way to do that is with a podcast, something I’ve wanted to do for years anyway.

I have just one big rule: NO POLITICS. That too often becomes an excuse for people to tune out. My interest is in learning, not dividing.

I’ve been tinkering with the technicals for a while, and that will probably continue for a while. I can’t promise the production quality will ever improve, but I doubt it can get any worse.

I’ve recorded a little intro for you to check out. If you want to be a guest, drop a line to swmseekspodcast@gmail.com.

“Vengeance Is Sleeping” by Neko Case

This sounds like Bob Dylan crossed with Nick Drake, and it is so very Neko.

At a show once I heard her introduce it as a very soft loud song. I can think of no better description.

It’s exactly what I need today. Yesterday brought news that yet another of my war buddies is gone. So I need to listen to this on repeat a while and lose my mind.

“And the truth is that it comes as no surprise.”

“Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole

This is definitely “a song of love that clings to me”. It’s not even my favorite Nat King Cole song, but the convenience of the title beginning with U makes it today’s selection.

Don’t get me wrong. I do love the song. With that smooth, rich baritone, I could listen to Nat King Cole sing the phone book, but Irving Gordon’s composition makes it all the better.

Even though it’s not my favorite, I have no issue with this being Cole’s most famous song. I’ll forego the pun of calling it…

“Tea for the Tillerman” by Cat Stevens

This is the title track to Cat Stevens’ best album. (If you try to argue for anything else except “Teaser and the Firecat”, I’m not even going to bother with you.)

It’s such a short, simple thing. It puts my brain in pretzels trying to figure out how he managed to pack so much into just over a minute and have much of that be very little. It’s quite enjoyable on its own, but it’s so much better when you hear it the way it was originally made: as the end of that most excellent album. It’s a perfect little coda. So you should just go out and listen to that whole thing right now. Quit reading this crap. Get listening.