Rock Paper Scissors

Yesterday evening my sister and I went to Peter Gabriel and Sting’s Rock Paper Scissors concert in Washington, DC. We have both been big fans of both artists, especially Peter Gabriel, for a long time. I can remember watching the VHS tape of Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Live concert together back in the mid-90s and wishing we could see him perform someday.

The concert exceeded my expectations. Both Peter and Sting covered songs by the other one, which was fantastic to hear — I’ve always been a fan of new interpretations to old songs. And the format of the show, with the two of them trading off song-after-song, and playing together most of the time, was much better than had it been two separate sets.

My sister and I have seen some fantastic concerts together over the years, including Ani DiFranco (numerous times), Björk (twice), David Byrne, Depeche Mode, and The Smashing Pumpkins. This performance ranks right up there with the best of them.


Forty at Forty

When I turned thirty, I created a list of thirty songs I thought others should listen to. I thought it would be fun to do the same when I turned forty. Here goes, in alphabetical order:

  1. Beat the Rap, Deepspace5 (2010)
  2. Blackstar, David Bowie (2016)
  3. Chameleon, Herbie Hancock (1973)
  4. For Martha, The Smashing Pumpkins (1998)
  5. Georgia, Vance Joy (2014)
  6. Girl/Boy Song, Aphex Twin (1997)
  7. God Only Knows, The Beach Boys (1966)
  8. The Great Below, Nine Inch Nails (1999)
  9. Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley (1994)
  10. Halo, Michael Knott (2001)
  11. Hatfield 1980, Everything But The Girl (1999)
  12. I’ve Seen It All, Björk & Thom Yorke (2000)
  13. If I Die Young, The Band Perry (2010)
  14. In Your Room, Depeche Mode (1993)
  15. Jesus, I / Mary Star Of The Sea, Zwan (2003)
  16. Leave Me Alone, Argyle Park (1995)
  17. Less Than Zero, L.A. Symphony (2005)
  18. Make You Feel My Love, Bob Dylan (1997)
  19. Mt Saint Michel + Saint Michael’s Mount, Aphex Twin (2001)
  20. The National Anthem, Radiohead (2000)
  21. One Sunday Morning, Wilco (2011)
  22. Poison & Wine, The Civil Wars (2011)
  23. Purple Rain, Prince (1984)
  24. Secret World, Peter Gabriel (1992)
  25. Solar System, Vigilantes Of Love (2000)
  26. Song For Sonny Liston, Mark Knopfler (2004)
  27. The Sound of Failure, The Flaming Lips (2005)
  28. Spitting Venom, Modest Mouse (2007)
  29. Subterraneans, David Bowie (1977)
  30. Treacherous, Taylor Swift (2012)
  31. True Love Waits, Radiohead (2016)
  32. Try to Explain, The Flaming Lips (2013)
  33. Under Pressure, Queen & David Bowie (1981)
  34. Unto Caesar, Dirty Projectors (2012)
  35. Videotape, Radiohead (2007)
  36. We Float, PJ Harvey (2000)
  37. Why Should I Cry For You?, Sting (1991)
  38. Why Worry, Dire Straits (1985)
  39. You Must Learn, Boogie Down Productions (1989)
  40. Your Next Bold Move, Ani DiFranco (2001)

Search these out and listen to them… I’m sure you can find most of them on iTunes, Spotify, or other services.

Twelve of these songs were released in the past ten years — I’m glad to see that I’m continuing to explore new music. I can’t wait to see what my “Fifty at Fifty” list looks like in ten years. I hope it will be filled with a mix of newer and older songs as this list is!

Note: I didn’t look at my “Thirty at Thirty” list before posting this. I will look at it and post it in the next few days or so for historical comparison… it will be interesting to see how my tastes have changed (or not) in the past ten years.