Monday, July 7, 2008


My life is a mixtape. I pinpoint key events to hit songs on the radio. I've deejayed weddings and graduation parties, slept outside to score choice tickets, and stayed up hollow-eyed deciphering Dylan, so I guess I'm obsessed with music. Lately, I'm into Santogold, My Morning Jacket, Lil Wayne...but if I had to choose my favorite song of all time I'd have to crank up the time machine...

Dylan probably wrote it, but then again it could be the Beatles. It's hard to beat The Stones playing "Tumbling Dice " in Belgium in 1973 with Mick Taylor playing lead guitar. Janis Joplin singing "Ball and Chain." Sam Cooke singing "A Change is Gonna Come." Hank Williams on the Lost Highway. Billie Holiday. Howlin' Wolf. Tom Waits. Thelonius Monk alone at the piano playing "Ruby, My Dear." The Clash belting out"London Calling."

...But if a gun were put to my head I would have to choose this version of the Hoagy Carmichael standard "Stardust" performed by Louis Armstrong in 1931. This is what collectors call the "oh memory" version of the song. Listen to this, the syncopation, the scat-singing, and then a perfectly brilliant trumpet solo that will kill you if you have any sensitivity whatsoever. Here it is: The best song of all time. Sorry there is no live video recording of this, only audio, but please take a moment and listen and see why I love it.

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