Liner Notes for My 30s

Hey kids – I turned 40 today! Frijoles! I decided to make compilation album to celebrate and as a gift to my friends. Here are the liner notes. If you want any of the music (or the whole CD) drop me a line… I’ll have an iMix ready soon. In the end, I *wish* there was an easier way for me to get it to you, period.

Our Intrepid Hero in Goa (med).jpg


First of all, let’s just say it up front: this compilation is an OUTRAGE. While it purports to be a record of my thirties, where is the Prince, or the Stevie Wonder, or the Michael Jackson!? Sting, anyone? Only one U2 song? Where the hell is Pete Townshend or Cake? Whither Lyrics Born, Blackalicious, or Spearhead? Midnight Oil? Not here? How is that possible?

And what’s up with the fact that it’s biased to my late 30s rather than my early thirties – lame!

Only 18 songs? How can 10 years in my life be only 18 songs?

An outrage I tell you!

And yet, I’ll stand for it. There is nothing good without constraints, I think. And the length of one CD is my only bulwark against self-indulgence.

So here you are: massively unfair, wildly subjective, and hopefully, nonetheless, right if not accurate. A flawed but deeply personal record of my thirties. I hope you:

  • like at least some of it
  • find at least a tiny bit of the transcendence, solace and inspiration that I have here
  • find something new
  • aren’t bored with the stuff you’ve heard me play a million times 🙂

I love you! ‘deep


Liner Notes for LINER NOTES…

You Are Forgiven (Deep Edit) – The Who: The first part of my thirties was all about getting in touch with the worst parts of me. Therapy was very good for me, and was a seriously healthy kick in the ass. This snippet of a longer Who song (“A Quick One While He’s Away”) snuck into my subconscious while I was at my lowest. It took me weeks to figure out why I was humming this tune. And to realize I had a subconscious. Pete and the boys lead our hero out of the darkness.

Never Let You Go – Third Eye Blind: And what caused this burst of growth? The usual 🙂 And this song was the anthem. In hindsight, the break up wasn’t nearly as important as the period of growth it started. I’m grateful.

Window In the Skies – U2: Like many of us, most of my life has had a major soundtrack but if anything, music has been an even bigger deal in my thirties than ever before, between working on iTunes, dancing & FlashDancing, Glam Klam Karaoke at Burning Man & Trikeasaurus. This song is a paean to love, and the video is a paean to music. You really HAVE to watch it: Perfect!

Mitwa – Udit Narayan, Alga Yagnik, Sukwinder Singh (from “Lagaan”):

Salaam-e-Ishq – Sonu Nigam, Sherya Ghosal, Kunal Ganjawala, Sadhna Sargam & Shanker Mahadevan (from “Salaam-e-Ishq”):I also spent a lot of time figuring out and coming to terms with being Indian or near Indian, or really a poser Indian 🙂 and growing up OTHER in the South. Bollywood has been a big part of that transition. These next two songs were played incessantly. The vocal in Mitwa starting at around 3:55 still almost brings me to tears. And the whole “Lagaan” soundtrack is one of my favorite albums. As for Salaam-E-Ishq, it took over my life & those of more than a few friends after my last trip to India.

Electrolite – R.E.M.: Good happy mellow days sitting in the sun, quiet reflective nights, seeing the bright side after a break up, pretty much every down tempo mood I have, this song fits somehow. iTunes says it is my most played song ever. I’m a little skeptical (it depends on when we started counting), but it has got to be close if it isn’t.

Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues – Eels: If I had to pick one band to capture my thirties, it would Eels. E’s (the man behind Eels) cover of Prince’s “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” really belongs here too. He’s had a tough life, yet his optimism, while sometimes grim, is indomitable. It never fails to grab me.

Do Ya – Electric Light Orchestra: In my early thirties especially, I got really good at embracing all the stuff that I love that I was afraid wasn’t cool. That being said, E.L.O. might be cool by now 🙂 but I’m too far gone to care. They’ve been the “behind the scenes” music favorite all my life. My first favorite album ever was probably “Time,” and it is still in heavy rotation in my life. Somehow, I missed this song from the brilliant “A New World Record” until just the last few years.

Grace Kelly – MIKA: This is a shout-out to all the great new stuff I’ve discovered in the past 10 years, and also to my deep, abiding, love for well crafted pop music. I love MIKA & MIKA is pop in all the best ways. This might not even be the best song on his debut album.

These next few songs are really all about one thing: dancing. I’ve spent more time in my thirties dancing than any other time. I’m still trying to figure what was wrong with me in my twenties 🙂 Anyway, these are all big FlashDance songs too, and FlashDance has revolutionized my life. Seriously. Thank you to everyone who has ever been to one of my FlashDances! Beware (Jay-Z Remix) – Panjabi MC: This song has been huge and fits with the Indian & FlashDance themes of my thirties Stronger – Kanye West: Kanye + Daft Punk = the best of hip-hop and the best of electronica Dec. 4th, Oh What A Night – Jay-Z vs. Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons: Mash-ups represent so much about what is great about NOW and music, and SF (thank you Bootie!). Crazy in Love – Beyoncé: An anthemic FlashDance staple from Beyoncé. More well crafted pop! It’s also remarkable how much Jay-Z is all over so many of my favorite songs from this period…

(Come ‘Round Here) I’m The One You Need – The Jackson 5: If you know a lot about my interactions with women, or my ego, or the ridiculous insecurities that have plagued me at times, this song is a crack up. If you don’t, you’ll just get how much I luv me some J5.

The Great Intoxication – David Byrne: Strings. Strings. Strings. I love a good string section, and I love David Byrne on soooo many levels. And this is a song about DJing 🙂

Honey I Been Thinking About You – Jackie Greene: No single song over the past 10 years has grabbed me more than this one.

Things the Grandchildren Should Know – Eels: The past two years have been all about coming to terms with turning 40, thoughts about love and mortality, and my place in it all. And really about acceptance and self-awareness. This song is exactly what that sounds like to me. Thanks E!

Bonus track! The sound of Trikeasaurus! Woot! This song has taken over my life. I’m not complaining, and so far neither is the population of SF. 😉

.ps I’d love to know what you think, like, don’t like etc. Use the comments rather than email, so other people will get your thoughts too… Also I’d LOVE some “if you like that, have you heard this?”

.pps A friend has a game whereby she strings together two phrases (that connect in a word) to make a new phrase with additional meanings. Thus, an alternate title for this album was “As Old as the Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music.”

Another title I liked was “40x Around the Sun.” But I like the current title.

13 thoughts on “Liner Notes for My 30s

  1. 40x around the sun…i vote yes. i have an uncle who has always signed birthday cards with the line, “enjoy your next trip around the sun.” i’ve always thought that was cool and admit to full plagerism on many occasions. its a simple but thought provoking little sentiment. gets you thinking about your birthday differently, like its the celebration of a journey not just a day to get stuff and eat cake.

  2. oh, and your song choices and reasons for them…priceless. deep, you’re so perfectly YOU. i should start working on my own version of 40x. got a lot of material to go through.

  3. I love the mix tape theme and liner notes (as well as the fact that you went to therapy in your early 30s).

    Coincidentally with the 40x thing, I only “discovered” the “around the sun” allusion last month. Why hadn’t I noticed it before?

    Which leads me to a suggested alternate idea along the lines of “Laps around the sun: best of the 30s.” Notice how you can use this structure for any life segment you like!

  4. I want one! It sounds amazing, esp. all the songs connected to growth. I need to do this about my last two years coming back from traumatic event and never being happier than I am now. Thanks for the inspiration. BTW, I watched E’s from The Eels documentary on Nova about his father’s suicide as research for my second book and he really grew on me. You should check it out (forgot the title). How do I get this CD? Hugs- Amanda

  5. Since you are a comment whore (something I wouldn not have called you publicly at 30), I would like to say that:
    This is *really* good. I thought seriously about doing one (when I went around 40x). I started it and then just got side-tracked.
    Thanks to this, I see the power of actually finishing it. Proud of you for that!
    And that’s even before I have a look at the songs and the reasons you picked them.

    And now that I’ve read your notes…Imagine if you’d done one at 30x? What would that have looked like?! And then imagine what you would have given (when you were 30) to see the one you would do 10 years later at 40.
    There’s so much growth and self-acceptance/understanding here — things we crave at 30.

  6. happy 40th! somehow i don’t agree we’re at the halflife, at least not PR wise….

    i have to admit i don’t recognize half of the tunes but they’ve gotta be good! lay it on me. thanks ‘deep!

  7. Purleeeease send us a copy of the mix.

    I have to admit that I was kind of secretly hoping for more tracks along the line of Salaam-e-Ishq. Usually when I hang out with the other “deep” in my social circle I get some very cool ideas of Bollywood, modern India bangra/ techno crossover stuff. Although he has become disappointingly latino of late, so I am looking for other channels 🙂

    Beyonce? maybe in the gym

    stay well, be happy… and you don’t look a day over 30

    love from the both of us

    J & S

  8. Alright, this is a pretty fantastic thing to do for people on your b’day. I love the b’day spirit! Thanks Deep… and happy happy happy birthday to you. =) –sukhjit

  9. Brilliant ‘deep. Love the tunes and appreciate the insight into your thoughts on why these songs evoke such emotion. Cheers!

  10. Great songs on this mix, and it’s a mini-memoir of your thirties! If you were anyone else, I would ask you if you knew how much you’re revealing about yourself through these songs. But you’re ‘deep, so you know. Thanks for sharing with those of us who love you.

  11. Electrolite is one of my favorite R.E.M. songs! Deep, you’re Martin Sheen. You’re Steve McQueen. You’re Jimmy Dean. You’re a little bit of everything.

  12. I finally listened to your tracks and enjoyed your commentary. I thought I had heard them all, but “(Come ‘Round Here) I’m The One You Need” was a nice J5 find.

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