Music break: Your Sunday Night Oldies Show — reminisce and saudade

They Reminisce Over You by Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth

Sunday nights are all about reminiscing. Here’s a jam that makes me think of East Coast summer nights — and also San Francisco, because I used to cue up my tape recorder waiting for this one circa 1992-1993. Here in Harlem the trees are green, the days are pushing 80, people are on the stoops and barber shops late into the night, and the shrill roar of local motorcycle buffs tearing down the avenues is coming through my windows. Take it slow, guys…

Ooh Baby Baby performed by the San Francisco TKOs

Speaking of slow, let’s slow it down and take some calls from the request lines. I give you “Ooh Baby Baby” as performed by the San Francisco TKOs, an old fashioned group I only recently became acquainted with. Love the cover art — who else remembers 107.7 KSOL? I like this grittier version better than The Miracles’, which sounds like LA to me, whereas the TKOs sounds like Telegraph Avenue, distant bridge lights, the Emeryville mudflats, the dry season on San Francisco hills.

Rather Go Blind by Etta James

No comment — just please turn this one up. And if you need more check out Beyonce’s surprisingly good Cadillac Records rendition.

Sodade by Cesaria Evora

Finally, a tune from elsewhere — and about elsewhere, the eternal Elsewhere. Because as I understand it, this song is about having a rift between where you are and where you wish to be: pain for the passage of time, separation from loved ones. Saudade (sodade in Cape Verdean Creole), according to Wikipedia, “describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.”  This song drips with it.

I was lucky enough to see the late Cape Verdean legend Cesaria Evora perform this one several years ago in Berkeley. In the middle of the show, barefoot, she took a break to have a drink and a smoke. It was part of the performance but convincing nonetheless.

This may be the ultimate song for Sunday evening.

One thought on “Music break: Your Sunday Night Oldies Show — reminisce and saudade

  1. Pingback: Nostalgia with purpose: Reflections on a New Yorker’s essay about leaving her city | The Long Gone Daddy

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