This week’s listmaker: Ann Henry-Callahan. Ann is a triple-threat, multiple-time contributor to Punchnel’s and a women of questionable musical taste.
Among my peers, my musical tastes are legendary for their enthusiastic pedestrianism; which makes me uniquely qualified for this Punchlist.
1. Todd Rundgren: “Hello It’s Me.” Liv Tyler spent most of her childhood believing Todd Rundgren was her father, until she noticed that she has Steven Tyler’s mouth. And his last name. It’s really a tossup for me which Todd Rundgren song to list here, because “I Saw the Light” is kind of a terrific driving song, air drums on the steering wheel. But belting out “It’s important to meheeheeheeeeee that you know you are freeeheeheeyeeheeee” with the windows down on a summer’s eve? “Hello It’s Me” is one booty call that’s easy to ignore, but hard to resist.
2. Jefferson Starship, “Count On Me.” I’d been drinking beer in the afternoon with a group of friends the first time I really felt this song. The piano choking out sobs with Marty Balin’s vocals dancing sensually, soulfully, like a concert violinist, “Blue as the sky, deep in the eyes of a love soooo true.” This is a song of lazy afternoon lovemaking, dredging ice cubes across a stranger’s clavicle; whispered promises of adoration and the dream of becoming middle-aged people who still look twenty years younger.
3. Bread, “Everything I Own.” Think about that: I would give up my life, my heart, my home, everything I own: just to have you back again. Because who doesn’t want a homeless helpless social outcast depending on them for emotional fulfillment? Still, the soaring passion of the refrain juxtaposed against the delicate folk feel of the verses makes this an anthem that grabs your heartstrings and wrestles you to the ground in a moist-eyed confession that you, too, have the capacity to be that pathetic.
4. Ambrosia, “How Much I Feel.” The ultimate go-to song for when you’re pining over something that ended ages ago for reasons that were painfully obvious at the time and probably wasn’t even all that special then, but you still want to sob your cabernet-soaked heart out over the eternal noble tragedy of letting The One Who Got Away get away. Probably a chick thing.
5. Sanford-Townsend Band, “Smoke From A Distant Fire.” You’d have to be a soulless wretch not to love the brass and beat of this one-hit R&B wonder; the gear-shifting tune and festive guitar riffs are so good for the human in you, you could listen to it a million times and never even bother to hear the lyrics. But if you can nail the tongue-twisting alliteration and revel in this sassy rhythmic accusation of infidelity, you’ll be forever assimilated into the only song to advise, “don’t let the screen door hit you on your way out.”