365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

T-shirt #163: Everything But The Girl

T-shirt #163: Everything But The Girl

Lots of videos today! I know you live for videos and for music, either that's new to you or with which you need to reconnect after a long hiatus. I tried to keep the videos to just a few, so if nine is a few, then I made it!

Today I want to share about one of my favorite all time bands, definitely in my top ten, the great and wonderful EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL.

This is a great gift I bestow, especially if you have never heard this band before. EBTG has been a sustaining and emotionally rich source of inspiration and solace in my life for almost 30 years. I hope you find the band just as healing and beautiful as I do, or you re-discover how amazing it is by re-connecting today on my blog.

EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL and its two amazing musicians, Ms. Tracey Thorne and Mr. Ben Watt, has been one of my most consistent companions since my discovery of them in 1985 after I found their guest spot on the Style Council's album Café Bleu. Intrigued by Tracey's beautiful voice, I investigated and discovered this beautiful British jazzy band called Everything But The Girl.


I quickly began buying all their albums (LP records to start) and later CDs. I even tracked down imports, such as the UK only released Eden, which contained twice as many tracks as the equivalent U.S. release. I would not track down 1985's Love Not Money until years later and only on CD. But in 1986, my love for the band reached new heights with its gorgeous orchestral album Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. By the time, Idlewild was released in 1988 and the band's "Apron Strings" was featured in the film She's Having a Baby (one of my all-time favorite films), I was a die-hard fan.


One of the things I love about doing this blog is what I learn that I did not know about my favorite things.
I always wondered how Everything But the Girl got its name. Apparently, the duo adopted its name from a Hull (technically Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire, England) furniture shop called Turner's, which used to advertise that "for your bedroom needs, we sell everything but the girl." See the EBTG WIKI for this and more information.

I knew that Ben and Tracey were a couple, married, with children, but in reading the Wiki, I am not surprised at how private they are, which I respect.

It is extremely difficult for me to select a top ten favorite EBTG list of songs or to rank their albums. I can say that I prefer the older stuff. Though my favorite song, "We Walk the Same Line," appears on their next to last release Walking Wounded (1996). I did not much care for the final release, Tempermental (1999), but "not caring for" one EBTG release over another is like a chocolate lover claiming preference for the almond and sea salt chocolate bar over the ginger one. Both are loved as chocolate is loved. But one is preferred.

I cannot write about EBTG without letting you know, dear reader, that Tracey Thorn has been enjoying a very prolific and popular (at least in England) solo career in recent years. Her 2007 solo Out of the Woods has become one of my favorite albums of all time and rivals anything produced by EBTG. That album appeared in my top twenty most listened to albums of all time and may soon break in to the top ten, arguably. I wrote about these rankings here in T-shirt #97.

EBTG are best known for the song "Missing" from the 1994 album Amplified Heart, which the band produced after Ben Watts was diagnosed with Churg-Strauss Syndrome, an autoimmune disease, which surely inspired the next album as well, The Walking Wounded, and my favorite song "We Walk the Same Line."

EBTG stopped recording and touring after Temperamental (1999). Ben Watts continues to write and produce. He produced for another favorite of mine, Beth Orton, and recently (August 2013) performed his first solo work in 30 years.

I had the pleasure of seeing EBTG live in 1996. I remember this time in my life vividly. Indulge me in a little reflection. Around the time of the concert, July of 1996, I was going through a break up with a woman I had been involved with for almost a year and with whom I was very much in love. Though I spent the next year trying to get her back, in July of 1996, she and I were breaking up, and so she was unwilling (and possibly unable as she was doing contract work in southern Indiana) to attend the EBTG concert with me in Royal Oak.

I don't remember how it happened, but I ended up taking an ex-girlfriend to the concert, one with whom I had broken up seven years before. I suspect that I called her because I knew she loved EBTG, and I was trying to stay in touch with her because I valued her as a person and considered her a close friend. She agreed to go with me, and we had a really nice time. We ate at a restaurant on the main drag in Royal Oak that has "crab" in the name, I think, a place that serves various kinds of raw oysters.


The show was magnificent, and I remember that I cried when they played "We Walk The Same Line."

 That's all I remember other than fragments and scraps, none of which would be vivid or interesting enough to add here.

 I am not going to share lyrics for all the songs I am sharing via video, but for my favorite song, I want to share lyrics because the song has been an anthem for me over the years. It's never meant more to me than it has in recent weeks. As I have written before, and I will write again, I am so lucky to have such a great community of people around me, near and far, who love me and whom I love, especially my immediate my family: my wife, my kids, my parents, my sister, my cousins.

We all do.

We walk the same line.

"WE WALK THE SAME LINE" - LYRICS
- everything but the girl

If you lose your faith, babe
You can have mine
And if you're lost I'm right behind
'Cause we walk the same line

Now I don't have to tell you
How slow the night can go
I know you've watched for the light

And I bet you could tell me
How slowly four follows three
And you're most forlorn just before dawn

So if you lose your faith, babe
You can have mine
And if you're lost I'm right behind
'Cause we walk the same line

When it's dark, baby
There's a light I'll shine
And if you're lost I'm right behind
'Cause we walk the same line

And I don't need reminding
How loud the phone can ring
When you're waiting for news

And that big old moon
Lights every corner of the room
Your back aches from lying
And your head aches from crying

So if you lose your faith, babe
You can have mine
And if you're lost I'm right behind
'Cause we walk the same line

When it's dark, baby
There's a light I'll shine
And if you're lost I'm right behind
'Cause we walk the same line

And if these troubles
Should vanish like rain at midday
Well, I've no doubt there'll be more

And we can't run and we can't cheat
'Cause baby, when we meet, what we're afraid of
We find out what we're made of

So if you lose your faith, babe
You can have mine
And if you're lost I'm right behind
'Cause we walk the same line

When it's dark, baby
There's a light I'll shine
And if you're lost I'm right behind
'Cause we walk the same line

And if you're lost I'm right behind
'Cause we walk the same line
Walk the same line
And if you're lost I'm right behind
'Cause we walk the same line

Lost I'm right behind
We walk the same line
Walk the same line

Okay, now A LOT OF VIDEOS. And I do mean  A LARGE number but not too many. Don't want to go crazy.

My favorite EBTG song is definitely, without equivocation or ties or haggling, "We Walk The Same Line," from the 1996 release Walking Wounded.


We Walk The Same Line by Everything But The Girl


Usually when I share about a favorite musical artist or band, I will only share the band's or artist's music performed by them, him, or her not someone else's cover of the band's music. But searching for my favorite EBTG song, I found this cover version by Von Grey who have done a series of cover videos in the backseat of a mini-van, which is kind of an unique idea in and of itself. The band is a group of young girls out of Atlanta who employ such beautiful harmonies and instrumentation that they drew the attention of Paste Magazine after their performance at SXSW that drew a sizeable crowd.

Backseat Cover Series, Episode #5 - We Walk the Same Line by Everything But the Girl


Far and away, "You Lift Me Up" off of Worldwide is my second favorite EBTG song.

Everything But the Girl - You Lift Me Up


Following are a series of older videos for early EBTG songs. There's one TV performance, which is very cool to see.

Everything But The Girl - Come On Home [PV]



Everything But The Girl - Don't Leave Me Behind [PV]


EBTG "Each And Everyone" + Lyrics


Everything but the girl 1987 TV - These Early Days



Everything But The Girl - The Language of Life



Everything But The Girl - Oxford Street




Page from my ticket book
with the EBTG ticket
and others
WEEKLY COMICS STACK

Notice that the Back Log is smaller as I have cleared more of it lately by devoting myself more to rest and comic book reading.

Ultimate Spider-Man edges Aquaman for top spot this week simply because the events of the former are a bit more cliff-hangery than the events in the latter, or so it seems to my addled and muddled mind. In other words, I am a little more interested in the position in which Bendis left Spider-Man than in the position of Aquaman right at this moment. These things can change. But likely I will read at least the top three comics tonight (I was writing this Friday not today, which is Saturday) before I go to sleep, and if I am not super sleepy, and since I will be listening to the Tigers game, I could get through the first six or even seven. (Update: final count = four, though I started the fifth and didn't finish it as the Tigers went into a rain delay and I was sleepy).

Those of you who read me often (and especially my comic pals at Fanfare) will be happy to see that not only is FF resurrected out of my back log, but it jumps to seventh place. In fact, if there were fewer comics or fewer that I am loving right now out this week, FF would be even higher. I read three or four issues of FF last night (Thursday) and LOVED them. This is often what happens to the back log. It's not a back log of comics I don't like. Often it's a back log of comics that I love, but they stack up for some reason (and often not a good reason).

If not for Ultimate Spider-Man and Aquaman, Captain America would take the top slot. I am very much loving this story line as I described in grand detail in T-shirt #106. It looks like the Dimension Z story line ends with this issue, so I am curious to see how Remender plans to conclude and bring Cap back into continuity. (OH MY!!! I will write about this later... but for now, WOW OH WOW.)

Young Avengers and New Avengers stay highly rated with the former just edging the latter, mainly because I am LOVING Jamie McKelvie's art. (Sorry Kieron, the story is good, too). Okay... I know that's cute, and though I follow both Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie on Twitter, I doubt either reads my blog. But I have more grease to wax on Gillen's board (does that make sense?) because of his most excellent comic Uber from Avatar Press. More later.

Justice League drops far down to tenth out of twenty-two comics that I purchased today (that came out Wednesday) because as I wrote about last week in T-shirt #156, I am not impressed with the DC Trinity War story very much at all, which is a little sad because I want to be loving it.

Thor drops because the God Butcher story has ended, and the issue looks like a filler with a guest artist. Tom Strong stays strong in 11th place because I liked the first issue a lot: Tahnk you Chris Sprouse. And even though, I love the Titans, the book has not been very good lately. But this is not an exact science. There's whim at work here. Because I have been really loving Flash and Mind the Gap. Occasionally, I do move up books that I originally rated too low. These two issues look like candidates for move up.

COMICS FOR THE WEEK OF 1308.28
Ultimate Spider-Man #26
Aquaman #23
Captain America #010
Young Avengers #009
New Avengers #009
Lazarus #3
FF #011
Avengers Arena #014
Batman/Superman #3
Justice League #23
Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #2 of 6
Uncanny X-Men #011
Uncanny Avengers #011
Thor - God of Thunder #012
Flash #23
Mind the Gap #13
Teen Titans #23
Catwoman #23

BACK LOG
Max Brooks - The Extinction Parade #2
Superman #23
Secret Avengers #008
Mister X - Eviction #3 of 3

POSTSCRIPT: UPDATE: Is the Legion of Super Heroes not really over?

So, I struck up a conversation with Bill Artis in Fanfare today because I know he's a huge Legion of Super Heroes, like me. I asked him what he thought of the last issue and the cancelling of the book as I reported in T-shirt #156.

Hey, I am a comic book geek, but my memory sucks, and I am reading the comics more as relaxation and a way for my mind to drift and not as works that I study closely. Then again, if I worked in a comic shop, my memory for Mark Waid's run on Legion and other specifics like that would be better.

However, Bill pointed out to me that the Legion that DC ended in that comic was the Earth Two Legion because of the explanation that Steppenwolf had killed Superman. I also noticed tha,t at some time, and I did not know when (neither did Bill), Star Boy had been killed. HUH?

So maybe the Legion, our Legion, Earth One Legion, will be back sooner than we think... :-)

- chris tower - 1308.31 - 14:01