Thursday, August 25, 2016

1000 SONGS - DAY 355 Song #386

Day 355: A Song about what Time Does 

Butch Hancock, born 1945, is a Texan country-musician who is probably better known as a songwriter than as a recording artist. Nevertheless, he also does fine versions of the songs he has written. Looked at by some as a forerunner of “alternative country”, his songs have been covered by Emmylou, Linda Ronstadt, Texas Tornados amongst others and mostly by Joe Ely, who was a member of the Flatlanders (1970-1973, reunited in 1997 in the context of the movie The Horse Whisperer, for which they recorded the song South Wind of Summer), like Butch. I especially do like Butch Hancock’s album “Eats away the Night”. Here is the title song of that album.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

1000 SONGS - Day 354 Song #385

TAG 354: Was (Nieder-) Österreichisches

Ich habe einen Lieblingsplatz auf der großen weiten Welt. Das ist die Bodenwiese am Gahns im südlichen Niederösterreich. Erstens natürlich, weil es dort einfach schön ist. Zweitens, weil dort die Waldburgangerhütte steht. Und - last, not least - weil die Maria die Hüttenwirtin dort ist, meine Lieblingshüttenwirtin. Maria kann auch sehr schön singen, was sie hier unter Beweis stellt, in einem Duett mit Herrn Trabitsch, Klaus aus Prigglitz (Nachbargemeinde zu meinem Wohnort), aka Captain Silver (of Ostbahn's Chefpartie fame). Die beiden singen ein Lied, das in der österreichischen Volksmusik in verschiedensten Variationen überliefert ist, hier so, wie es Arthur Halberstadt (1874-1950), der - jüdische - Volksmusikforscher aus dem Semmeringgebiet aufgezeichnet hat (es ist von sowas wie einer Halberstadt-Tribute-CD genommen). Halberstadt hat auch in von Peter Rosegger herausgegebenen Zeitschriften publiziert, aber es scheint (so verstehe ich die Nachforschungen der guten Maria), dass der Briefwechsel zwischen dem Nobelpreiskandidaten, der gegen Tagore unterlag  und dem Volksmusikforscher verloren gegangen ist. Hier ist es: Maria Ströbl und Klaus Trabitsch spielen "Wan I's aufdenk". Ich liebe es. Die Bilder sind alle von der Bodenwiese oder aus Prigglitz.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

1000 SONGS - DAY 353 Song # 384

Day 353: The Man Who Saved the Blues

Today there were three CDs in my mail, containing some of the best music I have heard for a long time – very special gifts to me, a fan of the blues. Gary Clark Jr. sounds to me like the one and only true heir of Jimi Hendrix and I look at him as the one person saving the blues for the next generation (I have to add: forget it, old slowhand). And boy, can he play guitar (again: slowhand?). Here are just two songs from “Blak and Blue”: “When my train pulls in” and “Next Door Neighbour Blues”. Two versions of the first one, two versions of the second one. Another marvellous thing about Gary Clark Jr.: He can do equally convicing different versions of his songs. And he has a great great band. These here are just examples. Check him out!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

1000 SONGS - Day 352 Song #383

Day 383 - A Song About the Danger We All Live in

Bahamut - a kind of primordial being, as known from many cosmogonic myths around the world (methinks) is the main figure of a wonderful song by Hazmat Modine, a band from New York. This band's leader (virtuosity in playing the harmonica), Wade Schuman seems tohave written lyrics like that:

 No one has ever seen Bahamut
Some think it's a fish
Some think it's a newt
Some think it's a cat
All we know is that the lonely Bahamut
Floats endlessly through all time and all space
With all of us and everything
Floating in a single tear
Of his eye

Well, Bohemoth calls us his own
While Bahamut wanders alone
When they both go out to play
On that cold and rainy day

Simply great, great music, enjoy it if you can

Monday, June 6, 2016

1000 SONGS - Day 351 Song # 382

Day 351: Attwenger 

Attwenger from Upper Austria are Markus Binder (dr, voc, lyrics) and Hans Peter Falkner (acc, voc). They started with a kind of crossover between Austrian Folk Music and Contemporary Approaches to Music and developed that style on various albums in various directions. Nuff said. Here are two great tracks: "dog" - which does not mean the animal we all like, but is Upper Austrian dialect for "day" ('tag')  {Bangok!} - and "hintn umi", which could be translated as "round the / behind my / back" ('hintenherum' 'hinter meinem rücken'). Everybody thinks that Falco was a serious contribution to contemporary music by an Austrian guy and since then .... I think, Attwenger are one of a kind of serious contribution to new musical sytles.

Monday, February 8, 2016

1000 SONGS - Day 350 SONG # 381

DAY 350: A Song about Me & Myself

In the original 30 days song-challenge, there might have been categories like "a song that describes you". Among those songs describing me (although it is a song representing the female side) there is the "Gin House Blues". Two songs are filed under that title nowadays, both of them first recorded by Bessie Smith (1894-1937). The original one, with the title "Gin House Blues" was written by Fletcher Henderson and Henry Troy, recorded by Bessie Smith in  1926. The other one, originally called "Me and my Gin" (the one that describes me) was recorded by Bessie Smith in 1928. It was allegedly written by a man named Harry Burke. Be that as it may, it has become the song to be known as "Gin House Blues". Andy Fairweather Low (of Amen Corner) did a version of it, and the first version you find when you google the title, is one rather superfluos live version done by Mr. Low and Old Slowhand. As I do not appreciate their mutual effort too much, I do not include it here. In contradistinction to these merry ol' englishmen, Nina Simone did a really good version of that song (as was to be expected). So let's get to the Bettie Smith version first, then to the rendering of Queen Simone (what a great version!), and, for completeness' sake, add the original "Gin House Blues" in Bettie's version.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1000 SONGS - DAY 349 SONG #380


I listend to Jethro Tull a lot when I was a teenager. During the last years I have rediscovered them. Ian Anderson is a fine musician, without any doubt. "Thick as a Brick" is a masterpiece, in my opinion. But there are many more fine tunes composed by Anderson. I always loved the more reduced ones, the poetic ones, those in "odd" time signatures more than the rock songs in 4/4 (although there are some fine songs among them, too, and after not listening to it for decades, I can also appreciate "Locomotive Breath" again). Most famous of the "odd" time compositions is the 5/4 "Living in the Past", but methinks that Ian is a master of the 6/8 time and the way to put his lyrics in there with those breaks (he stops the sentence and leaves out something like two eights and puts the last syllable on the last 8 - or something like that). I recently discovered two chamber music versions of two of my favourite Anderson compositions, Wond'ring Aloud and Life is a Long Song.

As a bonus track, a version of "Wond'ring Aloud" other than featured on "Aqualung", called "Wond'ring Again" - first song of side b of second disc of "Living in the Past" (I think, but maybe another alternative version); so beautiful:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 348 SONG # 379

DAY 348: The Cretacious Period

As each and everyone seems to have found new interest in Tyrannosaurus Rex and other saurians (at least according to what I can judge from scrolling down facebook this morning), I also do remember the Tyrannosaurus before his name became abbreviated to T. There is some great T. Rex stuff, too, so please don't let me be misunderstood. Nevertheless, here is "By the Light of a Magical Moon",  a fine tune by Bolan (he plays all the instruments that Mickey Finn does not play...) from the fourth and last Tyrannosaurus Rex  LP before Bolan changed the name to T. Rex  and became a Glam-Rock-Star or something like this. Only the good die young....

Friday, November 6, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 347 SONG # 378

DAY 347: A band I recently discovered

I do not even know how, but somewhere and by chance (I guess) I heard a tune by Musée Mécanique. I found it very beautiful. So I bought their 2014 release "From Shores of Sleep" and I really like it. The Band seems to consist mainly of Micah Rabwin and Sean Ogilvie, who write the songs. It is based somewhere in Oregon (Portland, I guess) and has already toured Europe. I strongly recommend to listen to them and, if you like what you hear, buy their records (apart from "From Shores of Sleep" there is an album recorded by them in 2008, "Hold this Ghost"). From their 2014 release, here is "The Lighthouse and the Hourglass". I think it is beautiful, beautiful being the word of the day.

Friday, October 23, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 346 SONG #377

DAY 346: Time for some Jazz

There is no need to introduce Thelonius Monk (1917-1982) to the wider public. An  influential figure
in the emergence of bebop at Minton's, taking Jazz from Swing to Academia, he was known for his distinctive style as a pianist and  ranks number two among the most covered jazz composers of all time. From his "Columbia years", here is a fine tune, relaxed and inspring at the same time (featuring some of those "dissonances" Monk is famous for): The  opening track of his 1967 release "Straight, No Chaser", "Locomotive". Musicians are:  Monk on piano,  Charlie Rouse on tenor saxophone,   Larry Gales on bass and finally, the drummer,  Ben Riley. Miles Davis is credited to have said "Bebop was about change, about evolution. It wasn't about standing still and being safe" and "If you got up on the bandstand at Minton's and  couldn't play, you might get your ass kicked."