Friday, December 31, 2010

DAY 8 - SONGS # 17-20

Day 17 - A song that you often hear on the radio

For years, I have not been listening to the radio anymore (except by chance); sad thing; but I remember, as a child and as a teenager I used to listen a lot to OE3-Musicbox. During that time, I came to know most of the music that I listened to through this - in Austria: legendary - broadcast, and most of the songs I had at home had been taped from this. There are two of my favourite songs from the time when I was ~10 years old that I never had an real copy of: I only had them on a tape (not a cassette) on my father's tape machine. I guess all of that got lost, so I was happy to find "Chicago North Western" by Juicy Lucy and "The Magic Forest" by Noel Redding's (of Jimi Hendrix Experience fame) band Fat Mattress on You Tube.

Day 18 - A song that you wish you heard on the radio

What do I want to hear on the radio? Fine Music, like Frank Zappa's "Peaches En Regalia", one of my all time favourite pieces of music:

Day 19 - A song from your favourite album

In case you don't know it, check out Adrian Sherwood's On-U-Sound label. Lots of fine music by great musicians. One of my favourite albums is done by a kind of On-U-Sound-All Star Band featuring Gary Clail on vocals (some of the basic tracks have been re-used on other On-U-Sound records). You can also hear Bim Sherman sing on that track (and Skip McDonald playing the guitar), called "Two thieves and a liar"

Day 20 - A song that you listen to when you're angry

Those who know me, know that - sometimes :-) - I can be very very angry: So, naturally I love a song that tells me that anger is an energy: mr. Lydon aka as Mr. Rotten, taken from my favourite record by him:


Thursday, December 30, 2010

1000 SONGS- DAY 7 - SONGS # 15 & 16

Day 15 - A song that describes you

Not in every detail, but "School Days" by Loudon Wainwright III gives a good outline of what I think about myself. Here is a link (mp3 only, opens in new window, click on "SCHOOL DAYS") to my favourite version, sung by (in order of appearance): Kate & Anna Mc Garrigle, Rufus & Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright & Chaim Tannenbaum; guitars played by LW & Michel Pepin, Bass by MP, and drums/perc. by John McColgan - from the wonderful "McGarrigle Hour" (1998) - and, the lyrics


In Delaware when I was younger
I would live the life obscene
In the spring I had great hunger
I was Brando, I was Dean
Blaspheming, booted, blue-jeaned baby boy
Oh how I made them turn their heads
Townie brownie girls they jumped for joy
Begged me bless them in their beds

In Delaware when I was younger
I would row upon the lake
In the spring I had great hunger
I was Keats, I was Blake
My pimple pencil pains I'd bring
To frogs who sat entranced
My drift-dream ditties I would sing
The water strider danced

In Delaware when I was younger
They thought Saint Andrew had sufficed
But in the spring I had great hunger
I was Buddha, I was Christ
You wicked wise men where's your wonder
You Pharisees some day will pay
See my lightning, hear my thunder
I am truth I know the way
In Delaware when I was younger

And here a version by LWIII:

Day 16 - A song that you used to love but now hate

I have to confess, when I was a teenager, I did think that Chicago was a band you could listen to. I even liked "If you leave me now" - I was a teenager then, this may explain that severe kind of "Geschmacksverirrung" (lapse of taste). Here is that artsy-fartsy piece of schmaltz (guess y'all know it and won't have to listen - better listen to school days again or to one of the next tunes):

The plea made by a man to a woman that she should not leave him is quite an understandable undertaking, and it also makes sense to try it with music. But there certainly are more dignified ways to put the words "baby please don't go" as illustrated below with the rendering of a blues classic by Big Joe Williams, Ligthning Hopkins and Them (playback version - but look at young Van Morrison!!)


In case you like the version by Big Joe Williams (who is reported to have been the first one to record that song), here is another take of that song by him:

And, although some would call this - rightly - a metabasis eis allo genos -still another way to ask a girl/woman to stay in a musically justifiable fashion comes to mind: in French, by Jacques Brel:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

1000 SONGS - DAY 6 SONG #14

Day 14 - A song that no one would expect you to love

I am sure that at least one person in the world can be found to every song that I like who would have expected me to do so. So there is simply no such song that no one would expect me to love. Furthermore, I know my friends - they would expect me to do anything, even things I really wouldn't do. I made up my mind and changed the challenge to put together 3 pieces of music that maybe most people would not expect to be enjoyed by the same person. In a way, they are self- explaining: sexually explicit hip-hop, a piece from Bach's Matthaeuspassion (to Paul Gerhardt's "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden") and a comment on British politics in the mid-80ies by Tackhead featuring Gary Clail (to the hard left). With respect to the middle piece of this triptych, I do not like the fully orchestrated versions (with Regensburger Domspatzen and the like) too much, as I think this is against the spirituality of the song. I found some versions with guitar only on YouTube but finally chose a version arranged for string-quartet. May not be of highest virtuosity, but this piece of music doesn't call for virtuosity.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

1000 SONGS DAY 5 - SONGS #11-13

Day 11 - A song from your favourite band

What is my favourite band? I may have had some in primary school, in secondary school, as a student, while listening to a song I like at the moment. To choose one's favourite band is equally impossible as to choose one's favourite song. And why: "band"? Why not singer, composer, musician? Having thought about that for a while, knowing that these are always affairs of the moment (something that has to change during the years, months, days) I solemnly declare that my favourite band of Dec. 28, 2010, consists of Ricky Nelson, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, Walter Brennan, Dean Martin and John Wayne, performing Cindy, Cindy. The "fake trailer" to Rio Bravo - not my favourite movie, but one of my favourites, and one of the films of Howard Hawks [to the left with Lauren Bacall] I do like - the guy has uploaded to UTUBE is fine, methinks:

Day 12- A song from a band you hate

Two problems with that: a) why should I hate a band? I could like their music or not. If not, I do not have to listen to them (with the exception of public places like supermarkets and the like). So I would rather say, there are bands I do not like. B) That category seems to naturally lead to posting music I do not like (as some other categories of the 30-day-challenge do , too). Why should I do that? U2 is the first band that comes to my mind that I do not like, although I do think that some of their songs are worth listening to. I do not like the messianic attitude of Bono, I do not like the megalomaniac stadium-shows they do, I do not like the hype about "the greatest/best band ever" they share with bands like the Stones, while there are so many bands around that play the small clubs whose members are better musicians, that do have better song material and so on. And I am sure that Rock'n Roll (sometimes) can be wonderful, even cathartic, but it will definitely NOT save the world. One of the things I do like with respect to U2 is, that they have been CASHED. And once a song has been cashed, there is at least one version you can post. So here is Johnny Cash doing "ONE" without the pathetic pathos of Bono (I guess, there is still some hate in me):

Day 13 - A song that is a guilty pleasure

"Vermöge der Musik geniessen sich die Leidenschaften selbst" [Through music the passions enjoy themselves - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse §106].
A guilty pleasure - what could that possibly be? Hasn't psychoanalysis been invented to make an end to the combination of pleasure and guilt? Did Nietzsche not write books like "Beyond Good and Evil" in that vein? How could a piece of music symbolise that going together of opposed moods/feelings? Raised as a Catholic, a song mocking religion could be a guilty pleasure for me. Second possibility: a song about the really dark sides of life and humanity that I enjoy? In a way, a song that is a guilty pleasure should be cathartic. Like "I see a darkness" - after having done the 1000 songs there will be at least one song in eaxch of the 30 basic categories performed by Johnny Cash, I promise.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Day 10 - A song that makes you fall asleep

I understand that not to mean a boring one, but one that you really feel save with. For me it is an easy task, since I can fall and have actually fallen asleep to almost any music in the world, be it in the Chelsea-Club in Vienna in the olden times, other pubs, concerts or at home. In most cases, I only wake up when someone turns off the music. Be that as it may, a slow waltz is the best music to fall asleep. At this point, Huddie Ledbetter comes in. "His name was Ledbetter but they called him Lead Belly" Michelle Shocked said during a concert before giving her version of "Midnight Special" which she credited to him. The man led a life of hardships (spent a certain amount of time in prison, in the chain gang a.s.o., convicted for armed robbery, murder and the like): a man from the fringes of US-American society, who could play a load of instruments and called himself the "king of the twelve-string-guitar", he gave the USA (at least an imoportant portion of) her songbook. Many of the songs he is either thought to be author of or he has at least collected and brought to public consciousness (via people like Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger) are standard repertoire of American Folk Music: Be it "Midnight Special", "Cotton Fields", "Black Betty", "Pick a Bale of Cotton," "House of the Rising Sun" or "Goodnight Irene" (often rendered as "Irene, Goodnight"). More people have done versions of that song (and of some of the others - e.g. CCR, Johnny Cash or Nick Cave) than can be mentioned here, among them Michelle Shocked, Maureen Tucker and performers I do not like that much as the former ones, Willy Nelson or Robin Gibb (didn't even try to listen to the latter's cover).
Here you find a collection of renderings of the song I do like, to be found on UTUBE, starting with a performance of the white man's black musician himself:

The band that American folk-legend Pete Seeger co-founded and left in 1958 (to be replaced by Erik Darling) pays due hommage to Lead Belly during this performance:

The Weavers were active from 1948-52 and from 55-64, the 3 years break caused by blacklisting of most of their members during the McCarthy-era (at least Seeger and Hays). After 1964, they sporadically reunited for public performances. If I understand it rightly, the next one is from one of their last concerts, which they have closed with "Goodnight Irene" - Lee Hays in a wheel chair, shortly before his death. According to Wikipedia, Hays died on August 26, 1981 and, in accordance with his wishes, his ashes were mixed with his compost pile - great man! This is the one performance of the many here that made me weep (w/t Ronnie Gilbert still singing with that wonderfully clear voice of hers) :

A rather long version of "Goodnight Irene" is to be found on the concert-movie of Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces, featuring (amongst others) Flaco Jiménez, the king of the accordion (at least to me)...

The song has been waiting for version by Tom Waits until 2006, but then he finally recorded it in his typical way:

I close this post with two versions that change the time signature, first Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia with his bluegrass friend John Kahn (may both of them rest in peace!) of "Old and in the Way" -fame

Finally this rather lengthy post features the talented, the wonderful, the inspiring "Dr. House" Hugh Laurie, with the TV-Band:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

1000 SONGS - DAY 3, SONGS 7- 9

Day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event.

This is a hard one –I have been thinking about personal & historical events that might have been linked to certain music in my life, I have checked my memory against historical evidence and found out, that sometimes I just remembered it wrongly, mixing up dates; in other, better documented cases the songs were not available. So I did the next two days first and came up with an overall idea for that three songs. “Living in the Past” by Jethro Tull neatly fits in here. And, as far as events are concerned, I have owned the album called after that very tune and listened to it at vearious occasions. I did enjoy the music classes in school and my music teacher also did like JT, so I gave a presentation on them during one of those classes. It was one of the bands II could agree upon with most of my friends in that time, we have been to JT-concerts as teenagers. Summing it up, at least pars pro toto this wonderful song stands for the many events in my life as a teenager (later on I somehow lost contact with Ian Anderson) that are connected to the music played by Jethro Tull during the late Sixties and throughout the Seventies. As it is my (partly remote) past that I am writing about, “Living in the Past” makes sense in this respect, too. There are many versions and videos of it to be found on UTUBE, I chose the one from a French TV-show because of stemming from the time and the way the speaker pronounces the name of the band in French:

Day 08 – A song that you know all the words to

There are so many songs I know all the words to; one of them is David Bowie's "Five Years" that often comes to my mind because of the lines "girl my age went off her head, hit some tiny children, if the blacks hadn't a pulled her off, I think she would have killed them". Brian Molko also knows all the words and - in contradistinction to me - all of the chords, too (normally, in Bowie songs, not too few of them, in here about 8?). I do not know, what the situation is about, but it looks a bit like Brian has been checked by some older colleagues. Btw, like all the other reasonable 15 year old girls, I do like Placebo a lot:

Here is the original version done by David Robert Jones:

And here a version by Bowie to prove that not even Ziggy Stardust himself succeeds in remembering all of his own words exactly and in every detail:

Day 09 - A song that you can dance to

I'm sure that I am able to dance to almost every song (maybe [surely] not according to the rules of people who teach others how to dance). At the moment it is rather hard for me, as I have broken my left foot only recently. As someone playing the drums from time to time, I should also be able to make sense of odd meters, especially because that way this post will have some formal consistence in the rhythmic patterns provided. To me, one of the finest pieces of music set in an odd meter - 7/4 -is Dave Brubeck's "Unsquare Dance". It is featured here to pay due respect to Joe Morello (to the left), too, one of the greatest drummers of all time, in my humble opinion - every person playing the drums should study/practice his "Master Studies" seriously and intensively (along with another classic practice-book, Ted Reed's "Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer"

Be that as it may, here is a lesson of how to dance the unsquare dance:

Recently, British piano-player Paddy Milner hast earned some fame for his version of Brubeck's seminal composition. Here is a video from 2010 where he gives a solo-version of it:

In case that you have tried to count along with it (as I have done), don't get confused by what he is doing from roughly 1:20 to about 2:37; he is simply turning it to straight fours; which is more obvious and less confusing [and fervently discussed by YouTube-users] on the band version of that one:

Friday, December 24, 2010

1000 SONGS DAY 2, SONGS 4 TO 6

Day 04 – A song that makes you sad
There are a load of songs that make me sad, not surprisingly many among them written & performed by Leonard Cohen. “Famous Blue Raincoat” reminds me of someone, too. The only (than) girl I ever had a lock of hair from (kept it till very recently). She was a big fan of Leonard and I came to know that song through her. Here is a recent version by the great Leonard (which was put in here on 2016-11-18, after his death)

This is also song I know the lyrics to. I especially like the lines: “what can I tell you my brother my killer / what can I possibly say? / I guess that I miss you I guess I forgive you I#m glad that you stood in my way” and “thanks for the trouble you took from her eyes / I thought it was there for good / so I never tried”

Day 05 - A song that reminds you of someone

Had to find yet another song that reminds me of someone.In order that there will be not only sad songs here, I chose “The Last Time” (having some inclination to sadness, too, being about the end of a relationship) by The Rolling Stones. Reminds me of a guitar-player who was so sure that playing a song by Keith Richards would pose no problem to him. He (and in fact, we) did not succeed. I guess the clue is that Brian Jones – not a songwriter, but surely the best musician ever to have been a real member of the Stones, as opposed to studio musicians doing the job and guys like Nicky Hopkins – is playing the riff. He is also credited as the one to have chosen the band’s name from a song by Muddy Waters. So the song reminds me of Brian, too.

“River of Salt” (Irving Brown/Bernard Zackery/Jan Zackery) was my first choice for a song that makes me sad. I came to know it first by the cover done by Bryan Ferry on “These Foolish Things”, his first solo effort. It reminds me of becoming a teenager and hence of Mariazell, the village where I was raised, and especially of Christmas-time there, since this album was a present given to me at some Christmas in the Mid-Seventies. Here is a likewise beautiful version done by Ketty Lester (born Revoyda Frierson in the city of Hope, Arkansas), – the flip side of her 1962 single “You can’t lie to a liar”:

Thursday, December 23, 2010


The 30 day song challenge – somebody has invented it and one can find many people on the internet who go through it, be it on blogs, on fb on twitter or wherever. The idea behind it is, that the one who posts 30 something songs fitting into one of the respective 30 categories reveals something about him/herself that way. Always having liked the idea of revealing my feelings, thoughts, moods, ambitions and the like rather metaphorically than directly (I know, there is no direct way, I’ve studied semiotics) I came to like the idea. At the same time that this process was going on, somebody wrote in an e-mail to me: btw., would be nice to have some new entries on your music blog (vanity struck me like lightning!). Furthermore, there is that old joke about me saying (twelve times in a row when listening to music): „this is the best song in the world“ – namely, that according to me, there are at least 1.000 best songs in the world. So what the fuzz about a 30 days song challenge? I will take the 1095 days song challenge, three years (more or less, depends on February). On the other hand, the way my life is (not) organised, i will not be able to post a song each day for three years. So I made up my mind to post at least 1000 songs during the next three years (XMAS 2010 to XMAS 2013) here, all neatly categorised according to the 30day song challenge. The next 10 posts (including that one) will feature 3 tracks each and after ten days I will have gone through the 30 day song challenge at least once and in a tour de force. This is a kind of assurance: whatever the outcome of my pretentious undertaking will be (not to be ever finished, I guess), at least, I will have done the canonical 30 songs. Btw, I know that no-one will have the nerve to follow my three-years song-challenge.

Be that as it may, I have to start with Day 01 – Your favourite song. This is a hard task, since there are so many; but as I have already written so much, all of the three songs featured in this first entry on a topic that will generate so many of those have to be self-explaining; so the „favourite song“ has to be a classic, often played, often heard, known by everybody, simple but still provoking extraordinary moods after having been heard a thousand times – this could be, to name but two examples; Otis Redding, Sitting on Dock of the Bay or Herman’s Hermits, No Milk Today. However, this first one will be something like MY REALLY FAV SONG, and – satisfying all the needs mentioned above (at least it should really be often played, heard and known by everybody), I chose the wonderful Euro Trash Girl by CRACKER, sadly enough still one of the most underrated bands in the world.


It is really much more easier to determine the utmost candidate for Day 02 – Your least favourite song, at least at that time of the year: „Last Christmas“ (brrr)

How the hell can this boring void of nothing have so much more hits on Utube than Euro Trash Girl?

Hopefully, everybody will enjoy the next one, Day 03 – A song that makes you happy. During the last weeks this has been Ron Goodwin – Murder She Says. Great one: