Thursday, February 17, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 32 - SONGS #53-55

Day 53 - A song you want to play at your wedding

First choice for songs played at any wedding are songs that would work well as party-songs. In that respect, I would choose the same songs for my wedding (if I wasn't yet married) as for my funeral, both events representing great occassions to have a rousing party. Songs in this category could also be "great love songs" or "songs about marrying". The artistic work of ROWLAND STUART HOWARD (1959- 2009), former member of The Birthday Party and Crime and the City Solution contains songs and albums refering to wedding, honeymoons and the like. We could name among those his collaboration with Lydia Lunch: Honeymoon in Red, a concept album featuring musicians like Nick Cave , Thurston Moore, Mick Harvey or Genevieve McGuckin, a later member of THESE IMMORTAL SOULS, alongside Rowland, Epic Soundtracks (1959-1997, brother of Nikki Sudden; when putting together this post I realized that these people are of my generation, many of them born in 1959 like me) and Rowland|s zounger brother Harry. Here is the debut single of These Immortal Souls, MARRY ME (LIE! LIE!):



SEE THAT MY GRAVE IS KEPT CLEAN is a song by BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON, prominently featured on Bob Dylan's debut album, Bob Dylan. Many singers and bands have done versions of it, among them Steve Wynn's Dream Syndicate on their 1988 album "Ghost Stories" (the version I would like to hear at my funeral - in case that there is some chance to hear anytghing on your own funeral), Lou Reed and Grateful Dead.
Let us start with BLJ:



Well there's one kind of favor I'll ask of you
Well there's one kind of favor I'll ask of you
There's just one kind of favor I'll ask of you
You can see that my grave is kept clean
And there's two white horses following me
And there's two white horses following me
I got two white horses following me
Waiting on my burying ground
Did you ever hear that coffin sound
Did you ever hear that coffin sound
Did you ever hear that coffin sound
Means another poor boy is under the ground
Did you ever hear them church bells toll
Did you ever hear them church bells toll
Did you ever hear them church bells toll
Means another poor boy is dead and gone
And my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
And my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
And my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
Now I believe what the Bible told
And there's one last favor I'll ask of you
And there's one last favor I'll ask of you
And just one last favor I'll ask of you
You can see that my grave is kept clean
Here is a very dramatic version done by DIAMANDA GALÁS, great american vocalist/artist/performer of Greek origin:




Day 55 - A song that makes you laugh

Finally, after all this earnest stuff, a song that makes me laugh. I dig Zappa once again, Although it does not make me laugh in the strict sense of the word, Muffin Man is a funny song, written by Zappa & Cptn. Beefheart, from Bongo Fury; the version I found on UTUBE does not feature the story about the MM at the beginning, but is a rather good performance, in my opinion:




The muffin man is seated at the table in the
laboratory of the utility muffin
Research kitchen... reaching for an oversized
chrome spoon he gathers an
Intimate quantity of dried muffin remnants and
brushing his scapular aside
Procceds to dump these inside of his shirt...
He turns to us and speaks:

"some people like cupcakes better. I for one
care less for them!"

Arrogantly twisting the sterile canvas snoot of a
fully charged icing
Anointment utensil he poots forths a
quarter-ounce green rosette (oh ah yuk
Yuk... let’s try that again...!) he poots forth a
quarter-ounce green rosette
Near the summit of a dense but radiant muffin of
his own design.
Later he says:

"some people... some people like cupcakes
exclusively, while myself, I say
There is naught nor ought there be nothing so
exalted on the face of god’s grey
Earth as that prince of foods... the
muffin!"

Girl you thought he was a man
But he was a muffin
He hung around till you found
That he didn’t know nuthin’

Girl you thought he was a man
But he only was a-puffin’
No cries is heard in the night
As a result of him stuffin’

Monday, February 14, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 31 - SONG # 51-52

Day 51/52: A song that you listen to when you are happy/sad

First, a song that works with both moods/emotions, and that fits to today (whatever Blogger and its time-scheduke may pretend, it is still February 14, 2011, at least, where I live). MY FUNNY VALENTINE, so much beautiful versions available of that song, I dig one done by CHET BAKER, a man from a time, when JAZZ was neither an academic discipline, nor some kind of religious quest, but simply fine MUSIC (of pimps and gangstas). Like so many other great musicians, he was a drug-addict, mostly to heroin, but also using speedballs and the like. Lost (some of, there are different versions of that story) his teeth when beaten up by some guys and had to start to learn to play the trumpet all over again. Spent some time in jail, had some more troubles with the law because of drug abuse and had a kind of second career, in Europe. Looked like the impersonation of that saying, that the jazz musician has three natural born enemies: daylight, fresh air, and mineral water. Great version:




Then, a song that rather makes me sad, lyrics about the Falkland War - building ships for that purpose bringing some prosperity to the same regions from where young men are sent as soldiers to die in that war - by ELVIS COSTELLO to a tune by CLIVE LANGER, called SHIPBUILDING. It has also been recorded by Robert Wyatt, but the Costello version, featuring Chet Baker, has been a hit and I have loved it since I first have had the pleasure to hear it.



Is it worth it
A new winter coat and shoes for the wife
And a bicycle on the boy's birthday
It's just a rumour that was spread around town
By the women and children
Soon we'll be shipbuilding
Well I ask you
The boy said 'DAD THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE ME TO TASK
BUT I'LL BE BACK BY CHRISTMAS'
It's just a rumour that was spread around town
Somebody said that someone got filled in
For saying that people get killed in
The result of this shipbuilding
With all the will in the world
Diving for dear life
When we could be diving for pearls
It's just a rumour that was spread around town
A telegram or a picture postcard
Within weeks they'll be re-opening the shipyards
And notifying the next of kin
Once again
It's all we're skilled in
We will be shipbuilding
WITH ALL THE WILL IN THE WORLD
DIVING FOR DEAR LIFE
WHEN WE COULD BE DIVING FOR PEARLS

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 30 - SONG # 50

Day 50 - A song you listen to when your angry

Angry songs, this is, or songs about anger, or songs done by angry men and the like. I have had a load of candidates 4 that job, will bring 'em on later, yo man! Old school anger from the 80ies: I show you my gun my uzi weighs a ton because I'm Public Enemy # 1; do not care about pc-ness, chuck d-ness will suffice, this is from "Yo! Bum Rush the Show", their 1987 debut album:



Talking about guns & pistols: watata-tang, watatata-tang, listen to my 9 mm go bang: From CRIMINAL MINDED, the first album of BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS, early in the genre gangsta rap: this is KRS1:



KRS 1 (Chris Parker) was later to become the propagator of edutainment, after the death of Scott la Rock, moving away from gangsta rap to politically and socially conscious hip hop; but this is anger taken to a higher level (more about that - PTR atl - later on):


Sunday, February 6, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 29 - SONG # 49

Day 29 - a song from one of your favourite albums

One of the "albums" in my collection of vinyls that I always held to be among my favourite ones is a recording of Franz Schubert's "Great Symphony in C-major", D 944 - that has also been counted as the 7th, and the 9th, and due to the latest version of the Deutschverzeichns from 1978 nowadays should be counted as Schubert's symphony # 8 - by Otto Klemperer conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. My favourite "song" is the 4th movement, allegro vivace, to me still among the most beautiful pieces of music ever written by a so called "classical" composer. It is, as the whole symphony, simply GREAT. Here it is, as rendered by Claudio Abbado conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe




There is another clip of that movement on UTUBE, by the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra conducted by Frans Brüggen, but it is played way too fast (which ruins the feeling of it, in a way). Then, there is that UTUBE-user who has uploaded the whole of the symphony as played by the Wiener Philharmoniker coducted by Franz Welser-Möst, also a rather fast version, but played with much more sensitivity than the Dutch orchestra does. Unfortunately, he has packed the 3rd & 4th movement into three clips, entitled "scherzoso with trio" and the first part (approx. 1 minute) of the 4th movement into part 2. So here is the 4th movement without the introdcution:




But you better listen to the whole symphony (strongly recommended). Follow this link to a digitally remastered recording of Bruno Walter conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in 1938:

http://www.pristineaudiodirect.com/LargeWorks/Orchestral/PASC014.php

In a way, this is also a post about two of the greatest conductors of the 20th century that had to leave Nazi-Germany for being jewish.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 28 - SONG #48

DAY 28 - A song you would like to hear on the radio

GOOD BAIT is an instrumental written by Tadd Dameron (1917-1965), from Cleveland, Ohio, who is best known as an arranger for various acts during the be-bop-era of Jazz Music. The song has been performed by many more or less great artists. A version I do particularly like is featured on JOHN COLTRANE's Soultrane, an album from his "Prestige-years". He did a great many recordings for that label, among them 15 albums under his name (and many others as a sideman). Jazz critics think that "Soultrane" is an outstanding performance from that time. Today is February 5, but I did not want to wait until the day after tomorrow, which would be exactly 53 years after the recording has been done, on Feb. 7, 1958.



Coltrane is accompanied on that one by Paul Chambers (1935-1969) on bass (he also played cello, tuba, saxophone and horn), Red Garland (1923-1984) on the piano, both of them also part of the rhythm section of the Miles Davis Quintet of that time (that also featured Coltrane). Instead of Philly Joe Jones (1923-1985; the drummer of the MDQ, and Miles' favourite drummer), Arthur Taylor (1929-1995) was playing the drums on that record. Taylor is the author of the book "Notes and Tones" a collection of interviews he did with famous Jazz musicians. In an interview Rick Mattingly did with Taylor that was published in Modern Drummer, May 1994, Taylor told the story that many colleagues were upset because he did so many recordings with the "top guys", so he asked Coltrane: "Why do you always hire me to make these records?" and Coltrane replied "[...] you don't get in my way. Even if you're busy or playing some different kind of rhythm, it doesn't interfere with my playing". Taylor goes on to explain, that this doesn't mean that the good drummer should stay in the background, but that there are drummers who play "at" their fellow musicians and drummers who play "with" them. I think this is a lesson every aspiring drummer has to learn (hopefully I did).
As mentioned above, there are many other recordings of "Good Bait", one extremely beautiful version done by NINA SIMONE playing the piano. In my opinion, this is an awesome performance:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

1000 SONGS- DAY 27 - Song #47

Day 27 - A song you hear often on the radio

I do not listen to the radio too much in these times (sad, but true); I remember that there was a time when I was intensily working on interpreting Nietzsche, I used to listen (while doing that work) to FM4, an Austrian mainstream-alternative radio station (or somewhat like that). There was a period during that time, when they used to play PEARL JAM's Version of LAST KISS almost every day. One thing I could understand, since this is a really fine song. Did not manage to find that particular version on UTUBE (thank you SONY Music Entertainment), but some live renderings of it, here is one I feel comfortable with (not with the sound quality, though - but Eddie talking castellano, this is nice):




Many people think that this is a Pearl Jam song, written by Eddie Vedder or the like. To the contrary, it has been written by Wayne Cochran - the man with the unbelievable hairdo (rendered as a pompadour on wikipedia) - , who did the original recording in 1961, with no effect on the charts, so there was a second recording done in 1963. Guess, what Wayne is doing now - right answer: he has become A Voice for Jesus. Be that as it may, here is the 1961 version:



Then there is the redone version from 1963:



And, among others, there has also been done a recording of the song by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 26 - SONG #46

DAY 26 - A song about hate

Tnis is the substitute for the category: "A song you once loved but now hate". I hope to have made clear before, that I find little to no sense in posting (about) songs I do not like on a blog called "Gerald's Music". This should be done on the "Other People's Music" blog or something like that. Songs about hate do not necessarily have to be performed in an aggressive style like one could think, as will be shown by the example of "THE HATE INSIDE" from the album "Sour Mash" by the "BEASTS OF BOURBON", Australian band featuring singer Tex Perkins, who became more widely known as the voice of "THE CRUEL SEA". I think that the first verse is an excellent opening statement to the subject of the song...



I didn't go to the AA meeting today
The hate inside gets purer every day
If the hate in me was let run free
It would surley bring this old world to an end
And my hate would go on living
To a never ever ending end

This hole in me gets bigger every day
My soul i feel my breath could blow away
Soon the hate inside won't be denied
Like a razor you can't bend
My hate would go on living
To a never ever ending end

I hate the dog
I hate my wife
I hate my two kids
And they hate me
Cause inside hate
Is all this family gives

The school bus has two empty seats today
The nieghbours think my wife has gone away
Two barrels I have loaded
And my mouth is open wide
My hate is no longer living
Just the never ever ending hate inside
It's the never ever ending hate inside

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 25 - SONG # 45

Day 45 - A song that describes you

As I have promised to have at least one song by Johnny Cash in each category of the 30 days song challenge after having done the 1000 songs, here is "Wayfaring Stranger" as rendered by the great, the dignified, the wonderful JC (do those letters remind you of the name of a saviour?):



It is a traditional, and there is no consent to be found with regard to its origins. Anyway, Burl Ives' rendering of the song seems to have been important for its spreading around the world.

Here are the lyrics;

I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through, this world of woe. [Note that JC sings: "below"]
There's no sickness, toil nor danger
That bright land, to which I go.
I'm going there to see my mother
I'm going there no more to roam;
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm only going over home.

I know dark clouds will gather round me
I know my way is rough and steep;
But beautiful fields lie just beyond me
Where souls redeemed, their vigils keep
I'm going there to see my father
I'm going there no more to roam;
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm only going over home.

I wanna wear a crown of glory
When I get home to I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger
I'm just going over home.

Be that as it may, a version I really like is done by 16 Horsepower. I came to know it through a sampler by the German label Glitterhouse, called "Nevermind" (!), where it is featured on the bonus CD, called "No Depression"



There is version done by 16HP's mastermind David Eugene Edwards done more or less in solo style to be found on UTUBE



And, as a bonus track, a song by david eugene, performed by 16 Horsepower, The Black Soul Choir, what a great song!!!



And in a future post we will add some songs by Woven Hand