Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 39 - SONG # 65

SONG 65: A song that reminds you of someone

It is always a woman I am reminded of. Back in the liminal phase between secondary school and university (the year of having finished the first without making even the slightest attempt to take the latter seriously) there was a girl whose name, beautiful eyes and marvellous blonde locks I remember; in addition, some scenarios, more or less shady images come to my mind when thinking of her; what I do not remember, is when or where we met, how it started and how it ended. I used to hang around with a bunch of really weird guys at that time (remember the one who had his appartment walls painted black), so I blame it all on me and on not knowing who I was or could probably become, searching in all but the right direction.
One of the scenarios I remember is her room in her mother's house in a bourgeois setting in Vienna. I am quite sure I never met her mother and that there was no father (present). She had that record player and we were mainly listening to two records: Patti Smith's Radio Ethiopia and Bob Marley's Kaya. So I remember lying in bed and listening to Bob Marley sing "Wake up and turn I loose..". For Josée, wherever she may be, 4 songs from that album and my apologies for having been such a weirdo:

Easy Skanking:

Sun is Shining:

Misty Morning:

Time Will Tell:

Monday, April 25, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 38 - Song # 64

Day 38: Songs that bring tears to my eyes

I was searching for sad songs, then I wound up with melancholy, so The Band came to my mind. I am sure that I have seen the movie more than 2 times; a sympathetic friend once gave the vinyl version of THE LAST WALTZ as a present to me; nevertheless, I have been literally flabbergasted by the great performance of The Band, The Staple Singers, and last (again: not least) Uncle Neil back then. So I start with The Weight, as rendered by The Band & The Staple Singers, and as one commentator on UTUBE has remarked: Pops Staples alone justifies humanities existence..

The other song from that concert featured here is Neil Young's Helpless, a much better version than on the original NY recording, imho. But take a look at the arrangement of persons on the stage: the boys having fun in the center (almost taking the melancholy out of it), whilst Joni "stupid girl" Mitchell backs it up literally:

Ok, we can't have Helpless without the Bad Seed's version, not on Easter Monday (take out your lighters):

1000 SONGS - DAY 37 - SONG # 63

Day 37: 3 Songs by David Lowery that make me feel happy

Time to bring on Camper Van Beethoven, David Lowery's band before and beside Cracker; I got to know them in the middle of the 80ies by listening to OE3-Musicbox moderated by legendary DJ Werner Geier. Good Guys Bad Guys is a wonderful song to feel happy, it has simple yet great lyrics ("so just be glad to live in America, just relax and be yourself, because if you didn't live here in America, you'd probably live somewhere else" - this makes up for a whole library of philosophical dissertations...). And, it has always worked very well in bringing people to the dancefloor back then...

Another classic example of the wonderfully fine humour you can find in Lowery's early songs is "The Day Lassie Went to the Moon". Every owner of a dog has to love it; and every fan of early Pink Floyd (the Syd Barrett group) has to like the organ in that part that is (n)either a bridge (n)or a chorus. Btw, CvB have recorded a cover-version of Interstellar Overdrive .

Last, definitely not least (again), Take the Skinheads Bowling, great great great song - famous because of being featured in Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine; sadly enough, the person who did the upload has de-activated embedding, so you will have to follow the link:

Take the Skinheads Bowling

Maybe I have to be thankful to my wife who always stopped me when I started singing that song on the occasion of seeing some skinheads on the street. Also CvB are still alive, which they prove by excellent gigs. Here, a more than "20 years after" performance by CvB (2008) of that rousing song. You're never too old to rock'n roll....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 36- SONG # 62

Day 36 - A song that takes you into the heart of darkness

Having redefined some categories, day 2 of the original "30 days song challenge" has become the day about darkness. By a strange coincidence, day 2 of the "3rd round" happens to be Easter Sunday, the day dedicated to the triumph of light over darkness in one of the most prominent religious traditions of the world. Nick Cave, one of my favourite artists, has made ample use of images and metaphors taken from the scriptures and cosmovision of this religion in his work. I will not refer to songs based upon biblical themes - like "The Mercy Seat" - here, as there already exists an article t on that topic to be found in "The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture" (Spring 2006).
I chose The Carny from The Bad Seed's fourth album "Your Funeral My Trial", in a live version that is said to have been performed shortly after Nick refused the honor of becoming MTV's "best male artist of the year" or something like that. It features Mick Harvey (the outstanding musician among those who have been part of one or more of Nick's bands, imho) on xylophon and glockenspiel:

And no-one saw the carny go
And the weeks flew by
Until they moved on the show
Leaving his caravan behind
It was parked out on the south east ridge
And as the company crossed the bridge
With the first rain filling the bone-dry river bed
It shone, just so, upon the edge
Dog-boy, atlas, half-man, the geeks, the hired hands
There was not one among them that did not cast an eye behind
In the hope that the carny would return to his own kind
And the carny had a horse, all skin and bone
A bow-backed nag, that he named Sorrow.
How it is buried in a shallow grave
In the then parched meadow
And the dwarves were given the task of digging the ditch
And laying the nag's carcass in the ground
And boss Bellini, waving his smoking pistol around
saying "The nag is dead meat"
"We can't afford to carry dead weight"
The whole company standing about
Not making a sound
And turning to dwarves perched on the enclosure gate
The boss says "Bury this lump of crow bait"
And the rain the rain came
Everybody running for their wagons
Tying all the canvas flaps down
The mangy cats growling in their cages
The bird-girl flapping and squawking around
The whole valley reeking of wet beast
Wet beast and rotten hay
Freak and brute creation
Packed up and on their way
The three dwarves peering from their wagon's hind
Moses says to Noah "We shoulda dug a deeper one"
Their grizzled faces like dying moons
Still dirty from the digging done
And as the company passed from the valley
Into a higher ground
The rain beat on the ridge and on the meadow
And on the mound
Until nothing was left, nothing at all
Except the body of sorrow
That rose in time
To float upon the surface of the eaten soil
And a murder of crows did circle round
First one, then the others flapping blackly down
And the carny's van still sat upon the edge
Tilting slowly as the firm ground turned to sludge
And the rain it hammered down
And no-one saw the carny go
I say it's funny how things go

Here is the album version:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

1000 SONGS- DAY 35: SONG(S) # 61

Day 35 - your favourite song

It is not easy, it seems to be a hard task It is literally impossible to name a favourite song, as there are at least 1000 of them. It is not even a simple undertaking to name my 4 favourite songs by a single one artist, if it is someone like David Bowie. So here is a disclaimer: there will be other songs of Bowie I also do like as much as the ones featured here, particularly from the 4 albums I chose to take my favourite Bowie songs from. I want to add, that this post is dedicated to Elisabeth Ferner and Holly Welker. Elisabeth's personality has definitely influenced the choice of (at least) two of the songs; she will know. And, to all I know (not 2 much), HW is a big/huge fan of DB.
Despite of that, this one is an easy post, since I will not have to explain to anyone anything about the person of David Bowie or the albums featured here: first track is from

Ziggy Stardust

Rock'n Roll suicide:

Second one from A Lot Insane (Alladin Sane), Lady Grinnig Soul:

Next one, from "Station to Station", is called "Wild is the Wind" (wonderful piece of kitsch...):

Last, and definitely not least (probably my favourite one of Bowie's tracks ) Sound and Vision, from LOW:

Friday, April 22, 2011

1000 SONGS - Day 34: SONGS # 58 - 60

Day 34: A song that makes you feel guilty

I do not think, that listening to that song makes ME feel guilty, but is a classic song about guilt, from Marianne Faithfull's wonderful album "Broken English", certainly one of the milestones in her career, featuring her more widely known version of The Ballad of Lucy Jordan and John Lennon's Working Class Hero.
The song from that album rendered here is simply called Guilt and I chose the video from U-Tube that is a simple collection of pictures of Marianne Faithfull from all stages of her career and nearly all ages of her life. Btw, she will give a concert inVienna in June 2011.

Day 59: A song from your childhood

This makes it easy to have a coherent shift to childhood days: a Jagger/Richards song that was used by Andrew Loog Oldham - prior to the recording done by the Stones - for another young artist he had under contract:
"As Tears Go By" as rendered by Marianne (who was born on Dec. 29, '46) in 1965, when her voice was entirely different before it changed to the lower key and rougher tone due to the exoperience of the ups and downs in an artist's life :

Day 60: Your favourite song a year ago

Finally, a song that has once been my favourite song, since I cannot tell what could have been my favourite song exactly one year ago. To stick to Marianne Faithfull's voice, I dig "Without Blame", credtted to Lô, Étienne Roda-Gil and Roger Waters of Pink-Floyd-fame, as rendered by Marianne and Ismael Lô
"A love that you would not defend with your life / you cannot befriend not with tears in your eyes" - brings tears to my eyes.

Toutes les femmes sont des reines
But some are more regal than others
Some shatter man's dream
By breaking away from their lovers
Cette chanson pour cette reine
Qui dit à son roi maintenant
I am gone, gone with the wind
A love that you would not defend with your life
You can not befriend, not with tears in your eyes
I am gone, gone with the wind
I am gone, in search of a new king
Toutes les femmes sont des reines
Sur terre, sur mer, neige ou désert
Derrière le voile des formes pleines
Il y a le mystère des sirènes
Burn the town, burn the back-street bars
Burn your boardwalk basement trade
Feel the flame, feel the curve of the sword
Your living flesh reeks of compromise babe
And in the face of barbarian hordes
An honest defeat is your only reward
The love that you would not defend with your life
You can not befriend, not with tears in your eyes
Ma ngi dem, gone with the wind
Ma ngi dem, in search of the new king
All women are queens
Tell this to the woman who loves you
You may not live up to her dreams
Which even a king cannot always do
Voilà ce qu'a dit une reine
À un roi bon, vaincu sans haine
Elle est partie comme s'en va la mer
Quand la lune veut ça
A love that you would not defend with your life
You can not befriend, not with tears in your eyes
I am gone, gone with the wind
I am gone, in search of a new king
I am gone
I am gone

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

1000 SONGS- DAY 33 Songs # 56 & 57

Song # 56: A Song you can play on an instrument

Maceo Parker would eventually not be all too happy with the idea of having me as a drummer in his band; nevertheless, I am sure, that funk is the style of music I am best at with playing drums and I do like Maceo, who has been a key member of the band to back up James Brown. If I remember it rightly, I have attended 3 live performances of Maceo and it was always HOT. The horn secrtion of JB's band, Maceo, Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis have also played together as the JB Horns in the 1990ies, the group to become Maceo's band later on.
Maceo and Fred Wesely also were members of the Horny Horns , the horn section (and spin-off) of George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic. Here is the version of SOUL POWER from the (double in vinyi) lLP "Life on Planet Groove" (with Kenwood Dennard on drums ), featuring the afore mentioned heroes of the horns and other great musicians. I might not play it exactly like Kenwood Dennard does...

Day # 57: A song that you wish you could play

This is a song by pianist and drummer Jack De Johnette, one of the most influential Jazz-Drummers of the last decades, who has been featured on such seminal albums as Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" and has been a sideman to nearly everybody of ECM-fame (like John Abercrombie ) and here we can hear him with a band of very fine musicians; the main part is in 9/4 and I have not succeeded until now to understand how De Johnette (sub-)divides the 9 quarters of that syncopated rhythm. If anyone has the drum charts, please send them to me.