Saturday, October 29, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 114: SONG # 144

DAY 114: Songs I Would Like to Hear at My Funeral

On former entries on songs I'd like to hear at my funeral, I have emphasised that I'd like to see people dance at my funeral (if there is any chance to see or hear something at your own funeral). Be that as it may, a funeral is also a good opportunity for people attending to stop and think, repent, pledge and go on in their senseless ways afterwards. With this in mind I recommend to the MC of my funeral to have at least one break in the dancing and feasting to listen to the following three songs; one by an old man (it was written, when he was younger, but it seems to fit him better as he has grown old (not bitter...)), the Sisters of Mercy by the great LC. Everybody has to think about mercy at a funeral.

Other two songs by Gillian Welch, People who have been followers of this here blog might have noticed that she is among my favourite singer/songwriters, and very near to the top of the list. First one is about the fear to die, one thing that people should reflect on when attending a funeral.

Second one (I have posted a live-version of this song on this blog before, but not on the 1000-songs-challenge), is a gospel, and cynical as I might be when it comes to religion, I was raised a Christian and I do have respect for my saviour. And this is a song that could convince a sinner to repent. As there are only live versions of lower audio quality and some videos full of religious kitsch, here is a non-embedeable version, just a LINK

As a bonus track, a song about a drunkard at his mother's grave - who came one day to late for her funeral - as sung by Johnny Cash, the one and only:

Friday, October 28, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 113: SONG # 143

Day 113: Some songs about relationships featuring the one and only Sally Timms

When thinking about a song that would fit neatly into the category "Wedding Songs" the rare 12" by a side project of the long-time Mekons' vocalist, Sally Timms and the Drifting Cowgirls that features a duet with Marc Almond came to my mind. This will be the last song in this post, as I will start with Sally's renditions of a song that has been sung by Johnny Cash:

This song is taken from the first record of the man in black and written by him: Cry! Cry! Cry! Sally changes the rhythm of the original, but she does not change gender-roles, as she also has neither done on her rendering of the Rolling Stones Macho-Anthem "Heart of Stone" nor on her version of "Long Black Veil" (a song also recorded by Johnny Cash and covered by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on "Kicking Against the Pricks"):

Here is the bonus track (the one that has nothing to do with petty individual relationships, but with world politics), the Mekons' Ghost of American Astronauts, what a great song (w/ lyrics):

Up in the hills above Bradford
Outside the Napalm factory
(They're floating above us)
Ghosts of American Astronauts
Glow in the headlights beam

It's just a small step for him
It's a nice break from Vietnam
(Filmed in a factory)
Out on the back lot in Houston
Who says the world isn't flat

A flag flying free in a vacuum
Nixon sucks a dry Martini
Ghosts of American astronauts
Stay with us in our dreams

John Glenn drinks cocktails with God
In a cafe in downtown Saigon
(High above them)
Ghosts of American Astronauts
Are drifting too close to the sun

A flag flying free in a vacuum
Nixon sucks a dry Martini
Ghosts of American astronauts
Stay with us in our dreams

And, finally, one of the best renderings of "quarreling husband and wife" ever, "this house is a house of trouble":

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 112: SONG # 142

Day 142: Songs for a Foggy Austrian National Holiday

It is a tendency of mine to stay at home on foggy and rainy autumn days, and in case that this circumstance of wheather goes together with a holiday, there is also a good chance that I can do it. I do not know why, but today's outside climate and the according inside cozy feeling seem to be perfectly accompanied by some tracks from Swagger, maybe the best album by one of the most underrated bands in the world, Bristol's Blue Aeroplanes. I remember to have been at a great gig of this band at Vienna's Kennedy's Club some 20 years ago and I am relatively sure that the occasion of their touring has been to promote Swagger. They have a load of guitar players, a very cool and overtly pretentious frontman and a polish guy whose only job is dancing. They are a bunch of COOL guys, or however you would put that. I will begin with the song from Swagger that is most appropriate for toaday's wheather, Weightless:

Then there is my favourite song by this band, Jacket Hangs - I dug this version because I do not like the VEVO versions and the live version on UTUBE have rather poor quality, soundwise:

And, since they are a great big live band, one live version of a song from SWAGGER, "... and stones", live on WDR:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 111: SONG # 141

Day 111: A Song You Listen to When You Are Happy

From the 60ies: Esther & Abi Ofarim, Sing Hallelujah:

Esther & Abi Ofarim - Sing Hallelujah von goldrausch

Monday, October 24, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 110 SONG # 140

Day 110: A Song You Listen to When You Are Angry

This here song is perfect when you are angry - it was written by Robert Zimmerman, allegedly with the folk-music-business in mind. I have my own "Maggies" and their relatives who used to hand me a nickle and a dime, asking whether I had a good time. I cannot listen to Dylan's version any more since I have grown accustomed to the rendition by RAGE AGAINSt THE MACHNINE. This version is pure energy:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 109: SONG # 139

Day 109: A Song from (One Of) Your Favourite Album(s)

Mauvaises nouvelles des étoiles by Serge Gainsbourg, his second Reggae-album (1981), featuring the I Threes on background vocals as well as Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare as rhythm section, is one of my favourite albums, and I guess, my favourite french album (maybe Melody Nelson by Serge Gainsbourg could be taken into consideration as a rival here). First song that comes to my mind from that album is ECCE HOMO, also the title of one of my favourite books (Nietzsche's brilliant work from 1888). Here it is, follwioed by the lyrics:

Et ouais c'est moi Gainsbarre
On me trouve au hasard
Des night-clubs et des bars
Américains c'est bonnard

On reconnaît Gainsbarre
A ses jeans à sa barbe
De trois nuits ses cigares
Et ses coups de cafard
(Et son œil au beur noir)*

Bizarre ce Gainsbarre
Il est cool faut croire
Que de tout il en arre
Rien à cirer enfin faut voir

Et ouais cloué le Gainsbarre
Au mont du Golgothar
Il est reggae hilare
Le cœur percé de part en part

There are biblical allusions here as well as in Nietzsche's book, since "Ecce Homo" is a quotation from John 19, 5. Gainsbourg goes on with his reading of the new testament, taking sides against the arian rendering of it, in another song from the same album, called Juif et Dieu

Et si Dieu était juif ça t'inquiéterait petite
Sais-tu que le Nazaréen
N'avait rien d'un Aryen
Et s'il est fils de Dieu comme vous dites

Dieu est Juif
Juif et Dieu

Le Capital tu as lu de l'Israélite
Karl Marx un beau bouquin
Et le trio bolchevik la troîka des purs eh bien
Tous trois de race sémite
Je te le prouverai tout à l'heure

Dieu est Juif
Juif et Dieu

Grigori Ievseîetch Apfelbaum dit Zionoviev
Lev Borissovitch Rosenfeld dit Kamenev
Lev Davidovitch Bronstein dit Trotsky

Dieu est Juif
Juif et Dieu

Voici le temps de l'antéchrist
La bombe à neutrons hein
Petite fille de papa Einstein
Encore un juif si tu vois ce que je veux dire petite

Dieu est Juif
Juif et Dieu

Finally, a song from the same album, one, that has nothing to do with religion: Shush Shush Shush Charlotte:

Serge Gainsbourg is most widely known for his duet "Je t'aime - moi non plus" with Jane Birkin.
What many people might not know, is that one of the songs he has written has won the Grand Prix D'Eurovision in 1965 interpreted by France Gall, who was the representative of Luxembourg then: Poupée de cire, poupée de son. He could have meant: "poupée de song", as well....: Here it is, as a bonus track:

Je suis une poupée de cire
Une poupée de son
Mon cœur est gravé dans mes chansons
Poupée de cire poupée de son

Suis-je meilleure suis-je pire
Qu'une poupée de salon
Je vois la vie en rose bonbon
Poupée de cire poupée de son

Mes disques sont un miroir
Dans lequel chacun peut me voir
Je suis partout à la fois
Brisée en mille éclats de voix

Autour de moi j'entends rire
Les poupées de chiffon
Celles qui dansent sur mes chansons
Poupée de cire poupée de son

Elles se laissent séduire
Pour un oui pour un nom
L'amour n'est pas que dans les chansons
Poupée de cire poupée de son

Mes disques ont un miroir
Dans lequel chacun peut me voir
Je suis partout à la fois
Brisée en mille éclats de voix

Seule parfois je soupire
Je me dis à quoi bon
Chanter ainsi l'amour sans raison
Sans rien connaître des garçons

Je n'suis qu'une poupée de cire
Qu'une poupée de son
Sous le soleil de mes cheveux blonds
Poupée de cire poupée de son

Mais un jour je vivrai mes chansons
Poupée de cire poupée de son
Sans craindre la chaleur des garçons
Poupée de cire poupée de son.

1000 SONGS - DAY 108: SONG # 138

Day 108 - A Song You Would Like to Hear on the Radio

Whatever certain bands may boast about being the best or the greatest rock band on earth, it is not true - don't believe the hype. Truth is, that CRAZY HORSE is the best rock band of all times and all genres. There is so much beautiful music by Uncle Neil - if he had not done a good part of his recordings and simply was the lead guitarits, singer & songwriter of this band, he wozuld also have his place in the Rock'n Roll Hall of Fame for eternity. Ragged Glory is one of my fav NY albums, and Love and Only Love has everything a CRazy Horse classic tune needs.:the typical NY-riff, stable and precise work by the rhythm section, wall of sound, pushing slowly forward like a freight train. I imagine listening to this on the radio in a car on a sunny day driving through a beutiful landscape. Here is a rather fine live version:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 107: SONG # 137

DAY 107: Corinne, Corinna

This is a song I guess every reader of this blog knows, as there are hundreds of versions of it, f.e. the rather fine cover done by Bob Dylan - from his 2nd album, "The Freewheelin Bob Dylan" and others that have to be listed among the big crimes committed against good taste in music (I won't name them here).

The song was first recorded by Armenter "Bo Carter" Chatmon, a man from the Mississippi Delta, also known as part of the Mississippi Sheiks, a group consisting mainly of members of his family. Here is his recording of the song from 1928:

The Mississippi Sheiks' Biggest siccess was the often covered "Sitting on Top of the World"

In 1930, Red Nichols did a jazz version of Corrine, Corrina, that was to become a western swing standard later on:

Nevrtheless, I do like the fingerpcking versions of the song more than any other. In my opinion. Mississippi John Hurt has done a very decent version, still worth listening to for more than just historical reasons:

The last version of the song featured here goes out to all the aspiring young guitar players in the world: Leo Kottke, one of the Gods of the accoustic guitar with his live rendition of the "traditional":

As a bonus track, Missippi John Hurt's wonderful version of another favourite of mine from the American Song Book, I shall not be moved: