Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 134: SONG #164

DAY 134: Songs Normally Regarded as Alternative

"A song no-one expects you to love" is the original category of day 14 within the 30-days song-challenge. Herewith I declare, that the songs I post here are songs I love as everybody would expect me to do (at least of the persons that know me). Nevertheless, as the title of the post says, they are regarded as being outside of the mainstream. Fewer persons than those who know, f.e., Shakira, do know Fred Frith, who is capable of playing a load of different instruments, is regarded as belonging to the Avant-Garde or simply to be a (genius of a) musician in the alternative genre (whatever the alternative offered by him might be). He was a member of Henry Cow and later on was known as part of such acts as The Skeleton Crew. There is also a book by Stephen King called Skeleton Crew. And there is a movie called "Step Across the Border" that is about Fred and features his music. Accordingly, you can "own" the following "Sparrow Song" by buying a record called "Step Across the Border", containing the soundtrack to the movie mentioned above:

And there is a song by Fred Frith called "Too Much Too Little", featured in the same movie:

Fred Frith has also been a member of a band called "The Art Bears", along with Chris Cutler and Dagmar Krause. The latter has already been mentioned on that blog with respect to her collaboration with Kevin Coyne (I attended their show in 1978 or 79 at the Oval House in London). Cutler and Krause were also part of News from Babel; from their first record, here it is, ANNO MIRABILIS:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 133: SONG #163

Day 133: A Song that is a Guilty Pleasure

I never understood, what that should be, a guilty pleasure; but maybe it has something to do with sex (which has something to do with guilt in some circumstances to some people religious); be that as it may, this song is a pleasure, Nick Cave's Ship Song:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 132: SONG #162

Day 132: A Cover version I like

This is Nina Simone doing a version of one of the most widely known songs by Leonard Cohen:

And this is Nick Cave with a version of a Cohen song that might not be so widely known as "Suzanne":

And this is the original recording by Mr. Cohen himself:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 131: SONG #161

DAY 131: A Song from Your Favourite Band in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry

The selection criteria for the Library of Congress National Recording Registry state, that recordings selected for the National Recording Registry are those that are culturally, historically or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States. Among the rock recordings that obviously match that criterion there are to be found Patti Smith's Horses, an album by REM and Nirvana's Nevermind; from the genre of Hip Hop, amongst others, Fear of a Black Planet by Public Enemy. Some fav's of mine among them, truly. Back in the days, when "Daydream Nation" was released, Sonic Youth were certainly among my favourite bands, and Daydream Nation may be my favourite Sonic Youth album (it also seems to be their most critically acclaimed recording). Opening Track, Teenage Riot, great track:

Monday, November 21, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 130: SONG #160

Day 130: Two more Songs by Christian Kjellvander

Christian Kjellvander, a wonderful Swedish Singer/Songwriter has already been featured in the 1000-Songs-Challenge with the song "Polish Daughter". Today this blog features two more songs that highlight Mr. Kjellvander's capability of writing songs that bring tears to my eyes, tracks #7 & 8 from his 2007 album I Saw Her From Here, I Saw Here From Her: "While the Birches Weep" and "The Road". Here are the lyrics of "While the Birches Weep", included because I did not have to type them (lyrics are featured in the booklet of the CD), but found a place to copy from:

My eyes have seen more beauty than my heart could ever hold
Outside and all around us a picture no camera can take and it is cold
But we all have stories of fires that we love to tell,
but it's the fires within the fires that drew me to you
As to live is to die and I will grieve by your side 'til the day comes
when all that love is lifted from your eye
Found ourselves a village after thousand nights a blur
Fell right before me and I could see here from her
There are angels passing through trying to grab a hold of you,
but we both stand aside like old lovers do
As to live is to die and I will grieve by your side 'til the day comes
when all that love is lifted from your eye
Bury you in the yard, bury you in my arms and watch you sleep
Carry you through the yard, carry you in my arms,
while the birches weep

On this U-tube-link you'll find the version from the album with pictures I do not always appreciate as fitting to the music, but at this here pots is for the music.

"The Road", in a live version with some bugs in the audio, but I hope it makes you want to buy CK's records:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 129: SONG #159

TAG 129: Ein Lied, zu dem ich tanzen kann

Manchmal muss man auf Deutsch schreiben, und manchmal muss man daran denken, dass Tanzen nicht nur darin besteht, alles zu schütteln und an allem zu rütteln und dieses und jenes mit seinen Gliedmaßen der mehr oder vielmehr weniger staunenden Umwelt mitzuteilen. Man weiß ja inzwischen, dass die einen nicht so aufmerksam beobachtet, wie es der Selbstdarsteller will oder vielmehr fürchtet. Manchmal muss man daran denken, das Tanzen auch eine Form der Intimität sein kann, dann vor allem, wenn langsam getanzt wird. Das beruhigt und lenkt ab von einem selbst und man hat plötzlich Raum und Zeit an Vieles zu denken, was so vorkommt im Leben außerhalb der eigenen Introspektion, und auch wenn man dabei dann an Sven Regener denkt und an Element of Crime und daran, dass das wirkliche Poesie ist, was die so liefern, am Ende denkt man dann an die Eine

Friday, November 18, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 128: SONG #158

Day 128: A Song You Know All the Word to

This is Maceo Parker again - famous (not only) for being the saxophone player of the horn section of the James Brown band - on WDR, introducing members of his band. This is as funky as James Brown could possibly be. The introduction of the band is not the part I know all the words to, but to the song that serves as the framework of this introduction. And once again, if you do not feel like having to shake everything you've got when listening to this performance, you are dead (or seriously ill). Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 127: SONG #157

Day 127: A Song that Reminds Me of Itself

In the original 30 days song challenge, day 07 is "a song that reminds me of a certain event"; on day 07 I chose a song by Jethro Tull. I did not remember that choice until now when I decided to really post the song I had in mind today under that category I had changed to "a song that reminds me of itself (for lack of events?). By chance, the latter is also a song by Ian Anderson, from his 1974 War Child album (I thought it was from 76 or something like this). I did own the album when I was a teenager and I always remembered that song as the one worthy to be remembered from it. This may be for the verses of which I know that I did like from the very first time I heard this song:

Well do you ever get the feeling
That the story's to damn real
and in the present - tense
or that everybody's on the stage
and it seems like you're the only
person sitting in the - audience?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 126: SONG #156

Day 126: A Song that Reminds Me of Somewhere

This song reminds me of Jesolo, Italia, a place where my parents used to spend their holidays (witb my brothers and me) in Hotel Luxor or Hotel Cairo, both of them overseen by a man of Romanian descent (a guy called Bruno), despite their Egyptian names. Year after year we went there to lie on the beach, play boccia, meet the same families, swim, build sandcastles, eat pasta and strange kinds of cheese (those were the sixties and the early seventies, italian food was something really exotic to us) and the like. One of my first memories is a little shop around the corner where there was a Wurlitzer. And I remember to have put some Lira into that Wurlitzer to listen to Adriano Celentano's Una Festa Sui Prati, and I remember Italian guys cheering when hearing it. But maybe this is just a dream...

1000 SONGS - DAY 125: SONG #155

Day 125: A Song that Reminds You of Someone

This song reminds me of Marie Trintignant, the daughter of Jean Luis Trintignant. The latter actor has played the character of Julien Vercel in one of my favourite movies, Vivement Dimanche!. A Ton Étoile is a song by the French "Alternative Rock" group Noir Desir. The singer is Bertrand Cantat, who has been convicted for murder (not homicide, if I got it right) of Marie in Vilnius in 2003. Quand on a pas le choix, il nous reste le coeur. If you do not have any choice, the heart remains (or however you would say that in English). Thx to Nagy Gábor who reminded me of the song.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 124: SONG #154

Day 124: A Song that Makes You Sad

Dirty Old Town is a song written by Ewan MacColl that has been interpreted by many a singer. For me, it is associated with the melancholical mood, therefore I dug it to be listed among the songs that make me sad, although this is not the right word. I came to know the song when I was just a little boy, because there is a fine version of it on Rod Stewart's first album "An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down". Whatever you might think of Rod - maybe you know him only for his "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy-Disco-Era" - this is an extraordinarily fine album (featuring, among others, Ron "good looking" Wood), and his version of the classic really is appreciable:

In a post on that song, one has to include the original recording by the one who wrote it:

Maybe it is for The Pogues and their lead singer Shane McGowan that a load of people know that tune today, so here is a version from the days when they all were pretty young (I apologise for the guiness commercial at the start):

Next one is a rendition of the song by a slightly older Shane accompanied by two old men on the guitar (embedding not allowed, watch it on utube):


Kirsty MacColl, the daughter of Ewan, died in a tragic accident in 2000 . I do not know whether there is a version of DOT done by her (I guess there are some live versions of the song by the Pogues featuring her). Anyway, there is a song she has recorded together with the Pogues and Shane about Christmas Evening (drawing near, my friends, drawing near, as I write this), Fairytale of New York, here it is, as the bonus track of this here post:

Friday, November 11, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 123: SONG # 153

Day 123: A Song that Makes You Happy

From one of the best albums by Brian Eno, "I'll come running" is one of my all time favourite songs and also one that always makes me happy when listening to it. It features Robert Fripp on the guitar (like 2 other songs from "Another Green World", "St. Elmo's Fire" and "Golden Hours"). I also remember that in the second half of the 70ies, my wife and me (we were not married then... ) attended a concert by David Bowie in Wiener Stadthalle and before the gig or in between the supporting act and Bowie's appearance on stage, this song was to be heard. It was the time of the Eno-Bowie-collaboration and I think it was the "Heroes"-tour. I danced to it and suggested to her that I would always be the one who came running to tie her shoes, if she needed it...

I'll find a place somewhere in the corner
I'm gonna waste the rest of my days
Just watching patiently from the window
Just waiting, seasons change, some day, oh oh,
My dreams will pull you through that garden gate

I want to be the wandering sailor
We're silhouettes by the light of the moon
I sit playing solitaire by the window
Just waiting, seasons change, ah hah, you'll see
Some day these dreams will pull you through my door

And I'll come running to tie your shoe

Honoring Robert Fripp and remembering that it was just yesterday morning that I had this track in mind when waking up what made me think about "Another Green World2, here is a bonus track from the same album, St. Elmo's Fire:

1000 SONGS - DAY 122: SONG # 152

Day 122: A Song to Take You to the Heart of Darkness

Minimalistic music, minimalistic lyrics, great performance from the days of a new wave. Wire, called an art-punk or post-punk band by wikipedia, with a live performance of a song of great emotions rendered nearly without any emotion, Heartbeat:

I feel icy
I feel cold
I feel old
Is there something there behind me?
I'm sublime

I feel empty
I feel dark
I remark
I am mesmerized
By my own beat
Like a heartbeat
(In it's own beat)

In 1987, Steve Albini's Big Black did a cover version of the classic song worth to listen to:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 121: SONG # 151

DAY 121: Yer Another One of My Favourite Songs

Vengo de donde hay un río, tabaco y cañaveral, donde el sudor del guajiro hasta a la tierra soñar. Compay Segundo de Cuba. The Orishas, as far as I know the only rappers from Cuba who came to be known in the world outside of Fidel Castros rule, are named after the Yorùbá divinities that are also revered in Cuban Santerìa, the Orisha. My favourite song of this Cuban band is 537 Cuba, for the fine way in which they use the sample from Compay Segundo's song. As I am teaching the introductory course to West African Religions riht now once more, the song seems to be a good choice to start the next round of 30 songs. Enjoy it

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 120: SONG # 150

Day 120: Your Favourite Song Some Time Ago

Glam Rock Rules! The Slider by T. Rex is one of my favourite Glam Rock albums, and my favourite song from it is "Ballrooms of Mars", which was also my favourite song from the album back in those times whence it stems. Marc Bolan died in car accident, and in a way, it seems he did soundingly so, as I could not imagine him as an aged person. No phrases here about those who die young. Bolan was simply cool in an era with producer-pop on the one hand and so called progressive music and art rock on the other, word. Ballrooms of Mars features everything that was great in T. Rex: Bolan's soft voice with just the right amount of reverb, laid-back slow-rock tempo, a guitar solo based upon just a few notes, and cryptic lyrics with a load of nice allusions and alliterations like lizard leather boots, ROCK:

you gonna look fine
be primed for dancing
you're gonna trip and glide
all on the trembling plane
your diamond hands
will be stacked with roses
and wind and cars
and people of the past

i'll call you thing
just when the moon sings
and place your face in stone
upon the hills of stars
and gripped in the arms
of the changeless madman
we'll dance our lives away
in the ballrooms of mars

you talk about day
i'm talking 'bout night time
when the monsters call out
the names of men
bob dylan knows
and i bet alan freed did
there are things in night
that are better not to behold

you dance
with your lizard leather boots on
and pull the strings
that change the faces of men
you diamond browed hag
you're a gutter-gaunt gangster
john lennon knows your name
and i've seen his

A bonus track from Slider, "Main Man", featuring one of the best lines in rock lyrics ever: "Bolan likes to rock now, yes he does, yes he does":

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 119: SONG # 149

Day 119: A Song From Your Childhood

A song from at least, my younger years, "Hotel Room" by the Edgar Broughton Band, a song that rests on one chord for a long time until they decide to bring in another one; but the best thing about it is the break of the drummer when he marks the end of the bridge and the beginning of the chorus (he uses it happily ever after); for a long time this has shaped my idea of a cool drum part.

Monday, November 7, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 118: SONG # 148

Day 118: Another Song About Guilt

Johnny Cash wrote a classic song about guilt, the Folsom Prison Blues, containing the famous line: "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die". It was first released on December 15, 1955, on Sun Records. Cash is known for many many things, among them his shows in prisons (most famous the ones in San Quentin State Prison, resulting in the album At San Quentin), and I do like the reading of this that says, that he wanted to show that people in prison are still to be regarded as human beings. Be that as it may, listen to the original Sun recording, a rather slow version of the song compared to the way it was done later in live shows:

As part of a tribute album to the great JC, Keb'Mo' has delivered a very fine version of the song (changing the famous line to "but that was just a lie"). His version explains why this song is called the Folsom Prison BLUES:

Finally, a rendering of the song as done live by Johnny himself in prison:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 117: SONG # 147

DAY 117: A Song You Wish You Would Have Written

I wish I would have written Herbie Hancock's Cantaloupe Island, featured on HH's 1964 album "Empyrean Isles", with Freddie Hubbard on cornet, Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums (what a band!!); the original recording goes like this:

The tune became known to a wider public than the average jazz-audience because a sample of it is the backbone of US3's "Cantaloop" from 1993, sometimes categorized as cool hip hop, sometimes as acid jazz or rap-jazz. Here it is:

Finally a live rendition of the tune featuring one of my all time heroes among the world's distinguished drummers, Vinnie Colaiouta and the great bass player Marcus Miller

Saturday, November 5, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 116: SONG # 146

DAY 116: A Song you can play on the drums and that will please you

No comment needed, it will please you, special k. will really please you:

param pam pam param pam!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 115: SONG # 145

TAG 115: Ein Lustiges Lied

Nicht nur lustig, sondern auch musikalisch super, Helge Schneiders Käsebrot live: