Monday, January 30, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 171: SONG # 202

Day 171: A Song you listen to when you are sad

"Cry me a river" was written by Arthur Hamilton for a movie called Pete Kelly's Blues to be sung by Ella Fitzgerald, but in the end the idea of featuring the song was dropped. This is why the first recorded version of the song comes from Julie London:




The song can be looked at as a Jazz-Standard, and it has been done in a variety of styles. We will start with Ella's rendering of it, then you can compare it with the vocal style of Etta James. Ray Charles is contributing a rather big-band-ish version.








So, here we go with Sam Cooke, whose way to do the song is near to giving it a somewhat optimistic air. As a remedy to the danger of developing a rather positive mood in connection with the composition, I strongly recommend to listen to the version done by The Swans.





Last not least. pianist Brad Mehldau w/t friends adds a piece of academic Jazz chamber music based upon Arthur Hamilton's composition:

Friday, January 27, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 170: SONG # 201

Day 170: A Song You Listen to When You Are Happy
Today I am happy, as I have seen Gabun winning against Marocco in a really breathtaking second inning. However that may be, dancing barefoot is an apt expression of happiness. So here is Patti Smith with a song about dancing barefoot:


I wonder, what an elderly woman, as Patti Smith is becoming to be, might think about kids doing her adult song in a convincing way; at the moment, one cannot listen to the swedish gals' - first aid kit - rendering of dancing barefoot with Patti in the audience, as the video has been removed from YouTube. So here is a version of the song by First Aid Kit without Patti...:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 169: SONG # 200

Day 169: A song mentioned by Frank Zappa in an interview and featured in the soundtrack of "Coffee and Cigarettes"

Song #200 (of 450 tracks including alternate versions and bonus tracks) featured in the 1000 Songs Challenge has to be a very special one. I chose a very simple one for the reasons given in the title of today's post. How can a song that Zappa and Jarmusch both seem to (have) like(d) be a bad one? After all, it is pure Rock'n Roll, and that what it is all about. Lets start with the first recording of the song, as we can also hear it in the cinema when watching "Coffee & Cigarettes", by Richard Berry and the Pharaos:



The Kinks with a strange video to it:




Finally (out of many other possible choices) Louie Louie, as rendered by IGGY POP, and featured on the soundtrack of C& C:



And the clip from the Zappa Interview I had in mind:

Friday, January 20, 2012

1000 SONGS- DAY 168: SONG #199

Day 168: Songs by Great Performers Who Died Recently

Etta James died today; she has been one of the most prolific rhythm & blues and soul singers ever. And she has done a version of James Brown's classic anti-anti-sexist song (or whatever) "This is a Man's World", and as that has to be acknowledged as a very fine ironic gesture - and as I do like irony like the robin likes to sing - here it is, the man's world in Etta James' rendering of it:




Another version that inverts gender roles is Etta James' version of the Willie Dixon song "I Just Wanna Make Love to You":



And now for a song that has first been recorded by Etta, "I'd Rather Go Blind":



Another legend has died a few days ago (Jan. 17, 2012), a guy called Johnny Otis, and here is a classic song done by him: "Willie and the Hand Jive" (there is a photograph of Bo Diddley, for reasons I ignore, but it is the Johnny Otis song):



And for all the folks that might think that this is an Eric Clapton song: FUCK YA!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1000 CHANSONS - JOUR 167: CHANSON #198

Day 167: A Song You Would Like to Hear in a Cinema

Une femme est une femme par Jean Luc Godard features Belmondo and Charles Aznavour (who also did a German rendering of the song) singing "Tu t'laisses aller", c'est tout, quoi dire de plus:





And here is the German Version:


Monday, January 16, 2012

1000 SONGS- DAY 166: SONG #197

Day 166: A song from the Radio

I found out today, that not one single Patti Smith song has been featured on the 1000 Songs Challenge on this here blog up to now, although I have mentioned Patti Lee on the post from April 26, 2011. So here is a song from the radio, and from a very special radio, Radio Ethiopia, the second album by the Patti Smith Group, a track co-written by Patti and Ivan Kral, like some other songs from that album. "Ain't it Strange", somehow my favourite song from that record (one of those records I have bought twice, since I have been giving away all of my records in 1979 and later had to buy some of them again):



Down in Vineland there's a clubhouse,
Girl in white dress, boy shoot white stuff
Oh, don't you know that anyone can join
And they come and they call and they fall on the floor
Don't you see when you're looking at me
That I'll never end transcend transcend
Ain't it strange oh oh oh
Ain't it strange oh oh oh

Come and join me, I implore thee,
I impure thee, come explore me.
Oh, don't you know that anyone can come
And they come and they call and they crawl on the floor.
Don't you see when you're looking at me
That I'll never end transcend transcend
Ain't it strange oh oh oh
Ain't it strange oh oh oh

True, true, who are you ?
Who, who am I ?
Oh da oh da oh da oh da oh da oh da

Down in Vineland there's a clubhouse,
Girl in white dress, boy shoot white stuff.
Oh, don't you know that anyone can come
And they come and they call and they fall on the floor
Don't you see when you're looking at me
That I'll never end transcend transcend.
Ain't it strange oh oh oh
Ain't it strange oh oh oh

Do you go to the temple tonight ?
Oh no, I don't think so
Do you not go to the palace of answers with me Marie?
Oh no, I don't think so, no
See when they offer me book of gold,
I know soon still that platinum is coming
And when I look inside of your temple
It looks just like the inside of anyone one man,
And when he beckons his finger to me,
Well, I move in another direction,
I move in another dimension
I move in another dimension oh oh oh

I spin, I spiral, and I splatter
Hand of God, I feel the finger,
Hand of God, and I start to whirl
And I whirl, and I whirl,
Don't get dizzy, do not fall now,
Turn, God, God (strange)
Go, go on, go like a dervish,
Turn, God, (strange) make a move
Turn, Lord, (strange)
I don't get nervous
Oh I just move in another dimension
Come move in another dimension
Come move in another dimension
Come move in another dimension oh oh oh
Strange strange

Do you go to the temple tonight ?
Oh no, I don't think so, no
We'll go to the pagoda
The palace of answers with me, Marie
Oh no, I don't believe so, no
See when they offer me book of gold,
I know soon still that platinum is coming
And when I look inside of your temple
It looks just like the inside of anyone one man
And when he beckons his finger to me,
Well, I move in another dimension
I move in another dimension
I move in another dimension oh oh oh


There needs to be a bonus track, which is another song from Radio Ethiopia written by Smith & Kral, Ask the Angels:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

1000 SONGS- DAY 165: SONG #196

Day 165: Another Song About the Rain

First song by Travis I have ever heard is "Why Does it Always Rain on Me?"(because you're from Scotland, baby) from their second album "The Man Who". There is not much to say about Travis, I really enjoy their music and I am glad, that songs as beautiful as those by Francis Healy can hit the charts:




Here are two bonus tracks from the same album, "Driftwood" and "Writing To Reach You"



Friday, January 13, 2012

1000 LIEDER - TAG 164: LIED #195

TAG 164: Ein Lied das Dich beschreibt

Die Schispringerlieder von Christoph & Lollo mochte ich von Anfang an so wie ich Schispringen mag (der lässigste Wintersport ever) und wie ich Kazuyoshi Funaki immer gemocht habe, der diesen Sprungstil mit den Schispitzen auf einer Höhe mit den Ohren gesprungen ist in seinen guten Tagen. Und das Christoph & Lollo an dem Lied fleißig weiter gedichtet haben, ist auch schön; und natürlich beschreibt mich ein Lied, in dem es heißt: "er trinkt fünf liter bier ohne dass es ihn reckt und bevor du was sagst hat er's längst schon gecheckt":




Und ein Bonus-Track für alle Islamphoben:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 163: SONG #194

Day 163: A Song Nobody Would Expect You to Love

This is a song that everybody who has a sense for anything would expect me to love and it is a reposting of a blog entry from 2009, before I started the 1000 songs challenge, so for the neurotics:this is off the records...:
Back to PC - Popular Culture - the ones having read the entry on the Zombie movies [on the Culture&Religion Blog] might know about RKO; it is exactly that film producing corporation that is featured in the very hymn
on popular culture (= B-Movies): Science Fiction /Double Feature from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Here is a fine rendering of it, the typical UTUBE award-winning-work, where some person has taken over the work-load of illustrating accurately all the connotations and even denotations of the lyrics:



Michael Rennie was ill the day the earth stood still
But he told us where we stand
And Flash Gordon was there in silver underwear
Claude Raines was the invisible man
Then something went wrong for Fay Wray and King Kong
They got caught in a celluloid jam
Then at a deadly pace it came from outer space
And this is how the message ran:

Science Fiction - Double Feature
Dr. X will build a creature
See androids fighting Brad and Janet
Ann Francis stars in Forbidden Planet
Oh-oh at the late night, double feature, picture show.

I knew Leo G. Carroll was over a barrel
When Tarantula took to the hills
And I really got hot when I saw Janet Scott
Fight a Triffid that spits poison and kills
Dana Andrews said prunes gave him the runes
And passing them used lots of skills
But when worlds collide, said George Pal to his bride
I'm gonna give you some terrible thrills, like a:

Science Fiction - Double Feature
Dr. X will build a creature
See androids fighting Brad and Janet
Ann Francis stars in Forbidden Planet
Oh-oh at the late night, double feature, picture show.
I wanna go, oh-oh, to the late night double feature picture show.
By RKO, oh-oh, at the late night double feature picture show.
In the back row at the late night double feature picture show.

You might think, this is just for fun; oh no, this is serious theory of culture; it is about visual - and not just visual - culture. Everybody seems to agree on the one fact, that all the scholarship on culture should abandon the elitist - high culture - approach. We do not want to have an expertise in a given culture's experts point of view - we want to know about the power-relationships, the social construction of reality and the like in a given interaction between members of this or that or both or more of the cultures involved. As David Morgan, an art historian with a special interest in religious images has put it:
"Western scholars are sometimes fond of assuming that there is an autonomous aesthetic sensibility in human beings that directs artistic activity. Art, these scholars seem to believe, is a basic human need, an enduring instinct linked to such values as ‘freedom’, ‘expression’ and ‘autonomy’. But this notion of art is rooted in the Renaissance understanding of individualism and is universalised with great presumptuousness. It is important for the analyst to resist adopting criteria from one’s own society. Discussing the history of visual culture, as opposed to that of fine art alone, avoids making such invidious distinctions. Rather than limiting oneself to the interpretation of ‘museum-quality’ fine art as instances of artistic excellence, the student of religious visual culture seeks to discern within the production and reception of a visual artifact the social construction of belief and its role in the maintenance of an outlook.“ (David Morgan, Visual Religion. In: Religion 30 [2000], 41–53, 41f.)
Be that as it may, without further theoretical assumptions. I think that the old man responsible for the song has done a convincing version of it:




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 162: SONG #193

Day 162: A Song About Guilt

A song about guilt, but you might take your time to think about on whose side guilt is to be found. Think about it, no more comment, "claimin I'm a criminal", great song by Brand Nubian:

Monday, January 9, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 161: SONG #192

Day 161: A song that takes you into the Heart of Darkness

This is a song that you might not understand if you did not ever experience what Soeren Kierkegaard has called the "harsh examination" ("scharfe Examinierung"; letter from Berlin to Emil Boesen, Feb 06, 1842). But if you know what it means to lie awake at night and experience the decomposition of your whole life, if you know what it means when everything comes to nought, you will know what this song is about. It is called Horseleg Swastikas, track #5 from Bright Flight, the fourth Album of the Silver Jews. The Silver Jews are mainly David Berman, who has been the only permanent member during the 20 years the band has existed. The most well-known member of the original set-up undoubtedly is Stephen Malkmus of Pavement. I do not like the illustration too much that the person has chosen who did the upload of the song on UTUBE, but it is the only version I found of the album track (lyrics provided by me):




I'm drunk on a couch in Nashville
In a duplex near the reservoir
And every single thought is like a punch in the face
I'm like a rabbit freezing on a star

On the wrong side of Sunday morning
Shattered in the terrible light
Working for a bankrupt circus
On the wrong side of Saturday night

And I wanna be like water if I can
'Cause water doesn't give a damn
Water doesn't give a damn

Chased by a floating hatchet
You can't just shoot your way out and go
I could tell you things about this wallpaper
That you'd never ever want to know

Well there's an altar in the valley
For things in themselves as they are
And the triumph of the obstacle
And horseleg swastikas

I wanna take a ride on the back of a sunbird
Up into the highest number
Up into the highest number

And I wanna be like water if I can
'Cause water doesn't give a damn
Water doesn't give a damn



As a bonus track, here comes "The Wild Kindness" from American Water, the third album of the Silver Jews:





I wrote a letter to a wildflower
on a classic nitrogen afternoon.
Some power that hardly looked like power
said I'm perfect in an empty room.

Four dogs in the distance
each stands for a kindness.
Bluebirds lodged in an evergreen altar
I'm gonna shine out in the wild silence
and spurn the sin of giving in.

Oil paintings of x-rated picnics.
Behind the walls of medication I'm free.
Every leaf in a compact mirror
hits a target that we can't see.

Grass grows in the icebox.
The year ends in the next room
It is autumn and my camouflage is dying
instead of time there will be lateness
and let forever be delayed.

I died my hair in a motel void
met the coroner at Dreamgate Frontier
He took my hand and said I'll help you boy
if you really want to disappear

Four dogs in the distance
each stands for a silence.
Bluebirds lodged in an evergreen altar
I'm gonna shine out in the wild kindness
and hold the world to its word.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 160: SONG #191

Day 160: A Song by one of your Favourite Bands

The Young Gods are my favourite band from Switzerland up to now. In the original line-up they consisted of a singer (Franz Treichler, the only member of all line-ups), a drummer and a guy doing electronics, mostly samples. Back when they started, the sound of their music was something new, never heard before and unique. On their first record they have featured a cover version of a Gary Glitter-song (I will not comment on Glitter's sexual behaviour here), that is so much better than the original that it deserves the honorary degree of being the original version. The name of the song as recorded by Gary Glitter is "Hello, Hello, I'm Back Again" whilst the version as recorded by The Young Gods is called "Did You Miss Me" :



From their second album, one of my favourite pieces of music is "La Fille de la Mort", simply beautiful:



C`est la fille de la mort qui m`a montré son corps
Et celle du procureur qui m'a volé mon coeur
C'est la fille de la mort qui m'a montré son corps
Et celle du boulevard qui m'a planté son dard

Un jour si je vois, je te montrerai du doigt
Et le jour si je te vois, plus...
Jamais je n`t`oblirerai

C`est la fille de lamort qui m`a donné son corps
C`est la fin de l`âge d`or, on change de decor

Un jour ce que je crois, je t`le montrerai du doigt
Et le jour je n`y crois plus...
Je m`le mettrai dans le cul

C`est le fille de la mort, oh oui c`est elle
Qui m`entraîne.... dans ces rues formidables
Bien plus loin que le nord
Avec ses yeux comme des fables... bien plus loin

Notre reine est comme saoule
Notre reine est comme folle
Notre reine est comme foule
Notre reine... notre reine...reine ... notre reine

Va petit diable, au bord de la ville
Va petit diable, là où la ville est seule
Va petit diable, au bord de la terre
Va petit diable, là où la terre se perd

Ouhouh notre ville est un radeau
Ouhouh et nous hisserons les voiles
Ouhouh nous partirons bientôt
Ouhouh avec juste quelques étoiles

Moi je suis le roi du goudron... bébé
Et celle que j`aime est en béton
Approchez, approchez mesdames et messieurs
Le spectacle est unique
Ici on funambule
Et si je ne bouge pas, et si ne bouge pas
Et si je ne bouge pas... je recule
Et si je ne bouge pas... minuscule

Attention voici la chanson rouge
Que personne ne bouge, que personne ne bouge
Compris ?
D`accord ?
Ces
Use


There is also an album by the Young Gods on which they have done cover-versions of songs composed by Kurt Weill. From that one, September Song is featured here:




Finally une autre chose, "Charlotte" in a relatively recent (2007) live version from NYC:



Quand Charlotte se touche
Le ciel ouvre la bouche
Et que ses mains s'étendent
Quand elle s'y attarde
Tous les enfants regardent
Et quand son dos se perle

Charlotte, Charlotte
Quand Charlotte se touche
Charlotte,Charlotte de mon coeur
Quand Charlotte se touche

Et quand moi je m'en vais
Charlotte reste bouche bée
Mais le ciel pique du nez

Charlotte, Charlotte
Quand Charlotte se touche
Charlotte,Charlotte de mon coeur
Quand Charlotte se touche

Quand Charlotte se touche le nez.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 159: SONG #190

Day 159: A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep

Certainly, lullabies have the aim and purpose to make some body fall asleep, the younger ones among these. So the perfect song in that category will be a lullaby (or nursery rhyme). "Hush Little Baby" is a beautiful lullaby and the most beautiful version of it that I know comes from The Horse Flies. Here it is, good night, sleep tight, have a nice dream:


Monday, January 2, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 158: SONG #189

Day 158: A Song You Can Dance To

A song that I can surely dance to is "Cosmic Slop" (a song that at the same time brings tears to my eyes), originally recorded by Funkadelic in 1973; it has been written by George Clinton and Bernie Worrell and my favourite version of it has originally been track 3 of the great Bill Laswell's Material album "The Third Power" in 1991. This version also features the singer of the original version, Garry Shider, among a bunch of very fine musicians. The song has also been included on the first album of the Axiom Collection, a collection of recordings from Bill Laswell's Axiom Label. From there the guy who has done the upload on UTube has taken it:




I was one of five born to my mother
An older sister and three young brothers
We've seen it hard, we've seen it kind of rough
But always with a smile, she was sure to try to hide
The fact from us that life was really tough

I can hear my mother call
I can hear my mother call
Late at night I hear her call
Oh lord, lord I hear her call
She said, "Father, father it's for the kids
Any and every thing I did.
Please, please don't judge me too strong.
Lord knows I meant no wrong.
Lord knows I meant no wrong."

Then the devil sang

"Would you like to dance with me?
We're doin' the cosmic slop."

She was well known through the ghetto
Tricks would come and then they'd go
The neighbors would talk and call her Jezebel
But always with a smile, she was sure to try to hide
The fact from us that she was catching hell, hey!

Hear my mother call
I can hear my mother call
Late at night I hear her call
Oh lord, lord I hear her call
She says, "Father, father it's for the kids
Any and every thing I did.
Please, please don't judge me too strong.
Lord knows I meant no wrong.
Lord knows I meant no wrong."
Lord!




And here is one fine video to the version by Funkadelic:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 157: SONG #188

Day 157: A song you know all the words to

For Your Pleasure by Roxy Music was the first RM album that I did own, and Roxy Music was the first band that was "my own" when growing up; all the other bands I came to know mainly because of my brother listening to them. I once have given away all my records and later on I have bought some of them again, amongst them "For Your Pleasure". When listening to it for the first time after 10 years or so, I still knew all the words from the beginning of the first song to the end of the last song. Do the Strand was the hit single on that album, and The Bogus Man has already been featured on that blog (2011-01-16, one of the songs from my favourite band - RM on their first five albums). Beauty Queen has always been my secret favourite track on "For Your Pleasure" (second track, first side -listen to the relaxed way in which the Great Paul Thompson plays his signature beat with syncopated bass drum patterns) and so has been Grey Lagoons (second track, second side - listen to the accelerated way that the Great Paul Thompson plays his signature beat)



Valerie please believe
It never could work out
The time to make plans
Has passed, faded away
Oooh the way you look
Makes my starry eyes shiver
Then I look away
Too much for one day
One thing we share
Is an ideal of beauty
Treasure so rare
That even devils might care
Your swimming-pool eyes
In sea breezes they flutter
The coconut tears
Heavy-lidded they shed
Swaying palms at your feet
You're the pride of your street
While you worship the sun
Summer lover of fun
Gold number with neighbours
Who said that you'll go far
Maybe someday be a star
A fast mover like you
And your dreams will all come true
All of my hope, and my inspiration
I drew from you
Our life's pattern's drawn in sand
But the winds could not erase
The memory of your face
Deep in the night
Plying very strange cargo
Our soul-ships pass by
Solo trips to the stars - in the sky
Gliding so far
That the eye cannot follow
Where do they go
We'll never know




Blue suns and grey lagoons
Silver starfish with honeymoons
All these and more to choose
If you
Satin teardrops on velvet lights
Morning sickness on Friday nights
Heaven knows what others I might bring
To you
Broken partings making strange goodbyes
Hopeless cases with fake alibis
Even hoping we'll be there to share
With you
Blue suns and grey lagoons
Grey lagoons
Grey lagoons

1000 SONGS - DAY 156: SONG #186 & 187

Day 156: Songs that remind me of somewhere and of a certain event

The three tracks featured here have in common, that they have introduced the idea of sampling to a wider public and that they are great dancefloor tracks. They remind me of Hietzinger Hauptstrasse 67 where we used to live and have some great parties (this counts as "certain event"). We had a rehearsal room in the flat and so we could use the band's PA to pump up the volume that came from the turntables (this also had the effect of motivating the police to visit our house at night). The first track is the rather relaxed Coldcut-Remix of Eric B. & Rakim's "Paid in Full", one of the classic tracks in the history of HipHop. It is alos widely known for using a sample from Im Nin'alu as rendered by Ofra Haza.



The second tune is the one single by the one single undertaking M/A/R/S/S with the wonderful title "Pump up the Volume", followed by "Beat Dis" that comes from Bomb The Bass (Tim Simenon) and this is pure dance trance, so put the needle on the record: