Saturday, February 25, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 181: SONG # 212

Day 181: A Song That Takes YouTo The Heart of Darkness

Midnight choir, a band from Norway, has already been featured in this blog. They have allegedly been named after two words taken from a verse from Leonard Cohen's well-known song "Bird on a Wire"; they are among the rulers in the bunch of kings of the dark melancholic lands and I strongly recommend everyone with an inclination to those countrysides to buy all of their records. Here is "Electric Rain", there is no further need from my side to explain anything:

As Midnight Choir has such a load of good songs, here is at least one more: "Snow in Berlin":

1000 SONGS -DAY 180: SONG # 211

DAY 180: One of my favourite melancholic songs

Handbags & Gladrags: I came to know that song through the version that has been done by Rod Stewart on his first album "An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down" back in 1970 (with Ronnie Wood on guitar and bass). This is still one of my (1000) fav albums today, whatever might have become of Rod. The song was written by Mike D'Abo who had been the vocalist in Manfred Mann from 1966-1969, replacing Paul Jones. He was the singer on all the hits of the band during their "Fontana Years", including the recently featured "Quinn the Eskimo" (Dylan). And he was the voice of King Herod in the original recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Rock Opera" Jesus Christ Superstar (w/ Ian Gillan of Deep Purple as the voice of the Son of God). Originally, the song was recorded by Chris Farlowe of Colosseum fame. This is why some people think that it has been written by Farlowe. The song is also known because of its use as the title song of the British sit-com "Office UK", in a version arranged by Big George. I start with the lyrics, after that you will find the versions done by Rod Stewart (Mike D'Abo plays the piano on that one) and Chris Farlowe, followed by one of the recordings Mike D'Abo has done of his composition. For completeness' sake, I end with the rendering of the song by the Welsh band Stereophonics (that is nearest to Rod's version but sounds a bit kitschy in my ears - I think the orchestral arrangement on Rod's album to be far better).

Ever seen a blind man cross the road
Trying to make the other side
Ever seen a young girl growing old
Trying to make herself a bride
So what becomes of you my love
When they have finally stripped you of
The handbags and the gladrags
That your Grandad had to sweat so you could buy

Once I was a young man
And all I thought I had to do was smile
You are still a young girl
And you bought everything in style
But once you think you're in you're out
'Cause you don't mean a single thing without
The handbags and the gladrags
That your Grandad had to sweat so you could buy

Sing a song of six-pence for your sake
And take a bottle full of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds in a cake
And bake them all in a pie

They told me you missed school today
So what I suggest you just throw them all away
The handbags and the gladrags
That your poor old Grandad had to sweat to buy

Rod Stewart's Version (still my fav one):

Chris Farlowe

Mike D'Abo's version (interestingly enough, it is the one I like the least among those):


Thursday, February 23, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 179: SONG # 210

Day 179: One of my favourite "pieces of music" of all times

You could not and you should not call a composition that is a complex weaving together of 5 themes a "song". And more so, not the very composition that proves that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been one of the greatest musical geniuses of all times. Woody Allen is credited of having found an even greater proof in the Molto Allegro Set #4 of Symphony 41 (K 551), the "Jupiter Symphony". According to some people, in Mr. Allen's opinion it proves the existence of God, since "the combination of the five themes in the five-part counterpoint fugato [was] so complex that it [was] impossible for the human ear to sense everything that is going on". Only God could completely grasp it. I could not verify this quote alleged to Mr. Konigsberg, whom some even hold to be an atheist. Be that as it may, for all the complexity of the work, still human beings are able to conduct and perform it, in various interpretations of what "Molto Allegro" might be (according to the metronome I have been using for years, "Allegro" ranges from 120 to 168 bpm). F.e., one of the most reputated Mozart conductors of the 20th century, Karl Böhm is responsible for an up-tempo version with the Wiener Philharmoniker:

George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra give an even faster interpretation of the piéce:

Compare this, for instance, to the way this famous composition is performed by Jeffrey Tate and the English Chamber Orchestra:

And for those who do not have God's ears, a rather slow rendering, so you can grasp it all in time, by Sir Charles Mackerras, conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra:

Let me end with the statement that listening to that composition immediately does away with all the horrible Mozart-Kitsch of the Austrian tourism industry.

"Mozart mit Kopfhörer" by Comandantina Dusilova

1000 SONGS -DAY 178: SONG # 209

Day 178: A Song From Your Childhood

This is an easy one; I have been still a child in 1968 (a young 68'er) and I did like that song ever since it had been written by Bob Dylan. No need to explain who that guy could possibly be, no chance to get a version done by him (e.g. the one on "Self Portrait") to post here, because his songs are forbidden for the members of the Kopimist Church.
This song is called The Mighty Quinn (although some hold it to be "Quinn the Eskimo"), and here is the performance of it as it has been done by Manfred Mann's band back in 68', which is - to me - still the classic rendering of the song. No need to print the lyrics, as they are included in the U-Tube-Vid brought to your attention here:

Other versions have been brought forth, f.e., by british singer Lulu (wonderful R&B arrangement):

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 177: SONG # 208

Day 177: A Trance Track Feat. a God & a Church

Some talk about diffusion of religion to other cultural areas, some write about religion in the media, religion and the media, media as religion, music & religion, event religion a.s.o. Here is a classic dance track, a trance track that proclaims "GOD IS A DJ" and "THIS IS OUR CHURCH". Interestingly enough, it is by triphoppers (or however you wish to categorize) called FAITHLESS. Nuff said, here it is, the Ash Wednesday 2012 song:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 176: SONG # 207

Day 176: A song I wish I could play

There is not much to comment on this one: everybody will understand that it is desirable to be as proficient on any instrument as Friedrich Gulda has been on the piano, not anybody will not know the song and whoever reads this blog will have no need to be informed about Mr. Gulda, the song and whatever might be connected to it (and, with the state of Austrian politics, "intellectuals" and arts at this time, it is good to remember that we had such persons as Mr. Gulda in our lovely country):

1000 SONGS -DAY 175: SONG # 206

Day 175: A song you can play on an instrument

I think that I can play this song on the drums, although I never tried to do. Those among my friends who are critical about my abilities on the instrument will say, that I never will suceed at it, because I am totally incapable of keeping time for 273 seconds. However that may be, I will abstain from developing any theory about/on/starting from that piece of music (intellectuals are the shoe-shine boys of the ruling elite), with the exception of the simple statement that it really makes us think about what music is. Here is John Cage's 4'33"

Among the many cover versions to be found on YouTube, I do like the Death-Metal version most, the guy does a tremendously fast rendering of the piece:

Friday, February 10, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 174: SONG # 205

Day 174: A song that makes you smile

3rd Bass certainly are one of the funniest hip-hop-crews ever (at least in my little world) and their 1991 "Derelicts of Dialect" is a classic of the genre. They also had a hit with one of the tracks as a single, a harsh critique of commercial rappers like Mc Hammer or Vanilla Ice. The circumstance, that two of the three guys were whities, did add additional seriousness to their satirical work. Here is "Pop Goes the Weasel" - the official video, starring Henry Rollins as Vanilla Ice:

I add two bonus tracks from the same album that also make me smile: "Herbals in your mouth" (currently not available, but i will keep on checking) and "Microphone techniques":

part of the lyrics:

Weebles to the weebles to the wobbles - to the herbalz
I don't drink milk when it curdles
Cause then it's too pasty, French like pastry
It's like gettin caught boostin at Macy's
True indeed, Cogswell Cogs, and Sprockets at Spacely's
I make like George, and Jet-i-son safely
to my rest and not a Tribe but I'm Quest'n
You got bad breath, then take a Certs with Retsin
Dribble dribble drabble say what, I beg your pardon
Quincy ain't convinced me, got my own "Secret Gardens"
So now we boomin out the speakers and amps (true)
Buggin your nuts like the PMS cramps
Some falsified but I gots bones to pick
The only nine you ever seen was in arithmetic
Herbalz given, how you livin?
Yo I ain't played like a pseudo
Herbalz in your mouth, and mine are macanudo

(There it is)
Herbalz in your mouth (there it is, there it is)
Everybody say herbalz in your mouth (there it is, there it is)
Say herbalz in your mouth (there it is?)
Everybody say herbalz in your mouth (there it is, there it is)
A from the North, to the South (there it is)

Got the herbalz in your mouth
Pete Nice! No herbalz, in his mouth
Richie Rich! No herbalz, in his mouth
Prince Paul, no herbalz in his mouth
Yes, yes man
Got herbalz, where they at?
Got herbalz..
Herbalz in your mouth yo where they at they in your mouth
Herbalz in your mouth yo where they at they in your mouth
Herbalz in your mouth yo where they at they in your mouth
Mouth mouth mouth, m-mouth, m-mouth..

Thursday, February 9, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 173: SONG # 204

DAY 173: A song you want to be played at your funeral

As I have already written in former posts on this subject, my funeral should be an occasion for people to dance and be happy: finally, he's gone! I am not sure whether my old comrades dear will dance to this here tune at my funeral, but I would at least like to have it heard. It is by the Walkabouts from Seattle, USA. They have already been featured with their version of Nick Cave's The Loom of the Land here (Sad Songs, #124, 2011-07-29). Today's tune is called DEAD MAN RISE. I promise not to do that at my funeral...

Wake up dead man, there's a noise
You must attend
It will not quit

Wake up dead man, there's a noise
Your sleep is done
Your secret's out

Dead man rise
And clear the dust right out your clothes
Dead man rise
You've been away from here too long

Dead man rise
Dead man rise

Wake up dead man, fate has spoke
I'm yours to kiss
He's yours to forget

Cause much has changed since you've been gone
Love's grown wise
Its rules have broken

Dead man rise
And clear the dust right out your clothes
Dead man rise
You've been away from here too long

Dead man rise
Dead man rise

Dead man rise
Dead man rise
Dead man rise
Dead man rise

Dead man rise

Wake up dead man, there's a noise
There's a noise you must attend
Wake up dead man, there's a noise
There's a noise that will not quit

Saturday, February 4, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 172: SONG # 203

Day 172: (One of) my favourite love song(s)

There are so many really bad love songs on the planet, f.e. "How deep is your love" - maybe the worst song ever, even worse than "Last Christmas". I will not post a song I do not like any more, because this is not what a music blog is for. But I will expand the variety of musical styles to be found here, as I do not think that I have posted a Bluegrass song on this blog until today. So now for one of my favourite Bluegrass songs that is also (one of) my favourite love song(s). Peter Rowan's "I'm gonna love you like there's no tomorrow":

For six long years I've been here in this prison
Livin my life behind bars in this dirty cell
Tomorrow they're goin to take me down to Huntsville
And send my soul to heaven or to hell

I'm gonna love you like there's no tomorrow
I'm gonna love you like there's no yesterday
I'm gonna hug and kiss away your sorrow
I'm gonna love you like there's no tomorrow

The warden said my last request was granted
That you could come and stay with me tonight
You're the only one who ever really loved me
So hold me in your arms hold me tight

I'm gonna love you like there's no tomorrow
I'm gonna love you like there's no yesterday
I'm gonna hug and kiss away your sorrow
I'm gonna love you like there's no tomorrow

I know my life will soon be over
And the life of our baby child is just begun
There's only one thought now thats left to haunt me
Just to think that what I've lost I might have won

As a bonus Texmex track, here is Peter Rowan with Flaco Jiménez and The Free Mexican Airforce: