Saturday, March 31, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 196 SONG # 227

Day 196: A Song from the radio

Like on Day 137/Song 167 (2011-12-06), this is a song that I do not only know from the radio but that also features the radio in the lyrics, "Static on the Radio" by Jim White, whose musical style is sometimes described as "alternative country". At least this song doesn't sound like country to my ears at all. It can also be filed under the clandestine sub-category "songs that have to do with the dude". Up to today, in this category we had "I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in" on Day 135/Song 165 (2011-12-02) and, very recently, "The man in me" (Day 194/Song 225, 2012-03-30). Both of them are featured on the soundtrack of The Big Lebowski. On this here track, the female voice belongs to Aimee Mann, who also is known for having played a minor role in the Coen brothers' movie (among the "German nihilists"). Wonderful song, in my opinion, good choice for sunday morning brunch:

1000 SONGS - DAY 195 SONG # 226

Day 195 - A song about hate

"Dress Rehearsal Rag" is a song from Leonard Cohens album "Songs of Love and Hate" - and as it seems to me, that it is not about love, I have chosen it as another example in the category "A Song about Hate" (although it is more a song about suicide/depression/despair). I know that there is a cover done by Nick Cave, but in my opinion, it does neither match the original version nor the better covers (f.e. the one of "Avalanche" already featured on this blog) by the Aussie Singer. So here you will solely find the Canadian's version (and the lyrics - as this is pure poetry) :

Four o'clock in the afternoon
and I didn't feel like very much.
I said to myself, "Where are you golden boy,
where is your famous golden touch?"
I thought you knew where
all of the elephants lie down,
I thought you were the crown prince
of all the wheels in Ivory Town.
Just take a look at your body now,
there's nothing much to save
and a bitter voice in the mirror cries,
"Hey, Prince, you need a shave."
Now if you can manage to get
your trembling fingers to behave,
why don't you try unwrapping
a stainless steel razor blade?
That's right, it's come to this,
yes it's come to this,
and wasn't it a long way down,
wasn't it a strange way down?
There's no hot water
and the cold is running thin.
Well, what do you expect from
the kind of places you've been living in?
Don't drink from that cup,
it's all caked and cracked along the rim.
That's not the electric light, my friend,
that is your vision growing dim.
Cover up your face with soap, there,
now you're Santa Claus.
And you've got a gift for anyone
who will give you his applause.
I thought you were a racing man,
ah, but you couldn't take the pace.
That's a funeral in the mirror
and it's stopping at your face.
That's right, it's come to this,
yes it's come to this,
and wasn't it a long way down,
ah wasn't it a strange way down?

Once there was a path
and a girl with chestnut hair,
and you passed the summers
picking all of the berries that grew there;
there were times she was a woman,
oh, there were times she was just a child,
and you held her in the shadows
where the raspberries grow wild.
And you climbed the twilight mountains
and you sang about the view,
and everywhere that you wandered
love seemed to go along with you.
That's a hard one to remember,
yes it makes you clench your fist.
And then the veins stand out like highways,
all along your wrist.
And yes it's come to this,
it's come to this,
and wasn't it a long way down,
wasn't it a strange way down?

You can still find a job,
go out and talk to a friend.
On the back of every magazine
there are those coupons you can send.
Why don't you join the Rosicrucians,
they can give you back your hope,
you can find your love with diagrams
on a plain brown envelope.
But you've used up all your coupons
except the one that seems
to be written on your wrist
along with several thousand dreams.
Now Santa Claus comes forward,
that's a razor in his mit;
and he puts on his dark glasses
and he shows you where to hit;
and then the cameras pan,
the stand in stunt man,
dress rehearsal rag,
it's just the dress rehearsal rag,
you know this dress rehearsal rag,
it's just a dress rehearsal rag.

Friday, March 30, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 194 SONG # 225

Day 194: Best Dylan Cover Ever

This is: "A Song that describes me". It describes me, for the content of the lyrics, for the feeling of the song, for being written by Bob D. and most of all, for being rendered by the very best band in all the world, as far as it is my world, by CRACKER; and, as Sabine K. has once mentioned: we could do it all on Dylan-Covers...

The man in me will do nearly any task
As for compensation, there's a little he will ask
Take a woman like you
To get through to the man in me.

Storm clouds are raging all around my door
I think to myself I might not take it anymore
Take a woman like your kind
To find the man in me.

But, oh what a wonderful feeling
Just to know that you are near
It sets my heart a-reeling
From my toes up to my ears.

The man in me will hide sometimes to keep from being seen
But that's just because he doesn't want to turn into some machine
Take a woman like you
To get through to the man in me.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 193 SONG # 224

Day 193: A song about free love

The last post has featured a "noise band" from New York. Now here's for Madison, Wisconsin. Killdozer, the band credited for being pre-grunge, proto-grunge or real grunge before grunge ever happened, are best known for cover-versions of songs everybody likes to sing along with. They reduce these songs to their skeleton (bass, drum, guitar) - done by the Hobson bro's, slow them down, make em heavy and the singer (whose name is Michael Gerald) tries to sound like a drunken hooligan. This way, some of these songs become simply ridiculous, some of them capable of being listened to by a human being in his sober mind. Here is a song that is not a cover version (as far as I know), although it bears some reminiscences to Scott McKenzie's mainstream hippie-hymn "San Francisco". Maybe the most cynical comment on Hippiedom ever: Free Love in Amsterdam from Killdozer's "Twelve Point Buck".

The most famous among the Killdozer covers (their album "For Ladies Only" was made up of those entirely) is their rendering of Don McLean's "American Pie". Instead of that one, I include two other tracks from "For Ladies Only": Steve Miller's "Take the Money and Run" (I have the idea that they really like that song) and Joe South's "Hush" (most widely known for the Deep Purple cover of it). ENJOY!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 192 SONG # 223

Day 192: Some Dark Songs

Yesterday I have posted track #500 (including cover versions & bonus tracks) in this here 1000 songs challenge. Still there is so much music from other/outer spheres to be acknowledged. Dark music from New Yorks 1980ies, for example. Live Skull, featuring Thalia Zedek on guitar and VOCALS, punch of freaks from the big apple, normally filed under "noise". To me, to be placed in a category w/h Sonic Youth, Band of Susans, Cop Shoot Cop & maybe: The Swans. From their 4th album, Dusted, two songs. recently put up on UTUBE by some persons who do understand, Kream & Machete:

Friday, March 23, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 191 SONG # 222

Day 191: My favourite Randy Newman Song

This was the first Randy Newman song I came to know, and Good Old Boys is still one of my favourite albums. There is a cover version by Blood Sweat & Tears, not a bad band, not a bad version. But I do like Randy's version most:

Old lady lost in the city
In the middle of a cold, cold night
It was fourteen below and the wind start to blow
There wasn't a boy scout in sight
Pull down the shades cause he's comin'
Turn out the lights cause he's here
Runnin' hard down the street
Through the snow and the sleet
On the coldest night of the year

Beware, beware, beware of the Naked Man

Old lady head up toward Broad Street
Shufflin' uptown against the wind
She had started to cry-wiped a tear from her eye
And looked back to see where she had been

Old lady stand on the corner
With a purse in her hand
She does not know but in a minute or so
She will be robbed by a naked man

Old lady lean against a lamppost
Starin' down at the ground on which she stand
She look up and scream
For the lamplight's beam
There stood the famous Naked Man

He say, "They found out about my sister
And kicked me out of the Navy,
They would have strung me up if they could.
I tried to explain that we were both of us lazy
And were doing the best we could."

He faked to the left and he faked to the right
And he snatched the purse from her hand
"Someone stop me," he cried,
As he faded from sight,
"Won't nobody help a naked man?"
"Won't nobody help a naked man?"

And a bonus track from GOB, in a live version:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 190 SONG # 221

Day 190: A song by your favourite band

There was a time, when Lloyd Cole and the Commotions were (at least: among) my favourite band(s). This was the time of their first record, my time of being in-between ending studies (which took me some more years) and starting a job - since I could not decide which job to take among the plenty of them offered to me, I just stayed in academia ("we academics are not easily discouraged"). Nearly each and every song from that album is worth to be listed among my 1000 favourite ones. I dig the first three on side one: Perfect Skin, Speedboat and Rattlesnakes. The last of these has also been recorded by Tori Amos, so I will post the lyrics here, too.

Jodie wears a hat although it hasn't rained for six days
She says a girl needs a gun these days
Hey, on account of all the rattlesnakes

She looks like Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront
She reads Simone de Beauvoir in her American circumstance

She is less than sure if her heart has come to stay in San Jose
And her neverborn child still haunts her
As she speeds down the freeway
As she tries her luck with the traffic police
out of boredom more than spite
She never finds no trouble she tries too hard
She's obvious despite herself

She looks like Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront
She says all she needs is therapy yeh all you need is love is all you need

Jodie never sleeps because there are always needles in the hay
She says that a girl needs a gun these days
Hey, on account of all the rattlesnakes

She looks like Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront
As she reads Simone de Beauvoir in her American circumstance
Her heart.. her heart is like crazy paving
Upside down and back to front
She says"Ooh it's so hard to love
when love was your great disappointment."

Monday, March 19, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 189 SONG # 220

Day 189 - A song dedicated to Babette Babich

Today's category is: a song that makes me fall asleep; I have been thinking about that one for a long time; finally, I came up with something that makes me feel safe and warm and protected. And this is a song that Babette has been thinking about for a long time, too. And since I do appreciate her, as a professor, as a thinker and as a human being, I dedicate this song to her, in two versions, one by the guy who wrote it and the other one by the guy who died like his father did, too young.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 188 SONG # 219

Day 188 - A song I can dance to with the yardbirds

No need to introduce the Yardbirds here, a band that has featured guitarreros like Old Slowhand, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck - here is the lineup with Jeff Beck and Paul Samwell-Smith. Singer Keith Relf (the one with the Brian Jones haircut) died of an electric shock at age 33 because he played an improperly grounded electric guitar; he was then frontman of Renaissance, a rather psychedelic band (he also played the bass guitar in Medicine Head). Here he is still alive, with a Heart Full of Soul:

As everybody will ask for it, here is the famous Chris Isaak version of the song:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 187 SONG # 218

Day 187: A song that connects to the last two posts

Now, we stay down south, although North Carolina is the northernmost state (geographically) of the Confederation, as far as I do understand. Tobacco Road is a song that is said to describe the upbringing of its author, John D. Loudermilk, in his native environment, NC. This song, anything but a success in the version recorded by the man who wrote it, has been recorded by so many singers and bands of at least minor importance in the history of popular music: that I neither have a plan of rendering all the essential versions - and - that at least, Mr. Loudermilk should be able to make a living on the royalties. Among all those versions (f.e.: Spooky Tooth - Grand Opera, the precursors of Heavy Metal), I have chosen the one by Lou Rawls, and the other one by Eric Burdon & War - from one of my favourite albums - EB declares WAR. The song has also been recorded by the Animals, but Eric did the best version with War. Enjoy!

1000 SONGS - DAY 186 SONG # 217

DAY 186: A Song about a certain event that describes somebody

We will stay in the southern rural landscape for some time, moving from Tennessee to Mississippi, to another sleepy, dusty Delta day. The event this song is about is that Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallatchie Bridge. "Ode to Billy Joe" also describes somebody, but rather not Billy Joe. It describes the way a family reacts to the news about his death, everybody going on in their every day routine, with the exception of the first person narrator. She seems to have a more intimate relationship to the one who jumped of the bridge than the other persons would think. Wonder what she and Billy Joe were throwing off the Tallahatchie Bridge. Ode to Billy Joe was the one big hit for Bobby Gentry (in 1967) and it has been listed by Rolling Stone Magazine among the 500 "Greatest Songs of All Time". It is also among my favourite 1000 Songs. I think it is really poetic:

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door "y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"
"Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
"Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please"
"There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
And Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billy Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

And Brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?
"I'll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don't seem right"
"I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge"
"And now you tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Mama said to me "Child, what's happened to your appetite?"
"I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite"
"That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today"
"Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way"
"He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge"
"And she and Billy Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

A year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billy Joe
And Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going 'round, Papa caught it and he died last Spring
And now Mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge

Friday, March 16, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 185: SONG # 216

Day 185: A Song About Somewhere

Arrested Development do describe a landscape called Tennessee, at least they pretend to do. Tis 'as te great time of cool, relaxed hiphop from tem-a-nineties, songs about and 4 evaryday people:

Nevertheless, there is a song about Tennessee zo be added:

Monday, March 5, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 184 SONG # 215

Day 184: A Song THAT Describes Somebody

Let us describe a Peeping Tom, a voyeur. Originally the name has been coined in some version of the myth surrounding Lady Godiva, who is said to have ridden naked on a horse for some reason. There is a song by Placebo about the Peeping Tom and there is a song by Velvet Underground using Lady Godiva's name. Here they are, off we go:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 183: SONG # 214

Day 183: A Song about Sadness

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, As I Sat Sadly by Her Side. I do not have any clue of what I could comment on that one; it is simply poetry:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 182: SONG # 213

Day 182: A Song That Makes You Happy

A Tribe Called Quest certainly are one of the COOLEST hip-hop-crews ever. I know, that we have to take into account Gang Starr's Guru's Jazzmatazz and the whole Rebirth of Cool scene too, and a guy called Ronnie Jordan (more loosely than really connected to hiphop). But I still have a load of days to fill with music in the 1000 Days Song Challenge, so I will come back to that. Here is "Can I Kick It", third single by ATCQ, featuring the coolest samples up to that time (20 years ago or so), most prominently the one taken from Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side:

There are many remixes of the tune to be found on YouTube, you can search for them on your own. Instead of posting some of these, here is another ATCQ track, Bonita Applebum, as a kind of Bonus Track: