Friday, November 30, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 255 SONG #286

Day 255: The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free

The song in question was written by Nat Adderley Jun. and first recorded by the group of his uncle, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley on the live-album of the same name - The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free -  in 1970. I first came to know the tune via the version of Les McCann on his Live from Montreux album (1973), which was to be heard very frequently in the cafés and the bars  I went to in the late 70ies in Vienna. Here it is, followed by the version of the Cannonball Adderöley Quintet:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 254 SONG # 285

DAY 254 - A Tribute to DJ Premier

DJ Premier, a guy from Texas, has been a person of seminal influence on NY's late 80ies and early 90ies Hip-Hop-Scene, along with The Guru, the MC that died too young in 2010, son of the first African-American judge or so, from Boston. As GangStarr, they have contributed enormously to intelligent, poitically aware, musically and lyrics-wise sophisticated hip-hop, being the spear-head of the cool hip-hop movement, later on lead by the Guru and Jazzmatazz. Not long after that,  the genre began to decline aesthetically, we have to admit. When those guys introduced these cool samples from the swing-era on the basis of funky beats, this was the golden era of hip-hop, word! DJ Premier is known for putting together cool beats, moody loops, stunning samples and excellent as well as exact scratches. As a first example of that art of collage, we bring in "Just to Get a Rep", considered to be the masterpiece of Gang Starr by some; it is a fine example of street lyrics, telling a somewhat "authentic" story from the streets of NY in those days, not just posing and boasting  about being a gangsta or something ridiculous and dangerous like that:

The video was shot by Fab 5 Freddy, here is an interview with him about how the story goes: click on that!

As you can learn from that interview, GangStarr were very successful in building and pushing their NY-Posse, among them guys you can see in the video to "Just to Get a Rep", like Jeru the Damaja and Lil' Dap. Jeru the Damaja's first album is normally rated among the top Hip-Hop albums of all times, and it is definitely right to do that and DJ Premier, who did most of the producing work (which means, he made the loops, the beats, the scratches  and all of that)  has to be credited on that one; here is Jungle Music from "The Sun Rises in the East":

Lil' Dap was to be one of the guys in Group Home later on; here is "Suspended in Time" from their debut album. This is also to be credited to DJ Premier, who has produced the track. It is  followed by the "instrumental" version, to give you some sort of feeling for the work of DJ Premier:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 253 SONG # 284

Day 253: Neu! Introducing the Motorik-Beat

40 years ago, influential Krautrocker pioneers NEU! have released their first album Neu! Among groups and people related to NEU! we find, f.e., Krafwerk, Roedelius, Moebius and Eno. The band was formed by Michael Rother and  Klaus Dinger after they had left Kraftwerk. Nevertheless, the invention of the so called "Motorik-Beat" - made famous by Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" - is credited to Dinger. He preferred to call it the "Apache-Beat". The basic structure of that straight-forward, driving beat goes like this (top: hihat, middle: snare drum, bottom: bassdrum):

Here we have Hallogallo from the said debut album by NEU!, dancetrance before the invention of the word; a load of musicians quotes this album as having had a great impact on their music, among them David Bowie, Brian Eno and Thom Yorke:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 252 SONG #283

DAY 252: The coolest cover version ever

There are so many cool cover versions of so many great songs. This one is a cover version of a song from my childhood, a very excited song, a jump-around and scream song (I did own the single, I always liked the B-Side more, as I have already written on this here blog). I do not have to say anything about the song, everybody knows it. Most readers of that blog will also know Howe Gelb (not personally, though), the man who has been Giant Sand. He has done an extremely cool version of that song - simply great. Here it is (btw, it is NOT "Paint it Black"):

Saturday, November 10, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 251 SONG # 282

Day 251: Hillbilly Music

I have to do it now, after having posted a song from the Kinks' Musswell Hillbillies' album. One could choose Hank Williams for the Hillbilly theme. As everybody knows, my mother in law and poor me have at least two things in common, love for the most wonderful person in our little world, and,  respect for the man in black and his songs. As this one man's life has been more or less linked to June Carter, who was a daughter of Maybelle Carter, the Carter Family is the best choice for me to render some real hillbilly music (later to be called country). Here are two recordings, Gold Watch and Chain & Church in the Wildwood. I really love their accent, the way they pronounce "poor",    "bosom", "hair", "fair" "clear", "dear" and so on.

Darling, how can I stay here without you
I have nothing to cheer my poor heart
This old world would seem sad, love, without you
Tell me now that we're never to part

Oh I'll pawn you my gold watch and chain, love
And I'll pawn you my gold diamond ring
I will pawn you this heart in my bosom
Only say that you'll love me again

Take back all the gifts you have given
But a ring and a lock of your hair
And a card with your picture upon it
It's a face that is false, but is fair

Tell me why that you do not love me
Tell me why that your smile is not bright
Tell me why you have grown so cold-hearted
Is there no kiss for me, love, tonight

There's a church in the valley by the wildwood
No lovelier place in the dale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the dell

Oh, come to the church in the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the dale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the dell

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning
To listen to the clear ringing bell
It's tones so sweetly are calling
Oh, come to the church in the dell

There, close by the side of that loved one
Neath the tree where the wild flowers bloom
She sleeps, sweetly sleeps, neath the willow
Disturb not her rest in the tomb

Friday, November 9, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 250 SONG # 281

Day 250: Another great song written by Ray Davies

Everybody knows that I am a fan of Ray Davies as a songwriter and the Kinks as a band from childhood days on. Although it is Song # 281, and, according to my statistics, there have been posted nearly twice as much songs (without alternative versions) on this here "1000 Songs Challenge", I count Day 250, and this is some kind of jubilee, it is a Jubeljahr, a jubilee year. Listen to Oklahoma USA, this very beautiful song from the Kinks' 9th album, Muswell Hillbillies. About daydreams and movies and poor girls living for/with both. And enjoy the cover version by Yo la Tengo, from their Fakebook album (at least, I got it...):

All life we work but work is a bore
If life's for livin' what's livin' for
She lives in a house that's near decay
Built b'for the industrial revolution
But in her dreams she is far away
In Oklahoma U.S.A.
 With Shirley Jones and Gordon McRea

As she buys her paper at the corner shop
She's walkin' on the surrey with the fringe on top
Cause in her dreams she is far away
In Oklahoma U.S.A.

She walks to work but she's still in a daze
She's Rita Hayworth or Doris Day
And Errol Flynn's gonna take her away
To Oklahoma U.S.A.

All life we work but work is a bore
If life's for livin' then what's livin' for

Sunday, November 4, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 249 SONG # 280

Day 249 - Another song by a widely unknown 80ies band

On the internet, they call The Lucy Show a post-punk band or a New Wave band. Named after Lucille Ball's 6oies Sitcom (the follow-up of "I Love Lucy"), the band  consisted of two Canadian guys who had gone to London and were responsible for the songwriting, and two English musicians. Although their first album was not unsuccessful (#1 on CMJ album charts), A&M Records cancelled the contract, and their next record label, Big Time  Records, went bankrupt. Bad luck, as one might say. At least Mark Bandola still has a band, called Typewriter. After listening to some of their songs, I decided to like The Lucy Show more. I own their first album (vinyl version) which I have bought when it was released (1985) and still like. After listening again to some of the tracks from Undone, I am convinced that the best song on that album is "Resistance". Straight forward rock tune, expressive, the slightly dark mood of England's middle of the 80ies New Wave bands,  a riff you will remember and a very interesting way in which it is followed up and/or backed by the synth-sounds. So everybody who is bashing 80ies music -  listen to bands like The Lucy Show and you will learn to think twice. Great track, one of those the replay button has been invented for. To be played at maximum volume. The picture on the upper left shows a Roland Jet Phaser AP 7, one of Mark Bandola's favourite effect  units for electric guitar.