Sunday, December 30, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 260 SONG # 291

Day 260: Tings and Times

Tings an' Times is an album by Linton Kwesi Johnson, a poet in his own language. I own a vinyl  copy of it - it has been a constant feature on my turntables for many years. It is a kind of dub style  album incorporating many elements from other endeavours in the human quest for music . LKJ  is rather a rapper than a singer on this one, and one with a very consistent flow. There is some eastern.european gypsie music smell to all of that and we simply should like it. Here are two tunes from that album, Story & Sense Outta Nonsense. Story tells a tale about being a rough guy that everyone should take to his hawt - oonu evah si mi trial si mi crawsiz?

wance upon a time
jus like inna nursery rime
before piggy tun to swine
mi did wear
mi fear pan mi face
like a shiel like a mawsk

an evrybody tink mi cool an deadly

nottn yu coulda seh
woulda mek mi tek it awf
an if yu get mi nervos
ah woulda jus lawf it awf

an evrybody tink mi cool an deadly

but not soh long ago
jus  like inna pitcha show
whey di hero get a blow
mi spirit get vex
an mi get soh ressless
dat mi get careless
an goh bare mi mawgah chess

mi newah indah tink
seh dat it mek outa glaas
dat di whole wide worl coulda si
rite dung to di vien inna mi hawt
ow dem twis-up ow dem tie-up ow dem tite-up
o mi hawt

ow it cut-up ow it craw-up ow it scar-up

it is a haad awt fi mawstah yu noe
dis smilin an skinin yu teet
wen yu hawt sweel-up
soh till yu feel it a goh bus
wen yu cyaan fine di rime fi fit di beat
wen yu cyan fine di ansah fi di puzzle complete

soh no mi tek awf mi mawsk
an staat fi wear daak glaas
but eyry so awftin
mi haffi tek it awf
an evry nowanden
mi fine mi laas

oonu evah si mi trial si mi crawsiz ?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 259 SONG # 290

DAY 259: Introducing John Wozniak

John Wozniak is the guy behind Marcy Playground, a group named after Marcy Open School that Wozniak attended. According to Wozniak, the time when he did not join his comrades on Marcy Playground during breaks for fear of being ill-treated has been crucial to forming his outlook at the world. Maybe this is a good part of the stuff rock'n'roll is taken from? The two stable members of the trio, Wozniak and bassist Dylan Keefe both stem from Minneapolis. Nevertheless, Marcy Playground is a New Yorker, a typical 90ies alternative rock band, more successful in the USA than in Europe, although there is one song that "everybody knows". This is also the first song of the band I came to know, since it was contained on a sampler by the Austrian radio station FM4. It is, like the others featured here, a fine example of Wozniak's skills as a song-writer. This one song is called "Sex and Candy". At the end of this here blog-entry you will find a live version and the studio recording of it (it is a great song, indeed!). The video from Vevo will give you a taste of the strangeness of MP's official videos.  I start with "[Cocaine,] Gin and Money" (a song you could call a bit radio-headish) and continue with "It's Saturday". The latter, a song about falling ill at the start of the week-end, should have become a hymn of late teenagership or early twendom (maybe I made one of these words up, but I don't give a damn). As the official video is rather strange, I have chosen an upload with a still for that one. This one goes out to Marie-Therese who fell ill on Christmas Eve 2012 -  this sad incident has brought the song to my mind yesterday.

Sad eyes
I can tell you're thinkin', honey
I see it in the back of your mind
Yeah, it's a cold night
I got cocaine, gin and money
Let's take it to the back of my ride, yeah

Yes and  you wanna call me daddy?
Girl, you can call me anything you like
You're so fine

You're gonna push me baby
Right to the edge of right and wrong, alright
You're gonna push me baby
Right to the edge and go beyond, alright

I'm a bad guy
I can tell you're thinkin', honey
I can see it in the back of your mind, yeah
It's a cold night
I've got cocaine, gin and money
Let's take it to the end of the line, yeah

You're gonna push me baby
Right to the edge of right and wrong, alright
You're gonna ride it baby
Right to the edge and go beyond, that's right

Love give me
Sin with me
Blood pumping
Lust in your eyes

Monday, December 24, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 258 SONG # 289

Day 258: Maybe my favourite country song of all times

Pancho and Lefty is kind of the trademark song of Townes van Zandt (1944-1997), a guy with a load of problems like alcoholism, drug addiction and the like. He wrote some outstanding beautiful songs (f.e., If I needed You), but me, I still do like Pancho and Lefty the most among them songs by Townes. It has been made popular by the version done by Emmylou Harris in 1977 and later on by recordings of  country-stars Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Still, I do like his rendering of the song the most. Second best (may even be the best) version in my humble opinion is the one done by Emmylou (girl with the beautiful silver hair) in 2003. Last version featured is one by the young Emmylou (did you realize, I have something for her, maybe this here post is more about Emmylou than Townes...), for comparison.

Living on the road my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron
Your breath's as hard as kerosene
You weren't your mama's only boy
But her favorite one it seems
She began to cry when you said goodbye
And sank into your dreams

Pancho was a bandit boys
His horse was fast as polished steel
Wore his gun outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel
Pancho met his match you know
On the deserts down in Mexico
Nobody heard his dying words
That's the way it goes

All the federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him hang around
Out of kindness I suppose

Lefty he can't sing the blues
All night long like he used to
The dust that Pancho bit down south
Ended up in Lefty's mouth
The day they laid poor Pancho low
Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go
There ain't nobody knows

All the federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness I suppose

The poets tell how Pancho fell
Lefty's livin' in a cheap hotel
The desert's quiet and Cleveland's cold
So the story ends we're told
Pancho needs your prayers it's true,
But save a few for Lefty too
He just did what he had to do
Now he's growing old

A few gray federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him go so wrong
Out of kindness I suppose

Thursday, December 6, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 257 SONG #288

Day 257: A truly great cover version of a truly great song

The Man in Me is a song from Bob Dylan's 1970 album New Morning, and it has always been one of my favourite songs from that LP - together with "If Not for You", "Time Passes Slowly", "Sign on the Window", "Three Angels" and "Father of Night", amongst others...). It has been featured in the soundtrack of The Big Lebowski (one of my favourite Coen Brothers movies, amongst others) and it has been covered brilliantly by Cracker, the best band in the whole wide world (amongst others). I first heard the Cracker Version on their last gig in Vienna (Chelsea Club) and it was simply great. Here is the best audio version I could find on UTUBE, although the video is rather an amateur's work. Be that as it may, we want the music, and Johnny Hickman RULEZ!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 256 SONG # 287

Day 256: Ethiopian Jazz from a Jarmusch movie by ሙላቱ አስታጥቄ 

Yekermo Sew, the track featured here is part of the soundtrack of the Jim Jarmusch movie "Broken Flowers", partly consisting of compositions by ሙላቱ አስታጥቄ (Mulatu Astatke), an Ethiopian vibraphonist, drummer and composer. I find it simply beautiful; it reminds me of The Lounge Lizrads to some extent, maybe this explains why Jarmusch chose it. I do not have any more to say, but: enjoy the marvellous music from a live rendering in London: