Sunday, June 30, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 281 SONG #312

DAY 281: A Song by the Guy who invented the Moon Walk

Cab Calloway is credited to have been the first performer whose dancing style - or at least elements of it - could be described by use of the main characteristics of the moon dance: a dancer trying to go forward but in fact looking like being pulled back. He is also one of the earliest jazz singers to use and popularise the scat-style. In his most famous recording, "Minnie the Moocher" he used some kind of call and response scatting. The rendering of the song that most people might know is the one from the famous "Blues Brothers" movie from 1980, when Calloway was 73 years of age. Calloway has also been featured in three episodes of the Betty Boop animated movies (cartoons) from the 1930ies. First, version included here is from the late 1950ies, with a sympathetic competition at the end, then we go on with the Blues Brothers and after that with two Betty Boop episodes:

Betty Boop was a character created by Max Fleischer. Amongst the movies featuring Popeye the Sailorman and others, the Betty Boop cartoons have been among the bigger successes of the Fleischer Studios. In contradistinction to the Disney characters, Betty is - like most of the Fleischer's main cartoon figures - essentially human and not an animal, and her sexual/erotic characteristics are very openly displayed (see how she is attracting male persons in the "Old Man of the Mountain"). Fleischer, a son to Jewish immigrants born in Cracow, but raised in New York, is sometimes said to have been of "Austrian Jewish" descent, as Cracow was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire at that time. Here are two of the Betty Boop episodes featuring Cab Calloway. The first one is about Betty leaving home because of a conflict with her parents (who are clearly drawn as Jewish) but returning to home sweet home after some frightening experiences. If you want further detailed information on that one, click on this link:, to "The Heptune Guide to Betty Boop Cartoons"

The second one is "The Old Man of the Mountain", featuring Cab Calloway's music from beginning to the end. For further information, click on the following link that leads you to "The Heptune Guide to Betty Boop Cartoons":

Sunday, June 23, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 280 SONG # 311

Day 280: A Song about Sinning

Steve Wynn has already been featured on this blog, on day 123, which was, in absolute numbers, song number 268 in the 1000 songs challenge (including alternative versions), Song #268, Amphetamine, by Steve Wynn & Miracle 3, pure ecstasy. Before his solo-career, Wynn has been the man behind Dream Syndicate. I do like their album "Ghost Stories" - I really would have liked to include the version of Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See that My Grave is Kept Clean" featured on that album in the blog-entry dedicated to that song:  Day 54, Songs # 107 & 108. I did not find it on U Tube. Instead of that, another track from that album, written by Steve Wynn, will be featured here; one of the best straight-ahead rock tunes I know: Loving the Sinner, Hating the Sin:

Talking aloud in a motel room
but no one is listening
the bed is unmade and the curtains are drawn
and the wind is whistling
under cover the lover is waiting
but I can't turn away
I've been loving the sinner
and hating the sin
loving the sinner yeah

I know there's somewhere a man waits for her
in misery
and I can try all I want to
find the will
but there aint no sympathy, no
under cover the lover is crying
but I can't question why
I've been loving the sinner
and hating the sin
loving the sinner and hating the sin
hold me back until the trouble begins
loving the sinner and hating the sin

I know somewhere a man waits for her
wonder where she can be
and I tried so hard to find the will
but there ain't no sympathy, no
under cover the lover is laughing
just got me where she wants me now
I've been loving the sinner
and hating the sin
loving the sinner and hating the sin
hold me back until the trouble begins
I tried so hard and I don't want it to end
I tried so hard and I cant' let it go
I tried so hard and I cant' let it go
I can't let it go, I can't let it go
I tried so hard and I cant' let it go oh no

Saturday, June 22, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 279 SONG #310

Day 279: What everybody knows

A song about what everybody knows was the opener for the radio show that a young man (played by Christian Slater) did in the movie "Pump Up the Volume" from 1990. As everbody knows, this song is written by Leonard Cohen, we can find it on his album "I'm Your Man" (one of his best, in my opinion). On Amazon you can find customer reviews of the CD containing the soundtrack of the movie mentioned, containing complaints about the fact that Cohen's version has not been included, but instead the CD features the version by Concrete Blonde (as first published on a 7" single done together with Sonic Youth). I do like the version by Concrete Blonde (esp. because this is from the year, when the GREAT PAUL THOMPSON of Roxy Music fame was the drummer of the band). It definitely can be called a grower - the more often you hear it, the more it will convince you. But I also do understand that there are some people who prefer the version by the guy who wrote the track.
Many a folk have tried to outdo good ol' Leonard with their own version of this song, among them the boy who had no choice but to become a musician (with parents like that: Loudon and Kate), Rufus Wainwright. So here is the Concrete Blonde Version, followed by the original recording of LC, and then the RW version. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 278 SONG # 309

DAY 278: More Songs About Girls

The Great Crusades from Illinois are probably not to well known outside what one could call the Independent Scene. Some of their music has been distributed by Glitterhouse Records, and normally that means that we are confronted with a US band more popular in Europe than in their homeland. I do not know, I just want to share two beautiful songs about girls by this band that has not changed its line-up since 1998, if I am right.
Listen to Caroline and Elizabeth: taken from their album "Who's Afraid of Being Lonely?"

Sunday, June 9, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 277 SONG # 308

Lubricated Goat
The Australian band Lubricated Goat consisted principally of Stu Spasm, born Stuart Gray. I came upon them via their EP "Schadenfreude" that contained (amongst others) one of my fav songs, called "The Hunt is Better than the Kill".

Their next album had the illustrous title Psychedelicatessen and was a step away from typical Aussie "Noise Rock" to what I have no category for. Unfortunateley, my two fav tracks, the more classic noise-rock title "New Kind of Animal" and the step away called "Stu's" are currentyl not featured on UTUbe or somewhere else one coul embed it from. After disbanding his band, Stuart Grey went to the USA where he met and married Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland, the one who kicked out Courtney Love from her band for being a nuisance or something like that.