Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 284 SONG #315

DAY 284: A Song in remembrance of  Vic Chestnutt

Vic Chesnutt was an Americana  singer/songwriter from Athens, Georgia, who, after a car-crash in 1983 was partly paralyzed having to use a wheel chair for the rest of his life until his death in 2009. Henriette Sennenvaldt is a Danish musician known as a member of the Aarhus located band "Under Byen". No need to introduce Howe Gelb of Giant Sand fame. Here is a wonderful version of a beautiful song written by Howe. Recorded and filmed in Aaarhus, only Danish city I have ever been to. Have to go there again.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 283 SONG # 314

Day 283: Express Yourself

This is what this blog is all about: to express myself by using good music. And no, this is not about the Madonna Song or Lady Gaga using it for Born This way. This here is a funk classic that has often been covered and has also been used as as sample in hiphop. What this guy called Labrinth did was something in between sampling and covering the song. I found a really great sounding rendering of the original recording by Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, This is pure early funk, enjoy it!

The classic use of the song as a sample is by Niggers With Attitude (I definitely like it more than Labrinths version):

Friday, July 5, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 282 SONG # 313

DAY 282: A Song by a Band that Nobody Knows

The Divine Horsemen were a band active in the 1980ies headed by a guy called Chris D. They took their name from a book by the Russian choreographer/dancer/filmmaker Maya Deren, about her experiences with Haitian Vodun (better known by its misspelled Hollywood name Voodoo). Maya Deren (Элеоно́ра Деренко́вская) went to Haiti in 1947 (and two times later) to shoot a film about the Vodun dancers there and she got initiated into the religion and wrote that book about the "Divine Horsemen", the media posessed by the lwa (the spirits), ridden like horses by them. The movie of the same name - which I sometimes show in my lectures on Afro-Caribbean religions - was put together after her death from her footage by Teji and Cherei Ito.
Back to the band: From their 1987 album "Snake Handler" - of which I own a vinyl copy - here it is: "Kiss Tomorrow Good-Bye", a song with a clear message about friendship. Besides that, it has an interesting structure, musically. It is, basically, a duet. And it has a kind of "leitmotif", masked as "the bridge". It starts (after the intro) with the verse sung by the male singer, followed by the bridge, that does not lead to the chorus as one would expect, but to the verse again, now interpreted by the female singer. After that, chorus in duet mode and - hail to the producer! - pumped up volume on the guitars and the bass, followed by verse, bridge, chorus a.s.o. It ends with a guitar solo, that turns out to be buildt mainly upon the leitmotif (the bridge) and finally fades into a rendering of that very leitmotif by the harmonica, backed up by accoustic guitar. I always wonder whether the drummer used a double bass-pedal or just is very quick with his right foot (as I am...).
What a great song by a so called punk/roots band: