Friday, June 27, 2014

1000 SONGS - DAY 322 SONG # 353

DAY 322: Best Version of a Song Formerly Posted

Self reference and creating self-refering loops by that technique is one of the greatest things invented in writing about things ever (or so, and in music, too). On February 17, 2011, I have written about "See That my Grave is Kept Clean", that it "is a song by Blind Lemon Jefferson, prominently featured on Bob Dylan's debut album, Bob Dylan. Many singers and bands have done versions of it, among them Steve Wynn's Dream Syndicate on their 1988 album 'Ghost Stories' (the version I would like to hear at my funeral - in case that there is some chance to hear anytghing on your own funeral), Lou Reed and Grateful Dead."
Then, there was no version of the version I would like to hear at my funeral available on YouTube or so. Now, there are two versions available, the studio version and the "EPIC LIVE VERSION". Greatest versions ever of one of the best songs ever, Dream Syndicate doing See That My Grave Is Kept Clean:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

1000 SONGS - DAY 321 SONG # 352

DAY 321: Three ways to do a Song

Ben Harper seems to be a fine musician. Proof: he is able to do a song that he has co-written in different ways. His own cover-versions, he did. By the way, this is a beuatiful song. So we start with the "video-version" - the one explaining in pictures what he is so angered about. Then, there is an acoustic version and finally, the Reggae-Version. This one is really great, so in case you have no time to listen to all of these or you have heard them often enough, just listen to # 3. Nevertheless, all 3 versions are fine, very fine indeed.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

1000 SONGS - DAY 320 SONG # 351

DAY 320: Relax with John Lee Hooker and Ry Cooder

This is an easy one. I do not have to introduce John Lee Hooker. Do I have to introduce Ry Cooder? Certainly not. Approximately 25 minutes of blues by two masters. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

1000 SONGS - DAY 319 SONG # 350

Day 319: A Song Featuring Willie Nelson and Carlos Santana

It seems strange, but there is (at least - to my knowledge: exactly) one (rendering of a) song that features Carlos Santana on guitar and Willie Nelson on vocals, buenos dias got to go. And, even more unbelievable, it is a Tex-Mex kind of a song. Who would ever have thought of the Mexican-born inventor of "Latin Rock" to have recorded a song with the great Flaco Jimenez on accordion?  Where's my brown dog, where's my hound? The song was written by Greg Brown, and it is featured on Havana Moon, a very fine album by Carlos, recorded in 1983. Forget "Samba Pa Ti" (members of the generation fathered with the help of this song will nowadays have begotten children on their own), here it is, fine fine song and great musicianship in rendering it (Willie could have done something concerning his accent in the Spanish language):

Monday, June 9, 2014

1000 SONGS - DAY 318 SONG # 349

DAY 318: A Song from Cleveland about a Great Poetress

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was an American poetress, of German descent. Her father was German (a university professor of biology) and her mother was an Austrian, about 20 years younger than Sylvia's father. Sylvia is thought to have writtten extremely marvellous poems and she has also written a novel called  "The Bell Jar" starting with an allusion to the Rosenbergs. Sylvia Plath was married to a British poet by the name of Hughes, and they had two children, and although they were not divorced they seem to have been somewhat of separated at the time of her death. She had some mental problems before, and finally she committed suicide by putting on the gas and putting her head in the oven somewhere in London. She carefully took measures that her children would not be harmed by her suicide (not incidentally killed by the gas). Her son Nicholas became a famous biologist (for the fish) and hanged himself in 2009. Her daughter Frieda is an artist. I own an album by Death of Samantha (a band from Cleveland, Ohio), on which is featured a song called the "Rosenberg Summer", starting with the question: "Everlasting summer - did you kill the Rosenbergs?". Should ye not know, who the Rosenbergs have been and what their fate has been, click here: Rosenbergs. Death of Samantha also did a very beautiful cover-version of a song written by Cleveland's  short-lived (due to drug and alcohol abuse) musician Peter Laughner - a guy influential to seminal bands like Pere Ubu - called "Sylvia Plath" - a poetic rendering of the fate of the poetress. Here it is, the version by Death of Samantha, followed by the original take by Peter Laughner (he did never officially record it, it was only featured on a posthumous release of his tapes). And, for the sake of breaking it down - from the point of view of someone blogging about music telling a story about some guys who did a cover version of a song written by a guy about a woman writing poetry, I do feature Sylvia Plath's voice here, too.

Sylvia Plath
Was never too good at math
But they tell me that she finished
At the height of her class
And when she lost her virginity
She didn't lose it too fast
They couldn't hold any dress rehearsals for
Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath
Came into Manhattan
She had crawled out of one
Cocoon where there was absolutely
Nothin happening
And if I'm gonna be classless and crass
I'm gonna break up some glass
Nobody broke anything sharper than
Sylvia Plath

There's no romance and excuses
There's just the dance in the aftermath
And when you check out of this hotel jack
You're nothin but an autograph
The desk clerk wakes her at seven
And he tosses it out with the trash
But he'll keep around a couple of letters
Return addressed to
Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath
Woke up and turned on the gas
Then she put her head down and completely
Forgot about lighting a match

The rest of the details
Are just too boring to attach
Yeah, Let's see you do one thing as graceful as
Sylvia Plath
Yeah, Let's see you do one thing as graceful as
Sylvia Plath
Yeah, let's see you do one thing as senselessly cruel as
Sylvia Plath

Sunday, June 1, 2014

1000 SONGS - DAY 317 SONG # 348

DAY 317: Jamaican Music before Reggae existed

Sometimes I wonder, sometimes I ponder, whether there have ever been citizens of Jamaica not being either musicians, in the music business or in sports? Be that as it may, the Mento came into existence "through the contact of displaced Africans with European culture". It is kind of traditional folklore and dance music, having lost its role as such through the spreading of mobile sound systems throughout Jamaican villages. The Lititz Mento Band has been part of a "renaissance" of that old-style-before-dance-hall Jamaican music, a successful band that has been awarded many a price. In case you want to know more and hear more, buy the compilation CD brought to you by the Berlin "Haus der Kulturen der Welt" (featuring an informative booklet). I got it, and I have uploaded them songs featured here to You Tube in order to make you aware of that fine music. Here they come, Mento versions of "By The Rivers of Babylon", "Lion of Judah" and "Day-Oh", songs you will all know, but may have never heard done like that before. Enjoy!