Tuesday, December 8, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 348 SONG # 379

DAY 348: The Cretacious Period

As each and everyone seems to have found new interest in Tyrannosaurus Rex and other saurians (at least according to what I can judge from scrolling down facebook this morning), I also do remember the Tyrannosaurus before his name became abbreviated to T. There is some great T. Rex stuff, too, so please don't let me be misunderstood. Nevertheless, here is "By the Light of a Magical Moon",  a fine tune by Bolan (he plays all the instruments that Mickey Finn does not play...) from the fourth and last Tyrannosaurus Rex  LP before Bolan changed the name to T. Rex  and became a Glam-Rock-Star or something like this. Only the good die young....

Friday, November 6, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 347 SONG # 378

DAY 347: A band I recently discovered

I do not even know how, but somewhere and by chance (I guess) I heard a tune by Musée Mécanique. I found it very beautiful. So I bought their 2014 release "From Shores of Sleep" and I really like it. The Band seems to consist mainly of Micah Rabwin and Sean Ogilvie, who write the songs. It is based somewhere in Oregon (Portland, I guess) and has already toured Europe. I strongly recommend to listen to them and, if you like what you hear, buy their records (apart from "From Shores of Sleep" there is an album recorded by them in 2008, "Hold this Ghost"). From their 2014 release, here is "The Lighthouse and the Hourglass". I think it is beautiful, beautiful being the word of the day.

Friday, October 23, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 346 SONG #377

DAY 346: Time for some Jazz

There is no need to introduce Thelonius Monk (1917-1982) to the wider public. An  influential figure
in the emergence of bebop at Minton's, taking Jazz from Swing to Academia, he was known for his distinctive style as a pianist and  ranks number two among the most covered jazz composers of all time. From his "Columbia years", here is a fine tune, relaxed and inspring at the same time (featuring some of those "dissonances" Monk is famous for): The  opening track of his 1967 release "Straight, No Chaser", "Locomotive". Musicians are:  Monk on piano,  Charlie Rouse on tenor saxophone,   Larry Gales on bass and finally, the drummer,  Ben Riley. Miles Davis is credited to have said "Bebop was about change, about evolution. It wasn't about standing still and being safe" and "If you got up on the bandstand at Minton's and  couldn't play, you might get your ass kicked."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 345 SONG # 376

DAY 345: An Often Covered Song

It makes no sense at all to try to list all or any of the cover-versions that have been done of that song. Anyway, this version by the man who wrote it, is really coooool. Look at the relaxed musicians (as a kind of contrast to the very focused singer) -  I especially like the drummer, who is in between cool and focused - he was the one who had to count the 26 times that Bill Withers says "I know", replacing a verse of the original lyrics. But those guys on the e-strings - just cool.
What a great song.

1000 SONGS - DAY 344 SONG #375

DAY 344: A Bosnian Song

Selma Adzem, a Bosnian singer does a fine version of Lelo, a Bosnian song by Dino Merlin. She is accompanied by "The Sound", featuring her husband Johannes "Johnny" Ertl on guitar. Ertl is a former Styrian footballer who has played for Sturm Graz, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Portsmouth. He is now member of the management of the latter club, which is (as far as I know: partly) owned by its fans. He has also played for the Austrian national team. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 343 SONG # 374

DAY 343: I'm satisfied with Delta Blues

Mississippi John Hurt (1892/3-1966) taught himself how to play the guitar when still a child of 9 years. He later started a short career as a blues musician, ending up as a farmer due to commercial failure of his records. In the 1960ies he entered the scene again together with some other rediscovered Delta Blues Musicians. Library of Congress recorded his songs that have later been interpreted by many artists such as Bob Dylan and Gillian Welch. There is a fine rendering of "I'm satisfied" by John Hiatt on "Avalon Blues - A tribute to the music of Mississippi John Hurt" (together with other fine versions of his songs done by musicians like Lucinda Williams.)  I include Mr. Hurt's recording of that song with his typical finger picking style instead of Stack O'Lee

1000 SONGS - DAY 342 SONG # 373

Day 342: Covering Soundtrack

"Billy" is taken from the Soundtrack of "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid", written by Bob Dylan. Here are two very different versions. The one, a rather melancholic one, is done by my favourite Americana-Duo, the great Gillan Welch & David Rawlings. The other one is a kind of Tex-Mex-version, done by Los Lobos. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 341 SONG # 372

DAY 341: A Song About Somebody Else

JJ Grey (born John Grey Higginbotham in 1967) and Mofro, in former times simply Mofro play music that is usually described as a mixture of blues, funk, soul and rock. They are from Florida and that's the way they sound. This here song could be an Amy Winehouse classic. It is called Somebody Else and has a simple message: "I don't know who I am when I am that somebody else" - I know this situation and I don't like it. Fortunately,  I do not own a pistol. Here are: the studio version, the lyrics and a live version.

Some people say that I don't play
they say I got a temper when I'm in that way
But I don't know who that person is that acts like a fool
Thats somebody else Lord I swear it ain't me
I guess I'm my on worse enemy
Cause I don't know who I am when I am - that somebody else

I grab up the keys I fly out the gate
The family is fighting I don't want to be late
Cause I'm going to tell them all about my ass like I said that I would
We're out in the yard yelling at each other
hate in my eyes sisters and brothers
I don't know who I am when I am - that somebody else

The neighbors are watching cause its getting real loud
but making my stand yo it makes me feel proud
but I know tomorrow I'll feel the shame when I cool down
Baring my fangs when I hear my niece
yell to the neighbors "Lord call the police"
Cause I don't know who I am when I am - that somebody else

I can't hear the yelling no more
my eyes glaze over as I reach for the door
I grab my pistol time to show these fools what time it is
Now I'm in jail for the rest of my life
I can't see my kids Lord I can't see my wife
Cause I don't know who I am when I am - that somebody else

Sunday, August 16, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 340 SONG # 371

DAY 340: The Sun/Door Metaphor

The metaphor of the "backdoor" bears many a connotation in Blues language. We all know the Backdoor Man (the one slipping out the backdoor when the husband of his lover shows up), and we know that there is this one entrance to the body (not the head) women and a men have in common. The person who has uploaded this here tune to Youtube seems to have been obsessed with the backdoor-metaphor. In contradistinction to what s/he called it, this here blues is simply called "Sun is gonna shine in my door some day", "door" being no more than a metonymy (pars pro toto) for the house of the singer and as such a synekdoche (if you prefer: just another metonymy) meaning the situation, life or person of the singer. Clearly, Big Bill Broonzy uses it as  a synekdoche (or metonymy) for his life / situation. Big Bill, born Lee Conley Bradley in 1893, was a blues singer and guitarist who died either on August 14 or 15, 1958. He started as a country blues man and later changed to more urban style, returning to his roots in the last years of his life. He is credited to have written many a Blues tune. I like this one very much. Here it is, with lyrics.

Just sittin' here hungry and ain't got a dime
Now, looks like my friends would come to see me some time
Cos' it won't matter how that happen,
Woman, the sun is gonna shine in my door some day
When I was in jail, expectin' a fine,
When I went for that judge, not a friend I could find
Cos' it won't matter how that happen,
Woman, the sun is gonna shine in my door some day
Lord, I lost my father, and my brother too,
That's why you hear me singin', Lord, I'm lonesome and blue
Cos'  it won't matter how that  happen,
Woman, the is sun gonna shine in my door someday
Lordy, lordy, lordy, lord, I used to be your reg'lar,
Woman,  I got to be your dog
Cos' it won't matter how that happens,
Woman, the sun is gonna shine in my door some day
Lord, I'm in trouble, no one to pay my fine,
And, when I get out this time, maybe, I'm gonna leave this town flyin'
Cos' it won't matter how that happen,
Woman, the sun is gonna shine in my door some day
Lord, I've been droven from door to door
Now, look like my friends don't want me around no more
Cos' it won't matter how that happen,
Woman, the sun is gonna shine in my door some day
I was with my buddy through thick and thin,
Now, my buddy got away, but I got in
Cos' it won't matter how that happen,
Woman, the  sun is gonna shine in my door some day

Thursday, August 6, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 339 Song # 370

DAY 339: A Maiden Voyage

Maiden Voyage is a famous piece of music written and first recorded by Herbie Hancock. It is featured on his 1965 Blue Note Records album of the same title. Musicians other than Hancock are Freddie Hubbard, George Coleman, Ron Carter and Tony Williams (what a line-up!). I have no other word to describe the wonderful atmosphere this music creates than "pure magic". Here is the original version, followed by the cover-version featured on Blood, Sweat & Tears' 1972 album "New Blood" (indeed the first version I came to know, since I bought that album back in the Seventies). There are other versions (f. e. by Brian Auger), but I like the original, and the version by BST (even without David Clayton-Thomas). They have inserted an interesting change of the atmosphere of the original. Great version, too.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 338 SONG #369

DAY 338: One of my favourite tunes by Frank Zappa

I have already featured some songs by Frank Zappa, amongst them "Peaches En Regalia", maybe my favourite composition by Francis Vincent Zappa. Among the first albums of Zappa I came to know, there was Waka Jawaka. The music on this album was written and recorded in 1972 after two accidents Zappa had suffered: The burning down of the Mothers' equipment in Montreux ("Frank Zappa and the Mothers were at the best place around, but some stupid with a flare-gun burned the place to the ground") and being pushed into the orchestra pit by an audience member in London. The later accident resulted in severe injuries and Zappa had to spend some months in a wheelchair. As a teenager, I owned Waka Jawaka and I still think that it is a fine album. Here is the title track, a wonderful composition executed by wonderful musicians.

Friday, July 31, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 337 SONG # 368

DAY 337: A Great Song by Robert Forster

I realised that I have only posted one song by the Go-Betweens, one of my absolutely favourite bands, on this here blog. Only explanation: I was unable to make a decision on which of all their great songs I could feature here. Anyway, here is a song by Robert, from the last orthodox album by the GB's - orthodox means, the album title features a double "l". Tallulah is the last of those. Be that as it may, The House Jack Kerouac Built is one of my fav songs form the great "Robert Foster dyed blonde hair"-era of my fav Aussie band. And, guys an gals, you don't expect me to explain who the Go-Betweens have been? One of the most underrated bands in the world, with brilliant sonwriting by Robert Foster and Grant McLennan, who died 48 yrs of age in 2006, what a loss.
Here come: the album version, the lyrics  (great lyrics: With friends like these -  you're damned as well), and a live rendering of this tune.

You and I together, with nothing showing at all,
In a darkened cinema, I'll give you pleasure in the stalls.
Want to give you tenderness, and my affection too.
If it's through clenched teeth, that's what you driven me
to Want us to be lovers
Want us to be friends
Want it like it's the living end.

Keep me away from her.
With your kittens - on the patchwork quilt,
Oh no, what am I doing here, in the house Jack Kerouac built.
There's white magic, and bad rock'n'roll,
Your friend there says, he's the gatekeeper to my soul.

The velvet curtains
The Chinese bell
With friends like these -  you're damned as well.

Keep me away from her.
Shake off your despondency, and your country girl act.
You are reading me poetry, that's Irish, and so black.
I know you're warm, the warmest person alive,
But are you warm, deep down inside?

Want us to be lovers
Want us to be friends
I want it like the world crumbles and then it ends.

Keep me away from her.
Baby, I'm lonely.
You're on the road with a bad crowd.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 336 SONG # 367

DAY 336: What happened to David Roback?

Opal have already been featured on this blog in this series in July 2011. When Kendra Smith left the band, David Roback went on with Hope Sandoval, and the band was called "Mazzy Star". "Fade into you" was their biggest success and therefore it is the best known song by the band.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 335 SONG # 366

DAY 335: A Fine Version of a Song Written by Robert Zimmerman

"Living the Blues", written by Bob Dylan, featured on "Self Portrait" is a fine tune. It gets even better when interpreted by the Jamie Saft Trio (done some wonderful music, those guys, sometimes in co-operaton with John Zorn), consisting of  Jamie Saft on piano,  Ben Perowsky on drums and Greg Cohen on bass, supported by Antony of Antony and the Johnsons fame on this one. Hope you like it.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 334 SONG # 365

Day 333: Ambient Before Ambient Ever Happened

John Abercrombie is certainly one of the good jazz guitarists that were already there in the 70ies and more on the alternative side. I once owned his album "Timeless" (featuring Jan Hammer and Jack de Johnette), a timeless recording published on the mostly brilliant ECM-label. This here, the title track, strikes me as being ambient music before someone (I guess it was Brian Eno) created this label. A timeless beauty, methinks, worth to close thefirst year of the 1000 Songs Challenge. Actually, the video does not load any more (due to some restrictions). As I have bouhht the album, I felt free to share this great piece of music in order to get others to buy it, too. Apparently, Kontor New Media Music does not approve this kind of disseminating strategy.

Monday, January 5, 2015

1000 SONGS - DAY 333 SONG #364

Day 333: Introducing the Great Leftover Cuties

The Leftover Cuties are a band from L.A., California, with members Shirli McAllen (lead vocals, ukulele), Austin Nicholsen (bass, vocals), Mike Bolger (brass, keys, accordion, vocals ) and Stuart Johnson (drums, percussion, vocals [I copied this from Wikipedia, I have to confess]. They are most widely known for their song "Game Called Life", which is the theme song of the TV-Series "The Big C" [never seen any episode of this, btw]. And they really do some beaUtiful cover versions of otherwise widely known songs, f.e. of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice". Nice version, nevertheless, I chose to include two other cover versions done by TLC, "You are my Sunshine" and "At Last". All of this is simply cool, at least according to my definition of "cool", baby. So here we go: