06 December, 2008
I haven't ever had a Weekend Music post of The Kinks? Really??? Time to fix that:
Muswell Hillbillies is one of my all-time favourite albums. "20th Century Man" is, IMO, one of the most brilliant songs ever written. Sadly, there's no version by The Kinks on YouTube, but there is a pretty ok live version (meaning video quality, not the quality of the performance) by Ray Davies (I'm guessing this is from his recent tour):
29 June, 2008
Your Rockstar Name Is...
06 June, 2008
Because I'm in the mood for some glam rock, kittenz.
20th Century Boy, which has the distinction of being Simon's first most favourite song in the world. Actually, it is the version by Placebo that Simon went batshit crazy for the first time he heard it. I was watching Velvet Goldmine and he was curled up next to me, sound asleep. Then the opening riffs to the song played and Simon shot off the couch like a rocket and was glued to the TV for the rest of the movie, trying to pet the guys on the television screen. Whenever I played the soundtrack and it came on, he'd be up running around the apartment and howling along with the song. For a couple of weeks, I thought perhaps Marc Bolan had reincarnated as my kitty and ZOMG HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE?!?!??!1!?
...and Get It On (Bang A Gong), which has the distinction of being the first song I remember ever singing in public. Skipping along the aisles in the supermarket singing "GET IT ON! BANG A GONG! GET IT ON! BAAAANG A GOOOOOOONG!!!" Mom, realizing that it was too late to duck behind the produce or stuff me inside the freezer with the dreamcicles, quietly leaned down and said, "Why don't we wait and sing that one in the car?" She later had a talk with my babysitter about listening to FM radio when she's with me and the babysitter, in turn, talked to me about singing only the crappy rhymes I learned in preschool when I'm out with my mom, so that I don't give her a heart attack. Neither one of them explained what the song actually meant and why I shouldn't sing such a totally kick-ass rhyme like that at the top of my 5-year-old lungs.
I'd like to point out here that, unlike my TOTALLY LIVE SUPERMARKET VERSION, it's hard to find a video of this song on YouTube that isn't lip-synched.
03 May, 2008
Give A Little Bit easily goes on my list of all-time favourite songs. It's a love song, but not in the hearts-and-flowers or moonlight-in-your-eye kind of way, which is probably why I loved it so much to begin with. It always struck me that this song was never really meant to be sung to your One True Love, but rather to...anyone. It's about reaching out beyond your own little world and trusting that someone out there is reaching toward you. At least I always thought that was what it was about. YMMV?
Dreamer is another of those songs that stuck with me and I sang it for days after I first heard it. (A couple of the guys on the Portland Timbers got me listening to Supertramp when the brought albums and tapes with them from England and Scotland...which makes me miss Willie Donachie and wonder what he's up to these days.) While Breakfast In America is probably Supertramp's best selling album in the United States, Crime of the Century, the album this song is on, is easily their best album.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I noticed that there are NO BARRE CHORDS in Give A Little Bit, which means I have at least a miniscule hope of learning to play it!
27 April, 2008
Because I'm missing Joe Strummer today.
20 April, 2008
13 April, 2008
I just downloaded their new album Accelerate and I like it a lot. It's much more of a rocker than their last two or three albums, where they went in a direction that I just couldn't follow (like U2 did with Pop and half of their last several albums).
If you're still missing the jangly guitars and haunting melodies of early-80's REM, then you're probably not going to like this album so much. But if you liked the more rocking late-80's - early 90's REM, you should give Accelerate a spin.
22 March, 2008
This is one of my favourite songs off of an album that is made up entirely of favourite songs. I cannot play Life's Rich Pageant and not dance wildly around and sing (badly) along with every song.
This particular clip is a live version of the song from their 1989 tour, where I saw them twice (for the Portland show, second row, center stage, thanks to my BFF Olivia, who got up at half-past ridiculous in the morning to wait in line for tickets). This was one of the best live shows I've ever seen. Michael Stipe had incredible energy, as did Bill Berry, Mike Mills and Peter Buck. Scott McCaughey from Young Fresh Fellows played keyboards on this tour as well, IIRC. Except for the moments where I stared longingly at Peter Buck's Rickenbacker guitar, I just could not take my eyes off of Michael Stipe all night. Simply amazing.
I thought about posting the video to Perfect Circle because it is such a hauntingly beautiful song. But, hey, links are nice too, aren't they?
21 March, 2008
(Continuing the celebration of my 4-day weekend...)
I've always thought of this as my "theme song" (well, except for the bit about asking Bob Dylan/The Beatles/Timothy Leary), especially during those times when I catch myself dwelling on those things in life that I've sought but never quite found. I dwell on these sorrows less and less, but this song still speaks to me and, well, today is as good a day as any to post it.
02 March, 2008
This is one of my (many) favourite Wilco songs and it just kicks my ass when they play it live. Sadly, I missed the concert this was shot at. I had checked and checked their site for a Berkeley date and then figured it would be later in the year and forgot about it. I found out about the show exactly six hours before it was supposed to start. My friend, who is a huge Wilco fan (and knows I am as well), never bothered to tell me about it.
He is now dead to me.
Anyway, uh, enjoy! And also, never miss an opportunity to see these guys live! The current lineup is so fantastic (OMG Nels Cline is an amazing guitar player!). And have I mentioned that I have a HUGE crush on Jeff Tweedy? Oh, yeah, it looks like I may have mentioned it once or twice. (hee!)
24 February, 2008
No NOT the G-L-O-R-I-A version! The version that, the first time I saw the video about 25 years ago, the chorus stuck in my head for weeks. All due respect to Van Morrison, whom I adore, there is just something I've always found particularly charming about this song.
17 February, 2008
Still feeling some PNW nostalgia, but this week we'll go a bit farther north to Seattle. These guys did some great pop in that classic vein of the Kinks (an especially edgy Kinks, actually) and were one of the best live acts I've had the pleasure of seeing.
I'm pretty sure I was at this show! (I was resurfacing after a very horrible year right about this time.) And I most certainly have fond memories of Bohemia After Dark. (edit: I WAS at that show! Completely Grocery was on the bill and I remember seeing them open for YFF.)
10 February, 2008
Eh, I'm still in a nostalgic PDX music mood. I had a hard time deciding between this one and 54/40 Or Fight, which is also a totally kick-ass tune. But It's OK is the song I put on when I'm feeling very low and lonely and not very clever at all and I need to cheer up. Pearl Jam did a good cover of this song as well.
27 January, 2008
Because this song's been stuck in me head all week.
20 January, 2008
This version, performed by Pete Townshend with Paul Weller, is one of my favourite versions of the Mod Who Classic, and one of the best moments of their Royal Albert Hall show (it totally made up for Bryan Adams completely effing up "Behind Blue Eyes").
19 October, 2007
Specifically, in the music department at Salford University in Manchester.
26 April, 2007
Labels: rock 'n' roll
20 April, 2007
Anyone who's known me for more than 15 minutes knows I'm a HUGE fan of The Who and am never far away from either one of their CDs or my iPod. That said, this is my all-time favourite version of "My Generation" (especially the ending! OMG the brilliant ending!):
This is the finale to Tim Samuels' upcoming BBC Documentary about the elderly in Britain who have been discarded by society. It's a subject very near to my heart* and I hope to be able to watch this documentary when it becomes available in the US (though I'm pretty certain I'll be alternately bawling and throwing things at the screen in frustration at how we devalue the elderly in Western society). This group, "The Zimmers" (a riff on the British colloquialism for walkers, as I recall--and as Shakes just confirmed for me), is a group that Samuels put together of senior citizens, featured in his documentary, who have been shunted off to old-age homes or have suffered from being house-bound and isolated. The lead singer is a delightful 90-year-old named Alf Carretta (a rock 'n' roll name if ever I've heard one!) who takes on Pete Townsend's lyrics with such great style. And there's the windmilling! And the guitar-smashing! And the overturned drum kit! This is beyond wonderful!
Oh, and they have their own MySpace page, too.
The single is due out May 21. The documentary will air in May on BBC Two (for those of you in the UK).
(hat tip to fellow Who fan Space Cowboy over at Shakesville.)
(* Those who have known me a lot longer than 15 minutes know that one of my "Lotto Dreams" is to buy a HUGE farm with a huge house that I'd fill with as many elderly people and older, hard-to-adopt children as I could and we'd all care for rescued horses, dogs, cats, etc.)