Thursday, May 28, 2009

John Cougar - Jack And Diane/Can You Take It 7" - 1982

Haven't posted in a while. I've been pretty busy. To be honest I'm mostly busy because I've been trying to squeeze more exercise into my day. So in reviewing what kinds of things I have sitting waiting in the wings, this seemed like something that would require the least amount of writing. Lame I know.

Back in 1982 I loved this single. I'm sure many a reader can recall those wonderful days rocking out to this song. It is a great pop song. I don't think I ever sat down to learn the lyrics, but I'm pretty sure I can sing along with the whole thing. That is the sign of a good pop song. Memorability.

The B-side "Can You Take It" reminds me a little of "Hurts So Good" one of the other great early singles from John Cougar. Yes, I still call him John Cougar and rarely add the Mellancamp.

Hope everyone has fun with this one and gets all nostalgic.


01 Jack And Diane.m4a
02 Can You Take It.m4a

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hap Palmer - Walter The Waltzing Worm - 1982

Picked up this record a while back not knowing anything about Hap Palmer. I just knew i loved the cover and the thought of a song about a waltzing worm sent my mind spinning.

As you might have guessed Hap Palmer writes children's songs. And some of them are quite catchy. I did a little research into Hap and found that he is still actively performing. In fact he's got some performances coming up here in the LA area. Check out his website fir details.

Hap studied music in school and while working at the Hollywood YMCA began singing folk songs for kids. He tried his hand at writing songs for adults, but found that writing for children was far more liberating. When you think about it is quite true. Most pop songs are only about a couple topics. Falling in love and breaking up. Sure there are a few other topics like partying or social issues, but you don't hear many songs about worms or parts of you body (unless is it breasts or booties). The one biography I read inferred that one of the innovations Hap brought to his children's song writing was to write songs that incorporated movement for the kids. He figured why fight against a child's need to move. Use that energy to get them involved in the song. My gut tells me that he wasn't the first to think of this, but he has obviously been successful with the formula.

This record sounds like an 80's record (lots of cheap synths) and I would have bet dollars to dimes that this would be out of print, but it isn't. You can find new and used copies on Amazon and I bet Hap is hocking them on his website too.

So if you are going to check out these tracks, you of course must check out "Walter the Waltzing Worm". Also the opening track "What A Miracle" and "A Genius Of Course" are quite catchy too. I also like some of the songs about jumping and stretching and such near the end. The music though is sooooo cheeseball. Reminds me of walking by the old organ stores that were in malls in the late 70's and early 80's with the guy playing along with programed rhythms at the front of the store.

The last comment I want to make about the album is about the last track. It kind of stands out as a real misfit. It doesn't sound like a children's song at all. It gets real dissonant and after the main part with lyrics it sounds more like a soundtrack to a thriller from the 70's. I can't imagine what a kid thought when listening to this record. You have all these upbeat songs about twisting and jumping and moving and then at the very end it gets super dark like you're watching a Hitchcock or perhaps even a David Lynch movie. Strange. But it's yet another reason to check this out.



01 What A Miracle.m4a
02 Walter Te Waltzing Worm.m4a
03 A Genius Of Course.m4a
04 Slide Whistle Suite.m4a
05 Flick A Fly.m4a
06 Song About Fast, Song About Slow.m4a
07 Swing, Shake, Twist and Stretch.m4a
08 All The Ways Of Jumping Up And Down.m4a
09 Surprise Song.m4a

Hap Palmer - Walter The Waltzing

Sunday, May 3, 2009

SAP Music Cinco de Mayo Mix 2009

This is a first for me. I've never made a Cinco de Mayo mix before. To be perfectly honest, I've never really had any reason to celebrate the holiday. But I've been digitizing some fun ranchera records lately and have been listening to a lot os Spanish music and I thought why not throw something together.

You'll notice that some artists appear on here more than once. Usually I try to avoid that when making a mix. But I have two reasons for this. The first is that in those instances, both songs really are pretty good and I couldn't decide which to cut. The second reason is that I'm not exactly rolling in Spanish music. Actually I have a bunch of more contemporary Latin music, but I didn't think it fit in with the vibe of everything else.

A bunch of these tracks or from records and so there is lots of cracks and pops, but I think that adds to the flavor of the mix. Some tracks are pulled from CD's. I don't know the exact rules of the holiday as in if it is primarily a Mexican holiday or if it is in all of Latin America. I'm in Southern California and I know it is big here. That is all I know. So while some of these songs are definitely Mexican in origin, I've pulled from other sources as well. I hope my broad brush isn't offensive to some people. I've basically gone by the rule of if it is Spanish and sounds Latin and I like it I put it on the mix.

Most of the mix is quite traditional. Towards the end I've gone for some covers and for a couple songs that are a little more punk or in the case of Voodoo Glow Skulls ska-punk. Actually Burro I guess wouldn't be considered a cover since it is Beck just singing a Spanish version of Jack-Ass. And then I brought it all back home with some very recognizable songs that even English speakers should recognize.

So have a listen. Hopefully you'll like what I put together. Then you can impress your friends by having some interesting music for your Cinco de Mayo party or maybe just have it playing in your office during the day.


01 Viva Mexico - Alberto Vazquez.m4a
02 Ratón Vaquero - Francisco Gabilondo Soler.m4a
03 Ay! Jalisco No Te Rajes - Alberto Vazquez.m4a
04 Esta Noche Voy a Verlo - Yolanda del Rio.m4a
05 La Tequilera - Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles.m4a
06 Canción Del Mariachi (Morena De Mi Corazón) - Los Lobos With Antonio Banderas.m4a
07 Contigo Con Ellas Y Con Todas - Little Joe & The Latinaires.m4a
08 Amor Gigante - Compay Segundo.m4a
09 El Gallo Colorado - Miguel Aceves Mejia.m4a
10 La Llorona - Lila Downs and Mariachi Juvenil de Tecalitian.m4a
11 No Me Olvides Amor - Yolanda del Rio.m4a
12 Las Ciudades - Lola Beltran.m4a
13 El Cuarto de Tula - Beuna Vista Social Club.m4a
14 Chipi Chipi - Gustavo Santaolalla.m4a
15 El Conejo - Los Cojolites.m4a
16 La Pistola Y El Corazon - Los Lobos.m4a
17 ¿qué Grande Es Tu Amor? - Optimo.m4a
18 Hotel California - Gipsy Kings.m4a
19 Burro - Beck.m4a
20 El Clavo Y La Cruz - The Plugz.m4a
21 Sin Berguensa (Si Habla Espanol) - Voodoo Glow Skulls.m4a
22 Guantanamera - Compay Segundo.m4a
23 Cielito Lindo - Trini Lopez.m4a

Here's the whole thing.
SAP Music Cinco de Mayo Mix

Friday, May 1, 2009

Kitty Wells - Heartbreak U.S.A. - 1961

I inherited this record this past year along with a stack of others. I must say, though that this is one of the records that jumped out at me when I was first thumbing through the records. Over the recent years I've fallen in love with a lot of old country artists. Many of the country western records of the 50's and early 60's are really good. I've really come to love many of the female artists from that era. But with all of this said, I have to admit that I consider myself still fairly uneducated when it comes to actually having heard much of this music. I have the records I've collected, but that's not tons. Before this record I had one other Kitty Wells record and I enjoyed that. This however by the look of it looked like an older record, which got me excited. It turns out this was her 7th release.

If you have any love for Patsy Cline I think you'll really enjoy this record. It has much of the same vibe. The songs are all really well written pop songs with a country twist. It's not really hillbilly music. The theme of the record as you could guess from the title is broken hearts and heartaches. A subject not exclusive to country music, but that twangy guitar and vocals suits the subject perfectly.

Some highlights for me are the title track and "Heartaches By The Numbers". Both are very catchy and you'll find yourself humming them long after listening to them. Another favorite here is "Open Up Your Heart (And Let The Sun Shine In)" which has been done by many artists. It has religious overtones speaking of the devil and such which may turn some off, but I like it. I think it is a really uplifting song and one I find running through my head many a day when I'm cheery. It's a good song to have around when you are down as well, because it is uplifting.

For a little more info on Kitty check out the Wikipedia entry on her. According to that site she is considered by Billboard the 6th most successful female artist ever. That's pretty impressive, especially when I think much of what she has done is sort of being forgotten. I think if you ask the average person to name a Kitty Wells song they might have trouble. Name a Patsy Cline song and I think you'll get more takers. It makes you think how much will the Britney's and Miley's of today will be remembered 50 years from now. Maybe they will be remembered, but will anybody be singing their songs. Okay I think "Hit Me Baby One More Time" will stay with pop culture, but I fear time won't be so kind to Miley or to the rest of Britney's catalog.

Sorry for the contemporary side track. Back to Kitty. Give the whole thing a listen. I think you'll find a few tracks on her that you will fall in love with. Also I do apologize in advance that I think there may be a skip or two on here that I couldn't avoid.


01 Heartbreak U.S.A..m4a
02 Heart To Heart Talk.m4a
03 Heartaches By The Number.m4a
04 My Heart Echoes.m4a
05 I've Got A New Heartache.m4a
06 Open Up Your Heart (And Let The Sunshine In).m4a
07 This Old Heart.m4a
08 I'll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms).m4a
09 Excuse Me (I Think I've Got A Heartache).m4a
10 Cold, Cold Heart.m4a
11 The Best Of All My Heartaches.m4a
12 Leave All The Heartaches To Me.m4a

Kitty Wells - Heartbreak