I'm also posting this list because I think there are a few songs on here I could write about which I haven't done for a while and I kind of feel like doing so. So here's the list.
Nobody Told Me - John Lennon from the "Nobody Told Me/O' Sanity" 7"
The Beautifiul Ones - Prince from "Purple Rain"
Cannibals Love To Rock'n'Roll - Anna & The Psychomen from the "My Baby Needs To Rock 'N' Roll" 7"
Blessed Are They Who Bash Your Children's Heads Against A Rock - Dälek from "Gutter Tactics"
Above Ground - Norah Jones from "Feels Like Home"
Genesis 30:3 - The Mountain Goats from "The Life Of The World To Come"
I'll Make A Man Out Of You - Donny Osmond from "Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic [Box Set]"
Brother Jacob - The Aggrolites from "IV"
Falling Slowly (Live) - The Swell Season from "Strict Joy"
The Last Elemental - Danny Elfman from the "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" Soundtrack
A Talk with George - Jonathan Coulton from "Best. Concert. Ever."
Reconcile - The Aggrolites from "Reggae Hit L.A."
Don't Think Of Me - Dido from "No Angel"
Road To Nowhere - Talking Heads from "Sand In The Vaseline Popular Favorites 1976-1992 (Disc 2)"
Follow the Shepherd Home - Mindy Smith from "My Holiday"
8 Ball (remix) - N.W.A. from "Straight Outta Compton (20th Anniversary Edition)"
You Can't Win - Michael Jackson from "The Wiz"
Oh Sherrie - Amy Spanger, Constantine Maroulis from "Rock of Ages (Original Broadway Cast Recording)"
Ceremony - New Order from the "Marie Antoinette" soundtrack
Your Long Journey - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss from "Raising Sand"
Pride and Joy - Brandi Carlile from "Give Up The Ghost"
Especially You - Alter Ego from the "Sandy" 7" E.P.
Lust In The Movies - The Long Blondes from "Singles"
Convinced Of The Hex - The Flaming Lips from "Embryonic"
She Goes To Finos - Toy Dolls from "Ten Years Of Toys"
Somewhere There's A Someone - Dean Martin from "Greatest Hits"
Bad Things - Jace Everett from "Jace Everett"
Still Loving You - Scorpions - "Love At First Sting"
Am I Going Insane - Black Sabbath from "We Sold Our Souls For Rock 'N' Roll"
...Said Sadly - Smashing Pumpkins from "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" single
The Ballad Of Davy Crockett - The Wellingtons from "Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic [Box Set]"
Meet Me Halfway - Black Eyed Peas from "E.N.D [Deluxe Edition]"
Chant Of The Weed/Song Of India - Martin Denny from "The Exotic Sounds Of Martin Denny"
9 Samurai - Kode9 from "5 : 5 years of Hyperdub"
Wonder - Natalie Merchant from "Tigerlily"
Lady Of Avenue A - The Black Crowes from "Until The Freeze"
Christine Sixteen (Live) - Kiss from "Alive II"
Seed - Sublime from "Sublime"
Physical (You're So) - Adam Ant from "Kings Of The Wild Frontier"
I Don't Want To Grow Up - Descendents from "I Don't Want To Grow Up"
Gospel Song - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club from "Howl"
We Used To Be Friends - The Dandy Warhols from "Welcome To The Monkey House-AD "
I Want You To Want Me - Letters To Cleo from the "10 Things I Hate About You" soundtrack
Mony Mony - Billy Idol from "Don't Stop"
My Iron Lung - Radiohead from the "My Iron Lung" EP
Waddlin Around - King Khan & BBQ Show from "The King Khan & BBQ Show"
Minor Threat - Minor Threat from Minor Threat: Complete Discography
Well, there you go, 47 tracks of fun. So let's start at the top.
The first track is John Lennon. I love The Beatles and John is by far my favorite Beatle. I think John Lennon is the first celebrity I can remember the day he died. Actually I remember the morning after his murder hearing the news on the radio. I was pretty young at the time and was just starting to listen to music on my own. John's album had just come out and "Watching The Wheels" was on the radio and I really liked that song. I really didn't know much about The Beatles or anything much about John Lennon, but the combination that I liked the songs on the radio and it was an artist I actually knew and discovered independent of my parents and the fact that it was a huge media event made it an important event and I've never forgotten it.
I'd also like to mention that one of my favorite moments in this song is when John says, "most peculiar mamma."
Then as I was driving into work "The Beautiful Ones" from Prince came on. Not exactly one of the big radio hits, but still a great track. The song starts off so mellow, but before you know it Prince has crept up on you and is screaming his lungs out. "please u, baby. I'm begging down on my knees I want u. Yes I do. Baby, baby, baby, baby I want you. Yes I do". As I listened to this near hysterical climax I thought about what Prince looked like that day in the recording booth as he laid this vocal down. It must have been pretty weird to watch. Give the track a listen sometime and imagine it in the context of actually recording the song. It is an interesting mental game.
The other thing I thought about when listening to this track was all the talk amongst my friends about Prince's live show. It sounded crazy with a giant bed and lots of sex or at the very least simulated sex. I've never gone back to find out whether any of those stories were true. I'm sure some of the details that made their way to suburban boys circles were more urban legend and wishful thinking than fact, but I'm pretty sure they were based in fact.
The last thing or things to share with relation to this song is that the internet is great. While looking up the song on youtube I came across these great amateur performances. I hope you enjoy them as well.
This first one has a funny intro and then if you go about 5 1/2 minutes in you see this guy do his best at the " Baby, baby, baby, baby I want you. Yes I do" section of the song.
And then there is this one. It gets pretty funny around 3 minutes in. Piercing falsetto.
And that was only the second song of the day. I better keep this moving.
Anna and the Psychomen were next up. I picked up this 7 inch not knowing anything about the band. I just loved the name and the cover of the record. It looked like it was going to be garage rock heaven and boy was I right. Anna and The Psychomen are from Italy. I don't think they get to North America much. Judging by their website they don't play anywhere anymore. The site is pretty out of date and imagine it is because they're not playing anymore. Too bad. I would have loved to have seen them live.
You can actually listen to this song on their myspace page here. http://www.myspace.com/annaandthepsychomen
Next was "Blessed Are They Who Bash Your Children's Heads Against A Rock" by Dalek. This is basically a spoken word rant over beats about how the white man or Americans have wiped out other peoples. It is angry, yet thought provoking.
"Above Ground" from Norah Jones came up next. You can't get more opposite from the previous track than this. Norah is just pleasentness personified and the Dalek track is anything but. This song is from the album "Feels Like Home" which was the follow up to "Come Away With Me" her hugely successful smash debut record. This record got away from the smooth jazz formula of the first record and I actually like it more than her debut. This record has more country to it and has a fantastic duet with Dolly Parton. When I first got this record I think I was in a big Dolly phase and so I played this CD, and the duet track "Creepin In" in particular over and over.
Next up was one of those songs I have that I don't know much about. So why is it on my ipod you ask. Well at the end of the year I read several lists of the year's best albums. This album by The Mountain Goats was on one of those lists and so I downloaded the record to listen to the track. Whenever it was that I first listened to the song I gave it a high star rating in my itunes and so because of the way I've set up my rules and filters it has appeared on my ipod for just this sort of occasion, to surprise me with new music. The song is "Genesis 30:3" and it is a quiet ballad with just a piano and vocal. You can check out a short sample here.
Here's someone's animation they put to the song.
Then from the new and sort of unknown my old pal Mr. Ipod brought me an old favorite from the movie Mulan. I'm sure everyone has heard this "Be A Man" from Mulan. Donny Osmond knocks this one out of the park in my book. It is one of his best songs ever as far as I'm concerned and near the end when the music drops out and he is accapella... Chills. That's all I have to say. Great, great track and a classic moment for Disney. Walt would have been proud.
I know what you are thinking at this point. Is he really going to go through each track. Well at this point I think I am. We'll see where I stand on this in about 20 songs.
So "Brother Jacob" by The Aggrolites. Kind of weird that there is a strange sort of connection to The Mountain Goats song which has biblical ties. I believe I've mentioned before how much I love the Aggrolites and how when I got "Reggae Hit LA" it was my favorite album that year. Well since mentioning that they have releases a newer record which is also good. It may not be the masterpiece the "Reggae Hit LA" is but it has some good songs. If you want to hear someone doing great traditional reggae, please check them out.
I'd also like to mention that they had a fun appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba that I finally saw. Check out their performance of "Banana" here on the Yo Gabba Gabba site where the resolution is pretty great. Or check out this version.
The Aggrolites - Banana (Yo Gabba Gabba!)
WTF | MySpace Video
So that was fun, right? How about the movie "Once" did you ever see that? Not as fun. I get teary eyed at the end of that movie. Teary in a good way, though. The movie is great and it ends sadly, but not sadly. It ends perfectly and you are sad for what happens, but also happy because it does end perfectly and beautifully and for me I get emotional when I see or hear true beauty. So why the long sidetrack about the movie "Once"? Well because the next track originally was performed in the movie "Once".
The movie starred Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová and they were songwriters. They wrote and sang together in the movie and in real life. As a partnership they were and are still known as The Swell Season. Their chemistry together in the movie and in their songs is amazing. At the time they were a couple and since have broken up, but they still released a record together last year. If you get the deluxe 2 cd version of the album "Strict Joy" you get a second disc of live performances. Many of the songs from the "Once" soundtrack are on there and "Falling Slowly" is one of them. This is one of my favorite songs and was a joy to listen to again.
Here's the music video for the movie.
So on the topic of movies, here is the trailer for Hellboy II.
I'll probably get some slack for liking this movie and for that matter the first movie, which I do like even more. I like them so much that I like the soundtrack, which is why I'm writing about it now. Danny Elfman's score was the next to jump out of my speakers. It is kind of a mystical magical music cue.
I followed up that cinematic journey with a track from Jonathan Coulton. A friend turned me onto him this past Christmas with one of his Christmas songs. It lead me to read about this internet sensation and to seek out more of his music. He is funny and clever and worth the search, but I'll make it easy for you. Just go here. http://www.jonathancoulton.com/
You can get the track here from Jonathan's website. The track on this playlist is from a live performance. Here you can read his blog entry about the song.
Oh and then sweet joy of joys. The Aggrolites make a second showing on the list with the superb offering "Reconcile". I love, love, love this song. I won't write much here and will just let the song speak for itself.
Then came Dido. Are you serious? Dido? That takes me back. You bet it does. I don't think I've heard a Dido from quite a long time. Remember how big this album was especially after Eminem sampled it? Well the album is more than just a footnote to an Eminem track. The record is great and reminds me of Sinead O'Connor at her height. ""Don't Think Of Me" is one of the stand out songs on that album "No Angel". If you have the CD and haven't gotten it out in a while, do yourself a favor and give it a spin. Still holds up.
Track 14 was "Road To Nowhere" by the Talking Heads. And yes, I'm only at track 14. Deal with it.
Classic 80's song. Classic Talking Heads.
Mindy Smith "Follow The Shepherd Home" is a song I came across this past holiday season as I was listening to new Christmas albums. Definitely a spiritual or religious song which may not be everyone's taste, but I like the song. She has a pretty voice as well.
Now here is where you just have to laugh at the weird sense of humor fate has. Following the quiet soul searching spiritual song of Mindy Smith fate brings up "8 Ball" by NWA. You hear people say, "you can't write this stuff" well I think that saying applies here too. You can't program a mix like this.
Anyways, "8-Ball" was a hugely influential rap song not only to me and my friends, but to the world in general. The world was never the same after NWA. Eazy-E is in tip top form here and when you listen to the track you remember why he was so influential. And in case you didn't already know it this song ain't family friendly. Eazy definitely tells us what time it was with all the explicit language that entails.
Relive the beats and the rhymes with this fan made video.
Oh how I love Youtube.
Then from the movie "The Wiz" Michael Jackson sings "You Can't Win". This song may not be remembered as much as "Ease on Down The Road" but it is a great track. It is also a really long track. It just keeps going and clocks in at over 7 minutes. That gives you a lot of dance time.
Then another soundtrack song came up. This time from the broadway hit musical "Rock Of Ages" I listened the track "Oh Sherie" which has several cast members trading off lyrics to the classic Steve Perry song. On a side note, last week on the TV show Psych the episode started off with the song "Strung Out" by Steve Perry. I didn't really know the song, but the moment I heard it I fell in love with it. I said to my wife, "this sounds like Steve Perry, but not like Journey." I quickly did some googling and was happy to discover the name of the song and that it was the last track on his debut record "Street Talk" which I have on vinyl. I ran over to the record shelf, pulled the record and rocked out to the song a couple more times. It is a great song, that actually was released as a single with a video to boot, but never went anywhere. At least it never went anywhere in my world. While I loved Journey, by the time Steve was doing "Oh Sherrie" I was off listening to other types of music, so minor Steve Perry hits were not on my radar. Thank goodness for the writers and producers over at Psych and their love for everything 80's.
By the way, dig the kerchief in that video. Ah the 80's were amazing for fashion.
Sticking to the 80's "Ceremony" from New Order played next. This particular track actually came from Sophia Coppola's movie "Marie Antoinette". I mention that because I think it is worth not only listening to this absolute masterpiece of a song again if you haven't heard it in a while and also because I'd like to recommend the movie. Some people may hate the use of modern music against the period setting, but for me it worked brilliantly. New Order, Siouxsie And The Banshees. Perfection. Oh and the use of The Cure's "Plainsong" is magical and splendiphrous. Yes, I know that is not a word, but still it captures the essence of what I'm getting at. It is beyond words.
And just because the song is great. Here is Plainsong.
The next song "Your Long Journey" comes from an interesting pairing of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss from the album last year entitled Raising Sand. I guess it may be best described as a folk record, full of simple ballad type songs. It's a long way from Led Zeppelin, but it is beautiful.
Brandi Carlile's song "Pride and Joy" came up next. This is from her 2009 album "Give Up The Ghost". It too has a folky vibe to it. She has a great voice and sings with a lot of heart.
A song by a band named Alter Ego was up to bat next. The song was Especially You and reminds me of early Elvis Costello. I got this track from the Killed By Death Blog, which is fantastic by the way. It's from 1980 and is very much in that new wave/power pop vein. Here is a link to another track "Sandy" from that same record. You can actually pick up the record from these guys.
The Long Blondes who made an appearance on The Valentine's Mix came next with "Lust In The Movies" which was also considered for the Valentine's Mix this year. Maybe another year.
Dig that Kate Jackson.
Edie Sedgwick, Anna Karenina, Arlene Dahl.
Edie Sedgwick, Anna Karenina, Arlene Dahl.
I just want to be a sweetheart.
I just want to be a sweetheart.
I just want to be a sweetheart.
Let's also not forget that Kate Jackson was the name of one of Charlie's Angels. Come one children of the 70's I know you were thinking it as well.
Kate's now going by the name "Madame Ray" and is working on a new record. Can't wait to hear it.
"Convinced Of The Hex" by The Flaming Lips was next. Not much to say there. I need to listen to this record a few more times.
"She Goes To Finos" the infectiously fun song by The Toy Dolls. Then again what song from the early Toy Dolls catalog isn't infectious and fun.
Oh man we are definitely over the hump as far as this list goes.
Dean Martin's smooth tones came next. Nice.
The next track inspired me enough to post the opening line as my facebook status.
"When you came in the air went out and every shadow filled up with doubt."
"Bad Things" which is well known as the song that plays during the opening credits of "True Blood" is good dirty swampy southern fun. And True Blood is a great show by the way.
I recently got into a Scorpions mood and so they've been showing up on the ipod a lot in recent weeks. "Still Loving You" from "Love At First Sting" is one of their classic power ballads. Side note: Scorpions on the "Love At First Sting" tour was my first concert. Bon Jovi opened for them at the Rosemont Horizon.
Black Sabbath cranks up the weird synthesizers for "Am I Going Insane". This is when Sabbath was struggling to figure out what they were all about and is from the album "Sabotage". It was the beginning of the end of the Ozzy period. Read more about the record and it's production here.
Here is an interesting version of the song from what appears to be a father and song. Seems like a good father and son activity.
One of my favorite releases from the Smashing pumpkins is the box set collecting the singles from Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness called Aeroplane Flies High. There are some amazing covers and b-sides on those cd's. This is one of those songs. This is actually James Iha singing with Nina Gordon of "Veruca Salt". Remember them? They were also a Chicago band. The song also falls into the category of beautiful. It has some very cool harmonies.
Here's Nina Gordon talking about Billy Corgan and the Pumpkins and oddly enough she mentions The Rosemont Horizon.
But enough of the strange connections. Here is the song to listen to and enjoy.
You have to be careful with the next song because it can be a complete ear worm. "The Ballad Of Davey Crocket" is one of those songs that sticks in your head. I have to admit that I've had it running through my head and I've burst out into singing this song a few times today since hearing the song. I'll spare you by not posting any audio.
"Meet Me Halfway" by The Black Eyed Peas. They need no more press and so get no more words from me.
Martin Denny was up next. It was an exotic trip to another world. Loved it. Made for a nice escape from my office in the afternoon.
9 Samurai by Kode9 came up next. This is from a compilation record hyperdub songs that I read about from one of those year end lists again. I'm not very knowledgeable about that whole scene in England so I thought I'd check it out to educate myself. This is one of the tracks that stuck with me. Get your samurai swords out and prepare for battle.
Natalie Merchant's "Wonder" was next. A perfect pop song and embodies everything that created the Lillith fair. 90's gold.
Okay, now I'm running out of steam, but there are more things I want to write up. So let me see if I can whip through these.
Black Crowes. From their latest. Worth a listen.
"Christine Sixteen" from Alive II. Great Kiss record. Great song both in the studio and this live version.
"Seed" by Sublime". Can't think of Sublime without thinking about the tragic death of the singer Brad Nowell. Oddly enough I remember the day I heard about his death. For some reason I was watching MTV, which I never really did much, when I heard it on MTV news.
"Physical (You're So)" by Adam And The Ants. Awesome song later covered by Nine Inch Nails in a version that is equally as good. Check both versions out for sure.
It is interesting comparing the two because you can hear how dark and brooding the Adam Ant version is and see that Trent didn't have to really reinvent the song too much to make it feel like a Nine Inch Nails song.
"I Don't Want To Grow Up" by the Descendents is an absolute 80's hardcore classic. Can't hear it too many times.
"Gospel Song" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. This is from their very interesting album Howl which is very different that what one might have expected from the band so influence by Jesus and The Mary Chain. At first I was kind of put off because it wasn't what I was expecting after their first couple records, but then I listened to the record again a year or tow later and fell in love with it. I just needed the time to reset my expectations I guess.
"We Used To Be Friend" used as the opening of Veronica Mars. Great song. Great show. Canceled too soon.
"I Want You To Want Me" by Letters To Cleo is from the movie "10 Things I Hate About You." Strangely enough I've had the soundtrack since the movie came out, but I only just finally watched the movie last weekend. The soundtrack is on Hollywood record (A Disney company) and someone from Disney gave it to me with a pile of other soundtracks. It is a pretty great CD this song is maybe on of the best. The movie was really great, which wasn't surprising since I had only heard good things about it. Even stranger is the fact that my daughter and I have been big fans of the TV show and it is only last week that we saw the movie.
Billy Idol's "Mony Mony" is fantastic. One of the first songs I ever heard played out of a Sony discman. A girl in junior high had one and I remember she had this CD and I listened to it at lunch time.
"My Iron Lung". What happened to Radiohead. I'll probably get hatemail for this, but I think they've lost their way in recent years. They used to rock and rock hard. They used to have some passion and not is all seems like a garbled unfinished mess.
"Waddlin' Around" could possibly be my favorite King Khan and BBQ song. "Shake Real Low" is the other contender for top spot.
Here is a fun video for the song.
And here's the song performed by the amazing duo.
And since I mentioned "Shake Real Low" I thought I'd share that as well.
And this live video of the song capture a little bit of King Khan's fashion for the stage, a gold dress.
And finally as I parked my car at the end of the day my soundtrack was to the absolute classic hardcore song "Minor Threat" by the band of the same name. Favorite line. "I might be an adult but I'm a minor at heart." Thank you Ian. The world is a better place because of you.
Wow, I did it. This was a long evening, but it has been fun. I hope you liked it as something different.