Thursday, March 27, 2014

Yesterday

This is how I feel whenever Dan goes too long without posting.



I wish it had started to drizzle in the video.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Girl From the North Country

Bruce Hornsby's a guy I've never given much thought to, and yet every time I actually listen to him, I enjoy the hell out of him, and he seems like a really cool guy. And this cover's just lovely.


Sadly, the song he talks about at the end doesn't seem to be on YouTube, which is a shame, since it's a fine version of his pal Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London," especially appropriate given that the show was recorded on Halloween.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock-n-Roll)

I love the polished studio version of this but boy howdy do they shred it live.


I never realized how much lead Billy Bremner played—I just assumed it was Dave Edmunds.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lay Lady Lay

We know Bob Dylan loved what Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix had done to his songs. I've love to know what he thought of what this Isley Brothers cover.


I like Bob's version just fine—I used to love it, but the vocal style he tried out for a while just doesn't work for me any longer, and yes, I get the irony in preferring Bob Dylan's earlier and later vocals to his briefly used croon. But the Isleys just make this their own in a way very few artists could, only tweaking the arrangement and melody ever so slightly, yet throwing down the gauntlet to the singer-songwriters of the day, showing they were more than capable of playing on anyone's turf, and underling just what an amazing band they were, even after their initial heyday and before guitar whiz Ernie officially joined. It's a tiny bit longwinded, sure, but when the mood's this intoxicating, who's really going to complain?

Monday, March 17, 2014

RIP Scott Asheton

Well. No fun indeed. There are never enough drummers named Scott in this world, but this one's definitely a big loss.


Who on earth would ever have expected Iggy Pop to be the sole member of the original band to still be around?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Patience

These guys were the biggest band in the world for a while.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want

So very, very lovely.


And buried on a b-side. Incredible. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Billie Jean

No. No. I will not dance on the floor in the round with oh all right fine. Dammit.

)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Southern Man

In which the amazing "Gimme Shelter" vocalist takes one of Neil Young's greatest songs, if possible, to an even higher height.


We all know the feud between Lynyrnd Skynyrd and ol' Neil wasn't real. Many haven't seemed to notice or grok the background singers in "Sweet Home Alabama"—including, yes, a certain Merry Clayton—catcalling "boo! boo! boo!" to the very mention of Alabama Governor George Wallace's name. "Sweet Home Alabama" is a far more nuanced song than generally acknowledged. Meanwhile, Mr. Young's song can be criticized as something of a carpetbagging attack on a culture of which he, as a Canadian living in California, couldn't really understand or have any sort of in-depth knowledge, even as he appropriated many of its artistic hallmarks. [And, yes, I know they were probably responding to "Alabama" and not "Southern Man."]

Even were any of that true, however, having an African-American gospel singer from Louisiana cover Neil Young's song blows any such criticisms into dust. If there's anything at all disappointing about this version, it's that it's not twice as long.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Follow Your Arrow

Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of the Dear Alex and Annie pop song that doles out life advice. But when it's this good and this catchy and could be commercially risky for its dispenser? That I can get behind.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Nina Holds the Mirror

Actually Suzanne holds it. But my guess is she's willing to let Nina take charge of it any old time she wants to.

Nothing special to see here. Only one of the great songs of the past 50 years, made wholly unique by the great Nina Simone. Who herself knows just where to look among the garbage and the flowers.

Happy Boy

Today's the 25th anniversary of the first date I ever went on with the goddess that is now my good lady wife.

She was and is smarter, funnier, kinder, more attractive, more patient and more talented than I, and the fact that she was at all interested in me was then, as now, a subject of considerable confusion amongst those who know both of us. The truth is, it was one thing and one thing only that enabled me to win her heart:

My solo rendition of this sweetest of all songs.


Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Silver Joy

Maybe just because Morning Phase is on my mind, being brilliant and all—the album, not my mind—but boy this sounds like a stripped down version of something off Morning Phase, which of course sounds like a sequel to Sea Change which, of course, is a no kidding masterpiece of Blood on the TracksTunnel of Love proportions. Which means this is something I'm very much predisposed to love. And perhaps consequently do.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Memphis, Tennessee

I can't say this is the best Chuck Berry tune, but it may just be my favorite. And it really is a masterpiece of narrative lyric writing. John Cale's version is more than a little ominous. Whereas Berry's—and most covers—slowly reveal the sad and all too common heartbreak at the core, Cale's arrangement and delivery seem to imply there might just be a good reason they've been separated, and it's not just spite on the part of his ex. Scary, amazing stuff.


[H/T: the great Cover Me Songs.]