Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Live on Detroit Tubeworks 1971. An astounding example of what was once possible with this thing called rock’n'roll. Lean back and let in blow your mind for the weekend.
A New Jersey punk band, calling themselves Screaming Females, releasing an album named Ugly. What’s not to like?
Today’s fashion advice
I’m a stripes guy myself, but this just might convince me to try something new
And, yeah – it’s personal marketing & branding, but it makes me happy that the internet is still a channel for creative silliness; it’s good to see that people continue to take advantage of a global media with no real control.
OK, so there’s a music meme going around – it’s all over Facebook, so you’ve probably seen it. Goes like this:
Challenge: Find out the song that was #1 the week you were born.
- Go to this site to find out which song: http://www.joshhosler.biz
- Find that song on YouTube.
- Post that video on your wall without shame
Now, since I was born in Denmark, I found the Danish hitlists to be more appropriate than Billboard; it’s what was on the radio where you were born that matters, right?’ So, I get Elvis Presley Devil in Disguise. Is that supposed to be a subliminal message?
I love the false starts and the studio banter on this one (“You sound like a bird…”). Gives usa glimpse of what Elvis was like. Things like this is what make me love youtube. If you just want to hear the song, go to about 2:50.
I kinda like this song, even though John Lennon nixed it with his famous “Elvis sounds like Bing Crosby now”. It’s not Elvis of ’56, it’s not Hound Dog or Don’t Be Cruel, but I like the ease and confidence in the voice, and the effortless rhythm. And, well, I like that the man can just sing.
For comparison, UK hitlist gives me Beatles (She Loves You), and Billboard has Bobby Vinton (Blue Velvet). Not a bad week, not a bad week at all.
I remember watching this show on TV, all those years ago; it was like having the door kicked in. The lyrics, the music, and omg the voice. I fell right in love with her first album, but this song was always a particular favorite. I should have posted this one on 8 March, of course; it’s such a great song about (breaking with) normative gender roles. 30 years on, and if anything it seems more relevant.
For some it was Sex Pistols, the Saints, or Ramones, or maybe Clash, Sham 69 or Buzzcocks who gave Punk a body, made you feel you belonged there. For me it was Nina Hagen. She had the abundance of energy, the complete lack of respect, the in-your-face attitude, and the secret longing for simple pop that all good punk has – and then she mixes it with humour, disregard of commercial potential, and stunt vocals.
And of course it doesn’t hurt that Nina Hagen Band was basically a great straight-out rock band with a vocalist to rival the very best in rock.
I was a huge fan of the Rockpalast show at the time. They broadcast real bands, playing live, to a real audience. I was still in school at the time and didn’t have much opportunity to go see the bands I was listening to. I think these shows played a major role in wetting my appetite for the live experience; I blame them for all the money I spent on concerts in the following years. Since I got in the habit of watching every show, no matter the band(s), they also opened my eyes to plenty of bands.
I got to see Nina Hagen several times live in the years that followed. I always enjoyed her larger-than-life on-stage persona and the playfulness of her act, the way she used and expressed gender, and her non-conformance. To me, she will always be linked to the Berlin scene I came to love in the years that followed.
To me, Nina Hagen 1978-1979 is a stellar moment in rock. Nina Hagen of course continued on a rampage through pop music styles and performances, taking her vocal, hairstyle, and fashion sense where no woman had gone before – but that’s (maybe) for another post.
Can you do a “history of pop” in one hour? Well, if you can do “A Brief History of Nearly Everything” in one book, why not?
Here’s how you do it. Take the US singles charts. Take the top-1 hits. Take a 5-second-or-so sample from each song. Put them together, in chronologic order.
This is brilliant. Amazingly, I find I can sing along with most of them – you probably can, too. Of course, what I want now is a one-click option to buy all the songs from iTunes.
For now, I have no insight as to who compiled this. Whoever you are: thanks!
UPDATE: I’m told (thanks, Mark!) that it was created by Hugo Keesing, who also came up with the word “chartsweep” to describe it. The compilation was created based on his 15.000 album music collection, now donated to University of Maryland’s Performing Arts Library as the “Keesing Musical Archives.”, along with books, sheet music, etc. See brief interview at the Some Assembly Required blog.
. Before internet and YouTube and social media and all that, it would never have even occurred to me to go hunting for cover versions of Baker Street (which I wrote about yesterday). It’s not that big a deal. But now, it’s just a click away, and it’s fun. It’s a great way to get new input, to learn about artists you might never have discovered otherwise, or re-discover artists you haven’t been listening to for a while.
It turns out there’s several versions out there. Most of them are no match for the original, but there’s good fun to be had anyway, and at least two I found have real merit.
A really, really nice version from Foo Fighters. Great guitar work, great rumble – and yet I feel perfectly at home with the song. This is a great cover.
A truly fun Dance remix, from Dj Octopus
The boring disco version from Undercover
A House version from Michael Mind. It’s actually kinda nice, with some good energy. Too schematic, I think, but it manages to retain the spirit of the original tune. But why oh why did they have to do such an awful video?
Oh, and Lisa actually played the song in a Simpsons show. Thumbs up.
I was never a fan or anything; in fact, I can recall just one song – Baker Street. But that one song – it’s one of those songs that has managed to take up so, so many neurons in my brain. Before today I had not heard the song for probably 25 or 30 years, but it’s instantly recognizable, right down to knowing exactly how the sax solo goes, nodding along with the tempo changes, and singing along with the lyrics.
Why, you ask? No idea. It’s not the song – it’s an OK ballad, but no more. It could be the classic sax solo, but more likely it just happened to be part of the soundtrack to a very impressionable part of my life (last few years of public school), much like Meatloaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell”, another (set of) song(s) I’m not a big fan of but can nevertheless remember every note of.
From the same period I remember countless songs by Clash, Sex Pistols, Ramones, and on and on, but no surprise as I’ve been listening to these songs over and over for the past 30+ years. But “Baker Street”, it was not a song I had any conscious memory of, not a song I’d every go listen to, and as far as I know I do no own a copy of it. And yet, the second I clicked on that youtube link it was there, perfect recall – a long with a fuzzy-warm positive feeling. The brain is a wonderful and weird organ.
Gerry Rafferty died today in Bournemouth, of liver failure, after a long period of illness. He was 63.
(Update: I posted about cover versions of Baker Street)
OK, so the video quality sucks, and the audio could be better, but Bruce comes right through anyway. This is a great performance, with stellar work by Clarence Clemmons on the sax.
Back in the early 80s I had a radio promo single of this one; We played it over and over at school xmas parties. I was a true Springsteen fan back then. Most of that is gone now, but I’m still a sucker for vintage Bruce, and I love this one.