Song of the Day – “Statesboro Blues” Allman Brothers

I woke up this morning, had them Statesboro Blues.

Damnedest thing.

Archive SotD – February 2-8, 2009

February 2, 2009 – “Accidents Will Happen” – Elvis Costello

Back when I was a wee lad, I only listened to Top 40 radio. I didn’t like the metal my brother played, or the country my parents listened to when they didn’t listen to the Muzak on WPCH. My tastes were narrow, though not near as narrow as popular music today.

As I matured (got older, OK?) my tastes widened, and I realized that a lot of music over the last 80 years or so is enjoyable. For me, one song opened my eyes to the possibilities – the possibility that someone I had never heard of could produce music that would be fresh and meaningful to me without having to be popular.

For me, this was that song.

It was a blast through my headphones. When I first put the Armed Forces album on the turntable, I replayed this song several times before letting it continue to the next (“Senior Service”). It made me into a voracious consumer of music, trying to hear all the stuff I’d missed. It directly led me to wanting to introduce people to stuff THEY hadn’t heard before, like I’m trying to do with “Song of the Day”.

How about you? Can you trace a love of music to a certain song, album or artist? I’d love to hear your responses.

February 3, 2009 – “Oh Boy” – Buddy Holly

February 3, 1959 – 50 years ago today – was “the day the music died”. The plane crash that took the life of Buddy Holly, who had a number of hits that are still being sung today, also took Ritchie Valens, whose “La Bamba” showed such promise, and Jiles Perry Richardson, a DJ known as “The Big Bopper”, whose one hit was “Chantilly Lace”.

Even on a scratchy 78, such as we have here, Holly’s brilliance came through. He influenced many artists, including the Beatles. We’re happy for the songs he gave us, and sad for the ones we missed out on.

February 4, 2009 – “The Masochism Tango” – Tom Lehrer

A comedy break from the wonderful Tom Lehrer. This is my favorite, but you might want to check out “The Element Song” if your high-school chemistry is rusty.

A tip of the hat to my friend Russ Ivey, who learned many of Lehrer’s songs while performing in a show based on his songs (“Tomfoolery”).

February 5, 2009 – “Money Changes Everything” – The Brains/Tom Gray

The Atlanta area has produced a number of great bands, and today and tomorrow I wanted to showcase a couple of them.

You may recognize the song because Cyndi Lauper opened her megahit album (She’s So Unusual) with it. But it was written by Tom Gray of Atlanta, and originally recorded by his band, The Brains. Here is a version in which he’s backed by another great Atlanta band, the Swimming Pool Q’s.

February 6, 2009 – “Watusi Rodeo” – Guadalcanal Diary

What a blast from the past this video is. Nina Blackwood, an original MTV VJ (kids, ask your parents), introduces a video from Marietta’s Guadalcanal Diary. The audio on the clip is a demo version of the song, not the one from their first album Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man. Stick around to the end of the video, and you will see the shining emblem of Marietta, Georgia – the Big Chicken.

February 7, 2009 – “Individual Choice” – Jean-Luc Ponty

An instrumental track from the jazz violinist, Jean-Luc Ponty. Reminiscent of “Love on a Real Train” and other works by Tangerine Dream.

This looks like the original video, over a live version of the song. The real video was taken down in the past couple of weeks. Good luck finding it.

February 8, 2009 – “Save it for a Rainy Day” – The Jayhawks

The Jayhawks are a band that usually gets shoved under the “Americana” umbrella. Formed in 1985, most of the songs in their seven-album career were written by either Mark Olson or Gary Louris. Louris left and joined “Golden Smog” for a while, but Olson and Louris combined to release “Ready for the Flood” back at the end of January.

Their harmonies are terrific, and you can count of hearing more from them in “Song of the Day”.

Song of the Day – “Once in a Very Blue Moon” – Nanci Griffith

Classy lady, gifted songwriter – never gotten the recognition she deserves.

Strangely enough, her highest-charting single was written by someone else, and also eclipsed in the charts by another cover – “From a Distance”.

Song of the Day – “Tourist Town” – Marti Jones

I saw Marti and Don (husband and wife) earlier in this tour, and it was a great concert. Trading back and forth on their best songs, they showed their songwriting prowess.

This particular song was a joint effort. Well, most of their work is a joint effort – they play and sing on each others’ records. What I meant for this song is that they wrote it together.

The sound on this video is not great, but one takes what one can get.

Song of the Day – “Bizarre Love Triangle” – New Order

New Order was formed from the ashes of Joy Division after Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980. They went towards a more synthesizer-driven sound, and ended up as more of a dance band.

This particular song has many remixes, but I figure that this live performance is closest to what they actually envisioned for the song. It’s also been covered many, many times – I have three different covers in my collection alone.

 

Archive SotD – January 26-February 1, 2009

January 26, 2009 – “Rockabilly Rules OK” – The Stray Cats

Yes. Yes it does.

January 27, 2009 – “Brilliant Disguise” – Bruce Springsteen

The Boss and the E Street Band have a new album out today! Always a reason to celebrate.

This song is from his 1987 album Tunnel of Love. Although the full band didn’t play on this album, the atmospheric organ is played by the late Danny Federici, who worked with Bruce for 40 years before his untimely passing last year. He will be missed.

January 28, 2009 – “Lloyd I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken” – Camera Obscura

I love, love, love this 2006 song from Scotland’s Camera Obscura. The video is fun as well, as it puts the song over sunny Target ad visuals.

January 29, 2009 – “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” – Fairport Convention

The group that spawned the great guitarist Richard Thompson here showcases the vocals of Sandy Denny. A beautiful song from their 1969 album, Unhalfbricking.

January 30, 2009 – “Cynical Girl” – Marshall Crenshaw

This is the first song I ever heard from one of my favorites, Marshall Crenshaw. His first album is a gem, and his live performances are great as well – I saw him at the 688 Club on Spring Street in Atlanta.

All his albums are terrific. It’s hard to believe that someone who started out playing John Lennon in “Beatlemania” could end up with so much great music of his own.

January 31, 2009 – “Mohammed’s Radio” – Warren Zevon

Continuing a mini-theme of artists I’ve seen at Atlanta venues that no longer exist, here’s Warren Zevon, who I saw at the Moonshadow.

This particular video is a young Warren guesting at a Jackson Browne concert.

“They work all day/And still can’t pay/The price of gasoline and meat” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

February 1, 2009 – “Hammond Song” – The Roches

OK, one more group I saw at the Moonshadow. From left to right, you have Terre, Suzzy and Maggie Roche. Individually, they’re distinctly average singers, but their harmony is brilliant. This is from their first of eleven albums (if you count the Christmas album and kids’ album). As their career progressed, they seemed to have producers who would pile more and more instruments and effects onto their songs, which didn’t do them any favors.

However, I do miss Robert Fripp’s guitar work from the studio version on this live version of “Hammond Song” from the series Soundstage.

Song of the Day – “Pink Houses” – John Mellencamp

“Ain’t that America
Land of the free
Little pink houses for you and me.”

Thirty years on, home ownership looks a little different…

I remember the contest that MTV had in connection with this song, giving away a little pink house in Mellencamp’s home state of Indiana. It was supposedly built n a toxic waste dump, so John made them get another house. This one wasn’t pink, so John told us in the promo that they “were gonna paint the mutha PINK!” According to the interwebz, the winner only lived in the house for two days before selling it.

By the way, Mellencamp is playing here in Atlanta this weekend also, just like Grace Potter. He’ll be at the Fox on Sunday.