Song of the Day – “Power to the Punk People” – The Happy Wanderers

I love this salute to “the new wave music”! Durhan Durhan, U2 and the Sting, and of course The Flock of the Seagulls.

The video within the video is “Power to the Punk People”, and I promise you a funky good time. Don’t forget the cabbage rolls and coffee from Mrs. Vilve Yachke!

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Archive SotD – August 31-September 6, 2009

August 31, 2009 – “Do You Love Me?” – The Explorers Club

I just heard these guys for the first time last week. They’re a band from South Carolina that is HEAVILY influenced by the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson. Their album, Freedom Wind, is fantastic.

Although they’ve got an official video for “Do You Love Me?” I wanted you to hear this “unplugged” version so you’ll know their perfect harmonies are not the result of AutoTune.

 

September 1, 2009 – “You Don’t Know” – Ellie Greenwich

RIP Ellie Greenwich, who died last week at the age of 68.

Ellie, with her husband Jeff Barry and Phil Spector, penned songs that defined the girl group sound of the ‘60s. “Chapel of Love”, “Be My Baby”, “Then He Kissed Me”, “Hanky Panky”, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, “Da Doo Ron Ron”, “Baby I Love You” and “River Deep, Mountain High” were among the songs she wrote. There was even a musical about her named after another famous tune, “Leader of the Pack”.

She could sing, also, as proved by this song from 1965. It should have been a hit.

 

September 2, 2009 – “Black Man Ray” – China Crisis

One of my desert island discs would be Flaunt the Imperfection by China Crisis. The whole album is classy and mellow and beautiful, with songs like “King in a Catholic Style”, ”You Did Cut Me” and this song. The album (it came out on vinyl first) was produced by Walter Becker of Steely Dan.

 

September 3, 2009 – “Avalon” – Roxy Music

Yesterday’s China Crisis track got me in a mellow mood, so let’s continue with Avalon. Roxy Music was primarily known for dance-oriented tracks such as “Love Is the Drug”, and this album marked a major transformation for the group. As a matter of fact, Roxy Music broke up shortly afterward, and Bryan Ferry continued in this same vein in future albums.

 

September 4, 2009 – “LaGrange” – ZZ Top

OK, enough with the mellow. Let’s kick into Labor Day weekend with a little number about that shack outside LaGrange.

 

September 5, 2009 – “Ragtop Day” – Jimmy Buffett

Got any Parrotheads out there? It’s Labor Day weekend, and it’s definitely a Ragtop Day.

 

September 6, 2009 – “Vacation” – Go-Go’s

More sun and fun with Belinda, Charlotte, Jane, Kathy and Gina – the Go-Go’s! (I hate the unnecessary apostrophe, but I love the whole tandem water-skiing thing!)

Song of the Day – “Cath” – The Bluebells

A fun number from a Scottish band that didn’t even make it to the level of one-hit wonder – at least here in the States.

From their only full-length album, 1984’s Sisters.

Song of the Day – “The Sweetest Taboo” – Sade

Folasade Adu, known to her millions of fans as Sade, managed to avoid the sophomore slump that plagued so many recording artists. This song is from her second album, Promise. We’d already seen that promise on her first album, Diamond Life.

I am trying to cut back on the videos from VEVO or the individual labels, since I hate the ads. However, since Sade is such a lovely woman, I thought I’d just go ahead and post the video that shows her to her greatest advantage.

Archive SotD – August 24-30, 2009

August 24, 2009 – “Fortress Around Your Heart” – Sting

I’ve heard many people talk about how Sting completely changed his music after the breakup of the Police – that he’d become “too adult contemporary”. While I stay away from some things (like his lute experiments), it seems to me that what he’s done is just a logical extension of his late Police work. Take the woodwind (clarinet/oboe?) out of this song and it would fit on a Police album.

They all calmed down some; listen to Andy Summers’ work with Robert Fripp or Stewart Copeland’s soundtrack work.

 

August 25, 2009 – “Can’t Stand Losing You” – The Police

Posting the Sting song yesterday got me in the mood to post some Police. Here’s a song from 1979 that has some of the same “stalker” vibe that took them to #1 with “Every Breath You Take”.

 

August 26, 2009 – “Rescue Me” – Fontella Bass

A great song from a powerhouse performer who never was able to parlay that hit into continued success. What’s worse is that, according to AMG, “Bass never received proper credit or financial remuneration for co-writing the song”.

She does look cute in that stewardess outfit, though.

 

August 27, 2009 – “Going Down to Liverpool” – Katrina and the Waves

Katrina Leskanich is the lead singer, but the band is headed by a guy named Kimberley – Kimberley Rew, formerly of the Soft Boys.

This song was the B-side to their enormously popular song “Walking on Sunshine”. “Liverpool” became a hit for another band, the Bangles, in a slightly faster version. I like Katrina’s voice better for this particular song.

 

August 28, 2009 – “Underwater Moonlight” – The Soft Boys

Kimberley Rew’s other band, The Soft Boys.

Really fun song, even though Rew later decided that perhaps he wasn’t the best singer for his songs. These days he’d be tweaked into staying on pitch with AutoTune, and he’d have that metallic quality to his voice that I hate so much. So I live with his vocal wanderings, which are nowhere near as bad as some (*koff*Dylan*koff*).

 

August 29, 2009 – “Smalltown Boy” – Bronski Beat

Closing night for “Lend Me a Tenor”, so let’s hear a guy with a REALLY high voice, Jimmy Somerville.  Jimmy formed Bronski Beat in 1984, left them to form the duo The Comunards a couple of years later, then finally became a solo act two years after that.  He released his last album in 2000; perhaps he’s finding that with age, it becomes more difficult to float around in the stratosphere.

 

August 30, 2009 – “Then the Morning Comes” – Smash Mouth

Smash Mouth hit it big in the ‘90s with “Walking on the Sun”, “All Star” and their remake of “I’m a Believer” from the end credits of Shrek.

This is a more obscure track from their CD Astro Lounge. I love the ‘60s movie soundtrack influence that I hear.

Song of the Day – “New Music” Wednesday – “Magic Girl”

The Sleepy Rebels

This song HAS to be used in a commercial somewhere. If not, why not? It’s perfect for that sort of thing.

New York-based band the Sleepy Rebels, from their 2008 CD World Record. (OK, so 2008 isn’t technically new. It’s new to you, isn’t it?)

Song of the Day – “Name’s the same” Tuesday – “I Got Loaded”

Peppermint Harris

It’s a theme as old as recorded music – tanking up on cheap booze during a night on the town. Harrison Nelson, Jr., otherwise known as Peppermint Harris, told us about his night way back in 1951. Wonderful sound on this record.

Los Lobos

That norteña band from east L.A. tells us that after a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of gin, they still felt alright. I don’t need to party with them.