Archive SotD – November 8-14, 2010

November 8, 2010 – “Let’s Live for Today” – The Grassroots

I’ve always loved the Grassroots, even before my wife revealed to me that she used to do drill team routines to songs like “Temptation Eyes” and “Sooner or Later”. (Oh, the awesome images!)

But this video has so much to recommend it, I can ignore the timestamp up towards the right-hand corner. It’s got Jimmy Durante making a lame joke about their name. It’s got set elements that make me think it’s from The Hollywood Palace.

And, of course, since it’s the Grassroots, it’s got a young Creed Bratton (from The Office) playing guitar (he’s got the solo at 1:50). So much awesomeness in three short minutes!

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November 9, 2010 – “Boy Blue” – Cyndi Lauper

“Name’s the same” Tuesday

On a track from her album True Colors, Cyndi shows off her powerful voice in this live version.

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November 9, 2010 – “Boy Blue” – ELO

“Name’s the same” Tuesday

Horns and strings herald the return of ELO to the Song of the Day.

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November 10, 2010 – “A Girl, A Boy, and a Graveyard” – Jeremy Messersmith

“New Music” Wednesday

Where do I find new music? Well, lots of places. Since I don’t watch a lot of TV, then that’s one source that others use that I don’t – at least usually.

This song from Jeremy Messersmith was featured on Chuck several weeks ago, and I liked it enough to listen to the entire CD – and it’s great. It’s called The Reluctant Graveyard.

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November 11, 2010 – “Damned If I Do” – Alan Parsons Project

Alan Parsons is an example of things happening in the opposite order than what is expected. He started as a producer and engineer, then decided to make his own music.

This happens to be a song I missed on the “Audio Know-It-Alls” section of the WUOG game show, The Know-It-Alls. Funny how we can still remember our mistakes 30 years later…

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November 12, 2010 – “Girls in Their Summer Clothes” – Bruce Springsteen

The most popular comment on this video extols the song for its representation of being a Jersey Girl. I think it’s a lot more universal than that, even though it was shot on the Boardwalk.

To me, it sounds like the group the Magnetic Fields, especially on the opening verse.

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November 13, 2010 – “Woman’s Got the Power” – Clarence Clemons

The Big Man has occasionally broken out with a side project from the E Street Band, like this one with his Red Bank Rockers. Here he and the Rockers’ vocalist, JT Bowen, cover a song by an obscure little band called the A’s.

The video also contains some of an interview he did with the show’s host, Alan Thicke, about meeting Springsteen. The song begins about 3 minutes in.

Note: RIP Big Man.

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November 14, 2010 – “Always Something There to Remind Me” – Lou Johnson

Can you tell this is a Burt Bacharach song? As soon as the trumpets kick in, it seems obvious to me.

This is the original, done by Lou Johnson in 1964. R.B. Greaves’ version hit #27 in 1970.

 

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Song of the Day – “New Music” Wednesday – “Getting Better”

Cheap Trick

We’re stretching the concept of “New Music” Wednesday to feature a track that’s a couple of years old. Cheap Trick released a complete remake of the Sergeant Pepper album a couple of years ago, and performed it during a long stint in Las Vegas.

This is an example of paying tribute to your mentors, as the group that took power pop from the ‘70s into the ‘80s plays a song by the group that invented the genre.

This also wraps up the week of Beatles covers. Hope you enjoyed it! As always, if you have suggestions for a future week of Beatles covers, or anything else, feel free to comment!

Song of the Day – “Name’s the same” Tuesday – “Rain”

Gregg Allman

Dreams, the Allman Brothers box set (go out and buy it – I’ll wait…go ahead) contains this wonderful cover by Gregg that was previously unreleased.

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The Wreckers

In keeping with the tradition of “Name’s the same” Tuesday, this is not a Beatles cover, but a song Michelle Branch wrote to sing with her friend Jessica Harp. After their sole studio CD, the Wreckers released a live CD and Branch has gone on to release another solo CD.

Archive SotD – November 1-7, 2010

November 1, 2010 – “Reggae and Ska” – Judge Dread

As we start a new week and a new month, I invite you to sing reggae and ska with Judge Dread.

The Judge was Alex Hughes, a white guy from Kent who moved into a West Indian neighborhood and was persuaded by Prince Buster to become a recording act. He holds the record for most records banned by the BBC.

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November 2, 2010 – “If Looks Could Kill” – Camera Obscura

“Name’s the same” Tuesday

I’ve played another song by this band that was a tribute to Lloyd Cole. This song is girl-group harmonies over a noisy 21st-century background.

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November 2, 2010 – “If Looks Could Kill” – Heart

“Name’s the same” Tuesday

Rockin’ out with the Wilson sisters on the back end of our double feature today.

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November 3, 2010 – “Wild Young Hearts” – Noisettes

“New Music” Wednesday

This song/album actually goes back to a little over a year ago – and the sound to decades ago. Lead vocalist Shingai Shoniwa and the band serve up some tasty retro-soul.

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November 4, 2010 – “The Unguarded Moment” – The Church

More jangle, this time from the Australian band The Church. This song is from their 1981 debut, Of Skins and Heart. They’re still going strong, having released their 23rd CD, Untitled #23,  just last year.

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November 5, 2010 – “Parker’s Band” – Steely Dan

A while back I posted a Donald Fagen song that listed Dave Brubeck as one of his influences. Obviously he was also influenced by Charlie Parker, who he name-checks in this Steely Dan song.

I like how he lets his back-up singers have their own moment also.

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November 6, 2010 – “Birdland” – Manhattan Transfer

Steely Dan (posted yesterday) were not the only ones influenced by Charlie Parker. Joe Zawinul of the jazz group Weather Report was influenced by him as well, and composed the instrumental “Birdland”.

Soon afterwards Manhattan Transfer decided to record a vocalese version of it, where the voices take the instrumental lines. It was popular enough for them that it became their signature tune. Here are both groups doing the song, recorded back in 1982.

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November 7, 2010 – “Some Enchanted Evening” – Jane Olivor

Look, I know that I shouldn’t like this: it’s over-dramatic and nothing like the singers of the past few decades. But damn if it doesn’t get me every time!

Jane Olivor is a cabaret singer, plain and simple, with all the good and bad things that entails. She obviously wanted to be like Edith Piaf, and her audiences love her for it.

If you like this, also check out Jane singing “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows”.

Song of the Day – “Across the Universe” – Rufus Wainwright

Sean Penn’s movie I Am Sam had a soundtrack with many Beatles covers done by contemporary artists. One of the most winning tracks was Rufus Wainwright’s cover of John Lennon’s “Across the Universe”.

In this video he is joined by Moby, who provides a passable low part, and Lennon’s son Sean, who adds a wonderful high harmony.

Song of the Day – “Blackbird/I Will” – The Swingle Singers

What, did you think that I wouldn’t include an acapella Beatles cover?

The Swingle Singers are a talented British acapella group that has been together (with changing personnel) since the early ‘60s. Their repertoire usually runs to jazzy versions of classical works, but in 2002 they released Ticket to Ride – a Beatles Tribute.

Archive SotD – October 25-31, 2010

October 25, 2010 – “Mad about You” – Belinda Carlisle

For a while after the Go-Go’s broke up, I was worried about Belinda Carlisle. After all, she didn’t write songs, she didn’t play instruments and her voice wasn’t the best. (These days, she’d be auto-tuned to death, just like everyone else.)

On top of that, she dropped what looked to me like an unhealthy amount of weight. But those prominent cheekbones, along with a talent for picking songs that fit her limited range, ended up giving her a more popular career than her bandmates.

By 2007 she was confident enough to issue an album of covers of classic French pop tunes.

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October 26, 2010 – “Cloud Nine” – Temptations

“Name’s the same” Tuesday

The Temptations always did fine on Cloud Nine.

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October 26, 2010 – “Cloud Nine” – George Harrison

“Name’s the same” Tuesday

George Harrison had a complicated relationship with Eric Clapton. But he shows here that he can keep up with Clapton on the guitar.

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October 27, 2010 – “Another Day” – Pomplamoose

“New Music” Wednesday

OK, if you haven’t heard of Pomplamoose or seen one of their “videosongs”, then where have you been? I’ve posted a couple of their songs, but not as song of the day.

They specialize in charming covers of songs from “Single Ladies” to “My Favorite Things”, but they do originals as well, like this song from their EP 3 New Songs Woot!. Enjoy, and be prepared to spend some time watching several of their other videosongs.

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October 28, 2010 – “Don’t Let’s Start” – Common Rotation

Adam Busch, who played Warren on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, formed a band called Common Rotation back in 1999, They toured with They Might Be Giants, and here they do a rendition of a great TMBG song, “Don’t Let’s Start”.

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October 29, 2010 – “The Story of Me” – The Everly Brothers

Phil and Don’s voices always sounded terrific together, and time didn’t change that. They released a fabulous record in the mid-‘80s (EB84) that updated their sound slightly. They had a couple of songs written by others on the album: “On the Wings of a Nightingale” by Paul McCartney and this song by Jeff Lynne.

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October 30, 2010 – “The Old Man Down the Road” – John Fogerty

You got to hide
You got to jump up, run away

That old man with the flawless diction, John Fogerty, takes us down the road.

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October 31, 2010 – “Zombies Ate Her Brain” – The Creepshow

For your Halloween listening and viewing pleasure.

You know, if zombies eat your brain, then your cognitive function would necessarily be impaired when searching out your next meal.

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BONUS VIDEO: Jill Tracy-The Fine Art of Poisoning: Can’t post this beautiful video as my song of the day since I was not familiar with this until Laura Ross posted it Friday. It’s so gorgeous and creepy, however, that I thought I’d re-post it on Halloween.