Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Phoenix/Brat Pac Mash-up

Here is a brilliant mash-up of Phoenix's "Lisztomania" and some scenes from several '80's Brat Pack movies. Phoenix's next album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, will be out at the end of May.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring Is Here Mix

Here is a weather-related mix reflecting my extreme relief about the end of Winter in NYC. It takes it's name from the lead-off song, an instrumental version of the Rodgers-Hart song. Otherwise, the mix is heavy on hot weather and sunshine, with a few surprises.
1. Spring Is Here - Cal Tjader
2. Who Loves the Sun - Velvet Underground
3. Everybody Loves the Sunshine - Roy Ayers
4. Vapour Trails - Windsurf
5. Sunshine Reggae - Laid Back
6. Cardiff In the Sun - Super Furry Animals
7. Sunset Blvd - Pacific!
8. River Song - Dennis Wilson
9. Happy Island - The Poppy Family
10. Carolina Day - Livingston Taylor
Spring Is Here Mix

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I was going through my account, my online storage facility, and I found several MP3's I had loaded in with the intention of posting, but never got around to. In the interests of completion, and because they are worth hearing, I am posting them now, with little or no comment.

These Days

This is a Jackson Browne song that has been covered many times. The original impetus for this post was the latest Glen Campbell album, Meet Glen Campbell, on which he covers a lot of very good songs, including - albeit anemically - "These Days." Listening to Campbell's version, I realized how much I had always liked the song. It had always struck me as odd that a 19 year old could write a song with so much weldschmerz without sounding too pretentious. That led me to go back and listen to all the versions I own, from Jackson Browne's original, through Nico's, Tom Rush's (the first I heard, back in 1969) and finally the one I find the most soulful, Gregg Allman's. Here are three:
Nico - These Days
Tom Rush - These Days
Gregg Allman - These Days

I Don't Wanna Know

Last fall, HBO aired a series called "True Blood," involving vampires good and bad in and around New Orleans. On one episode, (called "I Don't Wanna Know...") the end credits rolled over Dr. John singing a song with the chorus: "I don't wanna know 'bout evil, I only wanna know about love." I had never heard Dr. John's version before (and don't particularly wanna hear it again) but the song itself was familiar. It took me a few old age minutes to remember that it was a John Martyn song, from his 1973 album, Solid Air, which I had played a lot about 10 years ago. While researching all of this, I came across Beth Orton's version from her first album, the horribly-named, Japanese-only Superpinkymandy, produced by William Orbit.
John Martyn - I Don't Wanna Know
Beth Orton - Don't Wanna Know bout Evil

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mark Fidrych RIP

Mark Fidrych died yesterday on his farm near Worcester, MA, in an apparent accident. He was 54. Massachusetts-born and raised, Fidrych was a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, for five years beginning in 1976. He was a brilliant pitcher but a little too strange for Major League baseball. (Among other things, he talked to the baseball between pitches.)
I admired Fidrych, as much for his inability to toe the very straight line demanded by professional baseball as for his obvious pitching brilliance.
Fidrych's career was cut short by injury, but I always wondered if he was just too different to (literally) play the game.
I am posting a song, "Moulty," by the Cape Cod garage-rock band the Barbarians, which tells the story of their drummer- Moulty - who lost a hand in an accident. (I believe he blew it off with a firecracker.) And yet still he continued to drum! I feel like Fidrych and Moulty are connected both by geography and Massachusetts accent, and by an eccentric New England-stubborn refusal to act their age.

The Barbarians - Moulty