Bowling With No Panties

Everybody's a critic. I am actually right.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

On A Motown Bender

Michael Jackson may be a total freak now, but damn did the Jackson 5 ever put out some really great music way back in the day. Or should I say Berry Gordy? That Motown sound always reminds me of summer, and since it's hot outside I have the jones for some great old music.

My favorite Motown songs:

1. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross
2. I Want You Back -- Jackson 5
3. Reach Out I'll Be There -- The Four Tops
4. You Really Got A Hold On Me -- Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
5. 25 Miles -- Edwin Starr
6. Love Child -- The Supremes
7. Please Mr. Postman -- The Marvelettes
8. What Becomes of The Broken Hearted -- Jimmy Ruffin
9. You Are Everything -- Marvin Gaye & Diana Ross (this version is awesome because of Marvin Gaye)
10. Midnight Train to Georgia -- Gladys Knight and the Pips.

One of the greatest documentaries I have ever seen was
Standing In The Shadows Of Motown.
It's all about the session musicians also known as the Funk Brothers who recorded at Hitsville USA and went uncredited on most of the songs I mentioned above and hundreds more. It is touching, funny, fascinating and sad. I loved this movie so much that I actually went and saw the Funk Brothers when they came to Manhattan, but was crushed that it was only two of them and a bunch of younger folks they hired to sing the big Motown hits.

I forgot "Tears Of A Clown" and "I Second That Emotion" -- more great songs from Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. "A taste of honey is worse than none at all". Sho nuff, Smokey.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Confession.

I have bought some really great music at Starbucks.

HearMusic is Starbucks own record label -- they put out compliations in concert with Rhino, Nonesuch, sometimes World Circuit and God help me, they're awesome.

This is a list of the records I have purchased on impulse over the last year or so while getting coffee:

SUMMER CRUSH: SONGS WE LOVE TO LOVE
The Beach Boys

CAFÉ CUBANA
Various Artists

ELVIS COSTELLO ARTIST’S CHOICE™ CD
Various Artists

JONI MITCHELL ARTIST’S CHOICE™ CD
Various Artists

LUCINDA WILLIAMS ARTIST'S CHOICE™ CD
Various Artists

THE ROLLING STONES ARTIST'S CHOICE™ CD
Various Artists

A MERRY AFFAIR
Various Artists

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
Vince Guaraldi Trio

CIAO AMORE
Various Artists

These are all on pretty high rotation on the CD player here at work with the exception of the Christmas stuff. Almost as much as my Putymayo collection!

I especially love the Artists' Choice CDs -- They comment on each of their song choices and how they were either influenced by that particular artist or how this one song just struck them or whatever. I always find it interesting to hear what the people I REALLY LIKE to listen to likes to listen to. That's another reason why I cruise the iTunes playlists of people.

I've been so SICK of the crap that's been on the radio lately that I've been getting into world music -- especially North African/Arabic Dance music and Cuban stuff. I don't understand what the words are about, and don't give a crap, the voices become yet another instrument and I just groove out on it.

However, when nobody's around, I go off singing along on this one song where it's just some high pitched Turkish chick wailing, it's very cathartic.

I guess since I'm out of the mainstream loop it isn't that heinous to be purchasing music from the local Starbucks -- I fear that this along with all the commercials using NEW WAVE music from my youth to shill for household dusters, etc. that I am in a the 'target demographic' = old as hell.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Alt.Country Kicks Ass, and Lucinda Is the Queen.


"I loved Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams, but also Bob Dylan and the Doors and Jimi Hendrix," she says. "I don't see anything wrong with loving all kinds of music."


Lucinda Williams is one of my favorite female artists of all time. I was turned on to her by my bandmate. When he was first talking about her, I thought he was talking about Victoria Williams and I said, "The chick with the funky voice?"

He said, "Yeah." They BOTH have funky voices, but in different ways.

Lucinda said of her own voice (which is growly and thick with her accent and sort of limited in range note-wise but in my opinion raw, real, honest and full of longing, sex, and all the pain in the world): I’ve always thought of myself as a songwriter first, and I’ve always seen my voice as more of a vehicle to get my songs across. Looking back on it, I felt limited as a singer from the get-go, because I grew up listening to singers more in the folk realm, like Judy Collins, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell—all these singers who had amazing ranges and could just sing all over the place. I would try to do it and I couldn’t and I’d just get all frustrated. So I decided early on that I better become a really good songwriter, then I could be like Bob Dylan and nobody would care if I could sing that well because my songs would be really good.

They are. Her studio albums --which she is notoriously perfectionistic about -- are great. The album that's setting me on fire right now is Live @ The Fillmore. I have seen her live and she is a dynamic performer with a kick-ass backing band. This album has a lot of songs that were on her last two releases, Essence and World Without Tears and few older songs. What's great is that when she's live she puts so much more of herself into the songs and it really comes across.

It's her songs that I love the most. Her Southern Gothic sensibilities coupled with her economy of language go perfectly with the melodic moods she creates.

One of my favorite tracks on Live @ The Fillmore is "Pineola" -- it's a bouncy tune despite the depressing lyrics. It haunts me and I find myself singing it all the time.


When Daddy told me what happened
I couldn't believe what he just said
Sonny shot himself with a 44
And they found him lyin' on his bed

I could not speak a single word
No tears streamed down my face
I just sat there on the living room couch
Starin' off into space

Mama and Daddy went over to the house
To see what had to be done
They took the sheets off of the bed
And they went to call someone

Some of us gathered at a friend's house
To help each other ease the pain
I just sat alone in a corner chair
I couldn't say much of anything

We drove on out to the country
His friends all stood around
Subiaco Cemetery
Is where we lay him down

I saw his mama, she was standin' there
His sister, she was there too
I saw them look at us standin' around the grave
And not a soul they knew

Born and raised in Pineola
His mama believed in the Pentecost
She got the preacher to say some words
So his soul wouldn't be lost

Some of us, we stood in silence
Some bowed their heads and prayed
I think I must've picked up a handful of dust
And let it fall over his grave

I think I must've picked up a handful of dust
And let it fall over his grave

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

One of My FAVORITE Songs


A million years ago, I had a cassette called "The Very Best of Lou Reed." I rewound the song "Rock N Roll" so many times, that's where the tape finally broke. It came on right after Sweet Jane, another of my favorite Lou Reed/Velvet Underground songs -- especially the version with that "Heavenly wine and roses..." bridge which sadly, was not the version on the cassette.

Rock N Roll has one of the COOLEST rhythm guitar rhythms EVER. Throw in that mournful lead in the intro which later in the song explodes into that awesome VU Cacaphony that I love so much along with the completely flat background vocals "Yeah, it was all right" that I also love.

I love when Lou hits the high notes for "FINE FINE music". Everytime I hear this song I feel like dancing no matter where I am or how often I've heard it.


Jenny said, when she was just five years old
you know there's nothin' happening at all
Every time she put on the radio
there was nothin' goin' down at all
not at all

One fine mornin', she puts on a New York station
and she couldn't believe what she heard at all
She started dancin' to that fine-fine-fine-fine music
ooohhh, her life was saved by rock 'n' roll
hey baby, rock 'n' roll

Despite all the amputation
you could dance to a rock 'n' roll station
And it was all right
it was all right
hey babe

Jenny said, when she was just five years old
my parents will be the death of us alll
Two TV sets, two Cadillac cars
ahhh, hey, ain't help me nothin' at all
not at all

One fine morning, she heard on a New York station
she couldn't believe what she heard at all
not at all

Despite the amputation
you could dance to a rock 'n' roll station
It was all right
it was all right
oh, now here she comes now-now

Jenny said, when she was just five years old
you know there's nothin' happening at all
Yeah, every time she put on the radio
there was nothin' goin' down at all
not at all

Then one fine morning, she put on a New York station
and she couldn't believe what she heard at all
She started dancing to that fine-fine music
ahh, her life was saved by rock 'n' roll
rock 'n' roll

Despite all the amputation
you could dance to the rock 'n' roll station

It's all right, all right
all right, all right
All right, it's all right
all right, all right
Baby, baby
baby, baby, ooohhh

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Your Stairway Lies on the Whispering Wind


I found something really fabulous (or hilarious or scary) today. I remember listening to the radio in high school and the local radio station always did a "Top 200" countdown over Memorial Day weekend and pretty much every year, Stairway To Heaven would be the #1 song.

What is it about this song? Everybody who is learning to play guitar does two things -- they always learn the opening notes to "Smoke On The Water" and they always want to learn to play the intro to Stairway to Heaven. If you look at the lyrics and read them aloud, they sound silly. Yet I can't think of one rocker kid growing up in the suburbs in the 70's and 80's that doesn't know them by heart.

Personally, my favorite of the 64 versions is the Dolly Parton bluegrass version -- it's awesome.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Song That Saved My Life

Track #14 from Exile On Main Street, my 3rd Favorite Rolling Stones album is Let It Loose. In the early stages of a major life change, I would listen to this album every morning at my desk at work. It was almost like taking a vitamin. I had to hear the first song to wake me up..."The sunshine bores the daylights out of me, chasing shadows, moonlight mystery.." I'd sort of zone out and tune in when the songs I loved rolled around, until I'd hear the opening fingerpicked notes to Let It Loose. Sure, it's another broken relationship song, the lyrics are secondary to the tone of the music. Mick's voice sounded like my soul felt on those mornings -- raw and wretched, full of longing and regret. Then the horns come in...those horns, slow and mournful building and building with the background singers. Sheer tortured bliss. This song scratched open the old scars and allowed me to grieve. This song was the mirror to my pain. This song saved my life.

Monday, May 08, 2006

And The Radio Is In The Hands Of Such A Lot Of Fools


WHO is cooler than Elvis Costello? Not too many people. This guy was one of the original "I.T."guys for Elizabeth Arden when computers were still as big as a winnebago who kept his day job until "My Aim Is True" broke over in America; got into a bar fight with Stephen Stills and his girlfriend over calling Ray Charles the "N" word; had a common-law marriage with the bass player of the Pogues; wrote an opera; dueted with George Jones; and last year toured with Emmylou Harris (which I happened to catch -- it was a phenomenal concert).

His songs are extremely well-crafted musically and he writes extremely smart lyrics. He's not the angry punk he was when he started out, but he certainly still has bite, just listen to last year's "The Delivery Man".

Here are MY personal top 10 favorite Elvis Costello songs:

10. Either Side of the Same Town
9. (The Angels Wanna Wear) My Red Shoes
8. Alison
7. Less Than Zero
6. Accidents Can Happen
5. So Like Candy
4. Pump It Up
3. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding
2. Oliver's Army
1. Watching The Detectives

Friday, May 05, 2006

The PERFECT Friday Song


This song is one of the best "horns" songs in the entire annals of music. I defy anyone to listen to this song and NOT feel it all over. This would qualify as one of my favorite songs of all time as well, and I'll have you know that I'm putting it on full blast this morning to get me ready for the weekend.

Sir Duke

Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands
But just because a record has a groove
Don’t make it in the groove
But you can tell right away at letter a
When the people start to move

They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people
They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people

Music knows it is and always will
Be one of the things that life just won’t quit
But here are some of music’s pioneers
That time will not allow us to forget
For there’s basie, miller, satchmo
And the king of all sir duke
And with a voice like ella’s ringing out
There’s no way the band can lose

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
I can feel it all over-all over now people

Can’t you feel it all over
Come on let’s feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
Everybody-all over people

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Yodeling Beeyotch.


"I also think this album serves as a somewhat cryptic chronicle my life, from being raised on a ranch in Alaska to being homeless and living in my car to seeing Hollywood for the first time to the little elixir that said 'Drink Me' to being signed to a label and going on a wild journey and kind of going full circle where I live on a ranch now in Texas."

Jewel yapping again about living in a GODDAMNED VAN!! JESUS CHRIST, BITCH, THAT WAS YEARS AGO, get the FUCK OVER IT!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Chili Peppers Are Bummed Out.

Date: Tues, May 2
Subject:
From: "Michael Balzary"
To: members@redhotchilipeppers.com

when i woke up this morning
i was was confronted with the news that our record has been leaked to
the internet
it does not come out til may 9 but now it has leaked
and not that i know alot about this kind of thing
but i guess now it is possible to down load it for free if you want
well
that's not very nice
if you down load it now off one of these file sharing sites
you will be getting a pale imitation of the record
it will be of the poor sound quality of the technique they used to
get it on there
and that will break my heart
it will break john frusciante's heart
it will break anthony kiedis's heart
and it will break the heart of chad smith
yes, we worked for a year and a half to make the epic record of our
lives
and it is sad to me for the business reasons of course
i think we are selling something really cool and we put all we had
into it, 28 songs, 2 hours of the best that we can offer
and i think it is a fair deal for everyone
and for people to just steal a poor sound quality version of it for free
because some asshole stole it and put it on the internet
is sad to me
but, equitable business reasons aside
the thing that really bums me out is
we worked so hard, and so thoughtfully, all of us, for so long
to make this record sound as warm and full from top to bottom
as was possible
we spent day and night for a year making sure every little sound was
just right
that they were all put together in the most beautiful way we could
we did not leave a stone unturned in doing that work
i can not put in words how much this record, stadium arcadium, means
to us
how sacred the sound of it is to us
and how many sleepless nights and hardworking days we all had
thinking about how to make it be the best sounding thing we could
and now, for someone to take it and put it out there with this poor
sound quality
it is a painful pill for us to swallow
let me tell you
this bums all of us out
and i know that, as sensitive as john frusciante is about sound
the idea of anyone getting and hearing this thing that way
will devastate him
for people to not hear the work the way we meant it to be
will really hurt him deep inside
and all of us will hurt

yes, it is stealing from us, and that is lame
everyone has to live with their own conscience on that one
let it be your guide
but to take a version that has been defiled sound wise
a version in which some idiot has taken our year and a half of soul
baring work and pissed all over it
that will break our hearts

sincerely,

flea

Monday, May 01, 2006

Speaking Of David Bowie...

The Dad Who Fell to Earth

Sneaks into the movies.


FilmMagic)

David Bowie is taking a break from being David Bowie, at least for a year. “I’m fed up with the industry,” he said at the Vanity Fair party last week. “And I’ve been fed up for quite some time.” He greeted strangers with, “Hi! I’m David. I have seven children. And I’m fucking freezing.” So how does an icon slack? “Just don’t participate. I’m taking a year off—no touring, no albums. I go for a walk every morning, and I watch a ton of movies. One day, I watched three Woody Allen movies in a row. I like going out to the Angelika: If the first one’s only okay, I’ll sneak into one after the other. It’s so easy.” He says he has no plans to take up hobbies either. “I’ve been listening to Arcade Fire and Secret Machines and this great opera from the eighties called Nixon in China. It’s just that. He gets off the plane. He has dinner with Mao. Someday, I might do opera. But I don’t have a musical in me, much less a vampire musical.”

Top Ten David Bowie Songs


10. Oh! You Pretty Things
8. Moonage Daydream
7. Andy Warhol
6. Ashes To Ashes
5. Space Oddity
4. Modern Love
3. Life On Mars?
2. Young Americans
1. Ziggy Stardust