Song of the Week, 12/3/2017

Posted in Song of the week on December 3rd, 2017 by bill

A lovely VU cover by the late Holger Czukay, of Can fame, and his partner U-She. Not far from the original in spirit, but with much lusher sound. Tonic in this week of unrelenting bad news.

Song of the Week, 11/19/2017

Posted in Song of the week on November 19th, 2017 by bill

R.I.P. Malcolm Young, possibly the best rhythm guitarist of the 20th century.

See also:

They Had the Biggest Balls of Them All

and:

Back in Black

Song of the Week, 11/19/2017

Posted in Song of the week on November 19th, 2017 by bill

Just a fantastic title. Pretty great song, too.

Song of the Week, 11/12/2017

Posted in Something about the Beatles, Song of the week on November 12th, 2017 by bill

Found this on an album called Come Together: Black America Sings Lennon & McCartney. Who would have thought “Rocky Raccoon” could turned into a funky, gritty urban slice of life? Wonders indeed never cease.

Song of the Week, 10/29/2017

Posted in Song of the week on October 29th, 2017 by bill

Most people think that “(What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love & Understanding” is an Elvis Costello song, but in fact it was written by Nick Lowe back in 1974, when he was a member of the pub-rock band Brinsley Schwarz. Elvis’s version is all well and good but, hipster snob that I am, I prefer the original. After putting it on a mix that I made, I heard it several times this week, and it got better each time; it has not aged a day in 43 years, and is perhaps more relevant and more necessary today than it ever has been.

Oddly, all I could find on the YouTube was this live version:

And even that was way down the page, below EC, several Lowe solo renditions, and covers by Bruce Springsteen, Audioslave, and A Perfect Circle. The latter are actually second-degree covers: covers of Elvis’s cover, not that there’s anything wrong with that. “What’s So Funny” has also been done by everyone from Wilco, Natalie Merchant, and the Wallflowers to the Flaming Lips, Midnight Oil, and of course Trip Shakespeare. Oh, and let us not forget, Bill Murray. Peace and love, everybody.

Song of the Week, 9/17/2017

Posted in Song of the week on September 18th, 2017 by bill

During their all-too-brief heyday — roughly 1997 to 2001 — the Beta Band made some of the best music of their era. This is my favorite song of theirs; it’s epic, droll, silly, and moving all at once. Enjoy.

Song of the Week, 9/9/2017

Posted in Song of the week on September 9th, 2017 by bill

Today, a great song from David Byrne’s unjustly overlooked 1987 album Feelings.

Song of the Week, 8/27/2017

Posted in Song of the week on August 28th, 2017 by bill

So here was my eclipse experience: Come the morning, Arcata was totally socked in with fog, as per usual. So I had decided I would just watch the whole thing online.

Then, about 9:30 — with the start of the show about 45 minutes away — my stepdaughter came in saying that according to her dad, the fog cleared if you went out past Blue Lake. So we jumped into the car, and in my haste I whacked the corner of the car door into my head, causing blood to stream down my forehead as we drove east on 299 in search of clear sky.

We did eventually find some, clear enough anyway that we could make out the moon biting into the sun. We watched through tiny, dark panes of glass as the sun grew dim — the eclipse never achieved totality here, getting to I believe 86% — then brighter again. Then we jumped back into the car to beat the crowd home — about 90% of Humboldt County was lined up along 299 with their eyes to the sky.

I still have the mark on my forehead.

Song of the Week, 8/20/2017

Posted in Song of the week on August 20th, 2017 by bill

Correction: The coat hanger should be upside-down.

Song of the Week, 8/13/2017

Posted in Song of the week on August 13th, 2017 by bill

Between 1988 and 1994 Charles Thompson — working under the noms du rock Black Francis and Frank Black — recorded six amazing albums, four with the Pixies and two as a solo artist. Of these, Teenager of the Year was the last and in some ways the best. It’s awfully hard to pick a favorite among them but Teenager, if nothing else, is the longest, comprising 22 songs and 63 minutes.

Those 63 minutes are crammed full of delicious, noisy, poppy goodness, and again it’s hard to pick a favorite among the 22 songs. But this week I’ve been digging this one, an exuberant exhortation to get out and enjoy the wonders of nature: