Posts Tagged ‘music’

Seals and CroftsI was in a used CD store in western Massachusetts this summer. Another customer told her husband that she had just found a greatest hits album of Seals & Crofts. Suddenly, I wished I had discovered it myself.

The very first concert I ever attended was seeing Jim Seals & Dash Crofts in New York City with my college girlfriend. It was November 12, 1971, at Philharmonic Hall, which is now Avery Fisher. Boz Scaggs was the unappreciated opening act.

I remembered the date because it was the anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Baha’i faith, in what is now Iran in 1817. The girlfriend was very interested in the faith and joined about a year later.

Seals & Crofts were/are Baha’is, which was evident from some of their music. And we had ALL of their music for a time. Seals & Crofts (1969) and Down Home (1970) were on some minor label. It’s now available as Seals & Crofts I and II.

Year of Sunday was their first Warner Brothers album. It’s evidently out of print because it’s going for about $90 used on Amazon.

The next several albums are available as an import package at a reasonable price and contain the hits. But it’s some of the deeper cuts that intrigued me. None more than It’s Going To Come Down on You, which rushed to my consciousness during the contentious Supreme Court debate.

It’s a real schizophrenic song, with nice ballad parts interrupted by wicked guitar lines by album producer Louie Shelton.

You said you had it figured out in your pretty little head.
Politics and tricks and all them things you said
But I told you then and I’ll tell you now
It’s gonna come down on you.

All songs written and performed by Seals & Crofts, unless otherwise indicated

Ridin’ Thumb
Ridin’ Thumb – Sam Moore with Travis Tritt and Robert Randolph

Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth – Doobie Brothers

When I Meet Them, #104 in 1972

Sudan Village (1972 version)
Sudan Village (1976 version)

Hummingbird (album version), single #20 in 1973

Say

Summer Breeze, #6 in 1972

Yellow Dirt

Diamond Girl, #6 in 1973

We May Never Pass This Way Again, #21 in #73

It’s Gonna Come Down (On You)

Wisdom

Dance by the Light of the Moon

white albumI distinctly remember the first time I heard the “white album” by The Beatles. In November 1968, a bunch of our merry band, dubbed Holiday Unlimited – “a splendid time is guaranteed for all” – were in the basement of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Binghamton, NY.

Our friend Steve, the only UU among us, “sponsored” our gathering as an LRY (Liberal Religious Youth) event. we listened to each of the four sides, with only a brief bathroom breaks.

We were gobsmacked. The sounds were all over the place. But I must have liked it, because I got it for Christmas (or maybe my next birthday), but I had to replace one of the discs because the intro to Birthday skipped.

The album The Beatles, generally referred to as the “white album,” is being reissued in several formats, including a limited 6 CD + 1 Blu-ray audio Super Deluxe box set.

It includes the much-sought-after Esher Demos, recorded at “George Harrison’s bungalow in Esher, London, fresh from the band’s fabled Rishikesh trip,” plus three sessions discs and a slip-sleeved 164-page hardbound book. “The book also includes new introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin and in-depth track-by-track details and session notes.”

The Deluxe 3 CD set which includes the Esher demos, has a 24-page booklet abridged from the Super Deluxe book. There are also a couple different LP versions. I may purchase the 3 CDs at about $30, because the super deluxe set, at $150 may be too rich for my blood.

Paul McCartney goes through The White album track by track.

I’m now convinced that people will still be talking about Beatles’ music fifty years from now. Part of the reason is the sheer volume of their music being released decades after their breakup. I have approximately three dozen albums that are strictly Beatles covers. The band remains a regular topic on the Quora website.

YouTube automatically rolled to Ticket to Ride by the Beatles. the music is as seminal as ever and the video is a hoot. Minimal attempts to feign playing their instruments, the wry look at 1:40 from John.

Here’s The Story Behind John Lennon’s Walrus. It reminded me of a little joke my junior high school friend Ray made, musing on whether Lennon meant “standing in the English rain” or perhaps the “English reign,” meaning the Queen.

Today is Sean Lennon’s 43rd birthday, which is really hard to fathom; I saw him in concert about a decade ago. It would also have been John Lennon’s 78th birthday.
***
Geoff Emerick, recorded the Beatles in their prime, dies at 72

Jackson BrowneI’ve been following the career of Clyde Jackson Browne – Clyde? – for so long that it seems he’s always been around. Yet I’ve written about him relatively infrequently. And usually in relation to others, though I did a meme about him way back on 10 October 2005.

10/10? That’s one of the problems for me, that he has the same birthday, eight years later, as John Lennon, about whom I’ve written a LOT. His first claim to fame was that he wrote the bulk of Take It Easy, along with Glenn Frey, which became the Eagles’ first big hit.

The page noting his 2004 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: “He emerged in the early Seventies as a soul-baring young folksinger whose songs dealt with riddles of romance and existence. In his middle period, he became a more extroverted rock and roller.

“Later work grew more topical in nature as Browne sang of political and social realities within and beyond our borders. ‘In a way, I don’t choose what I write about—my subjects kind of choose me,’ this vanguard singer/songwriter explained in 1993. “It’s a healing thing, a way of confronting what’s important in my life at the time.'”

Here are interviews: The Nation (2014) and Forbes (2017).

In 2015, Rolling Stone listed him as the 37th greatest songwriter of all time in its list of “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time”. I’ve never seen him live, save for a massive concert in June 1982. I do have a half dozen of his albums on vinyl, including the first one, whatever it’s called, and four on CD.

Listen to:

Very Best of Jackson Browne

Opening Farewell – Bonnie Raitt & Jackson Browne live

Kisses Sweeter Than Wine – Bonnie Raitt & Jackson Browne, from a Pete Seeger tribute album

Take It Easy – live with James Taylor

First Girl I Loved, from an Elektra Records tribute album, this track covering Judy Collins

I Love L.A. – Randy Newman’s 2013 induction into the Rock Hall, with Newman, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, John Fogerty

Coverville 1236: Cover Stories for Steve Miller, Randy Bachman and Jackson Browne

NSFW section

A Piece of the Pie -JB’s live attempt of a Randy Newman song that namechecks him, which Newman explains here

You @$$#013 You

Your shadowThe republic for which it stands

The NRA’s Catch-22 for Black Men Shot by Police

US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Demands Taxpayer Money For Religious Schools

The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck

10 Years After: The Post-Recovery Economy

Stephen Colbert Made DJT’s Hurricane Response Into A Children’s Book

Sexual assault survivors tell ‘why I didn’t report’

Stop Making Victims of Sexual Assault into Martyrs for Virginity

We Need to Rethink Our Ideas About Aging

The Plot to Subvert an Election – Unraveling the Russia Story So Far

China is building a digital dictatorship to exert control over its 1.4 billion citizens. For some, ‘social credit’ will bring privileges — for others, punishment

John Oliver: Facebook’s global expansion has been linked to political turmoil overseas, so maybe their ads should focus less on how they “connect the world” and more on why connecting people isn’t always the best idea.

Doug Ford Cancelled Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot Experiment Because It Was Working

How Golf Digest helped free a golf-course artist imprisoned 27 years for a murder he didn’t commit

Arizona’s Gosar family asks voters NOT to re-elect their brother to Congress

Noor Inayat Khan, one of the bravest women of World War II

RIP Thad Mumford, MASH writer and former Yankees batboy

R.I.P. Norm Breyfogle, 1960-2018, Batman artist

Chevy Chase can’t change

The 2018 Winners of the Ig(R) Nobel Prize

You Can’t See ‘Round Corners: The Vietnam War as a rare TV miniseries

Two People with Paralysis Walk Again Using an Implanted Device

In Saratoga Springs, NY! This Enormous Warehouse Of Used Books In New York Will Be Your New Favorite Destination

Interview with Dick Van Dyke at 2017 Salt Lake City Comic-Con (30 min)

What’s coming to Broadway in the coming months

Premiere night of The Minor League Mecca, the Albany Patroons documentary

The million-dollar brownstone that no one owned​

Bruef slide show on the history of the Horn & Hardart Automats

Now I Know: Why the Big Bad Wolf Wouldn’t be a Good Baseball Player and Why You Shouldn’t Pass Gas Near a West Virginia Police Office and When Flying First Class Isn’t Good Enough and How Long It Takes to Find a Needle in a Haystack

The history of cookies as explained by the world’s foremost authority on the subject

Would-be robber loses trousers

MUSIC

Fugue on “Donald Trump is a wanker” based on Seven-Man Army – White Stripes. Plus So You Want to Write a Fugue? – Glenn Gould

René and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War – Paul Simon (Live from Copenhagen); Feeling Lost with Paul Simon One Last Time

Land of Confusion – Hidden Citizens

Africa -Weezer (starring Weird Al Yankovic)

Estancia, by a composer named Alberto Ginastera

Good Times – Pheobe Snow

Ravel Left Hand Piano Concerto played by Yuja Wang

Overture to The Jolly Robbers -von Suppé

Bonehemian Rhapsody – 28-Trombone Collaboration! (from ITF 2018!)

Gangsta’s Paradise – Jain

Marry An Ugly Woman – Rafael de Leon (Roaring Lion)

Weekend Diversion: Coldplay

How big was Helen Shapiro? The Beatles opened for her in 1963

Paul McCartney: Lands No. 1 Album for First Time in 36 Years and Answers the Web’s Most Searched Questions and Talks to Howard Stern and at the Kennedy Center Honors (2012)

Jefferson Airplane Co-Founder Marty Balin Dead at 76

super black market clashAlthough I was a big fan of the eclectic and significant English group The Clash, I must admit the band was not a massive commercial entity. The group, consisting of vocalist/guitarist John Meilor, a/k/a Joe Strummer (d. 2002); Mick Jones on lead guitar; Paul Simonon on bass; and Nicky “Topper” Headon on drums, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

Their first two albums don’t even reach the top 100 in the United States. The two-LP London Calling (1980) was their breakthrough collection, with quite a few songs getting airplay on my favorite Albany radio station at the time, WQBK-FM, Q104. That was followed by a triple album, Sandinista! (1981) that also did reasonably well.

Additionally, they put out various other packages including several non-LP singles, and Black Market Clash (1980), a 10″ album, with dub versions of some songs.

The last album of new Clash music I bought, and the last vinyl, was Combat Rock (1982). It was the group’s most successful album, getting to #7, and probably my least favorite. It did, however, contain two of their charting singles, Should I Stay or Should I Go, and Rock the Casbah.

I must have also purchased around that time an single or EP that contained a dub version of Rock the Casbah called Mustapha Dance, with fewer vocals and a more prominent bass line.

Super Black Market Clash was a compilation album released in 1993 “that contains B-sides and rare tracks not available on their studio albums. It is a repackaging of the original 1980 Black Market Clash,” with 20 songs rather than nine.

Listen to the Clash:

Train in Vain (Stand by Me), #23 in 1980, from London Calling, though it was recorded so late that it didn’t make the album liner notes

Time is Tight from Black Market Clash (1980)

Should I Stay or Should I Go, #45 in 1982 and #50 in 1983

Rock the Casbah, #8 in 1983

Mustapha Dance, from Super Black Market Clash (1993)

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