Thursday, November 30, 2006

This Sunday


As done by Cozzy and Shaun. This is like a soundtrack to the movie of your life.

1.Open your music library.
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the 'next' button.
6. Don't lie.

Opening credits:
Mary's Place -- Bruce Springsteen
Waking up: Born to Run -- Bruce Springsteen (Live Acoustic -- Chimes of Freedom EP)
First day of High School: Tougher than the Rest -- Bruce Springsteen (no, seriously! I had to check it was om "shuffle" but it is ... )
Falling in love: Somewhere Along the Line -- Billy Joel (HA!)
Fight song: Takin' Care of Business -- JJ Cale
Breaking up: "German, Why Not? Learn German with Deutsche Welle." Episode 5.
Prom: (A film of My Life As An American, apparently) Tangled Up in Blue -- Bob Dylan
Life: Space City -- Drive-By Truckers
Mental breakdown: Everything -- Volebeats
Driving: Rocket in My Pocket -- Bottle Rockets and David Lindley
Flashback: Entitled -- Deadstring Brothers
Getting back together: I Gotta Have Somthing I Ain't Got -- Willie Nelson
Wedding: Ballad of Forty Dollars -- Tom T. Hall
Birth of child: Working on the Building -- Elvis Presley
Final battle: Five Long Years -- Buddy Guy
End credits: Talk With You -- Danny Kirwan/Fleetwood Mac/Honeyboy Edwards/J.T. Brown/John McVie/Otis Spann/Peter Green/S.P. Leary/Willie Dixon

Push Your Musical Barrows Here

Another lists post to ease you into the weekend. The NJ Star Ledger offers "The 25 Greatest Songs You've Never Heard." Don't quibble that you've heard them, go with the flow. I second, third and fourth one recommendation there of Gallo del Cielo, written by Tom Russell. Joe Ely's version is great too but Tom's original does the melancholy and anguish better.

Here are five off the top of my head. Of course, add yours to comments.

"Black Books" Nils Lofgren (Album: Acoustic Live) Plenty of people have heard this via the Sopranos soundtrack, but not enough. Lofgren's voice is ... molten. It sounds pixie-ish and brittle but you can't break it with a stick. He's not always hit these heights in his solo career but this is a truly haunting and beautiful song.

A neat segue to Nils's sometime employer Bruce Spingsteen. You might think nothing The Boss has ever done could be possibly be obscure but tucked away at the very end of The Rising is "Paradise." At the same time this came out, Steve Earle was copping it for his vanilla John Walker Lindh song, and here was the Boss with a ditty about suicide bombers and their victims just begging to be misinterpreted, and it never got a mention. Which just goes to show, the idiots who make the most noise are usually the ones paying the least attention. Some days, "Paradise" can make me cry. In the end is a sentiment you don't hear alot, the sun upon our face is all we have, which makes the lies told in the name of paradise all the more tragic.

I sink`neath the water cool and clear
Drifting down, I disappear
I see you on the other side
I search for the peace in your eyes
But they're as empty as paradise
They're as empty as paradise
I break above the waves
I feel the sun upon my face

"Meet Me in Music City" Bobby Bare, Jr (Album: From the End of Your Leash) Son of 60s country star (the original "Streets of Baltimore" for you Gram Parsons lovers) and one of the more original voices going round, does rock, indy folk,, a mixture of all three, and some other stuff, all at once. Irreverent and mostly affectionate tribute to his actual home town and my spiritual one.

I was born at the Ryman Auditorium.
During the Martha White portion of the Grand Ole Opry.
Roy Acuff cut off my umbilical,
And tied me off with his yo-yo string.

That whole album could be one of the best never heard actually but for sentimental reasons this is my favourite. If you subscribe to eMusic they have it there.

"Jail" -- Dan Bern. (Album: The Swastika EP) Which Dan Bern song to choose?? This is the one I probably come back to mostly, highly singalongable and with a message. Sure the message is about the hypocritical war on drugs so nothing new, but he does it with style.

OK, it's easy to find great songs no-one's heard from obscure singer-songwriters but let's end with another big one. The biggest one, in fact. You know Bob Dylan right? And you know that old chestnut "Blowin' In the Wind," but you haven't really heard it 'til you've heard the live version included at the end of Masked and Anonymous. Recorded in at the Santa Cruz Auditorium in March 2000, not on the official soundtrack and unreleased apart from a some Japanese rarities. Sublime perfection, unarguably the world's greatest ever singer proves once again no one does Dylan, like Dylan. Don't even bother disputing this with me.

Crossposted at Road to Surfdom.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Modern Times

Another random list of albums, this from Time. It's just the "All-TIME" list, of "greatest and most influential." I don't mind of course but I forsee spluttering that four of the nine "2000s" spot go to Hank Williams, Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley and Muddy Waters. Heh.

PS. The last post was FEM's 600th. Seriously, watch that Dylan musical video if you haven't, it will make your day. This is 601.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Taking the Swiss

So the Dylan musical is closing on Broadway after about 20 minutes. It's a tough game, teh showbiz.

So I'll sadly not get to see it, unless it is revived by the North Ryde Musical Society or something. Happily the "Like a Rolling Stone" segment was performed on US TV and posted for all to see. It's truly ... remarkable.

And Corky St. Clair agrees.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Just saw a story on the Country Music Awards on CNN. There was a flash of Kris Kristofferson on the red carpet so I own the music of at least one of the people in the room. I might not get into double figures. The rest looked perfectly hideous.

Except. Faith Hill's reaction when that American Idol poppet won the big gong for chicks. Don't know if she was serious but I hope so: Brava, La Hill! There should be more of it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Guitars, Nudie Suits, Etc, Etc.

A little late on my Dwight report but I’ve cleared the decks of my final university work (til February anyways. Oy.) Normal service -- in which instead of spending my time trying to achieve something substantial in my life, I blog to fill in the long, lonely hours -- resumes now.

Over the fold is my Dwight review, a setlist, some choice Yoakam YouTube moments and the Flaming Sword of Righteousness is retrieved from the pool room to deal with a certain Sydney music writer. Yeah, you all know who I mean.

It’s been ten years since DY rode into town, back in 1996 I was a poor student and the $40 odd bucks tickets were then fed me for half a semester. (Sample diet: $1 hotdog from the 7/11, $2 schooner at the Randwick Labor Club) So I didn’t go. Ten years later tickets and tickets are $100 but you can complain about not getting your money’s worth when you get 2.45 hours and 40 odd songs. Namely:

She'll Remember
Blame the Vain
I Want You to Want Me
Act Naturally
Cryin' Time
Together Again
Streets of Bakersfield
Please, Please Baby
If there was a Way
Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose
What I Don't Know
This Time
Ring of Fire
Nothing's Changed Here
Home for Sale
Pocket of a Clown
Stop the World (And Let Me Off)
The Distance Between You and Me
The Heart You Own
Suspicious Minds
Three Good Reasons
Just Passing Time
Home of the Blues
Smoke Along the Track
Honky Tonk Man
Thusand Miles from Nowhere
Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room
Little Sister

…… deep breath … almost finished! …

Two Doors Down
Sunny Side of the Mountain / Miner’s Prayer
Dreams of Clay
This Drinkin' Will Kill me
It Won't Hurt
Today I Started Loving You Again
Watch Out
It Only Hurts When I Cry
Little Ways
Guitars, Cadillacs
Mystery Train
Fast as You

Crazy Little Thing
Under Your Spell Again

I’d seen the 40+ setlist for his recent American gigs and was a bit perplexed, you know, that’s a lot of songs. Even if they are two minutes long. Yes, there are a few medleys – the four song Buck tribute and the Sunnyside of the Mountain/Miner’s Prayer bluegrass interlude – but they were full songs not snippets. And yes the segues between them songs were tight – sharp - but each song was fully realised pushed to the limit. No short changing. The band? Smoking. The rhythm section of Kevin Smith, slappin' that upright bass in a very attractive fashion, and Mitch Marine on drums. Up front with Dwight Eddie Perez, sometime of the Mavericks, erased all memory of Pete Anderson with his good natured and skilful guitar hero routine. Dreamy Josh Grange, who I have on a couple of recordings with Victoria Williams, wore a frock coat with lacy trim but handled the various guitars, organ, accordion and banjo like a one-man second/third/fourth coming of The Band.

The man himself had an extremely nifty grey suit with brown detail. I'm not sure but his boots could have been pale blue, or maybe white but the light deceived me? Either way. Hot. I’m certainly not one of those narks who insist the night is wasted unless the performer yabbers on at us constantly, Dwight was economical in his chat but not distant. His tribute to Buck Owens was funny and moving, and he had some funny banter with Kevin about his bass slapping. Maybe I'm easily pleased. Dwight was 50 last week and for me his voice has improved with age, it’s richer than what you hear on Guitars, Cadillacs Etc Etc and he sounded really, really great -- even if the being in the front row you give up a little quality for proximity. Proximity pays off though when you get a close up of his trademarked swerves and grinds, and I was particularly fond of the bits when he sat legs splayed on a stool for the slow numbers. And when the band suddenly jagged into a ripping-it-up number and he flung the stool across the stage, well. Hot. Wish I had my camera.

Yes, Dwight is, of course, hotter than a two dollar pistol which brings us to that fool Bruce Elder's ridiculous 'gig preview' in the Herald. Even worse, I sought out his review of the 1996 gig which starts with this gem of solid gold frakwittery:

AT last the most vexing question about Dwight Yoakam can be answered. Why does he wear a hat all the time? It's there to hide the scar from the charisma lobotomy he's obviously had.

What a creep.

Bruce Elder: The Only Person in the World Who Thinks Dwight Yoakam Has No Charisma.

That should be on his tombstone. Idiot.

You can see Dwight at YouTube with Letterman, Leno and Conan O'Brien -- decide for yourself if he is stumbling and dull. Perhaps he just knows a sour dickhead when he is forced to talk to one. Idiot.

And check out too this flat footed performance of Intentional Heartache. You also get a good look at the current band in this one. And Today I Started Loving You Again from the same show, just because.

Also, love me this song: Sorry You Asked

So, a brilliant night. Brilliant performer. And let's not let another ten years pass, before we do it again, OK?

My Old Friend the Blues

Sometimes, the time honoured tradition of picking the one with the best name works.

Fest Best, and Rest

Thus far Byron Bay has (ugh) John Mayer and Dave Matthews (ugh) so VIC's Harvest Festival has taken an early lead by bringing out Mary Gauthier and Steve Young. Woot!