Posts Tagged ‘streaming’

Music Moment: Cat Stevens, “Peace Train”

May 6, 2011

Cat Stevens — Peace Train

I’ve been smiling lately. I really have.


Photographed by Julie Lansom.

Now I’ve been happy lately,
thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
something good has begun


via.
Oh I’ve been smiling lately,
dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be,
some day it’s going to come


With Shelley Duvall, via.
Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again


Now I’ve been smiling lately,
thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
something good has begun


Richard Hamilton.
Oh peace train sounding louder
Glide on the peace train
Come on now peace train
Yes, peace train holy roller


Everyone jump upon the peace train
Come on now peace train

A few weeks ago, I came home triumphantly wielding a near-mint Cat Stevens LP from a trip to a nearby touristy mountain town — only to see in going through my collection that at some point in the past I’d brought that exact record in pretty much the exact same condition.

My organization skills may be in the toilet, but the important thing is, I’m consistent.


via.

Get your bags together,
go bring your good friends too
Cause it’s getting nearer,
it soon will be with you


With Carly Simon, via.
Now come and join the living,
it’s not so far from you
And it’s getting nearer,
soon it will all be true


Now I’ve been crying lately,
thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating,
why can’t we live in bliss

I’ve been trying to balance my recent heady busy-ness in the areas of work and returning to school with the activities I love, like country driving, taking pictures, listening to my records, and of course spending time with my mad rad friendohs.


via.

Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again.

I don’t know by what trick or trends in behavior I’ve done it, but, despite recent roller coasters of emotion, anxiety, and obligation, I still just feel really happy and mellow about things in assessing the Spring, even accounting for the ups and downs.


via.

I have this optimistic and even confident feeling as I enter the Summer. Here’s hoping it sticks around. I feel like everything is beautiful.

In related news, did you know you could smoke banana peels? The brown spots talk about their dreams while they sizzle and pop. Fact.

(Not fact.)

Flashback Friday, New Years’ Resolution Reality Check #1 — Music Moment: Les Paul and Mary Ford, “Goofus”

December 10, 2010

This entry was originally posted on January 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm. It contains the second of my New Years’ Resolutions for 2010. Over the next several Flashback Fridays, I will be taking them out, dusting them off, and seeing how well I followed through. I do not anticipate it always being pleasant, but the truth can’t be.

Les Paul & Mary Ford – Goofus

This recording of “Goofus” (King-Harold-Kahn, 1930), one of my favorite songs, is just instrumental. It’s performed by legendary husband-wife duo Les Paul and Mary Ford (so, so, so much more on them another day).

The Paul-Ford version topped out at #21 on the Billboard chart on its release in the early Fall of 1950. The ensemble Paul and Ford had gathered is plucky and fun, although I have heard recordings from the ’30’s with saws and washboards which sort of put ukes and slides in the shade, but you work with what you got, and they did a great job re-popularizing a well-loved classic.

It really gets me that there was a time in this country when there was a) a set of songs that everyone knew, and b) a time when you picked up an instrument and sat down together and played, sometimes just as a family, but often as part of a larger community group. What happened? Radio killed the vaudeville star, but, moreover, the vaudeville star took group singalongs and skit shows down with him. No more public singing.

People just don’t do that often enough anymore, I think. I remember reading, quite a few years back, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (I consequently did not see the movie), and, in one of the super-tolerable parts, a character aged in her mid-70’s during the 1990’s was remarking on the emptiness of the sounds one hears walking the streets in the present day. She recalled being a child and teenager in the ’20’s and ’30’s, and how you could not so much as hang the laundry without hearing someone whistling or singing a street over or while walking past the yard.


“One Last Tickle on the Ivorys,” St. Ebba’s Lunatic Asylum, by Christopher O’Donovan on the flickr.

The idea of that touched me very deeply, because it resonated. I have always liked music, and always known a little about the history of radio and the record industry, being a big vinyl guy, and I’m not saying even at all that radio itself massacred town talent shows, I think increasing materialism and isolationism happened to dovetail with that new mass media, and long story short: it should change back. We need more of that old way of doing things, especially now, when so many people have lost hope and there are young people growing up for whom there are no stories about uncles who sang Irish tenor or great-grandmothers that could play the spoons.

It’s always fun to find out what hidden talents your friends and neighbors have (unless those talents are taxidermy and soundproofing basements), and it brings communities closer together. I think I remember hearing that a song is like a prayer times two, or some such thing, and I believe it. Everything is better with music.


“I Wanna Be a Majorette,” by Eleanor Hardwick.

I used to perform in singing groups and church choirs, and even participated in competitive choral groups in High School. The older I’ve gotten, the more I have grown very shy about my singing, but why? Half of what I hear on the radio has been triple-processed and slickly produced, and who cares if someone hears me fall a little flat? The spirit and song in my heart that made me so happy, that urge to open my throat that I couldn’t repress, that hasn’t changed, so why do I let fear and modern ideals of social behavior fence me in?

Holy cow, I think I just found my second resolution of 2010: Make a joyful noise. Join me, y’all!


Reality Check: I did not do as well as I wanted on this one. I started sporadically singing in my friends’ “band practice” Rock Band video game nights, but I did not join my church choir, which was what I really wanted to do. Partly intimidation because the director is an old friend, partly feeling too busy (excuse). I guess where I feel I really failed is I did not keep that song in my heart that I felt when I had written this originally. I need to try to get that feeling back.

Music Moment: Stevie Wonder, “Sir Duke”

March 8, 2010


From his album Songs in the Key of Life, Motown Records, 1976.

Stevie Wonder – 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


The king of all, Sir Duke (Ellington).

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


Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong LP sleeve.

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


Glenn Miller.

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


Count Basie and Duke Ellington, recording circa 1950.

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


Miles Davis and John Coltrane are not named in this song, but they still belong.

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


Just Ella.

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


Count Basie performing “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

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


Louis blows.

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


Original caption: “A number of the greatest jazz musicians in the world gathered last night 1/8/1971 at the Tropicana Htel in Las Vegas to pay tribute to the “grandaddy” of jazz, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. Seventy years old and still going strong, Armstrong received a trophy topped by a silver trumpet mouthpiece from two other all-time greats, Ella Fitzgerald (L) and Duke Ellington (R).” (source)

Rolling Stone magazine ranked Stevie’s Songs in the Key of Life at no. 56 out of 500 on their Greatest Albums list in 2003. “Sir Duke” was released as a single for radio play in March of 77 and reached number one on the Billboard charts in May, where it stayed for three weeks.

Music Moment: Les Paul and Mary Ford, “Goofus”

January 12, 2010

Les Paul & Mary Ford – Goofus

This recording of “Goofus” (King-Harold-Kahn, 1930), one of my favorite songs, is just instrumental. It’s performed by legendary husband-wife duo Les Paul and Mary Ford (so, so, so much more on them another day).

The Paul-Ford version topped out at #21 on the Billboard chart on its release in the early Fall of 1950. The ensemble Paul and Ford had gathered is plucky and fun, although I have heard recordings from the ’30’s with saws and washboards which sort of put ukes and slides in the shade, but you work with what you got, and they did a great job re-popularizing a well-loved classic.

It really gets me that there was a time in this country when there was a) a set of songs that everyone knew, and b) a time when you picked up an instrument and sat down together and played, sometimes just as a family, but often as part of a larger community group. What happened? Radio killed the vaudeville star, but, moreover, the vaudeville star took group singalongs and skit shows down with him. No more public singing.

People just don’t do that often enough anymore, I think. I remember reading, quite a few years back, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (I consequently did not see the movie), and, in one of the super-tolerable parts, a character aged in her mid-70’s during the 1990’s was remarking on the emptiness of the sounds one hears walking the streets in the present day. She recalled being a child and teenager in the ’20’s and ’30’s, and how you could not so much as hang the laundry without hearing someone whistling or singing a street over or while walking past the yard.


“One Last Tickle on the Ivorys,” St. Ebba’s Lunatic Asylum, by Christopher O’Donovan on the flickr.

The idea of that touched me very deeply, because it resonated. I have always liked music, and always known a little about the history of radio and the record industry, being a big vinyl guy, and I’m not saying even at all that radio itself massacred town talent shows, I think increasing materialism and isolationism happened to dovetail with that new mass media, and long story short: it should change back. We need more of that old way of doing things, especially now, when so many people have lost hope and there are young people growing up for whom there are no stories about uncles who sang Irish tenor or great-grandmothers that could play the spoons.

It’s always fun to find out what hidden talents your friends and neighbors have (unless those talents are taxidermy and soundproofing basements), and it brings communities closer together. I think I remember hearing that a song is like a prayer times two, or some such thing, and I believe it. Everything is better with music.


“I Wanna Be a Majorette,” by Eleanor Hardwick.

I used to perform in singing groups and church choirs, and even participated in competitive choral groups in High School. The older I’ve gotten, the more I have grown very shy about my singing, but why? Half of what I hear on the radio has been triple-processed and slickly produced, and who cares if someone hears me fall a little flat? What made me so happy, that urge to open my throat that I couldn’t repress, that hasn’t changed, so why do I let fear and modern ideals of social behavior fence me in?

Holy cow, I think I just found my second resolution of 2010: Make a joyful noise. Join me, y’all!

Music Moment: Yael Naïm – The Only One with video by Readymade FC

December 16, 2009

Yael Naïm – The Only One

You may recognize Yael Naïm’s name, face, voice, or some combination of the three. Her single “New Soul” was featured in an Apple laptop commercial a few years back and for a little bit there she justly blew up. The track went to #7, making her the first Israeli solo artist to have a top ten hit on the USA charts.


Photo art for a poster promoting a January, 2007 concert at Studio d’hermitage in Paris.

Naim sang as a soloist with the [Israeli] air force troupe, starting in 1996. “Even though it was the army, it was pleasant,” she says. During her service, she was sent by the army to sing at a benefit concert in Paris. The organizers noticed her voice and took note of her name.

When she got out of the army, she was sent to another benefit concert in Paris. After performing a few songs at the piano she was approached by French producers who wanted to hear more. “I always had drafts of songs with me,” says Naim. “They just happened to be looking for someone for a musical project and when they heard what I do, they were all excited and offered me a contract.” Israeli recording companies had not been very enthusiastic about the music she made with her band, “The Anti Collision,” but four days after landing in Paris, at the age of 21, Yael Naim had a recording contract with EMI.

Paris was super, super kind to her; her 2007 self-titled album debuted at #11 on the French charts. Get it, girl!


Nobody expects an accordion.

When asked to explain her huge success among the French, she just asks: “Where are all these people coming from?

“It’s not the success that’s making me feel like my life is changing completely. Since I’ve had the opposite experience, when you’ve been told before that radio stations don’t want to play your music, that you should wait a few more months, I could really appreciate the speed and ease with which this record succeeded.


And from that moment, when I suddenly had this feeling of peace, this sense that evidently things are going to be fine, I’ve just felt surprised all the time and am always asking myself: ‘How can this be?'” (“Cinderella Song,” Tidhar Wald, Haaretz, November 2007)


I will be the one, you’ll see I’m the only one
Yeah I’m the only one, we belong together
I will be the one to see you’re the only one
Yeah you’re the only one, now until forever

You will see that we’re meant to be
Our love will grow peacefully
You should stay with me one more day
So how come you still walk away

If you are the only one
You are the only one
And I’m sure you feel the same

You became the one to blame, you’re the only one
Yeah you’re the only one who can make me so mad
I exclaim “where is the flame?”, you’re the only one
Yeah you’re the only one who can hurt me so bad

We will be happy as can be
Our love will grow tenderly
You will say you are here to stay
So how come you still walk away

If you are the only one
I am the only one
who can make you see that, yourself

You’re a star, let me take you far
I can really feel who you are
We will share everything that’s rare
So how come you still do not care

To know you’re the only one
Yeah you’re the only one
But it’s so unfair, I’m the only one
Yeah I’m the only one to see

It’s insane, now I remain, I’m the only one
You are the only one who can make me so sad
Can you see how fast I ran?

Yeah I’m the number one, two, three
You’re the only one who can play this game
I’m the only one, and I’m so glad you came

Give her official site, yaelweb.com, a spin to learn what Yael Naïm has been up to recently and order her 2001 and 2007 albums. This song is also a video with Readymade FC.

Music Moment: Rachael Yamagata, “I Want You”

November 23, 2009

Rachael Yamagata – I Want You

Please enjoy this incredibly catchy and kind of snarly-sexy-fun number from Rachael Yamagata, a former member of the band Bumpus. The track comes from her 2004 LP Happenstance.

Her vocals when she does this soft growly thing sound a little like Fiona Apple, but I don’t want to draw too many comparisons to current artists because I think that is a jacked up thing to do. I will say that a lot of the backing instrumentals on her album are done by the Klezmatics, who work in the klezmer tradition of music. (And I am going to be googling the Klezmatics and seeing what’s what with their solo stuff, promise.)

This klezmer business is a genre about which I knew absolutely zero until I gave it a test drive on the wiki, but I will totally be on the lookout for it showing up thematically in pop from now on. It’s celebration music, mainly for Jewish religious ceremonies and rites of passage. It has definitive characteristics. You know, like, the wedding scene in Fiddler on the Roof, that awesome kickass bottle dance scene? Like that.

I think you can hear it in here, in the strong clarinet, trombone, and trumpet. I mean, obviously the song is not composed to be a deliberate inclusion in the genre, it’s just informed by it, and it’s done really well. Anyway, here are the lyrics to this great track and some pics of terrific singer-songwriter and hottie brunette siren, Rachael Yamagata.

You sat down next to me, like poetry to wine
Our window looked upon a yellow neon sign
I took your hand while you decided what to do
The only kiss, I ever miss, I shared with you
The other cities hold a memory still of a place
But when I dream of London, I can only see your face

I want you
And no one,
No one else will do
You, and no one
No one is the only one
To fill the empty space I hold for you

You simplified me down to slogans on the wall
I took offense, but you were right about them all
My friends are telling me I shouldn’t waste my time
But I can’t concentrate until I make you mine
I’m drawing cards and making wishes down by the well
Who would’ve known I’d lose myself in that old hotel

I want you
And no one
No one else for me
You, and no one
‘Cause no one else is strong enough,
To slow me down in time to set me free

I want you
Or no one else
No one else is fine
Oh, you, and no one
No one is the only one
To fill me up until I make you mine

Music Moment: Laura Marling

October 13, 2009

Laura Marling – New Romantic
This song was my introduction to Miss Laura Marling, a charming little singer-songwriter from the UK who, like a brownie, uses her adorable pixie looks to fool you in to thinking the sprightly tune you’re listening to doesn’t have some of the darkest, wittiest lyrics you’ll ever hear from someone so young.

I know I said I loved you
but I’m thinking I was wrong,
I’m the first to admit that I’m still pretty young,
and I never meant to hurt you
when I wrote you ten love songs
About a guy that I could never get
’cause his girlfriend was pretty fit
and everyone who knew her loved her so.
And I made you leave her for me
and now I’m feeling pretty mean,
but my mind has fucked me over more times
than any man could ever know.


The track came out a bit ago, but I still predict that song will get more famous pretty soon here, rather than less so. Even though it is the likelier in my opinion for regular radio airplay, it seems the label has put more time in to marketing the next tune here, “My Manic and I.”

Laura Marling – My Manic and I
“My Manic and I” has the sultry minor key bluesiness of Dusty Springfield, a very “If You Go Away” mood with this kind of waltzy-pirate dirge beneath, but then the purity of the vocals and the subject matter make you switch gears and draw comparisons to Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.” (Miss Marling, I am totally picking up what you are putting down and I do believe there are also clouds in my coffee now and again.)

I get the feeling that whoever this song is about, it’s the same jerk who inspired “The Man Sings” and some of the lines in “New Romantic.”

Oh, the gods that he believes never fail to amaze me.
He believes in the love of his god of all things, but I find him wrapped up in all manner of sins;
the drugs that deceive him and the girls that believe him.
I can’t control you, I don’t know you well, but these are the reasons I think that you’re ill.
I can’t control you, I don’t know you well, but these are the reasons I think that you’re ill.


Here is the very creative video for the track.


I realized these Music Moment posts tend to run really long because I like music way too much, and can’t bear to only give you half the story on someone I think is really special, so click here to keep reading about marvelous and devilishly witty little pixie Laura Marling, hear more streaming mp3s and see more adorable pictures. Continue reading, hear more music, see cute tiny blondeness, and maybe even get your world a little rocked by some revolutionary ideas about teenagers these days!

Music Moment: McIntosh Ross

September 30, 2009

I was browsing recently dropped records and singles yesterday when thanks to a really cool well-timed tip from a groovy reader across the Atlantic (thanks o, henri!) I stumbled via recordstore.co.uk over the debut album of McIntosh Ross, The Great Lakes, and my breath was totally taken away. Holy cats, you guys! So amazing!

The Scottish husband-wife-duo of Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh have recorded together before, being longtime bandmates of the recently reunited Glasgow group Deacon Blue (Raintown, “Dignity,” “Wages Day”). As if they did not already have their hands full making landmark alternative music with that outfit, the pair also just released their first solo album September 28 (two days ago) and it is unbelievably beautiful. The music they wrote and recorded with Deacon Blue was mainly working class, alternative anthems about life in Glasgow and the like. The songs on this record, The Great Lakes, are just soaring and ethereal and purely, it seems, love songs to one another.

McIntosh Ross – All My Trust I Place In You

One day we’ll know
One day we’ll see
‘Til then we’ll walk
And believe

This video for me shows exactly why The Great Lakes is such a modest and beautiful record. What is most right and touching about the compositions on this LP is that these are not your we’re-young-and-hot, I-want-to-jump-you, Beyonce and Jay-Z smash hit sexytimes songs, either (no disrespect to hip-hop’s royal couple intended, I’m just saying they are new to the lovesong duet game, comparatively). This whole album is about enduring, longstanding love. Like this track, “Bluebell Wood,” and its repeated line, “Today’s the day we got married in June.” The haunting refrain sounds like an old folk song, and the way McIntosh glides her voice around it, it feels like you are hearing her call you across the moors, yet there is no mourning. It’s just … perfect.

McIntosh Ross – Bluebell Wood

Today’s the day we got married in June
All of the bluebells were out in the wood
We danced to our song
And stepped in the car
Drove under a blanket of stars
Today’s the day we got married in June

Simple words, a simple memory she is describing, yet it is somehow, in their hands, achingly poignant. Because it is …

I realized these Music Moment posts tend to run really long because I like music way too much, and can’t bear to only give you half the story on someone I think is really special, so click here to keep reading about wonderful McIntosh Ross and see more pictures, hear more music, and suchlike, because they are mind-blowing in their awesomeness… Continue reading, hear more music, and all of it!