Bob Dylan – Sign On The Window
I’m currently reading Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop by Bob Stanley. At over 700 pages I’m only a quarter of a way through, but already I’m seriously impressed. One of the things evident is the enthusiasm and the love Stanley has for his subject. And it is not an enthusiasm restricted to just obscure acts, musicians or songs, but an enthusiasm that extends to those more well-known episodes in pop history.
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Little Feat – Rock And Roll Doctor
I like songs written about the benefits of music, and I particularly like songs written about the benefits of rock ‘n’ roll. So after last week’s post on impotence *best radio link voice* here’s just the tonic in the form of Little Feat’s ‘Rock And Roll Doctor’.
Cinerama – Quick, Before It Melts
I can’t think of many songs written on the subject of impotence. Only two come to mind (though there has to be at least one blues song?): Art Brut’s ‘Rusty Guns of Milan’ and Cinerama’s ‘Quick, Before It Melts’.
Cinerama’s is the better song, I think, for not just being solely about the subject. David Gedge captures, in his lyrics and ushered in vocals, the precariousness of the entire venture; and Cinerama’s music – slurring picked guitar lines on the verses, loud martial like guitars and drums on the chorus, strings prominent when they need to be – provides the suitable soundtrack for the subject.
Whitney Houston – Didn’t We Almost Have It All
This week’s blog post concerns Adele’s song ‘Hello’ as much as it does Whitney Houston’s ‘Didn’t We Almost Have It All’.
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Richard Dyer-Bennet – Lonesome Valley
You may be preparing for Christmas. You may be stuck for a present to get that music loving relative. So, instead of choosing a Christmas song, I’m using this week to write up a few music books I’ve enjoyed this year (though most have not been necessarily published this year).
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Chris Mills And The Distant Stars – Blooms
There are those bands and songwriters you love but inexplicably to you no one gets it. I began listening to Chris Mills around 2000 when he released Kiss It Goodbye. I followed his progress, bought the new albums and searched out the old album and EPs, saw the odd show when it made financial sense for him to tour the UK, all the while coming to terms with, and baffled by, that he might never get the recognition I at least thought he deserved. But then in the time after 2005’s wonderfully conceived and executed The Wall to Wall Sessions album, I too lost contact with what he was doing.
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Ólöf Arnalds – With Tomorrow / I’m On Fire
There is the option when choosing a song to cover, to choose a song that’s written in the opposite gender. This can be extremely effective, or it can be used by scoundrels to give the song an instant novelty to hide the dearth of originality in the cover.* After a few listens to ‘With Tomorrow / I’m On Fire’, Ólöf Arnalds can be filed into the former. The segue from her own ‘With Tomorrow’ into Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’ feels like it has been done with some thought and consideration, and not just because she found it happened to be in the same key.
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