I’m in Poland. In Krakow. I was hoping something – a song – would jump out at me for this blog. Nothing has as yet. Krakow is absolutely lovely but most of the bars or cafes I’ve been in so far have played nondescript dance music. So instead of a song this week and because I did want to write about something musical related to Poland I’m posting this picture.
Continue reading “Going For A Song”
Merry Clayton – ‘Southern Man’
Merry Clayton was one of the singers featured in the documentary film 20 Feet from Stardom I watched recently. Great film, and this is her equally great version of Neil Young’s ‘Southern Man’.
Smog – Prince Alone in the Studio
To claim I was a Prince fan would be misleading. I don’t own one album or a single by him. I liked certain songs, usually these were the hits – ‘Purple rain’, ‘When Doves Cry’. I sang along if these were played at parties, on the radio. But that doesn’t really make me into him. My overriding reaction when he died, if I’m honest, was surprise because he wasn’t at all old.
Continue reading “Going For A Song: ‘Prince Alone in the Studio’”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
I suppose saying I believe this single (UK no. 26, Feb 2004) to be up there with any of the great love songs released in the twentieth century and possibly one of the best released in the first decade of the twenty-first century could be considered quite a claim. And if I hadn’t just thought this this morning I would like to think I could go some way to explain why I believe this is; but then again even if I did have the time and struggled to explain I’d most likely be compelled to say it unsubstantiated. And it is for this reason at least why I think this song is so good.
TLC – ‘No Scrubs’
This song used to be on the radio a lot in the late 90s. Where I worked during this period the radio, tuned to Capital FM, was on throughout the day so I heard it quite a bit. At the time, being, let’s say concentrated in my musical tastes, I paid it only a mere passing attention, and this was done, I seem to recall, in perhaps a slightly ironical self-conscious way. But through reading the chapter on R&B in Yeah Yeah Yeah (what can I say? Bob Stanley’s book has given me a lot to think and write about for this blog) I returned to it and have, alongside Whitney Houston’s Rodney Jerkins produced ‘It’s Not Alright But It’s Ok’ (another fantastic song – this one completely passed me by), been listening to it a lot the last few weeks. And I’ve listened with vague notions of exploring, and getting in to, a whole genre, period of pop music that I completely bypassed. I’m not sure if it works like that, but for now these songs seem as exciting and bold (I was thinking of using the word fresh here, but as a choice it’s maybe ill advised for me) as they might have seemed when they were released; and this is maybe, due in no small part, to the fact I missed them the first time around.
Oneida – ‘Captain Bo Dignifies the Allegations With A Response’ (08:07)
This week I was reminded, while reading the Quietus feature Quietus Writers’ Top 40 Noise Rock Tracks, how much I liked Oneida, especially their album Secret Wars which I bought unheard years ago as it was on sale and I knew the record label, JagJaguwar.
It’s all about the organ on this track.
Michael Jackson – ‘Beat It’
It’s almost too easy to play this to get people dancing; it feels like cheating because it’s just too good. When the vocal explodes in for the first time, one experiences it as a kind of physical jolt; part of this is to do with the knowledge of everything Michael Jackson was and what he would later become; and the other part is that which compels those to have a dance.