Thursday, 28 August 2008

Interesting how one thing leads to another

when you start trying to identify songs. I've been watching coverage of the Democratic convention and noticed how much Springsteen featured on the soundtrack - that's literally what it is, every speech, video and bit of business accompanied or followed by a snatch of music. I think they should publish the playlist for nerds everywhere.

As well as Springsteen, I heard amongst other vaguely familiar tracks 'American Girl' and had to check who it was by - Tom Petty, of course. Great track, but I'm not sure that they would have used it if they'd read the lyrics right through. Then I noticed on YouTube that Everclear had covered it - quite a decent version. In the YouTube comments someone remarked that they do an acoustic version of it. That I would love to hear as their version of 'Brown Eyed Girl' as the Beach Boys might have done it is absolute class, and very surprising given their usual style. I had been wondering what the Republicans should use on their soundtrack and came across 'Volvo Driving Soccer Mom'. Read the lyrics.

Tom Petty - American Girl (iTunes)
Everclear - Brown Eyed Girl (iTunes)

Lisa Hannigan and MIA

The World's Greatest Music writes...

Two updates on things I've written about before.

Lisa Hannigan's debut solo album is out soon in Ireland. My favourite track on it is Lille which can now be downloaded for free from (in theory at least - in practice the site wanted my credit card details even though the file is free, then rejected them).

And my favourite MIA track Paper Planes is finally receiving the attention it deserves, going top ten in the US and soon to be re-released in the UK.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

A favourite Bowie track and an early single

worldsgreatestmusicdad writes:

Considering that Bowie is one of the patron saints of this blog, he hasn't featured too much so far, although perhaps he has because you can hear his influence everywhere, in Mike Scott, Tom Baxter, Damien Rice, Belle and Sebastian, Rufus etc. It's hard if not impossible to have one favourite track for an artist like him who has produced so many great tracks in such a range of diverse styles but 'Rock 'n' Roll With Me' is certainly one of my favourites, a gorgeous and instantly memorable sound with his voice as good as it gets (pretty damn good) even if the lyrics are somewhat impenetrable and almost irrelevant - apart from the chorus - and there's not too much rock 'n' roll about it.

In 1966 I owned 'Can't Help Thinking About Me'. It didn't chart but I really rated it. Sadly I took it to one too many student parties and never saw it again. As well as having one of the great rock themes - leaving home - it surely prefigures much of his later work.

David Bowie - Rock 'N' Roll With Me - iTunes
David Bowie and the Lower Third - Can't Help Thinking About Me (iTunes)

Monday, 25 August 2008


worldsgreatestmusicdad writes:

Well, this blog has already promoted trad jazz, so why not? Like country music, ragtime has often been neglected or reviled because of people's false perception that it all sounds the same. There's a limit to the amount of jingly-jangly, out-of-tune piano at breakneck speed that I want to listen to (depending on my mood, anywhere between five seconds and five minutes) but there are all kinds of rags and many ways of playing them. Amongst the best is this beautiful Scott Joplin composition, played here anonymously (probably on a piano roll) and not by the man himself who did make some piano rolls but not of 'Solace', it seems. A classically trained pianist, Joshua Rifkin, helped, along with the soundtrack of 'The Sting', to popularise ragtime back in the early seventies with a great album, and you may have heard 'Solace' played either by him or (truncated) on the film soundtrack (with strings!).

Anon - Solace
Joshua Rifkin - Scott Joplin: Piano Rags (Amazon)

Monday, 11 August 2008

Isaac Hayes has died

Joe writes: You might want to download something with his voice on right now, but instead here's something with Ghostface Killah's voice on, rapping over a sample from Isaac's version of Walk On By - I Can't Go To Sleep by the Wu-Tang Clan

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


Orchestra is my favourite track by Dan Black's previous band The Servant. I wasn't sure about his nasal vocal back then but it works rather better on HYPNTZ, which reminds me of Dynamite Hack's cover of Boyz N The Hood. How did they get away with the Beatles steal at the end I wonder?

And all of this is an excuse to post my favourite Notorious BIG track Juicy. What a lyric. Morally it's deeply flawed but aesthetically it's outstanding. It also includes the line "blow up like the World Trade" which is not the only pre-9/11 occurrence of this motif in rap music. Biggie's lyrics were of course weirdly prophetic, but listeners should note that drinking champagne to quench one's thirst will only result in further dehydration and quite likely a headache.

The Servant - Orchestra (iTunes)

Dynamite Hack - Boyz-N-The-Hood (on iTunes US but not UK)

Notorious BIG - Juicy (iTunes)