Saturday, August 30, 2008

Program #516

I saw this on CNET about a new Wi-Fi radio and wanted to pass it along. It's a standalone product that allows you to access just about any digital music you want, including Internet radio. The review is pretty positive, so if you've been curious about this type of device and how the field is developing, then take a few minutes to read it. You might end up with enough reasons to step into the future sooner than you expected.

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
THE SKATALITES . . . . . Guns Of Navarone . . . . . Island 40, Vol. 2: 1964-1969 -- Rhythm and Blues Beat
LOVINDEER . . . . . Wild Gilbert . . . . . Best of Lovindeer
MARTIN NEWELL . . . . . Before The Hurricane . . . . . The Greatest Living Englishman
THE POSTMARKS . . . . . Let Go . . . . . The Postmarks
NOUVELLE VAGUE . . . . . Friday Night Saturday Morning . . . . . Nouvelle Vague
THE SPECIALS . . . . . Stereotypes . . . . . More Specials
DON DRUMMOND . . . . . Eastern Standard Time . . . . . Island 40, Vol. 1: 1959-1964 -- Ska's the Limit

OASIS . . . . . Shock Of The Lightning . . . . . Dig Out Your Soul
THE SOFT BOYS . . . . . I Wanna Destroy You . . . . . Underwater Moonlight . . . And How It Got There
THE CAESARS . . . . . Fool’s Parade . . . . . Strawberry Weed
THE ROLLING STONES . . . . . 2,000 Light Years From Home . . . . . Let It Bleed [DSD]
THE BLOODTHIRSTY LOVERS . . . . . 1,000 Light Years From Home . . . . . The Bloodthirsty Lovers
JENIFER JACKSON . . . . . Mercury, The Sun And Moon . . . . . Birds
BECK . . . . . Gamma Ray . . . . . Modern Guilt
JOHN COOPER CLARKE . . . . . The It Man . . . . . Snap, Crackle & Bop
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS . . . . . Go Away . . . . . Momofuku

THE SHINS . . . . . New Slang . . . . . Oh, Inverted World
CALEXICO . . . . . Writer’s Minor Holiday . . . . . Carried to Dust
WILCO . . . . . Kamara . . . . . Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
THE WALLFLOWERS . . . . . One Headlight . . . . . Bringing Down the Horse
RICHARD BUCKNER . . . . . Spell . . . . . Meadow
MARAH . . . . . Angels Of Destruction . . . . . Angels of Destruction
IKE REILLY . . . . . Cash Is King . . . . . Poison the Hit Parade
THE JAM . . . . . That’s Entertainment . . . . . Sound Affects

DEVO . . . . . Jocko Homo . . . . . Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
STEREOLAB . . . . . Nous Vous Demandons . . . . . Chemical Chords
MARIANNE FAITHFULL . . . . . Wherever I Go . . . . . Kissin' Time
JOSEPH ARTHUR . . . . . Dream Of The Eternal Life . . . . . Crazy Rain
SCARLETT JOHANSSON . . . . . Anywhere I Lay My Head . . . . . Anywhere I Lay My Head
DAVID BYRNE & BRIAN ENO . . . . . Home . . . . . Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

Johnny Moore of the Skatalites passed away earlier in August; the opening track is one of their best known and featured his trumpet. Lovindeer's tune was one of many that came out in the wake of Hurricane Gilbert, which blasted through Jamaica 20 years ago. The hurricane theme carried on for one more with Martin Newell, which has a strings hook that was echoed in the Postmarks tune that followed. Nouvelle Vague maintained a stylistic resemblance with a Specials cover, who were next with one of their own that fed straight into one more by the Skatalites (although credited on the disc to trombone player Don Drummond).

Oasis will have a new disc in October, and a first taste has been made available that brought to mind an old one from the Soft Boys. The Caesars track that followed was similar vocally, and it also had a similar sonic feel to the Rolling Stones tune, which the Bloodthirsty Lovers clearly used as inspiration. Jenifer Jackson's song has a distinctive sound, and its rhythmic approach led nicely to one from Beck's latest. One of my favorite John Cooper Clarke songs continued the forward thrust, and then it was Elvis Costello with a dose of high-energy, big beat sound.

The music in this next section traveled on something of a parabola, starting with the melodic acoustic sounds of the Shins and ending with prominent acoustic guitar of some classic Jam. In between the pace quickened and the sound grew more full, passing through Calexico and Wilco, reaching its zenith with the Wallflowers and Richard Buckner, and heading down the other side through Marah and Ike Reilly.

The first Devo disc was released 20 years ago in the summer, and it was certainly surprising and distinctive, which was still possible back then (when we were all so young and innocent). One of the big ones from that disc segued nicely into an assertive new one from Stereolab that opens up at the end, which allowed it to flow into the Marianne Faithfull track that followed. Joseph Arthur nudged the sound into a quieter direction, Scarlett Johansson covering Tom Waits followed suit, and then David Byrne and Brian Eno brought us to that most comfortable place we know.

Here's another one from the Jam

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Program #515

The Motley Fool has a great piece on Internet royalty rates and the problems they are causing webcasters. It's good stuff, as it addresses the question of whether an industry that's trying to shut down a main means of promoting its products is a worthwhile investment.

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
RAY CHARLES . . . . . I Got A Woman . . . . . The Very Best of Ray Charles
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR . . . . . Ball The Wall . . . . . New Orleans Piano
BIG JOE TURNER . . . . . Shake, Rattle & Roll . . . . . The Very Best of Big Joe Turner
WILSON PICKETT . . . . . In The Midnight Hour . . . . . The Very Best of Wilson Pickett
ARETHA FRANKLIN . . . . . Since You’ve Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby) . . . . . The Golden Age of Black Music: 1960-1970
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD . . . . . Son Of A Preacher Man . . . . . Dusty in Memphis
THE DRIFTERS . . . . . Under The Boardwalk . . . . . The Incredible Soul Collection
BOB DYLAN . . . . . I Believe In You . . . . . Slow Train Coming

HANK WILLIAMS . . . . . Your Cheatin’ Heart . . . . . Hank Williams - 40 Greatest Hits
NICK LOWE . . . . . The Club . . . . . At My Age
ELVIS PRESLEY . . . . . It’s Now Or Never . . . . . The Number One Hits
THE BREEDERS . . . . . Regalame Esta Noche . . . . . Mountain Battles
WILLY DEVILLE . . . . . Come A Little Bit Closer . . . . . Crow Jane Alley
THE OLD 97’S . . . . . Dance With Me . . . . . Blame It On Gravity
THE TELEPATHIC BUTTERFLIES . . . . . Telescope . . . . . Breakfast in Suburbia
THE JESSICA FLETCHERS . . . . . Bloody Seventies Love . . . . . What Happened to the ?
DONOVAN . . . . . Epistle To Dippy . . . . . Donovan's Greatest Hits
THE WANNADIES . . . . . Disko . . . . . Before and After
THE FREE DESIGN . . . . . Kites Are Fun . . . . . The Best of Free Design

THE REAL TUESDAY WELD . . . . . Kix . . . . . The London Book of the Dead
RINGO STARR . . . . . Harry’s Song . . . . . Liverpool 8
HARRY NILSSON . . . . . Vine St. . . . . . Harry / Nilsson Sings Newman
RANDY NEWMAN . . . . . Korean Parents . . . . . Harps & Angels
MAYU KITAKI . . . . . Latata . . . . . Japan for Sale, Vol. 3
TOM JONES . . . . . It’s Not Unusual . . . . . 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Tom Jones
ART BRUT . . . . . People In Love . . . . . It's a Bit Complicated
XTC . . . . . Stupidly Happy . . . . . Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2)
CHRIS WALLA . . . . . Sing Again . . . . . Field Manual
HONEYDOGS . . . . . For The Tears . . . . . Here's Luck

PRINCE . . . . . Little Red Corvette . . . . . 1999
SHUGGIE OTIS . . . . . Strawberry Letter 23 . . . . . Inspiration Information
THE CAESARS . . . . . Strawberry Weed . . . . . Strawberry Weed
THE CURE . . . . . Friday I’m In Love . . . . . Galore
BLONDIE . . . . . Sunday Girl . . . . . Parallel Lines
STEREOLAB . . . . . Three Women . . . . . Chemical Chords
SPOON . . . . . Finer Feelings . . . . . Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
BECK . . . . . Youthless . . . . . Modern Guilt

I had to acknowledge the recent passing of Jerry Wexler, who was involved with so much crucial music over the decades, first at Atlantic Records and then later on as an independent producer. His remarkable ear is reflected in all of the music heard in this first section, and that only scratched the surface of what he accomplished (not least of which was coining the phrase "Rhythm & Blues" to replace "Race Music" while he was working at Billboard).

Don Helms also passed recently; he was the guy who provided the steel guitar on all of Hank Williams records, which became one of the trademarks of his sound and subsequently influenced a whole lot of country music records in the decades that followed. After a classic example of the Helms sound on a Williams tune, Nick Lowe's variation on the theme fed into the Elvis Presley tune that was based on Italian operatic theme and became one of the King's biggest hits. Then the Breeders in Spanish led to Willy DeVille remaking Jay & the Americans followed by the Old 97's featuring some very enthusiastic guitar. The Telepathic Butterflies began a transition to a late '60s appealing pop sound, which the Jessica Fletchers amplified, Donovan authentically reinforced, the Wannadies lovingly recreated and the Free Design concluded with their quirky breath of fresh air from back in the day.

The mix of the modern and the nostalgic that the Real Tuesday Weld does so well segued nicely into a Ringo Starr tune he wrote for Harry Nilsson. Nilsson singing a Randy Newman tune followed (with Newman on piano), and then a funny one from Newman's latest disc was followed by some Japan Pop from a few years back—a left turn for sure, but one with an Asian connection, slight though it was. The Mayu Kitaki tune conjured up Tom Jones, followed by some counterpoint from Art Brut. Then it was XTC accentuating the positive, Chris Walla attempting to do the same, and Honeydogs lamenting the one that got away.

An old favorite from Prince was followed by Shuggie Otis with the original on a song he wrote that became a big hit for the Brothers Johnson. The strawberry connection was made to the Caesars, who brought to mind the Cure with one of their best-known tunes. Then it was Blondie at the top of their game, Stereolab from their new disc with some rhythmic snap that flowed nicely into Spoon, and that summoned Beck from his latest to bring the curtain down.

Here's another one from Ringo Starr