Thursday, February 26, 2009

Program #562

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
ART BRUT . . . . . Direct Hit . . . . . It's a Bit Complicated
FRANZ FERDINAND . . . . . What She Came For . . . . . Tonight:Franz Ferdinand
HOT CHOCOLATE . . . . . You Sexy Thing . . . . . The Full Monty: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack
STEREOLAB . . . . . Self Portrait With 'Electric Brain' . . . . . Chemical Chords
THE BEATLES . . . . . Got To Get You Into My Life . . . . . Revolver [UK]
SPOON . . . . . The Underdog . . . . . Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
DEVOTCHKA . . . . . Along The Way . . . . . A Mad and Faithful Telling
CALEXICO . . . . . Close Behind . . . . . Feast of Wire
FRANKIE LAINE . . . . . Main Title . . . . . Blazing Saddles

CLEM SNIDE . . . . . Hum . . . . . Hungry Bird
BOB DYLAN . . . . . Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues . . . . . Highway 61 Revisited
BECK . . . . . Walls . . . . . Modern Guilt
DAVID BOWIE . . . . . Always Crashing In The Same Car . . . . . Low
ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 . . . . . Goodnight Oslo . . . . . Goodnight Oslo
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE . . . . . Title And Registration . . . . . Transatlanticism
DEPARTMENT OF EAGLES . . . . . No One Does It Like You . . . . . In Ear Park

PATSY CLINE . . . . . Sweet Dreams . . . . . Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits
M. WARD & LUCINDA WILLIAMS . . . . . Oh Lonesome Me . . . . . Hold Time
NEIL YOUNG . . . . . Pardon My Heart . . . . . Zuma
ALELA DIANE . . . . . To Be Still . . . . . To Be Still
BEN KWELLER . . . . . Hurtin' You . . . . . Changing Horses
THE PERNICE BROTHERS . . . . . Saddest Quo . . . . . Discover a Lovelier You
MOJAVE 3 . . . . . Puzzles Like You . . . . . Puzzles Like You
THE SEARCHERS . . . . . Don't Throw Your Love Away . . . . . Searchers - Greatest Hits
THE SINGLES . . . . . There's Nothing Wrong When I'm With You . . . . . Better Than Before

FATS DOMINO . . . . . My Blue Heaven . . . . . My Blue Heaven: The Best of Fats Domino
TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS . . . . . Let The Four Winds Blow . . . . . Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino
THE CLASH . . . . . Pressure Drop . . . . . Black Market Clash
VAMPIRE WEEKEND . . . . . A-Punk . . . . . Vampire Weekend
THE ENGLISH BEAT . . . . . Hands Off She's Mine . . . . . I Just Can't Stop It
JUSTIN HINDS & THE DOMINOES . . . . . Rub Up, Push Up . . . . . Island 40, Volume 2: 1964-1969 -- Rhythm and Blues Beat
THE HEPTONES . . . . . Party Time . . . . . The Best of Studio One, Vol. 1
CARLTON & THE SHOES . . . . . Love Me Forever . . . . . The Best of Studio One, Vol. 2: Full Up
KEN BOOTHE . . . . . Everybody Needs Love . . . . . Trojan Box Set: Jamaican Hits
ALICIA KEYS . . . . . You Don't Know My Name . . . . . Reggae Gold 2004

This show began with a trio of tunes from Art Brut, Franz Ferdinand and Hot Chocolate that examine a slice of nightlife in clubs and bars; from there it was Stereolab picking up the beat and flowing nicely into the Beatles using some big, brassy horns to lead the way. Spoon maintained the forward momentum with another horns-laced track, and then it was DeVotchKa and Calexico steering the sound into more of a Southwestern direction, which is how we ended up with Frankie Laine from the Blazing Saddles soundtrack—which I managed to see the second half of recently on TV; it's still hilarious after all these years.

The new Clem Snide disc was actually recorded in 2006, but the band split up before the record could be released. Now Eef Barzelay has put the band back together and they will be touring to support the disc. A theme of weariness and alienation runs through many of his tunes, including the one that opened this set, and a sense of dislocation was evident in the tracks from Bob Dylan, Beck and David Bowie that followed. Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 were next with a tune about an experience he had on a train in Norway many years ago, and then it was Death Cab for Cutie remembering better days leading to Department of Eagles perhaps in the middle of a situation that may be looked back upon in the same way some day down the line.

Patsy Cline's sublime version of a Don Gibson tune was followed by M. Ward dueting with Lucinda Williams on another great Gibson song. Once upon a time Neil Young covered that one as well; here it was one of his own lamenting the end of a relationship followed by Alela Diane added some nice pedal steel guitar to the mix as she waits for somebody important/special to return. Then it was Ben Kweller (with some more pedal steel) attempting to help someone through a bad time followed by the Pernice Brothers taking things in more of a pop direction while struggling to remain optimistic. Mojove 3 were next with a lovely pop gem that trys to make sense of a relationship, and then it was the Searchers with some well-timed advice leading to the Singles making it clear how they feel.

A favorite from Fats Domino to help him celebrate his 81st birthday today was followed by Toots and the Maytals putting their stamp on another of his many hits. From there it was the Clash covering a Toots tune that segued nicely into one from Vampire Weekend, which in turn fed quite cleanly into the English Beat from their debut disc. Then we went back to the source for a quartet of tunes from Jamaica in the '60s by Justin Hinds & the Dominoes, the Heptones, Carlton & the Shoes and Slim Smith before landing at the end with Alicia Keys and an alternate version of a song from her second disc set to a reggae track that sounds as if it could have been recorded back in the day, totally transforming it for the better.

Here's another one from Toots and the Maytals


Monday, February 23, 2009

Program #561

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
THE RONETTES . . . . . The Best Part Of Breaking Up . . . . . The Best of the Ronettes
GLASVEGAS . . . . . Be My Baby . . . . . Glasvegas
THE RAVEONETTES . . . . . Hallucinations . . . . . Lust Lust Lust
SISTER VANILLA . . . . . Jamcolas . . . . . Little Pop Rock
LOU REED . . . . . Shooting Star . . . . . Street Hassle
JARVIS COCKER . . . . . Black Magic . . . . . Jarvis
TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS . . . . . Crystal Blue Persuasion . . . . . Anthology
A BAND OF BEES . . . . . This Town . . . . . Sunshine Hit Me

ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 . . . . . I'm Falling . . . . . Goodnight Oslo
AZTEC CAMERA . . . . . Jump . . . . . The Best of Aztec Camera
THE TROGGS . . . . . Good Vibrations . . . . . Archeology (1967-1977)
DAVE SITEK . . . . . With A Girl Like You . . . . . Dark Was the Night
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS . . . . . I Don't Believe You . . . . . i
LINDA RONSTADT . . . . . Different Drum . . . . . Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 & 2
NEKO CASE . . . . . People Got A Lotta Nerve . . . . . Middle Cyclone
MATTHEW SWEET . . . . . I've Been Waiting . . . . . Girlfriend
THE BYRDS . . . . . Lad Friend . . . . . The Byrds

JOE CUBA . . . . . Bang Bang . . . . . Bang! Bang! Push, Push, Push
CACHAO Y SU RITMO CALIENTE . . . . . Mungo, Mungo Baby . . . . . From Havana to New York
RAUL MALO . . . . . I See You . . . . . Today
SANTANA . . . . . Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen . . . . . Abraxas
CAL TJADER WITH LALO SCHIFRIN . . . . . The Fakir . . . . . Sounds from the Verve Hi-Fi
THE BOOKS FEATURING JOSE GONZALEZ . . . . . Cello Song . . . . . Dark Was the Night
LAL MERI . . . . . Lal Meri . . . . . Lal Meri
THE BEATLES . . . . . The Inner Light . . . . . Past Masters, Vol. 2

M. WARD . . . . . Jailbird . . . . . Hold Time
BOB DYLAN . . . . . Down In The Flood . . . . . Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE . . . . . Hell Or High Water . . . . . Animals In The Dark
TOM WAITS . . . . . Long Way Home . . . . . Orphans [Fold-out Digipak with 24-page booklet]
THE BLACK KEYS . . . . . All You Ever Wanted . . . . . Attack and Release
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS . . . . . Dreams . . . . . Beginnings
WILCO . . . . . You Are My Face . . . . . Sky Blue Sky
THE GRATEFUL DEAD . . . . . Jack Straw . . . . . Europe 72

We began with one from the Ronettes to acknowledge the life and work of Estelle Bennett, who passed away a short time back. She was the sister of lead singer Ronnie Spector, and it seems she had suffered some difficulties with mental illness in the decades since the Ronettes broke up in the mid '60s. Apparently her last years were relatively better, but it's still difficult to read of people going homeless, especially someone who had earned so much money for those who put out her records. But then that's the history of the music business, isn't it. Glasvegas covering the Ronettes biggest hit was next, and then the Raveonettes with their noisy merging of the Wall of Sound with garage rock led to Sister Vanilla, with their emphasis on the noisy making for a nice path to Lou Reed. His mocking take on himself contrasted with Jarvis Cocker's musings on songwriting; that tune incorporates the main hook from an old Tommy James & the Shondells hit, and then a different track from those '60s hitmakers flowed quite nicely into A Band of Bees to finish up.

A meditative Robyn Hitchcock on the vagueries of love was followed by a trio of cover tunes that take a more positive view: Aztec Camera's almost sinister take on the old Van Halen hit led to the Troggs redoing the Beach Boys in their own special way, which in turn was followed by Dave Sitek's new and thoroughly enjoyable version of one that was a nice-sized hit for that British Invasion band. The viewpoint changed with the Magnetic Fields, and was maintained by Linda Ronstadt from her Stone Poneys days. Next up was something of a ringer from Neko Case; this new track from her upcoming disc has nothing to do with romantic love, but I like the sound of her voice next to Linda Ronstadt's and the ringing guitars on the track fit nicely as well. There were more chiming guitars from Matthew Sweet, and then it was the Byrds—who introduced that 12-string sound in the USA—with the last tune that David Crosby ever contributed before taking his leave.

Another mid-'60s musician passed away recently; Joe Cuba, 78, was known as the Father of the Latin Boogaloo, and he had a lengthy career playing his mashup of Latin sounds with soul and R&B. He was one of the first to break through with this sound, typified by the track that opened this set. From there it was the Cuban musician Israel Lopez, better known as Cachao, who also liked to mix and match a variety of style in his music in the many decades he was recording and performing both in Cuba and the U.S. Raul Malo leading to one of the big early hits for Santana was next, and then the sound took a turn to the Middle East with Cal Tjader. A new cover of a Nick Drake tune by the Books featuring Jose Gonzalez has a similar feel in a subtle way, and then it was Lal Meri with an ancient Sufi folk song that brought the sound into the forefront. Finally, it was the Beatles and one of George Harrison's Indian music experiments to close out this section.

An excellent new one from M. Ward borrows a line from an old Bob Dylan tune, and then it was William Elliott Whitmore flowing quite smoothly into Tom Waits. Some blues from the Black Keys ends with an organ part that conjured up some very early Allman Brothers, and from there Wilco sounding as if they were recorded back in the early '70s led to the Grateful Dead from that time to put the capper on this one.

Here's another two from the Ronettes