News for April 2011

Song Of The Day – 5/1/11

Song Of The Day – “Love Is Only Sleeping” by The Monkees

This one comes from their fourth and best long player, 1967′s “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.” This Barry Mann/Cynthia Weill classic was a last minute addition to this album after they swapped it with “Daydream Believer” as their next single.

Edited: April 30th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/30/11

Song Of The Day – “Hot And Bothered” by Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

Classic Ellington from 1928 featuring the great Joe Nanton on trombone, Johnny Hodges on saxophone, Barney Bigard on clarinet, Lonnie Johnson on guitar and Sonny Greer on drums. Yesterday was Ellington’s Birthday – Happy Birthday Duke!

Edited: April 29th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/29/11

Song Of The Day – “Wedding Bell Blues” by Laura Nyro

Most people are familiar with The 5th Dimensions hit version of this song, but here is the original by the artist who wrote it.  Nyro also wrote “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Eli’s Comin’,” “And When I Die,” “Stoney End,” “Sweet Blindness,” and many more made famous by other artists.  Oh…is there a wedding going on or something today…

Edited: April 29th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/28/11

Song Of The Day – “A Lot Of Livin’ To Do” by Sammy Davis, Jr.

A little wham from Sam today originally from the musical “Bye Bye Birdie.” Without Sammy, there wouldn’t have been a James Brown or Prince. He was clearly the most talented of the Rat Pack by a mile…could sing circles around Frank and Dino…and had the moves and comedic talents to make him the total entertainment package. This song comes from Sammy’s 1962 album “Sammy Davis Jr. Sings What Kind Of Fool Am I.”

Edited: April 28th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/27/11

Song Of The Day – “Rill Rill” by Sleigh Bells

Their album “Treats” was one of last year’s best albums…a blast of girl group sweetness mingled with fuzzed out metal performed by the two-member band. Their set at last year’s Pitchfork Music Festival was amongst the worst performances of the weekend.  It took months for me to get back to listening to the album…

Edited: April 27th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/26/11

Song Of The Day – “Jesus Fever” by Kurt Vile

Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile has a sound reminiscent of Jorma Kaukonen on this track. His lo-fi bedroom records from the past have given way to a more produced sound on his latest called “Smoke Ring For My Halo.” While some of the edges have been smoothed out production-wise, the songwriting is as sharp as ever.

Edited: April 26th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/25/11

Song Of The Day – “Is This What You Wanted” by Leonard Cohen

By 1974′s “New Skin For The Old Ceremony,” Leonard Cohen began to expand his sound adding rock elements to the mix including Janis Ian as a background singer in order to gain a wider audience. Gone was the stoic bard with a guitar replaced with a more soulful and impassioned singer on an exceptional set of depressing songs.

Edited: April 25th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/24/11

Song Of The Day – “Gloria” by Patti Smith Group

This one-of-a-kind take on a Van Morrison garage rock classic comes from her earth-shattering 1975 debut album, “Horses.” In her hands, Patti redefined the song and took the rest of Rock ‘n’ Roll along for the ride. Seeing her perform this on Saturday Night Live in 1976 was revelatory…

Edited: April 23rd, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/22/11

Song Of The Day – “Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied) by B.T. Express

I actually purchased this album back in 1974…and I still like it today. Brooklyn’s B.T. Express had a clutch of hits in the mid-seventies with this song, “Express” and “Give It What You Got” and then they stopped coming until a brief comeback in 1980 with the monster hit “Give Up The Funk (Let’s Dance).” I’m satisfied…

Edited: April 23rd, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/22/11

It’s time to give Freddie Garrity some props.  No, he wasn’t John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison…or even Ringo Starr…but he was responsible for this 1964 British Invasion chart-topping gem and the “Do The Freddie” dance craze!

For your further enjoyment: “Do The Freddie” by Freddie & The Dreamers

Edited: April 22nd, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/21/11

Song Of The Day – “You” by TV On The Radio

From the new album “Nine Types Of Light” comes this song where vocalist and film maker Tunde Adebimpe taps into his inner Prince. The album version of the song does not have the spoken section in it.  Their bassist, Gerard Smith, died of cancer today at the age of 36…

Edited: April 21st, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/20/11

Song Of The Day – “‘Til I Die” by The Beach Boys

One of Brian Wilson’s deepest songs from the 1971 album originally titled “Landlocked” but ultimately released as “Surf’s Up.” The lyrics really show where Brian’s head was at the time…not a great place, and while his contributions to the album were minimal in number, they were astounding in impact. Masterpiece!

Edited: April 20th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/19/11

Song Of The Day – “Heaven On Their Minds” from “Jesus Christ Superstar”

With Passover and Easter this week, today’s song reaches for the Bible. I’m not a big fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber…you can keep “Cats,” “Phantom” and “Evita”…but in the words of this musical, “Hey J.C., You’re alright by me.” This is the original 1970 British recording featuring Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan, Murray Head and Yvonne Elliman.

Edited: April 19th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/18/11

Song Of The Day – “Willie And The Hand Jive” by The Johnny Otis Show

You can keep Clapton’s limp dishrag version of this song…here’s the real deal! Otis was a bandleader, record label owner, record producer, disc jockey and a TV show personality. His son is none other than guitarist Shuggie Otis.

Edited: April 18th, 2011

Song Of the Day – 4/17/11

Song Of The Day – “Moose The Mooche” by Charlie Parker Septet

One of the great Dial masters from 1946 featuring Parker alto sax, Miles Davis trumpet, Lucky Thompson tenor sax, Dodo Mamarosa piano, Vic McMillan bass and Roy Porter drums. Moose was allegedly the name of Parker’s heroin dealer…

Edited: April 16th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/16/11

Song Of The Day – “The Clap” by Yes

I think it’s great how Steve Howe managed to turn a whole generation of stoners on to ragtime guitar without them even knowing what they were hearing via his showcase track “The Clap.” Originally on “The Yes Album” from 1969, this version is from a 1975 concert at the height of Yes’ fame, showcasing what a talented guitarist Steve Howe was.

Edited: April 15th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/15/11

Song Of The Day – “It’s Not My Place (In The 9 To 5 World) by Ramones

Any song that name checks Uncle Floyd, NY DJ Vin Scelsa, Phil Spector, Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood is alright by me. This one comes from their 1981 album “Pleasant Dreams” which was produced by songwriter extraordinaire and 10cc kingpin Graham Gouldman. We miss you Joey!

Edited: April 15th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/14/11

Song Of The Day – “Finger Lickin’ Good” by Beastie Boys

From their not-so-humble beginnings as a truly awful Hard Core band who I saw as an opening act on Big Audio Dynamite’s first U.S. tour…to the hardy partyers who opened for Madonna on her “Virgin” tour…to the Brooklyn Dust masters who came into their own with “Paul’s Boutique” and Spike Jonze videos…to the elder statesmen of Hip Hop on the cusp of releasing their first new record in too many years…the Beasties have managed to invent and reinvent Rap and Hip Hop in their own image many times over. This one comes from “Check Your Head” and I love the use of the Fifth Dimension sample from “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In.”

Edited: April 14th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/13/11

Song Of The Day – “The Duke” by The Dave Brubeck Quartet

This breezy piece comes from the 1955 album “Jazz: Red, Hot And Cool” recorded live at Basin Street in New York City. The quartet features the great Paul Desmond on alto sax, Bob Bates on bass and Joe Dodge on drums. The cover photo was central to an early advertising campaign for Helena Rubinstein lipstick.

Edited: April 13th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/12/11

Song Of The Day – “Ce Matin La” by Air

This lush piece of 1960s pop actually was released in 1998 by the French group Air on their wonderful “Moon Safari” album.  With strings reminiscent of Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” and Brian Wilson-esque arrangements that would fit comfortably on a Beach Boys recording, Air really hit the bull’s-eye with this pastiche.

Edited: April 12th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/11/11

Song Of The Day – “Punky’s Dilemma” by Simon and Garfunkel

As we anticipate the release of a new batch of Paul Simon songs tomorrow in the form of “So Beautiful Or So What,” let’s take a look back at one of S&G’s quirky favorites recorded live at The Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967 and originally from the album “Bookends.”

Edited: April 11th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/10/11

Song Of The Day – “Honky Tonk Woman” by Joe Cocker

From one of my all-time favorite albums, “Mad Dogs And Englishmen,” comes Cocker with all-star band including Leon Russell, Jim Keltner, Chris Stainton, Bobby Keys, Jim Gordon, Rita Coolidge and many others. The complete Fillmore Shows where the material for this album was culled from was released several years ago as a 6 CD set…and the film is also killer!

Edited: April 9th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/9/11

Song Of The Day – “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” from “Mulan” by Donny Osmond

When you have kids, you find yourself watching films over and over again and we spent lots of time as a family in front of this one.  It is one of Disney’s better films and you can’t argue with the vocals of Donny Osmond on this song!

Edited: April 8th, 2011

“Don’t Worry About The Government”…it’s only shutting down…

Edited: April 8th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/8/11

Song Of The Day – “Man In The Mirror” by Jacob Lusk

American Idol has found the real deal this season in the form of singer Jacob Lusk. With a voice like Antony of Antony And The Johnsons but with a lot more range, Lusk can sing anything and make it sound good…and being on Idol means he’s singing all kinds of songs ill-suited to his immense talents. He probably won’t win the contest…but he’ll win in the form of a long career ahead.

Edited: April 8th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/7/11

Song Of The Day – “Bad Reputation” by Freedy Johnston

He remains a fine singer-songwriter long after the initial brush with fame that brought this single and his 1994 album “This Perfect World” onto most people’s radar. Freedy Johnston still releases albums full of tuneful and literate pop songs and hits the road, often with producer Butch Vig and Joe Jackson bassist Graham Maby in tow.

Edited: April 7th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4-6-11

Song Of The Day – “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem

Earlier this week one of the most important bands of the last 10 years gave their final concert on the stage of Madison Square Garden in NYC. Onlly LCD’s brainchild James Murphy knows what will come next, but he left some of the most infectious dance oriented rock in his wake. Here’s “All My Friends” from the final show.

Edited: April 6th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/5/11

Song Of The Day – “Alley Cat” by Bent Fabric

No wedding or Bar Mitzvah in the early 1960s was complete without a round of dancing to “Alley Cat”…there was even a special line dance associated with the song. It even won a Grammy for Best Rock & Roll Record in 1962 for the Danish born pianist. Go figure…

Edited: April 5th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/4/11

Song Of The Day - “The Mercy Seat” by Johnny Cash

From Cash’s Rick Rubin-produced 2000 album “American III: Solitary Man,” comes this unsettling tale written by Nick Cave.  In the hands of its creator, this song is disturbing enough…in the hands of Cash it is harrowing. Did the song’s protagonist do it? You decide…

Edited: April 4th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/3/11

Song Of The Day – “Blue Money” by Van Morrison

Originally from his 1970 album “His Band And The Street Choir,” here’s a great live version of one of Morrison’s signature ’70s songs recorded at The Troubadour on 5-26-73.

Edited: April 3rd, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/2/11

Song Of The Day – “Yes We Can Can” by The Pointer Sisters

This Allen Toussaint-penned gem comes from the Pointer’s debut album from 1973.  It’s infectious…it’s funky…it’s contagious…it’s been often sampled, but never improved upon!

Edited: April 1st, 2011