News for April 2012

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – 5/1/12


Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – “Yes And No” by Branford Marsalis

Before TV and Leno, there was Branford, brother of Wynton and young Turk on the saxophone. He was touring behind his 1988 album “Random Abstract” at the time of this recording and had Kenny Kirkland on piano, Bob Hurst on bass and powerhouse drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts along for the ride. Here they are tearing it up on a Wayne Shorter classic called “Yes And No.” I was fortunate enough to be at this show and a then-unknown jazz piano player by the name of Harry Connick Jr. was the opening act. Sitting at the table behind me that night was Bill Cosby, his wife, and Miles Davis. It was hard to focus on the magic unfolding on the stage with them sitting behind me. However, I did approach them after the show and shook their hands.

Edited: April 30th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/30/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Love Sick” by Mariachi El Bronx

This choice cover comes from the exceptional multi-artist 3-CD set called “Chimes Of Freedom – The Songs Of Bob Dylan” released this past January to benefit Amnesty International. I love what Mariachi El Bronx do with this song, completely recasting it to fit their sound. Actually Mariachi El Bronx is the alter ego of the Los Angeles hardcore band called The Bronx who has released three hardcore punk albums under their real name and two mariachi albums under their alias. Many probably remember Dylan’s own televised live version of this song from the Grammy Awards many years ago when an unwanted audience member jumped on stage with the words “Soy Bomb” printed on his chest and spastically gyrated along to the music until security had him removed from the stage. Meanwhile, Dylan seemingly unfazed didn’t miss a beat.

Edited: April 29th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/29/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Generation Landslide” by Alice Cooper

Some records keep getting better with time. “Billion Dollar Babies” by Alice Cooper is certainly one of them featuring songs like “Elected,” the title cut (featuring guest artist Donovan), “Sick Things,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Unfinished Suite” and this song. The album was originally packaged like an alligator skin wallet complete with photos, a bill fold and a large billion dollar bill. Alice Cooper originally started out as a band featuring singer Vincent Furnier along with Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton and Dennis Dunaway, until Furnier took on the name Alice Cooper for his own. He was one of the first “shock rockers” with a stage show that featured guillotines, baby doll corpses, snakes, electric chairs and lots of fake blood. Like many of his generation, the fine line between the character of Alice Cooper and that of the real Vincent Furnier began to fade away, and as a result Cooper became an alcoholic and a bit of a caricature of himself as time went on. During the late 1990s with his alcoholic days way behind him, I saw him perform in a Washington DC club and his show featured all of the above named accoutrements. Not only were his music and vocals still spot on, but the spectacle was amazing. I was brought onto his tour bus after the show to meet him, and he was a gracious host who was about as normal as you could imagine.

Edited: April 28th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/28/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Burnin’ For You” by Blue Oyster Cult

Not my typical fare for Song Of The Day, but a solid FM rock song from the 1970s. Actually, the reason I picked it was that earlier this evening I was making a cup of tea and put a cup of water into the microwave to quickly heat it up. Three minutes later, I reached to get my cup of water and fumbled it resulting in second degree burns on my hand and wrist. One trip to the emergency room later… and a few pain pills…and I’m feeling much better. So here’s your Song Of The Day since earlier tonight I was literally “Burnin’ For You.”

Edited: April 27th, 2012

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – 4/27/12

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – “The Jolly Banker” by Wilco

Back in 1997, British political folkie Billy Bragg joined forces with all-American rock band Wilco to compose and record music for lyrics left behind by the late, great Woody Guthrie. The recordings resulted in the two-volume “Mermaid Avenue” albums. Some songs were recorded by Bragg backed by Wilco and some were just Wilco songs. This one is just a Wilco recording featuring the 1997-lineup with Jay Bennett on piano and organ. Last week, both “Mermaid Avenue” albums were re-released along with a third disc of 17 previously unreleased or hard to find recordings from the sessions, and a documentary DVD about the recording of the record. Here is a cover of a song Woody Guthrie did get a chance to record on his own, and, although it’s been available to stream since 2009, it makes its debut on the third disc of previously unreleased recordings.

Edited: April 26th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/26/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Freedom Fighters” by Todd Rundgren’s Utopia

They were originally billed at Todd Rundgren’s Utopia for their first few albums in 1974 and 1975, and then they just became Utopia…but under any name they were just another vehicle for Todd to go all prog on us instead of sticking to the radio-friendly pop and blue-eyed soul that he’d been serving out up to this point. Sure, we’d had a taste of the wiggy Todd before on the albums “A Wizard, A True Star” and “Todd,” but Utopia’s first foray featured just four songs all over ten minutes long with the exception of this one. In fact, the entire second side of the album featured the 30 minute opus, “The Ikon,” which is required listening for any Todd-ophile. The original line-up of Utopia included Moogy Klingman and Ralph Schuckett on keyboards, M. Frog Labat on synths, John Siegler on bass, Kevin Ellman on drums and Todd on guitar and vocals.

Edited: April 25th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/25/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Soul Sacrifice” by Santana

This blazing performance comes to you from the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair, the mother of all rock festivals. It’s amazing to watch a then, mostly unknown, Carlos Santana catch fire in front of the biggest audience he had ever played to at that point…not to mention that he was tripping his face off on acid while doing so. Santana’s appearance was part of a barter deal made by manager Bill Graham – if Woodstock wanted Graham’s premium acts Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead, they would have to take Santana and give them a good slot in the festival. Obviously, Graham already knew what the Woodstock Nation was soon to find out…that they were to be treated to a career-making performance for the ages!

Edited: April 24th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/24/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “I’ve Had Enough” by Pete Townshend

One of the gems I picked up on Record Store Day last weekend was the second volume of “Quadrophenia” demos by Pete Townshend pressed on 10″ vinyl. (The first volume was released last November on Black Friday Record Store Day.) Last year, The Who released a deluxe “Quadrophenia” CD box set that featured the whole two record set in demo form as bonus tracks. The demos illustrate Townshend’s creative process of pretty much having everything figured out ahead of time before he presented the songs to the band. The arrangements are all there in demo form with Townshend handling all instruments, overdubs and vocals. While Roger Daltry was a more dramatic vocalist, Entwistle the definitive anchor to the band and Moon a far more exciting drummer, Townshend holds his own on these recordings and really could have released them as a solo record. As far as the album is concerned, “Quadrophenia” was Townshend’s last real credible musical statement. Sure “Who By Numbers” and “Who Are You” are good albums, but they are patchy collections of songs without a defining theme. Most of his solo records, barring “Empty Glass” are pretty uneven with “The Iron Man” being the low point of his career. I also feel “Quadrophenia” is a far more consistent and developed collection compared to “Tommy,” Townshend’s other epic musical statement.

Edited: April 23rd, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/23/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Hand Springs” by The White Stripes

PLAY LOUD…that’s all you need to know!

Edited: April 22nd, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/22/12 – Earth Day Edition

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Air” from the Original Broadway Cast Recording of “Hair”

For Earth Day 2012, here’s a song that is as relevant today as it was back in 1968 when it made its debut in the Broadway musical “Hair.” Written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado on the lyrics and hipster musician Galt MacDermot on the music, “Hair” was originally billed as “The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.” MacDermot also wrote the music to the 1971 musical “Two Gentlemen Of Verona” and released several influential funk and instrumental jazz albums that are currently the rage amongst those “in the know” of the hipster cognoscenti. Actress and singer, Shelley Plimpton is the vocalist on this cut. Plimpton is the mother of Martha Plimpton, who currently stars in the popular TV series “Raising Hope.” The cast album to “Hair” has managed to stand the test of time and the musical has enjoyed numerous successful revivals and tours around the world. Happy Earth Day to all.

Edited: April 21st, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/14/12


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Watch The Show” by M. Ward

He is the “Him” of She & Him along with Zooey Deschanel. He is also ¼ of the “super group” Monsters Of Folk along with Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes. Matthew Ward, or M. Ward as he’s better known, has been the epitome of laid-back Portlandia, very happy hanging on the sidelines or in the background of his many projects. Between releasing his own records including his latest, “A Wasteland Companion,” Ward has lent his talents to sessions with such indie luminaries as Neko Case, Cat Power, My Morning Jacket and Jenny Lewis.

Edited: April 21st, 2012

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – 4/20/12

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “She’s A Great, Great Girl” by Roger Wolfe Kahn & His Orchestra with Jack Teagarden

Singer, trombonist, Jack Teagarden, came from a musical family. His mother taught piano, his father was an amateur trumpeter and his siblings were also professional musicians. “The Big T” sang like he played trombone very lyrically and infused with the blues. During the 1920s he collaborated with the cream of the Jazz crop including Bix Beiderbecke, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman, Eddie Condon, Louis Armstrong and Roger Wolfe Kahn. This song was recorded in 1928 with Kahn & His Orchestra right after Teagarden came to New York City. Teagarden had every intention of joining Paul Whiteman’s band but ended up replacing Glenn Miller in the Ben Pollack Band. Within a year, he finally did join Whiteman’s band seeking financial security during The Great Depression. With Whiteman, he was afforded a solo spot as one of “The Three Ts” with Frankie Trumbauer and his brother Charlie Teagarden. He later joined Louis Armstrong’s All Stars in the mid-1940s and appeared with him performing “Rocking Chair” in Bert Stern’s documentary film about the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival called “Jazz On A Summer Day.”

Edited: April 19th, 2012

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – 4/19/12

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Hang Loose” by Alabama Shakes

Sometimes I find I’m way to critical a listener of music. On face value, the Alabama Shakes’ debut album “Boys & Girls” is a fine old-school, STAX-inspired soul record with sturdy songs sung by newcomer powerhouse vocalist Brittany Howard. But here’s where the rub comes…when I hear a record like this that hawks back to an older type of music, I can’t help but wonder are they just emulating the sound…or do they actually feel what they are doing? In the Shakes’ case, it sounds somewhat genuine…but the jaded music industry side of me can’t help wonder if it is all some kind of a concoction dreamt up by some aging A&R guys around a board room table at a record company. I guess I’ve gotta stop thinking so much about the music…and start feeling it myself… Perhaps I should just “Hang Loose.”

Edited: April 18th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/18/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Ice Age” by Dr. John

Whether you know him as Mac Rebennack, “The Night Tripper” or Dr. John, he’s been responsible for healthy doses of New Orleans swamp, Gris Gris and funk for over 40 years…and on the strength of his latest record, The Doctor is most definitely IN! Over the last decade or two, Dr. John has been searching musically for some relevance releasing albums full of standards and light Jazz fare that didn’t do him any favors toward advancing his career at its advanced stage. The pairing of the good Doctor with producer Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys has given him some down-home mojo, bringing the quirk back to his sound not heard since the days of “In The Right Place” back in 1973. The album is solid through and through and surely is a contender for one of the best so far this year. I’m sure you’ll a-Gris Gris.

Edited: April 17th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/17/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Footprints” by Miles Davis Quintet

They were known as Miles Davis’ second great quintet featuring Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, Wayne Shorter on sax and Tony Williams on drums, but to some, they were his most important lineup, featuring Miles surrounded by a talented group of musicians who were much younger than he was. The first great quintet featured John Coltrane on sax, Philly Joe Jones on drums, Red Garland on piano and Paul Chambers on bass and were responsible for creating a new modal language of cool Jazz on quintessential classic albums like “Kind Of Blue,” “Round About Midnight” and “Milestones.” The ’60s quintet’s approach to improvisation was far more free-wheeling and the group’s musical language was far more advanced…they were all on the same plane, and that plane was otherworldly. The quintet recorded the albums “E.S.P.” “Miles Smiles,” “Sorcerer,” “Nefertiti,” “Miles In The Sky,” and “Filles de Kilimanjaro” between the years 1965 and 1968, and can be heard live from the concert stage on the 5 CD “Complete Live At The Plugged Nickel” recorded in 1965 and on the 3 CD “Live In Europe 1967.” This version of Shorter’s “Footprints,” originally from the “Miles Smiles” album, was culled from the DVD that came with the “Live In Europe 1967” set release last fall as “The Bootleg Series Volume 1.” Hopefully, Columbia will keep them coming.

Edited: April 16th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/16/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Barracuda” by Cliffie Stone

Talk about your double entendre record…well, I’ve never! This rude but somewhat right Rockabilly stomper by Cliffie Stone would never get passed the censors of today. Perhaps they didn’t know any better back in the late 1950s… Country musician, Stone was one of the first A&R guys at Capitol Records back in the late 1940s discovering Tennessee Ernie Ford and Hank Thompson. His TV show, “Hometown Jamboree,” became a launching pad for Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Lefty Frizzell, Johnny Horton, Ferlin Husky, Jim Reeves, Merle Travis, Tex Ritter and dozens of other artist who gained notoriety by appearing. He was also a pioneer of Rockabilly music recording numerous sides for Capitol that bridged the gap between country and rhythm ‘n’ blues.

Edited: April 15th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/15/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “He’s My Baby” by Jean Shepard

There was an interesting time during the late 1950s where straight Country ‘n’ Western music melded with then-burgeoning Rock ‘n’ Roll and Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, giving birth to classic Rockabilly. Capitol records was a hotbed for Rockabilly recording crossover artists like Ferlin Husky, Faron Young, Wanda Jackson, Hank Thompson, Jerry Reed, Gene Vincent and Skeets McDonald. Jean Shepard was a member of The Grand Ole Opry who scored her first #1 hit back in 1953 as a duet with Ferlin Husky called “A Dear John Letter” and followed it with the top 10 hit “A Satisfied Mind” a few years later. She went on to become a star of recorded music and variety show TV during the 1950s and recorded this early Rockabilly gem in 1958. She married Hawkshaw Hawkins in 1960 who would perish in the same plane crash that took Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas. She went on to have country chart hits throughout the 1960s and 1970s and was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame last year.

Edited: April 14th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/14/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Sixteen Saltines” by Jack White

He may have changed his color schemes from red and white to blue for his first solo record, but this song isn’t a White of a different color musically…and that’s a good thing! As the NY Times recently stated, he’s a “Jack Out-Of-The-Box” when it comes releasing records. In an effort to try alternative means of distribution, he released 1000 copies of a flexi-disc single via helium balloon on April 1. Copies have begun to fall to earth and fall onto eBay for over one thousand dollars a pop so far. On Record Store Day 2012, which is next Saturday, he’ll release another single that is clear vinyl filled with a psychedelic blue liquid that will stimulate the eye as much as the ear. It will only be available at his Third Man Records headquarters in Nashville on that day…then they’ll be gone. He’s already released a record that spins at 3 RPM, a triple-decker record within a record, tri-color vinyl and laser etched records which also sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars on eBay depending on their pressing runs. Yes, all of these original marketing schemes wouldn’t be worth a hoot if what was in the grooves wasn’t as good as it is. This song is a taste of White’s first solo album called “Blunderbuss” which will release on April, 24. If this and the previous single release are any indication, not only is this the most anticipated record of the year, it will probably be one of the best. White will also take to the road this summer with two bands, one all-female and one all-male – both with , of course, different color schemes. They will be headlining Lollapalooza in August making it one of the most anticipated sets of the festival. Rave on Jack White…rave on!

Edited: April 13th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/13/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Fair Weather Fans” by The Baseball Project

Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, The Baseball Project is a home run of an album! Featuring members of Dream Syndicate (Steve Wynn), REM (Peter Buck), The Minus 5 and The Young Fresh Fellows (Scott McCaughey) and Golden Smog (Linda Pitmon), this collective has released two albums of baseball-centric tunes with guests that include Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) and Steve Berlin (Los Lobos). Musically they sound like everybody from Rockpile to Graham Parker & The Rumour to Think Lizzy (especially on this tune) to the groups that they each hail from. I’m told by those who have seen them in action that they are capable of hitting the ball out of the park from the time they take the stage all the way to the 9th inning of their shows. OK, enough of the baseball talk…let’s talk music…The Baseball Project totally rock!

Edited: April 12th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/12/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Malkin Jewel” by The Mars Volta

They call it “Math Rock,” but folks my age call it Progressive…and proggy rock is alive and kicking 2012 style in the form of The Mars Volta. Guitarist-producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and vocalist, Cedric Bixler-Zavala were originally members of the influential band, At The Drive In, who just reformed for a tour this summer including a stop at Lollapalooza. They formed The Mars Volta in 2001 and have released several dense concept records featuring their special brand of difficult listening incorporating Jazz, Progressive Rock and Latin music influences. Most of the time, I’m not sure what they’re saying…but they sure do mean it and they do so with a complexity that has been missing in rock music for a long time. Their latest album is called “Noctourniquet” and includes this song.

Edited: April 11th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4-11-12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “A Change Of Horses” by Ian Anderson

They said it couldn’t be done! Ian Anderson created a sequel to Jethro Tull’s classic 1972 album, “Thick As A Brick” answering the question “What ever happened to Gerald Bostock?,” the fictional character at the heart of the original album. Well, 40 years later and now we have “TAAB2″ or “Thick As A Brick 2″ released last week. I must admit I greeted this album with quite a bit of trepidation. How could you create a follow-up to one of the greatest Progressive Rock albums of all time, 40 years later no less, and make it sound relevant. Well folks, he didn’t…it’s not really relevant at all, nor does it try to be, but if you’re a fan of the original, you won’t be let down by its sequel. Derek Schulman, from the ‘70s Progressive Rock group Gentle Giant, convinced Anderson to create this album several years ago, and now Anderson will be promoting it on the road performing both “Thick As A Brick” albums in concert. It may take a few “animal deals” to get a ticket!

Edited: April 10th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4-10-12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “God Give Me Strength” by Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach

To me, this was THE SUMMIT…two of my very favorite artists collaborating together for an album and a tour…and one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen! Costello was always a fan of Burt Bacharach, covering his song “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” right from the beginning of his career. Their collaboration began with this song written for the 1996 Allison Anders film “Grace Of My Heart” which was loosely based on the story of 1960s Brill Building pop songsmiths. The two worked together by email and telephone and found they had a knack for writing great songs. They continued their long distance writing to write the batch of songs that became their sole album, “Painted From Memory.” The ensuing 1998 tour was, for my money, a meeting of two of the greatest songwriters of all time…right up there with Lennon and McCartney!

Edited: April 9th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/9/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Snake Drive” by R.L. Burnside

Along with fellow musician Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside didn’t see any fame until he was well into his ’70s. He spent much of his life living in poverty playing the blues in his native Holly Springs, Mississippi. It wasn’t until he was signed to the Mississippi independent Fat Possum record label in the early 1990s that Burnside got any recognition on a national level. He recorded several albums backed by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion including the album “A Ass Pocket Of Whiskey” where this song was culled. Burnside took to the road during the latter part of his life either backed by Spencer or with his grandson, Cedric Burnside on drums. I caught him live several times in the early 1990s at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia and then again towards the end of his life at the Chicago Blues Festival. Burnside died in 2005 after suffering complications from heart surgery.

Edited: April 8th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/8/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “5 O’Clock In The Morning” by Godley & Creme

Kevin Godley and Lol Creme were one half of British 70s super group 10cc, along with Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman. After the release of 10cc’s album “How Dare You” in 1976, Godley and Creme decided to leave the 10cc fold in order to record an album to promote an early guitar synthesizer they invented called The Gizmo. While the Stewart-Gouldman version of 10cc went on to score the huge hit, “The Things We Do For Love,” Godley and Creme worked on a three-record set called “Consequences.” The record was a six-sided sprawling curiosity at best, featuring lots of atmospheric instrumental music, a full story disc with Gizmo sound effects narrated by British comic Peter Cook, and a few songs including this, the most 10cc-like song in the collection. Even with assists from guest artists Sarah Vaughan and Mel Collins, and a deluxe box set presentation with booklet, the whole affair was pretty much dead on arrival. In retrospect, there are a few good songs that sound like the Godley & Creme we’d come to know…and while the album and The Gizmo never took off, they did recover over the next decade by producing hit videos for the likes of Sting, The Police, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Duran Duran. They also scored a late 80s hit with their video and song, “Cry.”

Edited: April 8th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/7/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Fire” by Bruce Springsteen

It boggles the mind the songs that were left on the cutting room floor from Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” recording sessions. There was a plethora of material to choose from due to the legal problems that resulted in a three year span between “Born To Run” and “Darkness.” As a result, Bruce gave now-classic songs like this one, “Because The Night” and “Talk To Me” away to The Pointer Sisters, Patti Smith and Southside Johnny respectively. Rather than release what would have been a solid double or triple album back in 1978, he chose to leave classics like “Rendezvous,” “Spanish Eyes,” “Outside Looking In” and “The Promise” off the record entirely making fans wait 30 years for their eventual release on “The Promise.” Two years later, he did release a pretty solid double album with “The River” which included the “Darkness” outtakes “Independence Day,” “The Ties That Bind” and “Sherry Darlin’.” I know of at least four CDs of outtakes from those sessions just waiting for eager ears to officially sample in superb fidelity. When it does come down the pike…and I’m sure it WILL come down the pike, “The River” sessions box set will also be superb!

Edited: April 7th, 2012

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – 4/6/12


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “As I Love My Own” by Aaron Freeman

He’s better known as Gene Ween of the brownest band around, Ween. After years of touring as a solo act while his buddy Mickey Melchiondo angles the ocean blue, he’s decided to release a solo album of, get this, songs by “poet” and songwriter Rod McKuen. McKuen was a big deal back in the 1960s, wrote quite a bit of pretentious poetry, wrote the song “Jean” from the film “The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie” and was a stalwart of numerous mood music records on the Warner Bros. record label featuring his recitations over the lush background music of The San Sebastian Strings and the Anita Kerr Singers. Heck, Frank Sinatra even recorded an album of his songs back in 1971 called “A Man Alone.” Interesting records…great productions with lush orchestras and recited poetry…certainly time pieces and very quaint by today’s standards. So now we patiently await Aaron Freeman’s take on the music of Rod McKuen with his May 2012 release, “Marvelous Clouds.”

Edited: April 5th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/5/12

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – “Take Me Back” by Aloe Blacc

It’s all about the positively sinister groove that is going down on this track from Aloe Blacc’s essential 2010 album, “Good Things.” I think I’m already three cuts deep into this album for “Song Of The Day” posts so far, and there’s plenty more where this one came from! Most people, like myself, first became aware of Blacc with his song “I Need A Dollar” that was used as the theme from the criminally canceled HBO series “How To Make It In America.” Good series…great TV theme! If you don’t already own this album, you’re missing out on one of the great soul records of this century!

Edited: April 4th, 2012

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – 4/4/12

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – “Don’cha Go ‘Way Mad” by Frank Sinatra

Another “Mad Men” era favorite by America’s favorite playboy. Back in 1962, Sinatra was the epitome of that “Ring A Ding Ding” era with his Rat Pack buddies tearin’ up the Vegas town on a nightly basis. Oh to be a fly on the wall for some of them hi-jinx! This one, like yesterday’s “Wives And Lovers,” comments on the subservient role women played during the early ’60s. It has lots of nerve and swagger as it nonchalantly asks the woman to forgive and forget her man’s fling…but at least it does swing! It comes from the album “Sinatra And Swingin’ Brass” and was written by Jimmy Mundi, Al Stillman and Jazz saxophonist, Illinois Jacquet. The arrangements come from the one and only Neal Hefti.

Edited: April 3rd, 2012

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – 4/3/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Wives And Lovers” by Jack Jones

I know I’ve featured this 1963 classic before, but with the return of “Mad Men” to our TV screens for a new season, this song seemed appropriate to feature again. Besides, it is one of my very favorite Burt Bacharach-Hal David compositions! Jack Jones was awarded a 1964 Grammy award for Best Pop Male Performance with this song . He also won one in 1962 in the same category for his hit “Lollipops and Roses.” Along with the equally talented pop vocalist, Robert Goulet, he was also known for his recording of “The Impossible Dream” from the musical “Man Of LaMancha.” Mr. Jones also scored big with the incomparable “Love Boat Theme” and “Lady.”

Edited: April 2nd, 2012

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – 4/2/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)” by Haircut 100

Nothing like a wacky band name! Haircut 100 were rivaled only by A Flock Of Seagulls in the New Wave band name wars of the early 1980s, but you could always tell the bands apart by their hair styles (…and their trousers…they were tight…). Haircut 100 were formed in 1980 by lead singer Nick Heywood and while they did score four top ten singles across the pond, in America they are primarily remembered by this song and its follow-up single “Love Plus One.” Both songs were on their very popular debut album, “Pelican West,” where the band dabbled in a slick brand of dance, punk’n’funk influenced by XTC and Talking Heads. The band’s popularity in America was largely due to the heavy rotation their videos received on MTV.

Edited: April 1st, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/1/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Boy Meets Girl” by Anoushka Shankar

To say Anoushka Shankar was raised around a musical family is a bit of an understatement. She is the daughter of sitar master Ravi Shankar and the half-sister of Norah Jones. Anoushka learned to play the sitar from her father and began performing with him around the world at the age of 14. Although born in London, Shankar spent much of her childhood in Delhi, India and Encinitas, California. She has recorded several amazing records including the album where this song comes from, her latest called “Traveller.” [sic] She has performed and recorded with Sting, Jeff Lynne, Phillip Glass, Peter Gabriel and Eric Clapton. She was also the opening act at “The Concert George” which paid tribute to family friend, George Harrison.

Edited: April 1st, 2012