29 May 2012

The Guess Who - 'American Woman'

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Look!  We made a thing…it’s called Rock Heroes

Rock Heroes

…*tongue firmly in cheek* and is a triple disc collection of some of the finest balls-out rock tracks from the seriously amazing Sony Music archive. As you can imagine, coming from the desk of Sony Catalogue, its completely awesome and you should all definitely buy it when it’s released next Monday, but I’ll refer you to the LegacyRecordings.co.uk page for the professional ‘buy’ message.  Instead of shamelessly self-promoting this ‘superhero’ collection of blistering rock classics, I shall be using this forum over the next few days to shamelessly indulge my love of rock, even more than I do already.

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Today I was going to post about The Guess Who’s ‘American Woman’…which is on the album…and I love for a number of reasons but mainly because more tracks should start with ‘ooohmmm’ [at 11 seconds in].  There is of course, a whole minute and 15 seconds worth of some of the greatest rock intro ever committed to tape before the track bursts in to life – but I couldn’t find a video clip that did that justice.  You can listen to it in its full 5 mins and 7 seconds worth of glory on Rock Heroes …which did I mention is available in all good record stores (provided you can find one) on Monday.

Anyway, I love this track a whole big bunch.  It powers on a treat and it make for particularly good ‘walking music’ when you want to feel like a sexy rock god on the tube.

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There is a slightly better quality clip here of them performing on The Midnight Special, oooh but at what price!  This is all kinds of wrong.  The Guess Who, admittedly, are not the most visually dynamic of bands but this makes for some pretty awkward viewing.  By the looks of the crowd sipping cocktails in their gold lurex kaftans and extreme, stay-pressed flares , it’s getting kind of late on in the decade and I imagine that accounts for the neat little haircuts and thickened waistlines.  They all look so uncomfortable.

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29 years later Lenny Kravitz got himself a ‘Hippie Rock Star’ outfit from fancy dress shop and poured his own particular brand of pastiche all over it.  Everyone needs to just forget it happened…

…its crazy horrible!  I would take the p!ss out of it but that would involve talking about it, listening to it and watching it and I don’t want to do any of those things. 

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In other ‘rock hero’ related news.  I saw this in the paper this morning!

really?

I don’t know what to think!  I’m both excited and terrified in equal measures.  

Love Jimi…love Andre 3000.  I want this to be good SO BAD!

Let’s hope its a little more Joaquin Phoenix/Johnny Cash and a little less Val Kilmer/Jim Morrison eh!

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Here’s Jimi making ever other guitar player in the world look bad…forever.

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LM



27 May 2012
2 notes

Savage Garden - 'Gunning Down Romance' (2001)

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One of the more random nostalgia moments I’ve had lately was remembering going to see Savage Garden live on their Affirmation tour. I remember impressively happy music, gold lamé suits and a seriously awesome lighting set up

savage garden

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…And then I remembered this little moment of drama. By far one of the darker SG songs, 'Gunning Down Romance' is totally bitter and twisty. The shadow-play in the video from the live show is pretty great and massively set it apart from the rest of the slightly campy, “everyone let’s feel amazing together!” show. It was only the briefest of moments though, before everything went back to (slightly bonkers) normality…

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KS



26 May 2012

The Edgar Winter Group - ‘Frankenstein’ 

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39 years ago today Edgar Winter and his excellent brand of prog rock wizardry took this moment of sheer brilliance to no. 1 in the US.

If you have a spare 9 mins and 19 seconds today check out this Old Grey Whistle test performance of ‘Frankenstein’ – they all look like they’re having super fun!  You won’t be disappointed…6 mins and 26 seconds sees Edgar dive-bombing his ‘key-tar’ like a prog bat, which is both fun and a little bit creepy in equal measures.

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I think Whispering Bob sums it up perfectly at 9 mins and 16 seconds - ‘AMAZING’  abso-proging-lutely Bob, couldn’t have said it better mself!

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25 May 2012
1 note

Lovin’ Spoonful - 'Summer In The City' (live, 1966)

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Isn’t it just!!

If a hot sticky summer morning on the tube in London was a song – it would be this slice of aceness!

Be afraid Olympic tourists…be very afraid!

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LM



23 May 2012

Finley Quaye feat. Beth Orton - 'Dice' (2004)

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Anyone remember this beautiful song? Produced by William Orbit (and featuring the obligatory whooshy noises [see also: 'Pure Shores'& 'Electrical Storm'] ) and written by Beth Orton, this track always stood out for me amongst the rest of Finley Quaye’s recordings—where his catalogue is reggae-tinged, and quirky and, perky, in fact, 'Dice' is a rare, calm moment. And its inclusion in an episode of The O.C. took the song to an audience beyond where his music usually reached.

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KS



21 May 2012
1 note

Nina Simone - 'To Love Somebody' (1969)

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Wow, its been a bad few days for disco!  Still reeling from the news that dear Donna Summer had passed away, we wake up to the sad news that Robin Gibb has also passed on.

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I say disco, but of course both these artists were SO much more than that.  If all you knew of Robin and his band of Brothers Gibb was the 'Stayin’ Alive' video or, like many kids my age, had the Kenny Everett ‘Massive Chewsets’ sketch burned in to your subconscious; you could be forgiven for thinking the Bee Gees were figures of fun, but you’d be wrong.  Robin and his brothers were crafters of song, the likes of which is rarely seen, and their legacy altogether more important than we often realise.

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As if any of us needed reminding of how amazing he was, here’s some assorted Robin Gibb magic…whether its Nina Simone or Destiny’s Child covering it, Barry singing it with Barbra, Kenny Everett making fun of it, or just the Bee Gees smashing it all on their own…it was all kinds of amazing!

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RIP Robin!

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20 May 2012
1 note

Preservation Hall Jazz Band - 'Shake That Thing'  (2004)

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It’s pretty hard to listen to this song without wanting to dance to be honest. It’s an awesome little moment of pure joy. Also, from the first 'paaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrp' of the brass you can tell there is something about this song that’s just incredibly silly.

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'Shake That Thing' was written by “Papa” Charlie Jackson (a banjo player) in 1925 and has since been recorded by a fair few people including Taj Mahal and The Grateful Dead. Another really good version (though more straightforward and less humourous than this) is Wynonie Harris’.

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As far as instructional dance songs go, I’d say this isn’t quite on a par with say, the 'Hokey Kokey', but, if you’re listening to it wondering “well how earth does one go about actually ‘shaking that thing’?” Then here’s your answer:

"Now, Grandpa Johnson grabbed Sister Kate
He shook her like you shake jelly on a plate”

…which is probably on a descriptive par with Outkast’s "shake it like a Polaroid picture" line.

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KS


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