As charged by [livejournal.com profile] chickenfeet2003:

Reply and I’ll give you a letter. You have to find five songs that start with that letter and post them to your journal.

"Keep Me In Your Heart For A While," Warren Zevon
"Killing Floor," Howlin' Wolf
"King Of Rock," Run-D.M.C.
"Kirsten Is A Fuckmachine," Tiger Tunes
"Kung Fu," Curtis Mayfield

Five songs starting with the letter K. (Megaupload.com)
Speaking of spurious assumptions about sexual dichotomization, I find it interesting that at my gym, the windowless, ochre, musty free-weight room gets one of the local Classic Rock stations pumped into it, heavy '70s music. Generally everyone in there is male, and both younger and buffer than I am, which makes me embarrassed to go in there and have to set the pins on the floor so I can do my standing cable fly. The fitness center, which draws a more mixed crowd, is newly renovated, brighter, airier, and smells better. It contains all of the cardiovascular equipment and the stack machines. In the fitness center, we listen to CDs mostly of the peppy, poppy eighties. Just yesterday, they were playing, as they always seem to be, the greatest hits of Duran Duran. Which is fine, because I like "Hungry Like The Wolf." But then that CD finished and they put in a mix of what seemed to be Mtv's biggest songs: "Video Killed The Radio Star," "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)," "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" and, wait for it, "Hungry Like The Wolf" again. So if anyone could send me an mp3 of "Hungry Like The Wolf" I'd appreciate it. If anyone ([livejournal.com profile] lynnmonster) could send me an mp3 of Carolyn Kelley singing "Hungry Like The Wolf," I'd be ecstatic. And, to indulge the heavy '70s side of my fitness regime, I'm also out here, hat in hand, asking for a copy of Bob Seger's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man." Thank you all very much.
I've lost myself in a daze of nostalgia over the last month, and one of the worst things I have done was digging up the journal I kept from the end of my senior year at high school to the start of my sophomore year in college. It was originally intended as a repository of story ideas, but quickly devolved into a collection of keenings about women; rereading it now, I'm glad of this, as the story ideas are often banal but the keening is top-quality. I was surprised to see, though, several mentions of a song I hadn't listened to since 1990. I discovered "Six O'Clock" on a crappy Hollywood Records compilation cassette of the Lovin' Spoonful, and I fixated on it as the perfect accompaniment for a life then composed mostly of infatuation and regret.

I'm sure the tape has long since disintegrated, but I found a torrent of what seems to be the complete discography of the Spoonful, or at least those bits of their career before John Sebastian departed. I've been known to buy CDs for a single song, but this is the first time I've ever downloaded 257 megabytes for a two-and-three-quarters minute song. Right now I think it was worth it, but I'll let you be your own judge.

The Lovin' Spoonful -- "Six O'Clock" (MegaUpload.com).
I think the lyrics quiz has run its course. Congratulations go out to [livejournal.com profile] ladystarlightsj, [livejournal.com profile] midnightsjane, [livejournal.com profile] londonkds, [livejournal.com profile] deevalish, [livejournal.com profile] dlgood, and [livejournal.com profile] buffyannotater. The remaining songs were:

3. "Dreams are strewn across the sand /
You won't need (you won't money) /
Oh no"
"The Road To Ruin" by The Libertines.

4. "Hip shakin' mama, I told ya /
I'm in love with only you /
Gotta, do it baby why don't ya /
I'll give ya everything you want."
"I Can't Turn You Loose" by Otis Redding.

9. "Jingling a wish coin that I stole from a fountain that was drowning all the cares in the world /
When I get older climbin up on the back porch fence just to see the dogs runnin."
"Go It Alone" by Beck.

I'm not all that surprised that these went unnamed -- I doubt very much that I would have recognized any of them. I might have known which album the Beck came from, but I definitely wouldn't have known the song title.

I've gathered all ten songs together and uploaded them to YouSendIt. There are now only 10 downloads allowed to non-members, so let me know if it runs out.
Oh, look! Schloss Neuschwanstein to the left! The problem with posting such a vertical picture is now I have to write enough to justify the expanse. Blah, blah, blah. Blahditty, blahdittum. With such sterling prose on display I'll never understand why this LiveJournal is hemorrhaging friends, not to mention the entire nation of Saudi Arabia. As a bit of a reward (or perhaps a goad) to those who have remained, I offer: music. Twenty-six songs, for those who want them. Inspired (cowed) by [livejournal.com profile] lynnmonster's example. Strange covers! Egyptian funk! Secret Parliament! Parental warnings for strong language, sexual situations, and using Hurricane Katrina as an excuse to slam President Bush.

I haven't put any thought into how these should be sequenced, and the quality is variable as the tracks I've ripped are usually at a much lower bit-rate than the ones I've taken from this or that audioblog. But enough of my mewling; let's see what we have.
  • "Hideous Mutant Freekz" -- axiomFunk. From the Bill Laswell-produced compilation Funkcronomicon, I picked this up almost exactly ten years ago, and with its monster-movie-music allusions, this song makes me think of Halloween, though the freekz in question are more likely encountered in junior high school than in satanic ritual. The track reunites George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Garry Shider, and Mudbone Cooper, but I'm sure there are legal reasons it's not P-Funk.

  • "Going To The Country" -- Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Rollers. Mr. Jocque's girlfriend has developed a substance dependency problem, so instead of staging an intervention and getting her into rehab, he goes into the swamp in search of a black cat bone. Now it is my suspicion that black cat bone signifies some sort of Viagra etoufee, but the real voodoo here is that anyone could ever get such a funky sound out of an accordian.

  • "Milk & Honey" -- Beck. "Arkansas wet dreams." "Do you know the way to the Soviet embassy?" Recorded concurrently with the impeachment trial, Midnite Vultures probably doesn't actually contain secret commentaries on President Clinton, but with lines like "You can smell the VD in the club tonight," it's easy to pretend it does.

  • Twenty-three more songs, from Ella Fitzgerald to the Scissor Sisters )
Ok, I'm off to Egypt tomorrow, so enjoy the music in my absence.
There are only four copies of Verdi Without Words at public libraries on the CLEVNET system; however, two of those copies are owned by the Shaker Heights Public Library, so that solves that.

I'm now impressed by and fascinated with the rhyme of "opera star" and "repertoire."
Anyone out there got an orchestral, vocal-free version of La donna è mobile from Verdi's Rigoletto? You Send It to dherblay *at* LiveJournal.com, please, please, please!
Justice League Unlimited just totally ripped off "Soul Purpose".

***
Rick James has died at age 56 of natural causes. Though one would assume with Rick James that it wasn't so much natural causes as a long, polyrhythmic concatenation of extraordinary causes.

I was thinking about Rick James a few days ago, even before I heard of his passing, as I was reflecting on "lost albums," those records which were made but never released. Certainly the lost album I most wish to hear is the album James made with his mid-sixties Toronto band The Mynah Birds. The Mynah Birds were, with Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers, one of Berry Gordy's first salt-and-pepper signings in his attempt to find an interracial group that could, like Booker T. & the M.G.'s, bridge the gap between soul and rock markets. The group came down to Detroit and recorded an album, but the album was stored away after it was revealed that James, the group's lead singer, was at that point AWOL from the US Navy. Gordy always demanded that his artists maintain a certain image of wholesomeness, and he suggested to James that he go and serve his debt to society; there might be a place for him at Motown when he had fulfilled his other responisibilities. It took James twelve years to return to Motown; in the meantime, his bassist and guitarist, Bruce Palmer and Neil Young respectively, decamped for California where they hooked up with Stephen Stills and formed Buffalo Springfield. At least one person who has heard the album has called it "Holland-Dozier-Holland with twelve-string guitars." Others have said that you can't hear much of Young's guitar on it at all -- of course, I'd rather listen to the Funk Brothers anyday.

A different album has recently reappeared from the mists of memory: the album John Kerry made with his high school garage band The Electras (certainly one of the three or four greatest surf bands ever to come out of New Hampshire) will be hitting stores soon. From what I've heard of his bass playing, Kerry is competent if unremarkable; of course, he recorded the album in 1962, well before John Entwhistle and Larry Graham emerged with the idea that a rock bass player could be more than competent if unremarkable. Tom Feran (who ends his column with a pun unbefitting a former editor of The Harvard Lampoon) asked a local Cleveland DJ and a local garage band to review the album; their reaction could be summed up as "Kerry was a root note bassist - pretty simple, but that's what you're supposed to do with that style." Entertainment Weekly got The Hives to offer another review:
The bassist is a solid foundation, a good person. Maybe bass players don't have the strongest leadership qualities, but they are good at negotiating, they have a basic fairness, which is very important if you're gonna run a country.
All of which I'd be fine with at this point. But though I don't want to seem overly enthusiastic about Kerry, I do have to point out that occasionally the bass player turns out to be Bootsy Collins.

Bootsy's Rubber Band: "Psychoticbumpschool (Live)" (YouSendIt.com)
The JibJab/Woody Guthrie copyright battle deepens: the Electronic Freedom Foundation provides sonic evidence that Guthrie himself may have ripped off the Carter Family. Jesse Walker then points out that the Carter Family claimed ownership of a number of traditional folksongs.

I'm waiting for someone to rework "The Lemon Song," and for the Led Zeppelin legal team to go on record that they've never heard of Howlin' Wolf or Robert Johnson. And I'm reminded, for some reason, of the bit of Douglas Adams's where the editors of the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy copy their entry for "The Universe" off the back of a cereal box and then send the book back through a time warp and successfully sue the cereal company for copyright infringement.
I'm sure that by now everyone has seen the jibjab Flash animation of George Bush and John Kerry singing "This Land Is My Land." Well, according to No Rock & Roll Fun, its makers are being sued for breach of copyright. This brings up the vexing question: "This Land Is My Land" isn't public domain yet? And the vexing answer: anything younger than Mickey Mouse will always be covered by copyright laws as long as Disney can pay their lawyers. In any case, it's a fair case for sardonicism that every American second-grader's introduction to a socialist disregard for individual property should provide the occasion for a ridiculous overapplication of intellectual property law; and, indeed, Woody Guthrie himself said, back when Mickey Mouse was, oh, my guess is 28 years old, "This song is copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."
With any luck, today is my last day on dial-up, my last day obsessively entering numbers into Excel to make sure I do not exceed AT&T's stupid 150-hour-a-month quota (which didn't seem all that big a deal when I signed up for it, pre-ATPo and pre-[livejournal.com profile] rahael), my last day not receiving summonses from the RIAA.
Warren Zevon has died.

After the release of his final album two weeks ago, I'm pretty much eulogized out. KdS said everything I wish I had the skill and the insight to say anyway. I think the best tribute I can offer is to share his music with people who have yet to really experience it. The following is probably not the best song with which to gain converts, but it's a favorite of mine.

"The Indifference of Heaven." Live, from Learning to Flinch. (Right click and select "Save Target As." It's about 2 MB, so plan your time accordingly.)

ETA: file has been since removed.

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April 2009

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