Archive for May, 2012

Five Songs, Part 81 (Paul Weller birthday edition)

May 25, 2012

I had my Five Songs for the week all done and set to go this afternoon when I realized — today’s Paul Weller’s birthday (54th, not that anyone’s counting). Not sure why — maybe because of a lot of his solo career has left me cold, or perhaps because he’s been around since my late teens — but I kinda take Weller for granted. Which makes no sense because a lot of my favorite songs of all time have something to do with The Jam or The Style Council.

So anyway, I tacked a dozen-minus-one extra songs at the last minute to the five Five Songs all set to go — five from The Jam (for my favorite Jam song, “Town Called Malice,” I went with one of my favorite movie dance moments of all — Billy Eliot’s “Footloose” moment), three from The Style Council and three solos, the last one from his latest album, Sonik Kicks.

And enjoy your long weekend:

The Rain, The Park and Other Things — The Cowsills

Pretty Baby — Blondie

Land of 1,000 Dances — Cannibal & the Headhunters

Richard Cory — Simon & Garfunkel

Run, Run, Run — The Velvet Underground

In the City — The Jam

Going Underground — The Jam

That’s Entertainment — The Jam

The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had to Swallow) — The Jam

Town Called Malice — The Jam

The Paris Match — The Style Council

Shout to the Top — The Style Council

Walls Come Tumbling Down — The Style Council

You Do Something to Me — Paul Weller

Written in the Stars — Paul Weller

That Dangerous Age — Paul Weller

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Five Songs, Part 80

May 18, 2012

Well, it’s a beautiful day — okay, it’s sunny, anyway; it’s always sunny in Fresno this time of year, but the air’s always crap — and it’s a Friday, and that means this week’s Five Songs.

As did everyone else these past few days, I got in my Duck Dunn and Donna Summer tributes the day of, so on to other things …

Started off with a quaint mix of old and new — The New Piccadillys, from Glasgow. If you remember The Kaisers from the mid-’90s — four clean-cut young lads from Edinburgh with the Cavern Club sound — well, this is the newest new-old band for guitarist George Miller (ne Kaiser George), and it’s been scorching the Interwebs. Considering this is their take on a band whose members took their common last name from a Beatles hotel alias, I think Joey Ramone woulda been proud.

And somewhere in there, I found the quad mix of Streisand’s “Stoney End” — one of her two Laura Nyro-written gems from 1970. Never heard the song like this before …

So that’s it. Go enjoy the sun — but make sure you slather yourself with sunscreen. And if you’re in Fresno, keep those oxygen masks handy …

Judy Is a Punk — The New Piccadillys

I Got a Line on You — Spirit

Minestrone — 10cc

Stoney End (Quad Mix) — Barbra Streisand

Another Girl, Another Planet — The Only Ones

Five Songs, Part 79

May 11, 2012

Hi. Friday comes around fast in these parts — I’m afraid it comes around faster the older you get — and time for the latest Five Songs.

Not much thought put into it — pretty much random selections from the mental jukebox, as usual — but a couple of the songs were closer to the surface.

Nils Logfren popped into my brain because I’ve had a couple discussions this past week about the ’70s and the lost art of the live album, and one of my favorite unsung albums ever, live or otherwise, is Nils’ double-LP Night After Night, from ’78. Since YouTube didn’t have the song I was looking for (the opening medley of “Take You to the Movies”/”Back It Up”), I dug up and earlier version of “Back It Up.”

And The Reducers aren’t close to the surface — they’re above it. Been playing my Redux CD over and over in the car about a week and a half now — partially because I’m getting down “Out of Step” to record with The Backstabbers for an upcoming tribute album to benefit The Reducers’ ailing bassist, Steve Kaika; partially because, well, does anyone need an excuse to play The Reducers, and loudly, in the car?

Go nuts. Enjoy the weekend:

Rock Me Baby — Sugar Pie DeSanto

Back It Up — Nils Lofgren

Brand New Cadillac — Vince Taylor & His Playboys

Bernadette — The Four Tops

Let’s Go — The Reducers

Five Songs, Part 78 (the ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself’ edition)

May 4, 2012

This week’s Five Songs comes from a weird and troubled place.

The short story: I dropped everything to do something a couple of days ago for someone who was in a panic. Spent a good chunk of time on it — hours I had planned to do some much-needed writing for my book — only to be told after I was done to forget it; she didn’t need it.

This was on top of doing another last-minute job recently for someone else who now apparently has flaked on me. On top of having my work hours cut to nothing, and now having to worry about how long I can ride out what truly seems to be the end of my rope this time. On top of a bunch of other people flaking out on me in recent months. On top of the 300-plus resumes I’ve sent out the past three years with nothing to show for them. This seemed like a last-straw moment.

The universe is telling me I’m not worth shit again.

And in the shower late yesterday afternoon (which is where most of my meltdowns seem to happen), I found myself screaming at God — whatever God is — and told it that if it has no use for me anymore, just fucking take me now. I mean, I got the memo about being useless back when I was 10 — I fucking get it already! Why didn’t it just kill me when I was 16 and get it the fuck over with? Why does it continue to play with me like a cat playing ping-pong paw to paw with a mouse?

In any event, whatever the universe thinks of me, I am not a piece of shit and will not be treated as one — especially by the people I allow in my life.

So that’s where this edition of Five Songs is — livid, defiant, despondent, desperate, discouraged. I just don’t know what to do with myself at this point. But otherwise, I’m fine; thanks for asking. Enjoy the weekend:

Flakes — Frank Zappa

Gimme Little Sign — Brenton Wood

I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself — Tommy Hunt

Alfie — Dionne Warwick

Stay With Me, Baby — Lorraine Ellison