Thursday, December 24, 2009

According to The New Yorker, "All I want for Christmas is You" is "one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon", and I rightly agree, especially after hearing Quickdraw knock it out of the park at the annual St. Nick Markos Holiday show last night. The Track's sweet Phil Spector Girl Group groove led to the common misconception that Carey covered this song,butthe track is actually an original written by Carey and Walter Afanasieff.



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My two year boycott of Permanent Records finally ended last week, when I broke down and stopped in reluctantly in the midst of a vinyl fix while holiday shopping on Chicago Avenue. I had sworn off patronizing the store when they refused to carry David Singer's last album, indicating their lack of support for the local music community. I was amused to find that the fools had priced this Classic Jackson 5 album vinyl at 99 cents, and made it my only purchase, so feel vindicated for my transgression.

The 1970 album itself is a gem. Opening with I'll Be There, side one also includes a version of "Bridge Over Troubles Water" sung by Jermaine. I've chosen to post "The Love I Saw in you was Just a Mirage" from side two, which was penned by Smoky Robinson.

The Love I Saw in You was Just a Mirage-Jackson 5

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I took a chance on this one at my visit to Amoeba Records last week, and it paid off.
This 1978 double studio LP from Marvin Gaye turns out to be soul's entry in the "greatest break-up albums of all time" category alongside Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, Springsteen's Tunnel of Love, Beck's Sea Change, and El Perro Del Mar's Love is Not Pop.

The album is the sound of divorce on record, with titles like "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I stop Loving You" (3 versions!), "Anger", and today's post "You Can Leave, but its Going to Cost You". It's quite literal and direct...its long grooves peppered with lines like "Somebody tell me please/Why do I have to pay attorney fees?"

At the time of its release the album was poorly received, accused of being bizarre and uncommercial by fans and critics alike. In retrospect, though, its considered by many to be landmark in Gaye's career, one of the most intimate and personal artistic statements on record.

You Can Leave,but its Going to Cost You

Monday, November 30, 2009

I finally got to see the Musical "Hair" this past weekend in its Broadway revival.
I've known every word to every song on the soundtrack(8-track!) since well before I was old enough to understand what the lyrics meant. To my young mind, it was all just a rythmic and tuneful laundry list of vaguely forbidden and mysterious apsects of an irrestiabley seductive era-the 60's. Without a production to see in all of these years, I had to make do with the movie, a mediocre effort starring Treat Williams in a vastly plot-changed version. The broadway revival is true to the original, and worth the wait for me. It was extra cool when we were ushered up onto to the stage at the end during "Let The Sunshine In" facing a full house of waving arms and blinding orange light. Pretty light on plot, this show is all about the music, and its songs have been covered by everyone from Liza Minelli to The Lemonheads.

For your listening enjoyment today, I've included a mix of 5 cover versions including "Frank Mills" by both of the aforemnentioned artists.

In addition, here's Sesame Street's version of " Good Morning Starshine" the sappiest of the show's tunes, but perfect when sung by/to a muppet.

Hair Covers

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

The soundtrack for this film is one my favorite Sunday Morning records. The movie itself is a must, with Sam Peckinpah directing James Coburn as Pat Garrett, Kris Kristofferson as Billy The Kid, and Dylan himself as Alias.

Bob Dylan-Turkey Chase

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Any Chicagoan with an interest in music owes it to themselves to go check out The Kinsey Report at Rosa's or one of the other blues clubs. The Chicago Blues has never been my thing, but watching Donald Kinsey perform is a revelation for lots of reasons; his charisma, his vocals, and especially his guitar playing- which alternates between butter smooth rhythm and electrifying lead. Besided, the Kinseys play much more soul, funk, even reggae than they do Chicago Blues. The band plays Chicago frequently, and a word of caution that DK's performance can vary wildly from show to show depending on various external and internal factors. This past Saturday's was inspired.

Hailing from Gary, Indiana, young Donald moved to Jamaica in the mid-seventies and became a member of The Wailers, playing on seminal albums for both Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. After their deaths, he returned to Chicago, where he and his brothers Ralph and Ken formed the Kinsey Report to back their father, blues star Big Daddy Kinsey. They've been at it ever since.

The Kinsey Report is best experienced in a live setting as the recorded output just doesn't cut it. So instead of a KP track, I'll go back and post this one from Peter Tosh's Equal Rights Album, on which Donald plays guitar

Stepping Razor

Friday, November 20, 2009

David Berthy Posts

I don’t know how I made it so long without hearing the original
version of the touchstone song “Fever.” Less famous than Peggy Lee’s
1968 version, Little Willie John’s original is, in my opinion, far
superior. I also recently found this obscure Ray Peterson version on
the excellent blog Diddy Wah. Peterson’s version is an excellent B
side here, but John’s original is one no music fan should be without--
a true classic.