2021 Song Draft- Mike and Paul’s Music Blog selects- ‘Icy Blue Heart’- John Hiatt. Icy Blue Heart is a song from John Hiatt’s 1988 album Slow Turning…2021 SONG DRAFT- MIKE AND PAUL’S MUSIC BLOG SELECTS- ‘ICY BLUE HEART’-JOHN HIATT
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2021 SONG DRAFT-ROUND 3 PICK 7- MIKE AND PAUL’S MUSIC BLOG SELECTS- ‘DRIFT AWAY- DOBIE GRAY
My third pick in the song draft. Really enjoying being apart of it!
Oh, give me the beat boys, and free my soulI want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away And so goes the chorus to one of my favorite songs…2021 SONG DRAFT-ROUND 3 PICK 7- MIKE AND PAUL’S MUSIC BLOG SELECTS- ‘DRIFT AWAY- DOBIE GRAY
2021 SONG DRAFT- ROUND 2 PICK 8: MIKE AND PAUL’S MUSIC BLOG SELECTS-‘INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET’- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
2021 Song Draft- Round 2 Pick 8: Mike and Paul’s Music Blog selects- ‘Incident On 57th Street’- Bruce Springsteen. Bruce Springsteen – Incident on …2021 SONG DRAFT- ROUND 2 PICK 8: MIKE AND PAUL’S MUSIC BLOG SELECTS-‘INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET’- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
2021 SONG DRAFT- ROUND 1 PICK 9- MIKE AND PAUL’S MUSIC SELECTS- ‘CRUEL TO BE KIND’- NICK LOWE
I am participating in a song draft being run by Hanspostcard on his SliceTheLife blog. Here is my first entry.
2021 Song Draft- Round 1 Pick 9- Mike And Paul’s Music Blog- selects- ‘Cruel To Be Kind’- Nick Lowe.
Paul’s blog can be found at- https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/84200726
First, thanks to Hans and Max for inviting me to be part of this draft! I’m really enjoying reading everyone’s choices so far. Since I’m newcomer to this, I’ve decided to just feature songs that mean something to me in some way. So here goes.
A perfect example of power pop, this song takes me back to my days living in Philly in the early 90s.
When I was younger and single, I had this habit that when a band came to town that I wanted to see, I just went and bought a pair of tickets, many times before knowing if anyone I knew would be able to or was interested in going. Most times I cold corral a friend to attend, sometimes…
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REM’s first national television appearance
I’ve been listening to a lot of REM lately. Several of the blogs I follow have featured them recently (see here for Aphoristical‘s updated list of R.E.M Albums: Ranked from Worst to Best; and here and here for song features from badfinger20(Max). And so the other night I stumbled on this gem on YouTube – R.E.M.’s first national TV appearance on Letterman’s show on Oct. 6, 1983.
What a joy to watch this performance! In less than 10 years, R.E.M will be one of the biggest bands in the world, but here they are, just 4 guys from Athens, GA trying to make it. Peter Buck and Mike Mills jumping and bouncing all over the stage playing Radio Free Europe, while Michael Stipe anchors the whole song stationary, hanging on the mic, “murmuring” the lyrics, although you sense he could bound off the stage if he lets go.
In those days Letterman would often give his musical guest two songs, and so after the commercial break, they play a song the band says is so new it doesn’t have a title – and its So. Central Rain.
I found it interesting that the between song chatter with Letterman was handled by Buck and Mills – Stipe, the lead singer, is off to the side , sitting on the drum riser, so uncharacteristic of a lead singer who is usually the band’s spokesperson. I recall reading somewhere that Stipe said he viewed his voice as just another instrument in the band, and this fits with the idea that he’s just another bandmember.
I didn’t get into R.E.M. until Document in 1987, and was barely aware of them during my college years (82-86). On the other hand, I watched Letterman religiously during college so I’m not sure why I missed this. Although on reflection that was more in my junior/senior year, so this performance would have been earlier. What I can say is that if I had caught this performance, I am willing to bet I would have become a fan much earlier!
Enjoy the performance!
Favorite songs of 2020
Ok a couple days late but its still the weekend so I’m going to slide my list of favorite songs of 2020 in and hope no one notices my tardiness…
2020 was a terrible year in so many ways but it was still a great year for new music finds. Here are 10 of my favorite discoveries this past year
10. The Chats – Pub Feed
I stumbled onto this band from someone’s blog earlier this year – sorry can’t remember who. The Chats are a self described pub-punk shed rock band from Queensland Australia who remind me of the Ramones with their straight head no nonsense punk sound. Their song deal with everyday concerns – getting a meal at the local pub, getting the clap, getting hassled by the police. Ok maybe not the everyday concerns of a 50 something white guy from the US East Coast, but great music nonetheless. Plus it keeps my streak alive of having at least one band from Down Under on the list the last number of years!
9. Tami Neilson – Call Your Mama
Tami Neilson is a R&B throwback to an earlier time. As Popdose describes here – ” If you’ve ever wanted to know what Wanda Jackson duking it out with Shirley Bassey in a alley while Rosanne Cash, Sharon Jones, and Amy Winehouse egged them on sounded like, look no further..” This put down on a cheating man cracked me up – A ring a ding ding!
8. Spanish Love Songs – Kick
This LA based rock band has been around since 2013 but I had never heard of them til this year. Their lead singer Dylan Slocum’s voice reminds me of another lead singer, but I can’t place it. Any ideas? Great guitar head cleansing rock
7. Brandy Clark – Who You Thought I Was
Brandy Clark has written a number of songs that have been hits for other country artists (Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgrave) but has also put out several albums on her own. I’m not a huge country fans, but do appreciate the roots/American branch, and I found this song gorgeous.
6. Okay Kaya – Psych Ward
I heard this song on a new music playlist early in the year and couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks. Then it seemed very topical as the year progressed as it felt like we were living in a psych ward what with the way our leaders were running our country. Favorite line – “I am a very patient patient” Video has alot of non song content so posting Spotify link instead
5. Best Coast – Everything Has Changed
One of my favorite bands is back after a 5 year hiatus and sounding as great as ever. Sounds like songwriter / vocalist Bethany Cosentino has found contentment and happiness as the songs are no long all about lost love and broken relationships
4. Marcus King – Beautiful Stranger
Marcus King is a 24 year old singer/guitarist from Greenville SC whose debut solo album El Dorado was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. The album is a fantastic combination of country, blues, R&B, and rock, anchored by King’s phenomenal voice. Featuring Beautiful Stranger here, but also check out the rest of the album, including The Well.
3. The Beths – Dying to Believe
Another of my favorite bands from Down Under whose album Jump Rope Gazers is great from top to bottom. I had tickets to see them in DC in May, which got postponed til the fall, which got postponed to …. actually I don’t know.. One of many huge disappointments this year. I really hope to see them in the States one day. But at least we got the new album. My buddy Mike posted I’m Not Getting Excited on his year end best of list (see it here), so here’s another keeper, Dying to Believe
2. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Dreamiscle
Jason Isbell is one of those artists that I’ve been aware of for awhile but for whatever reason have never really checked out until recently – and geez what I’ve been missing. His 2020 album with the 400 Unit has a bunch of great songs on it that made it hard to choose just one, but this one was definitely my favorite. Great lyrics, great imagery, great chorus.
1. Bruce Springsteen – Ghosts
I hear the sound of your guitar
Comin’ from the mystic far
Stone and the gravel in your voice
Come in my dreams and I rejoice
I don’t think there could be a better song intro for me in the current year for me than this, as it signals that Bruce and the E St. Band is back, better than ever. Its been a while, what with his book, the Broadway show etc. Just a fantastic fantastic song, which for me ranks in my top 10 Bruce songs ever. As my co-blogger Mike says, the album Letter to You is easiest is best in 20 years. From Roy Bittan’s piano, Max Weinberg’s drumming, to Jake Clemons sax, you just know that this song is going to be a killer live – and its even got the count out towards the end of the song to tease you. A bright ray of hope to all the great live musical moments that awaits us on the other side of this pandemic.
Happy New Year everyone!!
Five of my Favorite Christmas Songs
Well, its Christmas Eve 2020 here and while this year has been unique (and not in the good sense) the holidays helps anchor us to the traditions that make our lives meaningful and that can carry us through these challenging times. Yes the pandemic has altered Christmas as well, but it won’t stop me from posting some of my favorite Christmas songs! While there are many to choose from, here are five of my current favorites.
Eurythmics – Winter Wonderland
From the very first A Very Special Christmas benefit album from 1987 – I really love Annie Lennox’s vocals on this track, a very Eurythmics take on this classic. While the album was a mixed bag (imho) this was one of the standouts.
Fairytale of New York – The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl)
I’ve heard plenty of other versions of this song, but for me the original cannot be matched. There’s something about Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl’s vocals, and the Irish instrumentation that does it for me.
Pretenders – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Another standout from the A Very Special Christmas album – love Chrissie Hynde’s vocals on this.
Bruce Springsteen and the E. St. Band – Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Of course this Bruce holiday classic would make my list – probably one of most popular rock versions of a Christmas classic ever. There’s nothing like hearing this song live in concert (which I’ve been lucky to hear several times) and hear old Clarence’s HoHoHo. Really miss the Big Man. Here’s a live version from 1978.
Bob Dylan – Must be Santa
I discovered this Dylan cover a few years ago and its my new favorite. To be honest, the video makes it for me – Dylan in the white hat/Santa hat, the accordion player, the unexplained altercation and escape and the exchange of glances between Dylan and Santa. Looks to be a fantastically fun Christmas party!
Hearing wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
Eddie Van Halen RIP
One of a kind – the video speaks for itself. A huge huge loss for music. Time to dust off all those old VH albums.
Song for our Times – Bob Mould American Crisis
A scream of rage in this dark time in the history of US.
I heard a story on the radio a few weeks ago (before we slid off cliff) about what this year’s “song of the summer” will be (last year it was Uptown Road)….
This song has my vote for song for this summer.
You’re one of us,
Or one of them
If you’re one of them
Don’t come near me again
The Day the Live Concert Returns (reposting from The Atlantic)
Fantastic piece by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl on the power and necessity of live music in our lives. With an added Springsteen story to boot! Great read!