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
Category Archives: Paul
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!
Since one FOW song wasn’t enough, here’s Stacy’s Mom
Another great hook, hilarious lyrics. It got alot of play on MTV because of the video
A thought for the New Year
Playing some music on a Friday night, the new year just a couple days old. Here’s a great song from one of my favorite artists, Frank Turner, with a great message for a new year.
We can always get better, each day, every day, if only just a little bit – keep moving forward.
(and the song kicks butt as well!)
For your listening pleasure – 2019 playlist
A few days ago I posted my top 10 favorite songs of 2019. These were taken from a longer playlist – basically whenever I heard a song I liked, I added it to a Spotify playlist for future follow up. The list got to 250+ songs, almost 16 hours of listening pleasure if you are so inclined. Enjoy!
Paul’s Favorites of 2019
So here we are again at the end of another year. While I have not been very active in the blogosphere this year, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening to music and taking notes! So, just under the wire, here are my favorites of 2019.
10. Vampire Weekend – This Life
The type of song that can make you feel like the suns shining and the bird are singing, even if you’re in the middle of a cold foggy rainstorm.
9. Nilufer Yanya – In Your Head
Heard this song on a new music playlist and it grabbed me from the first riff. Can’t really tell what’s going on in her head, but the song kicks ass.
8. Bruce Springsteen – Stones
It took me a while to warm up to Bruce’s latest release, Western Stars, as it was so different from what I would have expected. But its filled with gorgeous melodies and grand arrangements, and as we have come to expect from Bruce, brilliant characters. This was one of my favorites from it.
7. Amanda Palmer – The Ride
A perfect song for a Sunday morning – a tour de force performance that tells you everything you need to know about this ride called life. Favorite lyric:
Everyone’s trying to stay on the side where the water’s just boiling more slowly
Frogs in a pot, well that’s one thing I’ve got
At least some of the frogs in here know me
6. Better Oblivion Community Center – Dylan Thomas
This out of the blue paring between Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers is the perfect example of a collaboration that you hope isn’t just a one off.
5. Leonard Cohen – Happens to the Heart
I didn’t get into Leonard Cohen til towards the end of his life. After his death, went back and listened to his catalog and wished I had paid more attention earlier. This posthumous release is one last gift from this master songwriter.
4. The Beths – You Wouldn’t Like Me
I raved about this song back in Feburary, and the feeling never faded. A great song from a great album which hits one of my wheelhouses – guitar power pop with a female singer. And for some reason, the Southern Hemisphere (in this case New Zealand) seems to have more than its fair share.
3. Martha – Love Keeps Kicking
One of my favorite guitar riffs of the year from England’s punk pop masters Martha. And the video is a hoot to boot!
2. Alex Lahey – Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
You know what I said a bit earlier about guitar pop, female singer, and the Southern Hemisphere? Exhibit B from Australia. I could put this song on an extended replay loop and not get tired of it.
1. Little Steven – Superfly Terraplane
It was a great year for one of my favorite artists. Springsteen’s extended break from E St. Bnd projects has allowed many of the band members the opportunity to pursue their own projects, and Little Steven has taken full advantage. Releasing his first album of all new material in decades, he also toured extensively with the Disciples of Soul and continued to kill it live – definitely one of my concert highlights this year.
If I was king of the universe, this song would be a massive #1 hit worldwide. Alas, I’m not but its still my song of the year.
Wishing everyone worldwide a Happy New Year! Looking forward to more great music discovery in 2020!
Christmas Bonus! Fairytale of New York – The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl)
Merry Christmas everyone! Hope all of you who celebrate are having a wonderful day with family and friends. Here’s another of my favorite Christmas songs (although you may not hear it played too often on your local 24 hour wall to wall Christmas music radio station).
Greeting from Germany!
Paul is vacationing in Germany! Yesterday we spent the day in Cologne – a really beautiful city, including the stunning cathedral. And yes we climbed the 500 step spiral staircase to the top!
When we were leaving this group of young people set up in the public square in front of the cathedral in the rain to busk. As you can see from video this wasn’t just one or two on guitar or horn but a group of 10 – full horn section with percussion. I have no idea who they were or what they were playing but I thought it was pretty cool to hear.
Sweet Child O’ Mine as performed by a Double Bass Orchestra
Some of you know that my teenage son plays the double bass. Every summer for the past few years he has attended a week long music camp in Baltimore called BassWorks – all bass players, just bass players. One of the highlights of the week is the final concert where the entire orchestra of 82 bassists plays a classical number and a “pop” number.
I was excited when I heard they were going to be doing Guns N’ Roses, and it doesn’t disappoint. See what you think!
New Music Discoveries
Love Keep Kicking – Martha
I included a song by this band in a January new music post (here), although the song Heart is Healing was actually from 2018, and was a teaser for a forthcoming album. Well, they have a new single out, Love Keeps Kicking, which is the title track for the album due April 5 on Dirtnap Records. Like Heart is Healing, Love Keeps Kicking is a smart pop punk song with a catchy as hell guitar line about the travails of love.
You said love keeps kicking the shit out of me and there’s no solution I can see
No happy pill, no drinking bleach, no permanent lobotomy
Seventeen – Sharon Van Etten
From her 5th studio album, Remind Me Tomorrow, Seventeen is Sharon Van Etten‘s homage to her old neighborhoods in NYC, and how her favorite haunts have disappeared or permanently changed. Its also her talking to her seventeen old self, with both nostalgia for the way she used to be, knowledge of what she did right (or not) back then, and conjecture as to how her teenage self would view her adult self. Much more expansive than her previous work (the addition of synths helps), the song continues to grow on me with every repeated listen.
Maggie Rogers – Fallingwater
Maggie Rogers is a 24 year old singer/songwriter from the Eastern Shore of MD who incorporates electronica influences into folk song structures. She first gained some attention a few years ago when Alaska, a composition class song she put together for a masterclass with Pharrel Williams visibly moved him (you can see the video here). I first saw her when she opened for Mumford & Sons last year here in DC. Fallingwater is from her debut album Heard It in a Past Life. I love her voice, and also that a 24 year old local is doing her own thing, blazing her own trail into pop music.
Killer – Palehound
Palehound is a guitar trio from Boston led by Ellen Kempner on guitar and vocals, Larz Brogan on bass, and Jesse Weiss on drums who formed in 2014. I heard this song on a NPR Music new music show and was immediately taken by its dark, moody atmospheric feel, the whispering vocals, and the ominous lyrics about protecting your friends whatever it takes (literally). The guitar line propels the song along, and the lyrics give enough clues for you to know that the man who mistreated the singer’s friend will not have a happy ending.
When you winced and turned your head and wept, that’s when I knew
That it’s not enough to run that dog out of this town
My weapon’s cold in the backseat, hunt that monster down
Til next time….