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In Memoriam Vol. 2

December 27th, 2009 8 comments

Here is the second part of musicians who died in 2009. Part 3 will follow early in the new year. I make no claims of having arrived at a complete and exhaustive list of musicians who left us the past year. Some I didn”t include because their names or output is unfamiliar to me, or just not my scene; and a few I left out because I have no music by them, and could not find any.

Finally, in response to an e-mail, the photo gallery follows the order in which people are listed. So Dave Dee is on the top left, Uriel Jones next to him, MJ (listed third) left second from top and so on.

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Dave Dee, 67, of “60s hit group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, on January 9
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – The Legend Of Xanadu (1968)

Uriel Jones, 74, drummer of Motown backing band collective The Funk Brothers, who played on songs such as Marvin Gaye”s I Heard It Trough The Grapevine, The Temptations” Cloud Nine, and the song below, on March 24.
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (1967)

Michael Jackson, 50, pop singer and former childstar with the Jackson 5 (the b-side of whose 1971 hit I”ll Be There features here), on June 25
Jackson Five – One More Chance (1971)

Bob Bogle, 75, member of surf rock band The Ventures, on June 14
The Ventures – Scat In The Dark (1970)

Billy Powell, 59, Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist, on January 28
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Simple Man (1973)

Ron Asheton, 60, guitarist of The Stooges, found dead on January 6
The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog (1969)

Lux Interior, 62, frontman of punk legends The Cramps, on February 4
The Cramps – Human Fly (1978)

Johnny Jones, 73, leader of The King Casuals, alma mater of Jimi Hendrix, on October 14
Johnny Jones & the King Casuals – Purple Haze (1968)

Jim Dickinson, 67, R&B singer with The Jesters, pianist (on songs such as the Rolling Stones’ Wild Horses) and producer, on August 15
The Jesters – Cadillac Man (1966)

Clinton Ford, 77, English skiffle and country singer, on October 21
Clinton Ford – Huggin’ And A Chalkin’ (1962)

Al Alberts, 87, member of the Four Aces, on November 27
Four Aces – Love Is A Many Splendored Thing (1955)

Hank Locklin, 91, country legend, on March 8
Hank Locklin – Send Me The Pillow You Dream On (1960)

Liam Clancy, 74, last surviving member of the hugely influential folk group The Clancy Brothers, on December4.
The Clancy Brothers – The Leaving Of Liverpool (1964)

Mike Seeger, 75, folk singer, brother of Peggy and half-brother of Pete, on August 7
Mike Seeger & Paul Brown – Way Down In North Carolina (1996)

Chris Feinstein, 42, bassist of alt.country band The Cardinals, on December 14
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Follow The Lights (2007)

Jeff Hanson, 31, high-voiced singer-songwriter, on June 5
Jeff Hanson – Now We Know (2005)

Rudy Cain, 63, singer and founder of The Delfonics and Blue Magic, on April 9
The Delfonics – Ready Or Not Here I Come (1968)

Fayette Pinkney, 61, member of The Three Degrees, on June 27
Three Degrees – Dirty Old Man (1973)

Eric Woolfson, 64, Alan Parsons” sidekick in the Project who took lead vocals on the group”s biggest hit, Eye In The Sky, on December 2
The Alan Parsons Project – Sirius/Eye In The Sky (1982)

Jack Rose, 38, virtuoso guitarist, on December 5
Jack Rose – Kensington Blues (2005)

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In Memoriam Vol. 2

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Heads and senses

November 2nd, 2009 1 comment

iris

Very occasionally a group of people get together on the Touchedmix blog and post mixes on a particular theme. Last week, the theme was HEADS, with their features and their functions. I thought readers of this little corner of the music blogosphere might be interested in the two mixes I banged together.

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OVER MY HEAD MIX
1. Aztec Camera ““ Head Is Happy (Heart”s Insane) (1985)
2. Crowded House ““ Pineapple Head (live) (1996/2006)
3. Johnny Cash ““ Mean Eyed Cat (1996)
4. The Dillards ““ I”ve Just Seen A Face (1968)
5. The Holmes Brothers ““ Smiling Face Hiding A Weeping Heart (2006)
6. Paul Anka ““ Eyes Without A Face (2006)
7. The Undisputed Truth ““ Smiling Faces Sometimes (1971)
8. Justine Washington ““ I Can”t Wait Until I See My Baby”s Face (1964)
9. The Flamingos ““ I Only Have Eyes For You (1959)
10. Mississippi Sheikhs ““ I”ve Got Blood in My Eyes For You (1938)
11. Robert Mitchum ““ Mama Looka Boo Boo (Shut Your Mouth-Go Away) (1958)
12. Emile Ford & the Checkmates ““ Them There Eyes (1960)
13. Lewis Taylor ““ Blue Eyes (2000)
14. Andrew Bird ““ A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left (2005)
15. Nada Surf ““ The Way You Wear Your Head (2002)
16. The Sweet ““ The Lies In Your Eyes (1975)
17. Ben Folds ““ Doctor My Eyes (2002)
18. Josh Ritter ““ One More Mouth (2006)
19. Kaki King ““ Saving Days In A Frozen Head (2008)
20. The Lilac Time ““ The Darkness Of Her Eyes (1991)
21. Thomas Dybdahl ““ Pale Green Eyes (2009)
22. Ryan Adams ““ Halloweenhead (2007)
23. The Cardigans ““ Give Me Your Eyes (2005)

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Justine Washington is better known as Baby Washington; this is the original version of the song covered to good effect by Dusty Springfield.

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SENSES WORKING OVERTIME MIX
1. David Bowie ““ Can You Hear Me (1975)
2. Tim Buckley ““ I Can”t See You (1966)
3. Herman Düne ““ I Wish That I Could See You Soon (2006)
4. Devics ““ If We Cannot See (2006)
5. Richard Hawley ““ Can You Hear The Rain, Love (2001)
6. Scott Walker ““ You”re Gonna Hear From Me (1967)
7. The Righteous Brothers ““ See That Girl (1965)
8. Chris Montez ““ The More I See You (1966)
9. Cass Elliot ““ I”ll Be Seeing You (1973)
10. Blind Boy Fuller ““ What”s That Smells Like Fish (1938)
11. Smiley Lewis ““ I Hear You Knocking (1955)
12. The Supremes ““ I Hear A Symphony (1965)
13. Jim Messina ““ Seeing You (For The First Time) (1979)
14. Baby Huey ““ Listen To Me (1971)
15. The Jesus and Mary Chain ““ Taste Of Cindy (1985)
16. K”s Choice ““ A Sound That Only You Can Hear (1995)
17. Mull Historical Society ““ Watching Xanadu (2001)
18. Ron Sexsmith & Don Kerr ““ Listen (2005)
19. Rosanne Cash ““ I Was Watching You (2006)
20. The Magic Numbers ““ I See You, You See Me (2005)
21. Paul Anka ““ Smells Like Teen Spirit (2005)

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Love Songs For Every Situation: Regret

February 22nd, 2008 1 comment

Is this series bringing everybody down? Well, it’s a series, and we must get through it, with all the discipline that is absent in matters of love. Today, we deal with regret (we must still do heartbreak and ““ the one I’m really looking forward to ““ bitterness). Regret can come before or after bitterness, and often they coincide, but both emotions manifest themselves after a love has ended. Music has done better capturing bitterness than regret. Indeed, regret seems to be a bit of a stepchild in the canon of love songs, its rejection symbolised by Edith Piaf’s determined defiance.

Abba – One Of Us.mp3
My friend Tom the Sub-Editor once said that Kris Kristofferson has an eloquent song for every emotion. I would say that Abba do as well. “One Of Us” (from Abba’s final album, 1981’s The Visitors) is terribly sad and a little pathetic, in the real sense of the word. The protagonist was in what seems to have been a pretty good relationship but evidently felt cornered: “You were, I felt, robbing me of my rightful chances. My picture clear, everything seemed so easy, and so I dealt you the blow: one of us had to go.” So she dumped the guy only to discover later that she had made a huge mistake. And it is in her regret, self-inflicted though it was, that we begin to feel for her: “One of us is crying, one of us is lying in her lonely bed. Staring at the ceiling, wishing she was somewhere else instead.” Our compassion is tempered a little by her unceasing selfishness. Nowhere in the song does she wonder whether her dumping the guy caused him any pain.

John Mayer – Comfortable.mp3
Mayer is a bit of a hit-and-miss artist. When he stinks, he really does. But occasionally he hits the sweet spot. This is one of these occasions when the melody succeeds in scoring the lyrical sentiment. In “Comfortable” Mayer is in a relationship with a trophy beauty who has little warmth or culture, but has found the approval of his friends. Yet he yearns for an ex who might have been less of a looker, but evidently had lots of warmth and “knew Miles from Coltrane”. Where the beauty is boring and well-mannered, the ex was fun. More importantly, “our love was comfortable, and so broken in”. Seems like the grass was no greener on the other side (if you’ll forgive the lazy cliché). Mayer thinks so too when he sings in the final line: “She’s perfect, so flawless. I’m not impressed”¦I want you back.”

Ryan Adams – Somehow, Someday.mp3
Ryan tells a similar story: he had a good thing going, let it slip away, wants her back. His problem likely was a reluctance to commit (“I wish that you and I had those kids, maybe bought us that home”). Let’s hope that she has not moved on to a man more open to having those kids and real estate purchases, because Ryan plans to let her know, with imperfect grammar, that “there ain’t no way I’ll ever stop from lovin’ you now”. But Ryan better get cracking, because procrastination will not win him the girl back: “and I’m gonna try and show you somehow. Somehow, oh someday. Someday. Someday.” Tell her now, Ryan, tell her before some other dude gets her committed. Now. Not “someday”. Hurry!

Bill LaBounty – Livin’ It Up.mp3
This glorious slice of 1982 West Coast softrock (which featured in the Middle Of The Road series) initially suggests a steady recovery from a break-up: “I finally got my life together, scraped my heart up off the floor. My attitude is so much better, and I hardly ever cry the way I did before.” Oh what the hell, Bill is going to show her that he’s actually doing damn fine. He is living it up, “right from the women to the wine, livin’ out all those fantasies I never did get to.” Oh yes, he got himself “a new persona”, a whole new Bill. And, even as he tells her more of his partying ways and livin’ out all these fantasies he never got to do, he admits to being unhappy, because “it don’t seem living without you”.

Wilco – Hate It Here.mp3
Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy regards this as his joke song, seeing as he is happily married and wouldn’t know how to use a washing machine. Given that, his vocals suggest some studious method acting, because our man is dying. The wife is gone, so he keeps himself busy doing household chores, worrying what his mind will do when he no longer has these diversions (“What am I gonna do when I run out of shirts to fold? What am I gonna do when I run out of lawn to mow?”). He checks for messages from her, no luck, feebly phones the mother-in-law, dead-end. This song might have fitted just as well in the breaking-up post, or the forthcoming heartbreak one. I’ll stick it in here, because the reference to all the mundane household chores might suggest that the relationship crashed because of a lack of effort on his part (not necessarily in the arena of housekeeping).

Bob Evans – Rocks In My Head.mp3
Australian folk-pop troubadour Bob Evans (whose real name is Kevin Mitchell) is employing better timing than the other fools in this post: he expresses regret before he knows it is over (” I can’t go on if I don’t know that you’re on my side”). He has screwed things up, and is asking for another chance by admitting that he was an idiot: “Worse than all the worst things that I’ve done are the things that I said. I nearly lost you there; I must have rocks in my head.” Great save there, Bob.