Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In the Mix (Part Two)

Continuing the run down of the songs on Sounds Ed-clectic...

Head in Front of Your Head—Best Friends Forever

This is another InRadio contribution, this time from the January/February CD, Wishbone. How can you not love a love song to Abraham Lincoln? This is another one that just cracks me up with sheer, demented joy every time I hear it.

From what I have been able to find out, Best Friends Forever is a couple of college kids who use puppets in their stage show, which certainly doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Dedicated to Mike because it reminds me of him somehow, and because Lincoln plays a role in one of the songs on his mix.

Belinda Carlisle Diet--Patterson Hood

Couldn’t do a Go-Go’s mini-suite without this beauty. Even though she appears nowhere in the song, anyone familiar with Carlisle’s infamous binges in the 80’s should get the title of the song. Patterson Hood is the lead singer of Drive-By Truckers. This song comes from Killers and Stars, an EP of dark and somewhat sordid tunes he put out a couple of years ago.

Dedicated to Greg for the use of the word "fuck" and to Kevin because it seems like something he would write about in his blog.

Yo Viviré—Celia Cruz

This is another one that I knew would end up in a mix from the moment I heard it. Honestly, I was so carried away with the lyrics, that it wasn’t until the strings kicked in that I realized this was based on the old Gloria Gaynor disco anthem, I Will Survive. It’s an entirely new song, with new lyrics, not a translation of the original, but it keeps the spirit of the original intact.

For those of you who don’t understand the Spanish, this version is basically a tribute to Cruz and the eternity of her music. Throughout the chorus she promises that her voice is going to live on and that every time the band is playing she’ll be there in spirit. This is the final cut on Regalo del Alma, the CD she completed right before she died. She had the kind of voice, personality and talent that deserve to live forever.

This one is dedicated to me because I like it so much and to Kelly because she has had to live through so many medical issues and to Belinda Carlisle because she survived those years of the Belinda Carlisle Diet.

Molly Rose—Bluegrass 101

This is one of two local acts on the disc. I just love bluegrass music, and I thought the contrast of the highly produced instrumentation of the Cruz song and the pared down acoustic sound of this one would make a nice transition in the disc, since I’m moving into an acoustic mode at this point. At the same time, though, the song demonstrates the flourishes and decorations you can bring to a song with just a few acoustic instruments.

This one is dedicated to Kelly because it fits the theme of her disc and to Serene because her disc was dedicated to artists from her part of the world.

Benjamin—Danny Flanigan

This is the other local act. I like this one because it’s nice and sweet and simple and personal. Plus, he name-checks one of my favorite Kentucky cities, Covington. I like the structure of this song a lot, too. Sometimes it's good to get away from "verse-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus."

This is dedicated to my brother Danny and my nephew Benjamin, and to Roger, because it reminds me of the posts he makes about his daughter, Lydia.

Everywhere I Go (I Hear the Go-Go’s)—Phranc

Thus ends the Go-Go’s mini-suite. This one actually comes from their 80’s heyday. The first verse dates it a little, as does the reference to Lebanon, but it’s still fun in its own way. Interestingly, she name checks every Go-Go except for Kathy Valentine. Once I committed to the idea of the mini-suite, I had to dig through my CD closet until I found this disc. To really get some of the jokes in the song, it helps to know something about Phranc. She probably would have looked kind of silly with bangs like Charlotte.

Lo Siento Mi Vida—Linda Ronstadt

Way before she started recording Mariachi music, even way before she teamed up with Nelson Riddle, Ronstadt recorded this song on one of my favorite albums: Hasten Down the Wind.

I had intended to include more Latin music on the disc, but that kind of fell apart because most of the songs I wanted stood out too much from the rest of the mix. What I ended up with, the Sublette and Cruz songs, left me feeling like I had reduced several genres of music that I love down to novelty songs. I added this one to have one more song with some Spanish in it, but with a different musical feel. Hopefully it helps ground the other songs a little more.

In the Spanish verses, she laments the loss of a love that she’s about to experience. Something has happened that means that she and her lover have to separate. It’s sad, mournful, classic Rondstadt, and I totally love it.

I Will Dream—Emmylou Harris

This is off her 2004 release, Stumble into Grace. It’s one of my favorites and one of the saddest songs ever written. I love the dream-like images she uses to convey her sense of loss and longing for the love that will never be. I also love the way her voice sounds in this one.

This one is dedicated to me, because it is the Goddess of Music, after all, and to Roger, because we lovers of “old fogey” music must stick together!

Dublin Blues—Guy Clark

This is, honest to god, my all-time second favorite song ever recorded. (The first is John Prine’s Angel from Montgomery, if you were interested.) Guy Clark is a songwriter’s songwriter, and this song is the epitome of his talent. I love the imagery he used and the overwhelming melancholy that permeates the song. Plus, it has what I consider to be one of the greatest lines ever written in any song:

“I have seen The David. I’ve seen The Mona Lisa too. And I have heard Doc Watson play Columbus Stockade Blues.”

Simply awesome. It just doesn’t get any better than this, folks.

This is dedicated to Keith, and he knows why.

Mbube—Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Taj Mahal

If this song sounds familiar in some way, think of the following:

“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.”

Mbube is the word that some how got transformed into “Wimoweh” in the US, and this South African song is the original setting of the melody for what later became the famous hit in the 60’s.

I’m rather partial to the original, at least in part because the Zulu man who composed it never got much in the way of royalties from the later US versions. It’s a long, sad, unfortunate story about music industry ethics.

Ladysmith has helped to keep his story and the original song alive. They are a wonderful group and a joy to see live, so check them out if you get a chance. This version comes from their 2006 release, Long Road to Freedom, in which they celebrate their anniversary by re-recording some of their past songs with guest performers. Here the guest, singing and playing the electric guitar is Taj Mahal. A certain Ms. Harris also pops up on one song.

This is dedicated to Logan and Thom, largely because I couldn’t figure out anything else to dedicate to them, and when you’re in that kind of situation, it’s best to just go with a song you really like. I hope they do, too.

One Little Song—Gillian Welch

Finally, a somewhat revolutionary ideas for the closer: hope—hope for the future expressed here in the search for a new song to sing. I love the underlying optimism of this song: as long as there’s one little song left to sing, then maybe everything can be all right.

Please note that the title on the CD insert is slightly incorrect. The one given here is correct. This has been your Eddie-torial errata update for this CD.

This one is dedicated to all the mix participants. I hope you’ll always be able to find one more song to play, to sing, to mix, to buy, to rip….whatever.

BONUS CUT: Card-carrying, Bleeding Heart Liberal

I know Chris hates having hidden cuts, but I really did want this one to be a surprise. It’s cheesy as all get out, but man do I love it! In a day an age where everyone tries to play for the center and liberal is treated like a dirty word, it’s wonderful to listen to something that actually celebrates the contributions liberals have made to America. If there have to be cheesy patriotic songs, then at least let them be liberal cheesy patriotic songs!

The song was written by Ervin Drake and is available for down load at his web page. It’s being sung here by Paul Evans. Folk artist Christine Lavin included the song on her CDFolkzinger.

Dedicated to Lefty in appreciation for pulling another one of these exchanges together!

And there you have it. Late, but hopefully worth it. I had fun putting it together. Hope you have fun listening to it. Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

Lefty said...

Looking forward to listenig to it. I have it in my possession, just got to transfer it to my iPod. I've been listening to them as I work out (in addition to work) and then I eventually get around to reviewing them. You're in the queue right behind Selena, Greg, Kevin, and Mike. But I hope to kick out another review this weekend and two more next week.