Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Gordon Lightfoot

Today in Music History:

In 1974, Canadian Singer songwriter Gordon Lightfoot scored his only US No.1 single with "Sundown".
Gordon LightfootI think I shall talk about ole Gord today to tie in with the music history thing. Gordon Lightfoot was born November 17, 1938 in Orillia, Ontario, Canada. He moved to Los Angeles, California during the 1950s where he studied at Hollywood's Westlake College of Music. He returned to Canada by the 1960s and performed in coffee houses on the Toronto folk scene. In 1966 Lightfoot! was released as his debut album. In the mid-1960s he was more known as a songwriter than for his own work, as his songs were recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.

He is one of the first Canadian popular singers who achieved real stardom in his own country instead of moving to the United States. In June of 1974, his single, "Sundown", went to No.1 on the American charts.

In 2002 Lightfoot suffered a near-fatal abdominal hemorrhage while performing in his hometown of Orillia, Ontario, causing him to cancel his fall tour. When he awoke from a coma weeks later, the artist immediately began picking tracks from the 18 demos he'd recorded in 2001 and urged his band to flesh them out in the studio. Harmony, his 20th album, was released in May of 2004 and he made an appearance on Canadian Idol.

Lightfoot has received 15 Juno Awards and been nominated for 5 Grammy Awards. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1986, the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2001, and in May 2003 was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, the country's highest honour.

Today's song will not be Sundown. From the 1967 album The Way I Feel comes the classic cut

Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot

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Funny Toon

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Lighthouse

Today in Music History:

In 1975, During his 'Welcome To My Nightmare' tour in Vancouver, CA, Alice Cooper fell from the stage and broke six ribs.
LighthouseOne of Canada's most original pop groups ever, Lighthouse was formed in Toronto early in 1969. Their sound was as diverse as their listening audience, and contained cellos, violas, an array of horns and a full percussion section. Similar to Blood Sweat andTears. Lighthouse was undeniably one of the driving forces of the Canadian pop machine of the '70's. With a total of nine gold records, three platinum and 4 Junos, no other band of the day could touch them. In a time before Canadian radio stations were required to play a minimum of homegrown talent, Lighthouse wasn't affected. Their keen pop sensibility, combined with plain musical talent and clever production styles, helped their light shine brightly, guiding many of today's groups along the way.

One Fine Morning by Lighthouse


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Daily Funny

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Peter Tosh

Today in Music History:

In 1988, Dennis Lobban was convicted of the murder of reggae star Peter Tosh, and was sentenced to hang by a Jamaican court.
ToshI'm actually going to tie in the music history with today's post. In regards to reggae music I always preferred Tosh's solo work to that he did with the Wailers. In September of 1987 Dennis Lobban, who was an old friend of the Wailers, was staying at Tosh's home. One day he left in a fury after an argument with Tosh's girlfriend. On Sept. 11 1987, Lobban returned with a gang of friends. He claimed that he only intended to threaten Tosh but when it was all over, Tosh and all six of his friends who were hanging out in the room were shot in the head. A shameful waste of a great talent. Tosh's legacy remains undiminished, he was one of Jamaica'smost talented artists and an eloquent spokesman. The track I feature here comes from the 1983 album Mama Africa. On this album Tosh is in prime form both musically and lyrically. Everything that was Peter Tosh is here: from the deep feelings of Mama Africa; to the tell it like it is politicism of Peace Treaty and Glasshouse; the positivity of Feel No Way and Not Gonna Give It Up; to the rootsiness of Maga Dog; as well as one of the BEST all time covers of Johnny B Goode (which rocks as hard as the original but in a reggae style that must be heard to be believed).


Johnny B Goode by Peter Tosh
This single actually landed in the top 50 in The US.


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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

ICP

Today in Music History:

In 1975, Captain and Tennille started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with the Neil Sedaka song 'Love Will Keep Us Together', it made No.32 in the UK.

Violent J and Shaggy 2 DopeSince my last couple of posts featured fluffy pop music I was thinking I'll go in the extreme opposite direction today. Insane Clown Posse are a cartoonish metal/rap band with a vaunted live show that featured open fires, chainsaws, liters of soda dousing the audience (Faygo being the group's favorite brand). Not many people are interested in overweight, dreadlocked jackasses in clown makeup, spewing juvenile vulgarity and spraying their audience with cheap soda, but darnit I'm a big fan of juvenile vulgarity. For the most part I really can't stand any form of rap music. I do make exceptions now and then and evil clowns Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are one of them. ICP make me laugh, and some of their songs have some great hooks. Definitely not for everybody but take the music for what it is and don't get too serious about it and you might enjoy a few tracks from these guys. They can be side-splittingly funny for a couple listens--and pretty good with the beats and samples besides. I know that there are many that hate ICP and think they are nothing but White trash redneck drivel, but you don't just sell one million copies of a record by accident (so there are some people out there who're lying). The mythology behind the six "joker cards" (albums) with the sixth one supposedly signifying the apocalypse and their fan base known as juggalos make for interesting reading. I'll showcase a track from the fourth jokers card from The Great Milenko today. The wife detests rap music but even she likes this track.

Hokus Pokus by Insane Clown Posse


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Friday, June 17, 2005

The Knack

Today in Music History:

In 1976, Ian Dury played his last gig with Kilburn and the High Roads before starting his solo career. The show at The Assembly Hall, Walthamstow also had The Sex Pistols and The Stranglers on the bill.

The KnackI suppose I should post an Ian Dury song, but I'll go a different direction. Don't anybody groan because I'm doing a post on The Knack. This post will not be about my least favorite Knack song, My Sharona. Hailing from Los Angeles the Knack played the club scene incessantly in 1978. By November of 78, 13 record companies were engaged in bidding war for their services. Capitol records won. They entered the studios and eleven days later came out with their first album, "Get the Knack", for a cost of 17,000 dollars. The songs were recorded live with nary an overdub.

With marketing support from Capitol and a bunch of infectious pop tunes, the record flew off the shelves. Gold certification took 13 days. Platinum certification came in less than seven weeks, making "Get The Knack" one of the fastest to gold / platinum debut albums of all time. This at a time when disco was the biggest thing in the world. When they released their second album a Knuke the Knack campaign was started and so did their downward spiral. But it was a good album so it didn't bug me. Throughout the years I have purchased every single Knack album and enjoyed them immensely. I am a fierce Knack supporter. Todays song comes from their fourth album Serious Fun which came out in 1991. Of course it was destroyed by critics but I dug it. See these guys write good cheesy pop music with little hooks to keep you humming that tune all day and that's a good thing. I'd rather listen to the Knack than Coldplay any day of the week.

One Day at a Time by The Knack


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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sparks

Today in Music History:

1982, Donny Vanzant of 38 Special was arrested on stage in Tulsa, Oklahoma, (a dry town) for drinking alcohol in a public place.

SparksQuirky pop and wise guy wordplay best describes Sparks. Sparks was formed in 1970 by brothers Russel (vocals) and Ron Mael (keyboards and moustache) while attending UCLA. Through the years the group has went through many line up changes and sometimes just the brothers themselves holding down the fort. The Sparks catalog has over 20 albums, and they are still around today. They probably hit their peak in the 80's with the albums Angst in Your Pants and Sparks in Outer Space. Outer Space is one of my favorite albums because it's so damn fun. My roommates and I managed to destroy 2 vinyl copies of it because we played the piss out of it, especially at parties where a beer or two eventually ended up getting spilled on it. There are two cuts on the album which feature a duet with the perky Jane Wiedlin. Cool Places, which was their biggest hit and Lucky Me, Lucky You which I have here today. A worthy addition to any cd collection.

Lucky Me, Lucky You by Sparks (featuring Jane Wiedlin)


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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dead Kennedys

Today in Music History:

In 1974, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with "Billy Don't Be A Hero".

Dead KennedysThe Dead Kennedys took revolutionary politics mixed it with hardcore punk music and, in the process, became one of the defining hardcore bands. Their politics caused more uproar than the music itself which is a big part of their impact. Under the direction of lead vocalist Jello Biafra, the Dead Kennedys became the most political and according to Christians and right-wing politicians, the most dangerous band in hardcore. By the mid-'80s, the band had become notorious enough to open themselves up to a prosecution for obscenity, which later ended up with a hung jury. That battle signified the end of the band though.

The Dead Kennedys formed in 1978 in San Francisco, and within a year, the band released their first independent single, "California Über Alles," an attack on the then-current governor, Jerry Brown. Before they had even released their first album Biafra ran for mayor of San Francisco in 1979 and finished fourth. In 1980 the band released their first album. To find out more about the Kennedys go to their official website for more of their history. Especially interesting is their recent clash with American Idol over the use of one of their songs. I got's to get to the song now eh?

From the 1980 album Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

Holiday in Cambodia by the Dead Kennedys


Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Three Degrees

the Three DegreesPhilly soul vocal group the Three Degrees started in 1963 in Philadelphia, PA. The only song of theirs that I'm familiar with is their huge 1974 hit which is featured here today. One of the cheesiest, saccharine sweet pop songs of all time and one of my personal favorites. One can never tire of listening to this song. This single went platinum, selling over two million copies, going to number four R&B and number two pop around September 1974. At one time the group were labeled Charlies Angels by the press because Prince Charles declared them to be his favorite group at the time. Unfortunately I have never checked out any of their other music and maybe should take my own advice and get some of this stuff. The vocals and harmonies are irresistible and this song is just plain ear candy.

Let's revisit

When Will I see You Again by the Three Degrees


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listening to:
Wrong Side of Memphis-Trisha Yearwood
Toy Box-Insane Clown Posse
Cold and Empty-Kid Rock

Friday, June 10, 2005

Buccaneer Flavor

Aaaaar matiesThey just don't make good rock n roll pirate songs anymore. It's also fun to talk like a pirate. Best use of pirate talk in a movie has to be Dodgeball. But what's all this talk of pirates? Is it the fact that a neighboring community is having "Buccaneer Days" this weekend? Notice photo from a local paper. Nope. Pirates are on my mind because of the mp3 blog revolution. See this is a great forum forgiving exposure to little known or hugely overlooked musical artists. I showcase songs here because I think you should go out and purchase the cd's. Maybe if you hear one song you'll get the urge to do just that. I fear that the mp3 blog phenomenon will be coming to a close very soon. There are several newer sites that are featuring whole albums for free download and some even have 20 to 30 or more albums available and that's just plain wrong. Complete and utter piracy. As soon as the RIAA gets a handle on this blog thing, you're going to see lawsuits poppin' up and blogs shutting down. A shame really, because it's a great way to get acquainted with music you've never heard. We promote these artists and the record industry doesn't have to pay a dime for all this free pub. I think these pirate sites give a bad name to those of us who are truly encouraging people to buy new stuff. So enjoy it while you can.

Straight from the soundtrack of The Great Rock n Roll Swindle featuring the Sex Pistols comes a great pirate song that's a hoot to listen to.Rock n roll Swindle DVD

Friggin' in the Riggin' by the Sex Pistols


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listening to:
Denise-Fountains of Wayne
Victim of Love-The Cars
California Sun-The Ramones

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Jackyl

JackylVacation time is over and it's back to worky time. Had a blast in Calgary and special thanks go out to Kat, the hostess with the mostest, and friends Carl and Leslie, a totally good Rockin' time was had by all. So let's start out with a rocker, eh?

In the mid 90's Jackyl were unfairly lumped into the hair metal category along with acts like Damn Yankees and Slaughter. Actually they were a Southern rock boogie band from Georgia that formed in 1990. They had a well crafted blend of hard rock, Southern boogie and power tools. The fivesome shared an enthusiasm for AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and other like-minded artists.

Their self-titled debut, released in 1992, enjoyed several hit rock singles, but the most attention was drawn by "The Lumberjack," an ode to burly chain-saw wielders that featured a chainsaw solo by vocalist James Dupree. His chain-saw abilities became their calling card and let's face it, when was the last time you heard a really good chainsaw song. The album kicks ass.

Through the years there's been some lineup changes and label shifts, but Jackyl released an album in 2002 with many tracks co written by Brian Johnson, vocalist for AC/DC. Today's song is a little explicit and a bit silly, but I like it in a cheesy sort of way. Hailing from their debut album, please enjoy

She Loves My Cock by Jackyl
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)


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