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Sunday Song Survey part 2

The Velvet Underground – Rock & Roll (Demo) Fully Loaded Edition The vocals aren’t quite as tightly wound, and there is a flub in the last minute or two ((Lou Reed can be heard laughing)), otherwise this could have been the final version.

… Cale, John – Child’s Christmas In Wales Paris 1919 Buoyant pop tune, you’d never know that John Cale was the glowering rocker clad in black on the Velvet Underground’s first two albums just a few years prior to this album’s release in 1973.

…not quite Raï, but similar in spirit. Tamazight, actually, a Berber language from North Africa ((Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and elsewhere)). Hypnotic, insistent, quite spectacular. Worth owning if you are at all fond of desert blues.

Plugged headphone into iPod containing 27,773 songs1, hit shuffle, and here’s what emerged. Added a two mile run on the treadmill to the beginning of this mediation, which did require me to skip an 8 minute cello piece; cannot keep a steady pace unless the music is moving too.

  1. Yardbirds, TheYou’re A Better Man Than I


    Greatest Hits, Volume One

  2. Led ZeppelinImmigrant Song


    BBC Sessions

    One of the few Led Zeppelin songs I just don’t care for. This live-at-the-BBC-studios version is better than most.

  3. Freddie KingPlay It Cool


    Atlantic Blues: Chicago

    slinky guitar blues from 1969, about the sexual revolution, or something. Mini-skirts, my baby thinks she was put here forever, so she’s going to love as many (men) as she can, etc.

  4. The Velvet UndergroundRock & Roll (Demo)


    Fully Loaded Edition

    The vocals aren’t quite as tightly wound, and there is a flub in the last minute or two2, otherwise this could have been the final version. Thinner sound, perhaps, were there over-dubs on the final release?

  5. Cooder, RyLook At Granny Run Run


    Bop Till You Drop

    is this about a prototype of Viagra? 1979 seems a little early to be singing about a brand new pill that Grandpa takes that causes him to regain his, umm, energy for lovin’. Filled with tasty Ry Cooder guitar licks, of course.

  6. Thomas Mapfumo, The Acid BandChengeta Va Bereki


    Hokoyo!

    A favorite concert of recent vintage was in Manhattan a few years ago, at some benefit hosted by Bonnie Raitt. For me, the highlight was Thomas Mapfumo. Such a voice, full of expressive power with a hint of melancholy. A musical hero of mine.

  7. Cale, JohnChild’s Christmas In Wales


    Paris 1919

    Buoyant pop tune, you’d never know that John Cale was the glowering rocker clad in black on the Velvet Underground’s first two albums just a few years prior to this album’s release in 1973. Some of the lyrics are obscure to me, but the melody compensates. Also, I’ll have to check, but that sure as hell sounds like Ry Cooder playing some slide guitar. You should probably own this album if you don’t, highly rewarding.3

  8. Led ZeppelinThe Song Remains The Same
    Conspiracy Theory
    Bootleg recording from 1975, to my ears, not recorded from the soundboard, despite. Still pretty good quality, so maybe it is from a soundboard. Not Jimmy Page’s finest guitar solo – it is kind of formless, and John Paul Jones is mostly buried in the mix, but John Bonham sounds fucking loud, possessed, and Robert Plant assures you everything small will grow. If you like Zepp, you should have this.
  9. Fred McDowellRed Cross Store Blues


    Good Morning, Little School Girl

    Fred McDowell’s voice and his guitar perfectly in tune, limited range, but extremely powerful. In the days before Yelp!, one had record one’s complaints in song form, and hope for compensation. Whatever that Red Cross Store did to Mr. McDowell, they should be sorry. Damn. Probably racial, at least in part, but who knows. All we know is that he’s not going to that store any more.

  10. John FogertyHeaven’s Just A Sin Away


    The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again

    Speaking of copyright theft, John Fogerty got screwed re: Credence Clearwater residuals for years. This country-pop song is pretty light-weight though.

  11. Akli D.Azul – Salut à vous


    Anefas trankil

    not quite Raï, but similar in spirit. Tamazight, actually, a Berber language from North Africa4. Hypnotic, insistent, quite spectacular. Worth owning if you are at all fond of desert blues.

  12. Sun Kil MoonLily And Parrots


    Ghosts Of The Great Highway

    Really love this song, timbre of the lead vocalist reminds me of Neil Young, and now that I think of it, this could be a Crazy Horse record. Rocking, in other words.

  13. Big StarSeptember Gurls


    Keep an Eye on the Sky

    Probably my favorite box set of 2009 was the Big Star collection. Remastered, and filled with transcendent moments, including songs like this one. Love the backing vocals going “whoo-oooh”, among other subtle touches.

  14. Damned, TheNoise, Noise, Noise


    Machine Gun Etiquette

    I know The Damned are punk-rock legends, but this song doesn’t do much for me. Not that it sucks, but I’m not picking the needle up to play the tune again

  15. Thompson, RichardRockin’ In Rhythm


    Strict Tempo!

    Sprightly instrumental, did Richard Thompson overdub the second guitar? or does he have 25 fingers? Seeing as the only other musician credited on this seemingly out-of-print album is drummer Dave Mattacks, I guess Thompson does have 28 fingers.

  16. Boozoo ChavisWho Stole My Monkey?


    Who Stole My Monkey

    ?
    Nearly instrumental, as a matter of fact, the lyrics are just variants of You Stole My Monkey, repeated over a danceable zydeco beat.

  17. Little RichardGood Golly Miss Molly


    Greatest Gold Hits

    even after a thousand plays, still love Little Richard’s whoops.

  18. HelmetUnsung


    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – Radio X

    In Grand Theft Auto, music plays on the radio in any car you steal. As the GTA franchise has gotten older, the soundtrack has gotten more expansive. This box set is actually pretty good, even though this heavy rock song is on it, not my typical listening.

  19. WireStrange


    Pink Flag

    such an unusual loping vamp in A and E5. R.E.M. covered the song , but the original is better. Love this song, love this album.

Part of the fun for me of this project is stretching my memory: can I remember what my impressions about a song are later when I am in front of a computer? Listening to music is, and has been, my most favored hobby for nearly my entire life, but I would not assert that I am an astute critic of what I hear. I’ll never get better explaining what I like and don’t like unless I try. Odds are, I’ll tire of it soon enough, and go back to mostly blogging about politics and corporate corruption.

Footnotes:
  1. out of a possible 61,676 []
  2. Lou Reed can be heard laughing []
  3. nope, turns out it was Lowell George, of Little Feat fame. Interesting. Though Ry Cooder did do studio work on Little Feat’s first album []
  4. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and elsewhere []
  5. if my guess is correct []

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