Friday 31 August 2018

Grumpy Old Men Songs #10: An encounter that still rankles...

Going back to last week's post about... well, getting annoyed with people who don't behave with the level of courtesy you expect... here's a story from way back in 2010, when I still used to attend gigs pretty regularly. This is taken word-for-word from my old blog, Sunset Over Slawit. I've edited the actual gig review out, suffice it to say that it was Badly Drawn Boy in Manchester. Not the best gig I've ever seen, though I full accept that my opinion was coloured rather by this experience...
...midway through BDB's act, I became distracted by the woman next to me who was having a long text conversation on her phone. I mean, a LONG text conversation - it went on for over two songs by the time I'd finally had enough. She had one of those phones that double as lighthouses when you switch them on and her texting was illuminating the whole row.

Finally, I couldn't take it any more. I turned to her and, polite as I could manage, asked if she wouldn't mind switching her phone off as all I could see was the light.

"I was just sending a very important text to someone who's in hospital," she tried to explain. I shrugged - if it's that important, why not take it outside the auditorium rather than disturb everyone else and disrespect the performer? - but as she acquiesced and turned the phone off I said nothing more and carried on watching the show. As far as I was concerned, the matter was settled.

I've watched enough Curb Your Enthusiasm to know things are rarely that simple...

As BDB called for a fag-break, we took a moment to stretch our legs and use the loo. On returning to our seats, the woman with the phone decided to have her say.

"You were very rude to me," she said, "are you going to apologise?"

I explained that as far as I was concerned it was far more rude to spend ten minutes lighting up the whole venue with a phone...

"It wasn't ten minutes."

"It was over two songs!"

"It was two songs. And I explained that I had to send an important message to someone in hospital. And I apologised. But you were rude and you didn't apologise."

I began telling her I didn't see how I had anything to apologise for...

...which is when her son turned up.

"Is there a problem here?"

"There's no problem," I told him.

"I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR OPINION!" he shouted, pointing an aggressive finger in my face, at which point they both started on me.

So we left. It seemed the easiest option, rather than trying to argue my case. It was after 10 and Badly hadn't built up enough good will for me to want to stick around and put up with this abuse. I was furious...

...but afterwards, I started to wonder: was I in the wrong? As hostile as he'd acted, I couldn't really blame the son. He'd come back in to see what he thought was me having another go at his mum. He wasn't to know that it was her who'd started the exchange. If I saw someone having a go at my mum, I'd probably have been similarly incensed. But did this woman really deserve an apology? I'd restrained my original request to a polite "would you mind...?" rather than the "TURN THAT FLIPPING THING OFF!" I'd been feeling, and I'd made no more of it after she finished her texting. She may well have been worried about a relative in hospital - but not worried enough to cancel her evening out, or even to step outside the auditorium to send her messages. And I wasn't the only one getting annoyed by the light from her phone. But should I have said nothing? Or should I have dropped to my knees in supplication at the very mention of a sick relative? Is it just me? Do you think I was in the wrong?
Badly Drawn Boy can be a pretty grumpy chap himself, and I suppose he's getting on a bit now (well, he's 2 ½ years older than me), but I've had a devil of a time finding a grumpy old man song from him to play today. This was the most appropriate tune I could come up with under the circumstances...

Thursday 30 August 2018

Neverending Top Ten #8.1 - And I've got such a long way to go to make it to the border of Mexico

Listening to Christopher Cross's Ride Like The Wind in the car the other day with Sam (furthering his extensive, unfiltered musical education), I was faced with the following question:

"Daddy, why do all the singers want to go to Mexico?"

I had to stop and think about this for a second. I guess there must have been a few songs on recent in-car CDs featuring people going to Mexico. Maybe The Coasters - Down In Mexico. Definitely Blake Shelton - Playboys of the Western World. Possibly some others from my old Top Ten Mexico Songs.

"Well," I tried to explain, "sometimes if somebody does something really naughty in America, and the police are after them, they go to Mexico to escape. They could go to Canada, I guess... but the police in Canada are more likely to send them back to America."

Thus began Sam's new obsession.

Every song that pops up on the car radio...

Lloyd Cole.

"Daddy - where is he from?"


Fountains of Wayne.

"Daddy - where are they from?"


Elvis Costello.

"Daddy - where is he from?"

"Ah... England."

(I had to think for a second whether Declan Patrick MacManus was actually Irish. But no, even his Dad, the Secret Lemonade Drinker, hailed from Liverpool.)

Del Amitri.

"Daddy - where are they from?"


The Smiths.

"Daddy - where are they from?"


Fleetwood Mac.

"Daddy - where are they from?"

"Erm… well... some of them are from America and some of them are from Britain."

The thing is he's retaining this information too. The young mind is a sponge.

Two fine examples of this...

"Daddy - where are they from?"


"Oh. They must know First Aid Kit then."

"Daddy - where are they from?"


"Oh. Right. Just like The Real Tuesday Weld."

Is four years old too young to be entered for Ken Bruce's Popmaster?

Wednesday 29 August 2018

My Top Ten Luke Haines Songs...

...can be found over at The Vinyl Villain today, with the third and final Imaginary Compilation Album dedicated to the man and his work.

Please visit The Vinyl Villain if you haven't been there already today for my rundown of Luke's solo work.

(Sadly, this means I have to start writing mid-week posts for this blog again come next week, rather than just linking to JC.)

Meanwhile, here's one more bonkers track I didn't have room for... one of many!

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Hot 100 #69

If you're a music blogger, and you choose the records you write about because you think other people will think they're cool... and by extension that you are cool for liking them... then you are being a music blogger for the wrong reason. Go be a music journalist if you want people to think you're cool. Go work for the NME. (Well, what's left of it.) Some people - the ones who follow the crowd - may end up thinking you're cool. The rest of us will probably think you're a tool who occasionally gets it right, but... well, at least you'll be getting paid.

No, if you're a music blogger, you you never choose your songs because of what other people might think - about the songs or about you. You should just go ahead and pick the songs you like, write about them, and please yourself. Screw what anybody else thinks. The really cool people (not the NME journalists) will respect you for that, even if they don't agree with you.

Many fine (and cool) songs were suggested for the number 69. Here's a selection...

Serge Gainsbourge & Jane Birkin - 69 Année Erotique (The Swede)

(I quite like Bad Seed Mick Harvey's English translation too: 69 Erotic Year.)

Liz Phair - Go West (Yes, Swede, cold showers after often needed in this house following a bout of Liz Phair)

Stepping down off my platform shoes
Sixty-nine in the afternoon
And I'm waiting for someone in the know
Like Pirner tells me on the radio
Says "Take it from someone who's been there before,
You go west, young man."

The Vines - 1969 (Lynchie)

The Incredible String Band - Way Back In The 1960s (also Lynchie... but one I think we should save for another 9 weeks' time)

Mott The Hoople - Saturday Gigs (Rigid Digit's last hurrah with that one)

Sixty-nine was cheapo wine,
Have a good time,
What your sign
Float up to the Roundhouse
On a Sunday afternoon.

Stiff Little Fingers - 78 RPM (RD again, and the second mention for this one... although it could have been running for longer than The Hoople has)

Sixty-nine, it was fine
You say, but by seventy-nine it's gonna be mine

Iggy & The Stooges - 1969 (RD, C and Swiss Adam went for this... the cool choice!)

Sonic Youth - Death Valley '69 (C and Swiss Adam both going for the really cool choice)

Sandi Thom - I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair) (Alyson - I was going to say the "contemporary" choice, but then I realised this is 13 years old)

Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair
In seventy seven and sixty nine, revolution was in the air

David Holmes - 69 Police (Swiss Adam with another "contemporary" offering... from 18 years ago)

REM - Star 69 (C and Swiss Adam with my runner-up)

Oh, and of course, Charity Chic had to throw in a mention for this lot, who would have been at the top of the page were it not for my favourite Magnetic Fields album...

Other contenders from my own record collection included...

Booker T & The MGs - Soul Clap '69

Babes In Toyland - Sweet 69

Adam Ant - 1969 Again

Mouse & The Boys -- Xcedrin Headache #69 (not sure where that came from - some old psychedelia compilation)

The Fuzztones - Highway 69

Rick James - She Blew My Mind (69 Times)

Albert Collins - 69 Underpass Roadside Inn

...and... wait for it... wait for it...

Ministry - Psalm 69 (a godawful racket, but it makes me smile)

Phew - 69 appears to be an inextricably popular number with popular musicians. Go figure.

In the end though, I refer you all back to my opening paragraphs. There could only be one winner this week, even though I knew it wouldn't be a particularly popular choice in many quarters. It's a song I've written about before here and may even do so again. Sorry if you don't like it: your loss.

(Oh, and in case you're going to accuse me of choosing a year song when there were some fine non-year tracks I could have had instead... well, Bryan himself claims this song isn't about 1969 at all...)

68 next week, and an equally obvious choice for me. We'll see if you agree...

Monday 27 August 2018

2018 Contenders: God's Favourite Customer

After a couple of months deliberation, I've arrived at the conclusion that God's Favourite Customer is the best Father John Misty album to date. It comes hot on the heels of last year's patience-testing, self indulgent, tune-forgetting "almost masterpiece" Pure Comedy... which I reviewed here. The good news is, Josh Tillman has reined in his excesses on the follow-up, focusing on the stuff he does very well - warmth, wit, a wry eye on the human condition, taking the piss out of himself - while not forgetting to bring the catchy melodies that made his first couple of records so memorable.

The closing track sums up FJM's appeal in a nutshell. We're Only People (And There's Not Much Anyone Can Do About That) is the kind of song it seems only he can write. Cynical on the outside, but with an inner sincerity that seems so at odds with that. I find it quietly heartbreaking... and yet, full of hope.

Oh, friends, all my friends
Oh, I hope you're somewhere smiling
Just know I think about you more kindly than you and I have ever been
And I'll see you the next time around the bend

Then there's Please Don't Die - a tender-hearted suicide anthem that celebrates hopelessness and then begs us not to do it...

Oh, honey I'm worried 'bout you
You're too much to lose
You're all that I have
And, honey I'm worried 'bout you
Put yourself in my shoes
You're all that I have so please don't die
Wherever you are tonight

Yeah, well, that one kicks me in the gut, given recent events. We bring our own perspectives and experiences to songs sometimes. This one came along just when I needed it in that regard. (No, I am not suicidal. But I guess I knew someone who may have been.)

The title track is the one that's grown on me the most with repeated listening. It's the closest FJM has come to writing a Steely Dan song yet. The intro could by Becker & Fagen. I listened to this five times on repeat the other morning, I just couldn't get enough of it.

My favourite song on the album though is still the first I heard - the one I had to download immediately, long before I even knew there was another album coming along (so soon after the last one). Mr. Tillman features a hotel receptionist ticking Father John off for his bad behaviour, and includes some of the best lines he's written. It works well because of a little coda on the end of each line that allows for three extra notes / words that make the conversation run on and on without a breath. I love the way he makes virtually everything the receptionist says into a question... even though she's ripping into him as she does it. I've been listening to this song for about 6 months now and I'm still not tired of it... particularly the bit about Jason Isbell.

 And oh, just a reminder about our policy
Don't leave your mattress in the rain if you sleep on the balcony
Okay, did you and your guests have a pleasant stay?
What a beautiful tattoo that young man had on his face
And oh, will you need a driver out to Philly?
Jason Isbell's here as well
And he seemed a little worried about you

Sunday 26 August 2018

Saturday Snapshots #47 - The Answers

If you Don't Like Mondays and often find yourself wondering whether the Russians love their children too, here's the perfect post for you. The Sunday answers to Saturday Snapshots come around Like Clockwork and will leave you feeling like an Englishman in New York... probably.

Good team-work yesterday, folks. I think Lynchie just clinched the win, but Chris, C, Rigid Digit, Alyson all worked well together to solve the rest.

10. Your adversary will never leave home.

No explanation needed for this one...

The Enemy - We'll Live & Die In These Towns

9. No charge for the daughter of Robbie's brother.

The daughter of Robbie's brother would be de Niece of Williams.

Deniece Williams - Free

8. Roger's other half doesn't like to drive.

Roger's other half would be Wilco. Do you copy?

Wilco - Passenger Side

7. 5-4-3-2-1: Fire your inspiration!

If you fired your inspiration, you might be throwing your muse.

Throwing Muses - Counting Backwards

6. Both jams bewilder a depressed weatherman.

Both jams is an anagram.

A depressed weatherman would feel like it was raining on him all the time.

B.J. Thomas - Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

5. Stanley's doctor will stay home this evening. Again.

Stanley Kubrick's doctor was Strangelove.

Strangelove - Another Night In

4. Where polite cows graze in the spring. Keep climbing!

Curtis means courteous or polite.

Spring cows would graze in a Mayfield.

Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up

3. Southern belles won't reach the south of France yet.

Southern belles (in the States) would be Dixie Chicks.

Nice is in the south of France.

Dixie Chicks - Not Ready To Make Nice

2. Helps the medicine go down on hot days in London.

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Lovin' Spoonful - Summer In The City

1. Lightning makes a move on Mater's lady.

If you've never seen Disney's Cars trilogy, you wouldn't have stood much of a chance with this clue. I, however, have watched Disney's Cars trilogy more than any other film in the last five years... not entirely through choice.

Put on your bright suit Billy, and head for the right side of town next Saturday morning when I'll be Spreading A Little Happiness once again...

(Note to self: don't use a picture with two big stars in it again.)

Saturday 25 August 2018

Saturday Snapshots #47

I'm just a One Man Band writing this blog, but it's always good to know that When I Need You to solve the clues on Saturday Snapshots, You always Make Me Feel Like Dancing...

Identify ten artists and ten top tunes from the clues below, please...

10. Your adversary will never leave home.

9. No charge for the daughter of Robbie's brother.

8. Roger's other half doesn't like to drive.

7. 5-4-3-2-1: Fire your inspiration!

6. Both jams bewilder a depressed weatherman.

5. Stanley's doctor will stay home this evening. Again.

4. Where polite cows graze in the spring. Keep climbing!

3. Southern belles won't reach the south of France yet.

2. Helps the medicine go down on hot days in London.

1. Lightning makes a move on Mater's lady.

The Show Must Go On... so answers will be provided tomorrow morning as usual.

Friday 24 August 2018

Grumpy Old Men Songs #9: What Have I Become?

(I put "supermarket clash" into google images and this is what came up.)

This latest Grumpy Old Men post was inspired by a post Martin wrote last week. I suggest you read that first to make sense of my reply...

I'm sorry to say that I've been on the other side of your experience recently, Martin... and it's not the first time. In fact, I may well be becoming the gentleman you describe in your story, which I'm not particularly proud of but...

In the supermarket then. I waited patiently for the loose carrots box while some old dears were chatting over it. When they moved on, I moved in. I only needed three. As I was getting them, a bloke roughly the same age as me reached right over me to grab a handful.

"No, no, be my guest," I said, taking a huge step back to give him room.

"Are you all right?" he replied. Seemingly shocked by my desire for personal space.

I turned and marched away, muttering indignantly just like the chap Martin described.

This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened. I often find myself stepping out of someone's way or holding a door for them only to be completely blanked: not even a nod of thanks. In this kind of situation, I have occasionally taken to shouting a sarcastic "THANK YOU!" back at them over my shoulder as I stomp away. It's only a matter of time before I get beaten up.

Some debate ensued in Martin's comment section that made me reconsider my actions. As was pointed out by Mark, C and others, you never really know what another person is going through and when you take your anger out on them for no reason than that they haven't displayed a suitable level of courtesy on that one particular occasion, you're behaving far worse than they are. Yes, there are lots of rude and inconsiderate people in the world... but there are also some people who may be going through a bad time at that moment or may have been distracted by more altruistic purposes and otherwise would not have been so "rude". You can't base your entire decision on whether to condemn a person's character on one chance encounter.

Unless they're driving an Audi, in which case... go for it.

(That was a joke, by the way. A joke based on my inbuilt prejudice against and stereotyping of people who drive Audis, but a joke just the same. Honest.)

I also understand the outrage we all feel when our own actions are misjudged as rude or inconsiderate by others. I've been there too. It stings, for days after.

The sad truth is though that the older I get, the more I find myself becoming Larry David in these situations. Or Michael Douglas in Falling Down. Or Nigel Blackwell...

Some people don’t know how to walk on the pavement these days
Well it’s not that difficult, there’s hardly a whole host of ways
Here they come, love’s young dream, arm in arm, approaching me
Now, I’m not looking for your smile
I’m just asking for some single file
But it’s not forthcoming so I have to assume
That this narrow path belongs to you
And therefore you must be
The Duke of Westminster and his good lady wife
So, I tell you what, I’ll just walk in the road
How about I just walk in the road?
You stay as you are, and I’ll just walk in the road

I recognise it's not a very nice trait I'm describing. I recognise that I may need help. Will you guys be my support group?

I've just remembered another story, from my old blog, which relates very directly to this post. If any of you are still reading next week - now I've revealed this wholly unpleasant side of my character - I'll share that with you then.

Thursday 23 August 2018

My Top Ten Black Box Recorder Songs...

...can be found over at The Vinyl Villain today, with my second of three Imaginary Compilation Albums dedicated to Luke Haines.

Please visit The Vinyl Villain if you haven't been there already today for Part 2.

Meanwhile, here's a track I didn't have room for... one of many!

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Talky Songs #10: The Blood of the Guitar was Chuck Berry Red!

You may know the story. The album Bad For Good was written by Jim Steinman as the sequel to Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell. But Meat's voice was wrecked and he and Jim weren't on a great terms, so Jim went and recorded it himself. I truly believe that in years to come, Jim Steinman will be remembered as one of the greatest songwriters in the history of rock n' roll... and although many would mock that opinion, I'm not alone. Here's journalist John Aizlewood...
"...nobody writes songs like Jim Steinman: he is, perhaps, the lost genius of pop, stranded - lamentably unlauded - in a world of rock with opera's attitude, where life has stopped at the point of adolescence that childhood dreams are shattered. It's how "soul" music should have turned out: every chorus is like losing your virginity, every verse is like killing your parents. It's as if Phil Spector and Richard Wagner were making records together."
As a performer though, Steinman doesn't really cut it... especially when compared to his most famous mouthpiece, the mighty Meat. I love the album Bad For Good, but I understand why it didn't make Steinman a household name. Most of the songs have subsequently been re-recorded and improved upon by Meat Loaf and others... such as Barbra Streisand, whose version of Left In The Dark is surely one of the highpoints of her entire career. Hey, if it's good enough for Kris Kristofferson, it's good enough for you...

Gentleman of a certain age - even ones who think they are immune to the charms of Ms. Streisand - may find they need a cold shower after that video. But I digress. This is a Talky Songs post, isn't it?

The one track on Bad For Good then that could not be improved upon? The one so great that even Meat Loaf used Steinman's version on the eventual Bat Out Of Hell II album? It's this: Love & Death & An American Guitar. A song that takes the infamous talky bit from Jim Morrison's The End and makes a hilarious piece of musical theatre out of it... with a punch-line that is... figuratively... to die for. And if you don't agree with me... well, you've got a hell of a lot to learn about Rock And Roll!

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Hot 100 #70

This week's image is taken from "New York's leading 70s DANCE/DISCO/FUNK group performing to packed dance floors every week". Only a wedding band then, but from watching their corporate video, they seem pretty slick... and very appropriate for this week's edition of the Hot 100 Countdown as virtually all the songs I had - or that you suggested - were about 70s. In fact, the only ones that didn't were these from Jim in Dubai...

Simple Minds - 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall

Yeah... nice try, Jim, but you've still not convinced me on Simple Minds.

A much more likely choice was this...

City Boy - 5705

...which is a great tune... but one I'll have to save for when I do the Hot 10,000 Countdown, I'm afraid.

The only other song I could think of that wasn't related to a year (or years) was this...

Brand New - Seventy Times Seven

...but despite being pretty good, it was disqualified on two fronts: firstly, it's really a song about 490; secondly, the lead singer disgraced himself recently. You can read about that elsewhere if you want to, but I have a friend whose favourite band was Brand New... and when all that came out, he took his albums down the charity shop.

The rest of this week's entries fall into two camps then - songs about the year 1970... and songs about the 70s decade. Let's start with the year... and get our token Mott The Hoople mention out of the way first thing...

In Seventy we all agreed
A King's Road flat was the place to be
'Cause Chelsea girls are the best in the world for company

Only one more week of that to go.

Rigid Digit also offered the obvious choice...

Iggy & The Stooges - 1970

...and I Feel Alright with that suggestion.

Others I had in mind...

Robin Hitchcock - 1970 In Aspic (if The Swede wasn't working so hard at the moment, I'm sure he'd have suggested this.)

Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash - 1970 Monte Carlo

Ringo Starr - Early 1970... which, if you've never heard it, is definitely worth a listen as it tells you just how Ringo felt about the Beatles breaking up... and it's really quite touching.

Onto the 70s decade then...

Martin set the ball rolling with this... which was quickly seconded by Lynchie…

Mike Watt - Against The 70s

Never heard that before - and hence it's not in my record collection (yet) and can't win... but I like the sound of it.

The kids of today should defend themselves against the 70’s
It’s not reality, just someone else’s sentimentality
It won’t work for you
Baby boomers, selling you rumors of their history
Forcing youth away from the truth of what’s real today

Maybe so, Mike, but from where I sit, the 70s look like a pretty peachy place to be right now.

Other notable 70s tunes...

Something Happens - A 70s Wedding

Aberfeldy - 1970s

Cheap Trick - In The Street (That 70s Song)

Luke Haines - NY In The 70s (more from him later in the week)

Hall & Oates - 70s Scenario (from War Babies, the most mental Hall & Oates album, the one that Todd Rundgren produced)

This week's winner though was identified by Rigid Digit. One of my favourites from Mr. Harcourt... which I appreciate as a child of the 70s myself... although I'm a little older than Ed.

I was born the year punk broke
Days before the king was dead
It was the year of the snake
I was a red-faced child
Who stumbled where he tread
Was kept in orderly file
My parents name me Ed
I tried my hardest to smile

Can't we just skip 69 and go straight on to 68? No? Oh well, I guess I'll see you next week then for the inevitable... your suggestions are welcome regardless.

Monday 20 August 2018

My Top Ten Songs About Aretha Franklin

Following on from my Top Ten Aretha Songs... here's ten songs that namecheck the Queen of Soul and pay tribute...

10. Okkervil River - Famous Tracheotomies

The opening track to the new Okkervil River album does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a  song about famous people who've had tracheotomies. No, wait, it's a hell of a lot better than that sounds!

No, Aretha never had a tracheotomy. However...

Mary Wells, she was known as Motown's Queen
But laryngeal cancer left her unable to sing
They tried radiation, multiple surgeries
But she didn't have insurance and lost almost everything
Poor thing
But Diana Ross helped with her bills
Aretha Franklin tried her very best to help out Mary Wells
And Dionne Warwick did all she could do
And Mary Wells, she pulled through
For one more year or two

9. Le Tigre - Hot Topic

A song about all the different artists who inspired Le Tigre. Aretha shares some pretty offbeat company in these lyrics...

Gertrude Stein, Marlon Riggs, Billie Jean King, Ut, DJ Cuttin Candy, David Wojnarowicz, Melissa York, Nina Simone, Ann Peebles, Tammy Hart, The Slits, Hanin Elias, Hazel Dickens, Cathy Sissler, Shirley Muldowney, Urvashi Vaid, Valie Export, Cathy Opie, James Baldwin, Diane Dimassa, Aretha Franklin, Joan Jett, Mia X, Krystal Wakem, Kara Walker, Justin Bond, Bridget Irish, Juliana Lueking, Cecilia Dougherty, Ariel Skrag, The Need, Vaginal Creme Davis, Alice Gerard, Billy Tipton, Julie Doucet, Yayoi Kusama, Eileen Myles

8. Parliament - Chocolate City

In which George Clinton plans his ideal government...

And don't be surprised if Ali is in the White House
Reverend Ike, Secretary of the Treasury
Richard Pryor, Minister of Education
Stevie Wonder, Secretary of fine arts
And Miss Aretha Franklin, the First Lady

7. Dar Williams - Midnight Radio

Here's to Patti
And Tina
And Yoko
And Nona
And Nico
And me
And all the strange rock and rollers
You know you're doing alright
So hold on to each other
You gotta hold on tonight

6. Drive-By Truckers - Ronnie & Neil

A song about Muscle Shoals, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Young, Otis Redding... and Aretha.

The history of Southern music in one 5 minute song.

5. Graham Parker - Obsessed With Aretha

You get a lot of girl singers obsessed with Aretha
You get a lot of little swingers wishin' they could be her
Some of those sisters can rock and roll
All god's children gotta little bit of soul
But not that much... no no no, not that much

4. Scritti Politti - Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)

Each time I go to bed I pray like Aretha Franklin

I never understood how exactly that made one a Wood Beez. Or what exactly a Wood Beez was.

3. Cat Power - Aretha, Sing One For Me

Me and my baby, we had a big fight
We ended our romance the same night
In an angry mood, he walked out the door
I said this song's going to an Aretha Franklin show

Hey, Aretha, sing one for me
Let him know our life's in misery
Will you sing a song that will touch his heart
And make him sorry that we are apart

2. Eric Burdon & The Animals - River Deep Mountain High

In which Eric and the lads rework Phil Spector's classic into a psychedelic monster, changing one specific line in the process...

I love you baby, like Aretha Franklin needs to sing

1. Rumer - Aretha

Possibly the most gorgeous tribute song ever written?

Sunday 19 August 2018

Saturday Snapshots #46 - The Answers

If you're Crazy In Love with Saturday Snapshots, time to see if we can Work It Out together. Check On It below... 

(As part of my Aretha Tribute Weekend... which continues tomorrow... it seemed the right time to include Beyoncé, who surely owes her entire career to Aretha paving the way for her.)

Anyway, a full scale scrum took place yesterday morning just after 8.30 with Charity Chic, Lynchie, C - and even George (welcome back, George) fighting to see who could type their answers fastest. No, sorry, FBCB, there are no marks for neatness in the game... although I'm pretty sure you clinched the victory this week anyway. Alyson deserves credit for working out this week's stinkers - number 9 - a song I doubt anyone remembered (even I'd forgotten it) and number 3 (Martin or The Swede might have got that, but I seriously doubt it's in Alyson's record collection). Well done to you all, and thanks for playing as always...

10. Clashing with the cops... even though one of them was a cop - completely!

Clashing with the cops would be fighting with the law. Clashing because the Clash covered this song.

I'm going to have to stop using the police clue for Bobby after today... but it made more sense here than most times I've used it.

The Bobby Fuller Four - I Fought The Law

9. Donald plants citrus seeds on the White House lawn. What will grow there?

President Trump is a fool. The White House lawn is his garden.

Citrus seeds may grow into a Lemon Tree.

Fool's Garden - Lemon Tree

8. Move the pan so the babies don't get singed.

A Jamaican cooking pot / pan is called a Dutchie. This song was originally about drugs, but when this bunch covered it, they changed the lyrics so that it was about food instead. (Ironically, Dutchie then came to be drugs slang as a result.)

Babies would represent youth. Singed is a bad pun for musical AND burned.

This generation... rules de nation... with version!

Musical Youth - Pass The Dutchie

7. Plan a social gathering with this luscious nomad.

The name Wanda actual means "wanderer"!

And then there was Luscious Jackson.

Wanda Jackson - Let's Have A Party

6. Will you go out with me? Yes? What do your friends call you? Like your heavenly body? (Slap!)

Will you go out with me?

Go on then.


Yes. I Will Be Your Girlfriend.

What do your friends call you?

They dub me Star.

Like your heavenly body? (Slap!)

Dubstar - I Will Be Your Girlfriend

5. Throw the clairvoyant at that beauty spot.

Chuck the prophet at that freckle.

Chuck Prophet - Freckle Song

4. Char lady required for diminutive queen? You're not wrong!

The Queen is Elizabeth. A diminutive form of that is Betty.

If you're not wrong, you are right.

Char ladies clean up.

Betty Wright - Clean Up Woman

3. Hugh shares a sweet affection for the Go-Betweens' favourite actress.

Hugh Hefner.

The Go-Betweens' favourite actress would be Lee Remick. This is a completely different song though...

Hefner - Lee Remick

2. Why stand on the Big Bad when you could be going on David Copperfield's rug?

Why step on a big bad wolf when you could be riding on a magic carpet? (Originally I wanted to make that Paul Daniels' rug, because that would have been funnier, but I didn't know how well he'd be known internationally.)

Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride

1. Stooping to pick up a Scouse bracelet.

Explains itself, surely?

Martin did a post recently about music videos that stop the music unexpectedly half way through. There's a great example here, courtesy of Mr. Leonard Nimoy...

If I Were A Boy... or even a Naughty Girl... I'd come back here next Saturday for some Déjà Vu. See you then.

Saturday 18 August 2018

Saturday Snapshots #46

Still paying our Respects to the Queen of Soul, here's ten clues designed to make you Think... can you identify the artist and song for each one? Of course you can, you're no Chain of Fools!

10. Clashing with the cops... even though one of them was a cop - completely!

9. Donald plants citrus seeds on the White House lawn. What will grow there?

8. Move the pan so the babies don't get singed.

7. Plan a social gathering with this luscious nomad.

6. Will you go out with me? Yes? What do your friends call you? Like your heavenly body? (Slap!)

5. Throw the clairvoyant at that beauty spot.

4. Char lady required for diminutive queen? You're not wrong!

3. Hugh shares a sweet affection for the Go-Betweens' favourite actress.

2. Why stand on the Big Bad when you could be going on David Copperfield's rug?

1. Stooping to pick up a Scouse bracelet.

I Say A Little Prayer that you'll join me for the answers tomorrow morning...

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