Archive for the 'Wayyyyyback' Category

28
Jan
10

WTF

This is a song called Hocus Pocus by a Dutch band called Focus. I never knew quite what to make of this song when it came out and watching the video hasn’t shed any light on the subject. One thing I do know is that regardless of what the marijuana laws were in the Netherlands in 1971, these dudes were smoking SOMETHING.

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12
Dec
09

dr. john > rammstein, part deux

It’s creepy, it’s a trip and it’s way better than Rammstein. It’s also over 5 minutes long. I realize this is about 4:50 past your attention span, but do yourself a favor and watch it.

17
Nov
09

Sorry, Barry.

I’d like to apologize to Barry Manilow for taking a shot at him a few posts back. I just listened to his song “Could It Be Magic?” and found the intro quite pleasing.

Oh wait. Found out that intro was based on “Prelude in C Minor” by Chopin. Nevermind. Also turns out that his other hit “I Write the Songs” wasn’t written by him. I love the irony of that, but please continue sucking it, Barry.

10
Nov
09

Suck it, Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow once did a sappy song called “I Write the Songs”. Sorry, I used the word “sappy” in a sentence mentioning Manilow and that’s flat-out redundant. Anyway, if he was in any way referring to himself, he was woefully wrong. There was a time when I would have said that song should have been dedicated to Jimmy Webb. Webb wrote “Witchita Lineman”, “MacArthur Park”, Galveston”, “Up, Up and Away”, “The Worst That Could Happen”, “All I Know” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” among many others. I thought he pretty much had “best songwriter ever” wrapped up. But the other night I was surfing youtube for 3 Dog Night Videos because I lead a very exciting life. While reading the info sidebar on “Eli’s Coming”, I see that it was written by a woman named Laura Nyro. Turns out she also wrote “And When I Die” (at age 17, no less), “Stone Soul Picnic” and “Wedding Bell Blues”. Her list of hits is a little shorter than Webb’s, but where she really outshined him was in performing. Webb’s voice isn’t offensive by any means, but he’s just not as dynamic as Laura Nyro was. Yes, the past tense; she died in 1997 at age 49 of ovarian cancer. I’m not going to post a video of Jimmy Webb performing. If you like any of his songs that I mentioned and want to hear him do his version, there’s some on youtube; indulge your own masochistic tendencies. Here’s Laura Nyro, though, performing her song “Poverty Train” at The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967:

In non-music news: Dear Jay Leno, you are the singularly most non-funny person that I have ever seen doing comedy for a living. As long as it doesn’t involve sucking dick amazingly well, how’d you pull that off?

29
Oct
09

stoner music: the classic rock all-time greats

I don’t smoke up anymore, but I remember many a night spent staring into space with “The Tomita Planets” playing in the background. I’d say some of the factors to be be considered when determining if a song is stoner music are track length (longer is better), obscurity/depth of lyrics and whether the music has an ethereal quality to it (or a repetitive riff in there somewhere). Here’s a list of what I wuold say are the top 5 stoner classic rock songs. Or at least the top 5 I can think of at the moment (Videos for 2 through 5 after the jump).

5. Traffic: Dear Mr. Fantasy

4. America: Horse With No Name

3. The Grateful Dead: Wharf Rat

2. Traffic: Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys

1. The Doors: The End

Continue reading ‘stoner music: the classic rock all-time greats’

23
Oct
09

Even More Cowbell!

This isn’t really about the cowbell, this is really another installment of “dumb shit record companies do”. In the early 60’s, there was a folk band comprised of a group of brothers. By brothers, I mean siblings. Coincidentally, they were black, so I guess you could go either way on that, you racist. Anyway, they started out as a folk group. Pretty natural, considering they grew up singing in a Baptist church. In the mid 60’s, they shifted to doing electric music like many other folk performers were, dabbling in both R&B and Psychedelia. They got offers to sign with numerous record companies, but accepted an offer from Columbia. In 1966, they wrote a really cool song and wanted to record it. Columbia president Clive Davis refused, saying they didn’t record that kind of music but offered to find a white group to record it for them. Apparently, execs thought they were being “uppity” after hearing the song, as it’s an actual intelligent commentary on the state of things at that point in history. They recorded it anyway, but Columbia still refused to release it. For 2 years, they played it at their live shows and it became the centerpiece of their reportoire. Finally, in 1968 they scored a minor hit and Columbia gave them the green light to re-record the cool song. The single peaked at #11 on Billboard;s pop list, the album at #4. It’s been used extensively in soundtracks for both film and television. The group was The Chambers Brothers and the song is “Time Has Come Today”. I highly recommend picking up the 11:06 album track, but here’s an extremely abbreviated version of it from the Ed Sullivan Show.

And a bonus! An awesome 1983 cover by The Ramones:

19
Oct
09

Will Ferrell’s Muse?

Check it out at 3:04. If this isn’t the inspiration behind Ferrell’s performance in the cowbell sketch, I don’t know what is. Best part is, Will didn’t even have to take it much further over the top than this. This is pretty funny all on it’s own. Of course, the only reason I know about this is I decided to search for this song on youtube because I like it and was listening to it on my computer. Jay Ferguson was a pretty talented musician and never should have been a one hit wonder.




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