Program #634

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN . . . . . Thundercrack . . . . . Tracks (4CD)
MARAH . . . . . My Heart Is The Bums On The Street . . . . . Kids in Philly
GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR . . . . . Hold Back The Night . . . . . Ultimate Collection
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS . . . . . I Stand Accused . . . . . Get Happy!!
VAN MORRISON . . . . . Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile) . . . . . Saint Dominic's Preview
JACKIE WILSON . . . . . (You’re Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher . . . . . The Very Best of Jackie Wilson

BOB DYLAN . . . . . I Threw It All Away . . . . . Nashville Skyline
TOM WAITS . . . . . The Part You Throw Away . . . . . Glitter and Doom Live
LEONARD COHEN . . . . . The Gypsy Life . . . . . Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979
DEVOTCHKA . . . . . New World . . . . . A Mad and Faithful Telling
GRIZZLY BEAR . . . . . While You Wait For The Others . . . . . Veckatimest
NEKO CASE . . . . . Star Witness . . . . . Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Bonus Disc Version)
EXENE CERVENKA . . . . . Honest Mistake . . . . . Somewhere Gone
ISOBEL CAMPBELL . . . . . Something To Believe . . . . . Sunday at Devil Dirt

LOU REED . . . . . Wait . . . . . Street Hassle
BRYAN FERRY . . . . . It’s My Party . . . . . These Foolish Things
THE COCKTAIL SLIPPERS . . . . . She’s A Fool . . . . . Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
THE PRETENDERS . . . . . Brass In Pocket . . . . . The Pretenders
THE BEATLES . . . . . That Means A Lot . . . . . Anthology 2
THE CLIENTELE . . . . . Tonight . . . . . Bonfires on the Heath
THE POSTMARKS . . . . . I’m In Deep . . . . . Memoirs at the End of the World (Dig)
ANGELO BADALAMENTI . . . . . Falling . . . . . Twin Peaks (Season One TV Soundtrack)
AIR . . . . . You Can Tell . . . . . Love 2

NNEKA . . . . . Africans . . . . . The Uncomfortable Truth
PETER TOSH . . . . . African . . . . . Equal Rights
BUNNY WAILER . . . . . Hypocritical Dub . . . . . Dubdisco
TOMMY T. F/ GIGI . . . . . Eden . . . . . Prester John Sessions
TAKEN BY TREES . . . . . To Lose Someone . . . . . East of Eden
PAUL SIMON . . . . . Under African Skies . . . . . Graceland
TOUMANI DIABATE . . . . . Ismael Drane . . . . . Tracks (4CD)

This program was the first to air after my experience at the MSG Bruce Springsteen concert, which was covered in some detail in the previous program post. Here we began with the tune that he used as an opener, saying it was "an outtake from the Wild and Innocent sessions," and the set finished with the Jackie Wilson tune that Springsteen and the E Street Band, along with guest Elvis Costello, used to close out the show. In between we heard one from Marah, a band that at times recalls the E Streeters, followed by Graham Parker and the Rumour covering the Trammps, the aforementioned Mr. Costello along with the Attractions engaging in their own brand of soul music, and Van Morrison finding inspiration from Mr. Excitement for some hot R&B.

A tune from Tom Waits' new live set brought to mind an old Bob Dylan track, so that's where this set started, and after the Waits tune we heard from Leonard Cohen also in a live setting, although from 30 years ago. Both of those tracks have an Eastern European feel to them, and that was continued in the DeVotchKa song that followed. From there it was Grizzly Bear giving someone the heave-ho, Neko Case recounting an awful event she once observed, Exene Cervenka admitting it's time to move on, and Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan looking for a reason to keep going.

This section kicked off with an old Lou Reed number that looks back with evident pleasure to the Girl Group sound of the early and mid-'60s. Lesley Gore had much success during those years; here we heard first Bryan Ferry and then the Cocktail Slippers covering songs that were hits for her. The Pretenders followed with a favorite that goes back to their very first disc, and then it was the Beatles and a track that was abandoned in 1965 and not officially released until the Anthology series of the mid-'90s. The romantic mood set by that one was sustained through a song from the new Clientele disc, and then we closed with a trio of tunes from the Postmarks, Angelo Badalamenti with Julee Cruise, and Air that added a whole bunch of synthesizers to the mix, taking us to a much dreamier place as a result.

The finale began with an artist whose name is Nneka: she has a German mother and Nigerian father, and her music shows a wide range of influences. There will be a new record early next year; until then an EP of some earlier material has been put together, and the track we heard conjured up an old Peter Tosh tune with a title that differs by one letter. A dub track from another original Wailer, the great Bunny Wailer, followed, and then it was new music from Tommy T., an Ethiopian bass player with a great feel for the reggae beat. A tune off the new disc recorded in Pakistan from Taken by Trees led to Paul Simon and some very talented South African musicians, and then we finished with the sublimely beautiful music of Toumani Diabaté, who hails from Mali and is a master of the kora, a 21-string harp-like instrument native to West Africa.

Here's another one from Tom Waits


Program #633

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
RANDY NEWMAN . . . . . Lonely At The Top . . . . . Sail Away
JOE HENRY . . . . . The Man I Keep Hid . . . . . Blood from Stars
THE REAL TUESDAY WELD . . . . . The Show Must Go On . . . . . I, Lucifer
TOM WAITS . . . . . Live Circus . . . . . Glitter and Doom Live
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN . . . . . Wild Billy’s Circus Story . . . . . The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
THE DECEMBERISTS . . . . . My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist . . . . . 5 Songs

SPIRAL STAIRS . . . . . Maltese T . . . . . The Real Feel
IGGY POP . . . . . The Passenger . . . . . Lust for Life
THE CAESARS . . . . . Boo Boo Goo Goo . . . . . Strawberry Weed
PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS . . . . . Just Like Me . . . . . Paul Revere & The Raiders - Greatest Hits
VISQUEEN . . . . . Hand Me Down . . . . . Message To Garcia
THE BEATLES . . . . . Got To Get You Into My Life . . . . . Revolver (Remastered)
CAMERA OBSCURA . . . . . Honey In The Sun . . . . . My Maudlin Career
SAM & DAVE . . . . . You Don’t Know Like I Know . . . . . The Very Best of Sam & Dave
SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS . . . . . Tell Me . . . . . 100 Days, 100 Nights

WILCO . . . . . Sonny Feeling . . . . . Wilco (The Album)
LOU REED . . . . . Crazy Feeling . . . . . Coney Island Baby
THE RAVEONETTES . . . . . Bang! . . . . . In & Out of Control
THE TUBES . . . . . Don’t Touch Me There . . . . . Young and Rich
THE POSTMARKS . . . . . 7-11 . . . . . By-the-Numbers
RAY PETERSON . . . . . Tell Laura I Love Her . . . . . Tell Laura I Love Her
GIRLS . . . . . Laura . . . . . Album
THE MINUS 5 . . . . . Desperate For Someone . . . . . Because We Hate You/Let the War Against Music Begin
ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 . . . . . Intricate Things . . . . . Goodnight Oslo

ALELA & ALINA . . . . . Matty Groves . . . . . Matty Groves
FAIRPORT CONVENTION . . . . . Farewell, Farewell . . . . . Liege & Lief
THE SWELL SEASON . . . . . Fantasy Man . . . . . Strict Joy
JONI MITCHELL . . . . . Urge For Going . . . . . Hits
JOE PUG . . . . . Dodging The Wind . . . . . Born On Flag Day
ROSANNE CASH . . . . . She’s Got You . . . . . The List
GEORGE JONES . . . . . A Picture Of Me (Without You) . . . . . A Picture of Me (Without You)

The previous program ended with Bruce Springsteen's "New York City Serenade" and my noting that I'd never seen that tune performed live, and wondering whether it would be part of the set list for the two upcoming MSG shows. This show included another track from Springsteen's second disc, along with the happy news that I would be attending the 11/7 concert . . . where he would be playing the entire second album from start to finish! I managed to snare two tickets through the tiny drop released a few days before, and Kathy (my wife) and I ended up on the side of the stage, about 10 yards from the band. Remarkably, they were the best seats I've had at a Springsteen show since we sat in the ninth row at the old Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ, in 1978. The Wild and the Innocent was wonderful to hear, and the E Street Band did a magnificent job of recreating the original sound of the album, with the help of a five-piece horn section, along with a string section plus Richard Blackwell on congas (he played on the album) for NYC Serenade (which was powerfully beautiful). It remains to be seen if this will be it for Bruce and the band, as they are taking some time off after spending the better part of the past decade on the road and in the studio together. If so, this show brought me back full circle to the early days when I first discovered Springsteen, and that added a little something extra to an extraordinary concert.

The track heard here featured Garry Tallent on the tuba and Roy Bittan on accordian; it's one that neither Kathy or I had seen live before as well, and was another highlight. Following it was a Decemberists tune with a suitable title, and preceding it we heard a Tom Waits track from his upcoming live CD that made for a perfect segue. The Real Tuesday Weld contributed a track that seemed to fit quite nicely as well, and Joe Henry's song felt like it could be an inner monologue of the guy in the Randy Newman tune that opened the show.

The next section opened with one from the new Spiral Stairs disc, and the guiter on that one brought to mind an old favorite from Iggy Pop. From there we heard the Caesars with some of their Swedish garage rock followed by Paul Revere & the Raiders offering their prototype for that sound. Visqueen provided some more guitars along the addition of some horns, which the remastered Beatles used to prominent effect. We then stepped on the Scottish soul train with Camera Obscura, which led to one from the soul originators Sam & Dave before Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings took us home with a 21st century take on that heartfelt sound.

While listening recently to Wilco's last record I was suddenly struck by the similarity between the slide guitar on this set's opening track and the old Lou Reed tune that followed, which is why we heard them back to back. From there it was a new one by the Raveonettes that opens with a line that could be referencing another '70s Lou Reed song, and the sound of that one led to the Tubes having some fun with Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. The Postmarks covering the Ramones took us into teen tragedy territory, and of course Ray Peterson had a big hit during the peak of that niche in the early '60s. Girls followed with one about a different Laura, which led to the Minus 5 and a tune about a girl with some serious issues, and that brought on Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 (including Scott McCaughey, mastermind of the Minus 5) mulling over the nature of love and relationships between men and women.

The last portion of this program began with Alela & Alina taking on an old English folk song that many (including myself) were first introduced to through Fairport Convention, who followed with a different one from the album that contains their version. Then it was the Swell Season from their new disc with one on which Marketa Irglova sings the lead and seems to reference the rather short-lived relationship she had with Glen Hansard (the two of them have decided to continue performing together even though they are no longer a couple). A beautiful song of changes from Joni Mitchell led to a new one from Joe Pug that finds him working hard to maintain his equilibrium. Deer Tick unable to shake free of the girl he lost brought on Rosanne Cash surrounded by the material remains of a departed lover, and then we hit rock bottom with George Jones and a classic weeper from the early-'70s.

Here's another one from George Jones


Program #632

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
ART BRUT . . . . . Am I Normal? . . . . . Art Brut vs. Satan
JONA LEWIE . . . . . You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties . . . . . The Stiff Records Box Set
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE . . . . . Red Dragon Tattoo . . . . . Utopia Parkway
BOAT . . . . . We Want It, We Want It . . . . . Setting the Paces
SPOON . . . . . Finer Feelings . . . . . Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
YO LA TENGO . . . . . It It’s True . . . . . Popular Songs
JENS LEKMAN . . . . . Sipping On The Sweet Nectar . . . . . Night Falls Over Kortedala
THE SPINNERS . . . . . Could It Be I’m Falling In Love . . . . . The Very Best of the Spinners

PAUL WESTERBERG . . . . . Dangerous Boys . . . . . PW & The Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys (Amazon.com Exclusive)
ST. VINCENT . . . . . Save Me From What I Want . . . . . Actor
JOE HENRY . . . . . Tiny Voices . . . . . Tiny Voices
TAKEN BY TREES . . . . . Anna . . . . . East of Eden
DEATH IN VEGAS . . . . . Killing Smile . . . . . Scorpio Rising
THE ROLLING STONES . . . . . Moonlight Mile . . . . . Sticky Fingers
JULIAN PLENTI . . . . . Skyscraper . . . . . Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper

HOPE SANDOVAL & THE WARM INVENTIONS . . . . . Trouble . . . . . Through the Devil Softly
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND . . . . . Femme Fatale . . . . . The Velvet Underground & Nico
GIRLS . . . . . Hellhole Ratrace . . . . . Album
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD . . . . . All Cried Out . . . . . The Very Best of Dusty Springfield
GLASVEGAS . . . . . It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry . . . . . Glasvegas
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS . . . . . Stranger In The House . . . . . This Year's Model (With Bonus Disc)
NICOLE ATKINS . . . . . Together We’re Both Alone . . . . . Neptune City

KRAFTWERK . . . . . Autobahn . . . . . Autobahn
JOHN CALE . . . . . Reading My Mind . . . . . Hobo Sapiens
PAUL MCCARTNEY . . . . . The Back Seat Of My Car . . . . . Ram
THE SHARP THINGS . . . . . Driving In Manhattan In My Car . . . . . A Moveable Feast
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN . . . . . New York City Serenade . . . . . The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle

The proceedings began this time with Eddie Argos of Art Brut bemoaning his inability to feel comfortable enough to ask out certain members of the opposite sex, and from there we heard first Jona Lewie and then Fountains of Wayne detailing the means by which they cope with girl problems. One from the new Boat disc contains a similar sensibility, and that brought us to Spoon introducing a different rhythmic appeal as they're searching for that special love connection. Yo La Tengo followed with a slice of strings-laced soul that reaffirms the need to focus on the important things, and then we heard a head-over-heels Jens Lekman setting the strings into something approaching disco territory before some classic Philly Soul from the Spinners finished it off.

This section began with a new one from Paul Westerberg followed by St. Vincent from her last disc; both seemed to be singing about how difficult the irresistable ones can be. The claustrophobic feel of the St. Vincent track segued nicely into Joe Henry's rhythmic collage, with its declaration of love being echoed in the Taken By Trees track that followed. Then we heard Death in Vegas with a dreamy tune featuring Hope Sandoval on lead vocals; that one always conjures up the Rolling Stones from their more adventurous days, and they brought us to Julian Plenti at the end.

The aforementioned Hope Sandoval has a new disc, and we heard one from that to open this set that segued nicely into an old one from the Velvet Underground. Maintaining the mood but ignoring the warning was Girls with the centerpiece track from their debut, followed by Dusty Springfield finally accepting the sad truth. Glasvegas owning up to their responsibility for the mess they're in led to Elvis Costello & the Attractions facing the handwriting on the wall and then Nicole Atkins getting to the crux of the whole matter.

The finale was built primarily around a driving theme, from Kraftwerk cruising down a German superhighway to John Cale behind the wheel somewhere in Rome to Paul McCartney letting someone else man the cockpit while he enjoys the view from the back to the Sharp Things finding some solace by merging with the rest of New York City traffic. That brought us to Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band and a tune with an opening scene set in the back seat of a Cadillac. With their tour winding down and two stops in Madison Square Garden coming up, I wondered whether this song would make the setlist, and lamented the fact that it was the one track I regretted never seeing the Boss perform live. But as it turns out, that was not to last. . . .

Here's another one from John Cale


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