Program #612

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
YO LA TENGO . . . . . Here To Fall . . . . . Popular Songs
BECK . . . . . Paper Tiger . . . . . Sea Change
JULIAN PLENTI . . . . . Fly As You Might . . . . . Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper
JOHN LENNON . . . . . Well Well Well . . . . . John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
SPOON . . . . . Got Nuffin . . . . . Got Nuffin
WILCO . . . . . I’m The Man Who Loves You . . . . . Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

JAMES DICKINSON . . . . . Last Night I Gave Up Smoking . . . . . Free Beer Tomorrow
JERRY LEE LEWIS . . . . . What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me) . . . . . Killer Country
JOHN DOE & THE SADIES . . . . . A Fool Such As I . . . . . Country Club
GIANT SAND . . . . . Out There . . . . . proVISIONS
CAROLYN MARK & NQ ARBUCKLE . . . . . All Time Low . . . . . Let's Just Stay Here
EVAN DANDO & SABRINA BROOKE . . . . . Summer Wine . . . . . Total Lee! The Songs of Lee Hazlewood
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON . . . . . Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again) . . . . . The Essential Kris Kristofferson
ISOBEL CAMPBELL & MARK LANEGAN . . . . . The Flame That Burns . . . . . Sunday at Devil Dirt
THE ROLLING STONES . . . . . Wild Horses . . . . . Sticky Fingers

JOE HENRY . . . . . Channel . . . . . Blood from Stars
ST. VINCENT . . . . . Save Me From What I Want . . . . . Actor
RADIOHEAD . . . . . These Are My Twisted Words . . . . . These Are My Twisted Words
JOY DIVISION . . . . . Heart And Soul . . . . . Closer
JOHN CALE . . . . . Heartbreak Hotel . . . . . Slow Dazzle
TINDERSTICKS . . . . . Yesterday’s Tomorrows . . . . . The Hungry Saw
SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS . . . . . Tell Me . . . . . 100 Days, 100 Nights
WILSON PICKETT . . . . . Midnight Hour . . . . . Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits

DAVID BOWIE . . . . . Slip Away . . . . . Heathen
KNIGHT BERMAN, JR. . . . . . This Little Transistor . . . . . A Score For Tesla: Music from the film Megahertz
THE CARS . . . . . Moving In Stereo . . . . . The Cars
THE POSTMARKS . . . . . Don’t Know Till You Try . . . . . Memoirs at the End of the World (Dig)
THE BEACH BOYS . . . . . Hang On To Your Ego . . . . . Pet Sounds
MARIANNE FAITHFULL . . . . . Hold On Hold On . . . . . Easy Come, Easy Go
BOB DYLAN . . . . . Ballad Of A Thin Man . . . . . The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live, 1966: The "Royal Albert Hall Concert"

Kicking it off this time around was a track from the new Yo La Tengo disc that has a bit of a psychadelic feel and features some "Madman Across the Water" strings, much like the Beck tune that followed. Then we heard Julian Plenti from his new album with one that has some jagged electric guitar, which seemed to feed nicely into the stripped down rock of John Lennon from his first solo disc. Spoon took a similar approach for their latest track from a few months back, and the guitar on that one conjured up Wilco to finish off this opener.

James Dickinson passed away recently; he was a keyboard guy who in addition to releasing his own discs also produced some real fine records, most notably with Big Star and the Replacements. We heard a favorite from his 2002 album that bears a certain resemblance to a Jerry Lee Lewis tune, and from there it was John Doe & the Sadies with their take on a song that's probably most associated with Elvis. Giant Sand followed with one of Howe Gelb's dry, dusty desert tunes, which led to a new one with a similar feel from Carolyn Mark accompanied by the Canadian band NQ Arbuckle. One of the progenitors of this kind of sound was Lee Hazlewood; here we heard Evan Dando and Sabrina Brooke covering one of his classics, followed by Kris Kristofferson with one of his big ones from way back when.The mood was maintained by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, and then it was the Rolling Stones with Jim Dickinson on piano to close out this section.

The next set began in a disfunctional place with Joe Henry from his latest flowing into St. Vincent trying to keep her own best self-interest in mind. A new one from Radiohead that's set in the middle of a painful breakup was followed by Joy Division's Ian Curtis attempting to save his marriage. Then we heard John Cale's harrowing take on another song best associated with Elvis followed by Tindersticks realizing the fork in the road has been reached. The soulful sound on that one brought on Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings looking for a little reassurance, which Wilson Pickett was happy to provide.

The finale offered a lovely David Bowie tune to start that melded beautifully into a piece from Knight Berman, Jr.'s soundtrack to the film Megahertz. Then we heard the Cars with one of my favorites from their first disc, and the dislocation hinted at in that one was answered by the Postmarks from their terrific new disc. The Beach Boys followed with the original version of what eventually became "I Know There's An Answer" when Pet Sounds was completed, and then it was Marianne Faithfull covering a Neko Case tune that covers the same general territory bringing us to Bob Dylan  from the infamous 1966 show in Manchester, England, to bring down the curtain.

Here's another one from Spoon


Program #611

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
JIMI HENDRIX . . . . . The Star Spangled Banner . . . . . Music from the Original Soundtrack and More: Woodstock
THE BYRDS . . . . . Chimes Of Freedom . . . . . The Byrds
THE HIGH DIALS . . . . . Morning’s White Vibration . . . . . A New Devotion
AL KOOPER . . . . . Brand New Day . . . . . Easy Does It
DR. DOG . . . . . We All Belong . . . . . We All Belong
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE . . . . . Peace And Love . . . . . Welcome Interstate Managers
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS . . . . . (What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding . . . . . Armed Forces
JOE HENRY . . . . . Our Song . . . . . Civilians

SLY & THE FAMILY STONE . . . . . Medley: Dance To The Music/Music Lover/I Want To Take You Higher . . . . . Music from the Original Soundtrack and More: Woodstock
FUNKADELIC . . . . . One Nation Under A Groove . . . . . One Nation Under a Groove
PETE ROCK & C.L. SMOOTH . . . . . All The Places . . . . . The Best of Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth: Good Life
LUSHLIFE . . . . . Another Word For Paradise . . . . . Cassette City
STEVIE WONDER . . . . . Don’t You Worry ’Bout A Thing . . . . . Innervisions
CACHAO Y SU RITMO CALIENTE . . . . . Mungo Mungo Baby . . . . . From Havana to New York
WAR . . . . . Low Rider . . . . . Why Can't We Be Friends?
SANTANA . . . . . Soul Sacrifice . . . . . Music from the Original Soundtrack and More: Woodstock

THE WHO . . . . . Sparks . . . . . The Kids Are Alright
THE WHO . . . . . Pinball Wizard . . . . . The Kids Are Alright
JOE STRUMMER & THE MESCALEROS . . . . . Coma Girl . . . . . Streetcore
DAVID BOWIE . . . . . Memory Of A Free Festival . . . . . Space Oddity
BOB DYLAN . . . . . Mr. Tambourine Man . . . . . Bringing It All Back Home
NEIL YOUNG . . . . . Roger And Out . . . . . Living with War
JONI MITCHELL . . . . . Woodstock . . . . . Ladies of the Canyon

This one coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair, so we heard a few tunes from some of the bands who played during those three days up at Yasgur's Farm. Even 40 years on, I'm still blown away by the sounds Jimi Hendrix produced on his guitar for his unique rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner"—from the planes screaming across the sky to the exploding bombs to the machine gun fire, he dropped us right into the horrors of the Vietnam War even as we were hearing our nation's national anthem. It is an astonishing juxtaposition of sounds and images. From there we heard a quartet of tunes from the Byrds (covering Bob Dylan), the High Dials, Al Kooper and Dr. Dog that seem to capture the sensations of freedom and community that many people experienced at the festival. Then one each from Fountains of Wayne and Elvis Costello & the Attractions that certainly fit, which led us to Joe Henry and a tune that reflects the unease people have been feeling about the direction of this country in the first decade of the 21st century.

The next section began and ended with tracks from Sly & the Family Stone and Santana; I've always thought their performances were among the best at the entire event and certainly did as much as anything else to boost the careers of those bands. In between we heard Funkadelic with an appropriately titled tune followed by a couple of hip hop tracks—one from the '90s by Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth and another from Lushlife with a similar appeal that just came out last month. From there it was on to Stevie Wonder adding a little bit of Latin funk to the mix, which was followed by Cachao (aka Israel Lopez) with his Cuban-African mashup and War with a big one for them from the mid-'70s.

Another band that put on a powerful show was the Who; they hit the stage in the early morning hours of Sunday an proceeded to play the entire Tommy album, which had been released a few months earlier. We heard a couple of tracks from that performance, and then it was on to tunes from Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros and David Bowie that are both about attending music festivals. Bob Dylan contributed his classic about following your wonderlust, which led to Neil Young from a few years back reminiscing about, among other things, the Hippie Highway, and then Joni Mitchell closed it out with the tune she wrote immediately after Woodstock was over that captured the essence of the whole experience as well as anybody ever has.

Here's another one from the Who


Program #610

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
MINK DEVILLE . . . . . Just Your Friends . . . . . Cabretta/Return to Magenta
THE DRIFTERS . . . . . There Goes My Baby . . . . . The Very Best of The Drifters
JOHN HIATT & ROSANNE CASH . . . . . The Way We Make A Broken Heart . . . . . Anthology
THE ROLLING STONES . . . . . You Better Move On . . . . . December's Children (And Everybody's)
WILLY DEVILLE . . . . . Spanish Harlem . . . . . Live in Berlin
NICOLE ATKINS . . . . . Cool Enough . . . . . Neptune City
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN . . . . . The Fever . . . . . 18 Tracks
MINK DEVILLE . . . . . Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl . . . . . Cabretta/Return to Magenta

ROBERT PLANT & ALISON CROUSE . . . . . Your Long Journey . . . . . Raising Sand
ALELA DIANE . . . . . To Be Still . . . . . To Be Still
ANTONY HEGARTY & BRYCE DESSNER . . . . . I Was Young When I Left Home . . . . . Dark Was the Night
CALEXICO . . . . . The News About William . . . . . Carried to Dust
THE MINUS 5 . . . . . The Long Hall . . . . . Killingsworth
BOB DYLAN & THE BAND . . . . . This Wheel’s On Fire . . . . . The Basement Tapes
ELVIS PERKINS . . . . . Ash Wednesday . . . . . Elvis Perkins in Dearland

10CC . . . . . Une Nuit A Paris, Pt. 1: One Night In Paris/Pt. 2: The Same Night In Paris . . . . . The Original Soundtrack
THE REAL TUESDAY WELD . . . . . I Loved London . . . . . The London Book of the Dead
DUKE ELLINGTON . . . . . East St. Louis Toodle-Oo . . . . . Ken Burns JAZZ Collection: Duke Ellington
JOE HENRY . . . . . The Man I Keep Hid . . . . . Blood from Stars
VAN MORRISON . . . . . Meaning Of Loneliness . . . . . Wavelength

GRIZZLY BEAR . . . . . About Face . . . . . Veckatimest
LOVE . . . . . You Set The Scene . . . . . Forever Changes
JULIAN PLENTI . . . . . Unwind . . . . . Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper
SCOTT WALKER . . . . . Jackie . . . . . It's Raining Today: The Scott Walker Story (1967-70)
THE POSTMARKS . . . . . For Better Or Worse? . . . . . Memoirs at the End of the World (Dig)
PAUL MCCARTNEY . . . . . Live And Let Die . . . . . All the Best
CAMERA OBSCURA . . . . . Swans . . . . . My Maudlin Career
THE HOLLIES . . . . . On A Carousel . . . . . Hollies - Hollies Greatest Hits

It was difficult to read of Willy DeVille's recent death from pancreatic cancer; he was still relatively young (58), and still active with concerts up to the point that his health permitted. After the inital run of success with Mink DeVille in the late '70s and early '80s, his recordings became more sporadic as the depth and breadth of his music expanded. It's the same old story—if the record company geniuses can't figure out how to promote you within the box they want you to fit, they lose interest pretty quickly. Which is a shame, because passion and romance were at the heart of Willy DeVille's music, and this program opened with one of my favorites from the second Mink DeVille record that clearly owes a debt to the Drifters' late-'50s/early-'60s sound. From there we heard tracks from John Hiatt and the Rolling Stones (covering Arthur Alexander)—both tunes were part of the set that Willy DeVille played on his Acoustic Trio tours. We heard them covering a song Ben E. King first did shortly after leaving the Drifters in 1960, and then it was Nicole Atkins with a tune that seems to reference "Spanish Harlem" at a couple of different points. From there we heard a Bruce Springsteen track that wasn't officially released for about a quarter century after it was first recorded, and the romantic pain of that one brought us to the first Mink DeVille tune I remember hearing, which immediately made me want to hear more.

Another musician who passed recently was Mike Seeger, half-brother of Pete and someone who played a primary role in the folk boom of the '50s and '60s. He continued to make music over the decades, and one of his last appearances on record was on the Robert Plant and Alison Krause track that opened this set. The tune happens to be about that final voyage we all must make, and it was followed by an Alela Diane song that has a similar understated appeal. Death showed up again in the Bob Dylan tune covered by Antony along with Bryce Dessner, and it was the suicide of an old friend that inspired Calexico's Joey Burns to write the song that followed. A new one from the Minus 5 seemed to take us back to that last trek, where one might encounter an exploding wheel, courtesy of Dylan with the Band from the infamous days and nights in Big Pink. Finally, we heard Elvis Perkins' cathartic cry of pain at the deaths of his parents—his father was the actor Anthony Perkins, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1992, and his mother was the photographer Berry Berenson, who was killed on 9/11.

A needed change of pace commenced with 10cc at their multi-faceted cinematic best; from there we jumped across the English Channel for a Real Tuesday Weld tune that conjured up an old (1926!) Duke Ellington track, which completed our trilogy of cities-based numbers. A new one from Joe Henry with a bluesy feel seemed to work well coming out of the Duke, and then we finished with Van Morrison hitting upon a universal truth that we all encounter at some point or another.

The final section began with one that's become a favorite from Grizzly Bear's latest disc; the acoustic guitar brings to mind an old one from Love, and the prominent trumpet on that track was echoed in the new tune from Julian Plenti that followed. There were more horns on a galloping version of a Jacques Brel song by Scott Walker that followed, which fed nicely into one from the brand new Postmarks disc that has a powerful forward momentum of its own and brought to mind Paul McCartney's track from the old James Bond movie when I first heard it. Finally, some recent pop magic from Camera Obscura led us to a beauty of British Invasion vintage from the Hollies to bring down the curtain.

Here's another one from Mink DeVille


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