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


Program #609

NELSON RIDDLE ORCHESTRA . . . . . Route 66 Theme (opening theme) . . . . . Route 66 and Other Great TV Themes/More Hit TV Themes
BOB DYLAN . . . . . Visions Of Johanna . . . . . Blonde on Blonde
LEONARD COHEN . . . . . Sisters Of Mercy . . . . . Live In London
THE ROLLING STONES . . . . . Backstreet Girl . . . . . Flowers (DSD Remastered)
IAN HUNTER . . . . . Girl From The Office . . . . . Man Overboard
JOSH ROUSE . . . . . Carolina . . . . . Nashville
ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 . . . . . Up To Our Necks . . . . . Goodnight Oslo
BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS . . . . . I Can’t Quit Her . . . . . Child Is Father to the Man

DAVID BOWIE . . . . . All The Young Dudes . . . . . Aladdin Sane - 30th Anniversary Edition
GIRLS . . . . . Hellhole Ratrace . . . . . Hellhole Ratrace
BIG STAR . . . . . Daisy Glaze . . . . . #1 Record/Radio City
THE SHINS . . . . . Turn On Me . . . . . Wincing the Night Away
ST. VINCENT . . . . . The Strangers . . . . . Actor
ARTHUR ALEXANDER . . . . . Lover Please . . . . . Rainbow Road: The Warner Bros. Recordings
DAVE EDMUNDS . . . . . I Hear You Knocking . . . . . The Anthology (1968-1990)

LOU REED . . . . . Kicks . . . . . Coney Island Baby
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS . . . . . Today’s Lesson . . . . . Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
WILCO . . . . . Bull Black Nova . . . . . Wilco (The Album)
BRASSTRONAUT . . . . . Requiem For A Scene . . . . . Old World Lies
DENNIS WILSON . . . . . Time . . . . . Pacific Ocean Blue (Legacy Edition)
THE BEATLES . . . . . Helter Skelter . . . . . The White Album (Remastered)

PRINCE . . . . . Raspberry Beret . . . . . Around the World in a Day
THE BANGLES . . . . . Manic Monday . . . . . A New Devotion
THE POSTMARKS . . . . . Go Jetsetter . . . . . Memoirs at the End of the World (Dig)
THE SILENT LEAGUE . . . . . Victim Of Aeroplanes . . . . .
DESTROYER . . . . . My Favourite Year . . . . . Trouble in Dreams
BRIAN ENO . . . . . Sombre Reptiles . . . . . Another Green World
KNIGHT BERMAN, JR. . . . . . The Good One & The Real One . . . . . A Score For Tesla: Music from the film Megahertz
VAN MORRISON . . . . . Wavelength . . . . . Wavelength

I've been jonesing for the Bob Dylan tune that opened the show, and his own desire for the elusive Johanna set up all that followed in this opening section. So we heard Leonard Cohen finding succor in a song that touches on Old English folk styles, which led to the Rolling Stones working more directly in that sound with a song that appears to be about keeping a mistress in her place. A much sweeter tune from Ian Hunter's excellent new disc has a similar feel, and then we heard Josh Rouse with a more basic folk-rock number, although it opens and closes with a guitar bit that hits my ears with a bit of that Old English sound. Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 pushed us into what could be considered virgin territory by merging the Bo Diddley beat with some psychedelic embellishments, and the horns on that one fed nicely into Blood, Sweat & Tears summing up the the prevailing mood rather well.

Ian Hunter and the rest of Mott the Hoople will have a one-time reunion in London this fall; it started as two shows, grew to five due to demand, and then a sixth was added in Wales as a warmup the week before. Their biggest hit came from a David Bowie song, and this set began with Bowie's version, with him on tracked saxophones that I find particularly appealing. Then we heard a bittersweet new track from Girls that slowly builds over seven mesmerizing minutes to an echoy climax, which led us to Big Star in a devastated place after a breakup and on to the Shins attempting to move on after the same. St. Vincent wrathfully wrestling with her relationship gave way to Arthur Alexander pleading for another chance before the set closed with Dave Edmunds unwilling to offer a second chance.

This program was available during the 40th anniversary of the Manson-Lo Bianca murders, and we heard a set of songs that came to mind after I read an interview with Vincent Bugliosi, who was the lead prosecutor on the case. Lou Reed's claustrophobic collage on drugs and death was followed by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds fractured tale of Little Janey and how she's violated in her dreams by Mr. Sandman. Then it was the new one from Wilco that Jeff Tweedy has described as being about a guy's who's just murdered his girlfriend, which was followed by Brasstronaut from their new EP and a tune that certainly could be applied to LA in the years after the Manson murders. Dennis Wilson from his only solo disc was next; in 1968 he picked up two female hitchikers who happened to be members of the Manson family, and as a result spent months with Charles Manson and assorted other people living in his house. The Beatles closed with the tune that Manson's unhinged mind believed was a coded message about the upcoming race war he hoped would begin after the murders he instigated took place.

After all of that a mood change was necessary, so we heard Prince at his most paisley followed by the Bangles doing a Prince song that he wrote under a pseudonym. The first single from the very pleasing new Postmarks disc brought on a favorite from the last Silent League album, and the somewhat disjointed lyrics of that one conjured up a track with even more inscrutable words from Destroyer. There's also a prominent lead guitar on that one that brings to mind early Brian Eno, which was followed by a track from Knight Berman, Jr.'s soundtrack to a new film called Megahertz that features Nikola Tesla as a main character. Among Tesla's many scientific accomplishments was gaining the first basic radio patent, which is how we ended up with Van Morrison to bring this one home.

Here's another one from Ian Hunter


Syndicate content