Friday, February 16, 2018

Just Like Pagliacci Did

And speaking as we were yesterday of Live From Daryl's Place, from 2011 please enjoy the charming host and special guest Smokey Robinson and an utterly astounding performance of Smokey's classic "Tears of a Clown."

And now I have a confession.

If you had told me in the 80s that 30 years later I'd be a total Daryl Hall fan, I would have said you were high.

Seriously -- I didn't dislike Hall and Oates, but they just weren't my cup of tea (I used to joke that Michael Bolton was the kind of singer that made you really appreciate Daryl Hall, which was not meant as a compliment).

But for whatever reason, I now think they're the bees fucking knees. Their hits hold up vastly better than most artifacts of their era, for starters. And the video -- sadly out of print -- of them live at the Apollo with David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations is one of the greatest in concert things ever filmed by anybody. (I had a VHS tape of it digitized -- if you want one, be nice to me and I'll dupe you a DVD).

In any event, a certain Shady Dame and I have tickets to see H&O later this year, and I plan to enjoy every minute of the show. Have I mentioned that if you had told me that 30 years ago I would have said that you were high?

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mister, You're a Better Man Than I

From 2012, and an episode of Live From Daryl's House, please enjoy the charming host and the great Nick Lowe in a quite gorgeous performance of Nick's greatest hit.

Pretty remarkable (and apparently the rest of the show isn't archived for some reason, which is too bad.)

In any event, has anybody else noticed that as Nick has aged he's started to look more and more like one of those expat 30s actors who showed up in Hollywood epics about the British in India? Seriously -- I can easily imagine him hanging out with the likes of C. Aubrey Smith.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

If You Would Be My Beyotch!!!

From 2016, please enjoy "Alpha Dog" -- the b-side of the single from the Greatest Hits album I just compiled for my long-time (I've known these guys since high school) garage band The Weasels.

And I have to say -- bad taste notwithstanding, this one just cracks me up.

I mean seriously. There's not a joke in this lyric that doesn't kill me. And the piano solo (by our fabulous multi-instrumentalist Glenn Leeds) at the end is glorious.

I should add that the incomparable vocal is by bassist Allan Weissman, who co-wrote it along with the aforementioned Mr. Leeds and David Hawxwell. All of whom are going to Hell for having penned it.

I should also add that you can (and should) download or stream the entire album over at Amazon, CD Baby and Spotify. And (hopefully by tomorrow) iTunes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Slacker Tuesday

I just HAD to share this, which is without doubt the greatest typo of all time.

Come to think of it, that might have been the inspiration for this.

In any case, regular posting resumes on the morrow.

Monday, February 12, 2018

For Andy -- With Love and Squalor

So as long time readers are aware, back in the early 80s I toiled in a 12-string pop band called The Floor Models. And also that Andy Pasternack, one of our principal songwriters (and our Rickenbacker ace), passed away unexpectedly in 2013. (That's Andy, second from left in the photo).

As you may also recall, last summer the surviving members of the Flo Mos went into the studio to recreate a song of Andy's that we all loved, and which we used to perform live for ages, but for some reason had never demoed. You can read the whole saga, and listen to the finished song, over HERE, but the shorter version is that it turned out so well that we planned to include it on a forthcoming EP of previously unreleased studio material in Andy's honor.

A few weeks after we finished the track, however, Gerry Devine -- our singer and the Flo Mos other principal songwriter -- let it drop casually that there was an Andy song that I had never suspected existed. One that was the last thing he wrote as a member of the band (and probably one of the last things he wrote ever) and that the band had never worked it up back in the day (I was no longer a member then, in case you're wondering).

Naturally, I found this (shall we say) intriguing, and Gerry graciously agreed to record an acoustic guitar and vocals version of it for my perusal.

When I listened to it a few weeks later I was totally gobsmacked. In fact, I thought it was one of the most heartbreakingly sad and beautiful songs I had ever heard; fortunately, Glen "Bob" Allen, our ace drummer, concurred, and so back into the studio we went.

And now, please enjoy the world public premiere of Andy's utterly gorgeous "Sarah McLeod."

That's essentially 95 percent finished, if truth be told; we'll probably have Gerry re-record his lead vocal for clarity, but damn, if that doesn't sound wonderful even at this point.

I should add that the background vocals and rhythm guitar are by special guest Flo Mo Joe Benoit, who showed up at the studio and nailed all his parts in about a half hour. The fabulous Telecaster licks and the Andy-esque 12-string, of course, are by our long-time regular guitar hero J.D. Goldberg (who came in for Andy in the late 80s).

If truth be told, I'm finding it difficult to believe we did anything quite this lovely, actually. But I think Andy would have approved. And it now looks like the planned EP is going to turn into a genuine album, one that with luck will be ready for public consumption some time before the end of the year.

Friday, February 09, 2018

It's Carole King Week Part V: Special Saving the Best For Last Edition

From 1963, please enjoy The Chiffons -- with the song's composer, Carole King, playing the fabulous piano part -- and "One Fine Day."

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- there are days when I think that's the greatest pop song of all time.

Of course, I've always regretted that no version of it exists in legit stereo. But the other day, what to my wondering eyes should appear on YouTube but the next best thing -- an extremely well done stereo version overdubbed quite cleverly after the fact by a musician/fan.

Okay, granted it's a bit like colorizing and old black-and-white movie, but darned if this one doesn't work. In any event, if you're a purist, the original still exists, obviously.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, February 08, 2018

It's Carole King Week Part IV: Special The Apple Don't Fall Too Far From the Tree Edition

From 1979, please enjoy the irrepressible Louise Goffin -- daughter of you know who -- and a sprightly cover of the Fabs' "All I've Got To Do."

Goffin's debut album is, to put it charitably, hardly the greatest artifact of its era, but at the time it came out, I remember thinking that it was kind of neat that Carole King had a daughter who was a bit of a punkette.

Listening to her take on the Beatles song for the first time in ages, however, has been a bit of a revelation. For starters, I had forgotten just how eerily Louise sounds like her mom. And I suddenly remembered that Lennon and McCartney famously said that when they were starting out, they were striving to be the next Goffin and King.

On the basis of "All I've Got to Do," you'd have to say they succeeded.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

It's Carole King Week Part III: Special All Men Are Liars Edition

From 1964, please enjoy Carole King's spine-tingling original solo demo of "Oh No Not My Baby."

This is a ragingly beautiful song, obviously, and it's been covered a lot, including a fabulous 70s hit version (In the UK) by Rod Stewart (before he became an asshole) and Faces. The American hit, of course, was by the great Maxine Brown.

In any event, the composer's version -- which I had not heard until yesterday -- brings tears to my eyes.

Have I mentioned that she's a fricking fantastic piano player?

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

It's Carole King Week Part II: Special Hello, Ladies! Edition

From the Letterman show in 1992, please enjoy Carole King on piano (in one of the most amazing all-star bands of all time) and a mind-boggling performance of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone."

I should add that King is one of my all-time favorite rock keyboard people ever, apart from being an astounding songwriter. She's having a hell of a good time in that clip too, isn't she?

BTW -- that's Chrissie Hynde on rhythm guitar in the back. And the vocal section is Mavis Staples, Michelle Shocked, Roseanne Cash, Nanci Griffiths and Emmylou Harris.

Words fail me.

Monday, February 05, 2018

It's Carole King Week Part I: Special You Know, I Really Should Go See This Show Already Edition

From 2017, please enjoy a very nice mash-up of performances of Carole King's "You've Got a Friend" by the auteur herself and various cast members of Beautiful from around the world.

The Japanese gal just slays me, BTW.

Tomorrow: King as piano player in one of the most amazing all star bands ever.