Wednesday, December 23, 2009

FSOTD #55-D *Pop Quiz*



A quick Pop Quiz.  Beach Boys Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson....can you put them their in their birth order, oldest first?  You have 10 seconds.  Answer Below.
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Brian Douglas Wilson    June 20, 1942
Dennis Carl Wilson    Dec 4, 1944 (d. Dec. 28, 1983)
Carl Dean Wilson    Dec 21, 1946 (d. Feb. 6, 1998)


~thanks to wikipedia~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

FSOTD #55-C

Wrapping presents here in Texas with "Little Saint Nick" serenading from the iPod, which made me think about the blog, which made me think about the Tiger Cadillac/Buick thing (see FSOTD 55-A).  As it turns out, FSOTD prefers Cadillac because there just aren't enough songs to make a proper Buick playlist.  As a matter o' fact, in my collection, I could find only two: "From a Buick 6" by Bob Dylan and "Buick '59" by Vernon Green & The Medallions.  Quite a distant second to the 17 tunes listed in FSOTD #54-D.  I blame it all on Tiger.  You should too.

So all this correctifying and stuff has me in the mood for another Pop Quiz!  Hark: A cheer ripples thru blogland.  It'll be posted up right soon.  The category: Beach Boys. 

~Yab

FSOTD #55-B *correction*

Alrightee...so Cadillac isn't going to drop Tiger Woods because he isn't a spokesguy for them.  Splat.  It's Buick.  I knew that.   Perhaps Buick keeps him because he's wrecking the competition. Of course, to wreck the competition, he had to be driving the competition.  The Tiger tale wags on.

~ Yab

Monday, December 21, 2009

FSOTD #55-A


It's an FSOTD birthday shout-out!  How about this December 21st foursome?  Jane Fonda, 72.  Samuel L. Jackson, 61. Ray Romano, 52.  And former Lost Boy Jack Bauer himself, Keifer Sutherland is 43 today.  If them four ain't enuf, let me add bro-in-law Bill, celebrating -I think- his 64th today.  Many more to all of you.

On the obverse: Who died today in 1945?  Hint: see FSOTD #54-B.


thanks to the Dallas Morning News
http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 20, 2009

FSOTD #55/Little Saint Nick (1963)


The Beach Boys can claim many fine songs, but somehow, none better than their Christmas song "Little Saint Nick".  A great song for a great band at the right time.  It was 1963 and The Beach Boys sat atop the American rock scene, just beginning their battle with the Beatles.   Smartly written by Mike Love and Brian Wilson, "Little Saint Nick" is reminiscent of their 1963 hit "Little Deuce Coupe" and captures the band at its finest.  At 2 minutes long, it's near perfect.   And according to the wiki article, it reached #3 on the "Christmas charts".  You don't hear much about those anymore.  Both Hanson and Sugar Ray, among others, have recorded covers.
 
Perhaps you're a lover of seasonal songs?  Another fine rock-Christmas tune from a big time band is Chicago's version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".   The song is all Christmas but yet so 100% Chicago that it'll bring a smile to your face.  You'll find it on the band's Christmas album -what else- Chicago XXV.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

FSOTD #54-D *PLAYLIST*

Tiger this, Tiger that.  Tiger, Tiger, Tiger.  Tiger's a dick.  Tiger's a jerk.  Tiger's, well....Tiger's fascinating, even in disgrace.  All hail the new poster person for the evils of excess.  Womanizer.  Gambler.  Fornicator.  Debauchery on display.  The Great Satan.  Well, alright, maybe not all that, but as tarnished as Woods' reputation is now, you have to figure that Cadillac, among others, will quietly sever their ties with him.  With that in mind, FSOTD offers up the "Cadillac" playlist. 

Black Cadillac ~ Marti Brom
Solid Gold Cadillac ~ Pearl Bailey
Geronimo's Cadillac ~ Michael Murphey
Cadillac Boogie ~ Jimmy Liggins
Pink Cadillac ~ Indigo Swing
Giutars, Cadillacs ~ Dwight Yoakam
Cadillac Slim ~ Duke Robillard
Brand New Cadillac ~ The Clash
Cadillac Ranch ~ Bruce Springsteen
Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache ~ Bob Dylan
Cadillac ~ Bo Diddley
Cadillac Cowboy ~ Chris Ledoux
Rainbow's Cadillac ~ Bruce Hornsby
Carl Perkins' Cadillac ~ Drive-By Truckers
Cadillac Car ~ Jennifer Hudson
Cadillac and a Model "A" ~ Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
Ridin' In My Cadillac Car ~ Blues 'n Trouble

http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

FSOTD #54-B *Pop Quiz*

The worst of the Tiger story is most likely over, but he's by no means out of, uh, the woods.  Sponsors and lawyers and pre-nups, oh my!  What will Elin do?   There is for Tiger, perhaps, a very small consolation.  Consolation for a person who is used to being number one, the best at whatever he does.  As it turns out, Tiger has done it again.  Submitted: Tiger Woods' crash is the most famous non-fatal car accident ever.  Is there even another nominee?

So here's the Pop Quiz.  Below are three lists: A list of seven names, a list of seven dates, and a list of seven cars.  Your task is to match each person with the correct date of death and car of accident.  Armed with these macabre facts, you'll be a hit at most any holiday party.  Especially next Halloween.

George S. Patton, Jr.
Harry Chapin
Jackson Pollock
James Dean
Mary Jo Kopechne
Princess Diana
Princess Grace
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12-9-45
9-30-55
8-11-56
7-18-69
7-16-81
9-14-82
8-31-97
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Cadillac Model 75
Mercedes S class sedan
Oldsmobile Convertible
Oldsmobile Delmont 88
Porsche Spyder
Rover 3500
Volkswagen Rabbit
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answers below
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General George S. Patton died on December 21, 1945, twelve days after his Cadillac 75 was involved in a low speed accident.  Thrown slightly forward, Patton struck his head on a metal fixture and broke his neck.  The listed cause of death was a pulmonary embolism.  Harry Chapin died a horrible death on July 16th in 1982, burning up in his Volkswagen Rabbit after it had been struck head-on by a truck on New York's West Side Highway.  It is believed Chapin might have had a stroke or heart attack just prior to the accident.  Jackson Pollock and Edith Metzger died on August 11, 1956 within a mile of his home when he crashed his Oldsmobile Convertible while drunk.  James Dean died in  California when his Porsche Spyder was demolished in a head-on collision.  The date was September 11, 1955.  A companion was thrown clear and survived the wreck.  Mary Jo Kopechne found both infamy and death on the night of July 18, 1969.  She drowned in an Oldsmobile Delmont 88 that had been driven off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts by Senator Ted Kennedy.  At least that's what Ted said.  Princess Diana died in Paris along with two others (Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul) on the night of August 31, 1997.  The car was a Mercedes sedan.  And finally, the beautiful Grace Kelly, by then known as Princess Grace of Monaco, crashed her Rover 3500 on September 13, 1982.  Her daughter Princess Stephanie survived the accident, while Princess Grace died the following day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

FSOTD #54-A

For the record....

~The police asked Tiger's wife how many times she hit him. "I don't know exactly...put me down for a 5."

~Phil Mickelson contacted Tiger's wife to pick up tips on how to beat Tiger.

~What's the difference between a car and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a ball 400 yards.

~Tiger Woods wasn't seriously injured in the crash, but he's still below par.

~What were Tiger Woods and his wife doing out at 2:30 in the morning? They went clubbing.

~Tiger Woods crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree. He couldn't decide between a wood or an iron.

~Ping just offered Elin an endorsement contract for her own set of drivers; to be named Elin Woods..."clubs you can beat Tiger with."

~Tiger just changed his nickname but still kept it in the cat family. His new name?  Cheetah

~Tiger was driving an Escalade...can he blame the accident on his caddy?

~Hello Mister Woods, this is the On Star operator...we have detected that an angry person has put a golf club through your window, we are contacting Nike for a new club.

~Who among us doesn't hear a car crash and immediately grab the closest golf club we can find??!!

~Tiger's new movie: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Hydrant.

~Tiger Woods owns lots of expensive cars. Now he has a hole in one.


~thanks to Demo~
http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com



Friday, December 11, 2009

FSOTD #54/Eye Of The Tiger (1982)


IT HURTS ME, TOO         It hurts to lose a hero.   More than once I've described Tiger Woods as "messianic", something of a savior for all of sport.  Captain America for the 21st century.  Forever - from his "debut" on the Mike Douglas Show in 1978 until this year - Tiger has fulfilled all expectations, and then some.  Handsome, gracious, dominant.  Dominant like only Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.  Boom-a-yea!

Splat.

WHAT NOW, MY LOVE?      So what does Tiger do now?    I don't blame him for hiding...do you?  It's Humiliation 101.  And then some.  I agree with so many of the sports and news punditry that Tiger will respond with his craft,  creating a true opportunity for redemption.  And lucrative, too.

GERONIMO'S CADILLAC        Imagine if you were Cadillac...  Your spokesguy is an out-of-control womanizer who wildly crashed your product into a tree and (oh, please) a fire hydrant.   Here are the current details: on the ESPN crawl yesterday it noted there were no Tiger ads now on TV.  At the grocery store, Tiger is on the cover of all tabloids. And on Jay Leno tonight, Tiger was the brunt of at least five jokes.  Last night on Letterman? The Top 10 Tiger texts.   Yikes!


EYE OF THE TIGER         Today's FSOTD...  The song - "Eye Of The Tiger".   The band - Survivor.   The year - 1982.  The album - Eye Of The Tiger.   The movie?  Rocky III.   The story... Sylvester Stallone had heard Survivor's "Poor Man's Son" and asked them to write a similar song for the film.  They did.  The movie hit theaters at the beginning of the summer of 1982, and by the end of July, the song had become a worldwide smash hit, reaching #1 on the American, UK, Australian and Irish pop charts...a double-platinum single (over 4 million US sales).  A Grammy winner and Academy Award nominee.  #21 on Billboard's list of 100 Greatest Rock Songs of All time.  Wow. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

FSOTD #53-A *Thanksgiving*


I have so many things to be thankful for, and so many people to thank for so much.  But I'll skip all that and just express my thanks for my delightful dogs Scooter and Smudge.  From them,  I have learned so much about love, and I can only hope some of that shines through in my human contact.  That's Scooter on top, Smudge bottom.  

I am also thankful for that vast wasteland commonly known as TV.  I love television.  It's a constant companion.  It's entertaining...sometimes even calming.  Sometimes not.   C'mon, admit it...there's tons of education to be had through the boob tube.  What's more, it's not even a tube anymore.   But there are still plenty of boobs.  Let's give thanks for that?

So...are you a Beatles' lover?   There's a one hour show currently airing on The History Channel called Beatles on Record.   Produced this year, it chronicles the evolution of the band, using the recordings made at Abbey Road studio as the show's thread.   It begins with "Love Me Do" in 1962 and continues through the end.  All in one hour.  There are photographs, film and the audio is exclusively John, Paul, George, Ringo and Sir George Martin.  Those five voices only, woven over fantastic in-studio images, many of which you will not have seen before.  It's downright fascinating, and at this very late hour, anything about The Beatles with a true "new" quality, well, that is something we should all be thankful for.   The History Channel, this Sunday, 4pm CST.

FSOTD

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FSOTD #53/Joking (1992)


My first concert of 2009 was the Indigo Girls in Buffalo, way back in April.  First time I had ever seen them.  Like so many others, I became a fan of the Indigos in 1992 with their sensational album Rites of Passage.  It's rife with great songs, one of which is today's FSOTD "Joking".   In truth, the song that was really running through my head was (from the same album) "Airplane", but when I searched for available audio, the first tune up was the live version of "Joking".  Given my concert experience, it seemed the more appropriate choice.   Unfortunately, they played neither in New York :(

The concert was an interesting experience for me and one of my many friends named Michael.    We had good banter and bonding with some new lesbian acquaintences, and by showtime, we were well-fueled and properly immersed in the scene.  Out came the Indigo Girls - Emily Sailer and Amy Ray, looking as good as ever I've seen.  After 20 years and a great deal of success, the pair have a refined and almost elegant "butch" look.  And by golly, they are oh-so-professional on stage.  Everything was in the right place.  Every song was impeccably well-played.  Their harmonies soar. Yet, with each song, a change of guitars. Everything so professional it became distracting.  And the measured amount of interaction with the crowd had a scripted feel.   Again, each song was outstanding (and I mean that), but my friend Michael and I agreed that the show itself never seemed to go anywhere.  It did not build to a climax.  The stage help and equipment-switching and such seemed to rob the show of internal cohesion.  It was a strange reaction.  I've been to a great many concerts but never remember coming away with the sort of widely divergent emotions as with The Indigo Girls.

Go see them if they come to your town.  The above misgivings (opinions) notwithstanding, you'll get your money's worth.  And if you don't know their album Rites of Passage, go get it.   It's a top shelf effort.  The Girls also have a cool website.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

FSOTD #52-B *PLAYLIST*

Inspired by recent females in the blog (Sally, Yvonne), here is the playlist "Chicks".  20 songs: All single word female first name song titles, clocking in at the FSOTD mandated 1.2 hours.  Perfect CD length!

Lorelei ~ Styx
Rapunzel ~ Dave Matthews Band
Wendy ~ Beach Boys
Virginia ~ The Marshall Tucker Band
Maxine ~ Donald Fagen
Julianne ~ Ben Folds Five
Gina ~ Blues Traveler
Maybelline ~ Johnny Rivers
Victoria ~ The Kinks
Maria ~ Animal Liberation Orchestra
Josie ~ Steely Dan
Isis ~ Bob Dylan
Gloria ~ Erasure
Cecilia ~ Simon & Garfunkel
Rosalita ~ Gomez
Carmelita ~ Linda Ronstadt
Juanita ~ Flying Burrito Brothers
Donna ~ Ritchie Valens
Jessica ~ Allman Brothers Band
Janine ~ David Bowie

Playlist notes: "Lorelei" is from the 1975 Styx Album Equinox.  It was their second Top-40 hit, peaking on the Billboard Hot 100 at #27.    Rosalita...many would've gone Springsteen with this name, but I chose Gomez.  Love Gomez.  Wednesday and Pugsley too.  And finally, Carmelita...sung by Linda Ronstadt, written by Warren Zevon.  Your author and Linda Ronstadt share a birthday.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

FSOTD #52-A *Rumors Run Wild, vol. 2*

As the legend goes, The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is an endorsement of acid.  That is, LSD.  Lucy/Sky/Diamonds.  If the acronym isn't convincing, just read the lyrics.  Similar, but not nearly as widely known, is the story behind Eric Clapton's "Lay Down Sally".   As the tale goes, when at the end of his longtime heroin habit Clapton was truly rehabbing (mid-70's), he met a woman.  She was a nurse involved in his recovery.  For over a year, they had steady contact, as did many others who were helping him build and maintain the resolve needed to kick.  But Eric became quite smitten with this particular female, an American who was purportedly a few years older than he.   Yet his many advances towards her both during and after the rehab stint - calls, letters, gift...the works - were all rebuffed.  Maybe for Eric, she was like a new Layla.  Who knows?  But there was never an affair.  Her name, of course, was not Sally, but the accepted notion is it began with an S.  The chief reason she spurned his affections?  Religion.  Sally was a Mormon.  The Church of Latter-Day Saints.  Commonly abbreviated LDS.   Lay Down Sally.   Eric used the very same technique of hiding a message in the song's title as did his friend John Lennon a decade earlier.  So the story goes.

But we are left to wonder just how religious one needs to be to know what Eric's fans have known since the sixties: Clapton is God.


Rumors Run Wild, vol.1, FSOTD #48
FSOTD

Friday, November 20, 2009

FSOTD #52/Lay Down Sally (1977)

1977 was a great year for pop music.   Classic rock was churning along, with the likes of Pink Floyd (Animals), Foreigner (Foreigner), and Steely Dan (Aja) dominating rock radio airplay.   New wave was bubbling up: Think Talking Heads '77 and Elvis Costello's My Aim is True.  And sister disco?  She was in full swing: The Bee Gees, Thelma Houston, KC & The Sunshine Band.  Debuting in December of 1977,  Saturday Night Fever was the first high water mark for disco, which over the next 5 years would finish its peak with Michael Jackson's Off The Wall, then fade into a melange of boogie, booze, blow and bad clothes.  And changing musical tastes. 

1977 was also the year Eric Clapton released Slow Hand, the 3X Platinum album whose black and white cover features Eric's left hand on the neck of his guitar.  But better than that, it has a bunch o' great songs:  "Wonderful Tonight", "Cocaine", "The Core" and today's FSOTD "Lay Down Sally"Since it's a Friday song of the day,  we used our house pick to select a third consecutive song from 1977, turning today's piece into something of a minor homage to the year.  And it provides another opportunity for a cap-doff to Yvonne Elliman, who sang backing vocals on Eric's album (as previously noted in FSOTD #51). 

Slow Hand is also one of the very few albums whose title is also the performer's nickname.  There was no Beatles album named Fab Four, no Jerry Lewis disc called The Killer.  But there is Slow Hand.  There may be a tale as to why Clapton is called "Slow Hand", but if you want some audio evidence, just listen to "Lay Down Sally".  His phrasing throughout the tune is what it's all about.  Tasty, tasty guitar work.

"Lay Down Sally" peaked at #3 in the US.   The album made it all the way to #2.  Thanks for reading FSOTD #52.

thanks to wikipedia
http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com



Sunday, November 15, 2009

FSOTD #51-A *Pop Quiz*

Alrightee...it's the simplest FSOTD pop quiz ever...or is it?  This is one for the Pepsi Generation (comin' at ya, goin' strong).  Here are three pictures, one each of the three older brothers Gibb: (alphabetically) Barry, Maurice and Robin.  We left Andy out, may he rest in peace (w/one of his brothers).  So which pic is which Gibb?  And 4 x cred, which of the three is no longer alive?  Answers below. 


 
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Robin, Barry
Maurice.
Maurice died January 12, 2003 of a -sigh- twisted intestine.
Andy died on March 10, 1988 of an inflammation of the heart muscle.

http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com
yabbathanks to wikipedia

Saturday, November 14, 2009

FSOTD #51/If I Can't Have You (1977)


FSOTD #50 gave us "Native New Yorker", an almost forgotten hit from the disco era.  Delayed a few days by the blogger blues, FSOTD #51 features an (forgive me for using the term) iconic song from the same year...a true disco staple.  "If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman was one of four #1 hits from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.  The other three were recorded by the Bee Gees: "Stayin' Alive", "Night Fever", and "How Deep Is Your Love".  But what you may not know or remember is that "If I Can't Have You" was actually written and recorded by the Gibbs as part of the album that evolved into the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.  Not included on the album, it was still released coincident with the movie (Dec. '77) as the B-side of the single "Stayin' Alive".  Who remembers that the movie was actually released twice?  It came out initially with an R rating, but was re-cut to take out all the "fucks" and returned to the theaters in 1978 with a PG tag.  A sound business decision.

But I digress; this is Yvonne Elliman's FSOTD.  Perhaps not quite as triumphant as the Bee Gees, the Honolulu-born Elliman nonetheless had quite a ride through the 70's.  While thought of mostly as a disco diva for her SNF participation, there are those -including this writer- who first remember her as Mary Magdalene from the rock opera album Jesus Christ Superstar.   Topping out at #28, Elliman's song "I Don't Know How To Love Him" was a modest pop hit but almost a footnote in light of this trifecta: Elliman sang on the 1971 original JCS album and then went on to play the role of Mary Magdalene on Broadway and in the subsequent film version (earning a 1974 Golden Globe Best Actress nomination).

The notoriety from her stem to stern participation in the Lloyd-Webber classic led to an association with none other than Eric Clapton, for whom she sang backing vocals on many songs including "I Shot The Sheriff" (1974) and "Lay Down Sally"(1977).  Then came Saturday Night Fever.  By 1978, the young woman who started the decade singing in London clubs sat atop the world of showbiz, having been on the radio, the stage, screen, and even on tour with Eric Clapton. She actually did a five year stint singing for Eric, which includes work on both 461 Ocean Boulevard and Slow Hand.

So how do you conclude a decade like that?  You get married, of course.  To Bill Oakes, the president of RSO, the group that managed her career, also Clapton's label at the time, and same for the Bee Gees. RSO Records was also the label for both Grease and Saturday Night Fever.  Wow.  The couple had two children, daughter Sage in 1982 and son Ben in 1985.    The '80's saw her devoting time to her family as her singing career took a backseat, eventually fading out almost completely.  But these days, she's singing again, living in her home state of Hawai'i.  Check out the official Yvonne Elliman site.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

FSOTD #50-A


An FSOTD birthday shout out to Texas lass Miranda Lambert (FSOTD #36/Dry Town).  She's 26 today and currently on tour in support of her latest album Revolution.  On the other side of the female fence, let's all join together and wish a good day to MacKenzie Phillips.  Papa's little girl done turned the big 5-0.       And to both, many happy returns.

FSOTD #50/Native New Yorker (1977)

Today's FSOTD is really from this past Sunday, November 8, 2009.   It was a football day here in Big D, not a music day.  Be that as it may, I woke up Sunday morning with some dream-turned-story that ended with "Native New Yorker" bouncing around in my conscious head.  A true first song of the day, just like I drew it up.   First a smile, then a question....who the heck sang it?  I knew roughly when - it was mid/late-70's.  Yet I had absolutely no idea who had recorded it.

"Native New Yorker" was released in 1977.  The songwriters:  Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell.   You remember them, huh?  The band: Odyssey.   Yes, Odyssey.  One-hit wondrous as any.  And they actually covered the song!   It had been written for Frankie Valli, who recorded it and put it on his album Lady Put The Lights Out, released just a few months earlier in '77.   I don't own a copy of that album, nor -to my shame- do I own any disc containing the Odyssey hit.  But hit it was, proving very popular in the UK at #5, while peaking at #21 in the US on Billboard's Hot 100.  Love the night life, love the boogie.

I love that this song came up at all.  Native effin' New Yorker.  It's the purest example of why I started writing FSOTD.  I haven't thought about this song in many, many years.  I never even liked it that much.  After all, I'm a native Texan :)   How 'bout them Cowboys??

thanks to songfacts.com
firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com

Friday, November 6, 2009

FSOTD #49/Beds Are Burning (1987)

Today's FSOTD takes us back to FSOTD #29.  I woke up that day with a tune in my head that I described thusly: "All I could hear was a partial melody with a multitude of voices singing some sort of chorus.  Perhaps a power ballad from a metal/hair band, circa 1985-1990".

Somewhat right, somewhat not.  I heard the song on the radio yesterday and immediately knew it for the tune I couldn't identify two months back: "Beds Are Burning" by Australian sensation Midnight Oil, released in 1987.

While spot on for the year, the hair band idea goes wanting.  Ever seen Midnight Oil lead singer Peter Garrett?  I have, in concert, on a hot Dallas Summer's night...Midnight Oil was opening for Neil Young.  Don't remember much of anything really, certainly nothing of "Beds Are Burning", but they must have played it.  The song was 1987.  The show was early-mid 90's.  It's their biggest US hit, topping out at #6 US Mainstream, #17 Billboard Hot 100.   As a matter of cultural perspective, note that the album it came from - Deisels and Dust - was one of four consecutive Midnight Oil #1 albums in Australia.  An impressive feat in any country.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

FSOTD #48-B *F-words*

No FSOTD vocabulary post the entire month of October...for shame.   FSOTD does not live by music alone.  But with the new month comes renewed opportunity.  Here are three F-words.   Everybody can use a good F-word.


Some background: Wuz watching the Monty Python-a-thon (nice name) on IFC a few weeks back, and John Cleese got to talking about their 1979 flick Life of Brian.  Apparently, the Pythons cut out a scene about Islam and Muhammad that, according to Cleese, would have caused Muslims to "fulminate" which most surely would have led to some sort of "fatwah".  Both terms were familiar but not part of my jargon.   I experienced a fleeting, feeble hope that the interview might do a pop-up video thing, with text bubbles defining both words... but no.

Here's what he meant...

fulminate  v.   1. To issue a thunderous verbal attack or denunciation: fulminated against political chicanery.  2. To explode or detonate.

fatwah  n.  1. A legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar;  "bin Laden issued three fatwahs, calling upon Muslims to take up arms against the United States".

The third word I chose from a passing thought while on a dog walk.  Somehow, "flotsam and jetsam" crawled by in the mental ticker.  Started wonderin' just what the definition of flotsam really was.  Stray and miscellaneous items that accompany jetsam and float on the open oceans?  That was my quick stab; here's what thefreedictionary.com had to say (#3 striking me as something of a callous use of the word)...

flotsam  n.  1. Wreckage or cargo that remains afoat after a ship has sunk.  Floating  refuse or debris.  2.  Discarded odds and ends.   3. Vagrant, usually destitute people.

As promised...  3 F-words.  Use 'em, trade 'em.  Collect all three.


http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com

Monday, November 2, 2009

FSOTD #48-A

Poor Joe Pug got buried under Sebastian Cabot.  That wasn't supposed to happen.  Joe's worth a listen. The track is "I Do My Father's Drugs".  Cheers.

Here's his site:  http://www.joepugmusic.com

FSOTD #48/I Do My Father's Drugs (2008)

What used to be "I drink my pa's moonshine" has apparently become "I Do My Father's Drugs".  Daddy shoots H, mama does downers, me and little brother join right in...aah, them old poppy fields back home.  A family affair.  Buffy and Jodie.  Cissy! ...now which one OD'd?  And why did they call the well-dressed fat guy with the beard who oversaw three kids Mr. French?   Probably 'cuz it was his name.  It sounded just fine at the time.  All us kids bought it, anyway.  Sebastian Cabot.

So how do rumors go haywire?  To wit: A few years back, I heard that Sebastian Cabot was a notorious dope fiend back in the 60's.  A survivor of the "Naked Lunch" crowd.   Apparently, he supplied all those kids with their smack.   On the set, supposedly, they kept their stash inside of Mrs. Beazley.  Remember how Buffy always had that doll close by (see above)?  MacKenzie and John Phillips were customers.  It's a fact.  John Coltrane.  Even John Lennon.  Apparently, Cabot is the inspiration for Henry the Horse of "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite" fame.   True, all true.  In his later years, we didn't see much of Cabot. He had lost quite bit of weight and his teeth were rotted and falling out.   His last known stage role was a haunting turn as Fagen, in an early-80's revival of Oliver Twist.  Very little makeup was needed.  Even his longtime pal Brian Keith finally abandoned him after the third morals conviction.  A sad end to a man once loved and trusted by an entire generation of English-speaking children.   Alrightee...there ya have it.  Rumors Run Wild, vol. 1.  Pass it on.

Now, stepping back from the abyss of digression (and drivel), "I Do My Fathers's Drugs" by Chicago's Joe Pug is today's FSOTD.  It's from his 2008 EP "Nation of Heat".   He plans to release a full length CD in 2010.  We hope so.  It's a righteous sound from Joe Pugliese, a slow train comin'.

Joe Pug came to the attention of FSOTD thru another blogspot blog.  Taken from An Echo, 10-30: "if you close your eyes you think you are hearing Dylan from the late 60's (actually he never sounded like this, it's just the Dylan of our subconscious)" .  The Dylan of our subconscious.  Now that's something to blog about.  So we will: Joe Pug does sound something like Bob Dylan.  Quite a bit, actually.  In all the right ways.   So far, so good Joe.  Many happy returns.  And big FSOTD thanks to An Echo.  JP truly speaks to the Bob Dylan of our subconscious.

http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com

Friday, October 30, 2009

FSOTD #47/Heaven (2006)


I first found out about Bitter:Sweet in Heaven.  I mean the playlist Heaven.  Ya know...FSOTD #46-A.  Actually, I guess I really found out about them in iTunes, while searching for songs to fill out the list.  When I decided to post the playlist, I had only 12 different Heavens existing in my collection, which oddly sounds a little like string theory.  Anyway, 5 more tunes got the list to 1.2 hours, the requisite timing for any and all FSOTD playlists. Of those five, Bitter:Sweet's "Heaven" was by far the pick of the litter.
A treat for me.  For you too, I hope.

Briefly, Bitter:Sweet is quite the stylish and successful male-female duo out of Los Angeles, combining the talents of Kiran Shahani (he produces) and Shana Halligan (she sings).  The wiki article calls them "an electronic trip-hip duo with jazz-like qualities".  I just love that description.   On my first listen, I was calling it Brazilian chill music.  Repression, recession - it's all the same thing.  However you tag "Heaven", it's a great sound.  It makes me want to hear more of their stuff.

Also from their wiki , the duo has been going great guns in the TV and movie music segment: The Devil Wears Prada, Duplicity, Grey's Anatomy, Smallville and many others.   They have put out three albums starting with The Mating Game from 2006.  This album includes today's FSOTD "Heaven" and was named Pop/Rock Album of the Year at the 6th annual Independent Music Awards in early 2007.  So far, much more sweet than bitter for these LA trip-hoppers.

Finally, a wee bit 'bout their band name...  Bitter:Sweet is a fine name, but that "colon" styling wreaks some havoc when searching and entering.  Had they wanted, IMO, they could have used the very natural name-blend Shahana.   It has a jazz-chill sort of feel to it, I think. On the other hand, perhaps it's a little too close to Sha Na Na.

Here's their official site:  http://www.bittersweetmusic.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FSOTD #46-A *PLAYLIST*

There's been no FSOTD playlist all month...what gives, dude...que pasa?  Lo siento.  Where does the time go?  In the spirit of "dual songs", I offer up a whole CD's worth of Heaven. Yep, that's right - 17 different songs, each titled "Heaven".  And with the Heaven playlist comes a new wrinkle for the FSOTD music player.  Each time a new playlist is posted, at least the first song of said list will be included in the player.  In this case, it's John Legend's "Heaven", from his 2006 album Once Again.

Heaven/John Legend
   Heaven/Rolling Stones
Heaven/Bitter:Sweet
   Heaven/Rusted Root
Heaven/Better Than Ezra
   Heaven/Los Lonely Boys
Heaven/Bryan Adams
   Heaven/Warrant
Heaven/Sheila E. & The E-Train
   Heaven/Moby
Heaven/Jes
   Heaven/Talking Heads 
Heaven/Joan Armatrading
   Heaven/Psychedelic Furs
Heaven/Live
   Heaven/BeBe and CeCe Winans
Heaven/Jars of Clay

Monday, October 26, 2009

FSOTD #46/Good Vibrations (1991)




Marky Mark.   Mark Wahlberg.  Who knew?  Well, at least a few pop prescients and pre-pubescents did.   With his Funky Bunch, Marky Mark had a #1 hit in 1991 with "Good Vibrations".   That's #1 in the US, Switzerland and Sweden.  Truly funky.  IMO, it makes a good fit on any weekend party playlist.  It's pretty good on Thursdays, too.  It also dovetails nicely with the recent "dual song" discussion. "Good Vibrations" must be the only song title gracing two distinct chart-topping songs.  Not just hits, #1 hits.  The Beach Boys' version was released in 1966, their third and final US #1.  OK...quick now...the two images in this post: which is Mark Wahlberg and which is Brian Wilson?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

FSOTD #45-C *Pop Quiz*

It's another FSOTD Pop Quiz.  Below are ten songs, each with a form of the word "start" in the title.  For each title, we supply the year released.  Can you identify the original recording artists?  Good luck.  7 out of 10 is a good score.

I Started A Joke (1968)
Starting All Over Again (1972)
Once You Get Started (1975)
Right Back To Where We Started From (1975)
Start Me Up (1981)
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (1982)
I Started Something I Couldn't Finish (1987)
We Didn't Start The Fire (1989)
Let's Get It Started (2005)
Start To Melt (2006)
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answers below
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I Started A Joke/Bee Gees, Starting All Over Again/Mel & Tim, Once You Get Started/Rufus, Right Back We Started From/Maxine Nightingale (FSOTD #25), Star Me Up/Rolling Stones, Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'/Michael Jackson, I Started Something I Couldn't Finish/The Smiths, We Didn't Start The Fire/Billy Joel, Let's Get It Started/Black Eyed Peas (FSOTD #45), Start To Melt/Peter, Bjorn and John

http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com

FSOTD #45-B *Fergie*

A few more shots of the lovely Stacy Ferguson...






FSOTD #45-A *Fergie*

Selected photographs of Stacy Ferguson, aka Fergie...


Saturday, October 24, 2009

FSOTD #45/Let's Get It Started (2005)


I am a casual Black Eyed Peas fan.  I bought Elephunk a few years back (one of over 8 million copies it has sold worldwide since its release in 2003), but it's only gotten a few listens (at most) around here.  I didn't really even know that today's FSOTD "Let's Get It Started" was their song.


It all started about a week ago when a friend asked me to put together some music for a party he's having tonight.  I asked him to submit some some bands/songs so I could cook him up the kind of mix he wanted.  His selections were varied - some old, some new, some black, some white.  Among the newer and blacker was "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas.  So I went to my copy of Elephunk, and there was the track "Let's Get Retarded".   Huh?  Upon further review, I found out that "...Retarded" was re-styled in 2005 as "...Started" for an NBA Finals commercial that ran worldwide.  Apparently, it was more than a good idea: "Let's Get It Started" peaked at #21 US Hot 100, #11 in the UK, and it went all the way to #2 in Australia.  My, how those Aussies love their hoops!

A pretty clever idea, the re-casting of a song, especially with lyrics that rhyme smoothly with the original.  It got me thinking about songs that have been done twice by the same artist.  I harken back unto the Beatles with "Revolution."  Steely Dan did "My Gold Teeth" and came back with "My Gold Teeth II" using the same lyrics but an entirely different tune.  Bob Dylan did a fast and a slow version of "Forever Young".  Which reminds me, especially since we're doing the BEP thang today, wasn't it will.i.am who did a commercial about a year back meshing with Dylan in a sort of hip-hop "Forever Young"?  Anyone remember that?  I want a copy of that recording, whoever it was.  It was cool.

But back to The Peas.   What with Fergie joining the band since Elephunk, they're just a regular ol' hip-hop super group.  But don't take my word; the proof is in the numbers.   I gleaned this from the BEP wiki article:  The Black Eyed Peas are one of only 11 acts ever to simultaneously hold the #1 and #2 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  That happened earlier this year with "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling".  I must admit, I kinda missed all that when it went down, but even a few months after the fact, it's quite the jaw-dropping feat.

FSOTD #44-A

Before the FSOTD boat sails from the waters of Van Morrison and Warren Haynes, I thought it worthwhile to post the lyrics to "Into The Mystic"...

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that fog horn blows I will be coming home
And when that fog horn blows I want to hear it
I don't have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float into the mystic
And when that fog horn blows you know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows I got to hear it
I don't have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will float into the mystic
Come on girl...
 
 
thanks to lyricsfreak.com
http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

FSOTD #44/Into The Mystic (1970)

Before launching into FSOTD #44, a brief comment about the last out of last night's 5th and final game of basball's NLCS: How cool is it that the final out was caught by a guy named Victorino?


Today's FOSTD is actually from yesterday, and in truth, is a holdover from the Allman Brothers concert I raved about in 43-A.   It was midway through their set, and they had just finished what was at least a 15-minute "One Way Out" complete with 6 or 7 minute drum solo.  I was actually out taking a break in the commons area during the entire song, coming back to the seats for the opening strains of Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic" as sung by Warren Haynes.  Warren, undoubtedly the new hardest working man in show business, performs this song in all his incarnations: The Allmans, The Dead, Gov't Mule and solo.    He's a big and hairy dude, gnarly-looking but oh-so-soulful, especially when all sweaty.  As I have gushed so often, I just love Warren Haynes.  I have even gone on record paraphrasing C.S. Lewis, positing that if Warren Haynes did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.  The "Into The Mystic" version I put on the FSOTD player is from Gov't Mule sometime in the last few years.

As for Van Morrison's original recording, "Into The Mystic" was released on his classic 1970 album Moondance.  The singles from Moondance were "Come Running" and "Crazy Love".  "Moondance" wasn't truly released as a single until 1977(!), but by then it was an FM staple.  "Into The Mystic" was never a single but has steadily gained a following through the years, evidenced quite clearly by its status a Warren Haynes staple.


There is, oddly, one small affliction I have with this song, and it happened at the concert.  It concerns the inclusion of the word "foghorn" in the lyrics.  Every time I hear this word sung - whether by Van or Warren - I flash to the Looney Tunes character Foghorn Leghorn, and it saps some of the otherwise ethereal quality from the lyrics, while at the same time yanking a smile from my heart.  Perhaps now you, too, will be so afflicted.  I guess it's one of those things that once you have you have it.  But then, it's not like if I hear someone sing about Yosemite I think visualize Yosemite Sam.   Perhaps I've always had a thing for farm animals.  Quien sabe?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

FSOTD #43-A

Almost but not quite fully recovered from sickness; now suffering from pop culture overload....but that's not a bad thing.

So I called my friend Lance today and told him I couldn't get the Allman Brothers out of my head.  He got me my ticket, a birthday present many months back.  What I should have told him was thanks for 21 years of great friendship.  We met 21 years ago today in Houston, Texas.

Anyway, the concert last Friday night was beyond good.  Widespread Panic was intense and jamming as ever, but the Allmans were simply en fuego.  Scorching.  I think I remember an 8-song set, with a 4-song encore.  I couldn't tell you how many songs Widespread played.  I'd guess 12 or 13, for a nearly 2 hour first set of the evening.

As it turns out, that number is 14 (or maybe 13 1/2 depending on how you count the "radar" jam).  Thanks to everydaycompanion.com for the Widespread setlist... 

Radio Child, Weight Of The World > Don't Be Denied, Wondering, Greta > 
Under The Radar Jam > Three Candles > Space Wrangler, Gradle, 
From The Cradle, Second Skin* > Blackout Blues*, All Time Low, 
Makes Sense To Me

So I tried two different sites for the Allman's setlist but couldn't find 
it.  Hissss.  Here's what I remember:

Statesboro Blues, Come & Go Blues, *didn't know the 3rd song but loved it*, 
Highway 61, Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad?, One Way Out, Into The Mystic, 
Jessica   4-song Encore: Melissa (with Gregg on acoustic guitar), Midnight Rider, 
*can't remember 3rd encore song*, Whipping Post

Friday, October 16, 2009

FSOTD #43/Revival (1970)

After a longish week which included a grungy, hacking illness (but no H1N1, thanks), I am happy to be back at the keyboard for Friday's Song Of The Day.  The Allman Brothers released "Revival" as the opening song on their second album, 1970's Idlewild South.  It was written by Dickie Betts, who is no longer with the band. The reason I chose "Revival" as FSOTD: It was the show opener the last time I saw the ABB 3 years prior in Buffalo, and in mere minutes I am taking off to see the Allmans with  Widespread Panic here in Dallas.  Yowza!  Jimmy Herring, Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks in one night - guitar heaven!  More later.

Friday, October 9, 2009

FSOTD #42/Doctor My Eyes (1972)

In '65, he was 17.  Today's he's 61.  Happy Birthday Jackson Browne, born 10-9-48 in Heidelberg, Germany.  Could he be a military brat?  Think back on all the protesting and all those arrests.  Oh, how the war worm turns.

Jackson Browne scored a #8 Billboard Hot 100 hit in the spring of 1972 with "Doctor My Eyes" off his self-titled debut album.  Great song then, great song still.  The wiki article describes the song as a "surprise hit".  That may be true, but whatever kind of hit it was, it launched the career of the then relatively unknown Browne.    He'd been hanging out with all the right people: The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and the various talented folks of the Elektra/Asylum gang.  He co-wrote "Take It Easy" with Glenn Frey.   The Eagles released it (with Frey handling vocals) as their first-ever single in May, 1972, just as "Doctor My Eyes" was cresting.  Browne's version of "Take It Easy" surfaced in '73 on his second album For Everyman.


It was ten more years before Jackson Browne revisited the Top 10, with 1982's "Somebody's Baby", which topped at #7.  The song "Running on Empty" had almost gotten to single digits, climbing to #11 in 1977.  Yet, while his singles might not have been chart-toppers, his albums more than took up the slack.  1982's Hold Out was a number one album.  It went 2X platinum.  "Running On Empty" - whileonly making it to #3 - went 7x platinum.  That's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road territory.

One final thing...just discovered by going to my CD collection.  The wiki article for the album Jackson Browne clearly states in its first sentence that the album is often mistakenly referred to as "Saturate Before Using".  Those words appear at the top of the cover, but apparently, they were just part of the art, not the title.  So then what about my CD? It clearly states on the side edge - the one you use to alphabetize and order - that it's Jackson Browne - Saturate Before Using.  Sigh.  It's so hard to know who or what to trust these days.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

FSOTD #41-A *Pop Quiz*

Arrange these well-known musicians in the order of their birth, starting with the oldest first, next oldest second, and so on, with the youngest of the five placed in the fifth position.  There is a time limit.  Go.

Flea
MC Hammer
Prince
Slash
The Edge
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correct order below
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Prince/Prince Rogers Nelson...born June 7, 1958  Minneapolis USA
MC Hammer/Stanley Kirk Burrell...b March 30, 1961  Oakland USA
The Edge/David Howell Evans...b Aug 8, 1961  East London, England
Flea/Michael Balzary...b  Oct 16, 1962  Melbourne, Australia
Slash/Saul Hudson...b July 23, 1965 Stoke-on-Trent, England
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Bonus question:  
Which of the five most recently had a major motion motion picture named after him?
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.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . The Edge.




thanks to wikipedia ~ http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com

FSOTD #41/Soul To Squeeze (1993)


"Soul to Squeeze" was a surprise #1 hit on the US Modern Rock Tracks for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1993. "Soul to Squeeze" was originally recorded during RHCP's Blood Sugar Sex Magik sessions, but wasn't put on the album.  Two years later,  it was released as a single in '93, coinciding with its inclusion on the soundtrack for the movie Coneheads.  The song did better than the movie.  It also went to #22 on Billboard's Hot 100.


thanks to Wikipedia / http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com

Monday, October 5, 2009

FSOTD #40/Headknocker (1977)


After dining and much wining this past Saturday night, up from the iPod came my favorite Foreigner tune and today's FSOTD.  "Headknocker" is a short, straight-forward rocker from the band's 1977 debut album Foreigner.  By a wide margin, it's my favorite Foreigner song.  

Dig these opening lyrics:   "He drives a '57 coupe, walks with a stoop, swears James Dean isn't dead.  He's a dedicated rocker, a real headknocker, don't look at his lady again...".  Neither released as a single nor included on the 1982 greatest hits release Records, "Headknocker" nonetheless received some decent AOR airplay.  It did make the grade, finally, on certain subsequent Foreigner collections, including 2002's Complete Greatest Hits

I found this story about the song, posted as a comment from IsitJan20Yet on YouTube:  "This song was written about Ian Lloyd, who was the singer for the band 'Stories' ("Brother Louie").  Ian was a friend of Mick Jones, who, prior to Lou Gramm entering the scene, sang on some of the demos that would evolve into Foreigner.  Ian was a badass who enjoyed the occasional fisticuffs, hence the title, "Headknocker"."

Whatever anyone may say or think about Foreigner, they sold an ocean liner's worth of records, with five way multi-platinum albums from 1977 to 1984.  Yet it wasn't until 1984's "I Want To Know What Love Is" that the band scored a #1 hit song (their only #1).  Over the course of their career they had a #1, two #2's, a #3, two  #4's , a #5 and two #6's.  That's knockin' a few heads, huh?  To date, the band has sold over 50 million albums worldwide.

Finally, a goofy trivia question.  Name one thing (besides both having sold an ocean liner's worth of records) Foreigner and Cat Stevens have in common?  They both put out an album named Foreigner.

http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 3, 2009

FSOTD #39-A


2 things from the "Well... All Right" discovery session:

- Have you ever heard the one about "American Pie" being the name of the doomed plane transporting Holly and his mates?  Well... it ain't true.  I found it described as a "fast-growing urban myth".  If perchance I might have aided in the growth of that myth a few times, let me hereby extend a sincere blanket apology to all concerned.  Erf. 

- Are you into cover songs?  Me? I love 'em.  I need 'em.  Got me a playlist with nearly 300 quality (IMHO) cover versions, primarily well-known songs by well-known artists.   Anyway, I came upon this very helpful site today: http://www.secondhandsongs.com.   
What a great name for a cover song site.

~Yab

FSOTD #39/Well... All Right (1958)


The late and still great Buddy Holly graces today's FSOTD stage.  "Well... All Right" was released as the B-side to "Heartbeart" in November of 1958.  Less than 3 months later, Holly was dead, killed in the plane crash that also claimed Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson).  There's nothing left to say about this tragedy, but I would like to be counted among those (and there are many) who believe that February 3, 1959 was indeed the day the music died.

I noticed in my iTunes that I have 3 versions of the song: Holly's, the Santana version from 1978, and a 1996 rendition by Nanci Griffith (and The Crickets).   I was troubled when it dawned on me that the Blind Faith cover wasn't in my iTunes.  Troubled quickly gave to embarrassed as I discovered that I don't even own the CD.  Ouch.  Talk about a music collection gaff.  Perhaps even a sin.  I decided the FSOTD player offered opportunity for atonement, so I hope you enjoy the 1969 "Well... All Right" from rock's original super group, Blind Faith.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

FSOTD #38/Heaven's Already Here (1993)

"The World I Know" could well be the world's best Collective Soul song.  I mean, I love the song, but what do you think?   I know two things for certain: "The World I Know" is not today's FSOTD, but it is the song on the FSOTD player.  About 10% of the "first song" searches come up empty through playlist.com .  FSOTD #34, for instance. Today's FSOTD is also one of those (to my deep disappointment).  One day, I'll post a list of needed titles and seek help.  Until then, I'll substitute and be happy.
-  -  -
One of my favorite band names of the last 20 years is Collective Soul.  I've never become a huge fan of the band, more from lack of effort than any conscious avoidance.  Yet as it turns out, I do have a favorite Collective Soul song.  It's from their debut Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, released in 1993.   The singles from the album were Shine, Breathe, and Wasting Time.  "Shine" was a Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock #1.  None of those three, however, are today's FSOTD.   The number I selected as Friday's Song Of The Day (see FSOTD #26 ) is "Heaven's Already Here".   Absolutely dig this tune.  Like the band's name, the song itself is a top ten-ish fave o' mine from the last two decades, a spunky acoustic rocker with soul-searching harmonies.  It runs through my head so often I'm surprised it had not made first song of the day by now.  But somehow, I feel that actually affirms the "first song" concept.

Whatever.  Back to the favorite band name thing.  Wikipedia reports band founder/leader Ed Roland saying this: He "was reading Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and came across the phrase "collection of souls". Although Rand actually uses the phrase in a negative connotation, using the "collective soul" as a threat to the main character's sense of individualism, Ed is quick to point out, "...we're not preaching Ayn Rand, objectivism, egoism, or anything...we just dug the name..." and "it [the band's name] could've come out of a Motorcycle Magazine."  Vroom.  All the better.

So how about so other great band monikers?  My man Rip offers up Joy Division.  Yes, Rip, IMO, that's a great band name.  Thanks.  I think Wilco is really fine.    Short and so full of allusion.  And let's not forget the local scene.  I get big cocktail mileage out of the name of local DFW cover band Petty Theft.  It's conversation currency, like having a really good joke at the ready.

Ever play the game "that would make a good name for a band"?  You either do or you don't.  I do.  I have for years.   A little later today, I'm going to add a comment to this post, which will include a couple of my recent favorites.  Yes, I keep a "band name" file.   ~ Yab

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FSOTD #37/There's A Place In The World For A Gambler (1974)


Dan Fogelberg shares a very minor distinction with Kenny Rogers.  They both have a song with the word "gambler" in the title.  I found "gamblers" and "gambler's" in my iTunes, but theirs were the only songs with the singular form.  Minor indeed.

Dan Fogelberg's "There's A Place In The World For A Gambler" was released on his 1974 album Souvenirs.  Something of an acoustic anthem, the song closes side 2 repeating the refrain "Let It Shine".  I never went to a Fogelberg concert, but I always imagined this is what closed the show.  Long and slow-building, it has the perfect rhythm for a swaying crowd holding lighters aloft - Let it shine!  But I have to admit to admiring this song more than I like it.  I'm thinking maybe I begrudge it because I'm no good with lighters.  Never have been.  I'm a thumb-burner.  Nowadays, though, if you wanna shine a light at the end of a show...they've got an app for that.  Really.

Usually I head right to Wikipedia for FSOTD details, but today I went to my Souvenirs CD (the vinyl is in the garage).   I culled some interesting tidbits from the liner and production info.  The album was produced by Joe Walsh.  In the lyrics section, it notes that "...Gambler" was written in California in 1971.  The chorus of voices that repeats "let it shine" includes Don Henley and Randy Meisner.  Henley appears on a few other tracks as well, and Walsh does all of the electric guitar work on the album.

So let's see...that's Walsh, Henley and Meisner all together on a 1974 project.  As it turns out, Glenn Frey also added some backing vocals on one of the Souvenirs tracks.   Now consider this: Hotel California came out just two years later in 1976.  On the back of the CD it says: "With Joe Walsh joining as a full time member, The Eagles..." Could it be that Dan Fogelberg is the missing link in the evolution of Joe Walsh solo guy to Joe Walsh Eagle dude??

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FSOTD #36-A *Miranda Lambert*


In a happy FSOTD convergence, Miranda Lambert's new album "Revolution" is hot on the shelves, 15 tracks strong.  One purchase from iTunes later, my first listen revealed a helping of what got her here, but I also detected a certain move towards the rock side of country.  I'll give it another spin or two in the coming days.  If asked my opinion about what to release as a single,  I'd go with "Me and Your Cigarettes".  What they did release is "Dead Flowers", which I was hoping was gonna be a Rolling Stones cover (but no).   ~Yab

FSOTD #36/Dry Town (2007)


It's her music that makes me like Miranda Lambert, but her pictures are fairly fetching as well.  My brother saw the 25 year old Texan in concert earlier this year, and she won him over in less than 10 notes.  It was a rainy Kenny Chesney show just north of Dallas, and she was one of the opening acts.  Did I mention it was raining?  Big rain, mean clouds, loud thunder.  As people were trying to figure out whether to stay put or head for cover, Lambert comes out and opens with the Creedence song "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?"...now that's entertainment. Consider the residual effect: I've heard my brother tell that story at least four times now, he was so impressed.  And now I'm repeating it.  She was definitely the highlight of an otherwise soggy day.  She finished her set, but Chesney called it quits after about six songs.   To his eternal credit, he came back within a few weeks and played a free show.  Now that's good business.

I never determined whether Miranda played today's FSOTD "Dry Town" at that show.  It's a winning little ditty, with a rhythm and wit so particular to country music.  How can you not like these lyrics:

Good hundred miles between me and Missoula
That vinyl top wasn't gettin' no cooler
I stopped at a quickie sack

I figured I'd need about a six of Miller
And one of them things so I wouldn't spill her

And I asked the girl if the beer was in the back 

While perusing the CD to check for the correct words, I noticed she didn't actually write the song.  David Rawlings and Gillian Welch did.  Kudos to them.  The CD is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Lambert did write or co-write 8 of the 11 tracks. It's a top-notch effort throughout.  Others would seem to agree: Rolling Stone ranked it #26 on their list of best 50 albums from 2007, and The Academy of Country Music named it their 2008 Album of The Year.

http://firstsongoftheday.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 27, 2009

FSOTD #35/Blue Jean (1984)


David Bowie has been many things through his long and winding career.  He has done many things. But something he's only done once is win a Grammy award.  It was for the video for today's FSOTD "Blue Jean".  Clocking in at over 21 minutes,  "Jazzin' For Blue Jean" won the award for Best Short Form Music Video.  The song itself was a hit - #6 UK and #8 US.  Released on the album Tonight, it was one of only two songs from the collection written entirely by Bowie.  The album featured collaborations with Iggy Pop and with Tina Turner, who was at the peak of her career in the wake of Private Dancer.   But Tonight - the follow-up to the hugely successful Let's Dance - was generally regarded as a disappointment.

Love him or loathe him, David Bowie is undeniably a central figure in the big, bad story of rock music.  The Wiki article puts it all together in a concise (yet by no means brief) offering.  There was one short paragraph that pretty much said it all:  In the BBC's 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, Bowie ranked 29. Throughout his career he has sold an estimated 136 million albums, and ranks among the ten best-selling acts in UK pop history. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him 39th on their list of the 100 Greatest Rock Artists of All Time.

FSOTD #34-A *PLAYLIST*

So I go to a wedding yesterday, and then I wake up this morning and the FSOTD is a song that starts with the words "love is".  Really?   As it turns, yes really.  Not one to let a trail go cold, I head to the dictionary.  Webster's says love is "the attraction, desire, or affection felt for a person who arouses delight or admiration or elicits tenderness, sympathetic interest, or benevolence: devoted affection".  Of course, if it's love, you don't really need a dictionary.  What you might want, however, is a playlist.  With devoted affection, here's the CD-length playlist "Love is...", from me to you.

Love Is A Night ~ Gino Vanelli
Love Is Like Oxygen ~ Sweet
Love Is Alive ~ Gary Wright
Love Is The Seventh Wave ~ Sting
Love Is A Long Road ~ Tom Petty
Love Is The Drug ~ Roxy Music
Love Is Blindness ~ U2
Love Is All That Matters ~ Human League
Love Is Stronger Than Pride ~ Sade
Love Is Coming Down ~ The Who
Love Is A Touch Away ~ Freddie Jackson
Love Is Here And Now You're Gone ~ The Supremes
Love Is Green ~ Jeff Beck
Love Is Blue ~ Paul Mauriat
Love Is All There Is ~ Sheryl Crow
Love Is In The Air ~ John Paul Young
Love Is Strange ~ Sonny & Cher
Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing ~ The Four Aces
Love Is The Answer ~ Lonnie Johnson
Love Is Here To Stay ~ Harry Connick, Jr.


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Saturday, September 26, 2009

FSOTD #34/Love Is A Night (1975)




The year was 1975.  Woodstock-era rock was transitioning.  New wave was still below the horizon.  Jazz-fusion was definitely making its mark.  And, of course, sister disco was about to explode.  Enter Gino Vanelli.  That year, the clean living, darkly handsome Canadian released his third album Storm at Sunup, on which today's FSOTD "Love Is A Night" is found.  Vanelli was difficult to classify: Not a rocker nor a jazz man, he nonetheless displayed influences of both genres.  His sex appeal and sense of style made him a darling of the nightclub set, yet he was no party hound, nor would you ever associate him with the word boogie.  He made serious music.  Avante-garde is an appropriate description.  Unique, too, although the passing years have obscured that particular quality.

Aided by the keyboard and production talents of his brother Joe, Vanelli had scored a US hit with "Powerful People" in 1974, which rose to #22 on Billboard's Hot 100 (#17 AC).  His highest chart positions and greatest sales came in the late '70s and early '80s, including two top-10's.  By then, his sound was solid pop, polished smooth and sexy, perfect for the Adult Contemporary crowd. The music industry had caught up to Gino Vanelli.   But in the mid-70's he seemed somehow untamed, even exotic.   His back-to-back albums Powerful People and Storm at Sunup remain vibrant and poignant testaments to both his talent and the times.  They clearly set the table for his later, greater success.