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:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


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/Rusted Root
Heaven/Better Than Ezra
   Heaven/Los Lonely Boys
Heaven/Bryan Adams
Heaven/Sheila E. & The E-Train
   Heaven/Talking Heads 
Heaven/Joan Armatrading
   Heaven/Psychedelic Furs
   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)
answers below
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

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 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.


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

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


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 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.

MC Hammer
The Edge
correct order below
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

Bonus question:  
Which of the five most recently had a major motion motion picture named after him?
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . The Edge.

thanks to wikipedia ~

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 /

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.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


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:   
What a great name for a cover song site.


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 .  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