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.


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


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

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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

FSOTD #51-A *Pop Quiz*'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. 

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


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

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 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.

Monday, November 2, 2009


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:

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! 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.