Friday Music

It’s really hard to get up and get going when it’s a rainy, thunderstormy day.

Here’s what I’ve got for you this week:

A couple of you liked the techno that I had posted, so here’s some more….sorta. It’s a techno cover of a 70s rock classic, and the mixture turns out to be a ‘peanut-butter and chocolate’ kinda thing, because it actually works pretty well. Apollo 440 – “Dont Fear The Reaper”.

Here’s a quirky little tune with some odd lyrics. I’ve liked Cake ever since they happened to release a cover of “I Will Survive” right when I was going through my divorce. This is my second favorite track by them (with the more well known “Going The Distance” coming in a distant third): Cake – “Frank Sinatra”.

A few weeks ago, I gave you some Scissor Sisters, and talked about how the song in question (“Take Your Mama”) was channeling the spirit of 70s-era Elton John. Apparently, a mash-up DJ thought the same thing, because here is an absolutely BRILLIANT mash-up of the song with “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting”: Scissor Sisters vs. Elton John – “Take Your Mama Fighting” I think I might even like that more than the original mix.

I’m a big fan of early-70s “blaxploitation” movies…I’m a sucker for crime dramas (which they pretty much all were), and combine that with a sense of style and some kick-ass music, and I’m hooked. The music is really incredible, too…of course, you’ve got to look beyond the whole “wakka-chikka wakka-chikka” guitar stereotype and give it a critical listen….and also realize how ground-breaking this stuff was, not only in composition, but in language and subject matter. My personal favorite: the soundtrack to “Superfly” by Curtis Mayfield, who had the brilliance to craft a score for a film that essentially glorified a drug dealer, by doing songs (for example, “Freddie’s Dead”) that were often negative and critical of what you saw on screen, acting as a counterpoint. Give a listen to Curtis Mayfield – “Pusherman”, marvel at the tight composition, and realize what a shock it was in the early seventies for him to sing: “I’m your mama, I’m your daddy, I’m that nigger in the alley.

From there, we’ll move on to some 1980s Euro-new-wave bombast: Ultravox – “Hymn”. Only Midge Ure could sing “until MY kingdom come” without a hint of irony, and have you totally buy it.

Way back, I posted a track by Kula Shaker. Here’s another: Kula Shaker – “S.O.S.” This one isn’t in Hindi, but it definitely comes from the same alternate universe where the psychedelia of the late 60s continued uninterrupted until the present day. It manages to be retro and modern at the same time. Love the lyrics on this one as well: “Every time I turn some microscopic worm is telling me he’s “it” — dressed in robes of cosmic ego, crawling ’round in shit. I read the news, but the news didn’t fascinate. I stayed at home and watched the media ejaculate.

Faith No More were a strange bunch. One of the earliest groups to hit with a rap-rock fusion (the track “Epic”, with the famous goldfish-flopping-out-of-water video, was their first hit single), they took a musical risk by including a cover of John Barry’s instrumental theme to the film Midnight Cowboy on their album, “Angel Dust.” Not what you’d expect, and a really excellent cover to boot: Faith No More – “Midnight Cowboy”. I’m sure it confused many a frat-boy who were expecting more metal-tinged rap stylings.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a track from the soundtrack to Kill Bill, Vol. 1. Quentin Tarantino always fills his movies with great music, and this film was no exception. If you haven’t picked up the two soundtrack CDs yet, do so. Santa Esmeralda – “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” is a Mariachi-tinged cover of the classic Animals track…and for those of you who have seen the film, it plays during the duel between the Bride and Oren Ishii.

More music in 7.

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