Friday Music

I think that I may have found a new theme song. I was only familiar with Harvey Danger from their late-90s one-hit-wonder, “Flagpole Sitta” — but I recently gave this a listen, and I love it. Hell, the title alone is brilliant: Harvey Danger – “Cream and Bastards Rise.”

While we’re on the subject of artists that you only know from one single — I’m a big fan of Men Without Hats. Everybody knows “The Safety Dance” — but what everybody doesn’t know is that the album that featured it, Rhythm of Youth is one of the best New Wave albums ever recorded. I played my cassette of it so much that I warped it. Luckily, I finally tracked it down on CD. Here’s one of my favorite tracks from the album: Men Without Hats – “I Like.”

While we’re in a retro one-hit motif — I posted a new protest song a while back by Ricky Lee Jones, which reminded me how much I loved her one-and-only hit single from the late 70s. So, here it is: Ricky Lee Jones – “Chuck E.’s In Love.” I love her voice, and the lyrics are great. The whole sound makes make think of NYC during the period.

Composer Terence Blanchard is the go-to-guy for Spike Lee. His work on Malcom X is some of my favorite film score work. Here’s a track that he did for the recent Lee-directed flop, The Inside Man, which breaks away from his usual score work and into the realm of danceable electronica– he and Panjabi MC created a mix of his score work and a popular single from an Indian film. Terence Blanchard and Panjabi MC – “Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint”

An ode to overzealous lawyers: Here’s a track from the group Spacehog, off their release The Chinese Album. Spacehog is fronted by Royston Langdon (better known as Mr. Liv Tyler), and this song was originally supposed to be called “Mongo City”, about the citadel of Ming the Merciless, until King Features got huffy. So, one letter change later, and we have this glamtastic tribute to the capital of the universe: Spacehog – “Mungo City.”

Mark Wahlberg starred in a film called “Rock Star” (originally filmed under the title “Metal Gods”, which I think would have been better), the fictionalized story of a tribute-band singer who is tapped to replace the lead singer in the band that he covers (in other words, what actually happened in Judas Priest, until Halford came back). It’s largely a crap movie, but the songs, from the fictional metal band “Steel Dragon” aren’t that bad….and my favorite is this near-perfect example of the power ballad: Steel Dragon – “We All Die Young.”

Last song this week — This is taken from David Bowie’s 1999 album Hours, which came out while and I were living in the city. At the time, I was slightly disappointed that he didn’t continue in the electronica direction that he had featured on Earthling, but this album grew on me. This song in particular always reminds the two of us of our time there. David Bowie – “Thursday’s Child.”

Enjoy.

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