Friday Music

Six years ago, took me to the Guinness Fleadh for my birthday, and we spent 12 hours in a park on Randall’s Island (a sliver of land in the East river between Manhattan and Queens) listening to bands on 3 stages….and drinking Guinness. The Fleadh hosted bands like The Prodigals, Black 47, Shane McGowan, and one of my favorite bands from Ireland, The Saw Doctors. If you haven’t listened to the Saw Doctors they do a almost country-tinged pop, featuring some traditional Irish instruments, and many of the songs are the wistful reminiscences of an expat, thinking about the people and places they left behind. Here is one of my favorite songs from them — an ode to the highway (‘major route’) that heads to their home town of Tuam. The Saw Doctors – “N17”

I hope that you’ll forgive the 70s easy-listening nature of this song, but it’s always been one of my favorites, and never fails to make me think of summer. My brother and I have sung duet on this more than once at various gatherings — Looking Glass – “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)”

Another new band in the Neo-new-wave style, whom I discovered this past week. 2006….1986….what’s the diff. The Modern – “Seven Oceans.”

Folks have really liked the previous tracks that I’ve posted from Midlake (“Young Bride” and “We Gathered in Spring”), so here’s another track from the same album (“The Trials of Van Occupanther,” which was just released): Midlake – “Bandits.” “Did you ever want to be overrun by bandits?”

Just to get your butts moving, here’s the Scissor Sister’s cover of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”, which they brilliantly re-imagine as a Bee-Gees-esque disco tune: Scissor Sisters – “Comfortably Numb.”

Another effort on my part to expose you to the lesser-known good-quality hip-hop out there. This is a track by The Roots, a hip-hop group who *gasp* actually play real instruments….and this particular song shows how you can do a love song in hip-hop. The female vocals are courtesy of Eriyka Badu. Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson’s drumming on this track is brilliant, especially in the last third of the song, when he starts doing some great jazz fills. The Roots – “You Got Me.”

Yeah, it’s sunny and hot, and the summer is in full bloom. So let’s hear something for the “Goffs.” My favorite track from Peter Murphy and Co. Bauhaus – “Dark Entries.”

The kids are going crazy for the Gnarls Barkley (get it? Crazy? Heh heh … Oh, I just KILL me) — so here’s another track from the album (which is excellent, by the way), asking the question “when was the last time you danced?” Gnarls Barkley – “The Last Time.”

Enjoy folks. More next week.