I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve listened to every song The Rolling Stones have released. Between the concert tapes, the compilations, and the rehearsal recordings there can’t be much I haven’t heard. However, some just slip through the cracks. This happened to Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker). I remember listening to this song when I first got a copy of it and not really liking it. I just don’t think it fit my mood and age.
Fast forward to this past Monday. I had JUST seen the Stones play 4 hours earlier in California and was in the car on my way to the airport before the sun had even come up. This song came on the radio and it all just clicked. Now I can’t stop listening to it.
The past couple of months have been kind of nuts with work and school and didn’t really lend themselves to creating posts for this blog. I’ve said it before, but this blog takes quite a bit of work. For example, to write my three posts on Tom Waits I had to listen to Tom Waits’ music for 2 hours a night, every night, for almost two weeks. I listened to every song of his that’s available on Grooveshark. I loved it, but it took up a lot of time.
Well, now that grad school is over I can get back in the saddle and throwing some stuff back up here again! I’m excited, are you?
A couple of months ago I happened to see Melanie play at BAM. I hadn’t really heard of Melanie before that although I did recognize a few of her songs. One song in particular really stuck with me. I found a version that I loved (the video I’ve included below) and that began my hunt for other interpretations of the song. I like the idea of people singing a song that has lyrics suggesting that the song has been bastardized by others singing it.
Of the versions below I really like Amanda Jenssen’s version for her voice. I think it sounds very similar to the original but I really like the smoky quality of her voice – where it sounds a little like there is a smaller raspier second voice behind hers. I tend to have this when I sing and because I don’t know if there’s a term for such things I call it a ghost voice. This makes me sound like a crazy person, doesn’t it…
The Ray Charles/Count Basie version is great in that is nothing like the original. It’s weird, because I like it for how upbeat it sounds but I feel as though it has none of the original emotion.
As for the video I think that the way her voice wavers especially on the “then I’ll be rich someday, Ma” is what clinches it as my favorite. It has so much more sentiment behind it than the recorded version. Hands down the winner for me.
The two songs in today’s post are courtesy of Noisetrade and Paste Magazine. Paste has posted a have a free Valentine’s Day playlist through Noisetrade (which you can get here) that juxtaposes songs that are about love with songs that aren’t. The two songs below are my favorites from each category.
I’ve posted about Those Darlins before. They are great and so is this song. It’s totally catchy and hilarious. The second song is much mushier although I like the message. The music after the first chorus is amazing and although this song is holiday-appropriate I have also already bookmarked it for my Summer ’13 playlist because it feels as though it will really lend itself to summer. However, I could really do without the female singer.
I totally recommend downloading the playlist from Noisetrade. If only so that you can listen to these two songs wherever you go.
I feel that the songs a person decides to Shazam are incredibly revealing. You Shazam a song you can barely hear in a loud bar or a song playing at a friend’s party where you don’t want to appear uncool by asking what the music is. You Shazam it because at that moment that song grabs you and you MUST know what it is. For me, what I’ve Shazam-ed has created a sort of musical timeline that I can tie to those times where I chose to stand like a fool holding my phone towards a speaker desperate to learn what song was playing. The real test is whether those songs sound as good the next morning.
Over the weekend I tweeted about my quest to find covers of Kid Cudi/MGMT’s Pursuit of Happiness. Yes, there are a surprisingly large number of songs titled Pursuit of Happiness. The other surprise? Almost all of them suck. Big time. For some reason, it seems that only one song titled Pursuit of Happiness can’t be complete crap. I’ll be giving a TED talk on this sometime soon.
Of all of the covers, and I found approximately 5, only two were worthy of appearing on this blog. This is because it also appears that in order to sing a cover of this song you must also be comatose, or sing with as little emotion as possible.
The first has appeared on this blog before in my Cloud Control post. As I said in that post, this cover is great. The other cover, by Lissie, is also amazing. She has a killer voice and this version, which is live, really does something for me.
As I have for every other season, here are my picks for Winter 2012/2013. These are the songs that have hogged by ears for the past couple of months. Some of them have been posted on here before, some of them quite recently. As I’ve mentioned before Fleet Foxes is perfectly suited to winter in my mind. The others, well, I just think they’re great and they seem to have been what I’ve been craving the most lately.
Last night I went with my friend Colleen to see Mumford & Sons. I have been wanting to see them live for ages. They were fantastic. They also had the Felice Brothers open for them which was a super special treat for me – I’ve posted about them before and I really like their music. They are also a hoot when they perform and everyone loves a good washboard thrown into a song or two.
Mumford & Sons really outdid themselves at this show; they played nearly every song off of their two albums and had a really nice arc to their show. One of the best parts was when they took to a smaller stage with one microphone and sang a couple of their songs in four part harmony. I have been playing one of those songs over and over all day. The rougher Black Cab Session version is definitely my favorite but the original, more polished version is also nice albeit a bit more hymnal with a weird country twang. I’ll include both here because I’m generous like that.
Lately I haven’t been listening to whole albums or comparing versions of songs. Instead I’ve been playing these two songs on repeat. There are a bunch of things I have lined up to listen to and review but for now those will just have to wait.
This first song fits with my wintertime electronic theme and also has a bit of the hipster vibe that I also got with Grimes. It has become my go to song for commuting and working out.
The second song is just a really beautiful song. I’ve been thinking about doing a Fleet Foxes post – I mentioned them in both of my winter songs posts – and I think this song was the tipping point.
I understand this this post may come off as hyperbole and seem a bit histrionic, but in all honesty I feel as though this song were custom made for me. As should be pretty obvious with this blog I have a deep fascination and love of folk music. I love the original versions of older folk songs just as much as I like the songs that build upon them.
I have also already stated my love for Tom Waits and Keith Richards. Keith is my favorite Stone and I’ve made it pretty clear in my About section that The Stones have been incredibly influential in the shaping of my musical tastes. Tom Waits, well, I have devoted a whole series of posts to his music. So I was incredibly excited to see that Waits and Richards had collaborated on an interpretation of an old hymn sung by flatboatmen on the Missouri River.
This song is simplistic and swelling, mournful and beautiful. The disjointed and discordant chorus is everything that I love in this type of music. It makes my heart swell to hear the depth and breadth of the voices that sound so harmonious while not all jiving together perfectly.