Posted on | December 7, 2013 | No Comments
I came to this one late, Boys and Girls…
I think I’ve demonstrated I have a love of Power Pop. So much so that I have tried to find more and more and more Power Pop to sample and enjoy. Recently, I came across a free download (hey, it was legit) and I heard the beginning of this song and my ears perked up…
Chimy, sing-song guitar intro, lyrics delivered staccato-style and a bracing beat all added up to Power Pop Goodness to me. The song is one of those that just reaches out and grabs me. So far, it hasn’t let go. I came across it too late for the countdown, but thought it was worthy of an honorable mention.
Thanks for reading and remember, Monday we start a couple of weeks of Christmas Music Treats!
Posted on | December 6, 2013 | No Comments
Christmas time’s a coming and I miss the heat of summer
So, today I get to share the best of both worlds; a whacked out and thunderous version of something tied closely to a Holiday Tradition. Gary Hoey sort of shreds his way through the Vince Guaraldi classic “Linus & Lucy” with a breath-taking abandon that’s by turns amazing and amusing. You see, I get the joke.
Which is a song about two kids who are older in dog years than their young age on screen or in print would ever indicate. All the characters in Peanuts are world weary, cynical, sometimes mean and thoughtless and always beyond their depicted years. Blend in some quirky innocence and you have a razor sharp vision and way to skewer the world around you. That’s what Charles Schultz did and insisted be carried through in ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’.
What makes this rendition amusing (or even funny) is a jazzy song about young kids could be deconstructed and cranked up like Hoey did. There’s nothing subtle about Hoey’s playing here. No nuance, nothing to indicate delicacy or innocence. It’s all blasted through with a wink and a smile. Sort of like you’d expect a teenaged version of the Peanuts to acknowledge or even be in on the joke.
The summer part is due it’s inclusion on Hoey’s “Endless Summer II” and in December, less than three weeks from Christmas, actually sounds pretty good.
Speaking of Christmas, in case you missed the announcement a couple of weeks ago, the Countdown is taking a couple of weeks off so I can share with you my Top 10 Christmas songs with you. There will be a nice blend of the sacred and the profane to properly illuminate where we as a culture are with the whole Christmas Holiday. This all begins next Monday.
Tomorrow, stop by as we’ll have one of those wonderful ‘Bonus Tracks’ I like to throw out there every so often. Until then, enjoy the beach music, use sun screen and thanks for reading.
Posted on | December 5, 2013 | No Comments
Sometimes you just don’t know why
I know I’ve said this before, but it does bear repeating; Sometimes you have no concrete reason for liking a song.
Throughout this series, I’ve been able to tie moments or ideas to songs to explain why I like them or what they mean to me or some other reason that a song resonates with me. Not so with this one. There isn’t anything in particular I can point to by way of explanation. I just like this song.
Were I to associate this with the time and place of my life when I heard it a lot, it would disqualified. I was at boarding school and miserable, spiraling to a nervous breakdown and a 30 plus day stay in a hospital. So, that’s not it. It’s also not that it’s a particularly great song, even if I do like it a lot.
No, there isn’t a single reason I can point to but that’s okay. There doesn’t need to be.
Thanks for reading!
Posted on | December 4, 2013 | No Comments
Everyone knows the riff.
As cool as the other side of the pillow, this song has transcended genres and decades. Moving past its smooth jazz beginnings to become firmly entrenched in the musical milieu of our cultural fabric. Well, that’s if you look at all the people who’ve covered this particular tune…
That amazing riff is the basis of why this song is so enduring. It leaves so much space to build on. All sorts of genres have been strapped onto this riff, all sorts of solos and styles. It is pretty astounding if you stop to think about it.
While Mancini’s version is the actual theme song to the Peter Gunn TV show, Ray Anthony had the hit at about the same time. Duane Eddy does a version that’s almost menacing. Gary Hoey (more from him later in the countdown) does a metal-ish version and The Ventures provide a well done cover version. In fact, there’s a list of 126 versions of Peter Gunn you should listen to. The Art of Noise is on this list, if that means anything to you…
Anyhow, enjoy the time suck of tracking down all those versions and thanks for reading!
Posted on | December 3, 2013 | 1 Comment
Sometimes you can tell when a song is perfect the first time you hear it
I didn’t hear this song until I was in my 40′s. Heck, I’d never heard of Big Star until I was in my 40′s. Both of these are travesties, musically speaking. Big Star should’ve been huge, they should’ve been more than just a footnote and influential. They made hit records nobody heard for years.
So, I didn’t hear this song until I was in my 40′s, yet the first time I was 13 again. I was a teenager again and I didn’t like it and I loved it. Which is what I remember my teenage years being like. I suspect you feel the same way. This song perfectly captures the essence, the emotions and the push/pull of adolescence. All the beginnings of independence and the constant realization that no matter what, parents still rule our lives. Which is a good and bad thing.
Take all of the above and this song is nigh perfect. You can be Thirteen again without the acne, curfews and angst. Well, at least for just a few moments and then you can get back to adulthood.
Thanks for reading!
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