Rollins Band - Stop, Look and Listen - http://youtu.be/4gd8Cr0zmB0
As you all know by now, Billy has done a lot of work with Woody Guthrie's lyrics and music. He told us that he's started playing this next tune again because it resonates so much with him regardless of what year it is. I was introduced to the tune via a tribute album and whilst I love Billy, I think Bruce has the song nailed...
Bruce Springsteen - I Ain't Got No Home - http://youtu.be/m75IVFQ6-N8
I took delivery of two cheesy 80s heavy metal CDs today. Autograph's "Sign in Please" and Quiet Riot's "Metal Health". I plan to annoy all and sundry at some stage over the weekend with some fist pumping and headbanging. Neither are particularly serious purchases; it's hardly high art. But sometimes you just want to nod your head to a good tune without having to think too hard. I think it was AC/DC's Malcolm Young who said something along the lines of, "if you want to worry about the lyrics then listen to REM"!
REM - What's The Frequency, Kenneth? - http://youtu.be/jWkMhCLkVOg
Scott Asheton, the original drummer for The Stooges died during the week. His brother Ron who played guitar in the band passed away in 2009. I was a bit too young to appreciate the band until relatively recently. Their influence on rock music is undisputed and of course they launched the career of Iggy Pop.
Iggy & The Stooges - Loose (live 2003) - http://youtu.be/LxUYAHUg-i8
Some albums are timeless. For me, one of those is "Xenophobia Why?" by Spy v Spy. Released in 1988 it has some classic songs on it. But what did, and continues to hook me with this LP is the guitar sounds - they are jangly without being harsh and driven without being fuzzy. The lyrics really do have something to say and really haven't dated at all. If you come along to the Oils shows in May you'll probably hear some Spies songs through the PA before the show.
Spy vs Spy - Clarity of Mind - http://youtu.be/mPheN2jPCBs
Spy vs Spy - Soldiers - http://youtu.be/MB3jD4pGVTM
Billy Bragg had an Australian singer/songwriter called Courtney Barnett along as his support act. I was apprehensive after watching a few YouTube videos. She played solo which really leaves nowhere to hide! Courtney played scratchy, bluesy Telecaster guitar and the sound filled the room well - almost raspy but not quite. Her lyrics were often very personal and with an almost Dylan-esque delivery as well as having a sneaky sense of dry humour. Vocally she reminded me a bit of Neil Young as well in that you think she won't quite make a note but she gets there in the end. I thought she was pretty good really and if she'd played one or two more songs I wouldn't have complained. Try this one out...
Courtney Barnett - History Eraser - http://youtu.be/k6_G5PlEXdk
Every now and then you need to listen to something a bit out of left field. Only people who've seen Billy Bragg on this tour will know why I've been playing this for the last couple of days and loving it!
Kraftwerk - Autobahn - http://youtu.be/68C-r9kSLNE
To close the show, here's a song I was reminded of this afternoon at a most inopportune moment. I was discussing something from my childhood and...ok, ok, it was the Famous Five books, how embarrassing! Anyway, this is a song we sang at school a fair bit in class. Great soaring melody and beautiful lyrics.
John Denver - Annie's Song - http://youtu.be/xs_CNnCqYvU
That's all folks,
"Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me" - ABBA, Thank You For The Music, 1977