Archive for the ‘General Music’ Category

Still Remembering

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

The first part of Brian’s return to the road is completed, with a number of no-doubt poignant shows remembering Nicky Wonder. He’s back on the road for the very interesting tour with the Zombies, featuring songs from Friends and Surf’s Up.

Meanwhile, you can send your condolences to Nicky Wonder’s family to the following address

Family of Nick Walusko
c/o TomorrowLabs
2773 W. Broadway
Los Angeles CA 90041

The mail will have to fit through a mail slot.

The Show Must Go On, But

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

As noted in my previous post, despite the tragic loss of Nicky Wonder, the Brian Wilson shows did go ahead, with an appropriate tribute to their band member, and a big gap in the sound. In this spirit, I would like to offer a further tribute to Nicky Wonder in one of his obscure but brilliant Wondermints tracks linked below.

The Wonderful Nicky

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

I was hoping my next post would be around the uplifting news of Brian’s successful return to the road. Instead, there was the shocking news of the passing of Nicky Wonder (Walusko), in his sleep the night before he was scheduled to play in the show. As an integral and universally-loved part of Brian Wilson’s band, this news is very hard to bear. It’s also important to remember that Nicky Wonder was much more than a Brian Wilson band member – as one of the main songwriters and singers of the Wondermints, he created some brilliant music in his own right, and it’s important to remember that the Wondermints were a great band. Go well, Nicky Wonder, you will be missed so much!

Far More Than A Musician

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Just after I posted yesterday’s blog, I suddenly got the news that the great South African musician, Johnny Clegg, had passed away. Clegg’s fame spread well past South African shores, including massive concerts in France, and recognition in many parts of the world, including the USA. If you haven’t heard of him, a look at his Wikipedia bio,  will tell you that he was not just a writer and performer of great songs, but an important figure in the fight against apartheid, especially in winning the hearts and minds of white people that apartheid and racism were ridiculous and stupid -probably an even more direct role than the extraordinary story of the American musician Rodriguez.

I have personal memories of Johnny Clegg and his music – being aware of his songs as a pre-teenager, seeing a concert of his at my university, learning to gumboot dance to one of his songs for an international conference. He was such a huge part of being South African that one only realizes how immense his life was when he has left us. Everyone has spoken of his goodness as a person -the world is so much poorer without him.

23 Songs For Today

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

1) Dancing Queen -ABBA
2) There Goes My Miracle -Bruce Springsteen
3)Little Girl Lost -Icicle Works
4) My Last Chance -Marvin Gaye
5) Checking Out (Double Clutch) -Marvin Gaye
6) Bohemian Rhapsody -Queen
7) Don’t Stop Me Now -Queen
8)Love of My Life -Queen
9)Archangel -Walker Brothers
10)The Amorous Humphrey Plugg -Scott Walker
11) Patriot- Scott Walker
12) Duchess Scott Walker
13) Itchycoo Park -Small Faces
14) There Is A Light That Never Goes Out -The Smiths
15)Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours -The Smiths
16) True -Spandau Ballet
17)I Wanna Be Adored -The Stone Roses
18) Sixteen Bars The Stylistics
19) This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) -Talking Heads
20) (Nothing But) Flowers -Talking Heads
21) Think It Over -The Thorns
22) It’s Not Unusual -Tom Jones
23) The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore -The Walker Brothers

A Girl Is Back

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Brian Wilson may be away for a bit, but A Girl Called Eddy (Erin Moran) is very much back –here is some info  on her career and new album, and details of an upcoming radio interview with her.

Marvin’s The Man

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

And now for something a bit different. You’re The Man was supposedly the title track of Marvin Gaye’s follow up album to the classic What’s Going On,, released as a taster single. However, after the relative failure of the signature, and differences with Motown founder Berry Gordy, the album was supposedly shelved…until now.

The release of You’re The Man is therefore the supposed bridge between What’s Going On and Let’s Get It On, but what we actually get is a double album’s worth of songs recorded in that era, but not part of a studio album. It’s a mixture of political songs, love ballads, Christmas songs and a funky close-out track which was probably not anywhere close to an intended album, but still provides a lot of reminders of Gaye’s genius. The title track resonates in this difficult political era, while there is a lot of emotional, soulful and sometimes poignant romantic and topical songs. He may have checked out a while ago, but Marvin Gaye is still the man for 2019.

Holy Man Queen

Saturday, April 20th, 2019

Earlier this year, I posted on the song Holy Man in the Everything But The Brian series, and noted that there was an unreleased version featuring Brian May and Roger Taylor, from a not-so-little-known British band. Well that unreleased version has now been released  thanks to Record Store Day. You can hear the this version featuring the Queen superstars here.

23 Instrumentals For Today

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

1. The Mist Covered Mountains -Alan Clark, Eddie Gomez and The Acetones
2. Be Here In The Morning Darling -The Beach Boys
3. The British Opera -Bee Gees
4. Othello -Chilly Gonzales
5. Arrival of the Birds -The Cinematic Orchestra
6. Piano Variations On Thoughts Of You -Dennis Wilson
7. Eveningland -Hem
8. River Flow -Ken Bryan
9. Going Home [Theme of the Local Hero] -Mark Knopfler, Alan Clarke, Mike Brecker & Tony Levin
10.  …but we were happy -Paddy McAloon
11. A Country Melody -Roger Nichols
12. Getting That Way- Rory More O’Donoghue & Sarah Joyce
13. Little Chef -Saint Etienne
14. Swim Swan Swim- Saint Etienne
15. Church Pew Furniture Restorer -Saint Etienne
16. Breakneck Hill – Saint Etienne
17. Angel of Woodhatch -Saint Etienne
18. Yearning -Scott Walker
19. Finale -Scott Walker
20. Saturday, Sunday, Monday -Swan Dive
21. Rêverie -Claude Debussy
22. Spellbound Concerto -Rosza
23. Un Bel Di- Giacomo Puccini

Three’s Very Charming

Saturday, April 6th, 2019

5o years ago, Scott Walker was close to the top of the album with his third solo album. Indeed, his first three solo albums, while not imaginatively titled, all made top 3 in the album charts, with Scott 2 reaching the peak in era where the charts were dominated by the Beatles, Stones, Dylan and The Sound Of Music. This was followed by Scott 3, released in March 1969, and reaching number 3 in the charts in April that year.

Scott 4 may be the cult favorite, but Scott 3 is a close contender for Scott’s best album, with 10 new Walker compositions, featuring breathtaking orchestral arrangements, lovely melodies and bittersweet lyrics. It’s Raining Again is often seen as Scott’s signature composition, while Copenhagen, Rosemary, Big Louise and Two Weeks Since You’ve Been Gone are all shimmeringly beautiful. We Came Through and 30th Century Man see a bit of a change of pace and style. The album ends with three Jacques Brel songs, which could be seen as an afterthought, but try not to be moved by Scott’s interpretation of If You Go Away.

This album may seem far away from Scott’s “difficult” later music, but the contrasts between beauty and horror are still there, even if lovingly suger-coated throughout. If you want Scott at his most beautiful, yet still challenging, three is definitely your number.