Song of the day: The Wellingtons – "Song For Kim"

September 30, 2009

Right. After yesterday’s disco nonsense, it’s time to get back to the power pop.

Here are The Wellingtons (I know, I know: I’ve played them here plenty of times before – but they’re good) with “Song For Kim” (2008):

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“Song For Kim” opens The Wellingtons’ third album, the I’ve-played-it-17-times-and-I’m-not-stopping-now Heading North For The Winter (2008).

The “Kim” in question is Kim Shattuck, lead singer of The Muffs. I’d thought it was Kim Deal from The Breeders (and, before that, the Pixies – yay!). I’ve always had a thing for Kim Deal (female + bass player = yum) ever since her days in the Pixies.

Anyway, as a bonus here’s Kim Deal as a Pixie and as a Breeder:

Pixies – “Gigantic” (1988)

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The Breeders – “Safari” (1992)

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And here’s “Song For Kim”‘s dedicatee, Kim Shattuck, with her band The Muffs and “Really Really Happy” (2004):

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Musical coincidences # 26

September 29, 2009

Digby Richards is an artist who was featured in a previous Song of the day doin’ the Spunky Monkey. “Do The Spunky Monkey” was groovy (think Swinging Sixties), but Digby’s song in this particular musical coincidence is also groovy, but in a different way (think hippies).

Digby had begun his career as a 50’s rocker and then became a 60’s rocker. By the 70’s, Digby had reinvented himself as a countrified singer-songwriter type of guy (think Glen Campbell). It was during this easygoing, man-of-the-land phase that he wrote, recorded, and released “New York City (Send My Baby Home)” (1973). About a year before that, though, Albert Hammond wrote (with Mike Hazlewood), recorded, and released “It Never Rains In Southern California” (1972). They both have verrrrry similar verses.

Compare and contrast:

Digby Richards – “New York City (Send My Baby Home)” (1973)

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Albert Hammond – “It Never Rains In Southern California (1972)

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Song of the day: Penny McLean – "Lady Bump"

September 29, 2009

Today’s Song of the day is “Lady Bump” by disco artist Penny McLean, but it’s not here today because it’s an Australian song (it’s not) or even because it’s a good song (it’s… well, you can decide for yourself). No, the reason for “Lady Bump” being Song of the day is:

The Scream.

This song contains the most unsettling and disturbing scream I’ve ever heard in any song – disco or otherwise.

Up until a few minutes ago when I pestered Wikipedia, I knew nothing whatsoever about Penny McLean. I now know that Penny McLean was in a German disco act called Silver Convention who had two huge hits, “Fly, Robin, Fly” and “Get Up And Boogie,” and that Penny McLean’s real name is the very German Gertrude Wirschinger. Apparently the lyrics of both those songs consists of precisely six words each. (Apart from the lack of value-for-money in the lyrics department, I must say that the cover art for the “Fly, Robin, Fly” single is distinctly distasteful.)

“Fly, Robin, Fly” and “Get Up And Boogie” are just two reasons why so many people hated disco music. I mean, really:

That tune will stick in your head all day. And that’s not a good thing.

But back to “Lady Bump” and The Scream. What makes “Lady Bump” even more unsettling is The Scream appears not once, but eight times during the course of the song.

Here then, if you’re game, is Penny McLean with “Lady Bump” (1975) and The Scream:

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There were plenty of videos for the song to choose, but this one was only I could find in which Penny was holding a microphone, at least giving the illusion of not miming:

In the spirit of disco, with its habit of releasing extra-long versions of songs to keep people on the dance floor, here as an anti-bonus – or “punishment” perhaps – is the interminable 12″ version:

Penny McLean – “Lady Bump” (12″ version) (1975)

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Song of the day: Split Enz – "One Step Ahead"

September 28, 2009

Here’s Split Enz with “One Step Ahead” (1980):

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“One Step Ahead” is one of my favourite Neil-penned Split Enz tunes. It’s so full of snaky riffs that if this song was a person, you’d find it creeping around a house late at night.


Song of the day: Mississippi – "Kings Of The World"

September 27, 2009

Here’s Mississippi with their top 10 hit, “Kings Of The World” (1972):

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To me, “Kings Of The World” has always had an indefinable “mood”. Back in the days of vinyl, I had it on a K-Tel compilation and it stood out from the rest of the songs because it sounded so mysterious compared to all the poppy tracks. I guess the closest word I can think of to describe it is “haunting.” (Another song with that same ‘mood’ is The Beatles‘ “Cry Baby Cry.”)

And it’s still haunting after all these years.


Happy Birthday, Abbey Road

September 26, 2009

Happy Birthday to the greatest rock album ever made, Abbey Road, released on 26 September 1969.

The Beatles – “Because” (vocals only) (1969)

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Song of the day: Frente – "Accidently Kelly Street"

September 26, 2009

Here’s Frente! with “Accidently Kelly Street” (1994):

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Ultra-cute video (embedding disabled. Grrr.)

“Accidently Kelly Street” was the second single from their debut album, the wonderfully-titled Marvin The Album (1994). For most people, Frente! was basically Angie Hart and a group of anonymous gentlemen in the background (the focus was always on Angie). Frente! made two albums and then disappeared. Angie, however, went on to form two other bands, Splendid and Holidays On Ice. (Angie has a knack of being in bands with great names.)

When Frente! first popped up on the radio and television all those years ago, I thought they were insufferably cute. Now, I think they’re charmingly cute. I reckon Frente! get extra points for having an exclamation mark in their name (I like that enthusiasm), but they get points taken off for misspelling “accidentally.”

As a bonus, here’s their first single, “Ordinary Angels” (1994), in which Angie’s singing is, well, angelic. The song also has, for some reason only their record company could explain, two videos (the second one looks more expensive – maybe that was used for the international market):

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1. The cheap video (embedding disabled with this one, too. Extra grrr.)
2. The expensive video

Postscript: I just found an alternative video for “Accidently Kelly Street” which, like the second one for “Ordinary Angels,” looks expensive. It also makes Angie and the lads look decidedly more “professional” (read: “internationally appealing”) – but that’s not a good thing, because I think it sucks all of the charm out of the band, surgically (or maybe “accidently”) removing the group’s naiveté:

Frente! on MySpace
Angie Hart on MySpace
Splendid on MySpace
Holidays On Ice on MySpace