Song of the day: Charles Jenkins And The Zhivagos – "Bring In The Archaeologists"

November 30, 2010

Here’s Charles Jenkins And The Zhivagos with a song from their new album, Walk This Ocean:

Charles Jenkins And The Zhivagos – “Bring In The Archaeologists” (2010)


I don’t know about you, but that album cover reminds me of another album cover…

Because I’m a huge fan of both 10cc and Deceptive Bends, I can’t resist playing you a song from it:

10cc – “Good Morning Judge” (1977)


10cc – Good Morning Judge
Uploaded by universalmusicbelgique. – See the latest featured music videos.

It looks like today’s post has ended up being about “Good Morning Judge” instead of Charles’ song. Sorry about that.

Charles Jenkins And The Zhivagos official website
Charles Jenkins on Facebook
Charles Jenkins on MySpace

10cc on MySpace

Song of the day: A band – "South Australia"

November 29, 2010

Today’s song is here for two reasons:

1. Because I think this band is great.
2. I’m South Australian.

But mainly because they’re great:

A band“South Australia (1964)


As I’ve said before, anyone gives you any lip about this band (as in: “That band? Phhht. That’s fogey music!”), tell them to come and see me.

By the way, Roger McGuinn discusses the song on his website dedicated to folk music, McGuinn’s Folk Den.

Song of the day: The Someloves – "Know You Now"

November 28, 2010

A few days ago I played you a song written by Dom Mariani, and today I’m going to play you another one written by him. Now, that may seem to you to be a bit unfair (as in: “Where’s the variety, Peter? Why are you playing lots of songs by the same person on the blog?”), but I’m going to rationalise it by saying that last week’s song was by DM3, and today’s song is by The Someloves. That’s different, isn’t it?

The Someloves – “Know You Now” (1988)


Dom Mariani on MySpace

Musical coincidences # 56

November 27, 2010

I didn’t know about this particular coincidence until I bought a little ripper of a book, The Beatles: The Complete Guide To Their Music.

(There’s a whole series of “The Complete Guide To Their Music” books, and a few of them are currently available online for $4.99 at The Music Shop. I bought that one and the one about ABBA. I can’t speak for the others in the series, but The Beatles book packs a heap of information about their songs into a couple of hundred pages.)

In the entry for “Lady Madonna“, the guide mentions that the piano intro was “lifted almost directly from Humphrey Lyttelton‘s mid-Fifties British jazz classic, ‘Bad Penny Blues‘”. I’d never heard “Bad Penny Blues” (or even heard of it), so I hunted it down and had a listen.


The Beatles – “Lady Madonna (1968)


Humphrey Lyttelton – “Bad Penny Blues (1958)


Humphrey Lyttelton official website

The Beatles official website

Song of the day: Matt Purcell & The Blessed Curse – "Hollywood"

November 27, 2010

Scott Thurling (hi, Scotty!), the chap who runs Popboomerang Records, sent me a message the other day about Matt Purcell & The Blessed Curse. Scotty sounded terribly excited as he pointed me in the direction of one of their music videos and simply said: “u gotta get this CD”.

This is what Scotty recommended:

Matt Purcell & The Blessed Curse – “Hollywood” (2009)


Yes, indeedy. I like it. Thanks for the suggestion, my good fellow.

By the way, Scotty, I’m happy to buy the CD, but where can I get it? And can I get it cheap? (I’m always on the lookout for a bargain.)

Also by the way, and rather confusingly, there are two Australan artists called Matt Purcell – but they have slightly different styles of music. The one with The Blessed Curse is the power poppy one, whereas the one known simply as Matt Purcell (he’s not associated with any curse that I know of) is a more sensitive, singer-songwriter kind of guy (think John Mayer for the Souhern Hemisphere).

Here’s the non-cursed Matt Purcell to give you an idea of how different the two Australian Matt Purcells are (why do they have to both be Australian?):

Matt Purcell – “Alive With You” (2008)

As far as I’m aware, neither of those Purcells are related to Henry:

Henry Purcell (1658-1695) – Fantasia à 5 “Upon one note”
(Orchestra of the 18th Century, conducted by Frans Brüggen)


[Power Poppy] Matt Purcell & The Blessed Curse on MySpace
[Power Poppy] Matt Purcell & The Blessed Curse on Facebook

[Sensitive] Matt Purcell official website
[Sensitive] Matt Purcell on MySpace
[Sensitive] Matt Purcell on Facebook

Frank’s Faves on Fridays

November 26, 2010

Van Morrison – “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile) (1972)

Superb. (I’m probably going to overuse the word “superb” describing this song.) Pretty much everything about it is superb to me. Great tunes, great drumming, and an even greater horn arrangement. I never noticed before just how splendid all those horns are. I’ve heard this plenty of times on the radio, and have it on CD (The Best Of Van Morrison), but never really paid much attention to what’s actually going on in the song (e.g., those amazing horns). Now that I’ve listened intently to the inner workings of the track, I’m mighty glad that I’ve acquainted myself with it properly. Superb. By the way, I want to mention something I’ve not always been keen on in a Van Morrison song: Van Morrison’s vocals. Although I’ve liked a lot of Van’s songs, I’ve usually been slightly averse to Van’s vocal tics. To me, he’s always seemed to me to have a tendency to meander vocally. Some people take it to be like the musical equivalent of speaking in tongues (I’d call it “mumbling spiritually”), but whenever I listen to him it sounds to me like Van’s slightly drunk. Having typed that, I think that Van’s vocal meanderings suit this song perfectly.

Sophie B. Hawkins – “Lose Your Way” (1999)


This now brings the official number of Sophie B. Hawkins song I’ve heard to a grand total of two. (The other one is “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover“). Having listened to “Lose Your Way”, I must admit that it doesn’t do an awful lot – positive or negative – for me. Overall, I thought it was pleasant, but nothing more. I don’t know if it was the banjo, but “Lose Your Way” reminded me of Stevie Nicks‘ “Landslide” as performed by The Dixie Chicks. Some aspects of Sophie’s song irritated me, though. For example, Sophie’s vocals – they were a bit too whispery/breathy for my liking. And I thought the wah-wah guitar (in the left channel at 2:25) was pointless and didn’t add anything to the song at all. I don’t know who decided to put that in the song (maybe the producer), but I thought it was a poor choice of something extra to add to this particular song. And one other thing I found irritating was the cello – I would have much preferred to hear a string section. To me, this song cries out for strings. It doesn’t have to be a lot of them, either – just a string quartet, or even a string trio, would do the trick. Had Sophie given me a call I would have been happy to provide a string arrangement (I’m much better at arranging than composing). But I’m not a woulda-shoulda-coulda kind of guy, so I won’t lose any sleep over what “might have been…”.

The Spongetones – “Every Night Is A Holiday” (1994)

I have a sneaking suspicion that you chose this song because of the drum beat in the introduction (and the middle eight). I’m a complete sucker for that drum beat. This is another song I’d call pleasant and not much else. Despite its pleasantness, two aspects of this song prevented me from enjoying it a little more: 1) the slightly-out-of-tune guitars; and 2) the out-of-tune vocal harmonies. This is a song I’m rather tempted to call “unremarkable”. I was trying to think of something that would sum up how I feel about what I’ve heard of The Spongetones so far, but Stewart Mason in his All Music Guide review of Always Carry On: The Best Of The Spongetones 1980-2005 said it for me: “Of course, not everyone can be the Beatles, and as Always Carry On: The Best of the Spongetones 1980-2005 proves, there’s something to be said for being the Dave Clark 5.”

Every Mother’s Son – “Come On Down To My Boat” (1967)


Groovy. A bubblegum song with blues riffs. My toes were a-tappin’ and my head was a-noddin’ (although I wasn’t able to do both simultaneously – I haven’t mastered that ability yet). Out of the five tracks on offer this week, this was the one I played most often. Groovy.

Bonus instrumental:

Les Brown & His Orchestra – “Leap Frog” (1957)

Loved it. When I’m in the mood for it – which is often – swing is just the bee’s knees. (Or the cat’s whiskers.) And this track has everything a swing fan could want: plenty of tunes; plenty of horns; driving beat; short’n’sweet drum fills; vocal interjections from excited band members etc. Man, oh man. I dig swing.

Song of the day: Montana – "Nearer"

November 26, 2010

I know that I pestered you with a whole heap o’ Montana songs recently, but I’ve only just discovered a video for one of their songs (“Nearer”). I’m afraid that’s all it takes for me to play you yet another Montana song:

Montana – “Nearer” (2001)


Montana official website
Montana on Lojinx
Montana on MySpace

The Chinook Mystery – Solved!

November 25, 2010

I don’t know if you remember yesterday’s Song of the day post (if you had my memory, you wouldn’t). It involved a mystery CD I received in the mail. The two-track sampler CD featured a band called Chinook, and the mystery was that I had no idea who sent it to me.

That is, until now.

It was sent to me by one of the members of the band, Ed (Hi, Ed!). Ed is a friend of a friend who had my mailing address, and he thought I might be interested in hearing the CD.

Ed was right.

Thanks, Ed. (Or, to get a bit more exotic: “Mucho arigato, Eduardo”.)

Chinook on MySpace

Musical coincidences # 55

November 25, 2010

My friend Terry (Hi, Terry!) emailed me the other day and said something along the lines of “Hey, Peter, have you heard the musical coincidence involving Neil Diamond liberally borrowing from Elgar‘s ‘Nimrod‘?”, to which I replied: “Nope”.

I’m very familiar with the classical music piece by Elgar. (I’m a classical music nut, and Elgar is a composer that classical music nuts learn about fairly early on in their explorations.) “Nimrod” is one part (the “Nimrod” part) of his “Enigma” Variations. The Neil Diamond piece however, is something I’ve never heard before. Neil’s “Dear Father” is a piece of music with words (which I suppose makes it a song) on his soundtrack to the movie Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Now, I’ve never read the book, seen the movie, or heard the soundtrack, but I did know that all three incarnations of JLS are cherished by plenty of people. Because it’s considered almost sacred by an awful lot of folk, I won’t make any jokes about philosophising seagulls.

Anyway, when Terry handed over the Neil Diamond track I had a listen. It took a while for me to wade through Neil’s over-emoting vocals and try to find the tunes in amongst all that mawkishness before I realised that, yes, some of the melodies did remind me of Elgar’s “Nimrod”.

By the way, Wikipedia reckons that there are over 60 recordings of the “Enigma” Variations. I only have five of them. Don’t worry: I won’t pester you with all of them. Just one will do.

It’s coincidence time…

Sir Edward Elgar: Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 “Enigma” – Variation IX: (Adagio) “Nimrod
(London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult)

Neil Diamond – “Dear Father” (1973)

Thanks, Terry.

Neil Diamond official website
Neil Diamond on Facebook
Neil Diamond on MySpace
Information about seagulls

Song of the day: DM3 – "Hold On"

November 25, 2010

Here’s DM3 with a rockin’ little ditty:

DM3 – “Hold On” (1997)


Dom Mariani on MySpace