Frank’s Faves on Fridays

August 20, 2010

Robert Crenshaw – “All I Want To Do Is Be With You” (1999)

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I’ve only ever known Robert Crenshaw as the drumming brother of Marshall Crenshaw in Marshall’s backing band. I’m trying really hard not to compare Robert to Marshall (as Ian Dury once said to an interviewer, “Comparisons are odious, dear boy”), but it’s almost impossible for me because Robert’s song is in the same musical territory (the start of it instantly reminded me of Marshall’s “Cynical Girl“), and his voice sounds similar. Unfortunately, I was put off by Robert’s singing (I think it’s weak, and a few too many notes are out of tune). Now, I don’t want to get stuck into Robert’s song and criticise it just because it’s not by Marshall Crenshaw, so I’ll try to think of something positive to say about it. If I divorce myself from all thoughts of Marshall Crenshaw and assess Robert’s song on its own merits, I think it’s an inoffensive, slightly anonymous song. After the third listen, I liked it a bit more than the first time. But just a bit.

Sister Hazel – “Change Your Mind” (2000)

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This was a huge change after the previous track. “Change Your Mind” reminds me of two songs: the chorus reminds me of the chorus in “The First Cut Is The Deepest”; and the verse reminds me of a Top 40 song from the US, but I can’t quite think of exactly what that is at the moment. I’ll try to figure it out by the end of this post.

(Update: I’ve listened to the song seven times now, and I still can’t figure out what its verse reminds of – but it sure does remind me of something. It’s the verse’s acoustic guitar together with the drum beat that sounds like very much like something else to me. But what is it? Grrr.)

Anyway, I think that “Change Your Mind” is OK. It’s not the kind of song that would have me shouting “Yeah!” and racing to put it on a mix tape, but it’s listenable while it’s playing.

Rod Lauren – “If I Had A Girl” (1960)

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Splendid. I liked this enormously. I loved Rod’s vocal delivery (that’s some wonderful warbling there, Rod), and I was very pleased that the song was in stereo (not guaranteed in 1960), because I loved the strings in the right channel and the disembodied female backing vocals in the left. Yummy. The first couple of times I listened to “If I Had A Girl” I kept thinking of this, but by the fifth listen I stopped thinking of that and was humming along to Rod’s tunes. Incidentally, Rod Lauren certainly had an interesting life.

Michael Penn – “No Myth (1989)

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I’m very familiar with this, as it was played a lot on the radio here in Australia. Thanks for suggesting it, because I’d forgotten all about it. “No Myth” is what I’d classify as A Good Song. And the more I listen to it, the more I like it. (The only thing I didn’t like about the song was the sound of the drums. To me, they were a little overblown.) As far as I know, this is the only song of his that I’ve heard, so I think it’s definitely time for me to investigate some more Michael Penn…

Bonus instrumental:

Mason Williams – “Classical Gas (1968)

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I’ve always loved this track. (That main tune!) And I’ve always loved playing this on guitar. By the way, if you do play it on a guitar it doesn’t matter what guitar you play it on, because it’ll sound magnificent anyway. Thank you, Mason, for writing that main tune.

Bonus bonus instrumental:

Mason Williams – “Classical Gas” (Acoustic) (1970)

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The guitar part in all its glory. Great, great, great. Great!

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