Monthly Archives: January 2008

This is not radio Clash

The Clash – “Time is Tight” from Super Black Market Clash (1994) [originally released on Black Market Clash 10” (1980)]

Sometimes I think this odds ‘n sods collection is the best Clash record. Super Black Market Clash shows the boys at their poppiest and least self-important, and at their funkiest. This Booker T. & MG’s cover is the best of the bunch.

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Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1970s, Instrumental, Punk, Rock

“I don’t understand this reference to ‘prog.’ What is a ‘prog’?”

Shudder to Think – “9 Fingers On You” from Pony Express Record (1994)

A punky take on prog-rock from DC’s other great ’90s rock band.

That other DC band

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Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1990s, Prog Rock, Rock

“The sunshine in mountains sometimes lost”

Yes – “South Side of the Sky” from Fragile (1972)

Edmund Hillary died yesterday. By all accounts he was a pretty great guy, always emphasizing his normality despite the astounding thing he did.

Speaking of astounding, the musicianship on this Yes track about mountaineering blows my mind each time I revisit it.

Yes? No? Yes

Posted by Jordy

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Filed under 1970s, Prog Rock, Rock

“It might be one o’clock or it might be three/time don’t mean that much to me”

Sam Cooke – “Good Times” and “That’s Where It’s At” from Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964 (2003, both originally 1964)

What a voice. Sam’s delivery on the former track, superficially a party song, hints at submerged tragedy, while the latter re-works Sam’s gospel roots into what is essentially a one-line mantra-song (cf. The Replacements’ “Unsatisfied” for another soulful example). To listen to the full best-of comp is to be in awe of the complexity inside such simple songs.

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Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1960s, Gospel, Pop, Singer-Songwriter, Soul

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Ennio Morricone – “Il Triello” from Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo OST (1967)

I give you the full-length Italian release of the final track from the greatest film score of all time.

Popular instrumental music is deeply indebted to Ennio Morricone. There would be no Calexico or Explosions in the Sky without Morricone’s unabashedly bold and triumphant soundtracks.

Nothing consistently gives me shivers like the trumpet passage here. When I hear it, I can see a vivid rendition of that final showdown and I am reminded that this is the perfect intersection of film and music.

Buy the film and/or soundtrack (version Italiano)

Posted by Jordy

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Filed under 1960s, Soundtrack

“Gonna wade right in.”

The Louvin Brothers – “Let Her Go, God Bless Her” from Tragic Songs of Life (1956) and “The River of Jordan” from Satan is Real (1960)

In my journey into country music, I have not heard two voices mingle as perfectly and with such conviction as those of Ira and Charlie Louvin. I dare say that these are the best vocal harmonies in popular music.

“Let Her Go, God Bless Her” showcases Ira’s superb mandolin work while “The River of Jordan” is a rousing testament to the boys’ ability to translate their religious fervor into gorgeous songwriting.

Check out two great tunes from Satan is Real over at The Rising Storm.

Some video of the Louvin Brothers

Buy the Louvins here

Posted by Jordy

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Filed under 1950s, 1960s, Bluegrass, Country, Gospel