Friday, June 6, 2008

Fever pitch Grab Bag

Welcome to Grab Bag, that weekly roundup of songs that got a lot of airplay here over the past week. And what have we got for you this fine Friday night? Tom Waits of course, as I´ve got my tix for his July concert in Barcelona, plus a great Waits cover by the one and only Lydia Lunch. Ole Hank gets some airplay again, just because he´s the undisputed number one in my all time top ten of country artists. Saint Nick makes an appearance with a ship song, while those brilliant freakfolkers called Tunng sing a song of the sea. For all you blues lovers out there we take a look at the magnificent Skip James Today! album. And good news for the footy haters among you: the Speedtwins provide a fitting soundtrack to the upcoming European Championships madness... I probably won´t be posting here as much as I´d like to in the coming week, as we´ve got friends coming over and there´s loads and loads of football matches to be watched. Fever pitch! Bring it on.

They may have been way expensive, but I´m still very excited that I´ve got tickets to see Tom Waits here this July. So let´s celebrate with a great Waits cover by no wave godmother Lydia Lunch. She makes the song her own almost effortlessly, like Tom wrote it especially for her. And those trademark semi-bored vocals crack me up every time. Find it on the tribute album New Coat Of Paint - The Songs Of Tom Waits (Manifesto ´01). "Well this stuff will probably kill you, let's do another line, what you say you meet me down on Heartattack and Vine..." And here´s the goateed master himself, live in Stockholm back in ´99. "See that little Jersey girl in the see-through top, with the peddle pushers sucking on a soda pop, well I bet she's still a virgin but it's only twenty-five 'til nine, you can see a million of 'em on Heartattack and Vine."
Lydia Lunch (featuring Nels Cline) - Heartattack And Vine MP3
Tom Waits - Heartattack And Vine (live in Stockholm 14-7-´99) MP3

Over at the very interesting Star Maker Machine blog, this week´s theme is ´boats´. Check it out, as the ever growing army of contributors has posted a lot of interesting songs with a nautical flavour there. And here´s one more, with a solemn Nick Cave advising you to burn your bridges and let your hair hang down on this impressive single (Mute ´90). Next week´s theme on Starmaker is ´advice´ by the way, featuring songs that tell you what to do, or what not to. Can´t wait what everybody will come up with...
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Ship Song MP3

"Bring me a song of the sea, sing me a song of the sea." Let´s stay in the briny for a bit longer with Tunng, purveyors of fine freakfolk since 2005. A gorgeous melody, with just enough electronica and samples to keep things interesting. Everybody even remotely attracted to the genre should buy their debut album This Is... Tunng (Static Caravan ´05) immediately. And as a bonus track, here´s the equally impressive Wolves by Tunng side project The Accidental. Find it on the recently released There Were Wolves (Full Time Hobby ´08).
Tunng - Song Of The Sea MP3
The Accidental - Wolves MP3

Bluestime now. Skip James made his most legendary recordings back in the early thirties. Amazing stuff, but the sound quality is hard to handle for some. That´s no problem with the best album James recorded after his rediscovery by blues scholars in the sixties. Skip James Today! (Vanguard ´65) is one of these records I can listen to almost every day. What a voice! Most tracks find Skip on guitar, like the exquisite Cypress Grove. "I will drink muddy water, I'll sleep in a hollow log, before I stay up here, honey, treated like a dog." But seated behind the piano - as on How Long for instance - the results are just as fine.
Skip James - Cypress Grove MP3
Skip James - How Long MP3

If you haven´t done so already, please submit your votes over at the Setting The Woods On Fire blog. The Motor City cowboy who runs the place is on a blogging hiatus at the moment, but in the meantime he´s desperate to know your favorite country artists. Johnny Cash is currently in the lead, with Hank Williams hot on his heels. Now I love the man in black of course, but I maintain that the title should go the the father of them all: ole Hank. Here´s my all time favorite Hank Williams song, Weary Blues From Waitin´. "Oh sweet mama, please come home..." Sadness incarnate. Find it on 40 Greatest Hits (PolyGram).
Hank Williams - Weary Blues From Waitin´ MP3

Tension mounts here as it´s only three days until Holland takes on Italy, the current champion of the world, in the European Championships. Its´gonna be a tough one, but I´ve got plenty confidence in the lads. Forza Olanda! For those of you who are not into the beautiful game - hey, nobody´s perfect - here´s an anti-footy song for you. All together now: "We... hate... football!" The Speedtwins were one of the first Dutch punk bands around, and this song is actually directed at the Argentinian junta that organised the ´78 World Cup. Find it on the exemplary compilation I´m Sure We´re Gonna Make It (Epitaph ´96, sadly out of print).
Speedtwins - Football Song MP3

1 comment:

Paul said...

Hey! Thanks for the plug. My blogging hiatus is now over. As you know, I also love the Man in Black but reserve the number one country spot for Hank.

Love the Tom Waits track. I hope he still sounds that good.