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Friday random ten: Big talker, part 3

Time for a big finish.

1. Big Rio Grande River – Austin Lounge Lizards
2. Big Rock Candy Mountain – Harry McClintock
3. Big Round World – Trout Fishing In America
4. Big Girls Cry – Sia
5. Big Noise – Eddie From Ohio
6. Big Shot – Billy Joel
7. Big Sky Country – Chris Whitley
8. Big Time – Peter Gabriel
9. Big School – team9 vs Stereogum
10. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell

The Lounge Lizards, Trout Fishing in America, and Billy Joel have an affinity for songs whose titles begin with “Big”. Lots of things follow easily from that, I suppose. I’m late in finishing this post up, so I’ll just leave you with that thought.

Saturday video break: Shout

Here’s a song called Shout you probably don’t know, from Miles Davis:

That’s from the Fluxblog 1981 list. I always thought of Miles Davis as a musician of the 60s, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that he was still making great music at that time. A song you are familiar with, also from the 80s, is by Tears for Fears:

Unlike some other 80s acts, I liked Tears for Fears back in the day, though I probably heard them a bit too much. As one critic noted at the time, they are kind of repetitive. I have a greater appreciation for them now, helped by the fact that the Sirius First Wave station plays more than this and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” from them.

Friday random ten: Big talker, part 2

Big list, no kidding.

1. Big Hat, No Cattle – Randy Newman
2. Big Legs, Tight Skirt – John Lee Hooker
3. Big Love – Matthew E. White
4. Big Love – Fleetwood Mac
5. Big Man On Mulberry Street – Billy Joel
6. Big Mess – Devo
7. The Big Muddy – Bruce Springsteen
8. Big Trouble – Trout Fishing In America
9. Big Noise from Winnetka – Asylum Street Spankers
10. Big Ol’ Bone – Austin Lounge Lizards

“Big Hat, No Cattle” could be the theme song for a majority of Congress. I assigned it to Rick Perry back in 2012 when he first disastrously ran for President, but it’s quite adaptable. One more of these to go, next week.

Saturday video break: Ship of Fools

I give you Bob Seger and his amazing 70’s-era hair:

If we must have a musician from Michigan run for the US Senate, shouldn’t it by right be Bob Seger? I’m pretty sure it should. A different song by this name is a Grateful Dead standard, and while I don’t have that in my library, I do have Elvis Costello’s cover of it:

I found a video of him doing this live at Radio City Music Hall that was great, but annoyingly it cut off about halfway through. So this is the best I can do.

Friday random ten: Big talker, part 1

This list is so big it will take three weeks to get through it.

1. Big Balls – AC/DC
2. Big Bang Theory Theme – Barenaked Ladies
3. Big Bangs, Black Holes, Meteorites – Love Is All
4. Big Blue Sky – Sandra McCracken
5. Big Bottom – Hayseed Dixie
6. The Big Country – Magic Love Bug
7. Big Daddy Of The All – John Mellencamp
8. Big Fellah – Black 47
9. Big Generator – Yes
10. Big Tex’s Girl – Austin Lounge Lizards

Yes, the theme song to The Big Bang Theory was written and performed by the Barenaked Ladies. And honestly, Spinal Tap’s “Big Bottom” deserves to be interpreted as a country song. It’s all about the mud flaps.

Saturday video break: She’s No Lady

Here’s national treasure Lyle Lovett:

You’ll have to ask him if he wrote that about Julia Roberts. In the meantime, here’s Lou Rawls:

Also a national treasure. You might be able to get away with having this song dedicated to your wife if she hears Lou Rawls singing it.

Friday random ten: Better than that

Because “better” comes after “best” in the dictionary.

1. Better – Kim Carnes
2. Better Be Good To Me – Tina Tuner
3. Better Days – Bruce Springsteen
4. Better In Stereo – Dove Cameron
5. Better Love – Robert Johnson
6. A Better Man I’ll Be – Larkin
7. Better Off Dub – Rupert Hine
8. Better Than A Dream – Trish & Darin
9. Better Than Me – Rachael Davis
10. Better Way – James Ingram

“Better Be Good To Me” is my favorite song off of Private Dancer. Some good songs here, but overall I think last week’s “Best” list was better.

Saturday video break: Shenandoah

Here’s Bruce Springsteen performing this classic American folk song:

That’s from his Seeger Sessions album, which was basically aimed right at my sweet spot. For an every more growly-voiced take, here’s Tom Waits with Keith Richards:

Hitch the horses to the wagons, I’m ready to ride.

Friday random ten: Best of the best

This could be my best list ever.

1. Best Damn Fool – Buddy Guy
2. Best Friend – Dent May
3. The Best Is Yet To Come – Frank Sinatra with Count Basie & His Orchetsra
4. Best Lil’ Whorehouse Medley – The MOB
5. Best o’ The Barley – Jiggernaut
6. The Best Of Me – Eddie From Ohio
7. Best Of My Love – Brooks & Dunn
8. Best Of Times – Sheryl Crow
9. Best Song Ever – Katie Armiger
10. Best Summer Ever – from “Teen Beach 2”

I’ve been with the MOB for a long time, but that particular medley predates me. “Best Of My Love” is from that CD of countrified Eagles covers that I’ve referenced a few times. And I’ll say again, the two “Teen Beach” movies were way more fun than they had any right to be. It’s an underrated boon of parenthood that you can experience stuff like that without anyone wondering how and why you did so.

Saturday video break: Shame On You

Continuing with the shame theme, here’s the Indigo Girls:

They should have had more success on mainstream rock radio. Maybe I’m just a sucker for vocal harmonies, but they were and are excellent at what they do. Now here’s Willie Nelson in tandem with Asleep At The Wheel:

God bless ya, Willie. May you outlive us all.

Friday random eleven – Be all that you can be

Going to eleven this week because I felt like it.

1. Be Good Johnny – Men At Work
2. Be Like The Man – Mieka Pauley
3. Be Like You – Asylum Street Spankers
4. Be My Baby – The Ronettes
5. Be My Daddy – Trish & Darin
6. Be Nice To Me – Trinity University Jazz Band
7. Be Prepared – Tom Lehrer
8. Be Still – Los Lobos
9. Be There – Pointer Sisters
10. Be True – Bruce Springsteen
11. Be True To Your School – The Beach Boys

Actually, I went to eleven to include the Beach Boys song, in celebration of school (finally!) opening for most of us on Monday. “Be Like You” is from the Spankers’ children’s album, which is a thing I still can’t quite believe exists. Seriously, they used to talk about doing a kids’ album at their shows, and we always thought they were joking. I can’t remember if “Be Prepared” was the first Tom Lehrer song I ever heard – it’s either that or “Lobachevsky” – but it’s a pretty representative introduction to his oevre. Happy Friday, and if you have friends or family in Florida I hope they’re all safe from Hurricane Irma.

Saturday video break: Shame On The Moon

Here’s Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band with a deep cut:

Gotta say, in thirty years of listening to AOR and classic rock radio, I don’t think I’d heard that song before. I know, the playlists are shallow, but still. Now here’s Rodney Crowell:

I’ve mentioned the Fluxblog 80s mixes before. Turns out the Crowell song is on the 1981 mix, and the Seger version, which I presume is a cover, is from 1982. I didn’t know Seger did covers, but that song is right in his wheelhouse, so there you have it.

Friday random ten: Bad, and also drawn that way

Anyone else up for a little distraction from the news?

1. Bad – U2
2. Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas – Beach Slang
3. Bad Blood – Taylor Swift
4. Bad Businessman – Squirrel Nut Zippers
5. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
6. Bad Reputation – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
7. Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
8. Bad Sneakers – Steely Dan
9. Bad Thing – Marcia Ball, Angela Strehli & Lou Ann Barton
10. Bad To The Bone – George Thorogood & The Destroyers

I don’t have any commentary this week. Pick your favorites and hum along with them. Have a good weekend.

Saturday video break: Shame

Here are the Avett Brothers, at a music festival in Jackson Hole:

I’ve collected music from a lot of different sources over the years. Both of today’s songs come from different CD samplers, this one on Americana music and the next one from a collection of 70s AM radio hits. Here’s Evelyn Champagne King:

If there’s such a thing as musical opposites, I’d put those two in that category. I like them both, though obviously for different reasons. I suppose that’s one way of claiming to have broad musical tastes.

Friday random ten – Back to back, part two

Back for more…

1. Back In Your Arms – Bruce Springsteen
2. Back In Your Own Backyard – Hot Club of Cowtown
3. Back It Up – Caro Emerald
4. Back On The Chain Gang – The Pretenders
5. Back To Black – Amy Winehouse
6. Back To Chico – Clandestine
7. Back To Tyrone – SixMileBridge
8. Back When I Could Fly – Trout Fishing In America
9. Back Where You Started – Tina Turner
10. Back To Me – The Dutchess & The Duke

It’s been six years since Amy Winehouse died. I can’t begin to imagine the music she might have made. Yes, “The Dutchess” is spelled that way, and no, I don’t know why.

Saturday video break: Shake Your Booty

Fluff up your hair, put on your dancing shoes, turn your HiFi up to max volume, and get down to KC and the Sunshine Band:

Now that, my friends, is what I’m talking about. It’s too much awesomeness for any one person, and it can all be yours for $12.99 plus shipping and handling on K-TEL Records’ Sizzling Hits of 1975. Order now, operators are standing by.

Some forty years later, it all gets put through the Disney machine, and out comes Forever in Your Mind:

That is from the Disney Channel show Best Friends Whenever, for its back-to-the-70s extravaganza episode. Go ahead, ask me how I know this. The thought occurs to me that those groovy grandparents probably ordered a copy of K-TEL Records’ Sizzling Hits of 1975 back in the day. Possibly on 8-track, which I believe cost a dollar more. Those were the days.

Friday random ten – Back to back, part one

I’m baaaaaaaaaack…

1. Back Door Santa – Bon Jovi
2. Back Home Again In Indiana – Don Byas, Coleman Hawkins & Stan Getz
3. Back In Baby’s Arms – Patsy Cline
4. Back In Love Again – LTD
5. Back In My Arms Again – The Supremes
6. Back In The Day – Blues Traveler
7. Back In The High Life – Steve Winwood
8. Back In The Saddle – Aerosmith
9. Back In The USSR – Billy Joel
10. Back In Time – Huey Lewis & The News

Billy Joel’s “Back In The USSR” is of course from his live concert album in Russia. “Back In Time” is the other Huey Lewis single from Back To The Future. I think the only other artist besides Bon Jovi likely to produce a song called “Back Door Santa” is Sammy Hagar. Surely he has a cover version of this somewhere. Back next week with part 2.

Saturday video break: Shake It Up

Here are The Cars:

What exactly is “the move with the quirky jerk”, anyway? Ric Ocasek has a lot to answer for if you ask me. Now here’s Selena Gomez:

That’s the theme song to the former Disney Channel show of the same name, which was a thing when my kids were still into programming for the younger set. There are several results in YouTube that claim to be the “official video”, but this was the only one I found that wasn’t just music on top of still images. Weird. Anyway, now you know Zendaya’s origin story. You’re welcome.

Friday random ten – Baby, baby

So many songs that start with the word “Baby”.

1. Baby Can I Hold You – Tracy Chapman
2. Baby Come Back To Me – The Manhattan Transfer
3. Baby Don’t Cry – INXS
4. Baby Don’t You Do It – Marvin Gaye
5. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-a-Lot
6. Baby Love – The Supremes
7. Baby Mine – Bonnie Raitt
8. Baby Please Don’t Go – Them
9. Baby Won’t You Please Come Home – Asylum Street Spankers
10. Baby, Now That I’ve Found You – Alison Krauss

Once again we have a punctuational dliemma as we ponder why some of these songs have a comma after “Baby” and others do not. (Not to mention the missing question mark in song title #1.) Some obviously need no commas – “Baby Got Back”, “Baby Love”, and “Baby Mine”, clearly – but for others it’s debatable. I’m just a humble math major, I’m not going to make rulings, just raise questions. Tune in for more next week.

Saturday video break: Sex

Let’s get right down to it, shall we? Here’s The 1975:

Gotta say, as much as I love the extravagance of 1970s and 1980s videos, I really appreciate ones where we just see the band or singer in a natural setting doing their thing, with no effects or artsiness or other frippery. Just musicians making music, as God intended it. Helps if the song is good too, but just that form is worth watching.

And just to prove my affection for the other form, here’s Berlin:

The full title of that song is “Sex (I’m A)”, so technically they’re not the same name. But it was worth it to see roast beef sliced in such a sensuous fashion, wasn’t it? Of course it was.

Friday random ten – Are you sure about this?

I don’t know, are you?

1. Are We The Waiting – Green Day
2. Are We There Yet? – Trout Fishing In America
3. Are You Gonna Be My Girl – JET
4. Are You Gonna Move It For Me? – The Donnas
5. Are You Kidding Around? – Samantha Shelton
6. Are You Lonely For Me Baby – Andrew Strong
7. Are You Lonesome Tonight? – Elvis Presley
8. Are You Ready For The Country? – Neil Young
9. Are You Ready For The Fallout? – Fastball
10. Are You Ready? – Pacific Gas & Electric

I don’t know why only seven of these ten songs have question marks in their titles. They’re clearly all interrogatives, so you’d think the question mark would be de rigeur, but apparently not. Maybe that affects how they’re pronounced, too, with no uptalk at the end. I may be overthinking this a little.

Saturday video break: September

The only thing that can rival the 80s for video awesomeness is the 70s, and when you think of the 70s, you should think of Earth, Wind & Fire:

The glitter, the dashikis, the groovy video effects – it’s all there, in one spectacular package. The vocals and the horns are pretty great, too. A more modern take on this comes from Pomplamoose:

I like how they sped up the tempo, and of course the dancing grandma is fabulous. It’s not as funky as EWF – how could it be? – but it’s peppy and joyful and it works.

Friday random ten – Another one

Hey, it’s another list!

1. Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 – Pink Floyd
2. Another Christmas Song – Stephen Colbert
3. Another Day – Sting
4. Another Day In Paradise – Phil Collins
5. Another Man’s Cause – SixMileBridge
6. Another Nail For My Heart – Squeeze
7. Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
8. Another Place To Fall – KT Tunstall
9. Another Saturday Night – Cat Stevens
10. Another World – Joe Jackson

I can never tell when it comes on the radio which is Another Brick In The Wall Part 1 and which is Part 2. The Colbert Christmas song, which was a free download when it came out (I don’t know if it still is), is a reminder of how brilliant the guy is. Go find it and give it a listen if you haven’t done so before, it’s worth it even in the summertime.

Friday random ten – All American

I know it’s past the Fourth of July, but how about some American music?

1. The American And Florence/Nobody’s Side – from “Chess”
2. American Girl – Roger McGuinn
3. American Idiot – Green Day
4. American Land – Bruce Springsteen
5. American Names – Sebastien Grainger
6. American Patrol – Glenn Miller
7. American Pie – Don McLean
8. American Teen – Khalid
9. American Tune – Simon & Garfunkel
10. American Woman – Lenny Kravitz

Yes, I know I cheated a little, using “American” as a noun as well as an adjective. Feel free to do the American thing and sue me. Roger McGuinn was the frontman for The Byrds, and his was the original version of “American Girl”. Quite a few classics on this list, which I suppose is fitting. Don’t sleep on “American Patrol”, which is a highly underrated Glenn Miller tune.

Saturday video break: Secret

We’re all about the 80s here, and very few things say “the 80s” like Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.

It’s the hair, the synthesizers, the usage of black and white footage to tell a story about…well, I don’t know exactly, but that’s not the point. The point is, this is what the 80s was all about. Move it forward two decades and here we have Mieke Pauley:

Not 80s at all, but someday when it’s time to create a radio station that caters to the tastes of people who were the same age in the Aughts as I was in the 80s, this song might make the playlist. Assuming there are still such things as radio stations by then.

Friday random ten – All in, part 4

All good things must come to an end.

1. All The Voices – INXS
2. All The Way To Memphis – Mott the Hoople
3. All The Young Dudes – Billy Bragg
4. All These Years – Solas
5. All Things Dull And Ugly – Lager Rhythms
6. All Through The Night – Peter, Paul & Mary
7. All Together – Dougie MacLean
8. All Too Well – Taylor Swift
9. All Work And No Play – Van Morrison
10. All You Wanna Do Is Dance – Billy Joel

We end where we started, with Billy Joel. I didn’t even include “All For Leyna”. Mott the Hoople, whose name apparently comes from a weird novel about circus freaks, did the original version of “All The Young Dudes”; it was written for them by David Bowie, who had also offered them “Suffragette City” but they turned him down. Someone could probably make a living writing alternative music history novels. I’ll have a new topic word next week.

Saturday video break: Saved

Here’s Bob Dylan during his Christian phase:

Gotta say, that meets my criteria for a good gospel song: It’s not doctrinally objectionable, and it has an excellent beat that you can dance to. Thumbs up. Now here with a similar these are The Commitments:

That’s from Volume 2 of the soundtrack, which is why it’s less familiar. It’s also not the Dylan song, but it too meets my standards. And for a third take on the concept, here’s Khalid:

That’s an Olivia song, and it shows a different meaning of the word “saved”. It also has over 14 million plays on YouTube, so make of that what you will. Not something that I would have come across, much less downloaded, on my own, but still pretty good.

Friday random ten – All in, part 3

All we are is all we are.

1. All Of My Life – Phil Collins
2. All Or Nothin’ At All – Bruce Springsteen
3. All Revved Up – Jermaine Jackson
4. All Revved Up With No Place To Go – Meat Loaf
5. All She Wants To Do Is Dance – Don Henley
6. All Summer Long – The Beach Boys
7. All That You Ask Me – Ceili’s Muse
8. All The Same Mistakes – Mieka Pauley
9. All The Things You Are – Dizzy Gillespie
10. All The Time – Elizabeth Cook

I’m pretty sure that if you picked a Phil Collins song and a Bruce Springsteen song at random from my collection, I’d immediately be able to hum or sing at least one of them most of the time. The two songs here fall into the exceptions to that. Did you know that there are not two but three “Bat Out Of Hell” albums? I bought “Bat Out Of Hell 2” when it came out in 1993 because it seemed like a good idea at the time. It was more of an object lesson in not being able to catch lightning in a bottle twice. That among other reasons is why I don’t have Bat Out Of Hell 3. Feel free to tell me if I have misjudged.

Saturday video break: Save It For Later

Let’s start with The English Beat:

Some day, when my kids ask me “Dad, what was it really like in the 80s?”, I’m going to show them that video. That, and maybe an episode of LA Law. Now for one of the best cover-doers out there, the pairing of Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs:

Do yourself a favor the next time you’re feeling a little blue and you have some time to kill, and spend some of that time on YouTube with live acoustic videos of Sweet and Hoffs doing their thing. I couldn’t find such a version for this, but there’s plenty of others. You’ll thank me for it. And as good as that is, my favorite version of this remains Pete Townshend’s:

Just perfect in every way. Happy Saturday, y’all.

Friday random ten – All in, part 2

All there is is more songs that start with “All”.

1. All God’s Children Got Rhythm – Stan Getz
2. All I Ask – Adele
3. All I Ever – GEMS
4. All I Wanna Do – The Chesterfield Kings
5. All I Want – Susanna Hoffs
6. All In Love Is Fair – Mel Torme
7. All In My Head – The Len Price 3
8. All Lovers Are Deranged – David Gilmour
9. All My Loving – The Beatles
10. All Night Long – Joe Walsh

I love Stan Getz, but I’m pretty sure I’ve met a few of God’s non-rhythm-enabled children. Or maybe they’re just not actually God’s children. That would be a convenient way to differentiate them. Now David Gilmour, he has it exactly right. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work any other way.

Saturday video break: Saturday Night

Hey, it’s Saturday! And here’s a song all about Saturday Night! It’s perfect!

That was the Bay City Rollers, and the entire 1970s boiled down into a three-minute video. And for a slightly different view of the 70’s, here are the Eagles:

Well, you can answer the question of whatever happened to Saturday night yourself, at your convenience later today. Have fun!

Friday random ten – All in, part 1

I have a lot of songs that begin with the word “All”, so settle in and get comfortable.

1. All About Soul – Billy Joel
2. All Along The Watchtower – U2
3. All Around My Hat – The Mollys
4. All Around The World Or The Myth Of Fingerprints – Paul Simon
5. All At Once – Bonnie Raitt
6. All Because Of You Days – Echo and the Bunnymen
7. All But Blind – Larry Nozero
8. All Day All Night – And The Kids
9. All Day Music – War
10. All For The Best – from “Godspell”

Yes, that’s a U2 version of the Jimi Hendrix classic. Bono et al are distinctive enough to pull it off in a way that doesn’t necessarily invite unflattering comparisons. I’ve professed my love of the movie version of Godspell – it’s so gloriously and joyfully 1970s that I don’t know how anyone could not love it. Have I mentioned that Victor Garber, who has been in everything though he’s probably best known for being Jack Bristow in Alias, played the Jesus role in the movie? I have no idea if this classic movie is available on a streaming service, but if you come across it you should totally watch it. Anyway, I have a few more “All”-based lists, so be ready.

Friday random ten – Ain’t that a shame?

Lacking new ideas, I’m going to do lists based on the first word of a set of songs. I think you’ll get the theme.

1. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Extreme Party Animals
2. Ain’t Gone ‘n’ Give Up On Love – Stevie Ray Vaughan
3. Ain’t Gonna Rain – Austin Lounge Lizards
4. Ain’t Gonna Stop – Natural Child
5. Ain’t Got Rhythm – from “Phineas and Ferb”
6. Ain’t Got You – Bruce Springsteen
7. Ain’t It The Truth – The Honeycutters
8. Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked – Cage The Elephant
9. Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
10. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love – Van Halen

I did this theme a few years ago, with one focus word for each letter of the alphabet. I have more songs now, so I expect there will be a lot more words that I can do this on. Brace yourselves.

Saturday video break: Sara

Here’s Fleetwood Mac with one of their bigger post-Rumours hits:

There isn’t a Fleetwood Mac video channel as far as I could tell, so that was the best-looking video I could find. Other than the lips not always synching with the music, it’s not too bad. Now here’s Camper Van Beethoven’s take on this:

That may be the least-viewed video I’ve ever embedded. CvB did a song-by-song cover of the Tusk album – their 10-minute rendition of the title track is kind of amazing. Perhaps a bit of an acquired taste, but I like it anyway.