I wanted to post a baseball-related song, to celebrate not only the US "World" Series but the fact that I won $10 on one of the games after throwing in a buck to help a friend round out a pool. Unfortunately, I could only find songs that stank. Happily, I stumbled upon Instant Funk and their Wide World of Sports during my search. Not only do you get pure funky grooves but you get this fabulous album cover included at no extra charge! It turns out that Instant Funk performed I Got My Mind Made Up, which has been getting stuck in my head off an on for roughly twenty years. Ah, the relief of knowing from where that song came. Check back tomorrow for a Halloween treat.
I recently posted a video version of Buckwheat Zydeco performing Ya Ya, but I felt like I'd given the song short shrift. Today, I'd like to share not just the great Lee Dorsey original and the Buckwheat Zydeco version but also a funky Tina Turner take on Ya Ya and a somewhat bizarre John Lennon cover of the song. That last, alone, makes a second post almost mandatory for this one. Sadly, I could not find the Lee Atwater/Chuck Jackson/Carla Thomas version from the "Red Hot & Blue" album on which I first heard this song. It's well worth a listen, as are the rest of the songs included. It's too bad that the album isn't more available but at least you can sample it on the link above. BB King's Buzz Me alone makes it worth the price.
As promised, I've turning to something a lot more fun and upbeat, today. Rhythm Bandits is what I think pop music should sound like. It’s bouncy, infectious, and makes me think of 60s teenagers frantically dancing. Perhaps it’s the name, Junior Senior, and perhaps it’s the energy and tongue-in-cheek cheeriness of the perky sound. If all pop music sounded like Rhythm Bandits, I’d be blogging about that and not obscure stuff of which half of you have never heard (and perhaps another third wish you hadn’t). This isn't an unqualified recommendation of Junior Senior, by any means. They're a bit of a one-trick pony, but in small doses that trick can certainly entertain.
In general, One Eskimo is too much of a downer for me. They're sweet, mellow, and sad and just really not my thing. Kandi, however, has stuck in my head like a scratched record. The video strikes me as being very much like their music--cute and touching. On its own, it's a lovely song. The album may be too much of a good thing, but at least there's one stand-alone song to enjoy. Have a quiet Saturday afternoon. I'll have to see about finding something a bit more wild for tomorrow.
I was going to post a set of Bop Gun songs (and likely will, someday) but got distracted by the fabulous fellows of the Royal Crown Revue and their Zip Gun Bop, which doesn't fit my theme but is an awful lot of fun. As always during the week, my posting time is limited today so I'll let you swing to the bop and get down to the horns without a lot of introductory blather.
The Suicide Machines have been around for years, and their sound and lyrical focus have changed a great deal along the way. At their best, they combine elements of ska and punk (more punk early on, more ska more recently, and even some horns) with some social commentary that adds a little kick of interest to their jumping music. Personally, as a fan of old-school Vans and Chucks (check my profile picture, if you doubt that), Vans Song gives me a little grin every time. It's also just a fun little tune. I'll quit blabbing, now, before I find another excuse to use parentheses.
Yet again, for today I have a song that I love from a band that I don't. It's not that I hate Temper Trap, I just don't love their music. It rates a "Meh" on a scale of "Bleh" to "Woo Hoo!" for me, except for Drum Song. This one get's an "Oh, Yeah". (Note: this is not a scientific scale but a personal experience. Your opinion and mileage may vary. Your input will help to refine this scale and provide valuable feedback for the standardization of these ratings...or something.)
I'm somehow not surprised that the guys have been around for almost ten years (and thirteen albums' worth of music) but that I've not heard of them until now. I bet they're a blast to see live, which you could apparently have done on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night, had you known about it. Happily for you, dear readers, I'm willing to devote a little time to finding such gems and to letting you know that Mr. Ferguson's site hasn't updated with anything more recent than October 2nd. If I can remember, I'll keep an eye out and post a link to the video this weekend. Until then, enjoy their Talk on Indolence
Dancefloor stands as my favorite of songs on the album, however. Chewing on Tinfoil does best with slower or shorter songs, I think. They tend to over-emphasize the beat on harder, longer songs, which makes them seem repetitive if you're not focused on the words. Perhaps my preference for horns makes it seem to me that some of those songs lack a bit of oomph. Under the Lamppost is an exception to this rule, though, offering a mellow ska beat and some thoughtful lyrics. All in all, it's a solid first effort well worth getting.
If you want to have a listen for yourself, try these three songs. If you like what you hear, you can head over to Quote Unquote Records and download the album. You can donate to the band, while you're there, to help them keep making music and maturing their sound. You can, of course, wander by their MySpace profile as well (look out, there's a Canadian band called Chewing on Tin Foil, who have skipped the ska part of ska-punk and also have released one album).