Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday Random Ten: Extended Absence Edition 

It's late, sure, but I went to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari tonight at the local repertory theater, which excited me so much that I couldn't sit still long enough to post a list of songs. UNTIL NOW!

1. Johnny Cash -- "Down There By the Train"
An unreleased Tom Waits track, given reverent treatment by the man with the voice big enough to encompass all of America -- from John Wilkes Booth to Judas Iscariot, who, as the new David McCullough pop-biography shows, was one of our more effective early American political leaders. A+

2. Palace Brothers -- "Idle Hands Are the Devils Playthings"
I can't be bothered to see if this is actually a "Palace Music" or "Palace Brothers" or just "Palace" song... either way, it's a song I rather like by the man with the voice small enough to not quite encompass his beard, Will Oldham. I'm on the fence with regard to the man and his career, but this 2 minutes is just about right.

3. Big Star -- "You Get What You Deserve"
From my alternate universe '70s classic rock station. The Professor's having a Southern Rock debate in the faculty lounge tonight, but for me it begins and ends in Memphis, 1972-74.

4. Thelonious Monk -- "Round Midnight"
November, 1947. Rocks like Jerry Lee Lewis.

5. Johnny Cash -- "I'm A Drifter"
My mother and younger brother went on a vacation to Dollywood this summer. The woman has a free pass to be as self-mythologizing as she wants if she keeps writing 'em like this.

6. Randy Newman -- "Davy the Fat Boy"
Mr. Weill, meet Mr. Waller. Carl Stalling will be arriving shortly.

7. Leadbelly -- "Bourgeois Blues"
Saw Jon Langford, Mekons/Waco Brothers/Three Johns/Pine Valley Cosmonauts co-frontman in NY last winter. He told a long and funny story about playing this song on a ukulele at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. I won't repeat it here, suffice it to say that in the version he played for us, the white man didn't "want no Welshmen up there."

8. Raymond Scott -- "Powerhouse"
You know this song. Think factories, anvils, and old Looney Tunes. Turns out the composer was some sort of Moogian pioneer of electronic music. And that this bit of cartoon background music is a great little jazz combo tune.

9. Mekons -- "Dan Dare"
The first song they ever wrote, the last song on their most recent album. A blast live. Punk rock is the new roots music. Outer space, it's a really nice place.

10. Elvis Costello and the Attractions -- "Big Boys"
I like the solo acoustic This Year's Model demo more. Never noticed until now that it's a breakup song. The second-person is the breakup song's best friend (see: Dylan's "She's Your Lover Now").

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