This column is like the title says — its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the '60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.
I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don't miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD'VE been!
Below is a jukebox containing all the songs I picked this week. After you read about them below, go back and listen to whatever you like by just clicking on that title in the jukebox, or stream the whole playlist by clicking on the "play" icon at the top. It's free and it's the entire song. We're not selling anything. We're just in the business of hopefully making your days better by listening to great music.
We apologize to our readers/listeners who are trying to enjoy the playlists via mobile devices like iPhones/iPads and are finding that they can't; these are, unfortunately, circumstances beyond our control. At present, Grooveshark is not compatible with those operating systems, and in order to stream the playlist, you will need to use a PC or Mac.
1. “Run” — Delta Rae (2:32)
This has everything: three siblings, two women (think Fleetwood Mac), a lotta guys, and catchy original music (think Fleetwood Mac). Kinda like the young Fleetwood Mac of today. Lindsey Buckingham guests on the brand new album just out called After It All. This particular tune is my favorite Mac track — oops! — Delta Rae track.
2. “Honey” — The London Souls (2:52)
This is my favorite track from my favorite album this week, Here Come the Girls. However, the name bothers me. They’re based in New York City and they’re American. But they claim all their influences are Brit bands so maybe we should cut ‘em some slack. The guitar licks and sound kill me on this track. There will be more here in the coming weeks. They’re on tour NOW. If you like this, don’t miss ‘em. They could be the next step in The Black Keys, The White Stripes, The London Souls ooops! They are a trio forget those comparisons.
And here they are taking a few moments from their first big tour to stand on line for the batting cage. Go figure
3. “Glimmer” (Orchestral) — Neil Young (4:02)
This from his most recent album Storytone, with a hundred-piece soothing orchestra behind him and sometimes in front of him. This album is kinda his paean to Daryl Hannah and a kiss-off and on to his wife Pegi. Why must we air our insides out in the street? Even I’ve done that. Oh, well I don’t think it’s a promo for Pomo and no, I haven’t heard that yet so don’t axe me about it.
4. “Nice and Slow” — Max Frost (2:26)
I really liked this until I saw the video. Anybody thinking straight out there?
Here's Max doing his Basement Tapes album at home.
5. “Tonight Insomnia” — Eye to Eye (2:40)
This from the early ‘80s as well as from last week’s column where another fave track of theirs was featured. I just like this band a great deal and felt they got short-changed back in the day. This week and last week are my quiet tributes to them. I wish them well.
6. “Long Haul” — Michael McDonald and Robben Ford (3:50)
These two wunderkinds have a duet album out together called Unfinished Business and this track has mostly their goods on it. MM is one of the most talented, nicest guys I have ever met but I STILL have trouble making out his lyrics. I must say this is the least unintelligible of his latest work, however. This is a great tempo for both of them and I have always been a big fan of Robben’s as well. ANOTHER really nice guy and an exceptional guitarist. This is good stuff and I imagine the rest of the album is equal to this. And believe me, I know more about the long haul than either of them.
7. “I Can See for Miles” — Vanilla Fudge (3:58)
This was always one of the wackiest bands on the street in the ‘60s and ‘70s. They did psychedelic lysergic arrangements of top ten tunes and I mostly found it humorous. Mark Stein, organist and singer, was in charge so I always got to hear his organ playing which was fun to listen to. So now there’s a NEW Vanilla Fudge album (Spirit of ‘67) and this Pete Townshend hit is merely re-arranged this time and the lysergics seem to be abandoned on this track. That’s a good thing, Mark. The organ playing makes me smile and the vocal arrangement is actually normal; more Vanilla than Fudge this time around. Townshend subscribes to this column. I’ll let you know if he replies about this track unless it’s a negative remark. We try to only smile around here, in case you hadn’t noticed!
8. “Don’t Be Cruel” — Billy Swan
So I’m sitting in Paul McGregor’s haircutting establishment on 8th Street in the Village in the very early ‘70s and Paul himself is workin’ my curly locks over. This track comes on the radio and within a minute I asked him to stop cutting my hair so I could get closer to the radio and hear this better. There are not many tracks I can think of that conjured up this kind of reaction in my life: “Once In a Lifetime” by Talking Heads, “Clean Up Woman” by Betty Wright, and “Showdown” by the Isley Brothers are three that come to mind. This is a brilliant conception of the Presley chestnut and every second of it is clever and delicious. Billy only has had one hit so far (“I Can Help”) and it wasn’t this. I will never tire of listening to this. It is superb record-making for all time.
9. “Don’t Wait” — Mapei (3:15)
Odd things happen because I hear these tracks with no info provided, plus I only get to hear 90 seconds before coughing up my $1.29. So here there was this weird artist name and more electronica than I can usually tolerate. What got me was the melody, lyric and delivery of the lines “if it wasn’t for you I’d be alone, if it wasn’t for you, I’d be on my own.” It just worked great and I thought I would like to own this strange track that had seduced me with the enclosed section. I NEVER thought until I just researched it that it was a WOMAN singing. And her story is strange. She was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1983 and namd Jacqueline Mapei Cummings. Her Liberian mother and Swedish stepfather moved to Stockholm and stayed there for the school semesters and would then summer in the US. She returned totally to the US when she turned 18 and lived in Brooklyn. She stayed for three years, even living with Lykke Li (!) for awhile and decided to return to Sweden and get involved in electronica. Ultimately, this is the result. This single came out around 2010 and made a lotta noise in the electronica world. Her first album Hey Hey came out in 2014 and she even sang on Letterman. She says her main influences are Radiohead, Donna Summer, Missy Elliott, Diana Ross, Queens of the Stone Age, and Michael Jackson.
10. “This Is a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” — Gov’t Mule (4:58)
First off, I love Warren Haynes. He’s majorly down to earth for such a revered player. He’s also a great singer. When I heard this song start, I realized sometime in the future he and I will do a medley of this track and “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know.” Maybe at one of my birthday shows in New York. This track has great singing and playing by Haynes. I think he’s a comparatively underrated guitarist AND singer and wish that more critics would acknowledge what a MONSTER this guy is. Here he is being that monster on his latest album, Dub Side of the Mule...live! Lawd — what a great closer for this week.
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