mellicious: pink manicure (new year)
2016-12-30 12:34 am

Music Advent, days 21-25

(Dreamwidth note: I fixed this where the links work, at least, but if you want the version with the nice embedded links you have to go back to the original Livejournal entry.)

To go back to the last MA post, the video that I posted on the 20th was "Black Sun" and the day before that, "Hard Sun" - there was sort of a method to my madness there, because the 21st was solstice and I wanted to go from the sun to the stars, for solstice. It just seemed appropriate.

And it also seemed appropriate that it be Bowie.
David Bowie Starman (1972) official video

Next is a video that Bowie was not in, I believe that was because he had some kind of scheduling issues. He did record a taped message for the B-side, though.
Do they Know it's Christmas ~ Band Aid 1984

Bowie wasn't in it, but George Michael was, so next I went to a George Michael song. I always liked Michael and I liked Wham! back in the day but they were definitely not taken seriously, back when they were first popular. And I have to admit this was not my favorite of Michael's solo songs or of the Wham! songs, but it fit in with my connections so this is what I used. (I may do another post about him and Wham! if I get a chance.)
George Michael - Careless Whisper (Official Video)

The reason that fit into my connections was that I was thinking about Rick Astley. When I was poking around on the internet trying to work this out, I found a mention of how people think "Never Gonna Dance Again" is the name of that song, and so that made it a good lead-in. Last year when we were doing the alphabet for Music Advent, I had this idea that it would be funny to rickroll Music Advent - except of course most of Music Advent goes on on Twitter, and if you put a link to a video there it's generally going to give you a preview, so it's not really possible to do a rickroll in the old sense of the word. But anyway, I remembered that this year and so I wanted to work in this song.
Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up

I actually have two different connections for the next one. For some reason I completely didn't even think about the "Never" connection at the time. The connection I originally used was that Rick Astley and the Bunnymen are both from Merseyside, from the area around Liverpool.
NEVER STOP Echo and the Bunnymen

I got excited when I figured out that this video is apparently from the same tour (or anyway, the same year) that I saw Echo and the Bunnymen, which was in Austin in 1984. I knew the minute I saw it that it looked kind of the same - although Austin was a much smaller venue - I think it was the Opry House, which is quite small, relatively speaking - and so we didn't get all the strings and stuff. I'm not even 100% sure they did this song. (It seems like I remember being unhappy because they didn't, actually. But I'm not sure I'm remembering that correctly. That was a long, long time ago.)

Anyway, I actually used this song for Music Advent last year, and I usually try not to repeat myself (because y'know, it's not like there's a shortage of songs to use) but I made an exception for this one because it swung back around to day 1: it was on the tape that we played at our wedding reception. "Chapel of Love" was the first song on that tape and "Never Stop" was much further down the list but it was definitely there, because I insisted on it. The main criteria was that the song be a love song (about "real love" rather than just about hooking up) and we figured "this love we found should never stop" qualified. (Even further down the list we actually included Georgia Satellite's "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" - which was a new song that spring - because of its jokey take on sex before marriage. I'm not sure many people got that joke, but Rob and I thought it was really funny.)

mellicious: blinky lights (holiday lights gif)
2016-12-13 04:13 am

Music Advent days 9-12

I made a decision when I decided to do this "connections" Music Advent theme that I was going to let myself wander a little out of my comfort zone, if that's where the connections took me. So far I've sort of wandered back and forth, into my usual kinds of things (like 80s New Wave) and back out of it again. You'll see that happen again here.

So I ended up the last entry with Joe Jackson - late 70s but wandering into a New Wave sort of vibe. I was in college in the late 70s, and while there was nothing especially avant-garde about my tastes then, I do think this isn't the only place in my album collection where those sort of influences were creeping in. This song is also from 1979 but to be fair I don't think I knew it until later.

(The connection here is that Joe Jackson later did a song for an XTC tribute album.)

Did anybody know that the three surviving members of The Monkees released a new album this year? I have to admit that I did not. I do actually like their old stuff, though - I'm old enough to remember when their show was originally on, but I was a kid and I didn't understand what the heck was going on with it then. (I looked at it much later and thought, "It's a take-off on A Hard Days' Night" but did I know that when they were huge and I was 7? Heck no.) I learned a better appreciation for them later by watching reruns, seriously. (Nick at Night, maybe? I'm not sure.) Don't mock me, Last Train to Clarksville is a good song.

This is also a surprisingly not-bad song. It was written by Andy Partridge of XTC, which is how I got to this in the first place. I didn't try to listen to more of the album but there were some other well-known songwriters involved so there may be some more "hey, not bad!" moments in there. Also Micky Dolenz' voice sounds quite good for a 70-year-old man.

While I was looking up The Monkees, I saw something about how Don Kirshner was their producer early on - he was the one who wouldn't let them play their own instruments. If you know anything about the history there, that's a pretty well-known argument that went on. Kirshner was eventually fired so The Monkees won that one. But the main reason I know Don Kirshner's name at all was (like a lot of people Of A Certain Age, I think) from Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, which was on all through the 70s. (Also because Paul Shaffer used to mock him roundly on early SNL.) So I went looking for clips, and there are a lot of them on YouTube; they all have these same annoying white titles across them regarding the licensing. (But it could be worse, at least they let them put them up on YouTube at all, I suppose!) Anyway, I ended up with very early Jackson Browne:

This is "Looking Into You" off of his first self-titled album (the one everybody used to call "Saturate Before Using" because it says that on the cover).

I had all of Jackson Browne's early albums, back in the late 70s, and I also had and loved Karla Bonoff's albums. So, fortunately just in time to keep this from being an all-white-men entry, we have a later (80s) Bonoff song, her only big commercial hit. (She is better known as a songwriter, now, really; she wrote several of Linda Ronstadt's songs and some for Bonnie Raitt and others.)

Honestly I had forgotten that this song was hers at all. I actually meant to post a different song, but this is not a terrible song, just sort of middle-of-the-road. And Jackson Browne and Karla Bonoff were moving in the same circles at around the same time, so I imagine that you could connect them up in a number of different ways, but the way I followed was through the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Jackson Browne was a member, very early on (which I didn't know at all) and Bonoff recorded a song with them much later. (I flirted around with using a song of NGDB's and couldn't come up with anything I was too crazy about!)
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
2005-01-17 10:46 pm

Meme of the day (Just Call Me Old edition)

From Rivka

(I'm doing this instead of finishing the entry about marathon weekend. Go figure.)

Twenty acts I've seen live, with annotations.

(It's been damn close to 20 years since I've been to a concert - isn't that pitiful? - so let's see if I can remember 20 of them. Almost all of these were in Austin, in the first half of the 80s. I'll put the year and/or tour if I'm fairly sure I really remember that.)

1. REM - Municipal Auditorium, 1985?

2-3. Echo and the Bunnymen, probably 1984, Ocean Rain tour? We were right up front and almost got squashed, thanks to my friend Rick who was not quite an E&tB groupie. Some terrific band opened for them but I can't think who it was (dammit), but I know that Billy Bragg was the middle act. Really great concert.

4. Stevie Ray Vaughn - at The Ark Co-op, 1981. (That was where I lived, and he played our Halloween party and we paid him the unheard-of - for us - sum of $1000. We made tons of money and bought all-new washers and dryers. True story.) And everybody who was there says he was fabulous but to be honest, I was so drunk - and possibly otherwise chemically altered - I don't remember one way or the other.

5. The Police - 1981 or early '82, at the Drum/Erwin Center/whatever it's called these days. (Hereafter referred to as the Drum.) Ghost in the Machine tour.

6-8. Fleetwood Mac - on Halloween, I think, in the Drum. Stevie Nicks wore a witch's hat and disappeared backstage between every number, and since this was pre-rehab days, we thought we had a pretty good idea what she was doing back there. But they were good. And Glenn Frey was the opening act, rather strangely, and I want to say the Fabulous T-birds as well.

9. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, at Municipal Auditorium at the height of their "Relax" success. Surprisingly fun.

10. New Order - at Municipal Auditorium, 1985. I fell asleep. Seriously. They were that boring.

11. Katrina and the Waves, at the Austin Opry House (isn't that what it was called?) - I seem to recall that this concert was $6, which was cheap even then. And worth every penny. (Really. Not bad at all.)

12. The Cars - another one at the Drum (you notice that's where the big acts played) - I used to have a t-shirt that said "THE CARS ON THE ROAD 1982" and it had a tire track across the back. I wonder whatever happened to that shirt. Seems like I remember Rob wearing it not too many years ago.

13. U2 - seems like it was the "Bad" tour. I was disappointed, really, I had heard so much about how great they were live. They were fine, but if you've seen that old "Live at Red Rocks" video? It was exactly like that. Except without the rocks.

14-15. Tom Petty - man, I almost forgot about this one. At the Drum, with Lone Justice opening.

16. Jerry Jeff Walker and Gary P. Nunn, at the Opry House for some political benefit, 1981.

17. Dan Fogelberg, twice - 1979 and 1981, I think. Shut up, I was still a teenager.

18. Jackson Browne, c. 1980. This one also falls into the hall of shame nowadays, doesn't it? But I loved him at the time.

19. Michael (Martin) Murphey, 1977. It was free.

20. Howard Jones, with somebody cool and completely off-kilter opening for him. Unfortunately I can't remember now who that was.

21. (Because I just remembered another interesting one) Timbuk 3, at the Texas Union, probably in '85. Right on the cusp on their one-hit wonder fame.

Man, and I left off David Bowie, too. How could I forget him?

(And I think it was Marshall Crenshaw who was the opening act for Howard Jones.)