Long, Long, Day

“It’ll be easy” I said to myself, “Just throw something together”, I lied. A good mix goes through several permutations. Getting everything to flow, so that it follows a thread, is always a challenge.

Who knew The Hudson Brothers were capable of producing such a slab of prime Pop/Rock, sounding as much like late-period Beatles as Badfinger? This was always the opener and really set the tone.(1974)
Legend was led by Mickey Jupp. The drummer left shortly after this (1971) to join T-REX, where he became known as Bill Legend. Fat bass-line reminds me of Macca.
“Lonely Blue Boy” (1958) is one of those songs everyone should hear. Vocal crick as art.
“The Power Of Your Love”(1969) from the sessions that produced “Suspicious Minds”. The last time Elvis was thouroughly engaged and at a creative peak in the studio. Long Live the King.
“In The Ghetto” was written by Mac Davis and recorded by Elvis in 1969. Given recent happenings in Chicago, it seems particularly relevent. This version by Nick Cave (1984) was when I realized he had a future after The Birthday Party.
“Sam” (1969) is a rare slice of midwestern psychedelia. Unreleased until 2013. It features the singing of Linda Bruner, who recorded 4 songs and vanished.
“Dripping With Looks” (1987) is a massive riff I never get tired of.
“Little Bit Of Magic” (1969) is very rare. Rosco originally recorded for SUN, in Memphis. His early singles featured a piano style which contributed to the formation SKA in Jamaica. Rosco left music during the ’60′s, moving to Queens to run a Dry Cleaners.
In 1969 he cut this single and released it on his own label. In the ’80′s he briefly returned to music, but stayed with his original SUN material. It’s too bad he didn’t make more music like this. What a voice! I imagine Bryan Ferry covering it back in the day.
It’s hard to believe “Electrify Me (1979) was considered punk rock when it came out. I hear a little RT in the guitar breaks.
If Nick Lowe and Rockpile never covered “Move It Baby” (1964) they should have.
The Shazam (2002) drop some classic Big Star style pop/rock. These guys deserve a bigger audience.
I love everything about “Pass You By” (1996).
“Wonderin’” (1983) is the only keeper on “Everbody’s Rockin”. It was written in 1970.
“WPLJ”-Frank genuinely loved Doo Wop and R&B. From “Burnt Weeny Sandwich”. I keep meaning to try it. Not the radio station.
Swamp Dogg, not Snoop Dogg. From “Total Destruction Of Your Mind” (1970).
“I Got It all Indeed” is the only song I know from “Theosophy”, Pete Molinari’s 2014 album.
“Life Is Good” is one of my favorite songs from my favorite Los Lobos album.
“Jimmy Was” is the title music from “Sling Blade” (1996).
I’ve always thought Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus’ voice sounded a little like Jerry Garcia’s, and the gorgeous pedal steel on this song really makes the case.
“Chicken” (2014) by Bill Patton brings things down to a gentle simmer while we get a little introspective.
“I Remember Cissy’s Baby and the noise on the block,
And seventeen policemen that were in a state of shock,
She had it on the pavement she had it on the ground,
out popped the baby with the cops all around,”

-(1970) Jake And The Family Jewels.
Some fine storytelling. It just goes from there.
“Gone Like the Water”(1996) by Freedy Johnston is beautifully rendered. Perfect.
John & Beverly Martyn made two albums. “John The Baptist” is from “Stormbringer”(1970). His early work is some of my very favorite music, but soon he went MOR and made some records I’d rather not think about.
This demo of “Seeing” is far superior to the version which turned up on “Moby Grape ’69″. Featuring Skip Spence’s original vocal.

Enjoy!
-BBJ

Long, Long, Day

Freedy Johnston Singer Songwriter

 
 
 
 

Freedy Johnston

Freedy Johnston

I’m more into ensembles, but they still play songs, and every once in the while a songwriter will get my attention. I usually listen to voices as one of the instruments, and for me to notice the lyrics they’ve got to stand out.

I pulled “This Perfect World” out of a cut-out bin. No artwork, just the cd in a jewel case. I’d been aware of Freedy for awhile, as the buzz had been building. I was living in the East Village, which was a very different place then, after moving first from California to Florida, then to North Carolina, and finally to New York. I thought his writing captured perfectly the feeling of being new to the city with all the alienation, excitement, and possibility that entails. Bittersweet, always a favorite of mine, is a mixture of melancholy and hope. In one song he name checks The Blue and Gold, an old polish bar on E 5th street I was once thrown out of for smoking pot with a woman in the stall of the Men’s room.

From “This Perfect World” I’ve picked a pair of songs which seem to be bookends. “Gone Like The Water” is someone disappearing, while in “Disappointed Man” he calls home and gets his father, sufferer of “Mad Dad” syndrome. “Trying To Tell You I Don’t Know” from “Can You Fly” chronicles selling the family farm to finance seeking his fortune. “Underwater Life” from “Blue Days Black Nights” is a bittersweet fantasy concerning a mythical drowned city.  That’s really about as deep as I go.

The artwork I didn't get for $1.99

The artwork I didn't get for $1.99

Here’s more from the All Music Guide:
A gifted songwriter whose lyrics paint sometimes witty, often poignant portraits of characters often unaware of how their lives have gone wrong, Freedy Johnston seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the early ’90s and quickly established himself as one of the most acclaimed new singer/songwriters of the day. Johnston was born in 1961 in Kinsley, KS, a small town with the odd distinction of being equidistant between New York City and San Francisco. Growing up, Johnston developed a strong interest in music, but living in a city without a music store or a record shop, doing something about it took some effort. When he was 16, Johnston bought his first guitar by mail order, and a year later, a friend drove him 35 miles to the nearest record store so he could buy an album he’d read about: My Aim Is True by Elvis Costello. After high school, Johnston enrolled at the University of Kansas in Lawrence; while his academic career didn’t last very long (less than one year), Johnston wasted no time immersing himself in the city’s new wave scene and became a passionate fan of local legends the Embarrassment. Johnston also began listening to everything from Neil Young to XTC and developed a taste for country music. After several years of working in restaurants and writing songs on a four-track recorder in the evening, Johnston pulled up stakes in 1985 and moved to New York City. (A collection of Johnston’s early four-track recordings was released in 2004 under the title The Way I Were.) After several years of making the rounds, Johnston’s work caught the attention of Bar/None Records, a respected independent label based in Hoboken, NJ.

"Well I Sold The Dirt To Feed The Band"

"Well I Sold The Dirt To Feed The Band"

Johnston made his recording debut in 1989 with two tracks on a Bar/None label sampler, Time for a Change, and his first album, the scrappy and genially eccentric The Trouble Tree, followed in 1990. While the album received largely positive reviews and became a minor hit in Holland, sales were poor in the United States, and in order to finance recording of his second album, Johnston was forced to sell some farmland which had been with the Johnston family for generations (an decision Johnston set to music in his song “Trying to Tell You I Don’t Know”). However, the risk paid off as 1992′s Can You Fly earned enthusiastic reviews and was named among the year’s best albums by The New York Times, Billboard, Spin, and Musician Magazine; Robert Christgau in The Village Voice went so far as to call it “a perfect album.” The album also earned a healthy amount of alternative radio airplay, and Can You Fly’s success convinced Elektra Records to sign Johnston. His first set for Elektra, 1994′s This Perfect World, received similarly positive press and spawned a minor hit single in the song “Bad Reputation.” While Johnston’s next three albums for Elektra — Never Home, Blue Days Black Nights, and Right Between the Promises — didn’t fare as well in terms of sales, he maintains a loyal fan following and the respect of critics and peers. He released The Way I Were: 4-Track Demos 1986-1992 in 2004, followed by Live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in 2006. Johnston has also dabbled in film scoring by writing incidental music for the Farrelly Brothers comedy Kingpin, and he performs occasionally with the Know-It-All Boyfriends, an informal cover band featuring Butch Vig and Doug Erikson of Garbage. ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide

Captures the mood exactly

Captures the mood exactly

Trying To Tell You I Don’t Know
Gone Like The Water
Disappointed Man
Underwater Life