Hot on the heels of the date we lost Lennon, and after a long weekend in a hospital waiting room, I am not going to commemorate another morose anniversary today.
Instead let’s celebrate the life of Otis Redding. I’ve re-upped all the great songs on this post from his birthday last year in honor of this fantastic musician, one of my favorites. Today I’d also like to add one addition to the Otis playlist:
Hard To Handle
So I could save face and be all, “Yeah, I knew that Black Crowes song was totally a cover of Otis.” But that would be a big fat lie. Somehow (?!) I missed this original until a guy recently enthusiastically cited it to me as Otis’ best. Song. Ever. That title is up for some discussion with me (I like Tramp. Or maybe Dreams To Remember). This tune was originally released posthumously in 1968 as a b-side, and soundly trumps the Black Crowes cover I’ve been listening to all these years. You can find it on this recent anthology. Go Otis. We miss ya.
While I work on finalizing my year-end favorites list (meaning painfully hacking perfectly good albums left and right in order to narrow it down into something meaningful) I’ve been taking the opportunity to listen to some artists that never actually got the chance to vibrate my eardrums in 2007. Dodge put this album as his #1 for the year, and since Dodge is right about a lot of things (he loves me, for instance) I thought I should spin it. Wow. As you listen to Bon Iver, it starts to scrape something loose inside of you. This is one that you might find yourself listening to over and over again as I have been, even if you are unsure when it first kicks in. Something intangible and gorgeous and raw thrums under the thin skin of this song.
While the themesters of the O.C. (sorry but they are never, ever going to slip out of that recognizable tinny piano melody rising to the top of my mind whenever I say their name) work on recording a new album for Spring 2008 with Fueled By Ramen, Phantom Planet is making a limited-edition tour EP available with some new tunes. Aptly titled Geronimo, this song sounds pretty ferocious and relentless, like a fashionably new-wave native jumping off a sandstone bluff onto the waiting trusty steed? Not like I would know firsthand, but I have been re-reading some Cormac McCarthy. So.
Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Dylan cover)
The Hold Steady
This came on the local SF radio station KFOG this weekend when I was out in California, one of the few bright spots of my hellish weekend. Starting slowly from the restrained opening, it cracks open like a carnival into something exuberant and near life-affirming. Something about the way The Hold Steady treat this, it perfectly preserves the just-barely-hanging-together feel of the original, with a huge rush of their own unique spirit. Probably the best song on that (dang good) I’m Not There soundtrack.
Weird me out. I was adding this song into the post, the final paragraph of which has already been written with that Singles nod in the last sentence, which really is the only way to say it. I visited one-man-band Sean Jackson‘s MySpace and I see that his profile quote is, “Other than that, he was ably backed by Stone and Jeff.” And I love him. So I’m just gonna leave it at that; you may be familiar with how much I love that movie and quote it at inopportune times. This guy definitely has tones of the Foo Fighters (although not as good as their new album, more from me on that later perhaps) and he namechecks influences like Westerberg and Malkmus. So okay, we’ll listen. Album is called For You.
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And PS – I got a kick out of this; I somehow made the Business section of the Tulsa World newspaper.
The final sentences read, “As for me, a few days later — before the technician could arrive — the light on my modem mysteriously came on again. With all apologies to my wife, I went straight to Heather. Honey, it had been too long.” I am loved in Belgium, and apparently Tulsa! Thanks John.