Friday, March 23, 2018

Weekend Listomania: Special It's Nice Out -- Might as Well Leave It Out! Edition

[I originally posted this one back in -- gasp! -- 2009, when both the world and this blog were young. But for obvious reasons, or perhaps reasons that shall become obvious, I thought it was newly relevant to our national discourse. I have, of course, rewritten some of it, and swapped out some of the songs, just to prove that I'm not the total slacker that so many of you, with justification, suspect I am. In any case, enjoy. -- S.S.]

Okay, gang -- here's a fun project for us all to contemplate in the wake of this week's nor'easter on the Right Coast:

Most Memorable Post Elvis Song or Record Referencing Atmospheric Phenomena, i.e. Weather, In the Title or Lyrics!!!

Self-explanatory, I think, so no arbitrary rules this time.

Okay, here's my totally top of my head Top Seven:

7. Terry Anderson -- Weather or Not

If truth be told, the entire original version of this Listomania proceeded from the fact that I had wanted to post this song -- to my mind, the absolute best Rolling Stones/Keith Richards-style guitar rocker that the Stones or Keith never did -- for what seemed like ages. (Catchiest goddamn chorus in the world, n'est-ce pas?). In case you're wondering, Anderson comes out of the Georgia Satellites axis (he co-wrote that group's semi-hit "Battleship Chains") and this derives from the early 90s solo album seen above. I should add that said album is still available over at Amazon, and you should hie there toot sweet and snag a copy.

6. The Beatles -- Rain

Depending on my mood, either this or "And Your Bird Can Sing" is my favorite of the bunch of guitar-driven, vaguely metallic pop gems that the Beatles recorded around this time in late 65-early 66. This one has Ringo's most inventive drum performance, of course.

5. The Weasels -- Beautiful Day

A recent track by my old high school garage band. I'm doing most of the guitar stuff, including the solo, but it's written and sung by our multi-instrumentalist secret weapon Glenn Leeds. In any case, I love it. "It may be freezin' but I don't feel's a beautiful day."

4. Lou Christie -- Rhapsody in the Rain

"In this car, our love went much too far..."

The followup to the equally apt "Lightning Strikes," this one got banned by most 1966 radio stations; I wonder why.

3. Yoko Ono -- Listen the Snow is Falling

"The only reason no one likes her music is because she's a woman and an Oriental" -- John Lennon to Jann Wenner, 1971

2. Steeleye Span -- One Misty Moisty Morning

Probably the oldest song ever featured on a Weekend Listomania, i.e., this probably dates back to Shakespeare's day. BTW; the word goddess is overused in some circles, but I think Maddy Prior's vocal on this qualifies her for consideration as one.

And the number one ill wind that blows nobody good song, it's so ridiculously apt given what's going to be broadcast on 60 Minutes this Sunday that I can't believe we're even having a discussion, obviously is ---

1. Classics IV -- Stormy

Who knew somebody had written a hit tune about her decades ago? Amazing.

Alrighty, then -- what would your choices be?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Your Thursday Moment of a Winter Wonderland

The view outside a certain Shady Dame's apartment this morning.

And a non-seasonal musical tribute to it.

Oh, and by the way -- tomorrow brings us the triumphant return of Weekend Listomania. Now with more relevance to current events!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Your Wednesday Moment of Why Didn't I Get the Memo?

From 2004, please enjoy the great Roger McGuinn and his lovely cover of The Beatles/George Harrison classic "If I Needed Someone."

I honestly had never heard this until yesterday, when friend of PowerPop Capt. Al played it on his intertube radio show.

I should add that George was obviously a huge Byrds fan (the riff on this is pretty much a lift from "Bells of Rhymney") and there's a wonderful, if perhaps apocryphal, story about George and Roger that seems relevant.

The short version is that after The Byrds' "Turn Turn Turn" came out, and was not as big a hit in the UK as it was elsewhere, George apparently sent Roger a note that said "I feel sorry for anybody who didn't buy it."

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Your Tuesday Moment of Words Fail Me

From 1965, please enjoy The Lovin' Spoonful, featuring extremely stylish drummer Joe Butler, doing a cover of The Beatles' "Help" backed by somebody's orchestra.

For you younger readers, this was originally aired on a weekly network TV rock-themed show called Hullabaloo.

And this is how, in the immortal words of David Letterman, your parents and grandparents enjoyed the rock-and-roll music back in the day.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Your Friday Moment of Words Fail Me

From 2002, and the Conan O'Brien show, please enjoy the astoundingly brilliant Mike Viola -- doing business with his band The Candy Butchers -- and a live version of his transplendently gorgeous "You Belong to Me Now."

I've been a fan of this guy since forever, by which I mean when he sang the title song for Tom Hanks' That Thing You Do, but this song is a total work of genius. And the fact that the sound of this thing is a live power trio blows my tiny mind.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

[h/t Frank Burrows]

Thursday, March 15, 2018

That's Mighty Fine Sitar Playing, Mahatma!

From 2000, please enjoy Belle and Sebastian and their amusingly retro "Legal Man."

I gotta tell you, B&S are a band that I have generally found to be insufferably twee. But I heard this one on Pandora or whatever at my watering hole in the Q-Boro yesterday, and I was shocked to discover that I really liked it.

And BTW -- a coveted PowerPop NoPrize© will be afforded to the first reader who identifies from whence the title of today's post derives.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What -- Nobody Wants Me to Tell That Sarah Silverman Joke?

From 1966, please enjoy The Robbs (of Where the Action Is Fame)...

...and their sprightly regional (mid-west) hit "Bittersweet."

That was written by the same P.F. Sloan-Steve Barri songwriting team that came up with the early great Grassroots hits, and while I'll concede it's not as good as the Hoodoo Gurus song of the same name we discussed yesterday, it's still pretty darn cute.

And a tip of the Hatlo Hat to reader anonymous, without whom I would have been unaware of its existence and my life thus poorer for it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Somebody Stop Me Before I Tell That Sarah Silverman Joke Again!

And speaking as we were on Friday about great songs with one word titles, I'd forgotten how much I liked this 1985 classic by The Hoodoo Gurus.

I bring this up partly because, thanks to one of our regular commenters, I just heard this 1986 (outtake) cover of the song by The Flamin' Groovies.

I should add that I find it characteristically weak-kneed, like most of the Groovies' well-intentioned studio covers. And I say that as somebody who saw them live on the 1979 Jumpin' in the Night tour when they were doing a relatively convincing version of The Byrds' "Lady Friend."

[h/t/ Mark (from Brooklyn)]

Monday, March 12, 2018

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye Bay, Putz

Dunno if you watched Saturday Night Live last weekend, but if you did you couldn't help but notice that the show is working on an uninterrupted two year streak of musical guests (with the noticeable exception of Foo Fighters) who have no redeeming virtues whatsoever.

The most recent miscreant: James Bay.

In the immortal words of Leonard Pinth-Garnell -- "thoroughly bad."

Seriously, it's like watching Laurence Harvey fronting the world's lamest rock band.

I should add that I had never heard (or heard of) Bay before Saturday, so I looked him up and learned that he had recently done a cover of Tom Petty's great "Kings Highway" on the soundtrack to Cars 3. And I figured, well, you couldn't possibly do a bad version of that song, so maybe I should listen to it and cut him some slack.

Well, it turns out that yeah -- you CAN do a bad version of that song.

Jeebus, but that kid sucks. And he isn't even the worst one SNL's had on in memory.