Friday, February 13, 2009

Weekend Listomania (Special Journalism 101! Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental on-call strumpet social secretary Fah Lo Suee and I will be traveling to something called the Borscht Belt (I think it's in upstate New York) where some very old guys are going to help me write a joke for next week's Listomania. I think there will be corned beef sandwiches and Jews involved, but I can't be sure.

In any case, posting by moi will necessarily be sporadic for a few days while we schvitz.

But in my absence, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:

Most Memorable Song Whose Title Includes one of the Five W's They Teach You About in J-School -- Who, What, When, Where or Why!!!!!!

Self-explanatory, obviously, so no arbitrary rules this time.

Okay, here's my top of my head Top Eight:

8. Why -- The Byrds

This is actually a cover by the Brit psych band Tomorrow, of "Excerpt From A Teenage Opera" fame. The Byrds themselves did like three different versions of this, but none of them are on YouTube at the moment. Great song, though, and the cover's not bad.

7. Where or When -- Dion and the Belmonts

The Rogers and Hart classic, given a gorgeous sort of doo-wop treatment. A lyrical two-fer, for my purposes, obviously.

6. Why Do I Cry -- The Remains

I'd forgotten that this figures in Superbad; funny to think of Judd Apatow as a garage rock fan. In any case, the live version -- from A Session with the Remains -- is better, but there's no video alas.

5. Where is My Mind -- James Blunt

Blunt goes neo-psych, and possibly the worst goddamn song I've ever heard. Included just to have something recorded in the 21st century, obviously.

4. Tell Me Why -- The Beatles

Swoon. Look for an adolescent Phil Collins in the cheap seats.

3. What's Happening?!?! -- The Byrds

Embedding disabled by request, but here's the link if you'd like to listen. My favorite track from Fifth Dimension; my crappy 70s band used to butcher it live with depressing regularity.

2. Tell Me What You See -- The Beatles

Possibly the best sort-of obscure Beatles song. From Beatles VI, which may be the greatest album ever made, despite the fact that it's not really part of the official canon blah blah blah.

And the number one Big W song, there's really no argument about this remotely possible so just shut the frick up, has to be --

1. Who Are You -- The Who

The whole self-referential thing, 'natch.

Awrighty then -- so what are your faves?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania (theme: unnecessary sequels) is now up over at Box Office. As always, if you could see your way to going over there and leaving a comment, it would convince management it's worth paying me. Thanks!]


Brooklyn Girl said...

Some of my all-tie faves:

"What You're Doing" (love the 12-string) and "When I Get Home" (fun song to sing along with) - Beatles

"What's Going On" - Marvin Gaye (good question answered with great eloquence and passion)

"Where the Streets Have No Name" and "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" - two great songs from U2's two best albums

"For What It's Worth" - Buffalo Springfield (apparently it didn't mean what we thought it meant, but I don't care ... it blew me away when I saw them perform it on American Bandstand)

Mister Pleasant said...

Good call on Tell Me What You See. It is one of those pre-Rubber Soul songs I never seem to remember but love dearly. And isn't John's lead in Tell Me Why one of his finest early vocals? Absolutely killer.

Here are a few of my additions. From the Kinks:
Who'll Be The Next In Line
Where Have All The Good Times Gone
When I Turn Off The Living Room Light - in which Ray Davies provides maybe his funniest lyrics ever, only to end with the touching "And we don't feel as ugly as we really are,
When we turn off the living room light."

And the Move
When Alice Comes Back To the Farm - Roy Wood builds the song around an amazing sludge metal slide riff. Check out the live performance on YouTube.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

(Will i joke around and still dig those sounds) When i grow up to be a man? -- Beach Boys

geor3ge said...

"Where Is My Mind" is actually a pretty decent Pixies tune. It takes a James Blunt to render it insufferable.

jfowler said...

Perhaps too obvious, but, there is a =good= 'Where Is My Mind?' by the Pixies, off of Surfer Rosa

jfowler said...

Oops, I guess I was too slow at the obvious -

Do these violate the lack-of-arbitrary rules?

Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere - The Who

Nowhere Man - Beatles

Elvis is Everywhere - Mojo Nixon

The Where is not capitalized...

Elroy said...

When You Dance - Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes

Second vote for When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)

TJWood said...

A couple from the Rolling Stones, who have not been mentioned as of yet:

"When The Whip Comes Down" and "Who's Driving Your Plane?" (early B-side)

A couple more from Bob Dylan, also getting his first mention here:

"When I Paint My Masterpiece" (also done with and by the Band, of course) and "Where Teardrops Fall" (from Oh,Mercy)

To complete my list, one from Neil Young: "When You Dance I Can Really Love" and another from the Velvet Underground, "What Goes On"

megisi said...

Jimmy Ruffin's What Becomes of the Brokenhearted is one of Motown's true gems, as much for Mickey Stevenson's brilliant production as for Ruffin's anguished reading of the song. A classic.

I also love Buddy Miller's Water When the Well is Dry, the best tune I've yet heard that references the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Seek it out.

Toss in Cowboy Junkies' wistful Where are You Tonight?, Elvis Costello's When I Was Cruel and Jeff Healey's cover of Dylan's When the Night Comes Fallin' from the Sky and we have us a mini-list.

Yet, I'd be remiss if I didn't toss in for your inspection Where'd You Get that Bruise? by the cruelly talented and near-immortal Evan Johns and His H-bombs. Yeah, I'm a fan.

FeralLiberal said...

Who's Making Love to Your Old Lady? - Johnny Taylor

What's the Word? Johannesbug - Gil Scott-Heron

When That Evening Sun Goes Down - Van Morrison

Where is the Next One Comming From? - Buddy Guy

Why Can't I Forget About You? - The Subdudes

steve simels said...

I am deeply embarassed that I didn't recognize "Where is My Mind" as a Pixies cover. In my defense, however, I will admit that the Pixies -- and "Surfer Rosa" -- never made a damn lick of sense to me back in the 80s.

These days, however, I find that whenever I hear a guitar rock song on a jukebox somewhere and don't immediately recognize it but like it it invariably turns out to be either the Pixies or Radiohead.

In any case, that Blunt version is embarassing.

Kid Charlemagne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kid Charlemagne said...

Let me give a shout out to one of my fave singers and band:

Fairport Convention: "Who Knows where the Time Goes?"

The Wolfmen said...

Who Do You Love - Bo Diddley
Where Did Our Love Go - The Supremes
Why Don't We Do It In The Road The Beatles
What Goes On - Velvet Underground
When I See An Elephant Fly - Disney

steve simels said...

When I See An Elephant Fly - Disney


Anonymous said...


steves said...

Dylan (who may actually be more of a musical journalist than Ochs ever was): When the Ship Comes In, When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky, What Good Am I, Who Killed Davy Moore.

George Harrison: What Is Life

Beatles: When I Get Home, What Goes On (was that a cover?)

Warren Zevon: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

Anonymous said...

The best why song evah...
Why Do Fools Fall in Love - Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers


Brooklyn Girl said...

The song that revitalized Tina Turner's career: "What's Love Got To Do With It?"

Judy Collins: "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" -okay, it's not a pop song, but it's gorgeous, and the fact that it has two of the clue words in it should compensate. :-)

Linda Ronstadt: "When Will I Be Loved?"

I'd also add Prince: "When Doves Cry" except I don't really like it.

Jeff said...

Who Loves The Sun? - Velvet Underground
What A Waste - Sonic Youth
Where - Radiohead
When I Write The Book - Nick Lowe
Why Go It Alone? - Pere Ubu

James Blunt!?! Omigawd!

Jeff said...

Correction: "When I Write The Book" was actually Rockpile (heard Nick's voice in my head and just forgot)

TJWood said...

steves said...

Beatles: When I Get Home, What Goes On (was that a cover?)

The Beatles' "What Goes On?" is actually an original, written by Lennon, McCartney, and Ringo Starr, and sung by Ringo.

MBowen said...

Who Knows Where The Time Goes? - Fairport Convention

Who's Landing In My Hangar? - Human Switchboard

Who Will Answer? - Ed Ames (yeah, ultra-cheese, but it was my favorite song when I was 10)

Who Stole My Monkey? - Zachary Richard

David said...

Why Can't I Touch it? -- The Buzzcocks

Dave said...

Well, you asked! I'm very fond of all of these:

What a Difference a Day Makes -- Dinah Washington

Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get -- Dramatics

Who'll Stop the Rain -- CCR

Ask Me Why -- Beatles

When a Man Loves a Woman -- Percy Sledge

And When I Die -- Laura Nyro

What's Easy for Two Is Hard for One -- Mary Wells

Why Do Lovers Break Each Others' Hearts -- Bob B. Soxx & Blue Jeans

When a Boy Falls In Love -- Mel Carter

What's Your Name - Don & Juan

When You Walk in the Room -- Searchers or Jackie DeShannon

When You're Young & In Love -- Marvelettes (second appearance in 3 weeks)

When Doves Cry -- Prince

When Will I Be Loved -- Everly Brothers or Linda Ronstadt

When I'm Gone -- Brenda Holloway

What Does It Take -- Jr. Walker & AllStars

What Is Life -- George Harrison

I Don't Know Why -- Stevie Wonder

I Wonder Why -- Dion and the Belmonts

Where or When -- a double W by Dion and the Belmonts

What's So Good About Goodbye -- Miracles

Who's Holding Donna Now -- DeBarge

What Is Love -- Howard Jones

What'd I Say -- Ray Charles

I Just Don't Know What To Do with Myself -- Dionne Warwick

I (Who Have Nothing) -- Ben E. King

When I Was Young -- Animals

Who's Zoomin Who -- Aretha Franklin

Who Loves You -- 4 Seasons

Who Am I -- Pet Clark (a neglected gem)

and a shoutout to my faves that others have listed:

When I Grow Up -- Beach Boys
What's Going On -- Marvin Gaye
Why Do Fools Fall In Love -- Frankie Lymon & Teenagers
When I Get Home -- Beatles

Libby Spencer said...

Whoa. Tough crowd. I love a lot of songs that were already taken. The only one I can think of off the top of my head that hasn't been mentioned:

When the Music's Over - The Doors.

Libby Spencer said...

Of course, I immediately thought of another one.

Who Am I - Country Joe and the Fish

TMink said...

BG wrote: "apparently it didn't mean what we thought it meant" concerning For What It's Worth.

What is the story behind the song? Please share!


Brooklyn Girl said...

BG wrote: "apparently it didn't mean what we thought it meant" concerning For What It's Worth.

What is the story behind the song? Please share!


I, and many of my college-age peers, thought it was about creeping government intervention and our (legitimate) impression that the military-industrial complex was trying to suppress the various counterculture political movements of the 1960s. According to our host, the song was actually about the curfew riots on the Sunset Strip ... apparently, kids wanted to get into bars after 10:00.

David said...

Also a misunderstood song because it was seen as a rallying cry for the youth culture when it actually decries both sides of the conflict ('Nobody's right if everybody's wrong..." and "hooray for our side")

Andrea said...

Beat Farmers did a fabulous song also titled "Why do I cry".