Friday, July 10, 2009

Weekend Listomania (Special Anywhere But Here! Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental manual catharsis engineer fille de whoopee Fah Lo Suee and I are off to Wasilla, Alaska, where we'll be joining soon to be former Governor Sarah Palin [R-Mother of the Year] in a ceremony proclaiming Space Moose Alaska's Official State Animal. And I should add at this juncture that if you already know who Space Moose is, you ought to be deeply ashamed of yourself.

In any case, posting by moi will necessarily be sporadic for a little while.

But in the meantime, here's another little project for you folks:

Best Post-Elvis Song or Record Referencing Going Somewhere (Anywhere!) in the Title or Lyric!!!

No arbitrary rules this time, you're welcome very much, and if this is a little too similar to a Listomania I may or may not have posted in the past, please forgive me -- I'm old and senile.

In any case, my totally top of my head Top Seven would be...

7. Dashboard Confessional -- As Lovers Go

Okay, I don't much care for these guys, and I know it's not really about going somewhere, but I wanted to have something recorded in this century for a change. So sue me.

6. Dionne Warwick -- Trains and Boats and Planes

Said this before, but I think on balance this is not only her best record but Bachrach and David's most beautiful song. Alas, Dionne's version isn't on YouTube, but I was absolutely staggered to find that the Box Tops cover (with the teenaged Alex Chilton) which I had no idea existed, is. Truly amazing....

5. The Smashing Pumpkins -- Bullet Train to Osaka

As in Billy Corgan's pretentious cue-ball noggin wants to get on board the titular vehicle enroute to the titular city. That voice you hear is saying "All aboard the bullet train to Osaka" in Japanese, obviously.

4. Bessie Banks -- Go Now

Much as I adore the Moody Blues version (with my fave piano solo of the Brit Invasion) I've come to appreciate the original even more.

3. Nils Lofgren -- Keith Don't Go (Ode to a Glimmer Twin)

That's Keith, as in Richards, and don't go, as in don't kill yourself. From 1975, when such a thing seemed eminently possible. Lofgren's a mensch, obviously. And a great guitarist (dig the "Satisfaction" quote).

2. Katrina and the Waves -- Going Down to Liverpool

The Bangles version is more famous, and it has that Leonard Nimoy video obviously. But the original, with composer (and once and future Soft Boy) Kimberly Rew on guitar is the great one, I think.

And the numero uno This Must Not Be the Place tune, let's not even argue about this okay, obviously is --

1. Fairport Convention -- Si Tu Dois Partir

"If You Gotta Go," the Bob Dylan song, and in fricking French. Invitations to take a walk don't get any cooler.

Awrighty -- what would you choices be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: movies with cool courtroom scenes -- is now up over at Box Office. As always, if you could see your way to going over there and leaving a coment, I'd be your best friend. And you can watch the complete courtroom scene from Woody Allen's Bananas, which is about as funny as it gets, so it'll be worth your while. Thanks!]


Peter said...

Canned Heat - "On the Road Again." Seems ike everbody in the '60s had a song called "On the Road Again" up to and including BD himself, but this is a fishing beautiful record and for my money the finest reimagining of an old blues there is. That includes "Love in Vain" and I'll fishing well stand on Keith's coffee table in my broughans and say so.

PS. I do not want to hear either the word "Willie" or the word "Nelson" in connection with this. I am in earnest, although with the release of "Bruno" that phrase is less useful than it used to be.

"Key to the Highway" by anybody. It's a brilliant piece of folk poetry and it does what a standard is supposed to do: a) sound good no matter how badly you play it and b) sounds GREAT if you CAN play, no matter how many times you've played it.

"Riding with the King" I like John Hiatt's original but it's another song that sounds great no matter who does it.

steve simels said...


I'm with you on "On the Road Again" -- everything about that record works, including the production, which still sounds completely modern. Alan Wilson really is one of the great underrated guys of all time...

Anonymous said...

should i stay or should i go - the clash
do you know the way to san jose - dionne warwick
wait - beatles

MJConroy said...

Lofgren's "Keith Don't Go" on the Authorized Bootleg album is even better!
Live in the KSAN studio, that is one of my favorite albums of all time.

Anonymous said...

America - simon & garfunkel
Two Of Us -- Beatles
Marrakesh Express , CSN
On the Road - Canned Heat
Roam -B52's
Born to be Wild - steppenwolf

David said...

A pregnant topic, for sure. Here's a few:

Go to the Mardi Gras: Professor Longhair
I'm Going Upstairs: John Lee Hooker
If You Want Me to Stay: Sly & the Family Stone
Why Won't You Stay: American Music Club
Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You: Led Zep, Joan Baez
(the utterly sublime power pop gem) I Don't Know Why You Stay: Essex Green
and Steve, how could you forget "Stay With Me Baby" by Lorraine Ellison

TMink said...

Cool Alex Chilton song, I have not heard that one before! I am trying to get all his stuff I can, same thing with the dB's guys. My favorite recent Chilton acquisition is Cliches. It is just Alex with a guitar, and there is not a speck of irony in the whole record. Nary a jot nor a tittle.

It is kind of strange, as I love Alex's sardonic delivery, but give it a listen you guys.


Noam Sane said...

What's that Guess Who song about a place where it's "rainin' all the time" and if you go there, "you'll get your feet wet"...?

Teh Google is no help. I remember it from a mix tape my pal Bobby Bo-Bags gave me many years ago. (He named himself that - obviously - as lead singer of a blues band I was in. His trademark was the mid-song exclamation "Hoo-ah!," years before Pacino stole it. Furthermore, this blues band played CBGBs one Sunday in 1986 and cleared the place out in seconds flat.)


Bob said...

Headin For The Texas Border by the Flamin Groovies from Flamingo !

Kid Charlemagne said...

Hey Steve, can you send me an email? I stupidly deleted your addy. Tank you.

BTW, on YouTube there is a cool vid of Nils doing "Keith Don't Go" on acoustic.

Libby Spencer said...

2000 Light Years from Home - Stones

Route 66 - covered by everybody

Woodstock - Joni or CS&N

That leaving on a Jet Plane song.

Yellow Taxi - Joni

Libby Spencer said...

And Magic Bus - Who

Anonymous said...

Going Mobile - the who
Laura Nyro - And when i die
Laura Nyro - Poverty Train
Mott the Hoople -All The Way to Memphis

mcpart said...

Space Moose! I had not thought of that in years!

Dave said...

I'm in a Motown mood today:

Destination Anywhere (Marvelettes featuring another of Wanda's great leads) and features one of my favorite lyrics:

"But it was just the conductor saying
Which stop do you prefer?"

Twenty-Five Miles (Edwin Starr's greatest)

When I'm Gone (Brenda Holloway)

Weirdly, my two favorite Supremes singles are both "going somewhere songs": "Come See About Me" and especially "Let Me Go the Right Way" with a wonderful Diana Ross lead:

Martha and the Vandellas' "Nowhere to Run" (Here's a Shindig video:

"Going To a Go Go" ( The Miracles' original can help save us from memories of the Stones' cover version)

Arguably, the first Motown song is a great gospel-tinged pop confection by Marv Johnson, written by Berry Gordon, "Come To Me" (

I'm not anti-disco, but "Don't Leave Me This Way" and "I'm Coming Out" didn't make the cut.

Brooklyn Girl said...

Mystery Train - The Band (from Moondog Matinee)

The Train Kept A-Rollin' - Yardbirds

You Can't Catch Me - Chuck Berry

Kansas City - Wilbert Harrison/Beatles

He's Gone - Grateful Dead

Everyone's Gone to the Movies - Steely Dan

Exit - U2

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

He took his potatoes down to be mashed & then he made it on over to that million dollar bash – Dylan.

Unrelated but ... Drake Levin (Aug. 17, 1946 - July 4, 2009) RIP

steve simels said...

Unrelated but ... Drake Levin (Aug. 17, 1946 - July 4, 2009) RIP

I will grieve, as Mr.Spock said.

I loved his playing...totally underrated guitarist.

steves said...

Peter--As much as I too love "Key to the Highway," I have to point out that the song is way pre-Elvis, with the earliest versions recorded in 1940 and '41 by Charles Segar and Big Bill Broonzy, respectively.

That said, allow me to seize this opportunity to show off my own antiquity:

Beach Boys - I Get Around
Dylan - Santa Fe
Dylan - Desolation Row
Paul Simon - Take Me to the Mardi Gras
Steve Miller - Jet Airliner
Arlo Guthrie - Coming Into Los Angeles
CSN&Y - Pre-Road Downs
Steely Dan - Show Biz Kids ("Go to Las Wages")
Steely Dan - Midnight Cruiser

David said...

Good additions, o ancient one, but don't you mean "Lost Wages"? That's the joke of it! Also, I hadn't known Drake Levin by name but did very much dig his playing, esp. on "Him or Me?" which is not one of Paul Revere's better known hits but one of my faves: totally exhilarating!

Brooklyn Girl said...

Going Out Of My Head - Little Anthony and the Imperials


John Fowler said...

Top of the Going Somewhere Pile, for me, has to be:

R.E.M. - (Don't Go Back to) Rockville from Reckoning. The chorus and bridge (especially) are etched into my mind. (Really glad to have a chance to find this Youtube clip).

A close second, hilarious and insanely catchy:
Fountains of Wayne - Red Dragon Tattoo from Utopia Parkway
"Monday gonna take a ride on
the N train down to Coney Island"

Others worth mentioning

The Box Tops - The Letter

Liz Phair - Go West from Whip-Smart

Stevie Wonder - Living For the City from Innervisions

Neil Young - Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown from Tonight's the Night

The Band - Up on Cripple Creek from The Band. "Straight down the Mississippi river, to the Gulf of Mexico"

Violent Femmes - Please Do Not Go from their self-titled first. The Youtube link is a bit embarassing, I'm afraid.

Elliott Smith - Rose Parade from Either/Or - as in "Won't you follow me down to ..."

And, although there wasn't a call for worst, let me nominate
Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

steves said...

David - Of course I know the joke is "lost wages"; I just thought they were singing it rather subtly.

Christ! I'm old, not stupid, you know. ;)

Peter said...

Sorry about "Key to the Highway." I'd just listened to it and had it on my mind.

David said...

Steve, sorry to have ever doubted you! But on a similar tip, the line in "Keith Don't Go" that you take to mean 'don't go kill yourself'--wasn't it really about not going to Toronto to stand trial on drug charges? Or were you (once again) being waggish? If so, I will absolutely sit quietly until I have something sensible to say....

dave™© said...

A little late to the party, but you could also have chosen Lofgren's "Goin' Back".

And regarding "Keith Don't Go," I thought, when it came out, it was a reference to the rumors that Keith was going to leave the Stones. A couple of years later, btw, Lofgren changed part of the lyrics in his live show to "Keith don't go - oh, to the town called Toronto!"