Friday, July 24, 2009

Weekend Listomania (Special O Blinding Light! O Light That Blinds! Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental groinal osteopath weight loss guru Fah Lo Suee and I are off to Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a little "Off the Pigs!" party at the house of distinguished Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates. Jr.

So posting by moi will necessarily be sporadic for a little while, especially if we need to post bail.

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

Most Memorable Post-Beatles Song or Record Involving Vision (In All Senses of the Word) in the Title or Lyrics!!!

No arbitrary rules this time, and yes, I posted something similar about the five senses a while back, blah blah blah. But this gives me a chance to put up downloadable mp3s of three songs I like (entries 1-3), so don't give me any grief, you ungrateful curs.

Okay, my totally top of my head Top Six is:

6. Mariah Carey -- Vision of Love

Hey, I didn't say it had to be good -- just memorable. And this one is totally unforgettable, no matter how fervently I wish I'd never heard it.

5. The Nazz -- Open My Eyes

Todd Rundgren in 1969, and already a god. Seriously -- this is as perfect a rock record as has ever been made.

4. KT Tunstall -- Suddenly I See

I haven't made my mind about Tunstall, but this song works, I think. Upped a few points just for having been recorded in this century, unlike most of my choices in the last hundred or so Listomanias.

3. The Byrds -- See the Sky About to Rain

The Neil Young song, of course, and one of the two or three really great tracks on the Byrds' patchy 1973 reunion album.

2. The Replacements -- Seen Your Video

As much as I loved this album unreservedly from the minute I heard it, I think it was this song -- throwaway that it is -- and its implicit attitude that made me fall in love with the band. Especially in an era when Sting and Mark Knopfler were pimping, however "ironically", for MTV.

And the numero uno song about the visual cortex, don't even argue with me or I'll poke your eyes out with a burnt stick, obviously is --

1. Moby Grape -- Seeing

Take me far away
My wiles and mind can't beat a dream of death today
Hard to get by
When what greets my eye takes my breath away

Cryin' "Save me, save me, save me!"
I'll save you. Can I spend you?

Their masterpiece -- terrifying and strangely beautiful. Written and sung (in part) by the great Skip Spence, a guy who had glimpsed the abyss and realized he wasn't coming back -- when he cried "Save me!" it was a desperate and very real plea for help.

Awrighty, then -- what would your choices be?

[Shameless blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: Movies With Characters That Are Completely Bonkers -- is now up over at you know where. As always, I'd take it as a personal favor if you could shlep over there and say something snarky. Thanks!]


steve simels said...

BTW -- there may or may not be a problem with the DivShare links. I don't think it's on my end, but we shall see...

Mister Pleasant said...

That opening riff on Open My Eyes takes The Who's Can't Explain jagged rhythm and adds the odd chord progression that only Todd could imagine. Gotta agree with you on this one. It doesn't get any better.

Speaking of The Who and one of the greatest songs ever that just happens to be about super powered vision - I Can See For Miles is an obvious choice here.

Sadly the divShare links are not working - and I so want to hear that Moby Grape tune.

cthulhu said...

The Who's I Can See For Miles, of course. And We're Not Gonna Take It, with the whole "See Me, Feel Me" refrain. Naked Eye, one of Townshend's bleakest and most powerful songs: "And we stand looking in each other's eyes / Both think we know what's right / Both know we know what's wrong / And tell ourselves so many many lies..."

the late, lamented Chris Whitley, Phone Call from Leavenworth: "three o'clock this morning / thought I saw Jesus comin' down / he came through the concrete, baby / he came through these walls without no sound / I closed my eyes and watched him slip away, all right..."

Richard and Linda Thompson, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, although I confess I'm starting to prefer the live versions of this from the last 10 years of RT band shows, with RT of course singing lead...

megisi said...

Bob Mould's See a Little Light

MC5,Lookin' at You

John Fowler said...

Cthulhu & Mr. Pleasant both bring up the first to my mind, I Can See For Miles

and Cthulhu follows with Naked Eye and I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, also very high on my list.

some other (probably obvious) choices:

The Who (again) - Let's See Action

Elvis C. - Watching the Detectives

Television - See No Evil

The Pogues - A Pair of Brown Eyes - "The only thing I could see was a pair brown eyes that was looking at me..."

Velvet Underground - Beginning to See the Light

Joe Jackson - Is She Really Going Out With Him? - "Look over there!"

Liz Phair - Stratford-On-Guy "...watching the lake turn the sky into blue-green smoke..."

TJWood said...

It is early, but I'm a little surprised that "Visions of Johanna" by Bob Dylan hasn't gotten a mention as of yet. I just took care of that.

That will be my '60's choice. For the last four decades:

70's: I Saw The Light (another Todd Rundgren, although the Raspberries also had a song with the same name)

80's: Beautiful Vision (Van Morrison)

90's: Seeing Things (The Black Crowes--having real problems finding '90's songs from this category)

00's: Moment of Surrender (U2--one of the key lines in this song is "vision over visibility". A choice from not only this decade, but this year as well)

FeralLiberal said...

Let me add another one from "Tommy" - Eyesight to the Blind, written by Mose Allison, I think the only on one Tommy not written by the Who.

Dylan - Visions of Johanna
Hollies - Look Through Any Window
Todd Rundgren - I Saw the Light
Genesis - Watcher of the Skies
The Who - Can You See the Real Me?
Jeff Healy - See the Light

steve simels said...

I don't know what's with the DivShare links -- it seems to be some kind of retroactive problem that's affecting links from older posts as well.

If anybody wants one of the songs especially, e-mail me and I'll send you the mp3s.

Sorry for the screw-up.

David said...

"I Heard You Looking" - Yo La Tengo
"I'm Looking Through You" - The Beatles
"Look at Me" - John Lennon
"See Emily Play" - Pink Floyd
"When You Notice the Stripes" - The Shins
"I Watch the Cars" - Robyn Hitchcock
"Music to Watch Girls By" - various artists, including Willie Bobo, Herb Alpert, and Andy Williams (!)

Brooklyn Girl said...

Too bad this list is post-Beatles ... otherwise, I'd nominate "I'll Follow The Sun". :-)

One day you'll look to see I've gone
For tomorrow may rain,
so I'll follow the sun

Kid Charlemagne said...

The Soft Boys - Queen Of Eyes

NYMary said...

Well, of course Shoes, "See Me" and "Your Very Eyes." (Because you know I'm compelled to....)

Does XTC's "We're All Light" count?

Peter said...

Loved the Moby Grape - never heard it before. IMHO the greatest band that ever came out of San Francisco.

And there's a reason "See the Sky About to Rain" is one of the few tracks worth hearing on the Byrds reunion (produced, let's remember, by David Crosby). It's one of the few tracks with any trace of Roger McGuinn.

Elroy said...

DivShare appears to be working again.

Elroy said...

Forgot - See How We are, by X.

MBowen said...

"Sound and Vision" - David Bowie

"Seeing Other People" - Belle & Sebastian

and the immortal

"When You Die Your Eyes Pop Out" - The Donner Party

Mister Pleasant said...

The divShare is working today, and I found myself listening to the Byrds and Moby Grape entries about fifty times. Really! I have never ventured past the first Moby Grape LP, as it always seemed so perfect I was afraid to tarnish it by listening to what I had always been led to believe was inferior music on the follow-up albums. No words are sufficient to describe the effect that Seeing has had on me. I need to let it soak in for a week. And I had a different but similarly strong reaction to The Byrds See the Sky About to Rain.

Thanks Steve. Yet again you have raised my musical IQ about 20 points in one day.

Noam Sane said...

"Eyesight to the blind" is an old Sonny Boy Williamson number, I assume its origin precedes him. Mose did cover that tune too, but "Young Man Blues" is the Mose song that The Who covered.

I like the Dead's "Eyes of the World," those sparkly major-7 chords, Garcia soloing over that lighter-than-air arrangement.

and Japan's "Visions of China". Mick Karn's bass playing...hoo boy.

I didn't mind that Mariah Carey song, it had a little bit of blues flavor. She subsequently got right down to teh suck though.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Everybody’s sitting around watching television! – London’s Burning

We hear the playback and it seems so long ago -- Video Killed the You Know What

You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard -- Celluloid Heroes

steve simels said...

Mister Pleasant:

I'm so glad you dug Seeing. That song has haunted me for years, and it's nice to know that I'm perhaps not nuts.

BTW, Robert Plant(!) did a great cover of it. On his very nice obscure 60s cover album, which I recommend.

Libby Spencer said...

Off the top of my head,

Todd Rundgren - Hello It's Me (I'll come around to see you once in a while...)

Joni Mitchell - Woodstock (And I dreamed I saw the bomber death planes, Riding shotgun in the sky)

Otis Redding - Sitting on the Dock of the Bay (watching the tide roll away)

Try as I might, it's hard to forget Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight (Well, I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes)

Supremes - Come See About Me

And I'm not sure if this one fits the time frame and it's been covered by dozens of artists, but one of my all time fav songs:

Cee Cee Rider - (come and see what you have done now)

Libby Spencer said...

And on the watching theme:

Moody Blues - Watching and Waiting

Jimi - All Along the Watchtower

Roger Waters - Watching TV

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