Friday, August 28, 2009

Weekend Listomania (Special The Right Tool for the Job Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental Cialis Cutie interior decorator Fah Lo Suee and I are off to Boston, where we plan to hiss at anybody who has the poor taste to suggest that Teddy Kennedy was in fact a Liberal at his memorial service. That kind of shrill politicization will NOT be tolerated, thank you very much.

So posting by moi will more than likely be sporadic for a little while.

But in the meantime, here's another little project for us all:

Most Memorable Post-Beatles Song or Record Referencing a Musical Instrument in the Title or Lyrics!!!

No arbitrary rules this time, you're welcome very much. Seriously -- no arbitrary rules. Anything goes as far as I'm concerned.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I've done a list like this already (I'm thinking that goddamn "Squeezebox") but I couldn't find it in the archives because I'm obviously senile AND tech illiterate. So one more time. (I'm pretty sure some of my choices are new this time out anyway).

And my totally top of my head Top Seven is:

7. Jimmy Silva and the Goats -- A Tin Whistle and a Wooden Drum

I know very little about Silva except that he was involved with the whole Young Fresh Fellows axis of Northwest coolness and that apparently he died not too long after making the absolutely gorgeous 1991 album this particular ecstatically Byrdsian song appears on. The rest of the album's really great, too, BTW...if you're curious you can download the whole thing free right here.

6. Tom Waits -- The Piano Has Been Drinking

Waits in '77, toward the end of his initial Beatnik period, and pretty damned funny.

5. The Tokens -- I Hear Trumpets Blow

I must confess to having a soft spot for these guys that goes way beyond "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (get me drunk sometime and I'll bore you with my theory that their gorgeous Carole King-penned "He's in Town" is a major influence on the sound of Springsteen's E-Street Band). This one, one of the very best Brill Building blue collar romantic ballads of the 60s, is another of my real faves.

4. Mike Oldfield -- Tubular Bells

Is it cool to admit liking this again? I've lost track. In any case, Philip Glass and all his subsequent minimalist stuff can frankly bite me.

4. Joni Mitchell -- For Free

A great song about a clarinet player, as unlikely as that sounds. Truly gorgeous, but it has much to answer for, perhaps, when you consider she later hired the appalling Tom Scott and the fricking L.A. Express to back her up.

3. The Aliens -- Theremin

Holy shit, I finally got a song recorded in the 21st century into Listomania! Seriously -- a pretty cool tune, even if it doesn't feature the titular instrument.

2. Cheap Trick -- Mandocello

Rick Nielsen's ode to the theoretically obsolete title instrument, and one of the very best songs on their epochal debut album.

And the numero uno "A Tinkling Piano in the Next Room" tune obviously is --

1. The Morells -- That Mellow Saxophone

Said it before and I'll say it again -- if I was throwing a party and I could afford to hire any band in the world, it would be these guys in their better known incarnation as The Skeletons, and don't give me any of that NRBQ shit 'cause I don't want to hear it. Seriously -- this song is an absolute hoot, and they've got a million of 'em just as good they can play at the drop of a hat.

Alrighty then -- what would your choices be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: most memorable autobiographical films -- is now up over at Box Office. As always, if you could see your way to going over there and leaving some sort of wise-ass comment, it would help cement my relationship with management. Thanks!]


Dave said...

The immortal "Surfin' Hootenanny" by Al Casey and the K-C-Ettes (and written and produced by Lee Hazlewood) has to be #1 on my list:

Although I like "Rinky-Dink" even more, who can resist Dave "Baby" Cortez's "The Happy Organ"?

Always loved the Larry Knechtel guitar break and the heartfelt vocals on Bread's "Guitar Man." Here's a live version of David Gates:

And I'm not going to mention certain obvious choices by the Beatles, Billy Joel, or Chuck Berry.


John Fowler said...

a few choices...

They Might Be Giants - "Violin" - a truly silly song from No!, their first clearly-aimed-at-kids album. Wish all kids' albums could be so good!

The Clash - "Jail Guitar Doors" - from their first, self-titled. Play it loud.

Sleater-Kinney - "Words and Guitar" - from Dig Me Out. (Poor quality video, only one I could find.)

The Stone Roses - "She Bangs the Drums" - from their first, self-titled. I think their only full-length album?

Steve Earle - "Guitar Town" - from the album of the same name. His first, I think, and still really great.

NYMary said...

While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The Beatles

You Play Glockenspiel; I'll Plat Drums - Beautiful South

Tubthumping - Chumbawamba

A Haircut and a Guitar - Montana (Great unknown pop song, on a Not Lame compilation)

Feral said...

Here's a few:

Rod Stewart - Mandolin Wind
Todd Rundgren - I Don't Want to Work
The Who - Guitar and Pen
Archie Bell & the Drells - Tighten Up
Donovan - Hurdy Gurdy Man
The Who - A Quick One While He's Away (cello cello cello cello...)

David said...

Cello Song: Nick Drake
Blow Your Tuneless Trumpet: The Mekons
Johnny Guitar: Peggy Lee
Guitar Jamboree: Chris Spedding
Drum Beat For Baby: Weekend
Heavy Metal Drummer: Wilco

Anonymous said...

Electric Guitar - Talking Heads
Different Drum - Stone Poneys
My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama - F. Zappa
Green Tambourine - Lemon Pipers
Guitars, Cadillacs - Dwight Yoakam
Funky Drummer - James Brown

And WHO can forget:

Don't Touch My Guitar - Archies
New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones - Fear
-bill buckner

The Kenosha Kid said...

Dammit, Bill Buckner already won this category, leaving me nothing but leftovers.

Mr. Clarinet - The Birthday Party
Yakkety Sax - whoever

and of course, Dance to The Music, Sly & The Family Stone:

All we need is a drummer,
for people who only need a beat
I'm gonna add a little guitar
and make it easy to move your feet
I'm gonna add some bottom,
so that the dancers just won't hide
You might like to hear my organ
playing "Ride Sally Ride"

steve simels said...


Motherfucking Squeezebox!!!!

Anonymous said...

PIANO MAN - Billy Joel
Green Tambourine - The Lemon Pipers
Hurdy Gurdy Man - Donovan (hurdy gurdy is an organ grinder)
Mr. Tambourine Man - The Byrds

Noam Sane said...

Johnny B. Goode could play that guitar like a-ringin' a bell. Or so I hear.

Randy Newman heard harps and angels. Yes! Harps and angels!

Learn to work the saxophone, I'll play just how I feel.

Noam Sane said...

...also, Dude, 'squeezebox' is not the preferred nomenclature. 'Accordion,' please.

Elroy said...

I'm guessing "76 Trombones" wouldn't qualify...

Anonymous said...

Ziggy played guitar.

{Ducks shoe thrown by Steve]

steve simels said...

Fear -- New York's Okay If You Like Saxophones.

Now there's a tender love ballad...

Nora Charles said...

Flute Thing -- Tull

Yakkety Sax -- Boots Randolph

Daniel and the Sacred Harp -- The Band

NYMary said...

Motherfucking Squeezebox!!!!

Okay, that cracked me up.

John Fowler said...

Hats off to Noam, for 'Harps & Angels' - how can a song be funny and lovely and sweet, at the same time?

"Encore, Encore!"
"He spoke French..."

And glad Elroy mentioned "76 Trombones", although I think it's not Post-Beatles (??).

By the way, Steve, raises a point for clarification - on these here non-arbitrary/arbitrary rules. Which are clearly never broken, bent or frayed.

Is 'Post-Beatles' after "Please Please Me", or after the breakup?

steve simels said...

Post the Beatles arrival in the United States for the first time. In other words, the start of the British Invasion.

Or thereabouts...

Alex said...

"Two Guitars Bass and Drums" by Young Fresh Fellows.

"1974" by Robyn Hitchcock ("...ghastly mellow saxophones all over the floor...")

And Norm mentioned Johnny B. Goode, which reminded me of his distant cousin from Graham Parker's "Suck 'n' Blow" who could "play a guitar just like wringing a neck..."

Wendy said...

Too bad we can't nominate albums ... otherwise, I'd put up "Decksanddrumsandrockandroll" by Propellerhead. :-)

So I'll go with "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits:

I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Look at that mama, she got it stickin in the camera
Man we could have some fun
And hes up there, whats that? hawaiian noises?
Bangin on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
That aint workin thats the way you do it
Get your money for nothin get your chicks for free

cthulhu said...

Well, I'm not a particularly big fan of the Who's version of Squeezebox, but Townshend's original demo (from "Scoop") is quite fetching.

And Who-wise, what would the list be without Won't Get Fooled Again - "pick up my guitar and play"

John Hiatt, Perfectly Good Guitar and Rock Back Billy - the latter a gem from "Stolen Moments" with the great line "as long as there's a kid in a room somewhere / with a beat-up guitar and some funny-lookin' hair"

Libby Spencer said...

Damn I'm late and mine have been taken. All I can think of to add is Homeward Bound. Simon and Garfunkel.

Noam Sane said...

And Who-wise...

Guitar and Pen

cthulhu said...


I'll modify a line from our host here: motherfuckin' Guitar and Pen!!! One of Townshend's weakest compositions on one of the Who's weakest discs...