Friday, August 26, 2022

Literary Notes From All Over

From 1964 in The New Yorker, please enjoy Nat Hentoff's brilliant profile of Bob Dylan as he was recording his fourth album. You know -- the one with "Chimes of Freedom."

And you can read it over at the link HERE.

I should add that when this was written, Hentoff was also a jazz and pop critic at the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Reivew, and when I got my gig over there, I was briefly Nat's editor. Very nice guy.

I should also add that the Floor Models did a bunch of demos in that same CBS studio in NYC, which was a helluva thrill.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

[h/t Eric Boardman]

Thursday, August 25, 2022

See the USA in Your Chevrolet

From nobody knows exactly when, please enjoy the funniest rock-and-roll photograph of all time...

...and then from 1977, dig the greatest live rock recording of all time, juxtaposed here for obvious reasons.

You're welcome,

[h/t Arthur Kramer]

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "Schmucks in White Satin" Edition)

From 1966, please enjoy the original version of The Moody Blues, with the great Denny Laine, and their glorious almost hit single "Stop."

I should add that Laine -- who found greater fame and fortune as a member of Paul McCartney's Wings -- wrote and sang that. Jeebus, he was the real soulful deal.

But speaking of the post-Laine Moodys, I have a story, and its not really a funny one.

The short version -- I went to see the mellotron version of those guys -- with the insufferable irony-free Justin Heyward fronting -- at the old Fillmore East, circa late 1968. They were opening for whatever the edition of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers was, and apparently the Moody's thought it was somewhat demeaning to be paired with them..

And when the crowd didn't respond with the enthusiasm they thought their whey-faced British prog-rock deserved, Moody's flutist Ray Thomas looked at the audience and sneered-- and I quote verbatim -- "We're not doing any 12-bars tonight. Too complicated."

What a fucking snob asshole.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "More Cow Bell" Edition)

From 1987(!) and his sophomore studio album Lord of the Highway, please enjoy the incomparable Joe Ely and his killer ode to public rowdiness "Everybody Go Hammered."

That's just a great genre-bending rock song -- you can hear why Ely was credible collaborating with The Clash back in the day -- and what a pleasure it was to revisit it after all these years.

I should add that I bring it up because a publicist friend of mine (for decades) just sent me Ely's forthcoming album (of unreleased lullabyes he did for his daughter in their respective youths) is coming out on my birthday (Oct. 21) and its freaking great. But I'll have more to say about that when the time comes.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "50s Ballad Pastiche" Edition)

From 2014, please enjoy everybody's favorite pop tart Lydia Loveless and her spine-tingingly gorgeous cover of "They Don't Know."

Seriously -- that's just great. I think it's legitimately better than both the hit version by Tracey Ullman AND the original by the song's composer, the late great Kirsty MacColl. I mean, forgetting the vocal, which is about as well sung as you can get, but the backing band track is just outrageously cool in a jangly folk-rock way.

BTW, first time I heard that was when I was a guest on the much missed intertube radio show Lost at Sea formerly hosted by friend of PowerPop Captain Al.

Thanks, Captain.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Fantastic Cat? Yeah, I Would Agree!

As you may have heard, a certain Shady Dame and I welcomed a new furry friend into our home on Saturday.

And in honor of his arrival, please enjoy estimable power pop rockers Fantastic Cat -- featuring wise guy New York City raised front man/singer songwriter Brian Dunne -- and their hilarious video "Nobody's Coming to Get You."

Ah, irony is so ironic.

PS: Given that our new feline buddy was rescued in the Bronx, we have named him Mickey. As in Mantle.

Monday, August 15, 2022

More Rock en Español: Special "Mi Casa, Tu Casa" Edition

From 2020, please enjoy my current favorite band Maná and a live remake (in their respective homes) of their 2011 hit "Huele a Tristeza."

Attentive readers will recall I discovered these guys recently on the sound system of my latest watering hole -- a Mexican restaurant in Forest Hills. The short version is that they're from south of the border, they've been around for a couple of decades, and they've sold a gazillion records (including in the good old USA, where one of their albums went platinum when I wasn't looking).

As you can hear, they're world class fucking great, and I can't believe I hadn't been aware of them before a month or so ago, despite the fact they're superstars in much of the Spanish-speaking world.

I should add that this update of one of their biggest songs was obviously done as a response to the isolation occasioned by the onset of the COVID pandemic, and the cohesiveness of it is a wonder to behold.

I should also add that the cute little dog at the lead singer's feet is a thoroughly charming touch, and that the tune is so good it kills me even though I have no idea what they're yowling about.

In case you're wondering, however, the song's title loosely translates as "Smells of Sadness." Which is kind of interestingly poetic, now that I think of it.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Nuclear Holocaust Week (Part Le Fin): Celtic Folk Meets Some Weird Levantine Poet

Okay, so here's the story about my obsession with this anti-nuke song which inspired the last couple of postings.

The melody is from an old Scottish folk ballad (supernatural variety) called "The Silkie." It was on the first album by Joan Baez, and say what you will about Joanie, when I was a kid, her achingly pure soprano knocked me out, and this particular track was a revelation. For some reason a junior high school teacher of mine played it for my class one day, and I went bonkers.

I mean, I really went nuts. I actually spent hours trying to write a piano fantasia based on it, which I ultimately did; my old friend and musical colleague Allan Weissman informs me he can still play it from memory.

Anyway, cut to 1966 and The Byrds Fifth Dimension album. I'm listening to it for the first time, and suddenly this song -- with the same tune as the Baez thingie but with absolutely brilliant lyrics about a 7 year old who was fried at Hiroshima (gorgeously sung by Roger McGuinn and David Crosby, I should add) -- comes on. And I totally lose it. Where the hell did that come from?

So I look it up, and -- short version -- the lyrics are an anti-nuke poem by a guy named Nâzım Hikmet, a Turkish-Polish political writer and general activist artist guy, who was famous for his problems with the regime in his home country. The lyrics were apparently notorious in his day -- in a good way -- and folk genius Pete Seeger was savvy enough to graft them onto the melody of "The Silkie." And The Byrds were inspired to cover it, magnificently.

It still reduces me to tears, and many years later, I was moved to record a version of it myself -- with what success I leave you to decide.

Makes me weep still, despite my mediocre vocal.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Nuclear Holocaust (Fun For the Entire Family): Part Deux -- It Couldn't Have Happened Here

So as I've mentioned for the last two days, this week marks the anniversaries of the 1945 nuclear devastation of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

That being the case, and because music speaks a million words, please enjoy -- from the 1982 EP of the same name -- wise guy folk/metal/punk rocker Tonio K and his cautionary Ritchie Valens remake "La Bomba."

Which seems a) relevant and b) has a good beat and you can dance to it.

Ah, yes, 1982. The Reagan Era. When nobody was worried about Republicans blowing up the world.

Tomorrow: a somewhat more profound musical exegis of the same themes we've been discussing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Nuclear Holocaust: Fun for the Entire Family!

So as I mentioned, yesterday was the anniversary of the annihilation of the Japanese city of Nagasaki (in 1945). Forgetting your opinions of the morality of the United States' actions in that matter, it inspired a really sarondically cool song -- "Old Man Atom," the 1950 hit version of which by folkie Sam Hinton I was a huge enthusiast of as a kid, and hence I posted it yesterday.

That said, there was a competing version -- by Roy Rogers' country backup band The Sons of the Pioneers -- which I had never heard previously, and offer here in the spirit with which it was recorded.

You usually don't associate that kind of black-humor irony with early bluegrass outfits, but hey -- this is America. Anything can happen.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Peace in the World or the World in Pieces

Today is the anniversary of the World War II atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan (August, 1945), which I think we can all agree was one of the most morally reprehensible things ever done by this country.

Here's a reminder -- Sam Hinton's classic talking blues "Old Man Atom."

That was released (and a hit) in 1950, when I was three years old; my parents must have had a copy, because by the time I was in early elementary school I can remember obsessively playing it on the phonograph in my bedroom -- that red Columbia label is one of the most vivid images of my childhood. (I'm informed that The Sons of the Pioneers also did a version for RCA; I'll have to check that out).

In any case, given what's going on in Ukraine the song has lost none of its relevance. I should also add that the explosion at the end is a nice macabre production touch.

Monday, August 08, 2022

Ah, to Be Fifty Years Younger

Okay, I know this has nothing to do with music, but this DIOR ad on the back cover of the current issue of Vanity Fair is the most adorable thing I've seen in ages.

An actual song goes up tomorrow.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Hey -- This Kid is Good!

From his recently released album, please enjoy Harry Styles and his charmingly melodic and McCartney-esque "Matilda."

He's a good looking boy, too. In fact I have a theory about Styles -- when he gets a little older, he's gonna be cast as the next James Bond. Just you wait.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Odes to Air Conditioning

So as you may have have guessed by my absence since the weekend, I've had a couple of rough days lately, but by way of making it up to my beloved readers, please enjoy ewverybody's favorite sisters from Liverpool (by way of Austria) The Mona Lisa Twins and a lovely cover of Don McLean's "Vincent."

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- those gals have really got it.

I should add that McClean is not particularly in fashion these days (for reasons I neeedn't go into in a family blog) but that's still a really good song.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Weekend Listomania (Special "In the Summer When It Sizzles, And I'm Not Even in Paris" Edition)

Well, it's late July and we've got our air conditioning turned up to the max. That being the case, here's a little fun project for us all -- Top Best or Worst Pop/Rock Songs about This Time of the Year.

And my Top Seven nominees are...

7. Chad and Jeremy -- A Summer Song

Glorious harmonies and acoustic guitar work that reduces you to tears.

6. Brian Hyland -- Sealed With a Kiss

Utter dreck. In my high school, we used to sing it as "Kissed by a Seal."

5. The Jamies--Summertime Summertime

I still don't know if that song sucks or not.

4. Eddie Cochran -- Summertime Blues

C'mon -- rock 'n' roll doesn't get any cooler.

3. The Kinks -- Sunny Afternoon

I'd never seen that clip before, but that's about as sublime as it can be.

2. The Tearjerkers -- Syracuse Summer

"The California sun shines all the time/but East Coast Summer's are a different kind/They don't last as long so they mean a little bit more..."

And the all time great pop song about the beauty of summer is...

1. The Beach Boys The Warmth of the Sun

C'mon -- who else?

Okay -- and who would your choices be?

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Closed for Good News/Bad News Monkey Business

The Bad News: Nothing today.

The Good News: A brand new Weekend Listomania on Friday. See you then.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Reasons I Don't Always Miss the Sixties (An Occasional Feature): Special "Get Out Out of My Face Flaky Canadian Lady " Edition

From 1968 and her debut album Song for a Seagull, please enjoy everybody's sometimes favorite charmingly pretentious Southern California singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell and her nonetheless quite genuinely gorgeous "Marcie."

I bring this up for two reasons.

Number 1, apparently Joni made some kind of triumphant comeback at the Newport Folk Festival over the last weekend, and god bless her, obviously.

And number 2, recording-wise, she completely lost me after Blue, which is an inarguable freaking masterpiece of its sort of thing.

The rest of her ouevre not so much.

With the exception of her confessional autobiographical Laurel Canyon double LP Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, of course.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Closed for Monkey Business

Yesterday's Rex Reed item took a lot out of me -- regular more interesting music stuff resumes on the morrow.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Putzes I Have Known Professionally

So as attentive readers are aware, for the longest time -- twenty or thirty years, beginning in 1973 -- I scribbled off and on about music and pop culture for a magazine best known as Stereo Review. Let's just say that a cooler post-collegiate gig was pretty much unthinkable -- the money was great, I was living in an affordable rent-controlled one bed-room apartment in lower Manhattan, and I got to see A-list rock bands and movies pretty much five nights a week. For free. Plus I got to write about them, which people seemed to enjoy.

I should add that a book version of my literary greatest hits is coming out some time at the end of the year...

...and you might find it amusing.

In any case, there's a back story, which I will make as short as I can. The bottom line is I had read said magazine religiously -- by which I mean with a yarmulke on my head (heh) -- for most of my adolescence; it had been published under a variety of names since approximately 1958, and over the years I learned a great deal about all sorts of music from some of its writer/contributors, including jazz critic Nat Hentoff, opera buff George Jellinek, and classical polymath and PBS host Martin Bookspan.

Be that as it may, some time around the fabled Summer of Love, Stereo Review -- like many other magazines of its type -- was starting to hire younger scribes to give themselves a patina of hip, regardless of how undeserved. And so they hired a guy named Rex Reed, who at the time was sort of a celebrity -- he'd had cameos (usually as himself) iin a number of major Hollywood flicks, he'd produced a few books on movies, he reviewed for a couple of prestigious newspapers (including the NY Times), and he was considered a sort of happening New Journalist in a class with Tom Wolfe. Which he manifestly wasn't. And I found his writing, shall we say, cutesy. and the work of somebody who was trying way too hard. But what the hey -- I was a kid, what did I know?

In any case, Reed was responsible for this review of The Beatles early middle masterpiece Revolver in SR, and I remember thinking at the time that it made me ill. Please take a moment and read it now, to enjoy its full bullshit quotient and level of bad writing and ignorance that characterizes it.

I mean, seriously, that sucks. Big time.

So like I said, early in 1973, I wound up with a gig as pop music editor at SR -- how that happened will be explained in that book I mentioned -- and for a brief period (perhaps a month or two) I was Rex's editor. And one month into my tenure as his sort of boss, he was late with his copy. So I called him up and said -- "Rex, dude, we need your reviews immediately -- I've got a messenger standing by, so let me know when I can send him."

And Rex said -- swear to god, this is a true story -- "give me half an hour; as soon as I plug in the adjectives I'll be done."

Reed went on to a very lucrative career as a TV film critic and contributor to that little pisher Jared Kushner's pink-tinted New York newspaper/cat litter box filler The Observer, and he's apparently still alive and well. What he's doing otherwise, I have no idea.

More Stereo Review anecdotes will be forthcoming as the mood strikes me.

[h/t SteveS]

Friday, July 22, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved:: An Occasional Feature (Special "We Were Talking About These Guys Yesterday" Edition)

From 1965, please enjoy incomparable Brit Invasion rockers The Hollies and their killer single "Don't Run and Hide."

For years, I thought this was a b-side to something or other, but I was delighted to discover recently that it's actually an album cut from the Bus Stop album. A great fucking song in any case, and what a delight to hear it in stereo.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "Feets Don't Fail Me Now" Edition)

From 1975, please enjoy The Hollies' brilliant lead singer Allan Clarke and his way-before-its-time cover of Bruce Springsteen's immortal ode to cultural freedom "Born to Run."

I've been trying to figure out just how earlier than Bruce's version this came out -- it was definitiely the same year, but beyond that I remain confused -- and in any case it was pretty hep of Clarke to record it.

I should add that I've got an absolutely hilarious true story involving Springsteen, the Hollies, and me at a club where the Hollies were performing. Get me drunk sometime and I'll tell it to you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Cover Versions of the Gods (An Occasional Feature): Special "Transparently Great" Edition

From 1995, and his album Train a Comin', please enjoy the incomparable Steve Earle and his sublime take on The Beatles' classic "I'm Looking Through You."

I had completely forgotten that one until last weekend, when our friend Sal Nunziato, proprietor of the invaluable Burning Wood blog, posted it along with some other really cool covers. I'll think you'll agree that it's totally exquisite.

Thanks Sal -- I owe you one.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "Three Chords But They're the RIGHT Three Chords" Edition)

From 1968 (and the b-side to the utterly sublime "Days")...

...please enjoy The Kinks' and their rockin' return to form "She's Got Everything."

Take my word -- this was a real breath of fresh air in the context of its time. Holds up too, obviously.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "Great Demo Discs of the 20th Century " Edition)

From 1959, with guest sideman Neil Sedaka on piano, please enjoy Bobby Darin's transplendent original studio take on his glorious "Dream Lover."

I believe I first heard this version when it appeared on a fabulous Darin reissue CD anthology called "Aces Back to Back" in (I think) 2004, although the song remains itself best known from the 1961 hit version by Dion. In any event, it's been covered over the years by all sorts of other artists in a variety of genres and I suspect it's pretty much impossible to do a bad performance of it.

Enjoy the weekend everybody!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

I Don't Need No Doctor

Well, actually I do...

...so I'm heading into Manhattan for some tests, the prospect of which do not, shall we say, thrill me.

Regular posting resumes either tomorrow or on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special Fuck "Jack and Diane" Edition)

From 1985, and the deservedly smash hit Scarecrow album, please enjoy John Mellencamp and band with their oddly less familiar ode to that 1920s kind of dirty sexual wink-wink automotive accesssory the "Rumble Seat."

I think it's the best song on the record, but hey -- what do I know?

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Slacker Tuesday

Lots of stuff -- mostly good -- happening at Casa Simels, including perhaps a new pussycat in the family -- and I'm exhausted. Regular musical posting, including a brand new Weekend Listomamia, resumes on the morrow, you bastids.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "Skinny Tie Rock" Edition)

From 1980, please enjoy mistakenly-dismissed-as one-hit-wonders [you know, that song with the phone number and the girl's name in the title] L.A. New Wave rockers Tommy Tutone and their MTV fave "Angel Say No."

Apart from just being a great single with a great groove, this song was a huge influence on me musically. The short version is I learned how to play bass by rocking out to it on an old Pioneer two track cassette deck you could overdub on. (Come to think of it, I got a lot of mileage out of that gizmo; I also recall working out the bass part to "Dance With Me" by Orleans the same way.)

In any event, if you put a gun to my head, I could probably still play this song from memory, so -- hey Tommy Tutone, wherever you are, thanks for the music lessons.

Friday, July 08, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "From the Land Down Under" Edition)

From his first solo album, in 1974, please enjoy The Easybeats' lead singer Stevie Wright and his definitively rocking hit single "Hard Road."

That was produced and written, unsurprisingly, by Harry Vanda and George Young, also of The Easybeats, and who happened to be the cousins(?) and board twirlers behind AC/DC. Rod Stewart had a minor hit with it in the same year, but it doesn't hold a candle to the above.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, July 07, 2022

Flying Saucers Rock 'n' Roll!!

Fron 2004, live in concert in Mexico, please enjoy Enanitos Verdes and their drop dead gorgeous "Tu Carcel."

The band's name translates loosely as Little Green Men, and they hail from Argentina. They're a very big deal in Latin America, although they're pretty much unknown in the States, which is a shame, as you can hear. (Assuming that the internet is reliable, the song's title translates to "Your Jail.")

I should add that the first time I heard these guys was a couple days ago at my new part-time watering hole, a Forest Hills Mexican joint called Mas Tortilla (try their grilled corn on the cob.) They mostly play tradtional Latin pop over the sound system, although they occasionally blast Rock en español , a genre I'm finding more interesting than I had expected. (As attentive readers will recall, I first paid attention to it after hearing this fabulous Police-ish rocker).

Have I mentioned I love my neighborhood?

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Back Tomorrow...

...with another example of Rock en español, and one of the most gorgeous mid-tempo ballads I've ever heard. Trust me -- you'll dig it the most.

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "Girl Group Songs Remade by Guys" Edition)

From 1983, please enjoy -- from their sadly overlooked reunion album What Goes Around -- the magisterial Hollies and their superb cover of The Supremes' "Stop in the Name of Love."

Apart from being utterly gorgeous, that track is particularly notable for the return of the band's original -- and damn near John Entwistle level good -- bassist Eric Haydock. I had always wondered why he left the band in the first place, but Wiki informs me it had something to do with problems with the band's management. Too bad -- Bernie Calvert, who replaced him for over a decade and a lot of hits, was apparently a nice enough dude and a competent musician, but he couldn't hold a candle to Haydock, who was the first guy in England to play (superbly) a Fender five-string bass.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Incomparable Eddie is Having Old Age Related Health Problems

Our priority for the next few days is keeping an eye on him.

Regular posting will resume when it resumes, and we'd appreciate it if you'd light a metaphorical candle for our beloved feline pal.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Closed for Monkey Business

Regular posting about obscure songs I love but had forgotten resumes tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2022

All Reeds Load to Gnome

Why you pay the big bucks to live in the five boros: The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (at Lincoln Center) is curently running Lou Reed: Under the Twisted Stars, an absolutely smashing exhibit and tribute to the late great rock auteur.

And I should know, because I was dere, Charlie, a few weeks ago, for the show's official opening night party.

Among the attractions at the show, which runs till March 4th, is a listening room where (including other sonic assaults) you can hear excerpts from Metal Machine Music when it was a work in progress; explore a recreation of Reed collaborator Hal Willner's recording studio; and sample a DJ set of doo wop singles from Lou's record collection spun by Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye. The Library also now features a Reed research archive, i.e. a definitive collection of his lyrics, poetry, correspondence, hand-written notebooks, etc, which was donated by Lou's partner and main squeeze Laurie Anderson last year.

I should add that the opening night-- which was lavishly catered, i.e. with lots of free food and booze -- was the kind of fete that (back in the 70s) I attended, for professional reasons, pretty much five evenings a week. Which is to say that not only was the exhibition absolutely splendid, but as a social event it inspired a certain slack-jawed nostalgia in yours truly. Damn -- I was a really lucky bastard in my days at the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review.

I should also add that I once got to meet and shake hands with Lou at a party the magazine threw (I believe) in early 1973; it was one of our Record of the Year shebangs, and it was among the most awkward experiences of my life. Fortunately, there's a lovely capper to the story which perhaps I'll tell later this week.

In any case, for more info on the show, check out the NYPL's website OVER HERE.

[h/t Rebecca Littman]

Friday, June 24, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "The Four Seasons" Edition)

From 1967, please enjoy The Hollies and (the b-side of "Carrie-Anne") their gorgeous (Clarke-Hicks-Nash penned) "Signs That Will Never Change."

The song itself first saw the light of vinyl in 1966, on The Everly Brothers Two Yanks in England LP, on which the Bros were backed by The Hollies. But this rendition has some vaguely psychedelic touches that to my ears make it definitive. In any case, a genuine overlooked classic.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "The Band That Died For Your Fins" Edition)

From their 1982 Album -- Generic Flipper, please enjoy the aforementioned Flipper and their toe-tapping classic "Sex Bomb Baby."

These guys made an idiosyncratic brand of punk rock that was simultaneously hilarious and disturbing. I must admit that I was kind of late to the party where they were concerned, but the first time I heard the song above I knew I would never be the same.

I should add that Flipper's 1993 masterpiece (American Grafishy) sported the greatest album title in history.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "Follow the Money" Edition)

From 1974, and their sophomore album Sheet Music, please enjoy 10cc and their mordant, ironic (and obviously still relevant) ode to rapacious greed "The Wall Street Shuffle."

Like most of the early 10cc stuff, it was too hip for the room (i.e., it was a hit in the UK but bombed here).

I should add that it was co-penned by Graham Gouldman, who in my humble opinion is the greatest British rock songwriter of his day whose last name isn't either Lennon or McCartney.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "The Poor Are Always With Us" Edition)

From early 1967, please enjoy Los Angeles country-folk-pop-garage-psychedelic band The Poor and their terrific minor hit single -- okay, it made the Top 40 in New York City, and I actually owned a copy of the 45 seen below when it came out -- "She's Got the Time (She's Got the Changes").

The short version: These guys were bassist Randy Meisner's band before he joined Poco (and later The Eagles), and they were managed by the guys who handled Buffalo Springfield. Also as you can hear and see...

...the song -- which is terrific -- was written by Tom Shipley, later of the duo responsible for "One Toke Over the Line." Okay, I've forgiven both of them.

I should add that the comp album above is one of the coolest artifacts of the just-pre-San Francisco rock era, and well worth checking out.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "Snoopy -- the Comic Strip Dog, Not the Rapper -- Would Have Flipped For This One" Edition)

From late 1966, and the B-side to their deserved hit single "Hello, Hello," please enjoy the vastly underrated Sopwith Camel and "Treadin'," one of the great lost folk-rock records of all time. Sort of a cross between the original Byrds and middle-period Zombies.

Don't get me started on the Camel; those guys were historically important for being the first of the Fillmore era hippie San Francisco bands to score a hit single, and their album pictured above -- which didn't come out for a year or so after their breakthough success for reasons that have been murky ever since -- is an utter masterpiece. God knows it's vastly superior on every level to both the debut LPs by their contemporaries the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane.

I should add that it was produced, brilliantly, by Erik Jacobsen (who helmed the records of the Lovin' Spoonful, Norman Greenbaum and Chris Isaak) and that to the best of my knowledge "Treadin'" did not appear on any actual version of the Camel album back in the day, nor was it available in a stereo mix previously. Discovering this version has been one of the biggest surprises I've had since I woke up in 2016 and learned that a mediocre James Bond Villain had mysteriously become president of these United States.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved : An Occasional Feature (Special "You Be Bad, Girl" Edition)

From their eponymous 1985 debut album, please enjoy should-have-been-bigger LA band Lone Justice and their terrific -- written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell -- single "Ways to Be Wicked."

If memory serves I first became aware of these kids when they did the song above on Saturday Night Live; in any case, I remember flipping out over the album and raving about it in the pages of The Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review. Haven't heard any of the rest of the record in years, but this one -- which I rediscovered last week -- holds up, I think.

Trivia Note: lead singer Maria McKee is the half sister of the late Bryan Maclean, the Brian Jones blonde look-alike in Arthur Lee's Love.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved (An Occasional Feature)...

...will return tomorrow, and the song in question is a doozy. Trust me on this, and sorry for the delay necessitated by real world concerns.

See you Saturday.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "Who Were These Guys, Anyway?" Edition)

From 1965, please enjoy Brit popsters Unit Four plus Two (featuring future Argent drummer Bob Henrit) and their quite lovely Beatles/Beach Boys-esque take on the venerable pop hit "When I Fall In Love."

The song itself -- co-written written by celebrated film composer Victor Young -- was originally featured in a 1952 Robert Mitchum Cold War thriller, and has been covered innumerable times, including by Linda Ronstadt and Rick (It Was Ghastly) Astley.

The version above, however, was the B-side of the international hit "Concrete and Clay," and as a teenager I used to play it obsessively. I mean more than the A-side; it had a Dion and the Belmonts doo wop vibe that somehow connected with the pre-college me.

A lovely record, in any case, and nice to be re-acquainted with it after all these years.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Feature (Special "Alan Turing" Edition)

From 1982, please enjoy first generation greaseballs The Capris -- of "There's a Moon Out Tonight" fame -- and their fabulous modern day doo wop cult hit "Morse Code of Love."

The short backstory:

As attentive readers are no doubt aware, I'm a sucker for doo wop. Apparently so were some people at Sony Music -- a couple of rock critics, if memory serves -- who ran, briefly, a low budget label subsidiary called Ambient Sound, which was devoted to doo wop old and and new.

In any event, I was vaguely aware of all this, but for some reason never bothered to listen to the stuff Ambient released when their vinyl crossed my desk at the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review. But then sometime in the late 80s I happened to hear "Morse Code of Love" for the first time on WCBS-FM (our local oldies radio station) while travellling home from a weekend long recording session in Delaware, and practically leapt out of the car in joy at the innocent gorgeousnesss of the song. And when I looked it up and found out that it was a actually a contemporary track, my little heart danced in ways I find difficult to describe.

Since then, I've binge-listened to it every couple of years, and last week I went nuts over it all over again. Hopefully, you guys will have the same reaction to it as I did.

Oh and BTW -- I should add that Manhattan Transfer did a drop dead great cover of it (billed as "Baby Come Back") that is the perfect capper to the saga, especially since it actually charted.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Closed for Repairs

Fabulously groovy stuff, including a photo essay about the new Lou Reed exhibition at Lincoln Center, will appear tomorrow through Friday. But you'll have to take my word for that.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Records I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: An Occasional Series (Special "When's the Mummer's Day Parade This Year?")

From their brilliant (and aptly named) 2000 album Kids in Philly, please enjoy the City of Brotherly Love's finest, aka Marah, and their haunting and kinetic "It's Only Money, Tyrone."

Alas, these guys make publically consumable music only occasionally these days (although they all seem to be alive and well, knock wood).

In any case, as you can hear from the above, nobody's ever done a more accomplished mashup of Bruce Springsteen and The Replacments.

Friday, June 10, 2022

And Speaking of Rock en Espanol….

...as we were the other day (over here), from 2010, please enjoy the pride of Guadalajara, Mexico -- AKA Maná -- and their gorgeously Police-y ballad "Rayando el Sol."

In all seriousness, these guys are rapidly turning into my favorite band, despite the language barrier.

Incidentally, the title translates as "Reaching for the Sun."

Have a great weekend, evertybody!

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Les Enfants Vont Bien

From just the other day, please enjoy everybody's favorite sisters from Liverpool (or wherever the hell they're from) doing a fabulous unplugged version of The Who's classic early single.

(Look at the bookshelf top right, BTW).

From Mona and Lisa:

"When tlhe legend himself, Pete Townshend, got in touch with us a few years ago, simply to write some encouraging words to us, it felt like a circle was closing and real life got elevated to some surreal fairy tale."

I'll bet, gals. I'll freaking bet.

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Your Weekend Moment of "How Do You Say Backstory?" in French: Special Today We Are Le Vinyl Edition

So anyway, the short version.

Sometime last year, I got an e-mail out of the blue from a lovely gentleman from Canada (specifically Quebec) previously unknown to me named Martin Tremblay. Turned out Martin ran an indie label -- Mean Bean -- which specialized in late 70s/early 80s power pop and punk reissues on vinyl. Martin -- god only knows how -- had heard of The Floor Models, asked me if I would like to contribute a track, and specifically asked for our "Enough's Enough," which is the song I would have picked myself. He had previously issued two volumes of this stuff, beautifully packaged -- liner notes about each band, an insert map poster showing where each band was based -- and, flattered beyond belief, I told him I was in (duh), and sent him a remastered version of our song.

In any case, the album was released earlier in the week -- as promised, a 12-inch LP like the good old days -- and it's absolutely fabulous on every level (love the cover, for example).

Anyway, here's a couple of representative tracks, beginning with the opener -- The Tearjerkers' Beach Boys-esque "Syracuse Summer" (bet you can't guess where those guys were from)...

...plus my favorite track (for obvious reasons) -- The Floor Models' "Enough's Enough," featuring yours truly on bass...

...and The Toasters' hard-rocking, melodic and funny "Stuck On You."

To my surprise, I had only previously heard of a couple of the bands on the record; here's the complete song and artist listing...

...and you can -- and should -- order the album at the link HERE.

Act now, because only 500 copies are gonna be available to the anxiously awaiting public, and when they're gone, they're gone baby gone.

And a tip of the Floor Models hat to Martin Tremblay, who made it all happen.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I am so gassed about this release that I am leaving the blog post up for one more day. Regular new stuff resumes tomorrow.

Friday, June 03, 2022

Okay, What Do We Have Here?

Hint: It's an old fashioned 12" vinyl LP, and it just became commercially available.

And what is all this stuff...

...that seems to be inside the package in the first picture?

Trust me, all will be revealed tomorrow in the backstory we might title The Musician Whose Name Rhymes With Sleeve Nimels -- Call Home!

The Coolest Thing Ever is Coming Later This Afternoon!

Check in for the details, won't you?

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Out Out, Damn Schmuck!

So as I mentioned recently, a certain Shady Dame and I went to see the Daniel Craig Broadway revival of Macbeth last Tuesday...

...and if you were wondering, with the exception of Craig, who has presence and charisma to burn, it, er, sucked eggs.

I mean, it was godawful -- miserably acted by a large, surprisingly amateurish ensemble cast, and directed by some putz would-be avant-garde auteur who makes a justifiably forgotten asswipe along the lines of Tom O'Horgan seem like Orson Welles.

Basically, it was the contemporary equivalent of a pretentious "experimental" college production of a Shakespeare play from the early 70's. I.e., incoherent trendy cringe-inducing bullshit trying to rip-off the mercifully (lost in the mists of history) Living Theatre. You know -- the kind of crap it was de riegeur to subject yourself to at some downtown dive like La Mama.

And when I say that, I know what I'm talking about, i.e. I was in a couple of those shows back in the day.

In any case, it's all but unwatchable -- if you're in the neighborhood of Broadway, save your money.

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Your Wednesday Moment of Disarmament

So as you may have noticed, last weekend I couldn't come up with songs that seemed appropriate to the horrendously tragic recent events in Buffalo and Texas.

Typically, now I just did.

This one, by the great Ian Hunter (who comes from a country where they don't have the problems that we do) seems blindingly apt.

As does this one from Little Steven's first album. (BTW, that's the cosmically great Dino Danelli -- of Rascals fame -- on the stupendous drum part.)

In any event, two superb and obviously relevant tunes, although (granted) a day or two late, and a bitcoin short.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

I'm Sorry, Mr. King, But I Don't Believe We've Been Introduced

So a certain Shady Dame and I are going to see a certain venerable theatrical classic on Broadway tonight; let's see if you can guess which one it is.

Here's a hint.

You know, it's funny -- I don't think I've ever seen a stage production of Shakespeare's Scottish play. My first exposure to it was on live TV, in 1954, in a celebrated NBC Hallnark Hall of Fame version starring Maurice Evans, who shall we say had a whiff of pork about him...

...but it nevertheless made a profound influence on the young me.

I should add that, obviously, the version I'm gonna see tomorrow -- which stars Daniel Craig, of James Bond fame -- will probably blow my aging mind as well.

I mean, Macbeth played by a guy who looks good in a tux? Wow!

Friday, May 27, 2022

Given the Tragic Events in Buffalo and Texas, I've Got Nothing Appropriate to Post This Weekend

Have as good a Memorial Day as you can under the circumstances, everybody.

With luck, regular musical stuff resumes on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

The French They Are a Funny Race. They Fight With Their Feet and They....Well, You Know.

From sometime in the mid-Swinging 60s, please enjoy Ye-Ye girls Eileen and their charmingly Gallic cover of the Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazelwood S&M classic "These Boots Are Made For Walking."

I can find no information about these babes whatsoever, but whoever they were and whoever produced that record they're alright with me.

For les raisons évidentes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Separated at Birth?

Roger Corman/American International Poe film icon Vincent Price...

...and Nobel Prize winning voice of a generation and this week's 81st birthday boy (May 24th) Bob Dylan.

Come to think of it, if I recall correctly, they co-starred in the 60s drive-in classic The Fall of the House of Gary Usher.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Your Tuesday Moment of "And Speaking of Gorgeous"

From his brand new 2022 album Harry's House, (released just last Friday, actually), please enjoy former boy band behemoth Harry Styles and his lovely (and 70s singer/songwriter influenced) ballad "Matilda."

Seriously, that's a really pretty record. I gotta say, to my delighted surprise, that this Styles kid is really talented.

Who knew?

Friday, May 20, 2022

Got Live if You Want It. Finally!!!

Wow.

Dig a club version of Chuck Berry's "Around and Around." The studio version of which originally opened The Rolling Stones' 1964 12 X 5.

And (originally) from their It's Only Rock 'n' Roll album in 1974, please enjoy a killer live take on Jagger/Richards' oh so cool, catchy and funny reggage-influenced "Luxury."

Okay, the backstory in case you've missed it

In 1977, the Stones put out a double LP in-concert album called Love You Live...

...that pretty much nobody (including me) liked; most of it was recorded in arenas, with lousy sound, the Andy Warhol cover art was lazily tossed-off crap, and the performances were way less than stellar.

LP side three, however, derived from a small club show the Stones had done in Toronto as a warm up for the tour that produced the other sides of dreck, and that club stuff was fricking amazing. And for years, people have been pining for an official release of that whole intimate show.

Et voila! The two tracks above, which derive from said intimate show, and are now from the Stones' new-found (and previously unreleased) masterpiece Live at the El Mocambo 1977.

I should add that said artifact is now one of my two favorite Stones live albums of all time, and -- even more impressively -- one of my four favorite live albums of all time by anybody. (I leave it to you to guess what the other two are).

Have I said wow? Okay -- wow!!!

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Tales of the Great Replacement Theory

From 1984, please enjoy the greatest band ever out of Minneapolis -- AKA The Replacements -- and their sensational cover of The Grass Roots' "Temptation Eyes."

Okay, I'm going to hell for that joke.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Karma is a Bitch

Anti-vaxx shithead Eric Clapton has Covid.

This clip seemed appropriate somehow.

Heh.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Songs the Proprietor of My Groovy Local CD Store Turned Me On To (An Occasional Feature)

From their 1996 album Hourly, Daily, please enjoy second greatest (after The Easybeats) Australian rock band You Am I, and their power pop masterpiece "Mr. Milk".

The short version: Sometime after that song was released, I happened to wander into NYCD, the fabulous record emporium on Manhattan's Upper West Side that I lived a few blocks away from. The above song was playing on the store sound system at the time, and I had no idea what it was or who had done it and it flipped me fucking out. (I mean -- is that 12-string riff the coolest or what?)

Fortunately, friend of PowerPop and proprietor of the invaluable Burning Wood blog Sal Nunziato was behind the counter at the time, and was able to provide me with the track's backstory.

Bottom line: Thanks, Sal!

Monday, May 16, 2022

As My Dad Used to Say, People Are No Damn Good and They Never Will Be

The news of the world this weekend has been too dispiriting for me to do any work whatsover.

Regular upbeat music posting resumes tomorrow. Honest Native American.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Rock Meets Optometry (and Then They Both Go Out to Le Bernardin for a Seafood Lunch)

From just now in 2022, please enjoy incomparable singer/songwriter (and friend of PowerPop) Cait Brennan and her fabulous new cover version of the hard-rock classic "Open My Eyes," (written by Todd Rundgren, who was doing business at the time with The Nazz).

Attentive readers will recall that I first wrote abouve Cait -- who, BTW, has an interesting backstory; let's just say she's quite a gal -- on the occasion of the release of her fabulous first album back in 2017, and that I later raved about her upon the release of her sophomore album, which was recorded at the same Ardent Studios where her idols Big Star plied their trade.

I should add that, since then, I was fortunate enough to have her sing back-up vocals on a track -- "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" -- from the recent Floor Models tribute to The Byrds.

I should also add -- as if you couldn't tell on your own -- that she's just great, and that the above Nazz cover -- the original, which I adore, came out back in the antedeluvian days of 1968 -- and I'm delighted that Cait (collaborating with her long time producer and multi-instrumentalist Fernando Perdomo -- did such a wonderfully radical re-imagining of it.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (and Women)

So please indulge me while I reminisce a little.

As attentive readers may know, I went to college at a place called C.W. Post -- a subsidiary (if that is the right word) of Long Island Universary, whose actual, i.e. physical, campus is located in lovely Brookville, N.Y. This was between, approximately, 1968-1972, in case you were wondering.

In any event, the place was lousy with great musicians, and one of said great musicians was a guy named Michael Sternberg. Same age as me, and like moi a nice Jewish boy from the tri-state area. But unlike me, a fucking tremendous guitar player. Mostly a blues guy -- he could do Mike Bloomfield better than anybody I ever encountered, but he was also a super British Invasion afficianado. To this day, one of the most amazing things I've heard was Mike's casually tossed off version of the lead guitar part from The Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing."

A part, I might mention, that on the original Beatles record is played by TWO (count 'em) two musicians simultaenously. I.e., George Harrison and Paul McCartney. I mean, my jaw still hasn't stopped dropping after all these years.

I should add that Michael's a wonderfully talented visual artist as well; here's a self-portrait he did back in the day, and that's just what he looked like.

In any case, I stayed in touch with Michael after college; like me, he moved to Manhattan in the 80s, and I remember jamming with him and some of the Floor Models on at least one occasion during that decade. Since then I've also become Facebook buddies with him for at least ten of those years.

But here's the thing -- what I did NOT know about Michael, until a few days ago when he posted these photos over at his FB feed -- was that his mom was a big shot actress in the Yiddish theater back in the day.

I mean, are those pictures the coolest things you ever saw?

Shoot, I'm willing to bet a bunch of my relatives attended performances by his mom, on stage live, at some point.

Wow. And I'll say it again -- wow.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Monday, May 09, 2022

Ballad of the Sad Kafe

From 2021, please enjoy the incomparable Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats and their magisterially gorgeous "The Future."

I think we can all safely agree that the above is the most convincing emulation of vintage period Robert Zimmerman -- circa, say, Blonde on Blonde -- any of us has heard lately.

But a little backstory.

As attentive readers are aware, my local watering hole is a joint called the Keuka Kafe, a few blocks down Queens Boulevard -- or as the regulars call it, the Boulevard of Death, due to the sadly high number of little old lady traffic fatalities -- from our digs in Forest Hills.

Apart from the splendid food and drink available there, and the hospitality of its proprietors Oleg and Olga Sakhno, the Kafe is also notable for the high quality of the music played on its sound system; I've been frequenting the place for six or seven years now, and hardly a visit goes by where I'm not hipped to some cool song previously unknown to me. The Rateliff tune above, which I heard for the first time this past Saturday, is just the most recent example.

I should add that if you're in the neighborhood, another reason to check the place out is their splendid selection of Ukranian beer, the sales of which are all donated to charities benefiting that beleaguered country. And tell 'em PowerPop sent you.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Weekend Listomania: Special "All the World's a Zither" Edition

Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means.

Yes, my aleatoric Asian sidewoman and I are off to a Balinese temple somewhere to hear those gongs gonging.

But in our absence, here's a fun and obviously relevant little project for you faithful readers to wile away the time until our return:

BEST OR WORST POST-ELVIS SONGS REFERENCING MUSICAL INSTUMENTS IN THEIR TITLE OR LYRICS!

And my totally Top of My Head Top Six is:

6. Cheap Trick -- Mandocello

I'm, as they say, classically trained, but I gotta admit -- until I heard this record I was unfamiliar with the titular axe. In any case, a great song.

5. The Blues Project -- Flute Thing

Without question, the greatest lyric-less record of the hippie-rock era, and god bless Andy Kulberg, who performed it along with the rest of the Jewish Beatles.

4. Tommy Emmanuel -- Guitar Boogie

I forget who did this originally, but Emmanuel's version totally rocks.

3. Roy Montrell--That Mellow Saxophone

Without question, the greatest use of the proper name Davy Crockett in the history of popular music.

2. The Floor Models -- Chimes of Freedom

Stolen from The Byrds, who stole it from Bob Dylan, but still pretty good.

And the numero uno greatest song about somethng you play music on obviously is...

1. The Beatles -- While My Guitar Gently Weeps

C'mon -- you knew that was gonna be it, right?

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, May 05, 2022

An Early Clue to the New Direction: Special "Double Entendre Help Me Rhonda" Edition

From 1965, please enjoy the wonderfully smutty "Baby Let Me Bang Your Box," by the splendidly yclept The Bangers.

A coveted PowerPop NoPrize© will be awarded the first reader who gleans the track's relevance to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania.

BTW, the song has been covered on numerous occasions; I tried to find the 70s version by porn star Robin Byrd, which New Yorkers will doubtless remember as the theme from her appalling Manhattan Cable TV show, but alas it was not to be.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Songs I Loved But Had Forgotten Ever Existed (An Occasional Feature)

From 1973, please enjoy the great John Cippolina, doing business as the frontman of Copperhead, and their eponymous album's opening track "Roller Derby Star."

Copperhead was the (short-lived) band Cippolina formed after his exit from Quicksilver Messenger Service, and when their album crossed my desk at the old Stereo Review, I remember laughing my posterior off at the song, and playing it obsessively (the fact that I had been a huge Quicksilver fan probably had something to do with it). In any case, in the intervening years I forgot all about the track.

Until the other day, when for some reason I was thinkig about Cippolina's slightly surreal custom built amplifier stack, which I had marvelled at a few years ago when I saw it at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland --

--- and suddenly the song popped into my head. Kind of Proustian, when you think of it, but a lot louder than Proust would have enjoyed.

In any event, I haven't heard the album in decades, but I am pleased to report that it is available in multiple formats over at Amazon HERE.

You're welcome very much.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022

Weekend Listomania: Special "Up Up and Away!" Edition

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Asian girl wonder amanuensis Fah Lo Suee and I are off to the West Coast for a long overdue vacation. And I mean LONG overdue. Shit, it's been three years since this damn pandemic first reared its appalling head and the furthest I've been away from home in all that time is down the street a few blocks.

But in the meantime, here's a fun litle project for us all to participate in.

BEST OR WORST THEME SONG TO A SUPERHERO MOVIE OR TV SHOW!!!

And my totally Top of My Head Top Five Is:

5. Theme from Superman (feature film 1978)

John Williams, obviously. Or as he was referred to back in the 50s, Johnny Williams.

4. Batman

The work of the splendidly monikered hepster jazz guy Neal Hefti. He probably was able to retire on the royalties from the TV version alone.

3. The Green Hornet

Rimsky-Korsakov and "The Flight of the Bumblebee." Classical composers could have made a fucking fortune back in the day if they'd had better management.

2. The Shadow

Camille Saint-Saens was wracked with pain, when people pronounced it as Saint-Sains. (That's an Ogden Nash joke). I should add that the music in question is Camille's "Omphale's Spinning Wheel."

And the Numero Uno toe-tapper for a caped or maked crusader is....

Theme from Superman (TV Show 1951)

The best superhero theme of them all, and believe it of not, nobody has a clue who wrote it. It's officially credited to a dude name Leon Klatzkin, but apparently he wasn't a composer -- he was an editor who helped license obscure b-movie scores to early TV. There's been some informed speculation that it was the work of the great Miklós Rózsa, of Ben-Hur fame, but it's never been reliably confirmed.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!!