Wassssup? I did some driving today, and explored my iPod while moving on down the road. I listened to some great songs that I hadn't heard in a while, and others that are part of my recent "go to" list. Want to hear some? I sure hope so.
Let's start with an old song that still sounds fresh and cutting edge: Mission of Burma's "Academy Fight Song." Roger Miller and Clint Conley were the driving forces behind this Boston-based post-punk band. I never saw them live, but they had a reputation for playing very loudly - so loudly that the band broke up because of Miller's tinnitus. This was a band way ahead of its time, and very influential on other bands that went on to much larger commercial success. But this track is fabulous, catchy and edgy with great lyrics. REM covered this song later, but MOB's track is the one that I prefer. Here you go:
How about something lighter and sweeter? NRBQ, one of the all-time great bar bands, had so many fabulous songs about girls, cars, and hanging out with the guys. One of the best of their deep catalog is a poppy love song about missing out on a love, but remembering her every time you drove around. "Ridin' In My Car" is a classic, and one of my favorite NRBQ songs. [One warning: NRBQ still tours, but it is not the original lineup and they don't play many of their best songs. It's essentially a Terry Adams show, and it's not that good - I wasted my money, and left early. But back in the day ... man, oh man, were these guys fun to see live!]
George Clinton is a national treasure. Frontman for a bunch of different versions of the madcap funksters best known as Parliament Funkadelic, Clinton is one of America's all-time most influential purveyors of popular music. I love da funk, and have seen P Funk a bunch of times. Some of their antics on stage are silly, but they give up hours of great funky tunes that always please the crowd. Here's one of da best: "Give Up The Funk." Trying to stay seated while this one is playing is a futile exercise - get up and jam!
Want something newer? Of course you do. How about Speedy Ortiz? Another Massachusetts band, these rising stars in the indie rock scene busted out in 2015. "Raising the Skate" shows their penchant for catchy but offbeat tunes, sharp lyrics and a contemporary sound that will have you humming their tunes weeks after you first hear them. Enjoy.
Do you have time for one more? Let's hope so. The Jayhawks are a seminal American alt-country band. They have some fantastic songs that, along with Uncle Tupelo, propelled the alt-country movement of the mid-90s. Coming out of Minnesota, these guys have written some beautiful tunes that make you hit the repeat button over and over. One of the best is "I'd Run Away," and here it is for you to enjoy.
One more to fill up the Saturday six pack, ok? Here's a song that has a great tune. It's lyrics are pretty funny - misogynistic? Well, not at the end. Why this song? Well, we were driving back from an event in Philly on Thursday, and it was a very warm night. I had the top down in the car, and while we were pulling away from a light, Helen saw a woman and said, "nice legs." The first thing I thought (yes, and I said it, too) was "shame about her face." It reminded me of this song that came out when I was in college. I listened to it on my drive today. I hope you take in the spirit of fun in which it was created.
Hey, I'm in a bit of a live music lull right now - no shows until after July 4 - but not to worry, I have plenty up my sleeves to keep you entertained and happy. And after July 4, I go ripping again with a strong slate of shows. And, oh my, September is shaping up to be a fantastic live music month. Come hang out with me all summer long, and bring your friends.
See you later. You know I already miss you so much I can't stand it. I'll be right here when you need me, ok? And check out the archives in your free time. Party on, Wayne.
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My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.