Five Easy Pieces

September 6, 2007

Ramblings of a musical sort…

Filed under: Music — danletscher @ 7:53 am

I’m sitting here at 1:30 in the AM on Sunday night, Labor Weekend weekend.  I just finished about 80 minutes of work – like real-job work, not this mindless release of expression – and I have listened to some music that is almost forty years old, some music that is almost thirty years old, some music that is almost twenty years old and, and, and…as I am writing this “Just Like A Woman” sung by Joe Cocker just came on.  Stop what you are doing and listen to this song.  I can’t wait to see my wife every time I hear this song.  It is so well done and expressed by Joe.  I’ll refer to him as Joe rather than Cocker, it just never feels right saying it.  Hell, I can always fall back on Letterman to lighten the mood; Joe Cocker appeared on Letterman’s show on the 80’s when he released an album named “Cocker” and when Letterman held up the album and said “Cocker” he gave the classic line, “Cock her?  I don’t even know her”.   Priceless.


I started this blog and had two complaints right off the bat from trusted sources.  No music and no music.  Here’s a music entry for everyone:  Joe Cocker, “With A Little Help From My Friends.”  There are popular songs, the title track, “Feelin’ Alright”, “Like A Woman”, but it’s the other songs that grab you.  “Bye Bye Blackbird” was always one of my favorite when I first listened to it and I was glad to see it included on an intentionally overly-marketed soundtrack.  It was featured in “Sleepless in Seattle: and…………I’m sorry…..the organ solo on “Don’t Let Me Be Understood” is going and going…get this album!!!!  Anyway…the song is on the soundtrack and is featured briefly in the movie at the opportune moment of emotion in the song, the on-the-edge frenetic guitar solo…played by then-session player Jimmy Page.  I called my buddy Dean while the song was on tonight and played this section of the song for him on his VM.  Yeah, yeah it’s drunk dialing blah blah blah.  Barring physical contact, there is no greater bond between two humans as the shared response of a mutual stimulus.  Entertainment and Sports is my next closest connection to my best friends and my closest family members.  When I hear a great song, I’ll call the son-of-a-bitch I think of first and leave him a VM.  If I’m watching a great game or have to bitch about XU bball, Indians baseball, Tigers Baseball, UC football, I am keeping in contact with good friends and my family.  Oh man, I changed over to the Allman Brothers and the song “High Falls” from “Win, Lose or Draw” is kicking in at 5 minutes or so…only 11 more to go.


Other music I resurrected tonight (and Tim, Smitty and Dean can attest to this), was Adrian Belew (not for everyone but “1967” needs to be heard by every Beatles fan and “Bad Days” by every pessimist), Breeders (“Last Splash”), great hard rock from just guitar, bass & drums played by women – ‘cept the drums (“S.O.S.” is really short but just a great burst of jamming), the aforementioned Allman Bros……just ran and got Built To Spill.  Damn, why doesn’t anyone know these guys?  You almost want EW to find them and publish some proper cred.  Live version of “The Plan” on my brother’s homemade mix is the best – just incredible wall of sound from the guitar for the last three minutes, and the first 2 minutes are pretty guitar-laden as well!  It’s on again right now.  Geez, where did this come from Tim?  The last song on the mix is a definite “call your brother and leave it on his VM” as well, it seems like it may be called “Everybody Knows About You”.  It’s a powerful song..  Another incredible guitar ending. 


Unforgettable Fire – U2 ( do I need to say that?)…wait, I just put in “The Joshua Tree” and got SUCKED IN by the opening of “Where the Streets Have No Name”.  God, it’s so clichéd but FUCK it’s good!  I just looked at the song list of Joshua Tree,  and my god there is not a bad song on the roster.  Maybe an overplayed one, or three, but all faultless.  My #2 BEST of the 80’s.  #1?  Right now?  This instant?  Well, honestly most times it will always be “Purple Rain”.  It just fuckin’ rocks. 


#1 all time?  One of my oldest and bestest of friends and I once made a concentrated effort to compile a list of OUR top 10 of all time.  It’s mine and you can’t say shit.  Except, “yeah, you are on the money Dan!.”  We gave each other a week or so and we came to it.  That was easily 12 years ago.  I probably haven’t changed much.  The list hasn’t either.  Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks” – #1 and hasn’t budged – try and get past the first song, no way that doesn’t make you melt.  He recorded this basically in an isolated booth, the musicians out in the recording studio, most never having met Van Morrison.  He may be a little nuts but he mastered it and the disconnection is the key.  #2 Led Zeppelin “Houses of the Holy”…man I have given way too much information and it’s really late.  But…


“Unforgettable Fire” – U2.  Always underrated.  So many brilliant slow, moving, pulsing songs.  Bass player Adam Clayton is true band member, his bass IS the backbone of U2.  Forget Edge’s guitar and Bono’s bloated ( but still badass) vocal presence, the bass pounds and the music follows suit.  Think John Entwhistle.  Wrote this while the first song “A Sort of Homecoming” was playing.  Great stuff.  Now, I really have to go to bed. 

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