The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Inner Groove

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on February 28th, 2011 by Willie

As part 11 of my youtube favorites rolls on, we reach the slightly stranger section of my favorites list.  From here on out you’re gonna see more odd videos like this “peppered” in with the more traditional music videos and performances.  This is a video someone made of an original Sgt. Pepper vinyl’s inner groove.  Now for those who don’t know, as a bit of a prank, the Beatles included a groove of hidden music at the very end of the vinyl, on side two, that would play on infinitely.  Well, that is if you have an older record machine that didn’t reset the needle when it reached the end of the groove.  Most people know this groove from their Sgt. Pepper CDs, which just include a snippet of the groove that lasts about 30 seconds. Perhaps the funniest thing about the groove is how the Beatles included a high pitched dog whistle that humans can’t hear, hoping to send the world’s canine population into a frenzy when the record ended.    Anyway, the “music,” is a  bizarre backwards abstract kaleidoscope of psychedelic noise.  You can hear the Beatles shout something, but what?  Well, if you play the groove forwards, it sounds like Paul is saying, “never could be any other way,” but played backwards, it sounds like, “We’ll fuck you like you’re Superman!”  Hmm, legend has it the Beatles had no idea their groove blasted out such a hilarious message until Paul let some Beatle fans in his house where they proved it to him.  Whether he made good on the promise presented in the groove is unclear.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Rolling Stones, Respectable

Posted in The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on February 27th, 2011 by Willie

Welcome to part 10 of my youtube favorites countdown where we take a look at the rollicking 1978 single, “Respectable,” by the Rolling Stones.  Its appropriate that we take a look at this awesome song right after diving into Chuck Berry’s world.  This s0ng is basically a master course on what happens when you combine elements of Mr. Berry and classic punk.  I love this video because of its raw simplicity.  Its the Rolling Stones, looking cool, playing their balls off, in a dirty white room which they eventually tear apart.  Its basically what they were born to do and its fabulous.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chuck Berry, Roll Over Beethoven

Posted in Chuck Berry, Youtube Favs on February 25th, 2011 by Willie

Part 9 of my youtube favorites countdown rocks on with Chuck Berry’s legendary 1956 ultra-classic, Roll Over Beethoven.  This clip is like none you’ve ever seen of Chuck.  Here he was on a French TV show in 1958 in his utter prime.  He’s young, happy, and capable of bending his guitar into a piece of rubber.  Check him out around the 1:40 mark where he gives probably the greatest duck walk in rock and roll history.  A stone cold iconic moment miraculously captured for all time.  I love this performance.  He just destroys the track, gives us a bunch of guitar solos which basically invent and end the need for just about 75% of rock and roll.  Also, his speech addressing the French audience at the beginning is so funny and borderline revolutionary the way he asks Beethoven, on behalf of the audience, “to forgive us, roll over, and listen to a little of THIS.”  ROCK AND ROLL!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Beatles, Don’t Let Me Down

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on February 24th, 2011 by Willie

Part 8 of my favorite youtube video series continues with my favorite Beatles song, “Don’t Let Me Down.”  Now, for most people who love the Beatles, its not easy maintaining a favorite song, or album, or group member.  They change with age, the seasons, and experience.  But I can say, that at least for the past five years, “Don’t Let Me Down” has never left my top 3 of favorite Beatle tunes, and lately has been perched untouched as #1.  Why?  Because its pure unadulterated naked soul from Mr. Lennon at a time when he was just beginning to open up his heart and vulnerability in a way he had never allowed before.  It was made a year before the Beatles split, and a year, before John released his seminal solo debut, the gut wrenchingly introspective Plastic Ono Band.  The song is presumably a plea to Yoko Ono, one in which he exclaims his undying love for her.  At the same time, he is having a dialog with himself in which he expresses how the possibility of losing his new and total love is causing him fear and anxiety.  Its just a beautiful real message with no easy answers sung with the utmost level of soul and passion.  When the Beatles started, they exclusively wrote love songs, but slowly branched out to more introspective material.  As they got older, they developed a mastery of combining all of these elements, and wrote the greatest love songs ever.  This is one of them.  Enjoy.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Atlantics, Come On!

Posted in The Atlantics, Youtube Favs on February 23rd, 2011 by Willie

Part 7 of my favorite youtube videos countdown continues with The Atlantics!  Hailing from Australia, The Atlantics started out as Sydney’s answer to the Beach Boys…except, they didn’t sing.  They were a surf rock instrumental band who churned out the local hits “Bombora.”  Looking to change their image a bit, they collaborated with lead singer Johnny Rebb in the mid 60s and produced “Come On” in 1967.  Written by drummer Peter Hood, “Come On” is considered one of the all-time long lost classics of garage punk rock.  Its a brash, highly charged electric party highlighted by a killer chorus and a bass line accented with Eastern mysticism.  This video is funny because we get to see Johnny Rebb’s gorgeous toupee, and moves strait out of Elaine Benes’s school of dance.  Enjoy!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The La's, Timeless Melody, and That'll be the Day

Posted in The La's, Youtube Favs on February 22nd, 2011 by Willie

Part 6 of my youtube countdown rolls on, and its a special 2 for Tuesday as I present Liverpool’s second most famous group, The La’s.  The La’s arrived at the forefront of the second British invasion in the early 90s that saw the coming of The Stone Roses, Blur, and Oasis.  The La’s is basically all about Lee Mavers, the lead singer/songwriter.  He possessed an incredibly unique and powerful English voice, an undying passion for 60s rock, and an insatiable heroin habit.  The La’s are your classic one album wonder, producing a wonderful debut with a genuine cult hit single, “There She Goes.”  Then they quickly unraveled, mostly due in part to Lee’s drug abuse, but also in part to Lee’s disgust with the way the record industry was releasing versions of his records that he didn’t approve.

Video 1 is my favorite La’s video, from 1991.  Its from a Canadian music show called Much Music, and it features Mavers and bass player John Power giving a difficult interview, and then performing a beautiful acoustic version of Timeless Melody.  I love how Mavers is mostly silent in the interview, and can barely contain his disgust for the poor interviewer girl.  On a crazier note, I almost feel like Oasis ripped off the Mavers/Power snotty dynamic and used it commercially.  Its a stretch, but part of me wouldn’t be surprised.

Video #2 is the La’s performing the Buddy Holly classic, That’ll Be the Day.  Because The La’s were from Liverpool, it was easy for the press to try and make them as successors to The Beatle legacy, which was kind of unfair and untrue…but for the band to cover Buddy Holly, something the Beatles did a lot, proves that the band shared similar influences with the Fabs.  I LOVE this performance and the coolness it takes for a young modern rock band to play an old hit like this, its just a shame that a video with better quality isn’t available.  Still, this isn’t unwatchable, so enjoy.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Beatles Get High Singing And Your Bird Can Sing

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on February 20th, 2011 by Willie

Part 5 of my youtube countdown continues with my favorite group ever, the Beatles. This outtake of “And Your Bird Can Sing,” is from the Revolver sessions, and features the boys overdubbing some crazed vocals. If you are a fan of human beings, there is no way to possibly hate this thing you are about to play. I love this take because it displays the incredible friendship they all had, as well as the joy they experienced in making all that wonderful music. By the way, this track is featured in the legendary Beatles Anthology Series, Volume 2. My favorite volume out of the 3, so pick that up if you don’t have it.  There is so much I could say about the Beatles, my love for them, and what they mean, but that’s all gonna come in a massive post/video extravaganza someday, not in my little youtube countdown, so enjoy this for now, and stay tuned as we have now crossed the 1/5 mark!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, My Girl Has Gone…

Posted in Smokey Robinson, Youtube Favs on February 19th, 2011 by Willie

Continuing onto part 4 of my youtube favorites countdown, I can proudly announce that if you’re reading this, its your lucky day.  If you love hidden gems, long lost songs, and pure Detroit Motown Soul, then this is your Valhalla.  Smokey Robinson and the Miracles 1965 #14 hit, My Girl Has Gone.  Most new Miracles fans like myself are well versed with, “The Tracks of my Tears,” “Ooh Baby Baby,” and “Shop Around,” but I found one that NEVER gets any modern radio play, or usage in any new medium, and that is this gorgeous ballad.  One of the greatest breakup songs ever, featuring more brilliant lyrics from Smokey and the gang that are both utterly depressing and divinely uplifting from one line to the next.  Oh my God, the harmonies that shimmer with vintage perfection, the guitar lines that just drip with heart wrenching longing, and the melody that takes you to heights of musical ecstasy.  This is just simply one of my favorite songs, and an example of Motown Magnificence.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Radiohead, The King of Limbs Review

Posted in Radiohead, Record Reviews on February 19th, 2011 by Willie

I’ve always had a really dumb love/hate relationship with Radiohead.  When I was 16, I heard OK Computer for the first time, and my teenage mind was utterly blown.  That was sometime in 2000.  After I heard that record, I declared Radiohead my second favorite band of all time, and seriously thought they might challenge the Beatles for supremacy as my favorite rock and roll monolith.  Of course, I was a very impressionable 16 year old, and hadn’t extensively heard that much rock and roll besides the Beatles.  As time shuffled forward, Radiohead had fallen WAY down the list of  bands I love, to the point where the idea of hearing from them really kind of annoyed me.  The dumb aspect of me hating them all started when I was 18 or 19, when I went with my friend Ian to lovely Camden NJ (Murder Capital of the US) to see Radiohead play live.  Somehow we got duped into buying counterfeit tickets, got thrown out at the gate by a ticket agent who just laughed in our faces, and cops who treated us like we just stabbed somebody.  So, there we were, waiting for HOURS by a dangerous pier outside the arena, because we had a friend who got into the concert, who needed a ride home.  I was scared.  There was a crazy homeless man who wouldn’t leave us alone unless we bought weed off him, and I just gave him the 6 bucks left in my wallet to leave us alone.  Ian wanted to sneak into the show somehow, but we had chatted up a naval officer of some kind who was also doubling as a lookout for the cops, and I was paranoid he would call us in if we tried something crazy like that.  Needless to say, after that night, I kind of hated cops, New Jersey, big concerts, and by extension, Radiohead.  Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We are the World, and the Rest of You Can Watch…

Posted in Michael Jackson, Youtube Favs on February 17th, 2011 by Willie

Continuing the journey down my youtube favorites list, I give you the infamous “We Are the World.”  This tune was written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson sometime in 1985, as a response to the horrendous Ethiopian famine which killed over a million people.  I guess it did some good as it raised between 50-60 million dollars according to Wikipedia, which is all well and good, but honestly, no one remembers the humanitarian crisis, but rather the image of all those super famous humans gathering in one room to belt out this piece of classic schmaltz.  Now, from a distance, this song really sucks.  Its cheesy, overwrought, and covered with a layer of outdated 80s glitter, but still, there is no denying the underlying charm of all these ultra-stars, and a few artists manage to give this thing some heat by the end.  Here are a few random comments I have for you before enjoy the vid.

#1.  Billy Joel, I love you, but go home, also that goes double for Kenny Loggins (for sucking), Kenny Rogers and Paul Simon (for making insanely strange faces.)

#2. Bruce Springsteen, you absolutely RULE the end of the song when you manage to hold your own with Stevie Wonder, but wouldn’t like you like a new take of your first line earlier in the song?  You make this face in which you look like you were shot in the stomach.  Although, I gotta hand it to him overall, this is the coolest look he ever had.  He’s like a combination of Elvis, the Fonz, and Dean Martin.  Man, what a rock star.

#3. We can all agree, this is Steve Perry’s greatest moment in music history. I think Journey is horrible, but what a soaring voice this guy has.

#4.  This video marked the beginning of when Michael Jackson thought it was a good idea to basically dress up as the fifth member of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for the rest of his life.

#5.  The story goes that Prince skipped out on the recording of this song for some ego bruised reason…which, ironically makes Prince the most genuine superstar out of this whole group.  Why?  Because Prince wasn’t about to pretend he didn’t have an ego, unlike every single one of these stars, who tried their damnedest to make you believe they were selfless.

#6.  And lastly, Bob Dylan and his disciple Bruce Springsteen are dressed exactly the same.  Must have been awkward…

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,