The Beach Boys, The Ramones, Do You Wanna Dance?

Posted in The Beach Boys, The Ramones, Youtube Favs on June 20th, 2011 by Willie

Part 95 is a double dose of glorious rock and roll.  I’ve got the Beach Boys and the Ramones rocking the Bobby Freeman classic, “Do You Wanna Dance?.”  In the Beach Boys version, drummer Dennis Wilson takes the lead vocals, and man is he good.  Dennis was the only Beach Boy that actually surfed, and like his brothers and cousins, was a fantastic singer.  I love the Beach Boys version for their gorgeous harmonies and almost indie rock slacker like take on the song.  This video is also hilarious to see Mike Love just dance off on the side not contributing nothing to the song but Beach Boys vibe and attitude.  The Ramones version is just as good, if not better.  Recorded for Rocket to Russia, the Ramones are shown ripping their version of the song through the halls of Rock ‘N’ Roll High School, the 1979 Roger Corman cult classic.  The Beach Boys were always a favorite of the Ramones, and they bring all the high octane distorted punk joy they can to this number, making it one of the greatest covers of all time in my opinion.  So, in conclusion, the answer to the question is, yes, I wanna dance…RIGHT NOW!

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The Top Ten Most Played Songs on my iPod

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music on May 18th, 2011 by Willie

Did you know that when you plug your iPod into your computer, iTunes can arrange your iPod’s mp3s by plays, from most played to least? It’s pretty fascinating to see what you’ve been listening to exclusively, and how many thousands (yes thousands of times) you’ve clicked play on certain songs. Well, I’d thought it’d be interesting to share the top ten most played songs on my iPod in a new awesome mega post. So, without further ado, here is the list, starting with #10!

#10- The Police- Can’t Stand Losing You, 255 plays. My countdown kicks off with the Police’s catchy little reggae punk tune known as “Can’t Stand Losing You.”  From Outlandos d’Amour, this song isn’t skipped much for a bunch of reasons.  First, its supremely catchy, with its syncopated guitars, tight harmonies, and perfect drumming.  Second, Sting’s lyrics are so raw and real, that its one of the greatest breakup songs ever.  I’m just addicted to the way that chorus fades into oblivion.

#9-  The Beatles- Eleanor Rigby, 509 plays. Ahh, the Beatles, of course, you’ll be seeing a few songs by the fab four pepper my top ten I’m not ashamed to say. “Eleanor Rigby,” from Revolver, is just a brilliant song to play on a crowded depressed subway during rush hour.  The song swoops in with George Martin’s brilliant string arrangement, and you look around the train and see “all the lonely people,” wondering “where do they all belong.”  Then you wonder if you yourself is one of those lonely people who is gonna die alone while you are arranging your socks in your dingy apartment. Read more »

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James Brown, Get on the Good Foot

Posted in James Brown, Youtube Favs on May 5th, 2011 by Willie

I want you to “Get on the Good Foot” for part 54 of my youtube countdown with me and James Brown.  This is a rare clip of James in the 1970s absolutely ripping up the stage with his smoother than smooth smash, “Get on the Good Foot.”  His band is tight, his moves are unmatchable, and the energy is downright serious, almost as serious as his mustache.  Gotta love the moment at 1:50 when he gives a Black Power salute and everyone just shuts up until he starts jamming again.  Also, I’m mesmerized by the opening 3 seconds when you see James in the studio looking completely unsatisfied with whatever is going on.  You can tell what an insane perfectionist the man was, possessed with an all consuming desire to be the greatest ever.  My God, this is not to be missed.  Watch!

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Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Prince

Posted in James Brown, Michael Jackson, Prince, Youtube Favs on April 19th, 2011 by Willie

Part 39 of my youtube countdown is loaded with star power.  In it, you’ll see a Prince, a King, and a Godfather, the Holy Trinity of R&B, dance, funk, and soul.  In 1983, at a James Brown concert, we have the Godfather calling to stage the King of Pop in all his pre-insane person glory.  Michael Jackson gets up, sings a bit, then busts out some dance moves that just flatten the world with their perfection.  The first video presents James and Michael in crystal clear beauty.  Michael does some spins, some incredible James Brown-esque footwork, and throws in his moonwalk.  Just amazing.  Clip 2, sadly of lesser quality, covers the Michael performance again, but also includes the introduction of Prince to the stage.  Now, this was bizarre.  Prince, who seems high as hell, is carried to the stage by a bodyguard in full out foppish dandy boy mode, straps on a guitar, and plays a pretty terrible solo.  But, no matter, this moment is too amazing to ignore, or to criticize really.  It’s doubtful that this much talent, funk, and soul will ever grace a stage ever again.  Enjoy this eternal moment.

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