legbamel
The Not-Pop Jukebox
  • Ring of Fire - Various Artists 2016-04-03T11:05:00.002-05:00
    In reposting from five years ago, I keep finding playlists that I created in Grooveshark that have all disappeared into an abyss never to be seen again. They included as many as forty versions of or thematically related songs that I spent hours curating. Ring of Fire was one of the first, and it was blessedly short!

    Happily, the song and its covers have not paled over time. My family still sings it at full volume when shuffle blesses us with a version. Here's hoping the rest of my recreations go as smoothly! Here's the original post and the new video playlist with the addition of the actual original from Anita Carter and a couple of other great burning covers (don't miss DragonForce and don't look for Coldplay--this is the Not-Pop Jukebox, you know).

    I feel that I should start with a disclaimer that I don’t watch American Idol. I do, however, like many of Johnny Cash’s songs and Ring of Fire in particular. It caught my eye that one of the contestants performed a very unusual version of that song last night and the wildly varying opinions led me to watch the video.

    While I wasn’t crazy about the arrangement, the many posts and comments that I read expressing the opinion that Johnny Cash was spinning in his grave made me go looking for even more versions of Ring of Fire. I suspect that The Man in Black would have given the contestant a hearty pat on the back for taking such chances rather than being offended by the unusual interpretation. Of all of the country stars whose songs he could have chosen, I think Cash is the most likely to enjoy such a creative rendition.

    Consider these versions of Ring of Fire, most of which were recorded while Mr. Cash was still alive (and, for the better-known acts, almost certainly with his permission). Try Grace Jones’ reggae-tinged version, Ray Charles’ soulful cover, or Blondie’s punk-country take on it. I’ve included Johnny Cash himself at the end (he's at the beginning, now), for a reminder of how it originally sounded. There’s a bit of nasty language in the Social Distortion cover, so if that will upset you then you may want to skip it.
  • The Chicken - Maceo Parker with Nils Landgren Funk Unit 2016-03-27T20:36:00.000-05:00
    I've posted about the Nils Landgren Funk Unit before and I probably will again. I don't think I've ever waxed adoringly on the funky, jazzy sax prowess of Maceo Parker. As a transition between the two, and as a shining example of why talented people should collaborate, let's have the former playing--nay jamming their faces off--with the latter.

    The Chicken has been around a while. James Brown released it as a B side first but Pee Wee Ellis wrote the thing to begin with. As with so many great songs, musicians picked it up and made it their own over the decades. The bones stay the same but the body of the song changes with every player and each solo along the way. Enjoy!

  • Tubissimo - LaBrassBanda 2016-03-25T14:00:00.000-05:00
    Oh, my darlings, oh do I have something for you today.  I am, you see, in love.  With five German guys.  Don't tell my husband.

    Hyperbole aside, not since I was introduced to Seeed have I geeked out over a new German band this hard. Combine three guys with what appear to be antique brass instruments, a head-banging bassist, and a drummer the drives them through it all and you get LaBrassBanda. One of the band members is listed as "Capt. Yossarian", which makes two literally references in two days if you're following my G+ posts as well! (Yes, blogging in two places about the same things is Catch 22, since you ask. /heavy hint)

    In this video, you get the guys having a great time, some heavy-duty brass goodies, a Bavarian gent playing Tubissimo, a bunch of chair-dance-inspiring solos, and part of a Daft Punk cover. What more could you ask from less that seven well-spent minutes of your life? Now enjoy, dears, while I click the next song and see if I can get all their albums on-line.

Music Pages at Squidoo
  • The Top 10 Best Love Song Duets
    Some of the most romantic songs recorded have been duets, chances for people who, romantically involved or not, enjoy performing together enough to create a love song that touches couples for decades to come. These songs create the perfect mood for weddings, anniversaries, or even a karaoke date. It could take you forever to wade through cheesy and badly-sung duets to create the perfect love song play list for Valentine's Day or a romantic evening. To save you the time, and the musical pain, I've compiled here the ten best love song duets (in reverse order) from the last forty years. You'll find the lyrics, music videos, and a place to sample and purchase each of them included here. Please vote for your favorite love song duet in my poll, as well. If you're looking for winter-themed love duets, try Baby It's Cold Outside and I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm. If the duet you love best isn't listed here, drop me a note in the guestbook at the bottom and I'll check it out. You never know if I'll bump it up on my list! In the meantime, check the comments for a lot of great suggestions from other readers.
  • The Top 10 Creepiest Love Songs
    Some of the most popular love songs, if spoken to a lover, would be creepy or downright declarations of stalking. Professing your undying love and devotion shouldn't make your beloved consider a restraining order. Singing a beautiful love song, on the other hand, requires you to exaggerate. Take this lens as a reminder to consider the meaning behind a song before you dedicate it to the one you love. The lyrics might frighten him or her away rather than drawing the two of you closer together, especially if you're pining for your ex-love. On this lens, I'm going to nominate what I think are the Top 10 Creepy Love Songs, from the tenth-creepiest to the most-stalker-appropriate. I'll include the lyrics for each, as well as videos and places to get them, where I can find sources. If you've got a creepier song, let me know. I'll be happy to expand my list! In the meantime, watch out for The Police, Bryan Adams, and Blondie.
  • Mashups: Oldies Meet 80s Meet Top 40 Pop
    DJs take songs and blend them together. Mashup artists are DJs that take that idea three or four steps farther: instead of stopping and starting songs in sync they play them at the same time for a wide variety of effects. Such mashups bring songs to kids in clubs who might otherwise never have heard the oldies and 80s gems that DJs bring into the mix with current pop and dance hits.Also known as bootlegs or booty for short, mashups use the the instrumental track from one song and the vocals from another to create unexpected and dance-able music. Some of the best mixes include classical music or folk music from around the world laid under modern pop or hip hop songs. Others take a classic song from Motown or The Beatles and mash it with classic rock or techno. You never know what you'll find when you're looking for a new mashup!If my word isn't good enough, try this piece from National Public Radio about Adele's Rolling in the Deep and how mashups and remixes made it #1! You can find plenty of mashes at The Not-Pop Jukebox, including my Mashup of the Month series.
One Step Forward: To Better Writing
  • A Letter to Wired Magazine
    Dear Editors: You published in your February, 2012 issue a piece titled “Use Your Own Words”. In fact, you chose to make it the first article in the magazine. It is this article with which I would like to take issue. The author, Anne Trubek, bemoans the constraints of proper spelling and the constrictions of English grammar. Yet if you re-read the article (as I assume you at least perused it once before it was published) you will see that her argument boils down to “why spell correctly or...

    Read the full post at One Step Forward.
  • Craptacular Grammar Tip: Quotation Marks Gone Wrong
    NOTE: In case you thought I might be unaware, I know that “craptacular” isn’t a word. It seemed to fit the quality of the examples, however. Check back for more posts in this new series! Out of curiosity, I clicked a reputable organization’s free “Grammar Tip of the Day” link, to see whether I’d like to subscribe. I found this example and immediately thought that the only reason I’d ask for such a tip each day would be to provide fodder for One Step Forward. Why? At best the tip...

    Read the full post at One Step Forward.
  • Obligate: Two Words, One Spelling
    I read a book in which the big baddy was an organization called Obligate. The author chose not to explain the reason for that name until halfway through the story, which meant that I did not know how to pronounce it for about two hundred pages. It surprised me how distracting that was. If you are scratching your head, wondering what other pronunciation I’m writing about, this post is for you. Obligate does double duty, as both a verb and an adjective. You pronounce the two forms...

    Read the full post at One Step Forward.
One Thing I Don't Get
  • Cannot load RSS feed.
This is my favorite Michelle Shocked song and ranks in my top twenty-five rock songs ever.
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