Canned Heat, Amphetamine Annie

Driving today, this came on KRFC, Radio Fort Collins. Thank you. I thought this was odd, because I was in a grocery store a few days ago and Canned Heat’s Going Up the Country came on. But Going up the Country is classic rock, a hit song in rock’s best days. So, synchronicity? Not really. But when I was making dinner (creamy fish chowder) I put on Canned Heat’s greatest hits, and there are some good tunes there. Amphetamine Annie isn’t one of those, exactly but maybe we’ll touch base on some of them in the coming days. I like this song for the way the band shouts, Speed kills! An earlier version of this post said Bob Hite doesn’t sing on Amphetamine Annie, when in fact he does. I got that wrong because I always thought Hite sang Going Up the Country, but that was in fact Larry Taylor.

Van Morrison, Why Must I Always Explain

This one is from 1991. Van Morrison is no remnant, he’s been a giant star for a long time. But he’s also a working musician, a scrappy one who has not bent his vision to match the future, as such. He records new stuff, he tours, he has looked like a heart attack waiting to happen for 40 years, but luckily for us he’s survived and visited us with his Celtic rhythm and blues-y jazzbo stylings regularly. I’m not going to vouch for all of it. There’s too much to listen to, for one thing, but the album this is from, Hymns to the Silence, his 21st long player, seems to me brilliant all the way through, a mixture of personal animus and griping and soulful stylings and professions of faith, with a tight band and not a little bit of nostalgia for things before they’d been debased. I don’t agree with that last point entirely, but I like the music it pushed Van Morrison to on this record.

The Dixie Cups, Ain’t That Nice and Thank You Mama, Thank You Papa

When I worked in midtown in the early 80s I’d visit the various discount record stores and buy cut out records for a buck or two based on a track or a name that I recognized from something I’d read or heard about on the radio. That’s how I found the Dixie Cups Chapel of Love and Iko Iko. Two of the great cuts of the 60s. Today I found on Google Music an album called the Dixie Cups versus the Shangri Las. Now, apart from the fact that this is a bogus contest, because of it I found a bunch of Dixie Cups songs I don’t think I’d ever heard before. Are the Dixie Cups greater than the Shangri Las? Here’re two songs to go with their big hits that make me say, maybe!

Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Passenger

Saw I, Tonya tonight. It’s well worth seeing, a grand entertainment, as they say, in a theater. On TV it will look like something that elected Trump.

The closing credits are this Iggy Pop song by Siouxie and the Banshees, which is worth a listen.

Though in all fairness, we should also link to the original. Well, not recording, but amazing live performance.

 

The Temptations, Ball of Confusion

Dennis Edwards joined the Temps about the time their sound got harder, and the content of their songs political. Also when they became their most popular selves. He died earlier this week.

There are some great videos of the band singing this one, with psychedelic video, on YouTube, but the audio part of this version is the best.

Tres Hombres

When we did our Top 50 albums of all-time a couple years ago, I’m sure this was on my list. Drove around to it today, reinforcing its greatness.

ZZ Top is sort of like AC/DC in that the early stuff (pre-MTV beards, spinning fuzzy guitars and electronic drums) is so superior to the just passable later stuff. The good/mediocre dividing line for AC/DC is Bon Scott.

Tres Hombres as a unit proves a fine example of the abomination of playlist shuffle.

Here’s an underrated classic. Try driving around to this and not drumming the steering wheel. Peter talks about swing a lot and this song has it.

Christian James Hand Breaks Down AC/DC’s Let There Be Rock

I learned about this from a Facebook post by my friends Annastasia and Herrick. Hand went to school with Herrick.

Hand takes songs and breaks them down into their component parts. Haven’t heard anything like this before, and don’t know how the he gets to the individual tracks, but it’s pretty neat. Here’s the show:

Here’s the whole song.