Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Anticipatory Grief for Launchcast, Part Two (with some double-dipping)

Shrove Tuesday, so the fridge is stocked with sausages and bacon to go with the pancakes this evening. I want to continue my elegy for Launchcast (which is still playing for me and letting me rate songs here in Canada). Here are some more songs and/or artists that I only came across when Launchcast sent them to my player:

6. - from the 1994 album The Snake, Shane MacGowan and the Popes. Love the song; the video is pretty, but makes me feel quite chilly, watching Sinéad tramp through waterlogged sets in her bare feet (and golly, she's heavily made-up for such a pretty girl). Purists undoubtedly prefer the 1986 Cait O 'Riordan/Pogues version: which is a bit meatier, but I think one usually prefers the version one hears first.

7. From Shane MacGowan without The Pogues, we go to The Pogues without Shane MacGowan: There was a rather splendid Doctor Who fan-vid of the second season set to this song, but it seems to have disappeared from YouTube.

8. Here's another double-dip: That's the version I first heard on Launchcast, but I can't resist this earlier 1989 version with a very Eighties video: Bit Proclaimer-ish, isn't it?

9. - from the 1981 album Face Dances. Don't know how I missed this Who gem the first time around which actually sounds very un-Who-like, although it sounds a lot like Pete Townsend.

10. - from the 1981 album Making Movies. Yes, I know. Perhaps it's because I'm not that crazy about Dire Straits (I don't mind them, but I don't turn up the radio when they come on), but I never heard this one until it turned up on Launchcast. Heartbreaking and beautiful.

11. - from the 1988 album Modern Lovers 88 A song that expresses exactly how I feel about Harpo Marx:
Well when Harpo played his harp, it was a mystery
All the laughing stopped back to the balcony
Chico, Chico, sure to please
Now let's watch him shoot the keys
When Harpo would play his harp, all was still

When Harpo played his harp, it was a dream, it was
Well if someone else can do it, how come nobody does?
Groucho, Groucho, fast as light
Some talk like him but not quite
When Harpo would play his harp, all was still, still

Well Harpo Harpo
This is the angels and
where did you get that sound so fine?
Harpo Harpo
We gotta hear it
One more time

Harpo Harpo
We're in the galaxies and
where did you get that sound so fine?
Harpo Harpo
We gotta hear it
One more time

Do you remember what he would do sometimes before he played?
Well he'd look up to the sky and he'd look the angels' way
Harpo Harpo, when you start
Tears of joy inside my heart
Harpo would play his harp and all was still

I gotta hear it one more time. Here's Harpo in Horse Feathers, the first Marx Brothers film I ever saw. I was seventeen and instantly smitten; all Harpo's mania disappears, and the real man appears before our eyes: The lovely lady is Thelma Todd who also appeared in my very favourite Marx Brothers flick Monkey Business. She was brutally murdered a short time later.

12. Finally (there's more, but I'll only do them if I run out of post ideas before my last day of NaBloPoMo on Saturday), Dar Williams: There's a fan-vid featuring the original recording from the 2000 album The Green World, but it focuses on a Big Brother participant for some reason, so I'm sticking with this live version. Dar Williams was someone I was almost completely unaware of before Launchcast sent her along to me, but I just love her songs with their marvelous lyrics:
I wonder if Yoko Ono
Ever thought of staying solo
If she thought of other men and
If she doubted John Lennon
Worrying that he'd distract her art

Sitting in the Apple sessions
Giving John her music lessons
Challenging the warring nations
With her paper installations
Did she guard her Yoko human heart

Well, they could talk about me
Yeah, they could talk about me
Throw me to the velvet dogs of pop star history
But I won't be your Yoko Ono
If you're not good enough for me

Some will give their love for fashion
Others trade their gold for passion
I don't have the goods to start with
Never had the reins to part with
Still, I hope you take me seriously

'Cause I think I could go
Deep as the sea of Yoko
You don't know a person like me
I could sell your songs to Nike
And for all you know
I could save your soul
As only true love can change your mind
Make you leave your screaming fans behind

When John called the wind an opera
Making love with every chakra
When he said her voice would carry
And when he whispered old Chuck Berry
Only then would Yoko set him free

Fame will come and vanish later
Transcendental love is greater
I think if we had this somehow
We'd be feeling famous right now
We'd be saying love is all you need

Sounds a bit like a riposte to The Barenaked Ladies, doesn't it? Good. Managed my Can/Con for today...


Marie said...

You had me at "pancakes".

Persephone said...

Sausages and bacon are a very rare treat for us, so we make it a part of our Shrove Tuesday ritual. We have a splendid crêpe/pancake house here in Canada that I think you might love, although it gets a bit crowded...

Jane Henry said...

OMG YOU HAD NEVER HEARD ROMEO AND JULIET?????? Staple of my teenage years that! I still love it, despite total overexposure...

Loved Haunted, which is one of my gaps - don't think I've ever seen Sinead O Connor looking that pretty! But can't quite accept she'd love the way Shane McGowan walks and talks...

Ah the Marx Brothers. I was brought up on the Marx Brothers (Spouse doesn't get them at all)... that harp playing is astonishing.

Didn't know of Dar Williams till I've just listened on your blog... thank you for that!

Am horrified at how old Sit Down is ( but then am also horrified that 1989 the year I got married is already 20 years ago...)

Vaguely know the Who song, but not my fave by any means (Behind Blue Eyes probably has that honour)

Jane Henry said...

PS Meant to say while I generally agree the first version you usually hear of a song is the one which sticks, sometimes that's not true. It wasn't till Gary Jules slowed down Tears for Fears Mad World that I really understood the pathos of that song. And his version is heaps better in my view.

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Sit Down remains one of my favourite tracks: mostly for the awesome line 'if I hadn't seen such riches I could live with being poor'... -- still vividly remember watching a live concert on a TV show when James had just took off and the audience just sang the song at the badn and they just stood back (almost as if in awe) at the spectacle of thousands of people sat down singing the chorus lines... breathtaking.

Persephone said...

@Jane/Jules: I don't think I could live without that burbling guitar riff in EWTRTW. I didn't find the bounce inhibited the indignation of the message

@Rullsenberg: Kinda like the crowd singing "Forty" after U2 concerts in the eighties and nineties?