Monday, August 4, 2008

This is not the way we put an end to war: songs for your Monday evening

Some random nostalgia for your Monday evening. This is what I've been listening to today, and decided I'd share it... as idiosyncratic as these tunes are, a few of you should enjoy at least one of these songs.


Sometimes, you just need to get away:

Earth Wind And Fire - Getaway

[via FoxyTunes / Earth, Wind & Fire]

Slack-jawed, you will now behold one of the greatest blues-guitar players in the history of the world. Also, proof that there is a requirement for MEN to be attractive, although the bar is considerably lower than it is for women. Johnny Winter should be mega-famous, but did not have the good looks of the youthful Eric Clapton.

Also, this performance is footage from WOODSTOCK, originally filmed for the movie. Ask yourself: WHY would no-talent punks like SHA-NA-NA make it into the WOODSTOCK movie, and this incredible performance didn't? It might have something to do with looks. Also, the fact of how completely disorienting Johnny Winter was, in his time; he's so white trash, the joke went, that he is ALBINO! (And as a result, legally blind, and--as is evident in the video--he never focused on the audience or camera during his performances.)

The first time I ever heard him, his Texas-swamp blues was so authentic that I simply assumed he was black. Then I saw a photo of him and thought, not only is he white, he is the whitest guy I've ever SEEN.

I saw him play with Muddy Waters and James Cotton in 1977 and they were absolutely electrifying! And under bright lights, while sweating? He positively GLOWED like neon. Meant in a good way!

They really should have put him in the movie, dammit!

Johnny Winter - Mean Town Blues (Live)

[via FoxyTunes / Johnny Winter]

My mother loved this song, and this is for her. I miss her terribly.

My mother sang this song in her band and said it was hard not to sing it with a Mexican accent, particularly the phrase: I was so lonely/cried for you only. She said she didn't know why, but it needed to 'sound like where it came from.' She had to fight not to sing it that way, since she knew people would think she was mocking and/or disrespectful. (Although nobody thought that about the likes of Rosemary Clooney and Frank Sinatra, when they donned fake-accents for songs, people tend to assume bigotry of country musicians.) My mother said the phrasing "cried for you only," simply wouldn't be in a regular Nashville-based county song, and it wasn't something you usually heard in country music, so you felt you should give it the accent.

A decade later, I would hear California punks who felt it necessary to sing Clash and Sex Pistols songs with a tinge of a British accent, and then I understood what she meant. Songs have a cultural CONTEXT, and wiping that away is also disrespectful.

Freddy Fender - Wasted Days & Wasted Nights

[via FoxyTunes / Freddy Fender]

Finally, if you've never heard this song and you consider yourself progressive AT ALL, it's time to listen. This was a song that inspired your Mamas and Daddys in the cause.

First Buffy Sainte-Marie talks about the writing of her song, and her inspiration, then sings it.

It's just so true.

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Universal Soldier

[via FoxyTunes / Buffy Sainte-Marie]


RamoneSmith said...

Thanks for the Johnny Winter video! Superb...

mikeb302000 said...

I loved all those videos, especially the last one. The Universal Soldier is my favorite anti-war song. I'm most familiar with the Donovan version.

JoJo said...

Love love love EWF. "Getaway" is my fave EWF tune too; I have it on a mix tape in my car.

antiprincess said...

you know who you never hear about anymore? Melanie.

"I rode my bicycle past your window last night..." etc. that girl.

Daisy said...

AntiP, you need to attend Dead Air Church regularly! :P

Melanie: Beautiful People

shadocat said...

LOve me some Freddie Fender! That's one of the songs our baby loves me to sing her to sleep with....

LarryE said...

Speaking of Melanie, I just saw her perform live a couple of weeks ago.

On the comment that music has a cultural context, it's true and can cut both ways. I think one of the reasons I could never get into C&W was there seemed to be an unwritten law that to be allowed to sing it you had to sound like you were from Texas. Heck, there was a C&W band called the Thompson Brothers who were from Norwell, Massachusetts - and they sounded like they were from Texas.