Man, the week of February 18th kinda blew, mostly because of the shitty weather. Just when I thought the rain is over, it comes back with a fucking vengeance. The songs here reflect the rain, in various ways, some literal, some figurative, while others just reminded me of certain feelings which I associate with the rain.
Anyways, to get the songs mentioned here, click this link for the download.
1) The Allman Brothers Band – Stormy Monday
A cover of a T-Bone Walker song from Live At Fillmore East, one of my all time favorite live rock records.
2) Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
From the album of the same title. I have to confess that I am immensely attracted to Neko Case. After all, what is not to like: immensely talented, a smart lyricist, and a red-head, seals the deal as far as I’m concerned.
3) Stevie Ray Vaughan – Texas Flood
Again, you can see my semi-obsession with flooding this week; perhaps it reflects an apocalyptic frame of mind. Anyways, I started listening to the blues because of SRV, and this song just rocks. This is also from the album of the same name. It should be familiar if you’ve played Guitar Hero.
4) Nick Drake – Pink Moon
This is for Wednesday night’s full lunar eclipse. Too bad the weather in Berkeley didn’t let me see shit. Oh well. This is a very stark and haunting song: just Nick Drake’s voice, guitar, and piano. From the last official album he released.
5) Prince – Purple Rain
An oldie but a fucking goodie. This song is epic. And Prince does not get enough credit for his guitar skills. From the album of the same title.
6) Ryan Adams – Damn Sam (I Love A Woman That Rains)
I like the first line of the song: as a man I ain’t never been much for sunny days. From his first album.
7) The Bad Plus – Smells Like Teen Spirit
It would have been Kurt Cobain’s birthday last week had he lived. So this is in his memory. I can’t really categorize The Bad Plus as jazz-fusion because they don’t really use any electronic instruments. But they are not straight up jazz either. It’s more like a mix of hard-rock, especially the drumming, and jazz. Anyways, it is a pretty good take on the song from this album of theirs.
8) Miles Davis – In A Silent Way/It’s About That Time
This one is in memory of Teo Macero, Miles’ producer for those initial fusion records that revolutionized jazz. He produced both In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, and to me, Teo Macero is Miles Davis’ George Martin, because without him, those albums would not sound the way they do. He really used the studio as an instrument in the composition of the music. This is from In A Silent Way, which to me is the electric counter-part to Kind of Blue. I personally like this album better than Bitches Brew, which is not to say that Bitches Brew doesn’t fucking rock, but I like the almost understated playing, especially by John McLaughlin, whose playing is almost soulful, unlike on Bitches Brew when he just seems to shred it for the sake of shredding it.
9) Thom Yorke – And It Rained All Night
From Thom Yorke’s solo album. A very paranoid song for those times when you are up at 3 in the morning while it rains incessantly outside, pounding the windows.
10) Arvo Part – Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
Pay attention to the bells, so funeral-like, a dirge in the rain, or a procession of mourners marching in a slight drizzle. This is from a recording of Tabula Rasa.
So as you can see, this was a week characterized by bad weather and death, so these songs reflected some of that mood. But it’s not all doom and gloom, not yet anyways.