01 December 2023

1 December 2023 - The Sundays - Here's Where The Story Ends

Over the years, I have accumulated a lot of drafts here.   There are literally hundreds of songs in my queue - and there are a few artists that are heavily represented in that queue and will be future Hall of Fame choices, probably.

I did decide, however, that this December would be one to remember, and I would highlight some of my very oldest drafts - ones that I have been sitting on for a good long time.   My very OLDEST draft was this song from 1990, this breakthrough modern rock hit by The Sundays.  Written by David Gavurin and Harriet Wheeler (members of the band, the latter the vocalist), it is a fun and sweet jangle-pop breakup song.  

The irony is, it wasn't released as a single in their native UK, as their UK label, Rough Trade, suffered an epic business collapse soon after the release of the album and went into recievership.

Still, this song is great.  Enjoy.  

30 November 2023

30 November 2023 (Special Edition) - The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God

When I think of the Pogues, I think back to my days at St. Bonaventure University.  I ran in many different circles of friends there, each of whom frequented a different bar.  The Pogues are a band that remind me of Hickey Tavern, in Allegany, NY - the smaller of the two towns that bordered St. Bonaventure, which was not legally in Olean, either.   

I don't really have a particular reason why I associate the Pogues with the Hickey, but I do.

I do know that there was one friend I have, who passed away several years ago, to whom a lot of our mutual friends will dedicate the first play of the season of "Fairytale of New York". That friend was Jonathan Fabian.   

Jon was a really kind soul, who I got to be a better friend to after the days of SBU and as Facebook came to be.  He announced the deaths of celebrities with "*celebrity* is dead.  Long live *celebrity"!"  So, when I heard of Shane McGowan's passing, there was only one thing to say.

"Shane McGowan is dead.  Long live Shane McGowan!"

Well, since Scott posted "Fairytale" 11 years ago, I felt this was an appropriate song for today.  McGowan will be missed by those he touched, as is our friend by those he touched.

30 November 2023 - Awkwafina - Pockiez

So, yesterday, Spotify released their Spotify Wrapped 2023 to all its loyal subscribers, which shows you what you listened to in 2023.   My top song didn't surprise me - I listened to "Sugar Water" like it was going out of style.

My top artist sure did.

A woman not really known for music so much as being that Asian foul-mouthed comedian woman from Queens, Awkwafina, the stage name for Nora Lum, was my top played artist on Spotify in 2023.


How many times did I freaking play "My Vag"?

Anyway, she DOES have more than the one song.  She released an entire album, and even made some videos, mocking how poor she was - a recuring theme from her music.  This doesn't really apply to her life anymore, as she is a successful actress with a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Vag... er, Actress.  It DOES speak to her modest upbrinigng... and love of cannabis.  

29 November 2023

29 November 2023 - Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music

I'm really late getting one out today because of Spotify Wrapped.  Wow, that's a lot of fun and I'm happy to say that 4 of the top 5 songs were featured in this blog this year.   

I don't want you think I'm going to shut down anytime soon, so let's keep the music going with one of the few Rihanna songs I find bearable.

28 November 2023

28 November 2023 - Creed Bratton - Rubber Tree

This link on this should have been www.creedthoughts.gov.www\creedthoughts

It was addressed during the TV show The Office, but Creed Bratton was playing a fictionalized version of himself on the show.  You see, he used to be in a band called the Grass Roots, and is a legitimate musician.  The SAG Award-winning actor also has albums, both solo and with The Grass Roots.

There's a podcast, called Office Ladies, which is hosted by Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela), who are also best friends in real life (and wrote a book together).  The theme song, if you listen to the end of each episode, is a song called "Rubber Tree" by Creed Bratton.  I always figured it was because they were supporting their good friend - and Creed has been a guest on their podcast.

But it's more than that.  You see, Creed performed this song with The Scrantones - who are best known for their big hit "The Theme Song to the Office (U.S.)" and their appearance on the episode titled "Booze Cruise" - at the wrap party for The Office.   Here is that performance.

Here is Creed performing the song live with special guest Ed Helms (Andy Bernard) on the banjo.   It's a sweet little song. 

27 November 2023

27 November 2023 - Daniel Moore - Shambala

We took a Thansgiving break.   We deserved it.

We're back with a lesser-known song by singer-songwriter Daniel Moore.  Released in 1973, there;s a reason why I call this huge hit song "lesser-known."  You seen the song went to #3 on the pop charts in 1973, and everyone was singing about this mythical place, supposedly in Peru.

This was not the version that made it to #3.  It's still a pretty good version, though.  The version that DID was covered very quickly after this release by Three Dog Night.  

If you know the Three Dog Night version (and you should - it's on Totally Covered today) you can hear a slight difference.  This version rhymes the title with "Ham Bala", and not "Prom Bala", as the Three Dog Night version does.

Still, it's good.  Here is Moore with JJ Cale live in 1993.

22 November 2023

22 November 2023 - Evanescence - Call Me When You're Sober

This song, Evanescence's third top ten hit in the US (and three years after their 2nd), was co-written by Amy Lee and Terry Balsamo - who started off working on very different songs musically.  They played what they were working on and decided to merge the songs.

What emerged was arguably their most heartfelt single, with both the heavy sound that was the band's hallmark and very emotional lyrics. The lyrics were clearly written by Lee, and were very clearly about her ex-boyfriend, Shaun Morgan of the band Seether - who didn't really appreciate a song that painted him under the influence of an addiction as a bad guy.  

I have to be honest - I was not a fan of Evanescence's 2003 debut, despite recognizing Amy Lee's huge voice.   Their 2006 album changed things for me.   It was simply better, more mature.  

This live performance form 2007, which starts with a quiet Lee on piano and ends with her whippin' her hair back and forth mid-stage, really showcases the power of the entire band - the ability to do the quiet and the loud, and that''s probably one of the things I like te most about this song.

Fast forward to 2021 - the band is still rocking hard, although Amy Lee is whipping her hair less.  The performance is largely identical, fifteen years after the initial single release.