Sunday, May 07, 2006

Rama lama ding dong... The Penguins... The Orioles... Dion and the Belmonts... Warren Zevon... Vanessa Bell Armstrong...

In a rush today – off to an acoustic gig in Nottingham this afternoon – the complete antithesis to yesterday which was spent recording at the kind invitation of Oliver from the sublime Black Carrot (the pride of Market Harborough...) with the boys – David and Murray. We did two long and exhausting workouts – both totally different from each other – the first where I was only using laptop to fire samples and textures, the other where I switched to Fender Rhodes – and I have hardly played keyboard/piano in over thirty years. Interesting... Murray on a full acoustic kit was a revelation – keep practising those paradiddles, my boy. David used mainly guitar acoustic and electric and Oliver played a variety of instruments ranging from recorders to small instruments and voice effects looped into the mix. They were great and a pleasure to play with. Not sure what they made of my thumps, bangs and clusters but... exhilarating.

As promised to Betty – some doo wop... A trio of classics – The Penguins 'Earth Angel', The Orioles, 'It's too soon to know,' and Dion and the Belmonts – 'Ruaround Sue.' This last is more rocky – but I like it. Plaintive teen melodrama crossed with backbeat and handclaps and streetpunk toughness.

And then – and then... jump-cut... the late Warren Zevon's classic and little heard these days 'Desperadoes under the eves,' from his first album. I loved this track when I first bought the album back in Dublin in the 1970s – it has one of my favourite couple of lines – 'I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaian Hotel, listening to the air-conditioning hum. It went: “Hummmmm...” Etc.

Back in Ensenada – he sang the junkie's lament 'Carmelia.' L.A. drug noir...

Enough sleaze – as it's sunday, my children, knock your lobes towards the greatest Gospel singer since Mahalia – Vaness Bell Armstrong. Whose name sounds like the head girl from Roedean... 'What should I render.' Hallelujah and out...




The Penguins

Earth Angel

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The Orioles

It's too soon to know

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Dion and the Belmonts

Runaround Sue

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Warren Zevon

Desperadoes under the eaves

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Carmelita

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Vanessa Bell Armstrong

What shall I render

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10 comments:

Molly Bloom said...

Oh my God...Earth Angel is one of my favourite ever songs. How did you know? I can't wait to download all of this stuff!

Glad the recording went well. Have a great time in Nottingham...

Molly Bloom said...

Earth Angel - the version I have is The Crew Cuts. This version is much slower but the vocal is much better. There are two vocals on this though, the first is slightly stronger in its softness. And a lovely ending.

Thankyou for letting me hear a different version...

Molly Bloom said...

The Orioles - classic. Yearning, passion, heartbreak. All you want from a classic. The second vocal is a bit like Armstrong.

Again a lovely, poignant ending. Excuse me while I get a tissue.

Molly Bloom said...

Dion - this is a classic version. I know this version. It's still as good as it ever was.

Molly Bloom said...

Zevon - the beginning of this sounds a little like John Cale's voice with a Western violinesque backing. It's like the part where two cowboys are riding in the sunshine under a tree. Again, this makes me wish I had a piano because I really, really need one at the moment.

I hope my motel will be still be standing when I don't pay my bill. Which is often the case...

Molly Bloom said...

Oh yes, that air-con bit is lovely. A great crescendo. And the harmonies after that part are very strong. Rather like Bill Jones - have you heard of Bill Jones?

Molly Bloom said...

The other Zevon is a tragic lament to the heroin addict. Rather apt seeing as I'm teaching a book this week called 'Junk'.

Molly Bloom said...

Vanessa - very great voice. The piano is marvellous too.

St Anthony said...

Sounds like a good workout on the keyboards.

There's nothing like a good song well sung - so much of the music I listen to could be classified under the vague catch-all term "noise", but I'm not deaf to the charms of a good tune and lyric. Always had a sneaking regards for Warren Zevon - I've never heard a song of his I didn't like, like these two.
And surely everyone loves a nice bit of doo wop - even poor old Frank Zappa liked his doo wop.

Rod... said...

I find that I spend so much time listening to 'noise' or wild and wacky stuff that I need a soft landing now and again - songs of various genres etc or a day like yesterday - on Saturday I spent some time hammering the hell out of a Fender Rhodes amid a rising crescendo of rhythm and sound - so going to a folky type acoustic session was just what I needed...
Today - back to noise in the hovel! Husker Du - Zen Arcade at the moment