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Musical palate cleanser, just drive edition, part one

Okay, so I got a new car last week, my first in well over a decade.  Color me a little excited.

In honor of the occasion, I’m posting a week of musical palate cleansers with a driving theme to them.  Kicking off the festivities is a song I played the hell out off when I was on the radio in college, The Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner”.

I know Jonathan Richman is something of an acquired taste, but The Modern Lovers is a stone cold classic, quintessential American rock and roll.  You could say the same thing about driving, which makes this song a perfect start to the week.

(By the way, if you don’t mind, please hold off on your driving tunes suggestions until Friday.  I’ve already got the week’s other four videos ready to go and you can load up then.  Feel free to comment about Richman and the Lovers now, though.)

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Happy Fourth of July, peeps.

Remember, information, like Americans, yearns to be free.

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Musical palate cleanser, better cover edition

“Silver Train” is a fairly obscure Rolling Stones tune from Goats Head Soup (I think it was the B-side to “Angie”).  The official video the Stones released is good evidence that their glam phase was, shall we say, regrettable.

Anyway, here’s a cover of the song from Carla Olson and Mick Taylor.  It’s off their Too Hot For Snakes live album, and, in my humble opinion, is superior to the original.  Listen and let me know what you think.

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Musical palate cleanser, let’s begin edition

Here’s one more MPC featuring a Fairport Convention alumni for you.

I mentioned in my Richard Thompson post the day a friend of mine who used my Thompson shtick to impress people.  My buddy was a drummer, and as much as he liked Thompson, he loved Dave Mattacks, who was Fairport’s drummer at the time.

Mattacks was also much in demand as a session player and this is from one of my favorite gigs of his, XTC’s Nonsuch.  “The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead” is the album’s opener and if you play this on a decent stereo with a little grunt, Mattacks’ initial burst will make you jump in your seat.

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Musical palate cleanser, local boy made good edition

Sadly, another RIP.

Chips Moman, a producer and songwriter who helped define the Memphis sound in soul music in the 1960s, generated dozens of pop, soul and country hits and helped resuscitate Elvis Presley’s career in the late ’60s, died on Monday in LaGrange, Ga. He was 79.

You need to read the entire obit to see his astounding legacy.  Basically, if you like music from the ’60s, the odds are decent Moman had a hand in some of what you enjoy.

He wrote this song with Dan Penn.

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Musical palate cleanser, guitar god edition

I mentioned in passing the other day in my Dave Swarbrick MPC that Richard Thompson was due for one.  Most of you are probably asking who the hell Richard Thompson is.

Well, I’ll tell you.  He’s a brilliant songwriter who was a founding member of British folk-rock’s greatest band, Fairport Convention.  Two of Thompson’s albums that he put out with his first wife, Linda, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight and Shoot Out The Lights, are among the finest rock albums ever produced, regardless of genre.

Thompson is also likely to be the best guitarist you’ve never heard of.

Back in my college days, I’d have friends who would dismiss my love for folk-rock, calling it wimpy and boring.  In response, I’d pull out a couple of albums and play some of RT’s work.  Invariably, I’d get reactions like, “hey, man, that’s good”, “I had no idea” and, of course, “got anymore?”.  (The highlight for me was when I caught one of my fourth-year roommates making the same demonstration to someone else.)

Anyway, here’s an example of his stellar work.  It’s a song he wrote in the late ’80s, “Can’t Win”.  It’s always been a guitar vehicle when he’s performed it live.  This is my favorite version of that.  The song takes a while to build, so be patient.  The fireworks start after the four-minute mark.

If you can’t say “wow” after that…

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Musical palate cleanser, shake it up baby edition

Hard to believe this movie is 30 years old this week, but it is.

Greatest movie lip sync scene, or greatest movie lip sync scene ever?

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