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“6 Underground” :: Sneaker Pimps :: SOTD

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“6 Underground” :: Sneaker Pimps :: SOTD
from the album, Becoming X (1996)

“6 Underground” :: Sneaker Pimps

“I’m open…
to falling from grace.”

“6 Underground” :: Sneaker Pimps :: Song of the Day :: About the Song:

Today’s Song of the Day comes from Sneaker Pimps. A nineties trip-hop/pop hit from the 1996 album, Becoming X.  “6 Underground” is the fourth track on Becoming X. It was first released as a singled in the UK in September of 1996. The song reached # 15 on the UK Singles Chart, and had moderate airplay in the US.

After the song was used in the 1997 US film, The Saint, radio stations began playing it more frequently. The single was re-released in the UK in May of 1997, where it reached # 9 on the UK Singles Chart. In the US, the song peaked at # 45 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at # 7 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Originally, the song was a club hit in the UK. After the commercial success and popularity of the album version, the group released several remixes, some of which became hits in dance clubs and radio stations with a dance format. The version that was most frequently heart on the radio was the remix by Nellee Hooper, which appeared as a hidden track on the album.

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“6 Underground” :: Sneaker Pimps :: Song of the Day :: My Thoughts:

Take me back to 1996 in a whir and a trip hop beat. “6 Underground” was a mix tape favorite, tucked in between Tori Amos and Portishead usually, sometimes adjacent to Sarah McLachlan, Lush or Fiona Apple.

1996 was full of Women in Music for me, and not just because of Lilith Fair. There seemed to be such a plethora of female voices, in so many genres, but this one, the Trip Hop/Pop genre that was 90’s emerging, was right in my lane. I was coming out of my Goth/Death Rock phase, still carrying with me the love for that music, but hungry for something new. Brit Pop and Trip Hop were it.

Music often reminds me of people and specific places, but this one reminds me of the year it came out in, and a few years that followed. It reminds me of the me I was in those years, and the way Music was evolving and expanding for me.

“6 Underground” (live) :: Sneaker Pimps

“6 Underground” by Sneaker Pimps was Today’s Song of the Day. What is your Song of the Day?

My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day

My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 3/21/17

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My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 3/21/17
Listen here at Spotify

My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day for Tuesday starts out with a parenthetical love song with Frank Wilson’s “Do You Love You (Indeed I Do)” which leads into the title track from the newly released Spoon album (reviewed here). Mary Wells takes it from there, leading into another Weller-creation with “My Ever Changing Moods” from The Style Council. Lloyd Cole And The Commotions bring the Music to 5 with “Perfect Skin”, which completes our Tuesday Music Obsessions of the Day.

You can click to listen to each video below, or choose the Spotify link to listen to the My Top 5 Song Obsessions of the Day :: Top Five playlist. I add each five songs shared to the playlist each day, so the playlist evolves as the week does.

My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day:

1. “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” :: Frank Wilson

“The very thing that I want most,
is just to have and hold you close.
Do I love you?”

“Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” was first pressed in 1965 on the Motown subsidiary label named Soul. Approximately 250 demo 45’s of the song were originally pressed and scheduled to be released in December of 1965. Owing to a combination of Frank Wilson deciding he’d rather focus on producing, and Motown’s Berry Gordy’s rumored lukewarm reception of the vocals, and also supposed prevention of his producers having recording careers, the demos were almost all destroyed.

At least two survived, maybe five. One fetched £25,742 from a collector, in 2009. Another is supposedly owned by Gordy himself. Due to its scarcity it remains one of the most collectible 45’s, especially by followers of Northern Soul.

Owing to the demand for the song caused by DJ’s playing it at the famous UK Northern Soul nightclub, the Wigan Casino, it was first “officially” released in the UK in 1979 on the Tamla-Motwon label, and again in 2004 with a version of the same song by Chris Clark on the “b-side”.

2. “Hot Thoughts” (live) :: Spoon

“Hot thoughts melt in my mind,
could be your accent,
mixing with mine.”

Fresh off the new album from Spoon, “Hot Thoughts” is the title track, and one of the strongest songs on the band’s ninth album. The above video is a live version recorded on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Listening to this live version has me wishing and hoping that I’ll get the opportunity to finally see Spoon play live this year.

3. “You Beat Me to the Punch” :: Mary Wells

“That day,
I first saw you passing by
I wanted, to ask your name but I…
was much too shy.”

This Music Obsession Song actually started late yesterday afternoon when I found myself hitting replay, over and over. I listened to the track again early this morning, as I woke with it playing on a loop in my head.

The song was released in 1962, and was co-written by Smokey Robinson And The Miracles, who were responsible for the majority of hits released by Mary Wells while she was a Motown artist.

The song was produced with a “mock-calypso” beat which inspired an “answer” song by soul singer Gene Chandler called “You Threw a Lucky Punch” which used the same music, but with different lyrics. Chandler’s “answer” became a Pop and R&B chart hit that same year.

4. “My Ever Changing Moods” :: The Style Council

 

“The cool before the warm,
the calm after the storm.
I wish to stay forever,
letting this be my food,
but I’m caught up in a whirlwind,
and my ever changing moods.”

This was the first Style Council song I ever heard. My first Weller, actually. I remember going to the Music Plus that was down the hill from my school and buying the cassette of the album Cafe Bleu (titled My Ever Changing Moods here in the U.S.) and playing it over and over again. It was the 5th released single from The Style Council at that time.

“My Ever Changing Moods”, backed with the Hammond organ instrumental “Mick’s Company”, reached # 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. The song remains Weller’s greatest success in the US (including his efforts in The Jam and as a solo artist).

It will always be one of my all-time favorite songs.

5. “Perfect Skin” (live) :: Lloyd Cole And The Commotions

“Louise is a girl,
I know her well.
She’s up on the pavement, 
yes she’s a weather girl.
And, I’m staying up here so I may be undone.
She’s inappropriate,
but then she’s much more fun.”

A few years back I went through a Lloyd Cole obsession, playing his Music, his albums, while I was working on a memoir. The name Louise stuck out in this song, especially with the lyric “she’s inappropriate, but then she’s much more fun”. I had to gift one of the characters the name because this song, and that lyric, fit her so well, and I was in need of a handful of “re-names” to give these non-fictional people.

“Louise” can be found a bit in the title song from the album “Perfect Skin” is off of — “Rattlesnakes”.

That was Tuesday’s 5 Songs. Check back tomorrow for another set of 5 Music Obsessions of the Day.

My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day

My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 3/19/17

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My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day :: 3/19/17
Listen here at Spotify

My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day for Monday starts out with a Paul Weller-music-discovery with a song from the band The Moons that Weller made an appearance on. Next up is a Northern Soul track from Tamala Lewis that leads into another new music discoery, with Steve Cradock’s “Anyway the Wind Blows”. The Teardrop Explodes become song #4 on this Music Obsession Monday, and then it winds up back with more Weller, this time with The Jam’s “Just Who is the 5 O’Clock Hero?”

You can click to listen to each video below, or choose the Spotify link to listen to the My Top 5 Song Obsessions of the Day :: Top Five playlist. I add each five songs shared to the playlist each day, so the playlist evolves as the week does.

My Top 5 Music Obsessions of the Day:

1. “Something Soon” :: The Moons, featuring Paul Weller

“In the end it’ll be alright.
I’ll be spending all my money,
on a Friday night,
then start over again.”

The Moons have worked with Weller for quite some time now, recording their debut album in his studio, and some of their band working as his band for tour times. They have a connection to Edwyn Collins, as well, who produced their second album. This song is from 2012’s album Fables of History, the band’s third album. Producer Jan ‘Stan’ Kybert has worked with Oasis in the past, as well as with Massive Attack, The Rifles, and you guessed it, Mr. Weller. I dig the throwback sound of this song, as well as The Moon’s themselves. Oh, and I also dig Weller’s hat in this video.

2. “You Won’t Say Nothing” :: Tamala Lewis

“You won’t say everything,
you won’t say no,
you won’t say nothing.”

Feeling Northern Soul-ish this morning after watching the 2014 movie Northern Soul last night (available on Netflix). I’ve been spinning a compilation album from Spotify called Northern Soul – The Soundtrack to Your Life this morning, and this song stood out immediately, garnering a few repeat plays, and a spot on today’s Music Obsession List.

3. “Anyway the Wind Blows” :: Steve Cradock

“Hey…
anyway the wind blows,
anyway the wind blows.”

Both the artist and song are new to me here. I found them by perusing the “related artists” section for The Moons Spotify page.

4. “Second Head” :: The Teardrop Explodes

“Like a second head,
is it the first one you started out with?”

I hadn’t listened to The Teardrop Explodes in years, but was reminded of their debut album, and this song, while driving to work this morning. This song was actually left off of the UK version of the album, along with “Bouncing Babies”, but the vinyl I had included it.

5. “Just Who is the 5 O’Clock Hero?” :: The Jam

“Hello darlin’,
I’m home again,
covered in shit and aches and pains.
Too knackered to think,
so give me time to come round.
Just gimme the living room beat to the TV sound.”

Weller is brilliant at capturing a day-in-the-life, as well as looking beneath it, with an eye on the societal routines, leanings, and consequences of the day-by-day. As a bonus, press play below, a live version where The Jam segue into “Chain Gang” at the end of this song.

So, there’s Monday’s 5 Songs (with a bonus 6th). Hope you enjoyed! Tune in tomorrow for another 5 Music Obsessions of the Day.

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“Say Something” :: James :: SOTD

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“Say Something” :: James :: SOTD
from the album, Laid (1993)

“Say something,
say something,
anything.
I’ve shown you everything.
Give me a sign.”

About the Song:

“Say Something” is the fifth song from James’ fifth studio album, Laid, released in 1993. The album was the first of several collaborations between the group, and Brian Eno, who produced all but one of the album’s tracks.

James are originally from Manchester, England. They formed in 1982 and were active in the 1980’s, but achieved success during the 1990’s. The band became inactive after singer, Tim Booth, left, in 2001. They did reunite in January, 2007, for a new album and international tour.

James, Laid, SOTD, Song of the Day

My Thoughts:

“Say Something” was always one of my Top 3 favorite songs on James’ Laid album. The Laid album was my first discovery of James, the first album I had of theirs, and the first songs that I heard, and loved. The album, and all the songs, were a soundtrack for a certain Summer in 1994, and I cannot hear any of the songs without immediately thinking of that time in my life.

This song, to me, is about the falling apart of a relationship, bet it love or friendship, or even family. How it is in the silences that things often fall apart. Lyrics like “your silence is deafening” speaks volumes to me.

The lyrics “More than a drug is what I need/Need a change of scenery/Need a new life” really resonates with me. There have been times in my life, including that Summer of ’93, where there was nothing more true than that. That overwhelming need to go, to be somewhere else, to start over, I’ve felt those things enormously, at times in my life.

I bet you have, too.

“Say Something” (live) 

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“Two of Us on the Run” :: Lucius :: SOTD

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Keep Art Alive :: “Unraveled” :: Art by Kelly Vivanco

“Two of Us on the Run” :: Lucius :: SOTD 

“Two of Us on the Run” :: Lucius
from the album, Wildewoman (2014)

“Our favorite parts are what we’ll keep,
ornamental parts of love,
and parts of memories,
so everything else has room to grow.
‘Cause in better light,
everything changes.”

About the Song:

“Two of Us on the Run” is track 7 from Lucius debut album, Wildewoman. Mom + Pop Music released the album in North America in October 2013. Play It Again Sam released the album in UK and Europe, Australia, and Japan in March 2013.

Jess Wolf and Holly Laessig are the lead voices of Lucius. The band also includes drummer Dan Molad, guitarist Peter Lalish, and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Burri.

Lucius, SOTD, Song of the Day

My Thoughts:

A Thursday “throwback” poem I wrote, in October of 2016, with this song playing “Muse”, with some slight revisions:

Desert(ed)

We flicker off-an-on like strung out holiday lights
like the drain and fade of an unpaid utility bill
like the final wink-blink of oncoming headlights
that soon disappear into
this middle of night

I spot the exit up ahead
coming quick into view
you take a sharp right at the horizon line
almost colliding head first into that once familiar off-ramp
of us
that’s now just screams closed

Everything shrinks into a one-lane conclusion
collapsing into this last “last time”

Do you see it now?
The yellowing yield of a detour sign
the way it guides us up side streets
and near misses

We dodge the wreckage with a last minute turn of the wheel
slamming breaks squeal
joining in chorus with shuddered expletives
as my right hand automatically reaches to cover
your heart

As a young girl I used to sit quietly in the back
counting lines on the classroom clock
not wanting to admit that I couldn’t translate
numbers into time

You later taught me to read shadows
connecting my freckles and lines

This reroute lands us ten miles past Barstow
the desert dry covering everything in grey and grime
my eyes burn from all this open sky
from the sun-licked wind on my pinking skin
everything feeling like a scorpion’s sting

For a moment
I think you’ll leave me here
dangling precariously three last words

I know both of us are experts at running
at tripping on pretenses
and we hurry for the door

But you grab my left hand instead
circling each calloused year that’s past
on my open palm
whispering a Tarot card fortune
right between my ears
and my eyes

I can’t hear a single thing
until you finally
let go

“Two of Us on the Run” (live, from the Honey, I’m Home series) :: Lucius

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“Ready to Start” :: Arcade Fire :: SOTD

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“Ready to Start” :: Arcade Fire
from the album, The Suburbs (2010)

“If I was scared,
I would.
And if I was bored,
you know I would.
And if I was yours,
well, I’m not.

About the Song:

“Ready to Start” is track two of Arcade Fire’s third studio album, The Suburbs. The album was released in August, of 2010. The album debuted at #1 on the Irish Albums Chart, the UK Albums Chart, the US Billboard 200 chart, and the Canadian Albums Chart.

The Suburbs won “Album of the Year” at the 2011 Grammy Awards, “Best International Album” at the 2011 BRIT Awards, “Album of the Year” at the 2011 Juno Awards, and the 2011 Polaris Music Prize for best Canadian album.

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“Ready to Start” was released as a single on October 3, 2010. The band performed the song as their second performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards, immediately following The Suburbs winning “Album of the Year”.

The band also performed the song at the Brit Awards days after the Grammy Awards.

The song peaked at #67 on the UK Singles Chart, the band’s highest placement since “Keep the Car Running”. “Ready to Start” also peaked at #16 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, in the U.S., the band’s highest ever placement on that chart.

Additionally, the single peaked at #25 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart, and in the band’s native Canada it reached #49.

Arcade Fire, SOTD, Song of the Day

My Thoughts:

This song is chill-inducing to me. One of those songs that you turn up and let wash over you, emotions kicking in to overdrive, and sometimes it is my tears that accompany. There is a sense of revolt in the song, but there is also an undercurrent of insecurity, of loss, and of wanting more.

The dynamics of a break-up, of heartache, of losing someone are all present and accounted for. There is also that simmering strength that comes after a fall, if you allow it, if you grab a hard hold of it and survive.

“Ready to Start” (live) :: Arcade Fire

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My Top Ten Male Singers :: Top Ten Tuesday

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My Top Ten Male Singers
Top Ten Tuesday

The flip side of the last list by request. These lists continue to be near impossible to narrow down, and this was yet another tough one. The list of my favorites would go on, and on, and on – well past “ten”, but this is a “Top Ten Tuesday” list, so I painfully cut and put this list together. Some of these slots are subject to change, others will always be where they are. All that said, for today, for right now, this is a list of My Top Ten Male Singers on Top Ten Tuesday.

My Top Ten Male Singers

1. David Bowie

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“Heroes” :: David Bowie

“And you,
you can be mean.
And I,
I’ll drink all the time.
‘Cause we’re lovers,
and that is a fact.
Yes we’re lovers,
and that is that.”

2. Ryan Adams

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“La Cienega Just Smiled” (live) :: Ryan Adams

“And, I hold you close in the back of my mind.
Raise my glass,
’cause either way I’m dead.
Neither of you really help me to sleep anymore –
one breaks my body,
and the other breaks my soul.
La Cienega just smiles,
waves goodbye.”

3. Leonard Cohen

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“Famous Blue Raincoat” (live) :: Leonard Cohen

“Well, I see you there,
with the rose in your teeth;
one more thin, gypsy thief.
Well, I see Jane’s awake.
She sends her regards.”

4. Pete Yorn

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“Crystal Village” :: Pete Yorn

“You were there,
and it was good in the beginning.”

5. Bryan Ferry

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“Slave to Love” :: Bryan Ferry

We’re too young to reason,
too grown up to dream.”

6. Paul Weller

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“Wild Wood” :: Paul Weller

“High tide,
mid-afternoon,
people fly by,
in the traffics boom.
Knowing,
just where you are blowing.
Getting to where you should be going.”

7. Sam Cooke

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“Bring It On Home to Me” :: Sam Cooke

“You know I’ll always be your slave,
’till I’m buried and buried in my grave.
Oh, honey bring it to me,
bring your sweet loving,
bring it on home to me.”

8. Elliott Smith

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“Waltz #2” (live) :: Elliott Smith

“I’m never gonna know you now,
but I’m gonna love you,
anyhow.”

9. Mick Jagger

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“Wild Horses” (acoustic) :: The Rolling Stones

“No sweeping exit,
or offstage lines,
could make me feel bitter,
or treat you unkind:
wild horses couldn’t drag me away.”

10. Noel Gallagher

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“If I Had a Gun” :: Noel Gallagher ‘s High Flying Birds

“Excuse me if I spoke too soon,
my eyes have always followed you around the room.
‘Cause you’re the only god that I will ever need.”

That’s My Top Ten Male Singers for Top Ten Tuesday. Who would be on your list?