music clip of the day


Month: July, 2012

Saturday, 7/21/12

Johann Sebastian Bach, Air on the G String (adapted from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, 2nd Mvt.)Friedrich Gulda, piano, 1980s (?)

(Yeah, that’s Chick Corea at 2:57.)



musical thoughts

This would make a helluva blurb:

Bach’s music is the only argument proving the creation of the Universe cannot be regarded a complete failure.

Emil Cioran

Friday, 7/20/12

two takes

Robert Glasper Experiment, “Always Shine” (feat. Lupe Fiasco & Bilal)

TV show (David Letterman), 2/29/12


Recording, Black Radio (2012)



musical thoughts

Jazz, classical, R&B: so much great music, no matter the genre, shares a particular quality—density.


reading table

It’s as if your body were itself a person
And the person wasn’t you.

—Frederick Seidel, “Track Bike” (excerpt), London Review of Books, 7/19/12


art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago (between court hearings at the nearby federal court building)

Willem de Kooning, Untitled XI (1975)

Thursday, 7/19/12

old stuff

Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire
“I’ll Be Hard to Handle,” Roberta (1935)

More? Here.

Wednesday, 7/18/12

only rock ’n’ roll

The Wrens, “Happy”

Live, New York (Knitting Factory), 2007


Recording, The Meadowlands, 2003

One of the best albums of all time.

—my (24-year-old) son Alex, the other day, while playing this track

Tuesday, 7/17/12


Kitty Wells (AKA Ellen Muriel Deason), singer, songwriter, guitarist, 8/30/1919-7/16/2012

“It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”
TV show,  c. 1952


“Making Believe”
TV show, 1955


“Lonely Side of Town”
TV Show, 1950s



“The history of country music can’t be written without calling attention to her great achievements,” John Rumble, senior historian at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, told The Times on Monday. “She really has left an indelible mark on American music history.”

Singer Marty Stuart on Monday called her “the undisputed queen of country music. There’s more to being a queen than just calling yourself a queen — it’s a title that goes with an entire lifetime of service and influence. You check the careers of anyone in [Nashville], and you won’t find anyone with a more spotless career than Kitty Wells.”

Wells laid a template for female singers in country music that started a shift in traditional male-female roles in rural America with “Honky Tonk Angels.” Her recording delivered a strikingly assertive response to Hank Thompson’s massive 1952 hit “The Wild Side of Life,” in which a man laid all blame on a woman he met in a honky tonk for breaking up his marriage and then leaving him to go “where the wine and liquor flows, where you wait to be anybody’s baby.”

Wells, singing a song written by J.D. Miller, shot back, “It wasn’t God who made honky tonk angels/As you said in the words of your song/Too many times married men think they’re still single/That has caused many a good girl to go wrong.”

That recording was No. 1 for six weeks in 1952 and began a string of hits that extended to 1979.

The stern resolution in her voice would be echoed in subsequent recordings by Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris on through Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks and still ripples today in assertive songs by Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

“Kitty Wells was my hero,” Lynn said Monday in a statement. “If I had never heard Kitty Wells sing, I don’t think I would have been a singer myself.”

—Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times (obituary), 7/17/12

Monday, 7/16/12

sounds of South Africa

Why not start the week with someone you may never have heard before (as I hadn’t until the other day, when I bumped into her on WFMU-FM’s Mudd Up! with DJ/Rupture)?

Madosini (1922-), “Uthando Luphelile” (Power to the Women, 2005)

Sunday, 7/15/12

 five takes

“Mary Don’t You Weep” (AKA “O Mary Don’t You Weep”)

The Caravans (feat. Inez Andrews), 1958


The Swan Silvertones (feat. Claude Jeter), 1959


Claude Jeter & Shirley Caesar, 1969


The Caravans (feat. Inez Andrews), c. 2006


Bruce Springsteen, 2005

Saturday, 7/14/12

basement jukebox

Otis Rush, singer, guitar player

Where did “Black Magic Woman” come from?

“All Your Love (I Miss Loving),” 1958

If you take the words from ‘Black Magic Woman’ and just leave the rhythm, it’s ‘All Your Love’—it’s Otis Rush.

Carlos Santana


“I Can’t Quit You Baby,” 1956

Friday, 7/13/12

only rock ’n’ roll

A reader writes:

An old friend sent me this Youtube clip of a concert we attended back in high school. At the time I had never heard of Fleetwood Mac or Peter Green.  They were the opening act and, not surprisingly, I have now forgotten who we went to see.

Fleetwood Mac, “Black Magic Woman,” live, Boston (Boston Tea Party), 1970

Thursday, 7/12/12

If, someday, Björk invites you over for tea, don’t be surprised if she wants to show you this.

Martha Argerich, at home with then-husband conductor Charles Dutoit, Switzerland (near Lausanne), 1972

‘Recently I have been guilty of watching a lot of YouTube,’ Björk says. She’s been exploring Martha Argerich (1972 home movies) . . .

—Alex Ross, The Rest Is Noise (blog), 11/13/11


Happy Birthday, Suzanne!

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