As a fan of a wide variety of popular (and not-so-popular) music from the 1950s (and sometimes even earlier) up through the present, one of my bucket list projects for years has been to put together a list of my 100 favorite songs of all time. At some point I decided that, once I got around to figuring that out, I could put it out on a blog, for the infinitesimally small proportion of the Internet world that might be interested. So, here we are. While the Top 100 will be a major focus, I also plan to post on a variety of other musical (and occasionally non-musical) topics, in which you may or may not be interested. (If a particular posting doesn’t ring your bell, you’re only a few clicks away from a dancing cat video on YouTube.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Chuck Berry

Long live rock & roll!
Favorite songs:
Roll Over Beethoven
Johnny B. Goode
Back In The U.S.A.
Rock And Roll Music
Almost Grown
School Days
No Particular Place To Go
Sweet Little Sixteen
Favorite covers of Chuck Berry songs:
You Never Can Tell (C’est La Vie) – Emmylou Harris
Memphis – Lonnie Mack
Roll Over Beethoven – Electric Light Orchestra

Saturday, March 18, 2017

#141 The Dark End Of The Street – James Carr (1967)

The first time I ever heard this soul classic by Chips Moman and Dan Penn was when it was performed in the 1991 movie The Commitments.  It’s been recorded by Percy Sledge, Don Dixon, Eva Cassidy, and many others, but somehow never managed to become a hit. The original version by James Carr was the only one to appear on the Hot 100, peaking at a modest #77.

#140 The Windows Of The World – Dionne Warwick (1967)

Dionne Warwick, of course, made a career out of recording songs written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. This one unfortunately wasn’t a big hit, but it’s one of their best, and almost certainly the most poignant. (Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders later did a great cover version as well.)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Shuffle #95 (March 12, 2017)

Running On Empty – Jackson Browne
Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith
Summer In The City – The Lovin’ Spoonful
All Alone Am I – Brenda Lee
Shattered Dreams – Johnny Hates Jazz
I Want A New Drug – Huey Lewis & The News
This Is My Country – The Impressions
I Wanna Be With You – The Raspberries
Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream
Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas

Friday, March 10, 2017

Dawes – Lincoln Theatre, 3/8/2017

Row J, Seat 109 (general admission) – center section, middle seat
I saw Dawes do two truly great shows in 2015, first at the Warner and several weeks later at XPNFest. This one didn’t reach that level, although it had some great moments, especially in the second set. With no opening act, the amount of music was certainly generous, with a couple dozen songs spanning about 105 minutes across the two sets and two encore numbers.
The biggest issue for me was the volume. Most of the band’s repertoire sounds about right at a relative sound level of about 8, but they had things cranked up to 11 through most of the show, pounding their more subtle and melodic material (including one of my favorites, “A Little Bit Of Everything”) into complete and utter submission. Basically, THEY SOUNDED LIKE THEY WERE YELLING MOST OF THE TIME.
The first set really didn’t do much for me, until they got to “When My Time Comes” and “Less Than Five Miles Away” at the end, both of which worked well with things cranked up. However, their performance of “Somewhere Along The Way” lacked the stunning two-guitar interplay of  the 2015 shows, and they chose to short-change “Time Spent In Los Angeles” by segueing into “Most People” after the first verse. And I’ve already mentioned their treatment of “A Little Bit Of Everything”.
Nevertheless, I decided to stick around for the second set, and was rewarded when they went acoustic for the first 2½ songs. “From A Windowseat” was a highlight shortly thereafter, and the crowd rose to its feet during “If I Needed Someone” and remained standing for the rest of the show. After ending the set with the title cut from We’re All Gonna Die, they encored with a rave-up version of the normally placid “Peace In The Valley” from their debut album, and concluded with a heartfelt rendition of “All Your Favorite Bands”, at the end of which the crowd added an extra a cappella version of the chorus.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Shuffle #94 (March 6, 2017)

(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville – R.E.M.
Bits And Pieces – The Dave Clark Five
Silver Wheels – Bruce Cockburn
Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey
Pocketful Of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield
Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2
Hello In There – John Prine
One Step Up – Bruce Springsteen
Nick Of Time – Bonnie Raitt