Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Random Ten (slight rant return)

Over at Welcome To Pottersville there's a post about this article from Rolling Stone on the "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time."

Ok. Fine. I have my favorites, thing is they tend to change. It depends on my mood, the surrounding events, the company, it depends on life. Own your own favorites. Don't let a bunch of wankers sitting around a magazine tell you what's good. If it makes your hips wiggle and your face smile, it's good. My own personal favorite of me playing is something I used to do during my punkish phase in the eighties. I would take one of my tricked out self-built Strats, turn everything all the way the fuck up and play "Maleguena." Then, when I was done and my ears quit bleeding I'd say "That was 'Shake Your Booty Macho Man Maleguena Uber Alles'." I also have a fondness for listening to old jazz records and stealing trumpet, sax, and clarinet licks. When I'm feeling a little disruptive I like to play along with another guy's solo and watch his face fall when he realizes I've been matching him lick for lick using a bottleneck.

So, phooey. If it moves you, it's great. That's the only real measure of music. If it moves you in an important way once, and then has the power to take you back to that moment, that afternoon or night with her, when you're sitting in your cubicle or driving in traffic, that's even better.

Here's the morning soundtrack, courtesy of "shuffle."

Ramblin' With That Woman - - - Bumble Bee
One Way Ticket To Nowhere - - - David Allen Coe
Tout Les Jours Mon Couer Est Bleu - - - Clifton Chenier
Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound - - - Nancy Griffith
Marry Me - - - Dolly Parton (live bootleg, me on 5 string banjo, finish on fiddle getting completely run over by the amazing Vassar Clemens, dude took off and I couldn't hang, finished the song standing there stupid and grinning in amazement but that was how the rest of the band, including Dolly were)
The Dirty Dozens #2 - - - Red Rooster
Co'dine - - - Buffy Sainte Marie
Bertha - - - Phil Lesh
Cal'donia - - - Son House
Grande Waltz Brilliante in Eb - - - Frederic Chopin (played by the incomperable Horowitz)

Bonus track (what's playing right now)

Grinder Man Blues - - - Memphis Slim

I got to go pack for a beach weekend. Should take about all of fifteen minutes. Minstrel's rule for beach packing is this:

Take half as many clothes and twice as much money.

Works every fucking time. Blogging will be light for the next few, after the beach I'm heading up to Laurel Canyon to hang with one of my favorite music ladies and help her get some arranging done for her next album.

Just for the hell of it, because it's so fucking great and just started a bonus bonus

Uncle Penn - - - Bill Monroe and The Bluegrass Boys

What's your soundtrack?

UPDATE: The luminously beautiful April just showed up and said I should also include my standard reply when people ask me "What's your favorite kind of music?"

I always say:

What ever they're paying me for tonight."



Blogger seventh sister said...

Great list of music today. As for my favorite guitar songs, I'm with you. My list changes freguently. Always at the top are pieces by Jack Williams and Caroline Aiken. They both do things on the guitar that nobody else does.

Jack played with a lot of the big bands with all that smooth jazz influence

Guitar dudes run for cover when Caroline gets on a roll because most of them just can't keep up with her.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous horsedooty said...

I have mentioned Brad before on this blog but here he is when he was working in Sam Bush's band several years ago. This is their version of the old folk song "Old Joe Clark". This is Brad on guitar.

¡yo soy Horsedooty!

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A year or so ago I read a blog post which was – in a rather elliptical way – about the Grateful Dead. I’m not trying to slam anyone here or start a flame war so I’m being somewhat vague to conceal who said blogger was. I replied by saying I found it a very weak argument (said blogger was going to change something in his life in order to avoid hearing – literally – one or two or three 10 second snippets of GD music scattered randomly over a period of an hour or two or three on some days.) Trying real hard to A. be polite and respectful whilst B. disagreeing with the author I said something along the lines of “of course taste in music is subjective.”
Well I might as well have accused him of pedophilia. I caught it with both barrels. First, the GD were an inept band and Jerry Garcia a terrible guitarist. Second, there is nothing subjective about music. And he went on and on explaining in excruciating detail how it is possible to “prove” one song “good” and one song “bad.”
Basically a real thin-skinned pompous ass.
But here’s the catch: I’m not a musician – I tried guitar and bass for years and just never developed any real understanding of either instrument. But I love music. And I appreciate, I truly appreciate technical prowess. But I also appreciate emotion. Now, generally people can’t even agree on the technical side – I did a follow up in which I included a long list of musicians who have praised Jerry Garcia’s guitar playing – Ornette Coleman, Etta James, Carlos Santana, etc even though said blogger is a musician and seemed to feel that alone settled it – but the emotional response of the listener? How can anyone argue that as being either objective or worthless?
Why do musicians create music? To elicit an emotional response in the listener, no? Which is why I cringe a little when any criticism of any music pops up. Do I like the music of Miley Cyrus? No. But her songs seem to reach into the hearts of millions. Who am I to criticize that?
And no, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some standards, and there’s no way to say one musician clearly has more advanced technique and understanding of the instrument. But there a lot of amazing technical players whose work I find devoid of emotion and cold. Just as there are any number of people whose technical skills are clearly limited who still blow me away every time I listen. No one’s ever gonna accuse John Prine of being a great guitarist or singer, but in the 35 years I’ve been obsessively listening to his music I have never found that to be a problem.
Life is hard, it’s a long bumpy road and there are enough stabs and blows along the way without pissing on each other because we like different music.
All of this has been a long way of getting around to saying this. When you wrote:
“If it moves you, it's great. That's the only real measure of music.”
I honestly got a little choked up. That’s it, that’s really what it boils down to. Yes, if you wanna be a musician, please, for the love of God take it seriously, work hard, master your instrument as thoroughly as you can. But never loose sight of the real goal – to move people – physically and spiritually – to move em.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Red State Blues said...

I agree that any attempt to name "the greatest guitar song evah" is futile. I have a couple I think should be somewhere high on the list from my reckless youth:

Jeff Beck, "Cause We've Ended as Lovers". I swear I almost feel the caress of the guitar when I listen to that one.

Also, David Gilmour, "Wish You Were Here" (pretty much any track)

1:47 PM  
Blogger jurassicpork said...

I don't have a soundtrack per se but my novel does. If it ever gets turned ito a movie, hopefully that soundtrack will be very similar. I'm hoping to bundle a CD with the book like John Connolly did with one of his recent novels.

The soundtrack? Well, as you know, Stevie, "So Glad You Made It" by Stevie Einwood is extremely important. In fact, not only is it my fictional rock and roll band's signature song, it's the song that inspired the whole book. Who cares if it's top-heavy with the Hammond and light on guitar?

"Super Charger Heaven" by White Zombie isn't just a kick-ass and wonderfully profane song: It provides a plot device that haunts the band throughout the last 2/3's of the book.

"Angel" by Jimi Hendrix proves to be equally indispensable toward the end and will provide any reader with a beating heart a tear-jerker moment.

"So Cold" by Breaking Benjamin gives a book a wonderfully serendipitous epigraph that was actually chosen after I'd started the book. Same applies for "Everything Zen" by Bush, which supplies the epigraph for Part Two and helped inspire the title American Zen.

"Jessica", my choice for #1 on my own blog, also features.

There are other songs that make appearances in the book to lesser degrees but it's late and I'm too tired to think of them off the top of my head.

8:29 PM  
Blogger konagod said...

I've been thinking of compiling a list of songs that give me goose bumps. If a song achieves that and makes the hair stand up on my neck, arms and legs, then it's a great song, regardless of what anyone else may think.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

angel byhendrix! i love it, got it on an old cassette.

5:49 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

No Ipod for me but the beach trip sounds great. I would reverse what you said about clothes. Take twice as much as you think you'll need so you have choices. Maybe that's just a female thing, but hey, I'm female.

5:05 AM  

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