Monday, August 28, 2006

Song of the Week 8/25/06

Dan Hartman - "I Can Dream About You"

I must credit the great Jefito Blog for prompting this 1984 summertime hit to get stuck in my brain this week. He wrote a great piece (right here) about this song and made me discover that the version I had from Hartman's somewhat lame best of Keep the Fire Burning was not the version I was used to, it was a lengthy remix. In fact, even the album version (which Jefito had as a download) was not the version played on FLY 92 (Albany's CHR station) when I was 14 year old just making the transition from Top 40 to album rock. It was this version here:

And while doing some research, I discovered that in some parts of the country, it was this version that got played:

I never saw MTV until 1987, but I do remember seeing the top version of the video on the afternoon video show on channel 6. The bottom one (with the different vocal mix and faster tempo) I guess was the one used to promote that weird MTV inspired film Streets of Fire (which did have Diane Lane, and that's always a plus). Oddly enough, the version on the soundtrack is the "hit" one in my mind. Damn, all these different versions are giving me a headache, I must cease and desist writing about it.

I will add that in the summer of 1984, I thought this song was this shit. It's still pretty damn good today.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I recently noticed that I never posted up the playlist for the Trouser Press night Ira and I did back in February. Click here to check it out, and get ready for Trouser Press 101 on September 30th at Magnetic Field.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Co-Songs of the Week 8/17/06

Elton John - "Philadelphia Freedom"

Bruce Springsteen - "New York City Serenade"

"Philadelphia Freedom" may be the only Elton John song left on this planet that I actually like. And during the past two weeks HBO has been running their documentary about Billie Jean King (it's top notch, and worth watching), which of course has segment about World Team Tennis and Elton John and Bernie Taupin writing this song for King's team. After hearing it a few times--and with a trip to Philly for a Mets game coming down the pike--I knew I had to download it and use it for one of the mixes I was making for our excursion.

I've been on a Springsteen kick as the well the past week, and have been especially fixated on tracks (studio and various live versions) from The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. "New York City Serenade" is a gorgeous nine minutes and 55 seconds of song, closing out an entire side of epics. (Side 2 of the 1973 album also features the seven-minute plus cuts "Incident on 57th Street" and "Rosalita.") I was looking to put together a mix disc of New Jersey artists for someone I know moving to the Garden State, and closing it off with this dream-like tale of kids and homeless folk and the "fish lady" in New York wrapped it all up on a great note. And it contains one of my favorite lyrics from the Boss:

"It's midnight in Manhattan, this is no time to get cute
It's a mad dog's promenade
So walk tall or baby don't walk at all."


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Song of the Week 8/11/06

The Monkees - "Mary Mary"

I was born after the Monkees TV show went off the air--and I never saw MTV until 1987, long after the video channel had propelled the band's music back into the mainstream. To me, they were a band from the '60s--not a prefab band, just a band that made some good pop hits. This week Rhino is reissuing the band's first two albums--The Monkees and More of the Monkees--in deluxe two disc editions with each album in stereo and mono, along with tons of bonus tracks

These reissues are awesome.

I have listened to "Mary Mary" from More of the Monkees over and over again since I got the reissues on Thursday. I could swear I heard a cover of this song recently, perhaps the past two months, but I just cannot place it. So the original will just have to do.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Song of the Week 8/4/06

Soul Asylum - "Lately"

Thursday night I saw Soul Asylum again. Unlike the last gig a few weeks ago, this was a full on headline set at Irving Plaza. And I'll be damned if they weren't just as good as their show last fall at the Bowery Ballroom. I knew that one of their songs would end up as Song of the Week because I listened to every Soul Asylum track I had in the iPod twice during my commutes this week. And when they broke into the third song of their set, "Lately," I knew that I had found my pick.

"Lately" is perhaps the most topical song Dave Pirner has ever written. Inspired by a story in a local paper about a woman waiting for her husband to come home from Iraq--and to see his child for the first time--Pirner paints a picture that too many families have been going through the past three years. The song especially resonated with me this week, as one of my friends found out that her brother was finally coming home from Iraq just in time to be there for his daughters birthdays. These lines seem especially worth highlighting:

"You gotta bring your soldier home
All those stones have all been thrown
You gotta give a kid a chance to get a look at his kid
And hope that he can live with whatever he did."

The band's performance of "Lately" Thursday night was, simply put, fucking rocking. Dan Murphy made his guitar howl at the end of the song, setting the tone for a night where he was on fire during every song. I went looking on You Tube to see if someone had perhaps posted some footage from the show, but what I found was infinitely more interesting:

I love how today's technology allows anyone to create a video to their own liking and then post it for the whole world to check out.