Great Moments in Popular Music 2

I have some of the ambivalence about Graceland that many politically-concerned listeners have expressed. I admire Paul Simon’s New York craftsmanship in composing infectious, compelling pop melodies, arrangements, and lyrics; his work isn’t always to my taste, but it’s always well done. And I don’t begrudge him the brilliant contribution that his African colleagues made…

Thanks For All The Goats

I finished my article on biblical interpretation in the songbook of The Mountain Goats a couple of weeks ago, and since a couple of people from the tMG web forums had been very helpful and interested, I contacted one of them — Nigel — and asked if he’d like a squint at the final product.…

Great Moments in Popular Music

And by “moment,” I really mean “moment” — those transient little gestures that make so much difference. For instance, this morning, consider the piano roll-into-chords at the very beginning of the Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” (I love the Stones’ cover version too, but I’m concentrating on the Temps right now). The at the…

Multivariate Weighted Shuffle

After Apple had been propagating iTunes for a few versions, they (at length) released a version that allows its DJ function a binary option that instructs iTunes to “play higher rated songs more often.” Break out the champagne, everyone! Woohoo! The sad thing is that this still amounted to a large step forward in enhancing…

Weren’t No Kin

A while back I posted the lyrics to Washington Phillips’s “Denomination Blues,” since I was dissatisfied with the extant web resources for that song; this morning I was frustrated that I couldn’t find anyplace on the web that gave the lyrics to the song known variously as “Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt,” “Sad About…

Reference Note

I don’t think the full lyrics of Washington Phillips’s “Denomination Blues” appear anywhere online; three or four sites have a version of Ry Cooder’s performance of it, but that leaves out a number of verses, and I disagree with some of the interpretations of Phillips’s lyrics. So I thought I’d list the lyrics here, and…