My music: the Soundtrack

There aren’t too many that stand out, imnsho; but one is head and shoulders above the rest:

with music by John Lurie.

(I’ve always found Danny deVito extraordinary: not only has his highly successful career included many amusing ‘little guy’ roles, but in movies like “Other People’s Money”, he is the protagonist to whom not a single reference is made regarding his height. And it works !)

Anyway ..

I was working for a Sydney group run by the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, and sent to attend a talk about Citrix networking given in a theatre not far from our building. In fact it was somewhat farther than I thought which resulted in my having to rush, but they were late starting; and I puffed in from the street, relieved to see all lights still on and hear ‘warm-up’ music still playing. I stopped at the back of the theatre, rivetted ..

“Chili Hot” ..

Happily for me, I was standing next to the bloke who was operating the sound desk whence came this super music, so I hissed urgently at him “What is that faaaaabulous track ?” and he grinned and said simply “Get Shorty !” Turned out he’d been asked that question roughly 100 times by people more conscientious than I, so there much earlier ..

Later, Stringer and I bought the DVD of the movie and enjoyed it enormously. Still more did we enjoy the soundtrack; and I can’t resist giving you one more example:

“Stink” ..

(The imagery fronting that track is fascinating: every famous mafioso features, among all the stills shown.)


My music: the little clever fellers

When I say “clever”, I mean that these two blokes wrote (write ? – that I don’t know) songs that were wonderfully melodious and appealing, but also meaningful. I refer to two of my favourites who were both big stars in the ’70s but are still writing and performing – Paul Simon and Paul Williams.

(The “w.m. and a.” part could be truly applied to, say, “What a day for a daydream”, but certainly not the “m.”, for instance ..)

Whereas Simon’s career has been that of an absolutely successful and admired around the world musician,

as indicated by his official website (link behind screengrab), Paul Williams’ career has been much more varied,

as is clear from his website (link also provided behind screengrab).

Paul Simon has performed his own compositions I believe exclusively – that is, in terms of actual recordings, anyway. Some of those I love most are:

One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor

Loves me like a rock

— which are from the album “There goes Rhymin’ Simon”; and also

50 ways to leave your lover

Have a good time

both from “Still crazy after all these years” album, and I delight in the title track.

The ’60s and ’70s weren’t just rock, not by any means: in fact it was during those two decades that some of the loveliest songs ever written in the ‘pop’ genre (which is to say, music listened to by the youth of the day) were released.

Two of Paul Williams’ most haunting tracks are

Evergreen – an Academy Award winner !, and

The Rainbow Connection. Now THERE’s a novel version .. or not really – the song is Kermit’s, after all.

Williams has written so many wonderful songs that I can’t possibly enumerate them; but “Rainy days and Mondays”, “Out in the Country” – yesss ! Three Dog Night recorded it !, “Someday man”, “Ordinary Fool” – dozens and dozens of examples of beautiful music with terrific lyrics. If I don’t link to them it’s only because I know I would immediately wish I’d mentioned different songs.

But here’s one from Randy Newman written about Paul Williams ! You will soon learn why .. [grin] It’s a great song, btw, and you’ll enjoy it, I think. As to why Newman wrote this song .. you have only to listen to the lyrics of Williams’ Do you love me babe ? ..

So my use of the adjective “clever” should now be clear: these are men almost without peer in their industry, and they deserve all the accolades their fans heap on them.

My music: I LOVED these guys ..

Three Dog Night. They were my favourite performers over those two so-long-ago decades, I think.

I didn’t even find out for – oh, years that the group’s name was an Australian Aboriginal ‘story’. But I was really mad about them: they were so .. so .. well, as Tim Minchin sang<*> not all that many years ago, “{They were} so fuckin’ ROCK” !

First offering is one that a brilliant (musical) knitting teacher whose blog I follow, PDX Knitterati, should like very much. If you perchance read this, Michele, you’ll know why I say so. [grin] It was, I read, a Beatles song, well-known for a cover version by Cilla Black. But this cover version knocks spots off anything else; and Cilla’s kind of .. faded.

Second offering was their second-biggest hit. If anyone reading this post is remotely my vintage you should remember it: it was everywhere !   :)

And the third and last song is my absolute favourite in all their huge catalogue of cover versions of songs. So strange, that: Three Dog Night never wrote a single song, but the covers they performed were very frequently better than the original versions.

Jesus, they were good ..


<*>and for those who might be Tim Minchin fans, here’s that one performed – not that it has anything to do with the ’60s and ’70s, of course !


My music: the ’60s and ’70s

Today a new category, because I can.

Blogging is about putting one’s thoughts out there: whether or not others like them is actually not key – not by any means. One posts, enjoying the doing; and if followers or passing strangers come across the words and derive their own enjoyment, so much the better. But if no-one passes, or if no-one likes the content, the blogger isn’t fussed. It’s all footprints in the sand, and the tide comes and goes ..

I don’t at this moment have A Plan: I mean, I could feature a particular singer or group for any musical post ..

But today it’s a particular song.

“Blackbird”, by Paul McCartney.

It’s a truly beautiful song, and McCartney’s delivery is simple and moving.

But then, by chance, I came across another version. This is the one that takes me back to those times when I was young, although Crosby Stills & Nash are singing it here in contemporary times.

It hasn’t failed to bring tears to “these sunken eyes” since I found it.