Black Crowes, Lovin’ Cup

The Stones’ version is better, but I was in a bar tonight and heard this cover and was so glad someone thought that this great song was worth covering.

I have to say, the biggest difference is Jagger, who knows way more about the way words work and perform.

But even without Jagger and Bobby Keys (who is missed terribly, too) this version is fine. Though maybe more a reminder about how great the Exiles on Main Street performances and mixes are, and how a great song can make a less than great band seem good enough.

Richard and Linda Thompson, “Wall of Death”

Different than the metalchoreography. This was from Shoot Out The Lights, my first brush with Richard and Linda Thompson, in 1982. A breakup album, they toured together to support it and I saw them at Lone Star Cafe, when it was on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 13th Street (with the big lizard on the roof). There was palpable negative energy between them on stage, but when I hit the bathroom later they were hanging out by the Asteroids machine and there was the eau d’ herb about. I spent the next few years working slowly through the back catalog, which is uniformly fantastic, while Richard went on the rampage as a solo artist, releasing a lot of music in the 80s. But all starts here.

Slayer, “Seasons in the Abyss”

We’re fans of Cory Schwartz in these parts, and he posted this tune today on Facebook. A tribute to Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died two years ago today.

I like to think Cory posted this cut because today’s Kentucky Derby winner was American Pharoah, owned by an Egyptian expat (echoing the video’s theme, or enhancing it), but untimely death is an equally appropriate trigger.

I didn’t know this song until I listened to it four or five times today, and I’m a little challenged by the question, What the fuck are they going on about. I recognize every emotion as part of the teenage kit, but the video makes me wonder about the Crusades, and their relation to the angst of the young today.

Maybe a topic for further exploration.

Night Music: Pretenders, “2000 Miles”

Last week, in my post on Simple Minds (Waterfront) I alluded to this song, which seems to have ties to Jim Kerr’s (Chrissy Hynde’s ex) song.

Waterfront is from the album Sparkles in the Rain, and I mistakenly made the connection to this song, referring to “diamonds, sparkling in the snow.”

Doesn’t matter. This is still a lovely song, showing the softer side of the great Ms. Hynde (I will revisit her with some crunch) in a sort of Christmas song/homage to Pete Farndon and James Honeyman-Scott, the late bass and guitar players for Pretenders.

This is how sentimental should be done.

Night Music: Steve Earle, “Copperhead Road”

Quite simply, I love Steve Earle.

A great songwriter and performer, with a social conscience and the conviction to speak out, Earle has had his demons, a la Johnny Cash.

Like Cash, Earle had his issues with drugs and the law, including spending time behind bars.

However, like Cash, that seems to have bound the singer to the working class in a way most performers of substance (not talking Toby Keith, here) might simply wish for.

This song, from the album of the same name–which happens to be my favorite of Earle’s catalog–just rocks it with words and attitude and even a sort of contextual prohibition sense of history. Did I say it rocks, too?

Earle has indeed produced a fabulous, and somewhat varied body of work, be it this early sort of alt/country rock, his work with Del McCoury, or his fantastic anti-Middle East war tome, Jerusalem.

It is high time we gave some space to Mr. Earle (and I don’t care what his friends call him!)

Evan “Snake” Davies’ The Metal District, on WFMU!

TheLondonQuireboysI woke up today to a reminder that I hadn’t listened to Evan Davies’ show on WFMU last Wednesday night. It turns out that on April Fools Day Evan had a show dedicated to metal, the musical style that brought much crunching pulchritude to MTV, and lots of musical derision. All of it earned.

But listening to the show today I was reminded just how catchy some of these tunes were, which is why they were on MTV in the first place. You can see the playlist here, and sample the show or listen straight through.

But I wanted to highlight a few tunes I’d never heard before, or was too wasted to remember.

John Phillips, “Oh Virginia” Meet the Stones’ “Sweet Virginia”

So, Mamas and Pappas talk. Things were great for a while, but did not end well.

In the interim, there is this album, called Pay Pack and Follow, which is basically the Stones lending their talents as a backup band to yet another dubious (but talented) character.

A little bit earlier the Stones recorded their own song about Virginia, though they may not be singing about the state. You be the judge.