Breakfast Blend: Dancing Barefoot

When Patti Smith was awarded the Swedish Polar Music prize in 2011, her song Dancing Barefoot was sung by two up and coming sisters from the suburbs of Stockholm who go by the name First Aid Kit.

The incantatory power of that song gets me every time, but I wonder what Patti is thinking. Her visage is stern, but it’s hard to believe she is being hypercritical at that point. And by the end she too seems caught up in the power of her song and the loveliness of the harmonies and then the audaciousness of the poetic recitation (and maybe the length of her history, at this point).

The incantatory power of Dancing Barefoot bubbles up in this clip from Rockpalast TV in 1979, too. I’ve watched many Rockpalast TV clips and don’t recall being aware of the audience, particularly, but in this churning version of the song, which wouldn’t be out of place at a Quicksilver Messenger Service show, the audience suddenly breaks through and Patti has to handle the mess, and she does. It is very strange theater that comes with a terrific vocal performance and her very solid band. Plus, she blesses the pope!

Lunch Break: Donovan and the Jeff Beck Group, “Barabajagel (Love Is Hot)”

Donovan Leitch was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame yesterday. There is always a goofiness about his songs, a goofiness that his not Hall of Fame quality, and a catchiness and hookiness that certainly. Jeff Beck Group plays guitar on this one, with his band (but apparently not Rod Stewart). What makes that interesting is that listening to the backup singers, mostly female, I thought I heard some familiar male voices (though not Stewart’s). I couldn’t find definitive credits, but I did find the blog, Lady Garfunkel’s Song of the Day, which covered the song in May of 2009. She reports speculation someplace that the Robert Plant-like voice in the mix might actually be Robert Plant. Could be, but you be the judge.

Prizewinning Breakfast Blend: Pete Patton

Pete Patton won the first Lunch Quiz here at Rock Remnants, and so gets to program a Breakfast Blend. He lives in Manhattan’s Lower Eastside and works as a terrorism analyst. He says, “My life was thrown upside down when I first heard the Byrds and I was saved by Quadrophenia my junior year in high school, 16 years after it was released.”

Editors note: “Terrorist Analyst?” Tell me more.

Pete says:

The Poets I found out about on the Nuggets II set. I liked the name and was captured by their outfits. I believe all the original members save one, are now deceased. Here is one of their two big singles from Decca, “That’s The Way It’s Got To Be,” from 1965. Wooden Spoon: Singles Anthology 1964-1967 is available as an import I think:

Jumping ahead a few decades, another Glasgow-based band The Orange Juice. I always thought Edwyn Collins was an overlooked genius of the 80’s alternative scene. James Kirk and Steven Daly left after the first record and Collins kept going on with the help of Zeke Manyika, a drummer from Zimbabwe, to critical acclaim but not commercial success. Collins would be more remembered these days for his hypnotoc hit “A Girl Like You,” from 1995. Collins suffered a stroke and went into a coma and was hospitalized for six months. The road of his recovery can be seen in the documentary, “The Possibilities Are Endless.” There are so many Orange Juice songs to choose from but thought this version of “Rip it Up,” from the Old Grey Whistle Test from their 1982 album of the same name couldn’t be beat:

Teenage Fanclub, a band inspired by The Orange Juice and Aztec Camera but none so much as Big Star and The Byrds. Their 1991 album Bandwagonesque beat out Nirvana in Spin’s album of the year in 1991. Their whole catalog is a must own with the memorizing Gene Clark off their surprisingly maligned “Thirteen” album being a favorite. In my mind these were the guys who made Creation Records what it was long before the Gallagher Brothers came around. This track is “What You Do To Me,” from Bandwagonesque. They made an impression on Alex Chilton as described in his new biography, “A Man Called Destruction.”