Thursday, January 31, 2008

GMVW # 4: "A Touch of Americana"

Gem Music Video of the Week # 4:  A Touch of Americana
Song: Our Town by Iris Dement
(Songwriter: Iris Dement)
January 31, 2008

Here's a touch of Americana.  The song "Our Town" was written and sung by Iris
Dement.  She's a staple on the folk circuit.  I am sure Jeff Strause (cc'd here) has seen her on a number of occasions.  It's a great song about a town which has (in the singers eyes) changed beyond recognition. 

One of the few weekly series TV shows I have ever enjoyed was Northern Exposure.  The best part of the show was the last five minutes, which always did a nice job of capturing that night’s show in a nut shell.  The show lost a bit of its edge in the last 2 years of its run, but the very last show closed with this song.

The first link is a live performance on Austin City Limits by Iris Dement.  The second is the closing moments of the final episode of Northern Exposure (with the studio version playing in the back ground).

"Over there is where I bought my first car, it turned over once and then it never went far"

Gem Music Video: Our Town

- Pete

About the video: Iris Dement at Austin City Limits some time in the late 90’s

Best Feedback: Jeff Strause

Hey there Pete, Iris is playing the Iron Horse on 3/6, I may get up to it depending where I'm at by then with stuff at home.  Although by the time I decide, it may be sold out.  Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion are opening too, which makes it quite a bill.

I never got to mention back to you about the Richard Thompson links a few back.  I suppose I am about the same place with him now as I was back in the early 90s.  Seen too much, burned out for now.  I have seen about 10 times in the last 15 yrs, but past up several others.  He is always a very consistent performer but unlike some people (Iris included) who I could happily go see every week, I feel differently about him and I am not sure why.  I even enjoy a lot hearing most covers of his songs.  Del McCoury doing 52 Vincent is phenomenal.  If you haven't heard it  I will get you one of his live shows.  What you may not have been aware as far as my experience with RT, I listened pretty heavily for a few short years in college and afterwards to the early Fairport albums, especially Full House and Liege and Leaf to a lesser extent, and then didn't listen a lot until moving to MA, and then listened a lot to the solo stuff for a few years.  And in the past several years after collecting a good number of live shows, I listened quite a bit for a while again, but then kind of put him aside.  Below is a list of the live shows I have, also a list of the Jonathan shows.  Most of these have come with some kind of set list and venue info, one of these days I will pull them all together into one data CD you can have for reference, along with the Rick D stuff.  I have most of the shows that I traded or downloaded compiled as compressed files (FLACs or SHNs, which is the way they come) onto data DVDs, so it is a little easier to find and get at things, but there are over 1000 of them now, each with about 6 to 8 shows, and then several thousand earlier ones of just audio disks.  Oh well, it keeps me with something to do ( as if I needed ...).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

GMVW # 3: "Seminal Strings"

Gem Music Video of the Week # 3: Seminal Strings
Song: St. Peter by Flash and the Pan
(Songwriters: Harry Vanda and George Young)
January 24, 2008

Flash and the Pan lived up to their name, but not before releasing a few unique, hits in the late 70's and early 80's. This band was actually a studio-only band made up of 2 permanent members... Harry Vanda (tall guy in video) and George Young (short guy).  The song of theirs that I remember enjoying first was "Walking in the Rain", but it was this song, "Hey, St Peter", which catapulted to my list of great songs.  It's mostly the bridge of piano and strings which does it for me, but the whole song in general is top notch.

The video is another matter.  "Video Killed the Radio Star" certainly applied to many bands in the 80's and this video is a perfect example.  These guys are totally goofing in the video and in the process, throwing a semi-serious song down the toilet.  But, it is funny.  I particularly like St. Peter finally listening to the singer’s plea near the end.  His reaction is classic early MTV.

Aside to Dale: Thanks again for lending me the album back when I lived in
Waltham.  When you said I could have it for 17 days, I thought you said 17 years!

Dad will remember this song, I'm sure.  Perhaps the video will give the song some context.

Must be heard with the volume dial cranked to 11.

Gem Music Video: St. Peter

 - Pete

About the Video: This is the actual made-for MTV style music video of this song
Best Feedback: Fred

wow.  Bring back low-budget videos

Another real gem.  Thanks Pete

Also: Mom & Dad

Pete...we loved this one...and I knew almost every word!!  XO

Thursday, January 17, 2008

GMVW # 2: "The Lost Art of Letter Writing"

Gem Music Video of the Week # 2: The Lost Art of Letter Writing
Song: Tear Stained Letter by Richard Thompson
(song written by Richard Thompson)
January 17, 2008

Back in the mid-90s (Lake Street, Waltham era) I was just starting to get a taste for the music of Richard Thompson, when Mac handed me a tape and suggested I listen to this song.  I ran the treadmill in those days and this song is a reminder of frequently butting into the front console, a bit too energized for the pace I had the treadmill at as I replayed this song over and over again. 

Fred and I were lucky enough to catch a Richard Thompson tour later in the decade at the Somerville Theater.  Great show!  I believe the video clip here is of the same tour.

One thing about Thompson.... his early music sounds as experienced as his most recent stuff.  Usually musicians go thru an early sound (Beatles, Dylan, most everyone), but this musician sounds old and wise in his young years as well.

Volume recommended.

"Just when I thought things were getting better, right thru the door comes a Tear Stained Letter".....

Gem Music Video: Tear Stained Letter

- Pete

About the video: Live show on Scottish TV in 1999.  Good quality.  Full band. Up-tempo.

Best Feedback: Becca

Great tune Pete (it rang a vague bell with me but I never would have known who it was)....and a great visual of you butting heads with a tread mill! Funny thing about you Steeves and I recall, Amy had the opposite problem, as her story involved mimicking the "L" on her forehead as she went flying off in the opposite direction!

Keep 'em coming,

Thursday, January 10, 2008

GMVW # 1: "Brilliant Bagpipes"

Gem Music Video of the Week # 1: Brilliant Bagpipes
Song: It’s A Long Way to the Top by AC/DC
(Songwriters: Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott)
January 10, 2008

Hey everyone

Here’s my new home email address.  I'm launching this address with a weekly series: Gem Music Video of the Week.  It's pretty amazing having all this video music at your disposal on youtube, so for those who are search-challenged I am tracking some chestnuts.

This first one inspired me to do this.  It may have you scratching your head (considering the source) but I've always wanted to see this song live with the bagpipes.  I believe Pat got this opportunity a few years back.  Also the lyrics are great because they are an honest account of life on the road.  This video includes the original lead singer (Bon Scott) who died in 1980 (5 years after this video was shot).  I've gained respect for this Australian band over the years.

Must be heard loud!

“I tell ya folks, it's harder than it looks....”
Gem Music Video: It’s A Long Way to the Top

- Pete

About the video: This video has to be of AC/DC’s Feb. 21, 1976 performance with Bon Scott on the Australian “Bandstand” program.  The original video link was blocked and this one could be too, hence the need to elaborate for this and all other videos (a reference of sorts).  Scott is wearing a Superman tee-shirt and is on a front stage separated from the rest of the band along with Angus.  The band is surrounded by dancing girls.  Split screen shots show the remainder of the band.

Best Feedback: Fred

Thanks for keeping it real!  Great introductory email and I look forward to many more gems to come.

I NEVER liked AC/DC until I gained a small appreciation within the last two years.  I don't know why.....but this video put me solidly as a fan. Love the bagpipes.  Love the cheesy girls in the background.  And especially love the crazy school-boys in disgrace lead guitarist

Keep em coming

Also: Dave

This is great, Sara wondered what it was I was cranking on the laptop at 6:30 this morning.

More cow bell.............