It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted anything because I have been prepping my new podcast. #smileSays is now available on the following podcast platforms:
Subscribe now so you won’t miss a thing. I was originally going to host the podcast here, but decided to let Anchor host and syndicate it in the hope of generating revenue through donations or integrated advertising. There was more that went into the decision than that, but I’ll digress for now. I’m going to see if I can embed the episodes on the site as well. The player featuring the latest episode should load here:
If it doesn’t load, or you want to listen to an older episode, you can check out individual episodes in the meantime by checking the sidebar on a desktop or scrolling further down on mobile. I’ll get it to work eventually.
If you don’t know what this track is, here’s a piece on it at National Public Radio. Rapper’s Delight pumps me up for a lot of different reasons. There’s nostalgia; since I remember when it was new, when I hear it now, those neurons in my brain fire right up. This is barely a song: it has no bridge, chorus or any real structure; it’s just a bunch a guys talking shit over a bunch of other guys playing a snippet or two of music over and over — for 15 solid minutes. On top of that, it was recorded in one take. What the fuck?!? Who even thinks of doing that? It wouldn’t surprise me to find out The Sugarhill Gang recorded it directly to gramophone disc using a Mr. Microphone. Put aside a quarter of an hour today and blow your mind.
This 1971 classic by Johnny Cash is straightforward and to the point, pretty much expressing his views on life. Enjoy the weekend, people; I should be back on the regular schedule in the next couple of days.
This song is from The Ramones final studio album, ¡Adios Amigos! It’s a pretty laid back number for the band, better known for their frenetic high octane playing; if The Ramones did a cover of In A Gadda Da Vida, it would probably be two minutes long. It’s one of their more popular later songs, even though it didn’t chart. Ronnie Spector did a cover that was produced by none other than the song’s composer, Joey Ramone.
This Simon & Garfunkel song was originally released in late 1966, hitting the Top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. It’s a relatively hard track for the duo, better known for a gentler, more hippieish, folky sound. It’s a brilliantly arranged piece of music, the driving beat perfectly complements Paul Simon‘s stellar guitar work. Lyrically, the song is a metaphor for growing older and coping with being unable to fulfill the dreams of youth. About 20 years after its release, it became a signature tune for The Bangles when they covered it for the soundtrack to the film Less Than Zero. It’s also been covered by artists ranging from film composer Hugo Montenegro to goth punk band She Wants Revenge.
Even if you’ve never heard this Leon Haywood classic, you probably know it anyway, because in the last two decades or so this shit has been sampled on at least two dozen tracks by artists like Public Enemy, Redman, Masta Ace, and Mariah Carey; most notably by Dr. Dre and Snoop Whatever The Fuck He Calls Himself These Days on Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang. It’s a great piece of funk to listen to going into the weekend. Happy Friday, People!
This is the first track from Swimmer‘s only major label release. Swimmer was a popular New York City band in the mid-late 1990‘s, and had a bit of following locally when they were signed by Maverick Records, who did little to nothing to support the album when it was released, despite the generally positive reviews. What exactly the song is about is open to debate, AllMusic seems to think it’s about someone contemplating suicide. To me it seems more like a break up song; after the initial thrill of romance, often people discover that they’re in a relationship that’s too good to be true, and sure enough, what it is, it is. I’ve always liked Surreal (I even titled one of my older blog posts with lyrics from it). The same named album can’t really be called a one-hit wonder, because it wasn’t really a hit, but it’s definitely an overlooked gem. If you like this track, you won’t be disappointed by the album as whole, so you should give a listen. I couldn’t find it on Grooveshark, so I embedded it from Spotify; hopefully it plays in your browser without you having to install the application if you don’t have it already. Let me know in the comments for future reference.
I just found out that legendary New YorksalseroWillie Colón is going to perform in New York City for the first time in… this century, I think. It’s been a long time anyway. This song is the first track on his 1970 album, La Gran Fuga. I wish I could tell you what the lyrics mean, but I’m not even sure what exact language it is (aside from the spoken bit of Spanish towards the end). Despite that, this is one of Willie Colón‘s signature tunes. Old school hip hop fans might recognize some of it, as it’s been sampled a few times, most notably in Beat Street. I’d love to go, but my broke ass can’t even afford Clearasil these days; however, if anyone is feeling generous, I have no problem accepting a donation for my efforts here. Have a great week people!