"You say it's the real thing this time. . ."
From "Alight Trio" by Betsy Popp
"Listen, Listen" by THE MERRY-GO-ROUND:
Thanks to an anonymous response to my previous post on Emitt Rhodes, I now have a few extra Rhodes song in my digital collection, including a handful of songs from Rhodes pre-solo career band, The Merry-Go-Round. "Listen, Listen" is one of those new (to me) songs, and it's a rocking nugget of California pop via filtered through the Beatles (Rhodes never denied his love for the Beatles in interviews).
"I Am Not Willing" by MOBY GRAPE
"Little Hands" by ALEXANDER "SKIP" SPENCE
"I Am Not Willing" by WILCO:
Alexander "Skip" Spence was the original drummer for Jefferson Airplane and one of the founding members and guitarists in Moby Grape. Spence DOES NOT, however, play on the first song in this trio of tunes, "I Am Not Willing." The reason Spence was not in the band by the time they recorded "I Am Not Willing?" Skip, during the sessions for Grape's second album Wow, smashed through one of his bandmate's hotel doors while freaking out on acid. Spence was committed to New York's Bellevue Hospital, the beginning of a long and tragic life ruined by mental illness. The story goes that Spence, upon being released from Bellevue, drove a motorcycle (wearing only his pajamas) to Nashville and recorded the insane and brilliant Oar. "Little Hands" is the first, and probably least weird, song on that record. Spence died from lung cander in 1999, after years of mental and physical illness.
Wilco's cover of "I Am Not Willing" appeared as a b-side on "Box Full of Letters," their 1995 debut single.
"The Mental Traveler" by DAVID AXELROD:
I've written about Axelrod previously, so I'll spare you the explanation this time around. This comes from the soundtrack to Guy Ritchie's "Revolver," a 1995 film I didn't even know existed, and I was a big fan of Lock, Stock and Snatch! That Madonna movie he made, however, is an irredeemable turd.
"Linus & Lucy" by BUILT TO SPILL:
Built to Spill just announced the somewhat random release of two new songs to online retailers (the tracks are also to be released as a 12" vinyl single), "They Got Away" and a cover of the Gladiators "Re-Arrange." While the former sees the band in a spacey reggae mode, their cover of "Re-Arrange" turns the reggae song into a Built to Spill song, so much so that if you weren't aware it was a cover, you'd swear it was their own. The Gladiators recorded one of my favorite reggae songs of all time, "Soul Rebel." I'll save that one for another day. I will, however, include Built to Spill's live cover of one of the most classic themes from the animated Charlie Brown features, "Linus & Lucy." I've posted this one before, right?
"I'm Glad for Your Sake (But I'm Sorry for Mine)" by DOUG SAHM AND THE SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET:
Ever have one of those moments where you realize you're standing as an observer at the wedding of a woman/man you were once in love with? Where you can't pay attention to the ceremony because you're about to explode inside? Where you watch that man/woman dance with one of the cute young nephews of the groom, and you can't bear to watch so you walk away as you think, "That should have been MY nephew she was dancing with? That was supposed to be MY dad giving the tipsy, embarassing-but-funny toast."
Maybe it was just me. Anyway, if you ever find yourself in that situation (here's a word of advice: get a pack of ciggs, and plan on spending most of the wedding choking down that smoke), I challenge you not to conjure in your mind Doug Sahm's brutally on-the-nose "I'm Glad for Your Sake (But I'm Sorry for Mine)." Also, pray for an open bar.
"M62 Song" (Four Tet Remix) by DOVES/FOUR TET:
Radically different from the original. Gotta respect that.