She’s Had Enough of Me

Pandora never ceases to amaze. Here's a blues number (I guess you'd call it blues) by the Darrin James Band that sounds like what Bob Dylan might have sounded like if he were a blues singer on a day when his voice wasn't TOO weird.This is a live version; I like the studio version much better. Still, if you ignore the overlong guitar solo it's interesting. … [Read more...]

Hold Tight, said the Boogie Woogie Washer Woman

I think most people are familiar with the Andrews Sisters singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"; it's a classic, and a lot of fun. Recently, though (thanks to Pandora, natch) I've been familiar with a couple of other Andrews Sisters tunes that really bring it the full goofy.First, there's "Hold Tight", which is a warm, tender, and upbeat love song to...seafood.And then, once you've eaten (because shrimps and rice, they're very nice, so saith the Andrews), you can get your clothes washed … [Read more...]

You’ve Heard Shatner; Introducing Mrs. Miller

So one of my FaceBook friends posted this video of Nancy Sinatra singing her trademark song "These Boots Are Made For Walking." It's notable mostly as a reminder of how short miniskirts got in the '60's, which was not quite all of the way up to the armpit.While looking at that, I saw a link to a recording of the same song by someone named "Mrs. Miller", a recording clearly of same vintage as Miss Sinatra's: but "Mrs. Miller" bears an unfortunate resemblance to Margaret Dumont. I had to … [Read more...]

Remembering Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach

I don't really remember Dionne Warwick. Well, except that she sang a surprising number of songs I never ever think about, except that I recognize them immediately when I happen upon—or they come across my eclectic Pandora channel. When I think of the 1960's, I think rock'n'roll and hippies and psychedelia; but it was also the era of Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick, and their songs were very much in the air when I was small.Here's one I recently rediscovered; and gosh, can't she sing? ( … [Read more...]

Dance to the Tune of Elsie Marley!

I have met at least two folk songs that speak in their lyrics of dancing "to the tune of Elsie Marley": the song "Byker Hill", which I blogged some while back, and Steeleye Span's "Harvest of the Moon":So my son asked at breakfast today whether I'd ever heard the tune of Elsie Marley, and did it have words? Youtube is your friend; and it turns out that it does:Di' ye ken Elsie Marley, honey The wife that sells the barley,honey She lost her pocket and all her money A-back o' … [Read more...]

He’s Tasty But A Little Stringy

Who? The Doctor, of course. Here's the Dr. Who theme on cellos, just because. … [Read more...]

More Lovecraftian Rock and Roll

I was just listening to Pandora, and a song came on that I hadn't heard or thought of in ages—but it grabbed me and took me back to that same golden summer afternoon I wrote about last week, the one I spent listening to the radio and reading the tales of H.P. Lovecraft. And I listened to it for a while and thought, "You know, I quite like this. It's held up pretty well."The song is called "Couldn't Get It Right", by the Climax Blues Band, and here it is: … [Read more...]

Music to Flee Shoggoths By


I discovered H.P. Lovecraft the summer I turned 14 or 15.That's not quite right. My elder siblings—excuse me, I should capitalize that ominously—my Elder Siblings had a couple of books of Lovecraftian tales around the house, and I'd dipped into them once or twice. But the summer I first really got into Lovecraft was the summer I turned 14 or 15. I remember golden afternoons sitting in my room at the top of the house, with windows open on both sides of the room and a fan going to keep the … [Read more...]

Byker Hill: Collier Lads For Ever More (Now with Trombones!)


"Byker Hill" is an English folk song about coal miners in Newcastle; and not coincidentally, my eldest came to me a couple of days ago and asked if I'd buy a particular recording of it for him. That recording is by a group called the Cottars, of which I know nothing except that they do a really good "Byker Hill":It's sung to several tunes, the but the one I first encountered is a rather frenetic folk-rock version with klezmer influences by Boiled in Lead, which alas doesn't appear to be … [Read more...]