Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Morning, 2AM

I've been feeling a bit down these last few days. On Wednesday I had an interview for a job that I didn't get. And I think it's starting to hit home more and more just how difficult finding a new job is likely going to be, given the current economic climate and the fact that I've spent the last 15-plus years working in the finance industry which is being eaten alive by its own greed. There were definitely some drawbacks to the job I went for. For one the corporate culture is strictly suit and tie, and the work, according to the woman I'd be reporting directly to, was described as 'monotonous and painstakingly detailed'. Not necessarily the best fit for a programmer who's forte is being able to think up creative solutions to business problems or, to use a cliche, 'think outside the box'. Not that I wouldn't have jumped at the chance if it was offered to me but alas, it wasn't. So this latest mix is somewhat reflective of my mood lately. It's not all depressing and self-pitying or anything, just not quite as wild as some of my posts have been. But don't worry, I've already got my next post almost all picked out and it's a lot more 'bright and bon vivant' as Paul Simon once said.  

The Bee Gees - In My Own Time (mono)
Despite the fact that they came to represent much of what was so irritating about the musical 70s, the Bee Gees first few albums were just fine, especially "Bee Gee's 1st" from which this is taken.  
The Byrds - Goin' Back
A few people have tried their hand at this Goffin/King classic, including the author herself, but to me this is the definitive version. Along with Side two of the British "A Hard Day's Night" album, side one of "The Notorious Byrd Brothers" is one of my favorite album sides ever and "Goin' Back" is definitely a highlight.
The Cyrkle - Words
Originally the flip side of their "Penny Arcade" 45, I first became familiar with this song when I heard it on one of a few different 60s light psych compilations circulating in blogland. That chorus always sounds amazing when it comes on my Ipod while I am walking around town on a nice sunny day.
Livingston Taylor - Good Friends
I got the first Livingston Taylor album when I was 19 and for the last 38 years this song has always had the power to just stop me dead in my tracks. It's not your typical boy-girl love song but instead, it's about the kind of human bonding that is even more basic. Girlfriends and boyfriends will come and go but a good friendship can last forever. Even now as I'm playing these songs to write about them, I've had to listen to this one 3 times.
P.P. Arnold - The First Cut Is The Deepest
So many people have recorded this Cat Stevens song, especially since Rod Stewart had the hit with it back in 1977. Unfortunately, anyone who's done it since then has taken it from his version which leaves what is perhaps the most important line totally out of the song. 10 points to the first person who knows what that line is. Leave your answer(s) in the comments section. 
Robyn Hitchcock - The Man Who Invented Himself
It's time to stop taking things so seriously. And there's nobody better at putting a little bit of whimsy into the proceedings than Robyn Hitchcock. I've been lucky enough to see him in concert a number of times over the last 20 years, most recently opening up for Nick Lowe, and he's always delightful.    
The Rumbles Ltd. - Try A Lttle Harder
I know absolutely nothing about this record or the group. But it is a delicious slice of late 60s harmony pop-sike. Why this wasn't at least a minor hit I can't understand. Oh well, shoulda, coulda, woulda. If anyone out there has some info on them, please drop me a note.
Sandy Coast - I'm A Fool
Back in the 80s when there was a new 60s garage comp coming out almost every week (or so it seemed) a number of them were dedicated to Dutch beat groups, the most popular of which had longer hair and even worse attitudes than the Stones or Pretty Things, from whom they took their inspiration. And for quite awhile many people (myself included) thought that all Nederbeat groups were in the same mold. So it took me a little time to learn to appreciate these guys with their Byrdsy 12-string folk-rock sound. They actually had a number of great records and continued recording well into the 80s.
Teenage Fanclub - I Need Direction
Listening to all the wonderfully hook-filled albums and singles that TFC have recorded over their 15-plus year career it almost seems as if they can come up with these timeless pop masterpieces in their sleep. With all their rare single b-sides and covers these guys are just so ripe for a multi-disc box set.
Squeeze - Is That Love
Speaking of needing a box set, Squeeze are another band who've been doing their thing for years and could also do with a comprehensive retrospective. Back in the 80s they were New Wave darlings for a few years and then seemed to be taken for granted by many of their fans. 
John & Paul - I'm Walkin' 
From 1964 this is another one I know little about (except that it's pretty obvious where they got their name). According to Gemm Music this was on the Tip label and they also had an album that was mostly covers.   
The "You Know Who" Group - My Love (Roses Are Red)
With their phony accent The "You Know Who" group were obviously cashing in on the whole British Beat craze in late 1964. Crass commercialization and cliched to the max it may have been but it's a damn fine record nonetheless (or perhaps even because).
Velvet Elvis - When It Comes
VE's album from which this is taken came and went in a heartbeat back in the late 80s and nobody cared. It took the fine folks at Power Pop Lovers to rediscover this lost classic - for which I am eternally grateful.
Brian Wilson - Love And Mercy
So much has been said and written about Brian Wilson that there is almost nothing I can add except to say that I absolutely love the man. From the moment I first heard him sing his incredible falsetto back when I was 13 I knew I shared a spiritual bond with him that would last as long as either one of us were alive. I wish we could take all of the politicians of the world, lock them in a room and play this song over and over again until they got it.   
Roger Miller - Where Have All the Average People Gone
Best known for his novelty country hits like "Dang Me" and Chug A Lug", he was also capable of more serious fare. This is a deceptively simple song about fitting in (or not) and still maintaining your personal equilibrium. 


wastedpapiers said...

Nice blog. Refreshing to read how you came to choose your compilations and the music in them. Hope you find a job soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been looking at your blog and just wanted to say, don't give up. I worked in the finace industry for most of my life, until the bomb attacks in Russell Square (london) made me decide to quit. Think outside the box. Just because you worked in finace, does not mean that is all you are good at. Look at what you do well, communication, problem solving, one to one presentation, whatever !
These things can be brought to any new company, the experience you have will enrich your employer and his business.DO NOT GIVE UP.
regards, mal