Saturday, January 17, 2015

Photo and iPod log: a brisk Brooklyn winter morning walk.

On Saturday, January 10, a blanket of snow remained from Friday's storm. I took a walk along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade--the photo above was taken from the Promenade near the foot of Montague Street, looking down at Brooklyn Bridge Park. I also kept a list of what was playing on my iPod as I walked.

George Gershwin, "Variations on 'I've Got Rhythm'," Boston Pops Orchestra, Arthur Fiedler conducting, Earl Wild, piano. A lively start to my walk. Hear it here.

Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, "Miserlou." Dick Dale was born Richard Anthony Monsour to a Lebanese-American father and a mother of Polish and Belarussian descent. His interest in music was spurred by listening to an uncle play oud while accompanying belly dancers. He later played a central role in creating the surf guitar style, to which he introduced Middle Eastern scales, which are a feature of "Miserlou," a folk tune believed to be of Anatolian Greek origin. "Miserlou" is probably now best known for its use in Pulp Fiction (1994) by Quentin Tarantino. Hear it here.

Marshall Chapman, "A Thank-You Note." Marshall's tribute to Hank Williams, with lyrics by Dave Hickey. Unfortunately, like much of Marshall's work, this isn't available on line. You can read about her here, hear two of her songs here, and visit her website here.

The Grateful Dead, "One More Saturday Night." The version on my iPod is from their critically despised Europe '73 album, parts of which I nevertheless love. Here's a live performance video, featuring Bob Weir on lead vocal.

Stan Rogers, "Fogarty's Cove." A sprightly fisherman's song from Nova Scotia by the late and much lamented bard of the Maritimes. Hear it here.

The Boys of the Lough, "General Guinness." The version on my iPod is from their Live at Passim album, recorded at the famous folk music venue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The version here has the same hilarious preceding verse, and is followed by the lively reel, "The Nine Points of Roguery." Some years ago I got to meet the Boys' great Shetland fiddler, Aly Bain, because my date for their concert at Town Hall was his sister-in-law.

Scott Joplin, "The Sycamore," The Southland Stingers. Simply because, I wanna listen to rag. Get your rag on here.

The Band, "Chest Fever." Garth Hudson's organ intro is based on J.S. Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor." I've never been able to figure out the lyrics--the opening lines sound to me like, "Well I know cheese and crackers/ Any starlet could track her." Hear it here.

The Standells, "Dirty Water." In 1965 an L.A. band recorded a left-handed paean to Boston that first charted in Orlando in 1966. Makes perfect sense, right? Listen up here.

Billy Bland, "Let the Little Girl Dance." Probably the longest "Excuse me" in the history of pop music. "Little wallflower on the shelf...." Hear it here, with footage from Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

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