Sunday, 14 March 2010

Music: March show playlist

With March 7th 2010 being International Women's Day eve and celebrations in the Phoenix scheduled for the afternoon and evening, I focused my selection on female artists. Naturally, this drew complaints from our listener, who especially objected to the 'warbling' of Joan Baez. I have sympathy - I can't listen to an entire Baez album without yowling back like a tom cat - but Baez also provided one of the finest nights in my concert going life at the Paradiso in Amsterdam and the recent documentary film of her life and work is well worth a viewing. Onto the playlist, or what I can remember of it...

1. 'Redemption Day' by Johnny Cash

We began our first show with a late Johnny Cash cut and with the release of his posthumous album 'American VI: Ain't No Grave' there was no better way in which to start this one - written by Sheryl Crow, this is now a Johnny Cash song, just like all the other American recordings he made his own during the last prolific phase of his career. I own all eleven CDs recorded during the last decade of his life and suggest you should too.

2. 'Sensual World' by Kate Bush

Our introduction to the sensual world of Ann Gray's poetry - one of Devon's great female eccentrics. That's Kate Bush who lives in the South Hams near Start Point - Ann Gray is one of Cornwall's great female eccentrics.

3. 'Lady Midnight' by Leonard Cohen

Ann was concerned her first choice might be too miserable. In Furniss Towers, we consider early Cohen party music.

4. 'Clothes Line Saga' by Suzy and Maggie Roche

It being Women's Day eve and all, I forgot to play any Bob Dylan. This is especially uncharacteristic as Dylan's European tour plans are just coming through and with his only UK date being the Hop Farm Festival in Kent, men of a certain age and disposition are considering another jaunt to the continent. Ann's choice was  a Dylan cover by the Roche sisters  which I thought I hadn't heard before  until I checked the archive and found it amongst my hoard of covers. It ain't on youtube though, so I've linked to the Genuine Basement Tapes version.

5. 'Brown Eyed Handsome Man' by Buddy Holly

Apparently not inspired by her genial host but her own father telling her she'd never marry a brown eyed boy, this was Ann's next selection. Who was at Buddy Holly's Duluth concert three days before he died on February 3rd 1959? Bob Dylan.

6. 'To Ohio' by The Low Anthem

Ann and I share the view that The Low Anthem's debut was the best album of last year. But Ann goes one better - she has seen them live. They are playing The End of the Road Festival at Larmer Tree Gardens in September. See you there?

7. 'Hasta Siempre' by Sexteto Kamaraco

That Che Guevara song I've played before in a different version. I saw this band on the roof terrace of the Hotel Inglaterra. The link is to the Buena Vista Social Club version. Postings of this song tend to attract those more interesting in the 'Che Guevara, murderer or martyr?' debate. Neither and both, if you must know.

8. 'To Be Lonely' by Joan As Police Woman'

One of those who aspire to wear Kate Bush's red shoes. I prefer he in quiet melancholia mode, naturally.

9. 'Silent All These Years' by Tori Amos

I was a fan of Tori Amos, but lost track of her around the time she started suckling piglets. The version linked to incorporates a Leonard Cohen recital.

10. 'Diamonds and Rust' by Joan Baez

It must irritate Joany no end that not only did Bob write the songs she's best known for, he also inspired the only song she wrote that has a life beyond her.

If you object to the Baez warble, try the Judas Priest version...

11. 'Madame George' by Marianne Faithfull

The Marianne Faithfull version is nowhere to be found - I played the single version released off the Van Morrison tribute album 'No Prima Donna' produced by Van Morrison... I've linked to the Brian Kennedy version instead. Not only does he sound like a girl, the B-sides on the single feature his versions of 'Queen of the Slipstream' and 'Irish Heartbeat.'

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