Monday Misc. Music

To help me get through another annoying Monday, I have composed a short playlist of five songs that I like, which bear no relationship to each other whatsoever. Additionally, I am reasonably certain that anyone reading this will most likely not have heard any of these songs, and I can state with some certainty that no one reading this will have heard all of these songs before.

#1 The political pop song – “Billion Dollar Rockets” by Barlow (now the frontman for The Beautiful Unknown)

I’ve mentioned a couple of different Barlow songs on the blog before, but not this one (I think).

It’s a boppy pop tune where the bop covers a “message” song that gets me every time.

I don’t know why it hits me more than any other lyric in the song, but the bit where he almost walks by her, and then only recognizes her by the grin, just kills me.

#2 The happy stoner tune – “Montana Haze” by the Fat Cats

I used to see the Fat Cats around Hamilton pretty regularly, from the time Greg & Angie introduced me to them, to the time I “settled down”. You can tell from their music that they spent a lot of time listening to the Dead.

If you like this track there’s a ton of live shows at archive.org.

#3 The comedy rebel folk song – “Johnson’s Motor Car” by Eugene Byrne

For quite some time now (and apparently still this year) Eugene has been a regular fixture at the Black Rose. I’ve stopped in to the Black Rose quite a few times over the last decade or so, and I’ve seen him a lot of times. This is a classic tune that I actually ripped off a cassette tape 1 I bought at a show at the Rose.

My favourite line is the one that Byrne changes from the official lyric. “You can shove that pass…”

#4 The pre-mashup Mashup – “Leonard Cohen Rockabilly” by Danny Marks

Half of the “A Side Of Danny Marks” album is made up of covers done in completely inappropriate styles. You know, mash-ups from before there were mashups, like “Johnny Cash Does Led Zeppelin” or “Newfie Reggae”. Or this track.2

I actually know Marks primarily as a guitar virtuoso, but when I heard some of this comedic material I liked it, and picked up that disc as well. I got this at a show in Toronto, back in the day.

(You can hear lots of sample MP3s on Marks’ discography page, including the other two tracks mentioned above.)

#5 The not-so-much-in-English one – “Urrundik Heldu Naiz” by Benito Lertxundi

The guys at the Madrigal sold this to me by telling me that it’s “kind of like Leonard Cohen, but in Basque”.

Basque? Yeah, I’ve got to hear that.

Here’s what they say about this album on their site:

Hitaz Oroit is the supreme masterpiece of Benito Lertxundi, a sixty-six year old singer-songwriter-guitarist from the Basque region of Spain. His unique sound is created in large part by a core of nine exceptionally gifted musicians using violin, cello, guitar, harp, and accordion to create an array of background musical textures that are incredibly subtle, sophisticated and refreshingly different from anything else on compact disc. Whenever we play Hitaz Oroit in the shop, it produces an immediate and enthusiastic response from customers. Very strongly recommended.

  1. and good thing, too, since this version isn’t on either of the CDs Eugene has available now(back)
  2. I must admit the all time winner at this game was Danny Michel covering Johnny Cash covering Soundgarden.(back)

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.