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SONGS ABOUT CONCERTS

There’s something about seeing an act in concert that, (if they’re good that is), makes you a fan forever. One of the first concerts I ever attended was by The Beatles. I know, I know, I’m showing my age! I had to get my Mum’s permission to go and, to be honest, we couldn’t hear a thing for all the screaming, much of which came from my best friend Helen. But we thought we were the ants pants and I’ve never forgotten that day.

So, it was fitting that SGT PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND opened our show on CONCERTS.  Check out this clip from the movie ‘The Beatles Yellow Submarine’ and you’ll have to agree it was a perfect kick off to this week’s program:

Every concert is unique of course, but LCD Soundsystem reckon that DAFT PUNK IS PLAYING AT MY HOUSE. Oh, if only it were true!

Now, that would be a hard gig to follow. For something completely different, look no further than Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band with THE BRIDE STRIPPED BARE BY THE ‘BACHELORS’, a great piece of satire about performing on the English club circuit.

STAGE FRIGHT by The Band is a song that just may resonate with some of you. It tells the story of a performer who sings just like a bird but is terrified every time he has to get up in front of an audience. Here’s a clip from the film The Last Waltz, directed by Martin Scorsese in 1978. Rick Danko R.I.P.

Not shy at all are Dire Straits. SULTANS OF SWING is about a band blowing Dixie in double four time. A perfect concert song, if ever there was one. And here they are performing it live. Excellent. It’s the seminal concert at which they recorded the album ‘Alchemy: Dire Straits Live’. The album cover, btw, was taken from a painting by Australian artist Brett Whitely.

Wild Cherry’s PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC is autobiographical. The group were a rock band, but in 1975 were competing with Disco for their loyal followers attention. So they wrote a song to suit the times and it’s probably the most recognised funk song there is.

The lyrics of SMOKE ON THE WATER, by Deep Purple, tell a true story too. It was December 1971 and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were performing in concert at the Montreux Casino Theatre. In the middle of Don Preston’s King Kong synthesizer solo the place suddenly caught alight. Deep Purple were staying on the other side of the lake and witnessed the fire and the smoke on the water and the rest, as they say, is history.

Arguably, the most famous outdoor concert is Woodstock. And one of the most famous songs about that concert is Joni Mitchell’s WOODSTOCK. She wrote the song after being told about it by her then boyfriend Graham Nash. She wasn’t actually there herself.  I prefer Matthews Southern Comfort’s version, which is probably heresy to all you Joni fans. But take a listen. I think its got a really relaxed tone to it that suits the material well. Some cool images of the Woodstock concert in this clip too.

David Bowie’s ZIGGY STARDUST is from the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars . A concert film of the same name was directed by D.A. Pennebaker in 1973. Here’s Bowie singing the song on the Jonathan Ross show in 2002. Is it just me, or does the Dude just get better and better?

Sadly all the soul legends referred to in Arthur Conley’s classic SWEET SOUL MUSIC are no longer with us. How good it would have been to see them all in concert. Arthur Conley passed away himself in 2003. Here he is, on the way to the Go-Go in 1966:

I do like to play a little country music now and again, and Johnny Cash’s song about THE NIGHT HANK WILLIAMS CAME TO TOWN fitted the playlist to a tee. As did Camera Obscura’s brilliant version of Abba’s SUPERTROUPER. But the finale of the show had to go to Jackson Browne’s ode to the hard-working roadie. THE LOAD OUT was a perfect finish to a show dedicated to concerts.

Next week’s show will be on SECRET VICES/GUILTY PLEASURES. I’ve been glued to the tele watching the Eurovision Song Contest this past weekend, so that’s my guilty pleasure at the moment. What’s yours? And have they written a song about it? Let me know!

Meanwhile, here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House –  LCD Soundsystem
The Bride Stripped Bare By ‘Bachelors’ –  Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Stage Fright  –  The Band
Sultans Of Swing –  Dire Straits
Play That Funky Music –  Wild Cherry
Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
Woodstock – Matthews’ Southern Comfort
Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
Sweet Soul Music – Arthur Conley
The Night Hank Williams Came To Town – Johnny Cash
Super Trouper –  Camera Obscura
The Load-Out – Jackson Browne

Next week: SECRET VICES

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM at the new time of Mondays 1–2pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com
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MOTORVATIN’ MAMAS

Hello there Parkies! The show has moved to Mondays 1-2pm for the winter. No time for a 2 hour show as I’m going to be very busy with the station’s Major Subscriber Drive for the next few months. This season’s show will not only be shorter, it will be sweeter and I’m thinking of  bringing in a guest now and again to give us a list of their favourites. So that should be interesting! I’ve also given the blog a new look…. hope you like it.

This week’s playlist is dedicated to all our Mums because Mothers’ Day is next Sunday. Our opening song, MOTORVATIN’ MAMA was from Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman and his Rhythm Kings, and it set the tone for a pretty upbeat hour.

Having said that, the 1,000 Maniacs have a beautifully lyrical song that also suits the theme. Lead singer Natalie Merchant, knows what its like to EAT FOR TWO. She has a unique voice and she’s also a brilliant songwriter having written the majority of the Maniacs songs. She’s now out on her own and getting even better. Here she is, back then with the Maniacs:

The great  soul singer O.V. Wright feels like a MOTHERLESS CHILD but its OK because Etta James is there with an offer that he can’t refuse: TELL MAMA. And Ben Harper taps into the zeitgeist on MAMA’S GOT A GIRLFRIEND NOW.

An oldie, but definitely a goodie is The Shirelles’ MAMA SAID THERE’D BE DAYS LIKE THIS. Take a look at this excellent award winning short film, using the song and recreating the group. A fantastic example of how a seemingly innocent song can be used to make political comment.  The film, Mama Said, was directed by Mike Costanza and stars Lyn McDonald, Karen Hawkins, Lorinda Hawkins and Crystal Justine as The Shirelles. It was shown at both Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals:

Blues legend Magic Sam is having problems with his girlfriend so he’s got no other option than to plead with her mother on MAMA TALK TO YOUR DAUGHTER

It was time to crank things up a bit and who better to do that than Lenny Kravitz and Slash with a great version of ALWAYS ON THE RUN. Sex on a stick, girls, sex on a stick.

Calm down, calm down. We had to have a song about Mother Earth, surely. Neko Case’s alternative country track NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON MOTHER EARTH is a beauty. It’s from her Middle Cyclone album, released in 2009

When I first started doing Theme Park three years ago, I didn’t think I’d ever play any rap music, but the great thing about putting together a playlist like this each week is that you need to listen to lots of different music, and I’ve come to appreciate all genres, even rap! Especially when it’s as good as our next song. ALL I’VE GOT IS YOU is a reverent homage to all the mums in the world from Ghostface Killah and Mary J. Blige. Check this out and see if you’re converted too:

Of course, the Blues is where it all started and Howlin’ Wolf’s MY COUNTRY SUGAR MAMA is a classic in this genre. We followed with an artist who has been somewhat overlooked – Ruth Brown with MAMA, HE TREATS YOUR DAUGHTER MEAN. A wonderful performer. Take a look at those facial expressions!

The Rolling Stones ask: Have you seen your mother, baby, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS? Here’s some concert footage 1966. The Stones were touring with Ike and Tina Turner and The Yardbirds. Wow. What I wouldn’t have done for a ticket to one of those concerts!


Now if you’ve ever listened to Theme Park at my old time slot of Tuesday afternoons, you will know that I’m a huge fan of the Big ‘O’. So I had to include a Roy Orbison track in my first show of the season.  It’s one you don’t hear very often – MOTHER

And just in case you’ve got the impression that I’m permanently trapped in a 60’s and 70’s time warp,  Decemberists fans will be happy that I played MY MOTHER WAS A CHINESE TRAPEZE ARTIST. That one was sent out to Alex who listens on the Internet from Sydney. You can do that too, you know. Just go to bayfm.org, press the listen button and the audio should then open in your media player (iTunes or whatever).

Wow, the hour whizzed past. Before I knew it I was playing our final song, a guilty pleasure for sure: Abba with DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW? Get you’re dancin’ shoes on people!


For next week’s show I’ve been inspired by all this talk of Royalty to put together a list of songs from ARTISTS WITH ROYAL NAMES. Think Prince, Queen, Duke Ellington, Queens of the Stone Age,….. you get my drift. If you have a request leave me a message here. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Mothers Day to all you Mums for next Sunday!

Here’s this week’s full playlist:

Motorvatin’ Mama –   Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings

Eat For Two –  10,000 Maniacs

Motherless Child –  O.V. Wright

Tell Mama – Etta James

Mama’s Got a Girlfriend Now –  Ben Harper and Tom Freund

Happy Mothers Day ( jingle)

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This – Shirelles

Mama Talk To Your Daughter – Magic Sam

Always On The Run –  Lenny Kravitz

Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth – Neko Case

All That I Got Is You –  Ghostface Killah

My Country Sugar Mama –   Howlin’ Wolf

(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean –   Ruth Brown

Standing in the Shadows –  Rolling Stones

Mother –  Roy Orbison

My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist – The Decemberists

Does Your Mother Know –  ABBA

Next week: ROCKIN’ ROYALTY

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM at the new time of Mondays 1–2pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com



UNLIKELY COVERS

A while back I did a show on ‘Covers That Are Better Than The Originals’ and I had so much fun with that. So this week it was UNLIKELY COVERS.  Anything in the previous show was excluded, just to keep me on my toes. But have no fear, there were plenty more, and even quirkier versions, to choose from.

We opened the show with Peter Sellers’ hilarious version of the Beatles A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, in the style of Lawrence Olivier’s  Richard 111. Thanks to Andrew for this request.

Andrew also requested the next track on our list: Hellsongs’ version of THUNDERSTRUCK. Hellsongs is an acoustic three-piece that plays what is best described as Lounge Metal. That means metal classics performed with surprisingly clear female vocals, soft guitars, an organ and two male choir-boys. They do a brilliant job of this AC/DC cover.

Stevie Wonder’s  version of the Beatles classic WE CAN WORK IT OUT is a good example of what I think defines an UNLIKELEY COVER. Not only does he switch genre, he also reinterprets the emotions that underpin the track, taking it from melancholia to pure elation. So, here’s a treat: A clip from the recent 2010 Glastonbury Festival where Stevie sings both Master Blastin’ and We Can Work It Out. Enjoy.

I’LL BE MISSING YOU by P. Diddy, Faith Evans and 112, borrows the melody and arrangement of Police’s EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE to create a song that was recorded in memory of rap artist Notorious B.I.G., murdered in 1997. Thanks to Robyn for that suggestion.

Scottish alternative pop band Camera Obscura do a great version of the Abba hit SUPERTROUPER, so that had to be included. As did Nick Cave, with the very unlikely cover of  Louis Armstrong’s WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD.

Algerian musician Rachid Taha does an intriguing Arabic version of the Clash standard ROCK THE CASBAH. Check it out:

As someone who loves their Bluegrass and is a hardcore Queen fan, (what’s not to love?), Hayseed Dixie appealed with their cover of Queen’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Come on, you’ve got to get a chuckle out of this, surely:

We followed with a very gentle rendition of the Guns & Roses’ track SWEET CHILD OF MINE. It’s from Swedish singer Victoria Bergstrom, under her Taken By Trees moniker.

SWITCHED ON BACH is the name of an album by Walter (later to become Wendy) Carlos. Recorded in 1968, using the Moog synthesiser, it became the highest selling classical music recordings of its era. We played one of the best tracks from that album,  SINFONIA 35. Carlos went on to make many more recordings, including scores for the Stanley Kubrick films A Clockwork Orange and The Shining.

Paul Kelly only needs his guitar, and his great voice, to create a knock-out acoustic version of the Amy Winehouse signature tune REHAB. I found this on one of the very excellent Triple J Like a Version albums.

One of my favourite films of all time is JUNO and one of the best songs on that soundtrack is Sonic Youth’s cover of The Carpenter’s SUPERSTAR. Karen would have been proud:

The phones ran hot when this next track was played:  Legends Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings gave Procol Harum’s A WHITER SHADE OF PALE a country voice. And then the totally indiosyncratic William Shatner covered Pulp’s COMMON PEOPLE.

But if you thought that was crazy, how about Ani DiFranco and Jackie Chan (yes, that’s correct, Jackie Chan the Hong Kong actor). They contributed a bizarre duet of Nat King Cole’s UNFORGETTABLE. Ani’s voice is great, but methinks that Jacki should just stick to acting (or maybe not!).

We followed with The Clash’s version of Junior Murvin’s reggae classic POLICE & THIEVES. While a punk rock group covering reggae does seem a bit unusual, Joe Strummer makes this great track his own.

Gee, it was hard choosing one of Johnny Cash’s covers. His album American IV: The Man Comes Around is particularly good for UNLIKELY COVERS. My favourite is his version of the Nine Inch Nails song HURT but I have played that before, so I thought I’d bring you his cover of Depeche Mode’s PERSONAL JESUS instead. This album is especially moving as Cash died soon after its release.

Lesley Gore, (that’s right, she of IT’S MY PARTY AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO), gave us a great version of AD/DC’s DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP. Just to prove that she can sing anything she wants to!

R & B great Billy Preston does an interesting cover of pop band Duran Duran’s GIRLS ON FILM.  As do the Ramones when they do a punk version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN?

Here’s a combination I really love: C.W. Stoneking, with another track from Triple J’s Like a Version compilation:  the White Stripes SEVEN NATION ARMY. Two of my favourite artists, Stoneking and Jack White. I think what makes this so good is that Stoneking hadn’t even heard the song before it was suggested that he do a cover, so it has this incredible freshness to the interpretation. Here’s an interview and his performance live in the studio. So jealous of that presenter!

We followed that with a great pairing: Jim Morrison and The Doors with their version of Howlin Wolf’s BACK DOOR MAN and Patti Smith’s amazing cover of Prince’s WHEN DOVES CRY. Thanks again to Rob for suggesting that one.

How perfect is Sid Vicious’s punk version of MY WAY, made famous originally by Frank Sinatra? Let’s face it, he couldn’t sing, couldn’t play but gee he knew how to take the piss out of society. Miss that.

What to finish the show with? Well, a cover of Led Zeppelin’s STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN seemed an obvious choice but which version? Rolf Harris came to mind, especially after his recent appearance at Glastonbury but I’m not a big fan. Instead, the honour went to one of the best musicians in rock history, Frank Zappa.

Next week the theme is a staple of pop music: SWEETS, all those yummy sugary foods that symbolise so much about personal relationships. Let me know if you have any good suggestions. Love having your input.

For now, here’s this week’s complete playlist:

A Hard Day’s Night (Beatles cover) – Time To Remember 1965, Peter Sellers

Thunderstruck (AC/DC cover) – Hymns In The Key Of 666, Hellsongs

We Can Work It Out (Beatles) – Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, Stevie Wonder

I’ll Be Missing You (Police) – P. Diddy

Super Trouper (Abba cover) – Tears For Affairs, Camera Obscura

What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong cover) – B-Sides & Rarities, Nick Cave/The Bad Seeds

Rock el Casbah (Clash cover) – Arabian 2000 & 1 Nights, Rachid Taha

Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover) – Killer Grass, Hayseed Dixie

Sweet Child Of Mine (Guns & Roses cover) – Taken By Trees (Victoria Bergsman)

Sinfonia 35 – Switched on Bach, Walter (Wendy) Carlos

Rehab (Amy Winehouse cover) – Like A Version Four, Paul Kelly

Superstar (Carpenters Cover) – Juno Soundtrack, Sonic Youth

A Whiter Shade of Pale (Procol Harum cover) – Always On My Mind, Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings

Common People (Pulp) – Triple J Hottest 100: Volume 12 William Shatner/Joe Jackson

Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)- When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You’d Hear, Ani DiFranco & Jackie Chan

Police & Thieves (Junior Murvin) – The Clash, The Clash

Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode) – American IV: The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (AC/DC cover) – When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You’d Hear, Lesley Gore

Girls on Film (Duran Duran cover) – When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You’d Hear, Billy Preston

Have You Ever Seen the Rain (Creedence Clearwater) – The Ramones

Sinfonia 35 – Switched on Bach, Walter (Wendy) Carlos

Seven Nation Army (White Stripes cover) – Like A Version Four, C.W. Stoneking

Back Door Man (Howlin Wolf cover)- The Doors, Jim Morisson/The Doors

When Doves Cry (Prince cover) – When Doves Cry, Patti Smith

Surfin’ USA (Beach Boys) –   The Jesus & Mary Chain

My Way (Frank Sinatra) – The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle, Sid Vicious

Stairway To Heaven (Led Zepelin Cover) – Frank Zappa

Next week: SWEETS (Yummy, yummy, yummy I’ve got love in my tummy!)

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time

Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

Opening the show with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey singing ‘Money, Money, Money’ let everyone know from the get-go what this week’s theme was. Yes, the dirty dollar, the buckaroo, moolah – whatever you want to call it – Money. Depending on your viewpoint, it either makes the world go ’round or its the root of all evil. I tried to offer up songs that would support either theory in a show jam-packed with music from all genres.

flyinglizardsFirst up, Dire Straits with ‘Money For Nothing’, promising all the young dudes that all they need to do is play the guitar on the MTV to get their ‘money for nothing and their chicks for free’. Yeah sure, maybe in the good old days, Mark Knopfler! Then it was onto one of several Beatles songs of the day with ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and a great version of ‘Money’ by The Flying Lizards. Originally written and recorded by Motown musician Barrett Strong, this robotic, unapologetic version has been used in several movie soundtracks, including two of my favourites: The Big Lebowski and Empire Records.

And then it was the song that made the world, especially Australia and 
Europe, wild for ABBA. ‘Money, Money, Money’ remained at the top of Australia’s charts for six weeks, and made it to the Top 3 in at least 11 other countries. The Pet Shop Boys offered up  their formula for making money, ‘Opportunities’: I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks, Let’s make lots of money.” I’m sure plenty of hairbrained schemes were launched on that premise!  Back together again, with a new hit album, its worth having a look at the video of the track that differs quite a bit from the album version. The mix on this video seems much better,  to my ears anyway.

My Roy Orbison song this week was ‘Uptown’, about a bellhop who yearns for the attention of a gal way out of his league, financially. Van Morrison sang about ‘Blue Money’ and the Steve Miller Band track ‘Take the Money and Run’ kept the country rock fans happy. I love Louis Jordan and his song ‘If You’re So Smart, How Come You Ain’t Rich’ appealed to my sense of humour. Then it was onto Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin for a good dose of Blues/R&B.

New to my show was Gwen Stefani with a number that really suited the theme. ‘Rich Girl’ cheekily adapts ‘If I Were A Rich Man’ from Fiddler on the Roof to great effect. And a little bit of help from Eve on this track, didn’t hurt either. And then it was onto more Beatles with ‘Taxman’ and more Pet Shop Boys, with a great number ‘Rent’ and some Yeah, Yeah Yeahs with ‘Rich’. All leading up to the money anthem of all time: Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ from their 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon. With its money-related sound effects of cash registers, coins and the like, it is perfect. Have a look at the original video clip which is quite a powerful companion to a song which defined the notion: ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’.

Our country section included Lefty Frizzell with his honky -tonk version of  ‘If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Time’ and The Stanley Brothers with a bit of bluegrass: ‘If I Lose’, about a gambler who can always count on his woman to help him out. Horace Andy delivered a great bit of reggae with Money, Money. According to Horace, money is the root of all evil. He may be right but then again I’m hoping that money can also do some good in this world. (Now all I have to do is convince someone to give me some!)

Janis Joplin, John Lennon and AC/DC led up to the finish line and I closed the show with Massive Attack’s remake of William DeVaughan’s song ‘Be Thankful For What You’ve Got’. And that sums up my message from this week’s show – be thankful for what you’ve got. Yes, the best things in life really are free. And radio is one of those!

Here’s the full playlist for you:

Money, Money – Liza Minnelli/Joel Grey/ Cabaret 

Money for Nothing – Dire Straits

Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles

Money – The Flying Lizards

Money, money, money – ABBA

Opportunities (Let’s make lots of money) – Pet Shop Boys

Take the Money and Run – Steve Miller Band

Blue Money – Van Morrison

Uptown – Roy Orbison

If You So Smart, How Come You Ain’t Rich  – Louis Jordan

I Got A Woman – Ray Charles

Money Won’t Change You –  Aretha Frankin

Security – Otis Redding

Rich Girl – Nina Simone

Rich Girl (feat. Eve) – Gwen Stefani

Taxman – The Beatles

Rent – Pet Shop Boys

Rich – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Money – Pink Floyd

No Money  Ernie K Doe and the Blue Diamonds 

If You’ve Got The Money I’ve Got The Time – Lefty Frizzell

If I Lose – The Stanley Brothers

Rich Woman – Li’l Millet & His Creoles

Rich Mans Blues – C.W. Stoneking

Money Money  Horace Andy

Buy Me A Mercedes Benz  Janis Joplin

Nobody Loves You (when you’re down and out) – John Lennon

Moneytalks   ACDC

You Never Give Me Your Money  The Beatles

Be Thankful For What You’ve Got    Massive Attack

Next week I’ll be dedicating the show to music from the 60’s and giving away tickets to the new film, set in ’66 against the British pirate radio days, The Boat That Rocked. 

Listen to Lyn at the Theme Park, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time, at BayFM 99.9 or streaming at http://www.bayfm.org
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