Blog Archives

SONGS ABOUT THE SUN

We’re well and truly into Summer and where are all those beautiful sunny days that this season promises? As I write this, I’m looking out at torrential rain. So, it was definitely wishful thinking that propelled me into this week’s playlist on THE SUN.

We opened the show with a song that radiates optimism, the Beatles GOOD DAY SUNSHINE, written by Paul McCartney and released on the 1966 album Revolver. A relatively new track comes from Michael Franti. I dedicated THE SOUND OF SUNSHINE to the lovely Suzie M. and her grandchildren, Reem & Aliyah who are huge Michael Franti fans.

Local lad Christian Pyle did a great job at the recent Mullumbimby Music Festival and although I played RAY OF YOUR SUNSHINE during my interview with him a couple of weeks ago, it such a great number I had to play it again. It’s from his Nothing Left to Burn album.

The Cream’s SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE is an absolute classic and is still their best-selling song of all time. Here’s Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce playing live circa 1968.

Beth Orton does a brilliant cover of The Ronettes I WISH I NEVER SAW THE SUNSHINE. I found it on the soundtrack to the film Twentyfourseven (brilliant film btw), but its also on her 1996 debut album ‘Trailer Park’. Here she performs live and is accompanied by the very talented Ted Barnes.

The wonderful Katie Noonan possibly does the best cover ever of Soundgarden’s BLACK HOLE SUN that I have ever heard. I usually don’t like to play videos that are simply photo montages, but I can’t give up the opportunity of putting her voice out there. Sublime.

There was no way I was doing a show on THE SUN without playing Stevie Wonder’s YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE. Here he is giving a rare studio concert at London’s Teddington Studios following the release of his ‘Conversation Peace’ album. A sensual ride for an intimate audience of less than 200 fans. You get the bonus of SUPERSTITION on this clip too, which I have to admit is actually my favourite Stevie Wonder number.

Bobby Hebb’s SUNNY is another very optimistic song, considering that it was written in response to his brother’s violent death which occurred on the same day of JFK’s assassination.

Two great songs that were released in 1966 are Donovan’s SUNSHINE SUPERMAN and The Kinks’ SUNNY AFTERNOON. The Kink’s strong Music Hall  flavour and lyrical focus was part of a stylistic departure for the band, who had risen to fame in 1964-65 with a series of hard-driving, power-chord rock hits. Ironically, the promotional video for the single featured the band performing in a cold, snowy environment:

Nina Simone’s cover of George Harrison’s HERE COMES THE SUN is an almost religious experience. Starting slowly at first it builds to a flood of warmth and wonder. Unlike the weather here at the moment, unfortunately.

For Ros, and all the other reggae fans, we played Bob Marley’s SUN IS SHINING and followed with the Bill Withers standard – a perfectly apt song for Byron Bay at the moment: AIN’T NO SUNSHINE.

Let’s don’t get too despondent about the weather. As Elaine Page suggests “the sun will come out TOMORROW“. From the  musical Annie that song went out to BayFM’s Tommy T-Jet who hosts All Things Camp Friday’s at 1pm.

The Eagles song TEQUILA SUNRISE was written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey and is from the album Desperado. I’ve been meaning to do a show just on The Eagles and its certainly on the agenda.

A show on THE SUN wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t include the Beach Boys. I had lots of suggestions for various tunes but  I chose the very evocative THE WARMTH OF THE SUN. It was the B-side to Dance, Dance, Dance released in 1964.

Violent Femmes released their debut album  in 1982.  The music was an innovative combination of American folk music and punk rock, which would much later come to be known as “folk punk”.  The lyrics were the common themes of yearning for love, sex and affection. The group quickly gained a following that never veered into mainstream commercialism. One of the songs that gained recognition was A BLISTER IN THE SUN.

2010 is the 25th anniversary of the very infectious  WALKING ON SUNSHINE released by Katrina and the Waves. Can you believe it?

I don’t think the The Beloved were getting up with the birds to see the  SUN RISING. Somehow I imagine they were on their way home from a big night out.

Australian band The Waifs recorded their 2007 album SUN DIRT WATER in Nashville and it was released on Jarrah Records, a fully independent label they share with John Butler Trio and MGM Distribution.

A couple of oldies but goodies come in the shape of THE SUN AIN’T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE from The Walker Brothers and DON’T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING from Gerry & The Pacemakers.

A while back I put together a show of songs that ask questions. And here’s a couple more: The Velvet Underground want to know WHO LOVES THE SUN and They Might Be Giants ask WHY DOES THE SUN SHINE?

The Spazzys is an all girl punk band from Melbourne who are heavily influenced by the Ramones. They’ve even taken their band’s name as their surname – Kat Spazzy, Lucy Spazzy and Ally Spazzy. Cool. The song SUNSHINE DRIVE is on their Aloha! Go Bananas album released in 2004 but my copy came from the soundtrack of the very good Australian film Suburban Mayhem.

One of The Kinks best known and most acclaimed songs is WATERLOO SUNSET.  Ray Davies says, in a 2008 interview, that the song was a fantasy about his sister going off with her boyfriend and emigrating  to another country.

Little Village were a supergroup who only released one album. Band members included Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, Nick Lowe and Jim Keitner. Sung by John Hiatt, the track SOLAR SEX PANEL certainly suggests a good use for the sun’s rays!

We closed the show with Pink Floyds’s very trippy SET THE CONTROLS FOR THE HEART OF THE SUN.

Next week, I’m going to  celebrate the Xmas Party season with SONGS ABOUT DRINKING. I’m looking for everything from rowdy singalongs to barfly melancholia and guilty hangover confessionals. That should cover everything! It will be the day after the BayFM Xmas party, so I should be suitably hungover!

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Good Day Sunshine – Revolver, The Beatles

The Sound Of Sunshine – The Sound Of Sunshine, Michael Franti and Spearhead

Ray of Your Sunshine – Nothing Left to Burn, Christian Pyle

Sunshine Of Your Love – Eric Clapton Story, Cream

I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine – Twentyfourseven Soundtrack, Beth Orton

Black Hole Sun – Time To Begin, Katie Noonan

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – Ballad Collection, Stevie Wonder

Sunny – Rhythm & Blues, Bobby Hebb

Sunshine Superman [Extended] – Try For The Sun, Donovan

Sunny Afternoon – Lost And Found 1962-1969, The Kinks

Solar – Chet In Chicago, Chet Baker

Here Comes The Sun – The Very Best Of Nina Simone, Nina Simone

Sun Is Shining – Bob Marley Collection, Bob Marley

Ain’t No Sunshine – Lean On Me: Priceless Collection, Bill Withers

Tomorrow – Elaine Paige LIVE , Elaine Paige

Tequila Sunrise – The Very Best Of The Eagles, The Eagles

The Warmth Of The Sun – Shut Down Volume 2, The Beach Boys

Blister In The Sun – Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes

Walking On Sunshine – Sounds Of The Eighties: 1985, Katrina and The Waves

The Sun Rising – Single File, The Beloved

Sun Dirt Water – Sun Dirt Water, The Waifs

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore –  The Walker Brothers

Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying – Gerry & The Pacemakers, Gerry and The Pacemakers

Who Loves The Sun – High Fidelity [Bonus Tracks], The Velvet Underground

Why Does The Sun Shine? – Severe Tire Damage, They Might Be Giants

The Sunshine Drive – Suburban Mayhem Soundtrack, The Spazzys

Waterloo Sunset – The Ultimate Collection [Disc 1], The Kinks

Solar Sex Panel – Little Village, Little Village

Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun – A Saucerful Of Secrets, Pink Floyd

Next week:  SONGS ABOUT DRINKING

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com

Advertisements

BROTHERS & SISTERS

Let me ask you this: who else has known you your entire life and witnessed your family’s capacity for love and/or dysfunction? Brothers and Sisters! Sibling relationships run deep, that’s for sure. Maybe it’s because of this that the chemistry between siblings can be quite complex, sometimes verging on the volatile. They don’t call it sibling rivalry for nothing. I can remember having actual fisty cuffs with my sister who is only 18months younger than me, but if anyone else threatened her, they had hell to pay.

So, lots of reason to pay tribute to our brothers and sisters. We started the show with a request from the lovely Nicky from Fridays breakfast program ‘That Friday Feeling’: Sister Sledge with WE ARE FAMILY. We followed with a request from Judi – The Hollies and HE AIN’T HEAVY HE’S MY BROTHER.

Robyn is a regular contributor to the show and she always has great suggestions. One of the best from her this week was JJ Cale and Eric Clapton’s DON’T CRY SISTER. It’s rare that the distinctive quality of sibling relationships is captured so well in song. Here’s a couple more that do it for me: In This Mortal Coil’s YOU AND YOUR SISTER, the lover’s sister is of the overprotective variety. Being the eldest of three kids, I can’t help but think this was written for me. Another is from brother and sister duo, The Knife, with PASS THIS ON. Their tense, steel drum electro adds a whole other dimension to the lyrics. ‘I’m in love with your brother’, Karin Dreijer urgently confides. “You’ll pass this on, wont you?”. Oooh, risky request that one. I really love this video clip though:

Des from BayFM’s Colours of Byron program suggested an oldie but a goodie, Elvis Presley with one for all the younger sisters out there: LITTLE SISTER.

When choosing music for our show about Brothers and Sisters I tried to choose songs that were about the biological kind over those about the brotherhood of man but songs like Tom Waits version of BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE ME A DIME, had to be included. I just love Tom’s idiosyncratic style.

Robyn could program this show all on her own, so prolific is she with her suggestions each week. Thanks Rob! Two more of Rob’s requests were Patti Labelle with LADY MARMALADE and Terence Trent D’Arby’s DANCE LITTLE SISTER. What ever happened to him? Come back wherever you are!

Switching genres, it was time for some southern rock, with a song from Johnny Van Zant, lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd and younger brother of Lynyrd Skynyrd co-founder, and former lead vocalist, Ronnie Van Zant. The song, BRICKYARD ROAD, is about Ronnie who was killed in a plane crash in 1977.

DANIEL is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and recorded by John for his album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Just the Piano Player. The song tells the story of a returning Vietnam vet, from his brother’s point of view. Another great song about a brother was written by Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. SPACEBOY is about his younger brother who has a rare genetic chromosomal disorder.

“Hey Little Sister What have you done?” asks Billy Idol on WHITE WEDDING. Yet, another great suggestion from Robyn:

Our next song touched a nerve because it’s a saying that my daughter used to say to me when she started kindergarden, although in this case its about a sibling asserting himself. It’s They Might Be Giants with YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME NOW. We’ll follow with a great song from The Kinks: COME DANCING. It’s a fond tribute to Ray Davies’ older sister and the demise of the local dance hall. We followed with a little samba from Brazilian Jorge Benjor, TAKE IT EASY MY BROTHER CHARLES.

Bobby Hebb wrote SUNNY after President Kennedy was assassinated and his own brother was killed in a knife fight outside a Nashville nightclub on the same day: November 22, 1963. Considering the circumstances its a beautifully optimistic piece of music.

Funnily enough, so is Bruce Springsteen’s HIGHWAY PATROLMAN. The song recounts how lawman Joe Roberts runs into his black-sheep brother, only to find that blood is thicker than water. I like the sentiment expressed in this one:  “a man turns his back on his family, he just ain’t no good.” Johnny Cash also does a brilliant version of this track, but I rarely play Springsteen, so he got a run this week. We followed with a great piece of country, Steve Earle’s TELEPHONE ROAD.

Marvyn Gaye’s WHAT’S HAPPENING BROTHER is about Gaye’s brother who was serving in Vietnam at the time. The song is a precursor to WHAT’S GOING ON which was based on the same brothers letters. We followed with real life siblings, The Neville Brothers, and BROTHER JOHN.

It was good to be able to include something local: Sarah McGregor’s GOODNIGHT SISTERS is a gorgeous ode to her two sisters.  And then it was the incredibly versatile group The Arcade Fire with NEIGHBORHOOD #2.

John Fogarty has said in interviews that Creedence Clearwater Revival’s HAVE YOU SEEN THE RAIN is about rising tensions within CCR and the imminent departure of his brother Tom from the band. See, and you thought it was about the Vietnam War didn’t you. Me too!

Lily Allen has a brother, not unlike my own, so her song ALFIE was dedicated to my younger brother who isn’t well at the moment.  Keep smiling Pete.

Our final choice was a beautiful song, suggested by Des. It’s by Antony & The Johnsons with some help from Boy George. It’s called YOU ARE MY SISTER and I dedicated this one to my sister who celebrated her birthday on July 27.

Next week, its a subject that all of us in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales are familiar with: INSECTS AND SPIDERS. I’ll need some help on this one, so get in touch!

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

We Are Family – The Full Monty Soundtrack, Sister Sledge

He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother -The Hollys

Don’t Cry Sister – JJ Cale & Eric Clapton

You and Your Sister – Blood, This Mortal Coil

Pass this On – Deep Cuts, The Knife

Little Sister – Rare Elvis, Vol. 3, Elvis Presley

Brother Can You Spare A Dime? – Brother, Can You Spare a Dime, Tom Waits

Lady Marmalade – Best of Patti Labelle, Patti Labelle

Dance Little Sister – Terence Trent Darby

Brickyard Road – Brickyard Road, Johnny Van Zant

Daniel – Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Just the Piano Player, Elton John

Spaceboy –  Siamese Dream, The Smashing Pumpkins

White Wedding – Wedding Singer, Billy Idol

Boss Of Me – They Might Be Giants

Come dancing – The Kinks

Take It Easy My Brother Charles – Pure Brazil: Electric Samba Groove, Jorge Benjor

Sunny – Bobby Hebb

Highway Patrolman – Nebraska, Bruce Springsteen

Telephone Road – Steve Earle

What’s Happening Brother – What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye

Brother John – The Very Best of the Neville Brothers, The Neville Brothers

Goodnight Sisters – Beautiful Thing, Sarah McGregor

Neighborhood #2 (Laika) – Funeral, The Arcade Fire

Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Alfie – Lily Allen

You Are My Sister (feat. Boy George) – I Am A Bird Now, Antony & The Johnsons

Next week: INSECTS & SPIDERS

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

Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com

%d bloggers like this: