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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

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MULLUMBIMBY MUSIC FESTIVAL PREVIEW

Drive to Mullumbimby on any given day and you will find buskers on sitar, buskers on guitar and kids out-busking them all. There’ll be a shirtless bloke in a kilt on his mobile, a nice neat Nana off to the doctor and a seedpod of single mums outside Santos health food store sharing tips on crystal deodorant. There’s pie eating workmen, emo teenagers skipping school and eating chips on the pavement, a hot pink mariachi man hitching a ride home and some disheveled rock star buying his groceries. In ‘Mullum’ the whitened teeth brigade hold court with the toothless, and everywhere people are talking, laughing, hugging, complaining, gathered in groups, dotted in shops, drinking coffee, playing drums: it’s a small town symphony of noise. This is a vibrant, flawed gloriously messed up cacophony of community. Mullumbimby needs to be heritage listed. They just don’t do small towns like this anywhere else in Australia!

Once a year the town of Mullumbimby opens her arms to the world and invites them to experience one of the most unique music events in the country: The Mullum Music Festival. This year, from Thursday to Sunday 25 – 28 November, venues throughout the town host over 100 performances, with festival goers able to amble from gig to gig through the streets of Mullumbimby.  It’s a festival for everybody with men, women, children and clowns, able to participate in this demographically and stylistically inclusive event.

One of the big drawcards of this year’s festival is Washington. Megan Washington was unearthed by Triple J only a year ago and since then she and her band have been on a non-stop round of performances culminating in the recent Aria Awards where she scored six nominations and won two awards in the categories of Best Female Artist and Breakthrough Artist. The festival’s program promises an all singing, all dancing affair with costumes and cupcakes and plenty of suprises. I think she’s going to be huge and this may be one of the last chances we have to see her in such an intimate environment.  Here she is talking about the inspiration for her album I Believe You Liar.

I had hoped to have the director of the festival, Glenn Wright, into the studio for a chat but with only two days to go before lift-off, Glenn didn’t make it. But he very generously donated a day pass to the festival for one of the BayFM subscribers and that was one by Jay. Congrats and thanks to Glenn for your generosity.

If you’re a fan of reggae, rock steady and ska then Sydney group King Tide are for you. They’ll perform at the festival on Saturday night. I particiularly like the track ROCKERS STYLE. Just to prove the diversity of the festival’s line-up we followed with Nashville singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier with MARCH 11, 1962 from her latest album, Foundling. Produced by Michael Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies, it’s an amazingly honest album that draws inspiration from her own life. Achingly beautiful. Here’s an amateur video taken at a performance in London June 2010:

We followed with Heath Cullen & The 45s with BREAK MY HEART, which might just have a back-story of its own. Heath is a highly regarded guitarist having graced all of Lucie Thorne’s most recent recordings, amongst others. In this video clip he’s performing with the 45’s: Jay McMahon, drums; David Hibbert, guitar; Robyn Martin, bass; Jason Coman, guitar; and Pete Wild, keyboards.

Tijuana Cartel are amazing. They’re the band to see if you want to get up and dance. It’s a wild combo of funk, hip-hop, reggae, flamenco with a Middle Eastern flavour. We played an oldie but a goodie of theirs: RISE UP from their debut album Frequent Flyers Redeemed.

A late addition to the festival is UK singer Gemma Ray. Here’s a brilliant video clip of the track 100MPH (IN 2ND GEAR). Directed by Miranda Bowen and edited by Leo Scott its got an almost Lynchian sensibility. Love the song, love the video.


One of my favourites is the gorgeous sister act, Scarlett Affection. Nerida and Melia will be performing at the festival in their own right and will also be supporting students from their new contemporary music school. A little birdy told me that there is some amazing talent coming out of the Scarlett School, so I’m really looking forward to that performance on Saturday in the Civic Hall. One of my favourite songs of theirs is  ROMANTIC from their album Our Sweet Ambush.

Sunshine Coast based Oka are a genre defying group who know how to get a room up and moving. MUSIC MAKES ME HAPPY showcases the throbbing, earthy beats of tribal music for the digital age.

Pieta Brown comes straight from the American heartland. Her father is renowned folk singer Greg Brown whose songs have been covered by Willie Nelson among others.  Described as a cross between Loretta Lyn, P.J. Harvey and Cat Power, she’s one of the highlights of the festival. Here she sings HEY RUN from the Remember The Sun album.

Jazz fans won’t be disappointed as the much admired Vince Jones returns  to Mullum. We played his very smooth rendition of AUTO FREAKS and followed with another brilliant local artist, Gyan, with a track from her latest album SuperfragiisticallyWWW.

It was great to be able to speak to two of the artists appearing at the festival, live in the studio. First up, comedian, acrobat, juggler extraordaire Joel Salom had me in stitches as we talked about his gig as MC of the opening night on Thursday and his solo slot on Friday night. Here he is performing with Circus Oz and he did suggest that there may be some ‘accidental’ stripping at Mullum as well.

The opening night of the festival not only features Joel as MC but it features an amazing line-up of talent: Pieta Brown, The Rhythm Hunters, Nano Stern, Flap!, Dick & Christa Hughes and Mama Kin. Quickly gaining a reputation for an act not to be missed, Mama Kin’s music is powerful stuff. We featured I’M GONNA DO IT, from her album Beat and Holler.

Local musician and producer, Christian Pyle, also paid us a visit and it was a pleasure speaking to such a down to earth artist who is clearly very talented. We played two of the songs from his solo album, Nothing Left to BurnRAY OF YOUR SUNSHINE and TREES & STONE. Christian will be peforming on Saturday and, as well, he’ll front up with the band Ghost Mountain on Sunday. Christian told me that with Ghost Mountain they’re a very seasoned band who all bring their own influences to the music. We played EVERYTHING’S OK from the album Art Without Audience.

Christian also produces an array of artists out of his studio in Goonengerry. One of them happens to be one of my favourites of the moment. M. Jack Bee is a storyteller par excellence and his latest album, In Loops is a beauty. I particularly like the track  MOTH. This video clip was filmed by Christian in his studio when they were recording the song. Watch to the end when Christian makes his own appearance. Let’s call it a Hitchcock moment!  

Also returning to the festival, and all the way from Darwin, is Leah Flanagan.  I saw her perform last year and she was brilliant.  She plays a mean ukelele, so for me that just makes her show compulsory. Another group returning to Mullum are the equally talented Tinpan Orange. Their latest album THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE is a great indication of the breadth of their talent.

How good is Jordie Lane? His song FELL INTO ME from his album Sleeping Patterns,  is on constantly at my house at the moment. He’s performing on Saturday and Sunday at the festival and also on Sunday with Jen Cloher, which should make a hot double-bill. Here he is talking about how he recorded his previous album, Lovers Ride, for under $A150! Incredible.

We finished the show on a suitably alternative note with Mojo Juju & The Snake Oil Merchants. What can you say about these all-round performers who meld jazz, rock and punk into a vaudevillian show that is pure entertainment.  Here they are performing CATCH A FIRE at another of the great festivals that we host up here in the Northern Rivers, The Byron Blues Fest:

Thanks so much to everyone at the Mullum Music Festival, in particular my guests Joel Salom and Christian Pyle.

Next week, I’m rec0gnising World Aids Day (December 1) with SONGS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY. Now before you all start leaving me messages about HIV and AIDS not being a gay disease. I know that! But let’s recognise that its the gay community that have been at the forefront of political activism, not only fighting discrimination but also promoting understanding and support for ALL  people suffering from this dreadful malady. So let’s celebrate the gays! Any suggestions? Let’s concentrate on the song, rather than the singer. Just because Dusty Springfield was gay doesn’t make The Look of Love a gay song, now does it? Hmmmm.

So, while you’re pondering that list, check out this week’s:

I Believe You Liar – I Believe You Liar, Washington

Rockers Style – RoOTS POP Reggae, King Tide

March 11, 1962 – The Foundling, Mary Gauthier

Break My Heart – Heath Cullen

Rise Up – Frequent Flyers Redeemed, Tijuana Cartel

100 mph (in 2nd Gear) – Lights Out Zoltar!, Gemma Ray

Romantic – Our Sweet Ambush, Scarlett Affection

Music Makes Me Happy – Music Makes Me Happy, OKA

Hey Run – Remember the Sun, Pieta Brown

Auto Freaks – Moving Through Taboos, Vince Jones

WWW. – Superfragilistically, Gyan

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

I’m Gonna Do It – Beat And Holler, Mama Kin

Trees & Stone – Nothing Left to Burn, Christian Pyle

Everything’s OK – Art Without Audience, Ghost Mountain

Moth – In Loops, M. Jack Bee

Tipsy Tango – Making Waves, Leah Flannigan

The Bottom Of The Lake – The Bottom Of The Lake, TinPan Orange

Fell Into Me – Sleeping Patterns, Jordie Lane

Catch a Fire – Sellin’ You Salvation, Mojo Juju and The Snake Oil Merchants

Next week:  SONGS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY

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
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