Blog Archives

THE ENVIRONMENT

I love the major prize in BayFM‘s Subscriber Drive this year. It’s a trip to Broome and the Kimberley, in conjunction with the Save The Kimberley action group. So I thought it was a great opportunity to create a playlist  on THE ENVIRONMENT.

We opened the show with a locally produced track from a group of young people who are concerned about climate change. They came together at a hip-hop recording workshop in the country town of Kyogle in 2007. The result: PROTECT THE WORLD. The kids were aged between 11 and 17 and wrote the words on the spot and played all the instruments. Check it out:

Another  song about the environment that really hits home is GASOLINE from Sheryl Crow. She’s so great when she’s singing about something substantial, isn’t she?

The Cranberries  tell us that TIME IS TICKING OUT: “We’d better think about the consequences, We’d better think about the global senses, The time went out, the time went out.”

Cerrone’s song SUPERNATURE was released in 1977 and crossed over to both pop and soul charts. An interesting bit of trivia: the lyrics were written by a young Lene Lovich, although she wasn’t credited.

Gorillaz is a band that fascinates me with its merge of music and art. They have a brilliant site, so rather than me babble on here about them, go to www.gorillaz.com. Right now I’m listening to their  PLASTIC BEACH album. The track of the same name features Mick Jones & Paul Simonon from The Clash. Say no more.

Way back in 1971 Marvin Gaye broke ground with his song MERCY MERCY ME (the Ecology). It’s from his album, What’s Goin’ On and features The Funk Brothers on instrumentals and a leading sax solo by Wild Bill Moore. Brilliant stuff. Here’s Gaye at the Montreux Festival, 1980:

The John Butler Trio’s song SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE was only released in Australia. It came out in 2004 and is an interesting blend of funk, rock, blues, roots and the traditional sound of a jam band.

An absolute classic is Joni Mitchell’s BIG YELLOW TAXI: “They paved paradise/And put up a parking lot.” With that one line, Joni Mitchell created an everlasting metaphor for the ongoing effects of industrial development on the natural world. Big Yellow Taxi is one of the great environmental laments of the modern age, a breezy little tune that describes a world where DDT is used freely and trees are relegated to a museum.

I thought I might include some Kraftwerk for all the techheads and others (like me) who love this highly influential band from Germany.  RADIOACTIVITY is perfect for this week’s theme:

Neko Case suggests that you NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON MOTHER EARTH. It’s from her Middle Cyclone album. A prophetic follow up came from The Beach Boys with DON’T GO NEAR THE WATER:

Tegan and Sara are a Canadian duo (they’re actually identical twins). I love their song OUR TREES. A perfect follow up to that was Jack Johnson’s ANYTHING BUT THE TRUTH.

Despite what Michael Stipe says about this song being about oppression, I always thought that the R.E.M. song, FALL ON ME, was about acid rain and it’s effect on the environment. Well I suppose you have a right to feel oppressed when governments keep refusing to do anything substantial about climate change.

Singer songwriter Missy Higgins is politically pro-active and it was great to air an interview with her during the show about Broome and the Kimberley. Here’s an extended version of that interview from the Save the Kimberley site:

Another activist/musician is, of course, Ben Harper. His song EXCUSE ME MISTER is just so relevant right now, with its mention of pollution of our waterways. Are you listening BP?

John Mayer is WAITING ON THE WORLD TO CHANGE. Me too John, me too.

Massive Attack were encouraged to get into the recording studio in 1991 to record their debut album Blue Lines, by Nenah Cherry. She consequently sang back up on our pick from this album, HYMN OF THE BIG WHEEL. In this clip Deborah Miller, who tours with Massive Attack on a regular basis, does a brilliant job of back-up/support.

MONKEY GONE TO HEAVEN, is a song by the American alternative rock band, the Pixies. It’s from their 1989 album Doolittle.  The song references environmentalism and biblical numerology and was the first Pixies song to feature guest musicians:  two cellists, Arthur Fiacco and Ann Rorich, and two violinists, Karen Karlsrud and Corine Metter.

Our final song of the day was one I’d like to dedicate to all those lost in Pakistan’s devastating floods: Jackson Browne with BEFORE THE DELUGE.

I’d like to thank everyone who subscribed during Theme Park over the last two shows. Thank you so much! We’ll be drawing a winner for our Camp Quality holiday at Possum Creek Eco Lodge on next Tuesday’s show, so tune in then. And if you want to go into that draw, and you haven’t subscribed yet, that’s Ok. When you do subscribe just say that Theme Park is the show you want to be acknowledged on. We’ll give you a shout out next week. Good luck to all of you. I hope that you are lucky enough to win one of the daily prizes, the additional prize for business subscribers of 30 radio spots, or the major prize of the trip to the Kimberley.

I’d love to hear from you with your requests for next week’s show when the topic will be SPRINGTIME. Can you believe its almost here? Yay!

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Protect the World – Kyogle Kids

Gasoline – Detours, Sheryl Crow

Time Is Ticking Out – Wake Up And Smell The Coffee, The Cranberries

Supernature – Cerrone

Plastic Beach Ft. Mick Jones & Paul Simonon – Plastic Beach, Gorillaz

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye

Something’s Gotta Give – Triple J’s Hottest 100 Volume 12, The John Butler Trio

Big Yellow Taxi – Ladies of the Canyon, Joni Mitchell

Radioactivity – The Mix, Kraftwerk

Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth – Middle Cyclone, Neko Case

Don’t Go Near The Water – Surf’s Up, The Beach Boys

Like The Weather – MTV Unplugged, 10,000 Maniacs

Our Trees – Tegan & Sara

Anything But The Truth – To The Sea, Jack Johnson

Fall on Me – Lifes Rich Pageant, R.E.M.

Going North – Missy Higgins

Excuse Me Mister – Fight for Your Mind, Ben Harper

Waiting on the World to Change – Continuum, John Mayer

Hymn Of The Big Wheel – Blue Lines, Massive Attack

Monkey Gone to Heaven – Wave of Mutilation: The Best of Pixies, The Pixies

Before The Deluge – Late For The Sky  (Gold Disc), Jackson Browne

Next week: SPRINGTIME

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

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CHANGE

Theme Park is now in Drive Time! I’m very excited, (explanation points aside, can you tell?). To celebrate, the topic this week was CHANGE. There were songs about every possible variety of change: political, social, cultural, emotional, physical, even the kind you find at the bottom of your handbag when you most need it.

BayFM is now in its Winter season and with Theme Park’s new time of Tuesdays 4-6pm, you may have only just discovered us. So, if this is your first visit, the idea is not to find a list of the “best” songs on a subject, because “best” is boring and more or less just involves me reaffirming how great the Beatles, Radiohead and Roy Orbison are.  No, what we’re trying to create is a thematically coherent playlist with a mix of genres, eras and moods. Some songs you’ll already know; some, maybe, you won’t, and hopefully each week we’ll rediscover the classics, and discover new music, together.

We opened the show with Michael Jackson’s MAN IN THE MIRROR. And what a great message it is: if you want to change the world then start with yourself and your attitude to those less fortunate than yourself. We followed with something a little less serious: the great Ella Fitzgerald with ANYTHING GOES from her album ‘The Cole Porter Songbook’. It was the first album she recorded for the Verve album in 1956.

John Mayer is in Australia at the moment and I’ll forgive his indiscretions in recent interviews because WAITIN’ ON THE WORLD TO CHANGE is such a great track. Here he is with an acoustic version of the song. Very nice.

We followed with the  definitive cover of Bob Dylan’s ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER by Jimi Hendrix. Dylan wrote this song at a time that he was experiencing a complete life change, with two young children and a growing interest in the Bible. Hendrix’s version is so highly regarded that Dylan has been quoted as saying: “I liked Jimi Hendrix’s record of this and ever since he died I’ve been doing it that way… Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.”

Everyone’s allowed to change their mind now and again. A couple of terrific songs about the subject are the Cardigans’ ERASE/REWIND and soul singer Tyrone Davis’ CAN I CHANGE MY MIND?

A completely different perspective on change came from the band Blind Melon. The track CHANGE is from their 1992 self-titled debut album and was the first written by lead singer Shannon Hoon, who struggled with a drug dependancy. The song encourages you to change your life when it gets too hard. Unfortunately Hoon found it difficult to take his own advice and he died in 1995, at 28, from an overdose. His grave is inscribed with words from the song.

Do you think money changes you? According to Cyndi Lauper MONEY CHANGES EVERYTHING. Aretha Franklin, on the other hand, reckons MONEY WON’T CHANGE YOU. I think Aretha may have won that round.

Daniel Merriwether received a little bit of help from, rapper, Wale in the song CHANGE. The song and, in fact, the whole album was produced by wunderkid Mark Ronson. Rather than just play the official video clip, here’s a ‘making of’ that you might find interesting.

Country rockers, The Allman Brothers Band, sound as if they have hit rock bottom and are ready to do something about it in the very bluesy CHANGE MY WAY OF LIVING.

Another great rock group is Muse. The song FEELING GOOD is probably best known for Nina Simone’s outstanding recording.  Here, Muse take the optimism of Simon’s standard to a whole other place.

We rounded out the hour with THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED. Recorded in 1971, it’s a poem and a song by Gil Scott-Heron, generally considered to be the father of hip-hop and neo soul.

I’M COMING OUT is a joyous disco number from Diana Ross. Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, of the 70’s Disco band ‘Chic’, wrote and produced the track. Rodgers got the idea for the song when he went to a transvestite club in New York City. He went to the bathroom, and while he was standing at the urinal, he saw three men who were all dressed as Diana Ross.

I love my R&B. Anyone who saw Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at the Blues Fest a few years ago know what a dynamic group they are. A great song from them is SOMETHING’S CHANGED. We followed with A CHANGE IS GONNA COME. Sam Cooke’s Dylan-inspired, lump-in-the-throat protest song mourns both racial intolerance and his infant son’s fatal drowning. And it’s the most requested song in our list today.

Joni Mitchell’s song BIG YELLOW TAXI is about changes brought about by so-called ‘progress’; “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Sound familiar? And a big shout out to everyone in Mullumbimby, while we’re on the subject of unnecessary change.

David Bowie’s song CHANGES is one you must have predicted. And I’m nothing, if not predictable. We followed with another very predictable track: THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’,  although it’s not Bob Dylan but a wonderful version by Nina Simone.

Let’s talk physical change. Can you get any better than Lou Reed’s TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE? It’s from the Transformer album, recorded in 1972 and produced by David Bowie. “Plucked her eyebrows on the way, shaved her legs and then he was a she.” Yep, that’s what I call change.

Talking of changing teams, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood contributed a track from their Live From Madison Square Garden album, called, appropriately, TEAM CHANGES. And then it was time to head back to a song about political change: Tracey Chapman with TALKIN’ BOUT A REVOLUTION.

John Legend got some help from Snoop Dogg on I CAN CHANGE. That’s for the right girl,  he asserts. Yeah yeah, heard it all before Johnny.

The Audreys do a gorgeous cover of the INXS song DON’T CHANGE. It challenges you not to change. Because you’re perfectly OK as you are, you know. The song is from the album, Between Last Night and Us. Here they are performing at Woodford Folk Festival, 2009:

We closed the show with a beauty: the Beatles and ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. “Nothings going to change my world.” Well, maybe, but one thing I do know is that change is inevitable and while we might not appreciate it at the time, its all good.

Next week’s theme will be MORE CRED WHEN DEAD. Yes, every track will be from an artist who has passed on to that big disco in the sky and more than likely became more successful after they were gone. Big list to choose from, so inevitably there will be some omissions. But let me know your requests anyway. Love to hear from you.

Here’s this week’s playlist. From this week, I’ll include the album names as well. You can find all songs on iTunes.

Man in the Mirror – Bad, Michael Jackson

Anything Goes – The Cole Porter Songbook (CD1), Ella Fitzgerald

Waiting on the World to Change – Continuum, John Mayer

All Along The Watchtower – The Ultimate Experience, Jimi Hendrix

Erase/Rewind – Gran Turismo, The Cardigans

Can I Change My Mind – Billboard Top 100 Of 1969, Tyrone Davis

Change – Blind Melon, Blind Melon

Money Changes Everything – Twelve Deadly Cyns, Cyndi Lauper

Money Won’t Change You – Lady Soul,  Aretha Frankin

Change – Love & War, Daniel Merriweather (and Wale)

Change My Way of Living – Where It All Begins, The Allman Brothers Band

Feeling Good – The Best of Muse CD2, Muse

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – The Breaks II, Gil Scott-Heron

I’m Coming Out – Floorfillers 80s Club Classics CD3 – Diana Ross

Something’s Changed – 100 Days, 100 Nights,  Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

A Change Is Gonna Come – The Man & His Music, Sam Cooke

Big Yellow Taxi – Ladies of the Canyon, Joni Mitchell

Changes – Hunky Dory, David Bowie

The Times They Are a Changin’ – Forever Young, Gifted & Black, Nina Simone

Take a Walk on the Wild Side – Transformer Lou Reed

Team Changes – Live From Madison Square Garden Cd1, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood

Talkin’ Bout a Revolution – Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman

I Can Change feat. Snoop Dogg – Get Lifted, John Legend

Don’t Change – Between Last Night and Us, The Audreys

Across The Universe – Let It Be, The Beatles

Next week: MORE CRED WHEN DEAD

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


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