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FROM NOUGHT TO WHATEVER…

I decided to be more playful than usual this week as I set out to compile a playlist of song titles that mentioned numbers. Easy-peasy, you’re thinking. Sure, but there was a condition. The songs had to be played in numerical sequence. I got to choose from pop, rock, country & jazz so it couldn’t be that hard, right?  Right.

The show kicked off with LESS THAN ZERO by Elvis Costello and moved right into a beautiful track from Lamb, ZERO. Numero Uno was a piece of cake as I have already done a whole show  just on the #1 so plenty to choose from there. I decided that should go with my #1 favourite artist, Roy Orbison with a song from the album, Mystery Girl,  THE ONLY ONE.  Another fave took over the #2 spot:  Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston with IT TAKES TWO. And for #3 it was none other than the great Sarah Vaughan who, like a lot of us, only needs THREE LITTLE WORDS.

FOUR STRONG WINDS is a classic Canadian song by the legendary Canadian singer Neil Young. The perfect follow-up came from the adorable Nanci Griffith with LOVE AT THE FIVE AND DIME. Here she is performing live at the BBC:

The great reggae artist Gregory Isaacs, known as the ‘Cool Ruler’ sadly passed away late last year. His song SIX MONTHS filled the #6 spot and for #7 it had to be The White Stripes with SEVEN NATION ARMY. Such a shame that they’ve gone their separate ways.

There was only one #8 for this baby boomer: The Beatles with EIGHT DAYS A WEEK. And, for #9 Wilson Pickett with ENGINE NUMBER NINE, of course. Pure funk.

Brothers, by the Black Keys, was one of my album picks of 2010 so including TEN CENT PISTOL from that album was a no-brainer. Here they are performing live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Excellent.

Cyndi Lauper features on David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim’s concept album Here Lies Love which is based on the lives of Imelda Marcos and her nanny Estrella Cumpas.  The official video clip of  ELEVEN DAYS is set against a Philippine movie of 1965 “Iginuhit ng Tadhana: The Ferdinand E. Marcos Story”, starring Gloria Romero and Luis Gonzalez.

I do love a bit of gospel singing, so Buddy Greene was in with TWELVE GATES TO THE CITY. Dickie Thompson is also evangelical, but not in the usual sense. He sings about THIRTEEN WOMEN and only one man in town. Now if I was a bloke I’d say he was a lucky b…..d!  But being a woman, living in a small town, it sounds irritatingly familiar!

Next up, it was the genius that is Tiny Tim with all kinds of things to say about the number FOURTEEN. Not the usual Tiny Tim we’re used to hearing. I, for one, miss the ukelele I must admit. And I miss Tiny Tim who died of a heart attack in 1996 at the age of 64.

Number 15 in our playlist was another no-brainer: the almighty Radiohead with 15 STEPS. Here they are peforming live for their VH1 special:

We kept moving through the teenage years with gusto as Chuck Berry took the #16 spot with SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN. And then Janis Ian calmed everything down with her incredibly insightful tune, AT SEVENTEEN.

The  Stellas took the 18th spot with 18 from their 2008 album Cry Baby Cry.  Time then for another classic: Steely Dan’s HEY NINETEEN. “Way back in 1967….”


For all the Bluegrass fans, I had to include Jimmy Martin’s 20:20 VISION and then it was a nice piece of rockabilly, suggested by Andy, Eddie Cochran’s TWENTY FLIGHT ROCK.

Rappers 50 cent and Nate Dogg have 21 QUESTIONS for their girlfriend. Not sure us girls need that much interrogation, but hey what do I know? This video has already gathered over 35million hits on You Tube! With lines like “I loves you like a fat kid likes cake”. Go figure!

Lily Allen knows how to churn out pop tunes and 22 is a good example. We followed that with the wonderful Brothers Johnson and another soul standard,  STRAWBERRY LETTER 23.

Our two hours was almost up so only time for two more tunes in our attempt to get from zero to infinity.  The #24 spot was filled by Bobby Bland’s TWENTY FOUR HOUR BLUES and the finale was handed to Edwin Starr’s TWENTY FIVE MILES. OMG what a voice! Brilliant. Wish I’d been at this particular concert.


We’ll continue our numerical exercise next week, starting at #26. So why not send me a message with suggestions for that list which should probably limit itself from 26-51. Let’s see how we go.

Until then, here’s this week’s full playlist:

Less Than Zero – Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True Pop

Zero – Lamb,  Lamb

The Only One – Roy Orbison, Mystery Girl

It Takes Two – Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, Ready Steady Go! The Sixties Sound Of Motown [Disc 1]

Three Little Words – Sarah Vaughan, The Mercury Jazz Story [Disc 1]

Four Strong Winds – Neil Young, Comes a Time

Love at the Five and Dime – Nanci Griffith, The Last of the True Believers

Six Months – Gregory Isaacs, Brand New Me

Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes, Elephant

Eight Days A Week – The Beatles, Beatles For Sale

Engine Number Nine – Wilson Pickett , Chronicles

Ten Cent Pistol – The Black Keys, Brothers

Eleven Days – David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love

Twelve Gates To The City – Buddy Greene, A Few More Years

Thirteen Women – Dickie Thompson, Ultimate Rhythm & Soul Collection [Disc 1]

Fourteen – Tiny Tim, Girl

15 Step – Radiohead, In Rainbows

Sweet Little Sixteen – Chuck Berry, Yesterdays Gold Vol 07

At Seventeen – Janis Ian, Echoes Of The Radio [Disc 1]

18 – The Stellas, Cry Baby Cry

Hey Nineteen – Steely Dan, A Decade Of Steely Dan

20:20 Vision – Jimmy Martin

Twenty Flight Rock – Eddie Cochran, Big Artist Selection – Eddie Cochran

21 Questions – 50 Cent & Nate Dogg

22 – Lily Allen, It’s Not Me, It’s You

Strawberry Letter 23 – The Brothers Johnson, Strawberry Letter 23/The Very Best Of The Brothers Johnson

Twenty-Four Hour Blues – Bobby “Blue” Bland, Dreamer

Twenty-Five Miles – Edwin Starr

Next week:  FROM NOUGHT TO WHATEVER (Part 2)

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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SONGS WITH HANDCLAPS

HANDCLAPPING is not only a very useful and easy accompaniment on a music track, it also nearly always signifies a certain level of enthusiasm and joy. And I reckon that’s exactly the kind of show we needed right now, with the weather being so dreary. Clapping is used as a percussion element in many forms of music including Gospel, flamenco, electronic and pop. Shirley Ellis’s 1965 soul hit THE CLAPPING SONG was our opener and it perfectly fitted my criterion for this week’s playlist, with its reference to a favourite childhood game full of happy memories.

Outkast’s song, about a relationship in denial, HEY YA! is a crazy mix of soul, rock and everything in-between, including a chorus of handclapping that recalls the girl groups of the 60’s, 70’s funk and even pop fare like Toni Basil’s Mickey. Check out the amazing Andre 3000 performing the song live at the Grammy Awards:

A couple of rock’n’roll  icons who knew the value of a bit of handclapping were Eddie Cochran with his 1958 hit SUMMERTIME BLUES and Elvis Presley with RUBBERNECKIN’, released in 1969. Most songs written by the King of Rock n Roll had girls swooning and shaking and RUBBERNECKIN’ was no exception. A remix version, by Paul Oakenfield, was released in 2003 and managed to top the US charts. I chose to play the original, which also appeared in the King’s final feature film, Change of Habit. Here’s a clip from that film with loads of handclapping in evidence:

Contributing a little funk were The Meters with their HANDCLAPPING SONG and we followed with that great girl group, The Marvelettes, singing TOO MANY FISH IN THE SEA. The Marvelettes were Motown’s first successful singing girl group recording on the Tamla label. They set the precedent for Martha and the Vandellas and The Supremes.


If you’re after some God-fearing, gospel style clapping then there’s arguably none better than the Abyssinian Baptist Choir and SAID I WASN’T GOING TO TELL NOBODY. Sheer ecstacy for some but I get my thrills from singers such as Jenny Lewis and her band Rilo Kiley. They have a very simple yet effective song featuring handclapping, THE FRUG.

I don’t think Peter Noonan sang any of Herman’s Hermit songs without clapping along and CAN’T YOU HEAR MY HEARTBEAT is no exception. Check out the Noonan’s facial expression at 1:24. Love it that they didn’t take themselves too seriously.

Two more songs that feature a good dose of handclapping are DON’T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD by Santa Esmeralda and Rose Royce’s original version of CAR WASH. Scottish folk/rock group Stealers Wheel’s song, STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU, found a whole new audience when it featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Reservoir Dogs. I’d love to include a clip from this film but it just so happens that the song is the backdrop for the most confronting scene in the movie and I did want to keep things cheerful!

The Cars emerged from the New Wave movement of the late 70’s with a blend of punk minimalism, synth-pop and art rock. It’s hard to believe that it’s now ten years since lead singer and bassist, Ben Orr, died of pancreatic cancer. Here he is looking smoking hot on their 1979 release, LET’S GO.

One of the most creative and idiosyncratic musicians of the 1990s and 2000s is Beck with his collage of musical styles, ironic lyrics and quirky arrangements. Check out this clip of his song CLAP HANDS. Now this is what I call good dinner conversation.

The late country crossover artist, Eddie Rabbitt, has a great clappiing song that also pays tribute to the clapping of thunder. I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT was a perfect track to accompany our weather report.

HANDCLAPPING is a very convenient piece of musical improvisation and it comes in useful across all musical genres. It also makes for a pretty cheerful playlist. To further prove my point we included two tracks from 1982: John Mellencamp’s HURTS SO GOOD and Prince’s LITTLE RED CORVETTE.

With a name like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! it’s a given that this group would have to have a least one song with handclapping in their repertoire. The title CLAP YOUR HANDS has also been used by Aussie singer Sia. Here’s she is with her very quirky video clip:

When it comes to video clips, however, none does it better than Gorillaz. DIRTY HARRY is from their second album, Demon Days. Like the video for another of their tracks CLINT EASTWOOD, the video of DIRTY HARRY references the film of the same name. It’s the only Gorillaz music video, other than STYLO, to be filmed on location. For more info on Gorillaz go to:  http://www.gorillaz.com For now, simply check out this brilliant piece of animation:

Canadian singer Feist had a huge hit with her handclapping song,  1234. It was actually written by Australian singer songwriter Sally Seltmann, who records under the name New Buffalo. They met while touring together in Canada.

The Romantics livened things up somewhat with WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU. It’s from their self titled album of 1980 and was also released as a single. Jimmy Marinos, the band’s drummer is the lead vocalist and it did particularly well in Australia, where it reached #2 on the Australian Singles Chart. A real party starter.

Mott the Hoople’s song, ALL THE YOUNG DUDES, was written for them by David Bowie and can be found on the 1972 album of the same name. It’s regarded as one of glam rock’s anthems. Despite this, it’s one of the few songs on the list whose lyrics aren’t upbeat. According to Bowie, the song wasn’t intended to be ‘glamorous’ at all and carries a darker message of apocalypse. See what handclapping does for a song? Changes the mood and therefore the intent of the song completely.

Massive Attack’s Heligoland LP boasts a huge slate of guest vocalists, none more sultry than Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval. “Sultry” is probably a nice way of describing the Toby Dye directed video clip of PARADISE CIRCUS.  The clip is definitely for over 18s, so if you are interested I suggest you go to the Massive Attack Blog but this recommendation does come with a warning about explicit content. .

Less controversial were our next three songs starting with one of my favourites, Radiohead’s 15 STEP. We followed with The Clash and ROCK THE CASBAH and Queen with WE WILL ROCK YOU. Other than the last 30 seconds containing a guitar solo from Brian May, the song is generally set in a capella form, using only stamping and clapping as a rhythmic beat. Perfect for today’s theme.

We closed the show with one of the most inspirational songs that feature handclapping. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE celebrates what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday last Saturday.


If you would like to contribute to next week’s show, which will be on EYES AND SIGHT, I’d love to have your input. Just leave me a message in the comments area of this blog.

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

The Clapping Song – The Best Of Shirley Ellis, Shirley Ellis

Hey Ya! – The Love Below, Outkast

Rubberneckin’ – Treasures 64 To 69 [Disc 1], Elvis Presley

Summertime Blues – Music From The Movies, Eddie Cochran

Hand Clapping Song – Struttin, The Meters

Too Many Fish In The Sea – The Big Chill, The Marvelettes

Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody – Shakin’ The Rafters, The Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir

Frug – Rilo Kiley, Rilo Kiley

Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat – Their Greatest Hits, Herman’s Hermits

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – Tarantino Experience Take II, Leroy Gomez and Santa Esmeralda

Car Wash – Greatest Hits, Rose Royce

Rebel Rouser – Forest Gump Soundtrack, Duane Eddy

Stuck In The Middle With You – Reservoir Dogs, Stealers Wheel

Let’s Go – The Cars Greatest Hits, The Cars

Clap Hands – Guerolito, Beck

I Love A Rainy Night – Kick It Up, Eddie Rabbitt

Hurts So Good – American Fool, John Mellencamp

Little Red Corvette – 1999, Prince

Clap Your Hands! – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands – Clap Your Hands, Sia

Dirty Harry – Dirty Harry (Single), Gorillaz

1234 – The Reminder [Bonus Track], Feist

What I Like About You – Top Hits Of The 80’s (1980 [Disc 2]), The Romantics

All The Young Dudes – Rock Classics 60’s & 70’s Volume 2, Mott The Hoople

Paradise Circus feat. Hope Sandoval – Heligoland, Massive Attack

15 Step – In Rainbows, Radiohead

Rock The Casbah – Story of the Clash, Volume 1 [Disc 1], The Clash

We Will Rock You – News Of The World, Queen

Give Peace A Chance – Lennon [Disc 1], John Lennon

Next week:  SONGS ABOUT EYES AND SIGHT

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

MACHINES, ROBOTS, COMPUTERS

I purchased my first Apple Computer in 1984 and have been a faithful user ever since. Personal computers were still fairly uncommon then even though, in 1982, Time magazine had declared them the first non-human recipient of its “person of the year” award. “The ‘information revolution’ that futurists have long predicted has arrived”, declared the magazine, “bringing with it the promise of dramatic changes in the way people live and work, perhaps even in the way they think. The world will never be the same.” How right they were.

But everything Time magazine said, in hundreds of words, had already been expressed the year before in the song that opened our program: HOME COMPUTER by Kraftwerk, and in just two lines of lyrics too! “I program my home computer, beam myself into the future.” The group has been incredibly influential ever since. Am I the only one to recognize the theme to Six Feet Under in there somewhere?

Music’s relationship with intelligent machines has been a mass of contradiction. On the one hand, there are songs that express a fear of technology – the harshness the unreliability and the lack of humanity. And on the other, there are songs that yearn for the simple life that machines seem to offer, especially when it comes to your love life. Way back in the 60’s Connie Francis was of the opinion that a ROBOT MAN would solve all her problems. Years later, in 2004,  Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls also thought that an artificial partner could possibly have its advantages. The song was COIN OPERATED BOY.

YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS Pt 1 is from The Flaming Lips’ high concept album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. The Lips were in top form in 2002 when this track was released. Apparently, the total destruction of evil robots is the name of the game here. More from the mighty Kraftwerk in the form of POCKET CALCULATOR: “By pressing down a special key, it plays a little melody”. That one was for all the book-keepers and accountants out there.

On a show about machines we had to have a song about a Juke Box and what better than Joan Jett, with I LOVE ROCK N ROLL: Yeah, “Put another dime in the jukebox baby”. Other machines included a TIME MACHINE from Grand Funk Railroad and a FRUIT MACHINE from the Tings Tings. As Katie White tells it, she’s fed up with being treated like a gambling device.

Gary Numan and Tubeway Army recorded DOWN IN THE PARK in 1979. It was Numan’s first composition on keyboards and his first release to feature the electronic sound that would become his tradmark. The theme of the song is typical of Numan’s work at the time as it both embraced and feared technology. Here’s a clip from the DVD Urgh! A Music War (1981). Lady Gaga, eat your heart out:

Sufjan Stevens’ contribution to our theme was DEAR MR. SUPERCOMPUTER, from his Avalanche album,  and we followed with Electric Light Orchestra and YOURS TRULY 2095 where we are asked to pity the “cold as ice” IBM that must tolerate a two-timing user.

Melbourne based, Swedish artist Jens Lekman’s  A POSTCARD TO NINA has a shaky connection to this weeks theme. It’s really about him acting as a cover for a friend who is a lesbian but she doesn’t want her family to know. There is a mention of emails, and – wait for it – a lie detector – so hey, how could I leave it out? It’s also quite a nice song. Here’s a clip from a concert he did in Melbourne in 2006. His guitar died, so he played on the uke. Gorgeous. And love the reference to cult film ‘Buffalo 66″.

Are you a fan of Flight of the Conchords? I am. The song ROBOTS, also known as “Humans Are Dead”,  is sung by both Bret and Jermaine. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic “distant future” where all humans are dead and robots have taken over the world. Within the context of the plot of the show, it’s the band’s first music video. Since the band has very limited funds, Murray constructs the robot costumes himself, (“they don’t look like Daft Punk -we wanted ones like Daft Punk”),  and films the video using a mobile phone. Crazy stuff.

Hip-hop trio Deltron 3030 gave us a cartoon villain who loves the idea of creating a “VIRUS to bring dire straits to your environment”.  It’s from their debut album Deltron 3030, released in 2000.

The only cover of a Who song to reach the Top 10, anywhere, is  Elton John’s version of PINBALL WIZARD. It was featured in Ken Russell’s film version of the Tommy opera. The lyrics are forever planted in every baby boomer’s consciousness: “that deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball.” Here’s an outtake from the film. Makes me want to play pinball again!

James Brown reckons he’s a SEX MACHINE and who am I to argue? Well we had to have at least one song about man as machine didn’t we? And James Brown is the bomb.

I had to play, not one, but, two tracks from Radiohead’s OK COMPUTER ALBUM. First up it was FITTER, HAPPIER. It consists of samples of  music, background sound and lyrics recited by a synthesized voice from the Macintosh Simple Text application. Written after a period of writer’s block, FITTER HAPPIER was described by Thom Yorke as a checklist of slogans for the 1990s, which he considered, the most upsetting thing he’s ever written. We followed with one of their biggest hits, PARANOID ANDROID. This clip was filmed at the 2003 Glastonbury Festival. I so wished I’d been there!

A nice piece of R&B followed with COMPUTER LOVE by Zapp Roger,  featuring vocals by Shirley Murdock and Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band. And then it was Robin Gibb’s interesting attempt at reinventing himself in the 80’s with ROBOT. Sort of a techno/reggae/disco sound. Not sure what I think of it.

Swedish pop star Robyn contributed ROBOT BOY and then it was back to some electro with Daft Punk’s ROBOT ROCK. I’m not crazy about this French duo but of all their releases ROBOT ROCK is one of their best.

More to my liking is the theme to ROBOT CHICKEN, from the cult stop motion animated television series. Brilliant stuff. It was written by Primus lead man Les Claypool.

Styx contributed their classic ROBOTO, from their concept album Kilroy Was Here. The lines in the chorus DOMO ARIGATO, MR ROBOTO have become a catchprase and mean ‘
thank you very much’ in Japanese.

Kraftwerk deserved another outing. This German band came to prominence in the 70’s and 80’s and their distinctive sound was revolutionary then and continues to be highly influential across many genres of music today. We closed the show with COMPUTER WORLD.

This was my last week in the 2-4pm time slot. I’ll still be broadcasting on Tuesdays but I’m very happy to be moving to Drive Time 4-6pm. I hope you’ll continue to tune in to find out what crazy themes I get up to. I’ve been influenced by the move to create a playlist next week based on CHANGE. So if you have any requests, please get in touch.  I’d love to hear from you.

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Home Computer – Kraftwerk

Robot Man – Connie Francis

Coin Operated Boy  – The Dresden Dolls

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt. 1 – The Flaming Lips

Pocket Calculator – Kraftwerk

Percolator – The Ventures

I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett

Time Machine – Grand Funk Railroad

Fruit Machine – The Ting Tings

Down In The Park –  Gary Numan

Dear Mr. Super Computer – Sufjan Stevens

Yours Truly, 2095 – Electric Light Orchestra

A Postcard To Nina – Jens Lekman

Danger Will Robinson! (Sound grab from Lost in Space)

Robots – Flight Of The Conchords

Virus – Deltron 3030

Pinball Wizard – Elton John

Sex Machine – James Brown

Fitter Happier – Radiohead

Paranoid Android – Radiohead

Computer Love – Zapp & Roger

Robot – Robin Gibb

Robotboy – Robyn

Robot Rock – Daft Punk

Robot Chicken Theme  – Les Claypool

Mr. Roboto – Styx

Computer World – Kraftwerk

All tracks available on iTunes.

Next week: CHANGE

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


DUETS

I had a lot of fun getting this week’s list together because there’s just so much to choose from when it comes to DUETS. We opened with the perfectly pitched IT TAKES TWO from Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston. The hit single was released in 1966 on Motown’s Tamla label.

Iggy Pop and Deborah Harry do an amazing job with WELL DID YOU EVAH. Who would have thought that Cole Porter’s quaint double act from the film High Society,originally sung by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, would be handled so well by two punk icons? Here’s a treat: a video created by director Alex Cox (“Sid & Nancy”), that incorporates some of High Society/Frank & Bing with Iggy and Deb’s version. Great stuff:

We followed with the  hilariously argumentative Otis Redding and Carla Thomas with TRAMP and then some more Marvin Gaye, this time with Tammi Terrell. Until Tammi’s  death from a brain tumour in 1970, she and Marvin Gaye were regarded as Motown’s perfect pairing. Choosing the “best” of Gaye’s duets with Terrell is a little crazy, but I chose REAL THING over the much covered ‘Aint No Mountain High Enough’ which seems to get enough exposure without my help.

Time then for a boy on boy duet: Freddy Mercury and David Bowie’s anxious little melodrama, UNDER PRESSURE.  Born out of an impromptu jam session, it evolved into one of the most inspiring musical moments of the 1980s.

Dusty Springfield and the Pet Shop Boys’ rendition of  WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS? helped revive Dusty’s career in the U.S. when it was released in 1987. We followed with SOMETIMES ALWAYS from Jim Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain and his singing partner Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star. Here’s a clip of them performing live at the MTV studios:

Let’s face it, country music is the spiritual home of the duet.  Two great examples: Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood with the wonderful and haunting SOME VELVET MORNING and  JACKSON from Johnny Cash and June Carter.

Iggy Pop seems to love to duet. Last week he featured with Peaches and this week he turns up twice; this time with Kate Pierson of the B-52s. The song?  CANDY is the tale of an ex-con reaching out to his lost love after 20 years. It makes brilliant use of Iggy’s sly, world-weary baritone and Pierson’s sunny tones. The result is an modern-rock classic. Take a look:

PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke, of Radiohead, offered up THIS MESS WE’RE IN. It’s kind of what you would expect from these two isn’t it?  Profoundly gloomy and yet impossibly beautiful. Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush aren’t quite as melancholic as she gives Pete some great lifestyle tips on their gorgeous duet DON’T GIVE UP.

Another wonderful duet is COME ON OVER,  from Isobel Campbell (ex Belle & Sebastien) and Mark Langegan (ex Queens of the Stone Age).  Qualifies for probably the sexiest song on the list this week.

The Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry track  SEVEN SECONDS was a huge worldwide hit in 1994. The song is about the first seven seconds in a child’s life, when he or she is totally unaware of the problems and violence in the world. A timeless classic:

Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris cover Roy Orbison’s LOVE HURTS and do a pretty good job of it but we had to have the real thing and the stand-out duet has to be Roy Orbison and kd lang with, of course, CRYING. Now you didn’t think I’d leave that one out did you?

Another goodie that takes a more optimistic viewpoint of partnerships: Chrissie Hynde performing I’VE GOT YOU BABE with UB40. This cover of Sonny & Cher’s signature tune was recorded in 1985 and reached #1 in the UK that year, as did the original 20 years earlier.

Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty do a great version of STOP DRAGGIN MY HEART AROUND and Tina Turner and Brian Adams aren’t half bad either with their cover of Robert Palmer’s ADDICTED TO LOVE.

We followed with a brilliant triple-play: Ray Charles and Gladys Knight with HEAVEN HELP US ALL from the Genius Loves Company album, the great Jackie Wilson and Laverne Baker with THINK TWICE and Al Green and Lyle Lovett singing FUNNY HOW TIME SLIPS AWAY. Here’s proof positive that white men from Texas do have soul:

Another terrific triple play: Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan with ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS followed by Nick  Cave and Kylie Minogue with WHERE THE WILD ROSES GROW and the piece de resistance, in my book, Jack White and Loretta Lynn with PORTLAND OREGAN from Loretta’s amazing album Van Lear Rose. Love the album, love this song, love this clip:

But when it came to closing the show I couldn’t go past a piece of music that sums up, what has to be, a perfect pairing: Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald singing DANCING CHEEK TO CHEEK. Recorded in 1957 and accompanied by the Oscar Petersen trio and Buddy Rich on drums, you can’t listen to this song without smiling. As the song goes “Heaven, I’m in heaven….”

Next week’s show falls on the 12th of January – My Birthday!  Yes I’m a Capricorn, just like Elvis, David Bowie, Annie Lennox …. Ah ha, I’m in great company. So in honour of all of us having birthdays, next week’s theme is GOING OUT AND PARTYING. Send me your suggestions.

Thanks for all your support this year. Have a wonderful 2010! Here’s this week’s playlist:

It Takes Two – Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston
Well Did You Evah – Deborah Harry & Iggy Pop
Tramp – Otis Redding & Carla Thomas
Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Under Pressure – Freddy Mercury & David Bowie
What Have I Done To Deserve This? – Pet Shop Boys & Dusty Springfield
Sometimes Always – The Jesus And Mary Chain (Jim Reid)/Hope Sandoval
Musica Cubana Duo de Pianos – Bebo & Chucho Valdés
Some Velvet Morning – Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood
Jackson – Johnny Cash & June Carter
Candy – Iggy Pop & Kate Pierson
This Mess We’re In – PJ Harvey & Thom Yorke (of Radiohead)
Don’t Give Up – Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush
Come On Over – Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan
Seven Seconds – Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry
Love Hurts – Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris
Crying – Roy Orbison & kd lang
I Got You Babe – UB40 With Chrissy Hynde
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty
Addicted To Love (Live) – Tina Turner/Brian Adams
Think Twice. – Jackie Wilson & Laverne Baker
Funny How Time Slips Away – Al Green & Lyle Lovett
Heaven Help Us All – Ray Charles & Gladys Knight
One Too Many Mornings – Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash
Where The Wild Roses Grow – Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue
Portland Oregon – Jack White/Loretta Lynn
Haunted – Shane MacGowan and Sinead O’Connor
Dancing Cheek to Cheek – Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald

Next week: GOING OUT AND PARTYING

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time.

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

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GOODBYE TO THE NOUGHTIES

This week at the Theme Park I’ve been totally indulgent. The theme, GOODBYE TO THE NOUGHTIES, allowed  me to play a selection of my favourite tracks from the past decade.

We opened the program with M.I.A. and her breakthrough hit, PAPER PLANES, in which she samples The Clash, brags about being a so-called terrorist, and uses gunshots and a cash register as the focus of the song’s chorus. A wonderfully innovative piece of music that satirises the very real fear of terrorism that swept the globe during the Noughties.

The other interesting bit about M.I.A. is that she came to prominence in early 2004 through file sharing her singles on the Internet. Ten years ago no one was listening to music on anything other than a radio or CD player. Now it’s on your phone, your iPod, your computer and your TV. Pro Tools is no longer just for pros and with basic software, we can make our own music and share it on the World Wide Web. We can even make a video clip and put it up on YouTube. We could, theoretically, also program our own radio station. And then there’s podcasting, blogging and, not to mention Facebook and Twitter. Whew. If the Noughties stand out for one thing, it’s that technology has revolutionised the entertainment business with its peer-to-peer digital communication. Goodbye conventional notions of creativity and distribution, hello independent artist. Viva La Revolution, I say.

Outkast released their double album Speakerboxx/The Love Below in 2003 and it’s a classic example of the decade’s soul/dance/hip hop fusion. The expansive, split-personality masterwork paved the way for artists like Kanye West, Dizzee Rascal and others. In the same year The White Stripes released their attention-getting rock album Elephant.  Check out SEVEN NATION ARMY:

LCD Soundsystem’s LOSING MY EDGE is a fabulous piece of satire that puts the boot into the ageing hipster who depends on an encyclopedic knowledge of cultural references to keep him or her relevant. Sound like anyone you know? Hilarious and scary, all at the same time.

Amy Winehouse’s YOU KNOW I’M NO GOOD has got that classic soul sound. Mix it up with some unfortunate self-destructive tendencies, and you have one of my favourite singer/songwriters of the decade. Just forget the tabloid sensationalism, close your eyes and listen to the Back to Black album.  Heaven.

Another great singer songwriter is Lucinda Williams. WORLD WITHOUT TEARS is the kind of song she does best.  It’s from her 2003 album of the same name. Seemingly tragic, the song is really a celebration of life over death. Here she is performing the song live.

And now for something completely different! Swedish group Hellsongs’s cover of AC/DC’s THUNDERSTRUCK can only be described as Lounge Metal. They’re an acoustic three-piece. Check it out. You’ll either love it or hate it. I love it:

What can you say about Tom Waites? He’s just the bomb. His Real Gone album of 2004 is almost brutal in its authenticity. The track we played, GREEN GRASS, is melancholic, bluesy, disturbing and hynotic. “Don’t say goodbye to me. Describe the sky to me. And if the sky falls, Mark my words, We’ll catch mocking birds.”  Wow.

Possibly one of the Noughties best rap artists is Eminem. On one of the most original rap

tracks of the decade, STAN, he is ably assisted by another terrific artist, Dido.  A great combination. The Noughties was also the decade of the mashup/bootleg. A STROKE OF GENIUS, by Freelance Hellraiser combines an instrumental edit of The Strokes track ‘Hard to Explain’ with Christina Aguilera’s pop hit ‘Genie in a Bottle’ and is probably still one of the best examples of the genre.  This is where the sum is so much better than its parts. Sort of like peanut butter and chocolate ice-cream. Who thought the combination could be so good?

If you want to listen to perfect rock n roll you can’t go past Queens of the Stone Age and their track NO ONE KNOWS.  Here’s why:

I was really happy to receive Roseanne Cash’s new album The List for Christmas. Lots of great tracks to choose from but, for this show,  it had to be SEA OF HEARTBREAK which she sings with a little help from Bruce Springsteen. Her Dad, Johnny Cash, gave Roseanne a list of songs that he felt it was essential for her to know and she held onto that list for 35 years. Finally the time was right and she has chosen 12 songs from that original list of 100 for this great album.

Another great album is Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, released in 2002; my favourite track from the album is JESUS etc. Superb. Check it out:

Two of the decades most successful rock bands also made an appearance: Kings of Leon with SEX ON FIRE and Green Day with BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS. But my favourite rock band has to be Radiohead. We played a track from their 2007 album, IN RAINBOWS. Now this album is particularly interesting because it was initially released through the band’s own website as a digital download for which customers could make whatever payment that they wanted, including nothing; the site only advised, “it’s up to you”. Reportedly 1.2 million copies were sold by the first day of release. In March 2008 aniBoom, together with Radiohead’s label TBD REcords, launched the In Rainbows Animated Music Video Contest. Animators from all over the world competed. Out of over one thousand entries, Radiohead chose four grand winners. Each winner received $10,000 to complete their submission. This animation by Japanese artists Kota and Totori perfectly illustrates the track we played: 15 STEP.

The Strokes, in my mind, were one of the first great rock album of the Noughties. Nine years later I still love listening to LAST NITE and all the other tracks on the very cool Is This It album. Another ‘must include’ are Arcade Fire and the track I chose was WAKE UP from their album FUNERAL, released in 2005. They mix the playfulness of Talking Heads with the Gothic quality of The Cure but it’s a sound that is entirely their own. Actually they are just a bunch of nerds having fun. Gotta love that.

I closed the show with the most outrageous of the decade’s gender benders. Lady Ga Ga has nothing on Peaches.  And who better to help her out than Bad Boy Iggy Pop. The track is KICK IT. Who said punk was dead?

Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve. Play safe and drive carefully. Here’s the complete playlist:

Paper Planes – M.I.A.
Hey Ya – Outkast
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
Losing My Edge – LCD Soundsystem
Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On) – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
You Know I’m No Good – Amy Winehouse
Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
World Without Tears – Lucinda Williams
Thunderstruck – Hellsongs
Green Grass – Tom Waits
Stan – Eminem/Dido
Take Your Mama Out – Scissor Sisters
A Stroke of Genius (The Strokes vs Christina Aguilera) – Freelance Hellraiser
Do You Realize?? – The Flaming Lips
No One Knows – Queens Of The Stone Age
Beautiful Day – U2
Sea Of Heartbreak – Rosanne Cash Feat. Bruce Springsteen
Jesus, etc. – Wilco
Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day
Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon
15 Step – Radiohead
Dream – Priscilla Ahn
Last Night – The Strokes
Wake Up – The Arcade Fire
Kick It (With Iggy Pop) – Peaches

Next week: DUETS

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time.

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

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UNREQUITED LOVE

Image0001Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the one-sided love affair? If we were rational we’d acknowledge that its simply addictive emotional masochism; the more unsuitable or unattainable the object of desire, the stronger the fascination.  But when you’re madly in love with someone who doesn’t know you exist, being rational is the furthest thing from your mind. We’ve all been there. You feel like the walking wounded, the unloved one, the handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space! Charlie Brown says it best: “Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter like UNREQUITED LOVE.”

We opened the show with THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA from one of the best bossa nova singers ever,  Astrud Gilberto, performing with Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz. There really was a girl from Ipanema – a 15 year old called Heloisa Pinto who used to walk past the Rio bar frequented by the songwriters,Vinicius Morais and Antonio Jobim.  The song is a sweet tribute to the totally unattainable as well as an ode to youth. This music video is from the 1964 film “Get Yourself a College Girl”:

KILLING ME SOFTLY WITH HIS SONG has been covered by many artists, most notably by Roberta Flack, whose 1973 version topped the U.S. pop singles charts and won a Grammy Award. We opted to play the equally successful 1996 version, simply called KILLING ME SOFTLY,  by Hip-Hop group The Fugees with Lauryn Hill on lead vocals.

200px-Dolly_Parton_I_willWhitney Houston’s version of I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, released in 1992,  became one of the best-selling singles of all time. It was written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton and her poignant and bittersweet version, with Parton’s trademark twang,  was my choice this week.

220px-Billy_Bragg_shot_by_Kris_KrugI had to include Billy Bragg’s gentle, yet disturbing, song about a classroom crush, THE SATURDAY BOY, even if it was just for the line: ”I had to look in the dictionary/ To find out the meaning of unrequited.” The Violent Femmes’ upped the ante with a song about repressed lust.  ADD IT UP has Gordon Gano promising himself, ‘the day after today I will stop’, but the music’s pent-up passion suggests otherwise.

When I announced this week’s theme there was lots of correspondence regarding which genre of Temptationsmusic does ‘unrequited love’ best. Yes, I agree with BayFM’s Cowboy Sweetheart that country singers have it pretty much all sewn up, but you can’t go past a little soul music when it comes to love songs, requited or not.  A couple of examples: JUST MY IMAGINATION from the Temptations and CUPID from Sam Cooke. And I didn’t forget the soulful sound of Ray Charles with YOU DON’T KNOW ME, delivering a duet with Diana Krall, from his Genius Loves Company album.

Joe Jackson is wonderfully incredulous when he asks: IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM? The Cars, on the other hand,  are obsessed with their BEST FRIEND’S GIRL while  Bowling For Soup are going nuts over the  GIRL ALL THE BAD BOYS WANT. I love a band with a sense of humour. Check out the video from Bowling For Soup. By the way, the band’s name was derived from a comedy act by Steve Martin.

Now if you need convincing that country singers are the kings and queens of the lovelorn, here’s Patsy Cline with I FALL TO PIECES, from the Glenn Reeves Show, February 23, 1963.

LAYLA by the Eric Clapton’s group, Derek & The Dominos, is a tale of unrequited love inspired by Clapton’s relationship with his friend George Harrison’s then wife, Pattie Boyd Harrison. Here’s a video clip from 1984 of Eric Clapton peforming the song live with Bill Wyman on bass, Charlie Watts on drums, Jeff Beck on guitar, Stevie Winwood on piano …. have I died and gone to heaven? 

A song that elevates lovelorn moping to operatic heights is Ben E King’s I WHO HAVE NOTHING and another, possibly,  is Dionne Warwick’s WALK ON BY, written by Burt Bacharach and David Hal. It was recorded by Warwick in 1964 and became a landmark single for her.

A year later Donovan released his first single, CATCH THE WIND, and in 1967 The Small Faces recorded TIN SOLDIER, a song Steve Marriott wrote to his first wife Jenny. The song signalled a return to the band’s R&B roots after their previous forays into psychedelic rock and other musical experiments. P.P. Arnold can be heard singing back up vocals. Here’s some rare footage of The Small Faces with P.P. Arnold performing on Belgium television. The year was 1968. Go the Mods!

Written by the Bee Gees, IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU was given to Yvonne Elliman when the group became involved in the soundtrack for the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever. She scored  a #1 hit in the US with the track. 

Going a bit further back in time is the Everly Brothers version of ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM. Recorded in 1958, it was recorded in just two takes and features Chet Atkins on guitar. The B side “Claudette” was the first major songwriting success for Roy Orbison. Two years later, Orbison recorded ONLY THE LONELY, his first major hit. An operatic rock ballad, it was a sound unheard of at the time, described by the New York Times as expressing “a clenchied, driven urgency.” Here’s Roy performing the song during the Black & White Night concert. No-one does it like the Big O.

From the sublime to the ridiculous:  a teenager falls in love with a pin-up girl, in a picture dated 1929, in The Who’s PICTURES OF LILY and Fountains of Wayne sing about a schoolboy’s lust for his friends mother in STACEY’S MUM

And then it was a couple of classics: FOR NO ONE from The Beatles Revolver album, written by Paul McCartney and a track from one of my all-time favourite albums,  I’M WAITING FOR THE DAY from the Beach Boys Pet Sounds album.

In an effort to shake the lovelorn out of the doldrums, we closed the show with Radiohead’s masterpiece of poetic self-loathing, CREEP.

Here’s the complete playlist:

 

The Girl from Ipanema 5:24 Astrud Gilberto / João Gilberto / Stan Getz Pure Jazz Jazz Latin 2
Killing Me Softly (orig. Roberta Flack) 4:43 The Fugees The Score Hip-Hop 2
I Will Always Love You 3:04 Dolly Parton Country 2
Diary 3:08 Bread The Best Of Bread Classic Rock 3
The Saturday Boy 3:28 Billy Bragg Back To Basics Alternative 2
Add It Up (language) 4:44 Violent Femmes Violent Femmes Alternative 2
Cupid 2:32 Sam Cooke R&B 9
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) 3:48 The Temptations ’71 My Girl: The Very Best Of The Temptations [Disc 2] Motown 5
You Don’t Know Me 3:55 Ray Charles & Diana Krall Genius Loves Company Easy Listening 4
Strange And Beautiful (I’ll Put A Spell On You) 3:30 Aqualung (Matt Hales) Rock Ballad 1
Is She Really Going Out With Him 3:35 Joe Jackson Greatest Hits Pop 4
My Best Friend’s Girl 3:44 The Cars The Cars Rock 2
Girl All the Bad Boys Want 3:18 Bowling For Soup Now That’s What I Call Music 53 Alternative
White Flag 3:35 Dido Pop 2
My Eyes Adored You 3:34 Frankie Valli  & the Four Seasons Easy Listening 6
I Fall To Pieces 2:52 Patsy Cline Sweet Dreams Country 1
Layla (1990) 7:04 Derek & The Dominos (Eric Clapton) Goodfellas/Scorsese (1990) Rock 6
I’ll Kill Her (2008) 3:52 SoKo EP 1 Alternative & Punk 3
I Who Have Nothing 2:25 Ben E. King & Percy Sledge & Brook Benton R&B 5
Walk On By 2:58 Dionne Warwick The Dionne Warwick Collection Easy Listening 4
Catch The Wind 2:21 Donovan British Invasion Vol. 2 Folk 8
Tin Soldier 3:19 Small Faces The The Woodstock Generation: Out of Time Rock 1
If I Can’t Have You 3:01 Yvonne Elliman Saturday Night Fever – The Ori Disco 2
All I Have To Do Is Dream 2:22 The Everly Brothers Rock/country 2
Only The Lonely 2:27 Roy Orbison The Essential Roy Orbison (Disc 1) Rock 8
Pictures Of Lily 2:45 The Who The Ultimate Collection Rock 5
Stacey’s Mom 3:18 Fountains of Wayne Welcome Interstate Managers Pop 6
For No One 2:02 The Beatles Revolver Pop 2
I’m Waiting For The Day 3:06 The Beach Boys Pet Sounds [Bonus Tracks] Rock 2
Creep (language) 3:57 Radiohead Pablo Honey Rock 6

The Girl from Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto / João Gilberto / Stan Getz

Killing Me Softly  – The Fugees

I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton

Diary – Bread

The Saturday Boy – Billy Bragg

Add It Up  – Violent Femmes

Cupid – Sam Cooke

Just My Imagination  – The Temptations 

You Don’t Know MeRay Charles & Diana Krall

Strange And Beautiful (I’ll Put A Spell On You) –  Aqualung

Is She Really Going Out With Him Joe Jackson

My Best Friend’s Girl The Cars

Girl All the Bad Boys WantBowling For Soup

White Flag Dido

My Eyes Adored You Frankie Valli  & the Four Seasons

I Fall To Pieces Patsy Cline

Layla Derek & The Dominos 

I’ll Kill Her – SoKo

I Who Have Nothing Ben E. King 

Walk On By Dionne Warwick

Catch The Wind Donovan

Tin Soldier The Small Faces 

If I Can’t Have You Yvonne Elliman

All I Have To Do Is Dream The Everly Brothers

Only The Lonely Roy Orbison

Pictures Of Lily The Who

Stacey’s Mom Fountains of Wayne

For No One The Beatles

I’m Waiting For The Day The Beach Boys

Creep Radiohead

Next week, we’re celebrating Halloween with SCARY SONGS FOR SILLY PEOPLE (or is that SILLY SONGS FOR SCARY PEOPLE?).  Suggestions welcome.

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time.  

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

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

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