This week’s theme is ostensibly about shelter which in the dictionary sense is a building. But it’s hard to express a real sense of bricks and mortar in a song. Let’s face it, do you learn anything about being in jail from Jailhouse Rock? Convincing songs about buildings, or shelters, are really songs about the people who find themselves in them, by design or not.
We started this week’s playlist with music’s most famous home away from home – Elvis Presley’s HEARTBREAK HOTEL. You’ll find it down at the end of Lonely Street. We followed with Lucinda Williams who gets a little bit of help from Elvis Costello. He’s a three-time loser and consequently she’s got a case of JAILHOUSE TEARS. The track is from the very excellent ‘Little Honey’ album.
The Rolling Stones’ GIMME SHELTER is usually associated with the Vietnam War (it was released on the 1969 album Let It Bleed). The lyrics, which speak of seeking shelter from a coming storm, painting a picture of devastation and disaster but it also talks of the power of love. We followed with a fantastic Irish singer, Mary Coughlan with a song about prostitution: THE HOUSE OF ILL REPUTE.
Aretha Franklin funks up Hal David’s lyric, “a-house-is-not-a-home” on THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT and we followed with The Temptations, who prove that even Motown wasn’t immune to the Psychadelic era with PSYCHEDELIC SHACK.
Can you believe that Bob Dylan has turned 69? Yikes. We wished him happy birthday for May 24 with SHELTER FROM THE STORM. The Housemartins’ swansong was a song called BUILD, about the widespread construction in the 1980s that spelt disaster for working-class communities.
A nice change of tone came from the gorgeous Julie London who wants you to COME ON A MY HOUSE. And she’s got candy. How good is that?
MANSION ON THE HILL is a Neil Young song from his 1990 album ‘Ragged Glory’. The clip is an absolute hoot. Enjoy.
Norwegian singer/songwriter, Ane Brun, who recently toured Europe with Peter Gabriel, sings a great song about shelter called THE TREEHOUSE SONG. The Basement Jaxx song TAKE ME BACK TO YOUR HOUSE first appeared on their 2006 album ‘Crazy Itch Radio’. The album features Swedish popster Robyn among the guest vocalists. Another interesting video too:
Irma Thomas sent us a great message about the emotional refuge that a true friend can give you during hard times in the song SHELTER IN THE RAIN. Jimi Hendrix sings about his house on the hill; He’s got a bad, bad feeling his baby don’t live there no more. But, as he so eloquently puts it, ‘That’s Ok cause I’ve still got my guitar”. The song is RED HOUSE.
Blur had a big hit with a song that tapped into a common ideal of escaping the rat race and living in a COUNTRY HOUSE.
A SUGAR SHACK refers to a small building n which maple syrup is processed. Its also the name of a song written in 1962 by Keith McCormack and his aunt Fay Voss. It was a hit for Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs but I preferred to play the Ricky Nelson version.
Two songs that link houses with fire, at least metaphorically, are Natalie Merchant’s THIS HOUSE IS ON FIRE and BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE by Talking Heads.
Arguably the most idiosyncratic song in the playlist this week would be Mmmmm… SKYSCRAPER I LOVE YOU by Underworld, otherwise known to their Mums as Karl Hyde and Rick Smith. Not quite Kraftwerk, but still lots of fun.
The Rapture put a cowbell to good use in their very catchy dance-punk number, HOUSE OF JEALOUS LOVERS:
Elvis Costello celebrated the amazing art deco Hoover factory, that welcomes drivers entering London on the Western Avenue, in HOOVER FACTORY. While David Byrne, revisiting themes from his Talking Heads days, gave us GLASS, CONCRETE & STONE. It’s about a weary worker whose residence is “a house, not a home”. There’s that Hal David lyric again.
The ultimate shelter song for Byron Bay, with our own iconic lighthouse is, of course, THE LIGHTHOUSE SONG from Josh Pyke.
We finished the show on an upbeat note with the B-52s and LOVE SHACK. The song’s inspiration was a cabin in Georgia, complete with tin roof, where the band conceived “Rock Lobster”, a single from their first album. B-52’s singer Kate Pierson lived in the cabin in the 1970s, and the cabin existed until 2004, when it burned down in a fire.
The topic for next week’s show was requested some time ago by Nicole, but I’ve been waiting until I’m in the right mood. The theme is SEXY SONGS. Now I’m not suggesting that this is a playlist to have sex to. To be honest I don’t think I want to know what other people listen to in bed! Not all the songs will even be about sex, but they will have an erotic charge to them. And, yes, I know its all incredibly subjective but, hey, every week’s show is. And I may just have a very interesting giveaway for you too. This is one that shouldn’t be missed!
Here’s this week’s complete playlist:
Heartbreak Hotel – The 50 Greatest Hits (Disc 1), Elvis Presley
Jailhouse Tears – Little Honey, Lucinda Williams (with Elvis Costello)
Gimme Shelter – Hot Rocks, 1964-1971 [Disc 2], The Rolling Stones
The House of Ill Repute – Mary Coughlan
The House That Jack Built – 20 Greatest Hits, Aretha Franklin
Psychedelic Shack – My Girl: The Very Best Of The Temptations [Disc 2], The Temptations
Shelter From The Storm – Blood On The Tracks, Bob Dylan
Build – The Beautiful South & The Housemartins, The Housemartins
Come On -A My House – Swing Me An Old Song, Julie London
Rock House – Ultra Lounge, The Ernie Freeman Combo
Mansion On The Hill – Ragged Glory, Neil Young
The Treehouse Song – Ane Brun
Take Me Back To Your House – Triple J 14, Basement Jaxx
Shelter in the Rain – After the Rain, Irma Thomas
Red House – Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Jimi Hendrix
Country House – Blur
Sugar Shack – Ricky Nelson
This House Is on Fire – Motherland, Natalie Merchant
Burning Down The House – Classic MTV – Class of 1983, Talking Heads
Mmm.. Skyscraper I Love You – Underworld
House of Jealous Lovers – Echoes, The Rapture
Glass, Concrete & Stone – Grown Backwards, David Byrne
Hoover Factory – Get Happy!! Elvis Costello
The Lighthouse Song – Triple J Hottest 100, Vol. 16 [Disc 2], Josh Pyke
Love Shack – B-52s
Next week: SEXY SONGS
Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn