almostmainstream

“Havana Moon” by Chuck Berry

I like Berry’s non-carefree girls/rock/cars songs best, if only because they’re so rare. Listening to his fast stuff like “Maybellene” and “School Days” it’s obvious he’s a strong lyricist, but most of the time the material is so shrewdly aimed at teenagers. So when you get something like this, telling an actual story with actual depth of emotions, it’s that much more powerful. You wonder whether he would have been able to do more, if this tapped him out.

On a related note, I watched this movie on Sunday. If you like rock and roll AT ALL you should watch it if for nothing else than to see Chuck Berry completely give up on Keith Richards learning how to play one of his riffs properly.

"Shake for Me" by Howlin’ Wolf

I have been reading Keith Richards’ autobiography. One thing I’m loving about it is the fact that whenever he mentions a song or artist I haven’t heard I’m able to go over to Rdio and, for the most part, listen to what he’s talking about. It’s amazing. I remember when I started exploring old music way back in ye old year 2000 how difficult it was to hunt down some tracks, particularly obscurities or pre-1964 stuff. Now it’s all there. Full Bo Diddley albums, not just bargain-bin twelve-track compilations, Buddy Holly’s work with the Crickets— things I never could find in record stores up here and only had limited luck with obtaining my other means. So Howlin’ Wolf is one artist I’m finally delving into beyond two or three tracks. Lots more, too.

"Summer Rain" by U2

Went camping this weekend (hence the lack of a post yesterday). After weeks of cool weather and rain the forecast was calling for a modest 24 degrees with only 20% chance of precipitation. Naturally, it downpoured. But it’s gotten to the point where you just have to go for it— swimming in the rain isn’t so bad, especially since you’re already soaked.

"Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right" by Bob Dylan.

I was away this weekend, and I didn’t even bother posting songs. I know, selfish, right? So to make up for it I’m posting three songs today, starting with what should have been Sunday’s classic, a track from the birthday boy Bob Dylan. This is maybe the first non-ubiquitous Dylan song I heard, and the first that really spoke to me, even though I was just a high school kid. It’s simple, but powerful in a way I don’t think anyone else has ever captured again and again the way Dylan did.