May 092014
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

As of today, Billy Joel is eligible for Social Security. So, now that his money woes are assuredly a thing of the past, let’s get to celebrating his 65th birthday in the accomplished style he really and truly deserves.
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May 102013
 

In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.

Where I come from, Shel Silverstein was a demigod. —David Mamet

Shel Silverstein was the unofficial poet laureate of everyone’s childhood. His books — The Giving Tree, A Light In the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends — were instrumental in showing that kids could handle some of the adult themes in life without becoming degenerates, or maybe even that it was okay to be a degenerate. That’s not to say the bluenoses didn’t try to stop him: A Light in the Attic placed midway in the top 100 books banned from the 1990’s. Some bristled at Silverstein’s adult side, even though he saved his more salacious material for songs and adult poems that weren’t meant for children. That material is definitely a product of the sixties and seventies, detailing everything from every sexual fetish imaginable (“Freakin’ At the Freakers Ball”) to every drug available (“The Perfect High”). Some of it we’ll feature today, the 14th anniversary of his death (or at least of the day they found his body).  Read on. Continue reading »

Nov 302011
 

Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.

In “I Kissed a Girl,” Santana (Naya Rivera) grapples with being forced out of the closet while the show’s two elections (Kurt Hummel for student body president and Burt Hummel for Congress) enter their last days. Meanwhile, the competition between the New Directions glee club and rivals the Troubletones cools down as the groups come together to help Santana through her identity crisis.

Before we get too deep into this week’s episode, we need to backtrack a bit to our previous entry. I had mentioned how much I enjoyed last episode’s closing Adele mash-up, “Rumor Has It/Someone Like You,” and apparently I wasn’t the only one. Besides commenters and friends of this site, the music-buying public also voiced their support, giving Glee its best-performing single by far in a long, long time. “Rumor Has It/Someone Like You” hit number 11 on the U.S. charts; the next highest-charting song from this season, a cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You,” didn’t even crack the top 40 (it settled at 59). The last Glee song that did so well was actually one of their original numbers from the middle of season two, “Loser Like Me.” The last cover to rival the Adele mash-up’s performance was “Forget You,” which you may recall unfortunately featured Gwyneth Paltrow. Not a bad accomplishment for Glee‘s 300th song then, eh? Perhaps that mash-up signals a return to a more pop-oriented soundtrack after a first few months dominated by musical numbers. Continue reading »

Oct 202010
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Now known for a pretty good college football team, back in the “60s something else was brewing among the swamplands of Gainesville, Fl. A young man and soon-to-be musical legend by the name of Tom Petty was getting guitar lessons from Don Felder, an eventual member of The Eagles. Around the same time, Elvis Presley himself was filming Follow the Dream in a nearby town, and young Petty had a chance encounter with him. Must have been an interesting time to be a gator.

On his 60th birthday, it”s amazing to look not only at the Tom Petty hit machine, but also the legends he”s worked with. His work with the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys included jamming with the likes of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. His first duet was with Stevie Nicks for a song called “Insider” that was released on the Hard Promises album. And Petty lent his voice to a memorable episode of “The Simpsons,” where he taught Homer some skills at Rock “n Roll Fantasy Camp with the help of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz and Brian Setzer. Continue reading »