Song 110, Sunday, 10/13/2013 -- Texture by Catherine Wheel, written by the four band members. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is just a still of the Ferment cover, but the song is a genuinely moving experience, even if the visual isn't. Hanging out with a friend some time in '93 or so, I noticed that I liked the music he had on his player, so I asked and he told me it was a new CD called Ferment by an English band called Catherine Wheel. I liked it enough to go get the CD soon after I heard my friend playing it, and I felt pretty good about this particular music purchase well before I'd heard the whole record. On this song I really like the opening guitar riff, which might sound a bit familiar to some, because the notes come straight out of the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. I always enjoy hearing rock musicians pull riffs from classical music and reset them in a rock frame.
Song 108, Friday, 10/11/2013 -- The Day Roy Orbison Died by The Marys, written by Don Brody. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is a bunch of stills of Roy, some of which apparently may not be available anywhere else. Friday being Friends' Day, today's song is by The Marys, which was a duo of Don Brody and Ann Walsh when I knew them in the early 1990s, and I thought they were just about the best musical thing happening in Hoboken at the time. I, along with many of Don's other musical friends, was truly saddened on The Day Don Brody died, in late December of 1997. I often wish that more people than the few of us who knew them and heard them perform could know about the music of Don Brody and The Marys.
Song 107, Thursday, 10/10/2013 -- Something Wild by John Hiatt, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The video is of John performing the song on Austin City Limits with a backup band, and it sounds pretty close to the record, though he also adds in an interesting and fun introduction. The video weirdly also includes his introduction to the next song, so maybe it could have been edited better, but these things sometimes happen on YouTube. Anyway, being a singer/songwriter type myself, I always like to see another one get some respect, especially when the song sounds this good and is this deserving of respect. John took a phrase from the '60s -- something really wild was the same as something really cool -- and he turned it into an evocative lyric idea that seems to go in 10 different directions at once, which is something really wild.
Song 106, Wednesday, 10/9/2013 -- Cannonball by The Breeders, written by Kim Deal. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. When does a riff tune not sound like a riff tune? When it sounds like this song. Some riff tunes, like Jumpin' Jack Flash and Space Cowboy, sound like riff tunes because the riff is the obvious driving force of the song, but Cannonball is just as much a riff tune, but in a less obvious, more understated way -- that hypnotic riff is the reason to keep coming back to hear this song over and over, but you might not notice because it's not out in front the way it often will be on a riff tune. To be clear, I hope this doesn't sound like I'm putting down riff tunes in any way -- some of the best rock and roll songs are riff tunes, and plenty of them show up on my list of favorites.
Song 105, Tuesday, 10/8/2013 -- Graduate by Third Eye Blind, written by Stephan Jenkins and Kevin Cadogan. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. From what I can tell by the comments about the video, the video maker is not connected with the band, but I liked the video enough that I think maybe the band should have paid him to make it. I find it an entertaining video that makes sense with the song, in contrast to so many music videos that shuffle in song performance segments with seemingly random visual imagery that may or may not relate to the words and/or the music in some way. Apart from the video, this song stands as a strong example of the rock and roll revival that happened in the 1990s, and its success is proof that the songwriters did graduate.
Song 103, Sunday, 10/6/2013 -- Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down, written by Brad Arnold, Matt Roberts and Todd Harrell. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. I like the way this song clearly conveys the feeling of carrying the world on your shoulders, knowing how that world might shatter if you make the wrong move and it falls off of your back. A person carrying that weight usually knows how the wrong decision could hurt the ones depending on him (or her), and how he (or she) won't look much like a comic book superhero if that happens.
Song 101, Friday, 10/4/2013 -- Gonna Get You There (O.F.I.F.O.T.O.) by Ilene Weiss, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. I like the video for this song quite a bit -- it has some good visuals, including a shot of a very young Ilene. Friday being Friend's Day, I first heard Ilene on a visit to Manhattan in the mid-'80s, when I dropped in on a showcase set she played at a little folk club in Greenwich Village, and I liked her set a lot. I got to meet her a few years later when I moved to Brooklyn, and when I started a folk coffeehouse in Park Slope with a couple of friends in the early '90s, we made sure to book her for a show there. I only heard this song recently, but it's a good example of the Ilene's songwriting approach -- simple and straightforward but with a bit of a bounce in the melody and a taste of understated humor between the lines.