Sunday, May 31, 2020

May 31, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #491)

9:02 AM Big Boi • Be Still (featuring Janelle Monáe) • Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty • Def Jam

9:06 AM Soft Cell • What? • Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing • Sire

9:10 AM Baths • Fortuna • Pop Music / False B-Sides II • Basement's Basement

9:15 AM Beach Bunny • George Floyd (demo) • single • Mom + Pop

Saturday, May 30, 2020

May 30, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #490)

9:01 AM Charles Bradley • Changes • Changes • Daptone

9:07 AM Sam Phillips • Gimme Some Truth • Martinis & Bikinis • Virgin Records America

9:10 AM Edith Frost • Nothing Comes Around • Nothing Comes Around EP • Drag City

9:15 AM soccer mommy • I Think You're Alright • Soccer Mommy & Friends Single Series • Loma Vista

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Grading to Top 100 Billboard hits of 1981

1. Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes: A+
One of the greatest singles of the '80s, from an artist who, for the most part, was a creature of adult contemporary, who had more success writing songs for others. This was a radical reinterpretation of a Jackie DeShannon song that was done in a bluesy-folk pop style. The key to unlocking the new sound was a synth line from her keyboard player, and that created this new wave-inspired take. It opened up the verses and led to the cool, modern stylized atmosphere, and radically improved the tune. But this would be merely interesting if it wasn't for the superb performance by Carnes, with some of the best phrasing I've ever heard on a pop record. She really got who she was singing about, and she alternates from clipped, glib phrasing to full throated shouting, her raspy voice never sounding more appropriate for a song than this one. It should be noted that the entire Mistaken Identity album this comes off of is good, despite it's odd blend of Laurel Canyon pop-rock and a few other nods to new wave. Best of all, Carnes and Bette Davis became friends in real life.

2. Endless Love - Diana Ross and Lionel Richie: B-
One thing about this era of music was how many songs from crap movies and TV shows became big hits. This was from a Brooke Shields vehicle, and somehow two superstars (well, Richie was in the process of becoming a superstar) singing a big-ass ballad. Here, Richie dials down the subtlety of his best Commodores ballads, and dials up the schmaltz. Only the collective vocal prowess of this duo saves this song from sucking.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

May 24, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #489)

9:01 AM Madness • One Better Day • Keep Moving • Geffen

9:05 AM Laura Mvula • Like the Morning Dew • Laura Mvula With -- Metropole Orkest • Sony Music

9:09 AM Anna Fermin & The Trigger Gospel • The Box It Came In • Hard Headed Woman: A Celebration of Wanda Jackson • Bloodshot

9:14 AM The Magnetic Fields • I've Got a Date With Jesus • Quickies • Nonesuch

Saturday, May 23, 2020

May 23, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #488)

9:00 AM Mavis Staples • Dedicated • Livin' On A High Note • Anti-

9:04 AM Violent Femmes • Good Feeling • Violent Femmes • Slash

9:08 AM TALsounds • Instance • Acquiesce • NNA Tapes

9:13 AM Bedouine • All My Trials • single • Spacebomb

Sunday, May 17, 2020

May 17, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #487)

8:59 AM SZA • The Weekend • Ctrl • Top Dawg

9:03 AM Frank Black • Duke of Earl • November 1993 • Hello Recording Club

9:06 AM Evan Uhlmann • Bless You Babe • Tea Lady • Dog Legs

9:12 AM Sophie Jones with Michael Carpenter • Edge of Seventeen • Stevie • Big Radio

Saturday, May 16, 2020

May 16, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #486)

9:00 AM Little Simz • Flowers (feat. Michael Kiwanuka) • Grey Area • AWAL

9:04 AM Fiction Factory • (Feels Like) Heaven • Throw the Warped Wheel Out • CBS

9:07 AM Hamilton Leithauser • Here They Come • The Loves of Your Life • Glassnote

9:13 AM Moses Sumney • In Bloom • græ • Jagjaguwar

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Grading the Top 100 Billboard singles of 1980

1. Call Me - Blondie: A
This is a thrilling collaboration between Giorgio Moroder and Debbie Harry. The song was for the movie American Gigolo, starring Richard Gere. Moroder had an instrumental that he gave to Harry for her to write lyrics and a melody. The music is pulsing and urgent, while Harry came up with simple, direct lyrics that told the story of the character well. And the chorus is golden. Although the recording is very mechanistic, it still sounds a bit different with a band playing on it (though Moroder decided not to produce a full album with Blondie, due to in-fighting between band members).

2. Another Brick In the Wall - Pink Floyd: B+
This was a left field hit from the concept album fathered by Roger Waters about how every aspect of his young life led to him becoming a screwed up human being. The song has a funky aspect to it, from both the guitar and Nick Mason's drumming, which contrasts well with Waters' hectoring lyrics. The way the "hey, teacher, leave them kids alone" explodes out of this dyspeptic groove is very effective. The children's chorus works in spite of itself. I loved this song back in the day, but I like others on this album better now.

3. Magic - Olivia Newton-John: B+
Another winner from producer-writer John Farrar, who really knew how to tailor material for ONJ. This was on the soundtrack to the movie Xanadu. The song comes from a somewhat similar place as her prior hit "A Little More Love", and seems to mesh well with some of the material Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra developed for the soundtrack. The chorus relies on Olivia's wonderful upper range.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

May 9, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #485)

9:00 AM Cat Power • Woman Left Lonely • Jukebox • Matador

9:04 AM Jerry Butler • Chi-Town • The Singles • Charly

9:07 AM The Mountain Goats • Going to Lebanon 2 • Songs for Pierre Chuvin • Merge

9:14 AM Squirrel Flower • Take It or Leave It • single • Polyvinyl

Sunday, May 3, 2020

May 3, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #484)

9:03 AM Elliott Smith • L.A. • Figure 8 • Dreamworks

9:06 AM Labelle • Something in the Air/The Revolution Will Not Be Televised • Pressure Cookin' • RCA

9:12 AM Skylar Gudasz • Short Staying • Cinema • Suah Sounds

9:17 AM BC Camplight • I Only Drink When I'm Drunk • Shortly After Takeoff • Bella Union

Saturday, May 2, 2020

May 2, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #483)

9:01 AM Kamasi Washington • Testify • Heaven and Earth • Young Turks

9:07 AM Kelly Hogan • Sleeper Awake • I Like to Keep Myself in Pain • ANTI-

9:10 AM RJD2 • No Helmet Up Indianola • The Fun Ones • RJ's Electrical Connections

9:15 AM Ride • Clouds of Saint Marie • Clouds in the Mirror (This Is Not a Safe Place reimagined by Pêtr Aleksänder) • Wichita