Amandrai ~ Ali Farka Touré

Ali Farka TouréAli Ibrahim “Farka” Touré  was a Malian singer and multi-instrumentalist, and one of the African continent’s most internationally renowned musicians. His music is widely regarded as representing a point of intersection of traditional Malian music and its North American cousin, the blues. The belief that the latter is historically derived from the former is reflected in Martin Scorsese’s often quoted characterization of Touré’s tradition as constituting “the DNA of the blues”. Touré was ranked number 76 on Rolling Stone‘s list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and number 37 on Spin magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

He was born in 1939 in the village of Kanau, on the banks of the Niger River in the cercle of Gourma Rharous in the northwestern Malian region of Tombouctou. His family moved to the nearby village of Niafunké when he was still an infant. He was the tenth son of his mother but the only one to survive past infancy. “The name I was given was Ali Ibrahim, but it’s a custom in Africa to give a child a strange nickname if you have had other children who have died”, Touré was quoted as saying in a biography on his Record Label, World Circuit Records. His nickname, “Farka”, chosen by his parents, means “donkey”, an animal admired for its tenacity and stubbornness: “Let me make one thing clear. I’m the donkey that nobody climbs on!” Ethnically, he was part Songrai, part Fula.

As the first African bluesman to achieve widespread popularity on his home continent, Touré was often known as “the African John Lee Hooker”. Musically, the many superpositions of guitars and rhythms in his music were similar to John Lee Hooker’s hypnotic blues style. He usually sang in one of several African languages, mostly Songhay, Fulfulde, Tamasheq or Bambara as on his breakthrough album, Ali Farka Touré,  which established his reputation in the world music community.

His first North American concert was in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. 1994′s Talking Timbuktu, a collaboration with Ry Cooder, sold promisingly well in Western markets, but was followed by a hiatus from releases in America and Europe. He reappeared in 1999 with the release of Niafunké, a more traditional album focusing on African rhythms and beats. Touré was the mentor and uncle of popular Malian musician Afel Bocoum.

Some of Ali Farka Touré’s songs and tunes have been used in different programmes, films and documentaries. For instance, his guitar riff on the song “Diaraby”, from the album Talking Timbuktu, was selected for the Geo-quiz segment of The World PRI-BBC program, and was retained by popular demand when put to a vote of the listeners. This song is likewise used in 1998 as a soundtrack for the film L’Assedio  (Besieged) by the Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci. His songs Cinquante sixGoye Kur and Hawa Dolo from the album The Source are also used as a soundtrack in the French film Fin août, début septembre (Late August, Early September) directed in 1998 by Olivier Assayas. The song “Lasidan” was featured in the award winning documentary “Sharkwater” by Rob Stewart.

In 2002 he appeared with Black American blues and reggae performer Corey Harris, on an album called Mississippi to Mali (Rounder Records). Toure and Harris also appeared together in Martin Scorsese’s 2003 documentary film Feel Like Going Home, which traced the roots of blues back to its genesis in West Africa. The film was narrated by Harris and features Ali’s performances on guitar and njarka.

In 2004 Touré became mayor of Niafunké and spent his own money grading the roads, putting in sewer canals and fuelling a generator that provided the impoverished town with electricity.

In September 2005, he released the album In the Heart of the Moon, a collaboration with Toumani Diabaté, for which he received a second Grammy award. His last album, Savane, was posthumously released in July 2006. It was received with wide acclaim by professionals and fans alike and has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the category “Best Contemporary World Music Album”. The panel of experts from the World Music Chart Europe (WMCE), a chart voted by the leading World Music specialists around Europe, chose Savane as their Album of the Year 2006, with the album topping the chart for three consecutive months (September to November 2006). The album has also been listed as No. 1 in the influential Metacritic’s “Best Albums of 2006″ poll, and No. 5 in its all-time best reviewed albums. Ali Farka Touré has also been nominated for the BBC Radio 3 awards 2007.

On March 7, 2006, the Ministry of Culture of Mali announced his death at age 66 in Bamako from bone cancer, against which he had been battling for some time. His record label, World Circuit, said that he recorded several tracks with his son, Vieux Farka Touré, for Vieux’s debut album which was released in late 2006.

Amandrai

Amandrai” was originally recorded on his 1994 album, Talking Timbuktu, but is now available on the soundtrack album, Feel Like Going Home – A Film By Martin Scorsese, or the World Circuit Presents album.

Amandrai translates to “little sister”, and is considered a love song.

There are no English lyrics, but what he does sing is translated to:

If I want to see my friend, I can’t enter her house. I play or sing something and she will know I’m there. She finds a way to meet me. I sing songs to flatter her and express the love between us. Then I must return home (the distance between Tamashek villages is great) to wake early for work. All day I think of the girl.



Amandrai - Ali Farka Touré

No English Lyrics

Play 
  • Audio from the 2007 compilation album, World Circuit Presents:

world-circuit
Purchase-Music Amandrai – $0.99

Signature
Views:   (206)

How Soon is Now? ~ The Smiths

the smithsThe Smiths were an English rock band active from 1982 to 1987, based on the songwriting partnership of singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr. Critics have called them one of the most important alternative rock bands to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s and the group has had major influence on subsequent artists. Morrissey’s lovelorn tales of alienation found an audience amongst youth culture bored by the ubiquitous synthesizer-pop bands of the early 1980s, while Marr’s complex melodies helped return guitar-based music to popularity.

The Smiths were formed in early 1982 by two Manchester residents: an unemployed writer named Steven Patrick Morrissey (he had not yet abandoned his first names) who was a big fan of the New York Dolls and briefly fronted punk rock band The Nosebleeds, and Johnny Marr, a guitarist and songwriter. Originally named John Maher, Marr changed his name to avoid confusion with the Buzzcocks drummer. Marr’s jangly Rickenbacker guitar playing became synonymous with The Smiths’ sound. After recording several demo tapes with the drummer from The Fall, Simon Wolstencroft. they recruited drummer Mike Joyce in fall of 1982. Joyce had formerly been a member of punk bands The Hoax and Victim. As well, they added bass player Dale Hibbert, who also provided the group with demo recording facilities at the studio where he worked as a factotum. However, after two gigs, Marr’s friend Andy Rourke replaced Hibbert on bass, because neither Hibbert’s bass playing or personality fit in with the group. Marr and Rourke had previously worked together in The Paris Valentinos along with actor Kevin Kennedy.

Encyclopedia Britannica comments that the band’s “non-rhythm-and-blues, whiter-than-white fusion of 1960s rock and postpunk was a repudiation of contemporary dance pop” which was popular in the early 1980s. The band also picked their name in part as a reaction against names used by popular Synthpop bands of the early 1980s, such as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Spandau Ballet, because they considered these names fancy and pompous.In a 1984 interview Morrissey stated that he chose the name The Smiths “…because it was the most ordinary name” and because he thought that it was “…time that the ordinary folk of the world showed their faces.”

How Soon is Now?

Written by Smiths singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, it was originally a B-side of the 1984 single “William, It Was Really Nothing”. “How Soon Is Now?” was subsequently featured on the compilation album Hatful of Hollow and on American, Australian and Warner UK editions of the group’s second album Meat Is Murder.

Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr wrote “How Soon Is Now?” along with the songs “William, It Was Really Nothing” and “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” during a four-day period in June 1984. Marr recorded all three songs with bandmates Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce that July at London’s Jam Studios. After a night out celebrating the session for “William, It Was Really Nothing” and “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want”, the trio reconvened the following afternoon to record “How Soon Is Now?”. Producer John Porter was impressed by the basic riff Marr showed him, but felt the song needed something else. The pair’s discussion turned to the early recordings of Elvis Presley, which led to an impromptu jam session of the song “That’s All Right”. During the jam, Marr worked on his chord progression for “How Soon Is Now?”, which inspired the arrangement.

During recording, Marr created an oscillating guitar effect that plays throughout the song. After a break, Marr and Porter added a few overdubs to the track, including a slide guitar part that “gave [the song] real tension”, according to the guitarist.

That night Porter sent singer Morrissey a rough mix of the song in the mail. The following morning Morrissey arrived and laid down his vocals, culling lyrics from various works in progress in his notebook in the process. According to Porter, the singer completed his vocals in two takes.

The song contains only one verse which is repeated twice, plus a chorus and a bridge. The subject is an individual who cannot find a way to break out of his shyness. Two couplets from the song are well known in pop culture, the opening to the verse: “I am the son, and the heir, of a shyness that is criminally vulgar / I am the son and heir, of nothing in particular”, and the chorus: “I am human and I need to be loved / Just like everybody else does”. The opening was adapted from a line in George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch: “To be born the son of a Middlemarch manufacturer, and inevitable heir to nothing in particular”. Music journalist Jon Savage commented that the song’s lyrics were evocative of contemporary Manchester gay club culture.

The tune is built around a guitar chord that rapidly oscillates in volume. As to how the distinctive resonant sound was achieved, Marr gave the following account to Guitar Player magazine in 1990:

The vibrato sound is fucking incredible, and it took a long time. I put down the rhythm track on an Epiphone Casino through a Fender Twin Reverb without vibrato. Then we played the track back through four old Twins, one on each side. We had to keep all the amps vibrating in time to the track and each other, so we had to keep stopping and starting the track, recording it in 10-second bursts… I wish I could remember exactly how we did the slide part — not writing it down is one of the banes of my life! We did it in three passes through a harmonizer, set to some weird interval, like a sixth. There was a different harmonization for each pass. For the line in harmonics, I retuned the guitar so that I could play it all at the 12th fret with natural harmonics. It’s doubled several times.

Rare 1986 live video – The Smiths perform How Soon Is Now at The National Ballroom, Kilburn 1986.. This song was omitted from the 1988 album Rank:

How Soon Is Now? - Morrissey, Johnny Marr

I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and the heir
of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

There’s a club if you’d like to go
you could meet somebody who really loves you
so you go, and you stand on your own
and you leave on your own
and you go home, and you cry
and you want to die

When you say it’s gonna happen “now”
well, when exactly do you mean?
see I’ve already waited too long
and all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

Play 
  • Audio from the 2009 album, The Sound of The Smiths (Deluxe):

sound-of-the-smiths
Purchase-Music How Soon Is Now? – $1.29

Signature
Views:   (203)

Musique Non-Stop ~ Kraftwerk

kraftwerkKraftwerk (German pronunciation: [ˈkʀaftvɛɐk], “power station“) are a German electronic music band formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970 in Düsseldorf, Germany,  and fronted by them until Schneider’s departure in 2008. The signature Kraftwerk sound combines driving, repetitive rhythms with catchy melodies, mainly following a Western Classical style of harmony, with a minimalistic and strictly electronic instrumentation. The group’s simplified lyrics are at times sung through a vocoder or generated by computer-speech software. Kraftwerk were one of the first groups to popularize electronic music and are considered pioneers in the field.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Kraftwerk’s distinctive sound was revolutionary, and has had a lasting effect across many genres of modern music. According to The Observer, “no other band since the Beatles has given so much to pop culture” and a wide range of artists have been influenced by their music and image. In January 2014 the Grammy Academy honored Kraftwerk with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Musique Non-Stop

Musique Non-Stop” is a 1986 single by German techno group Kraftwerk, which was featured on the album Electric Café. It was re-released as a remix on their 1991 album The Mix. The single was their first #1 on the Dance charts and was one of two songs to make it to #1. The single peaked at #82 on the UK Singles Chart and at #13 in their native Germany.

The single is traditionally the final act during Kraftwerk concerts. In the early 1990s, a completely different version of “Musique Non-Stop” – slower and more melodic – was used extensively as a jingle on MTV Europe. Earlier, MTV Europe had already included elements from the original song and the video in the title graphics for MTV’s Greatest Hits.

Musique Non Stop’s lyrics comprise the title of the song being repeatedly chanted by a generic male and generic female voice in English and a computerized male voice in French.

After Florian Schneider left the band in 2008, the song was altered to accommodate video technician Stefan Pfaffe during performances. The song is basically the same, except shorter and the percussive/harmonic sequence that occupied Schneider’s solo is operated by the other band members.

The Mix version (which was used in Minimum-Maximum) incorporates elements from fellow Electric Café songs “Boing Boom Tschak” and “Techno Pop”. This was also done in Musique Non Stop’s single version and music video.

The video for “Musique Non-Stop” is notable in itself for showcasing a computer animated representation of the band. Created in 1983, it sat dormant for three years before finally being incorporated as the video for the song. The animation, which was complex for its time, was created by Rebecca Allen, using state-of-the-art facial animation software developed by the Institute of Technology in New York. The slow rate of the album’s progress, combined with rapid changes in software animation, meant that Allen had to archive the animation program developed at the Institute of Technology until Hütter and Schneider were ready in 1986, to travel to New York to edit the images to the final version of “Musique Non-Stop”.


Musique Non-Stop - Hütter, Schneider, Bartos, Schneider

Boing boom tschak! Peng!
Musique Non-Stop, techno-pop
Musique Non-Stop, techno-pop

Boing boom tschak! Peng!
Musique Non-Stop, techno-pop
Musique Non-Stop, techno-pop
Synthetic electronic sounds
Industrial rhythms all around
Musique Non-Stop, techno-pop
Synthetic electronic sounds
Industrial rhythms all around
Musique Non-Stop, techno-pop
Musique Non-Stop, techno-pop
Synthetic electronic sounds
Industrial rhythms all around
Musique Non-Stop, techno-pop

Play 
  • Audio from the 2005 album, Minimum-Maximum:

minimum-maximum
Purchase-Music Musique Non-Stop [Live] – $1.29

Signature
Views:   (408)

Gimme Dat Ding ~ The Pipkins

The Pipkins were a short-lived British novelty duo known almost exclusively for the 1970 novelty smash “Gimme Dat Ding.”

The Pipkins were another in a long series of one-hit wonders to feature bubblegum pop king Tony Burrows. The British session singer dominated pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic throughout much of 1970, albeit anonymously — his lead vocals were also featured on Edison Lighthouse’s “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” and White Plains’ “My Baby Loves Lovin’,” and in February Burrows became the first and only performer ever to appear on the BBC’s Top of the Pops fronting three different acts in one episode.

The Pipkins paired Burrows with pop songwriter Roger Greenaway, whose extensive resume included such blockbusters as Gene Pitney’s “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart” and the Hollies’ “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.” The nonsensical “Gimme Dat Ding,” with its tongue-in-cheek voices and rollicking, boogie-woogie piano, reached number six on the pop charts, and at mid-year EMI’s budget imprint Music for Pleasure issued the Pipkins’ sole LP, a split release with then-fledgling glam rock outfit the Sweet, also titled Gimme Dat Ding. Two subsequent Pipkins singles — a cover of the Coasters’ classic “Yakety Yak” and “Are You Cooking, Goose?” — both flopped and Burrows and Greenaway each moved on to their next studio sessions. “Gimme Dat Ding” nevertheless earned immortality as the theme for the British children’s television series Oliver in the Overworld, and was also a staple of the long-running sketch comedy series The Benny Hill Show.

Gimme Dat Ding

“Gimme Dat Ding” is a call-and-response duet between a deep, gravelly voice and a high tenor. (The voices are said to represent a piano and a metronome. The gravelly voice is also thought to be an imitation of a “dirty old man” character (who went by the descriptive name of “Tyrone F. Horneigh”) played on a recurring basis by comedian Arte Johnson on the old NBC-TV show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In) or talked like Popeye the Sailor Man or Wolfman Jack. “Gimme Dat Ding” was originally written for the musical “Oliver in the Overworld” by Hammond and Hazlewood. It became the title song for the English children’s television series Oliver in the Overworld, but would become most famous for its use (as an instrumental) in silent sketches on The Benny Hill Show throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The song was also used (as Gimme Dat Ring) by Coca Cola to advertise their new Ring Pull Cans in the early 1970s.


Gimme Dat Ding - Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood

That’s right, that’s right
I’m sad and blue
‘Cause I can’t do the Boogaloo
I’m lost, I’m lost
Can’t do my thing
That’s why I sing
Gimme, Gimme Dat Ding ah..

Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme Dat
Gimme Dat Ding, Gimme Dat
Gimme, Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat Ding
Gimme Dat, Gimme, Gimme Dat,
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Dat Ding
(Oh Sing it one more time Momma)

Oh, Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme Dat
Gimme Dat Ding, Gimme Dat
Gimme, Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat Ding
Gimme Dat, Gimme, Gimme Dat,
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Dat Ding
(Ah, you ain’t doin’ that late at night)

Ah, what good’s a metronome
Without a bell for ringing?
How fast can anybody ever tell he swings?
How can you tell the rhythm written on a bar?
How can you ever hope to know just where you are?
Gimme Dat, (Gimme Dat) Ah Gimme Dat (Gimme Dat)
Ah Gimme Dat, (Gimme Dat) Gimme Dat,
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,
(Ah Gotcha!)

Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme Dat
Gimme Dat Ding, Gimme Dat
Gimme, Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat Ding
Gimme Dat, Gimme, Gimme Dat,
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Dat Ding

[Honky Tonk Piano Interlude]

Oh, Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme Dat
Gimme Dat Ding, Gimme Dat
Gimme, Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat Ding
Gimme Dat, Gimme, Gimme Dat,
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Dat Ding

Ah, what good’s a metronome
Without a bell for ringing?
How fast can anybody ever tell he swings?
How can you tell the rhythm written on the bar?
How can you ever hope to know just where you are?
Gimme Dat, Ah Gimme Dat
Ah Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat,
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,

Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme Dat
Gimme Dat Ding, Gimme Dat
Gimme, Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat Ding
Gimme Dat, Gimme, Gimme Dat,
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Dat Ding

Play 
  • Audio from the 2011 album, Gimme Dat Ding:

gimme-dat-ding
Purchase-Music Gimme Dat Ding – $0.89

Signature
Views:
(268)

Jizz In My Pants

Video of the Day – March 22, 2014

From Saturday Night Live, aired December 7, 2008 The first single from The Lonely Island’s debut album “INCREDIBAD”. Video features guest appearances by Molly Sims, Jamie Lynn Sigler, and Justin Timberlake. The Lonely Island consists of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.

Here are the lyrics in case you wanted to sing along:

Lock eyes from across the room
down my drink while the rhythms boom
take your hand and skip the names
no need here for the silly games
make our way through the smoke and crowd
the club is the sky and I’m on your cloud
move in close as the lasers fly
our bodies touch and the angels cry
leave this place go back to yours
our lips first touch outside your doors
a whole night what we’ve got in store
whisper in my ear that you want some more
and I

JIZZ IN MY PANTS

This really never happens you can take my word
I won’t apoligise, that’s just absurd
Mainly your fault from the way that you dance
and now I

JIZZ IN MY PANTS

don’t tell your friends or I’ll say your a slut
plus its your fault, you were rubbing my butt
I’m very sensitive, some would say thats a plus
Now I’ll go home and change

(JORMA) I need a few things from the grocery
do things alone now mostly
left me heart broken not lookin’ for love
surprised in my eyes when I looked above
the check out counter and I saw a face
My heart stood still so did time and space
Never felt that I could feel real again
But the look in her eyes said I need a friend
She turned to me thats when she said it
Looked me dead in the face, asked “Cash or Credit?”
And I

JIZZED IN MY PANTS

It’s perfectly normal, nothing wrong with me
But we’re going to need a clean up on aisle 3
And now I’m posed in an awkward stance
because I

JIZZED IN MY PANTS

To be fair you were flirting a lot
plus the way you bag cans got me bothered and hot
please stop acting like you’re not impressed
One more thing, I’m gonna play by cheque

Last week – I saw a film
As I recall it was a horror film
Walked outside into the rain
Checked my phone and saw you rang
and I

JIZZED IN MY PANTS

(JORMA)Speeding down the street when the red lights flash
need to get away need to make a dash
A song comes on that reminds me of you
and I

JIZZ IN MY PANTS

(ANDY) The next day my alarm goes off
and I

JIZZ IN MY PANTS

Open my window and a breeze rolls in
and I

JIZZ IN MY PANTS

When Bruce Willis was dead at the end of sixth
sense I

JIZZED IN MY PANTS

I just ate a grape
and I

JIZZED…IN…MY PANTS

JIZZED…IN…MY PANTS

Ok seriously you guys can we…ok…

I JIZZ RIGHT IN MY PANTS EVERY TIME YOU’RE NEXT TO ME

AND WHEN WE’RE HOLDING HANDS ITS LIKE HAVING SEX TO ME
YOU SAY IM PREMATURE I JUST CALL IT ECSTASY
I WEAR A RUBBER AT ALL TIMES ITS A NECESSITY
Cuz I

JIZZ…IN…MY PANTS

(I jizz in my pants, I jizz in my pants, yes I jizz in my pants, yes I jizz in my pants)
yes I JIZZ…IN…MY PANTS
(I jizz in my pants (AKIVA!), I jizz in my pants)

ANDY & JORMA
AKIVA as the DJ
JT as the Janitor
Molly Sims & Jamie Lynn Sigler

Views: (589)

Are You Out There ~ Dar Williams

dar-williamsDar Williams is an American singer-songwriter specializing in pop folk. Hendrik Hertzberg of the The New Yorker has described Williams as “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters.” 

She is a frequent performer at folk festivals and has toured with such artists as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patty Griffin, Ani DiFranco, The Nields, Shawn Colvin, Girlyman, Joan Baez, and Catie Curtis.

Williams was born in Mount Kisco, New York, and grew up in Chappaqua with two older sisters, Meredith and Julie. Her nickname “Dar” originated due to a mispronunciation of “Dorothy” by one of Williams’s sisters. Recently, in an interview with WUKY radio, Dar said her parents wanted to name her Darcy, after the character in Pride and Prejudice, and that they intentionally called her “Dar-Dar”, which she shortened to “Dar” in school.

In interviews, she has described her parents as “liberal and loving” people who early on encouraged a career in songwriting. Williams began playing the guitar at age nine and wrote her first song two years later. However, she was more interested in drama at the time, and majored in theater and religion at Wesleyan University.

Williams moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1990 to further explore a career in theater. She worked for a year as stage manager of the Opera Company of Boston,  but on the side began to write songs, record demo tapes, and take voice lessons with now Celebrity Voice and Performance Coach Jeannie Deva. Jeannie encouraged her to try performing at coffeehouses, but her early years performing were made difficult by the intimidating nature of the Boston folk music scene, as well as her own battle with stage fright. In 1990, Dar recorded her first album, “I Have No History” produced by Jeannie Deva and engineered by Rob Lehmann at Oak Grove Studios in Malden, MA. One year later in 1991, Dar recorded her second album, “All My Heroes Are Dead” also produced by Jeannie Deva and engineered by Huck Bennert, most of which was recorded at Wellspring Sound in Newton, MA. This album included Dar’s song: “Mark Rothko Song.” The original recording production of this song was later included in her third album “The Honesty Room.” In 1993 Williams moved to Northampton, Massachusetts. Early in Williams’s music career, she opened for Joan Baez, who would make her relatively well known by recording some of her songs (Williams also dueted with Baez on Ring Them Bells). Her growing popularity has since relied heavily on community coffeehouses, public radio, and an extensive fan base on the Internet.

Recurrent themes in Williams’s songs include religion, adolescence, gender issues, anti-commercialism, misunderstood relationships, loss, humor, and geography.

Williams’ early work spoke clearly of her upbringing in 1970s and 80s suburbia - of alienation, and the hypocrisyevident in the post-WWII middle class. On the track “Anthem” on her early tape All My Heroes Are Dead, she sang, “I know there’s blood in the pavement and we’ve turned the fields to sand.”

Williams’ songs often address gender typing, roles, and inequities. “You’re Aging Well” on The Honesty Room discusses adolescent body image, ageism and self-loathing in detail. The song ends with the singer finding an unnamed female mentor — “the woman of voices” — who points her toward a more enlightened and mature point of view. Joan Baez covered the song in concert and later dueted with Williams on tours.

Are You Out There

Are You Out There” is off the 2001 Out There Live album by Dar Williams.

Dar said she wrote this song about the radio station 93.9FM WRSI The River, Woodstock, NY.

Underdogs who turn the tables, indie versus major labels…

“WRSI is practically the only station in the area not owned by Clear Channel or the like, and it shows: they’re also the only one that plays “madmen poets, vinyl vision grungy bands.”

Jimmy Olsen used to DJ for the station, and Johnny Memphis has been the current DJ for quite some time now (and still is).

Are You Out There – Dar Williams

Perhaps I am a miscreation
No one knows the truth there is no future here
And you’re the DJ speaks to my insomnia
And laughs at all I have to fear
Laughs at all I have to fear
You always play the madmen poets
Vinyl vision grungy bands
You never know who’s still awake
You never know who understands and

Are you out there, can you hear this?
Jimmy Olson, Johnny Memphis,
I was out here listening all the time
And though the static walls surround me
You were out there and you found me
I was out here listening all the time

Last night we drank in parking lots
And why do we drink? I guess we do it cause
And when I turned your station on
You sounded more familiar than that party was
You were more familiar than that party
It’s the first time I stayed up all night
It’s getting light I hear the birds
I’m driving home on empty streets
I think I put my shirt on backwards

Are you out there, can you hear this
Jimmy Olson , Johnny Memphis
I was out here listening all the time
And though the static walls surround me
You were out there and you found me
I was out here listening all the time

And what’s the future, who will choose it?
Politics of love and music
Underdogs who turn the tables
Indie versus major labels
There’s so much to see through
Like our parents do more drugs than we do
Oh

Corporate parents, corporate towns
I know every TV set that has them lit
They preach that I should save the world
They pray that I won’t do a better job of it
Pray that I won’t do a better job
So tonight I turned your station on just so I’d be understood
Instead another voice said I was just too late
And just no good

Calling Olson, Calling Memphis
I am calling, can you hear this?
I was out here listening all the time
And I will write this down
And then I will not be alone again yeah
I was out here listening
Oh yeah I was out here listening
Oh yeah I am out here listening all the time

Play 
  • Audio from the 2001 album, Out There Live

out-there-live
Purchase-MusicAre You Out There – $1.29

Signature
Views:   (198)

The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) ~ The Tokens

the-tokens-2The Tokens are an American male doo-wop vocal group from Brooklyn, New York. They are best-known for their chart-topping 1961 single, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

The group was formed in 1955 at Brooklyn’s Abraham Lincoln High School, and was known as the Linc-Tones. Originally featuring members Neil Sedaka, Hank Medress, Eddie Rabkin, and Cynthia Zolotin, Rabkin was replaced by Jay Siegel in 1956, and the band recorded its first single, “While I Dream” that same year. In 1957 Sedaka and Zolotin left the band, leaving only Jay and Hank, who would recruit two additional band members and record the single “Picture in my Wallet” as Darrell & the Oxfords. Finally establishing its most famous name and lineup, the band become known as The Tokens in 1960 after Jay and Hank recruited 13-year-old multi-instrumentalist and first tenor Mitch Margo and his baritone brother Phil Margo.

In early 1961, The Tokens released a single for Warwick Records entitled “Tonight I Fell In Love,” which went to #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned them an opportunity to appear on American Bandstand. The popularity that the band garnered as a result of this performance brought them new recording opportunities, culminating in their famous cover of Solomon Linda’s “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” for the Radio Corporation of America. Jay Siegel’s characteristic lead vocals helped the song rise to #1 on the Billboard charts, where it remained for three weeks.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

“Mbube” (Zulu for “lion”) was first recorded by its writer, Solomon Linda, and his group, The Evening Birds, in 1939. Gallo Record Company paid Linda a single fee for the recording and no royalties. “Mbube” became a hit throughout South Africa and sold about 100,000 copies during the 1940s. The song became so popular that Mbube lent its name to a style of African a cappella music, though the style has since been mostly replaced by isicathamiya (a softer version).

Alan Lomax brought the song to the attention of Pete Seeger of the folk group The Weavers. It was on one of several records Lomax lent to Seeger. After having performed the song for at least a year in their concerts, in November, 1951, they recorded their version entitled “Wimoweh”, a mishearing of the original song’s chorus of ‘uyimbube’ (meaning “you’re a lion”). Pete Seeger had made some of his own additions to the melody. The song was credited exclusively to Paul Campbell.

Pete Seeger explains in one recording, “it refers to an old legend down there, [about] their last king, who was known as Chaka The Lion. Legend says, Chaka The Lion didn’t die when Europeans took over our country; he simply went to sleep, and he’ll wake up some day.” (See “Senzenina / Wimoweh” on Seeger’s With Voices Together We Sing (Live).)

It was published by Folkways. Their 1952 version, arranged by Gordon Jenkins, became a top-twenty hit in the U.S., and their live 1957 recording turned it into a folk music staple. This version was covered in 1959 by The Kingston Trio.

New lyrics to the song were written by George Weiss, Luigi Creatore, and Hugo Peretti, based very loosely upon the meaning of the original song. The Tokens’ 1961 cover of this version rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and still receives fairly frequent replay on many American oldies radio stations.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Solomon Linda, George Weiss, Luigi Creatore, and Hugo Peretti

(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)
(A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh)

In the jungle, the mighty jungle
The lion sleeps tonight
In the jungle the quiet jungle
The lion sleeps tonight

Near the village the peaceful village
The lion sleeps tonight
Near the village the quiet village
The lion sleeps tonight

Hush my darling don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight
Hush my darling don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight

Play 
  • Audio from the 1961 album, The Lion Sleeps Tonight:

the-tokens
Purchase-Music The Lion Sleeps Tonight – $1.29

Signature
Views:   (232)