Chez Seychelles

So my wife and I are sitting in the Glendale Arena a few weeks ago, waiting for Bruce Springsteen to take the stage. The pre-show music that’s piping over the PA is great stuff, most of it I don’t recognize. One in particular gets my wife’s attention. She remembers hearing it as she grew up in Seychelles…. an old traditional folk tune.

So the other night, I’m checking out Bruce’s web site, and lo and behold, he mercifully has provided us with a list of the pre-show ‘walk-in’ music! It turns out the name of the tune is “Chez Seychelles”, as performed by the keepers of the Cajun sound, Beausoleil. It is indeed a traditional song, and Michael Doucet (of Beausoleil) gets writing credit on the tune (just wondering, does a person get composition credit by offering a new arrangement of a traditional song?).

Ah, the power of music. The way one song can take you back in time.. it’s an amazing thing. My wife hadn’t heard this song in years, and suddenly, waiting for a Springsteen show to start in the middle of the Arizona desert, she suddenly finds herself back in her homeland, a beautiful tropical island in the Indian Ocean.

Beausoleil: Chez Seychelles (mp3)

Todd’s Train Song

One of tunes I heard during Bruce’s pre-show music prompted me to call home from the show and leave some of the lyrics on the answering machine (yeah, I’m a geek). I didn’t figure out what it was though until I saw the list.

Todd Snider‘s the name. I’m ashamed to say I only own one of Todd’s CD’s, 1996’s ‘Step RightUp’, but that’s about to change after I’m done with this post. I wasn’t aware of Todd’s personal troubles, but he’s had one helluva fight with drug addiction which led him to a suicide attempt. Todd has been putting out his brand of Nashville country-folk-rock for over a decade now.

So here’s that mystery tune that caught my ear. Gotta love those train songs…

Todd Snider: Play a Train Song (mp3)

Go-Go with Kurt and Trouble Funk

It’s 1982 in Washington D.C tonight as Trouble Funk mixes their homemade brand of go-go music with the freshest master rappin’ styles of the day courtesy of Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force. Their 1982 release, ‘Drop the Bomb’ was released on Sugar Hill Records, home to some of the earliest hip hop sent out to the world.

Trouble Funk: Pump Me Up (mp3)

Nice groove huh? Well, the very same beat in this tune was sampled and looped a few years later into Kurtis Blow‘s “If I Ruled the World”, which showed up in the old school classic film ‘Krush Groove’ (aka the Fat Boys acting debut).

Kurtis Blow: If I Ruled the World (mp3)

I Bleepin’ Need You More Than Ever

If you need a chuckle (and we all do), check out the web site of The Dan Band. If you’ve seen ‘Old School’ or ‘Starsky & Hutch’, you’ve seen The Dan Band. My friend Charlie shot me a note recommending them. They have a great Flash site. Find your way to the Extras section and check out the Video and Audio. They have the video clips from their movie appearances. You gotta love the Old School clip, where, as the wedding band, they bust out a hilarious version of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”: “every now and then I get little bit terrified, I see the f**ng look in your eyes…”

It’ll put a smile on your face.

The Dan Band Official Web Site

Short clip of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. (mp3)

The Wall of Hair

It appears that Mr. Spector walked into the wrong courtroom and got a good look at Michael Jackson’s face.

Holy light socket Phil! You’re the man behind the Wall of Sound! You produced the Ronettes, Ike & Tina Turner, the Righteous Brothers, the Beatles. You co-wrote and produced this tune for the Ronettes, and later the Ramones (and produced their whole 1980 album ‘End of the Century’. I wish you luck in the Big House, Phil. Things ain’t looking too good…

The Ramones: Baby I Love You (mp3)


It’s late, and there was a slight internet outage in the House of Ickmusic… that, and a killer season finale of ’24’. So not a lot of commentary. Cameo was the first band I went and saw multiple times. My friend Chris and I would make the trek up to the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee to catch them in concert (dropped off by our parents, no doubt)…two of the few white boys in attendance… this one is the title track of their 1982 album, ‘Alligator Woman’. This was a few years before ‘Word Up’ exposed Cameo to the mainstream. . . their quirky, funky stylings are on display here…

Cameo: Alligator Woman (mp3)

Be Saved, Elvis Style

Regardless of how religious you are, you can’t help but be a little moved by the power of the King in this outtake from ‘How Great Thou Art’. I picture a Southern Baptist church on a sunny Sunday morning (think the scene from ‘Blues Brothers’ with Elvis in James Brown’s place). Elvis and his boys amble up to the front of the pews, turn around, look sheepishly at the ground, clear their throats, and unleash upon the congregation this 2 minutes and 47 seconds of salvation…

Elvis Presley: Run On – Alternate Take (mp3)

Piano Man: Now That’s a Wet Suit

Reading the story today about the “Piano Man” inspired me to showcase some quality piano work tonight. Did you all see this? A man shows up in a suit, soaking wet, on the Isle of Sheppey in the UK. He says absolutely nothing to anyone, is taken to a hospital, and sits down at a piano and plays for hours. Read the full story here.

Well, last June, I was listening to a live radio simulcast of the Playboy Jazz Festival from the Hollywood Bowl, and had the pleasure of hearing the sounds of the Michel Camilo Trio.

The artistry and virtuosity of Michel Camilo bridges the genres of Jazz, Classical, Popular and World music. He is a pianist with a brilliant technique and a composer who flavors his tunes with the spice of Caribbean rhythms and jazz harmonies.

I found this tune on Michel’s web site. The man flies on the keys. I’m positive he would give the ‘piano man’ a run for his money.

Michel Camilo Trio: See You Later (mp3)

Tin Pan Tuesday

Robert Plant. The name conjures something in your heads. Whatever your judgments and preconceptions regarding the man, erase them all, and check out his new album, ‘Mighty Rearranger’. I bought it a couple days after its release a week ago, and it pretty much has followed me around from CD player to CD player all week. Adjective time: Fresh, eclectic, exotic, and brilliantly unique. Surprised the bejeezus out of me. I give you my favorite of the moment…

Robert Plant: Tin Pan Valley (mp3) ~ ~ from Mighty Rearranger [buy it]