The beautiful thing about music – and I’ve said it many times before – is there’s always something new to discover. The act of hearing a song for the first time, and having it make that instant connection right to the soul – that is why I am obsessed with music, and always on the search for that next gem – regardless of era or genre.

This song came to my attention from a Twitter update from Popdose’s Jason Hare – okay okay, his tweet! He had just watched Elvis Costello’s Spectacle show on Sundance, and one of the special guests was Jesse Winchester. Jesse is a Canadian folk artist (an American expatriate actually) who started out in the business over 40 years ago.

“Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding” is the song. It’s a newer one from Jesse actually, from his latest album – last year’s Love Filling Station. The song is a sentimental and nostalgic love song from the 65 year old , looking back through the years to the beginning of a love affair, and to the music that accompanied and nurtured them – and still does to this day.

Oh to have the talent to write a song like this. (watch Neko Case tear up next to him).

The boys were singing shing-a-ling
The summer night we met
You were tan and seventeen
O how could I forget
When every star from near and far
Was watching from above
Watching two teenagers fall in love

The way we danced was not a dance
But more a long embrace
We held on to each other and
We floated there in space
And I was shy to kiss you while
The whole wide world could see
So shing-a-ling said everything for me

And O the poor old old folks
They thought we’d lost our minds
They could not make heads or tails
Of the young folks’ funny rhymes
But you and I knew all the words
And we always sang along to
O sham-a-ling-dong-ding

So after years and after tears
And after summers past
The old folks tried to warn us
How our love would never last
And all we’d get was soaking wet
From walking in the rain
And singing sham-a-shing-a-ling again

And O the poor old old folks
They smile and walk away
But I bet they did some
Sham-a-lama-ding-dong in their day
I bet that they still close their eyes
And I bet they sing along to
O sham-a-ling-dong-ding

O those sweet old love songs
Every word rings true
Sham-a-ling-dong-ding means sweetheart
Sham-a-ling-dang-dong does too
And it means that right here in my arms
That’s where you belong
And it means sham-a-ling-dong-ding

Growin’ Up

A fellow Boss fan sent me a link to this video earlier today. It’s a 23 year old Bruce Springsteen performing “Growin’ Up” at Max’s Kansas City in New York City. The year was 1972 – Bruce’s first album wasn’t released until the following year.

Somehow, this seems appropriate as the first post of this new year.. Going back to basics, thinking back to a simpler time. With a new year, we have the chance to start anew – to make a few tweaks and adjustments here and there. A chance to press the ol’ reset button.

This growin’ up thing – it can be a bit complicated, even frightening at times. Sometime it helps to just try and keep things simple…

Happy New Year, and thanks Lonny for the link..

Late Night Christmas

With things being as hectic as can be in my household, it’s the little things that bring home the holiday spirit. Last night, after spending some time shopping with my wife, we collapsed into the couch and flipped on Letterman just in time to catch Darlene Love perform her classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Video: Steve Earle at Amoeba Records

I knew I subscribed to Amoeba’s video RSS feed for a reason! Once in a while, they post a gem. Case in point today: Steve Earle.

Here’s Steve’s 45 minute in-store performance from back in May. But be sure to check out the insightful 13 minute interview too, where he discusses his early years as a Nashville songwriter, his former drug habit, The Wire, Radiohead’s refusal to play “Creep”, and even Telluride, Colorado.

In the words of Steve: Telluride is “too high to support intelligent life. I’ve seen that proven over and over and over again.” Good thing my folks only live there five months out of the year!

In-Store Set List:

Rex’s Blues (Townes Van Zandt)
Fort Worth Blues
Pancho & Lefty (TVZ)
Brand New Companion (TVZ)
Rich Man’s War
Lungs (TVZ)
Copperhead Road

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band on Jimmy Fallon

Okay, so today, Howard Stern played this Nov. 5th clip of Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band on Jimmy Fallon’s show (with Sean Lennon on guitar). Now, I can’t say I’m familiar at all with her brand of avant garde music. There’s one person in my life who I know as a fan, and that’s Gonzo.

It’s hard for me to consider this performance as anything but novel and a tad bizarre. But I have to know, what is the general consensus… what is your opinion of this performance? There must be some of you who enjoyed this? What say you, Gonzo?

By the way, Howard and the gang thought the intro sounded like “Wipeout”.

–dead link—


Yeah, well, I can’t enough of Neil Young’s “Powderfinger”….

Shelter me from the powder and the finger
Cover me with the thought that pulled the trigger
Think of me as one you’d never figured
Would fade away so young
With so much left undone
Remember me to my love,
I know I’ll miss her.

That’s the final and most goosebump-inducing verse of the song. And this 10-22-78 performance at the Cow Palace near San Francisco (the shows that spawned the Rust Never Sleeps and Live Rust albums) ratchets the intensity up even further. Especially when guitarist Frank “Poncho” Sampedro comes over to Neil’s mic to join in for the final verse.

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Video: Prince mini show on French TV

Let’s face it, it’s been a long time since quality video footage of Prince has been readily available to the internet masses. So it was refreshing earlier today when I came across this cool mini-concert of Prince on a French TV show called Le Grand Journal.

On the set list: “Dance 4 Me”, “No More Candy 4 U”, “1999”, and “Controversy”. The quality of the video is excellent,and Prince, his band, and his dancers appear loose and relaxed…they’ve been over in Paris for a week or two now –  I think with more shows to come over there.

This may be one of  those here today / gone tomorrow videos, so enjoy while you can…

Prince Performance on Le Grand Journal (French TV)