Trying To Get To You

Monday, April 09, 2007

Songs Of The Day

I never paid too much attention to the Electroclash/DFA scene that James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem (and his partner, Tim Goldsworthy) inspired in New York a few years back. It got a ton of attention, but other than the Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lovers,” not much from of it stuck with me. It sounded pretty good to me, but not much more than that. Admittedly, it generated from an NYC post-punk scene that I’ve never felt particularly at home in – it was hipster music, and my first impulse is usually to recoil from most things hipster, perhaps as a defense mechanism from the feeling I’ll be excluded from it.

However, I’ve been greatly enjoying the new LCD Soundsystem album, Sound of Silver, and it’s first single, “North American Scum.” It’s Jonathan Richman-esque in the best possible way – wry, witty and incisive. And it employs irony to illuminate the song and its lyrics instead of employing it in the manner most artists use it – as a substitute for talent.

Download: “North American Scum”

If all Georgia born performer and songwriter Joe South did during his career was play the guitar intro to Aretha Franklin’s “Chain Of Fools,” he’d still be fondly remembered. But he wrote a bunch of hits for other artists, and a recorded a couple of classic songs under his own name, including “Games People Play” and “Walk A Mile In My Shoes.”

A few years back, Otis Clay (“Trying To Live My Life Without You”) recorded “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” as part of a Joe South tribute record. It’s a beautiful version, and listening to it, I’m reminded that of all the human virtues that I’ve found present in the best soul music, it’s compassion that has been the most powerful, and the most necessary.

Download: "Walk A Mile In My Shoes"


Anonymous said...

Joe also had huge hits with "Hush" (Deep Purple had the cover) and Billy Joe Royal's "Down In The Boondocks." Joe was a great song writer and musician and his solo LPs are an absolute delight.

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