Sunday, January 15, 2006

Happy Captain Beefheart's Birthday!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, animate inanimate or imaginary objects, whoever you may be rejoice, for it's your day again! It's Captain Beefheart's Birthday, which as everybody knows is when we all stand up and celebrate.

Dance now.

So my part of the celebrations last year was that i gave some songs out to friends & associates all around the world wide webthingy. This year let's change things a bit.
What i'll do this time around is simpler and more general. The songs i'm making available today are just small things that make me happy. Nothing gigantic, nothing that needs any big explanations, nothing philosophical. These are just things that make me feel better if i hear them, no matter what time of the day, no matter what mood i'm in.

Ah, i know there's no real need to explain it, but here and here you may find a short biography in pictures of the man this is all about.

Ok, you can stop dancing if you like now.

I love burt bacharach songs. Some of them are the saddest things i've ever heard. I remember having to drive home in the rain once with nothing but Wichita Lineman or This Guy's In Love With You in the car stereo, so melancholy i almost started crying while i sang along. Close To You is not this kind of song. I just think it's beautiful. This version sounds a lot like the one you can hear in mirrormask. Not a coincidence, i suppose. Wayne Horvitz - Close To You (m:Burt Bacharach, w:Hal David) 160kbps 2.8Mb Mp3.

Me and the Major by Belle & Sebastian. That harmonica! the song became even more special the day i discovered i too can play those same harmonica parts. Did i tell you i realized the other day i realized i'm only 2 degrees of separation from Robert Johnson? I know a guy who knew Son House who knew Robert Johnson. The first song i ever played live was Sweet Home Chicago. Full circle? Circles are just an imaginary invention like time and money and dogs that don't bite because they bark. 256kbps 7.3Mb Mp3.

Another thing they remind me of -they being Belle and Sebastian- is Glasgow. Chritmastime is when i sit around, listen to them, watch old Billy Connolly tv specials and just generally miss Glasgow. You've all seen A Charlie Brown Christmas, haven't you? here's Vince Guaraldi's song from that, Chritmastime is here, vocal and instrumental versions. Listen to him chase himself on the piano in the instrumental. I don't feel like checking size and bitrate, just download them 'cause it's worth it.
Somebody was once quoted saying that the old Charlie Brown specials were the only place you could hear good jazz on television at the time. I just don't remember who it was and where i read it.

Perhaps younger generations will like this track better, YMCK's nintendo sound appeals to the whole retro-thing going on. But i just dig the line "do you know that god is flowing out of your mind?(..) It's yellow, magenta, cyan and black." 320kps 11.2Mb Mp3 for the bossa-loving eccentric.

I have just learned in this moment that the chilean people have done the extremely old-fashioned move of electing the right person. Which here in europe is passé, electing morons is more in vogue.

I love the striking distance between the first and last ever published songs by Pizzicato Five. Fifteen years between them, things just get simpler and simpler.

Lyrics sheet to that last song.

Maki Nomiya was in neither of those songs (that's Clementine on vocals in the bossa), but is in this one: United Future Organization featuring Nomiya Maki - Le Coeur Qui Jazz. From last year's dimitri from paris-produced tribute to The Aristocats, one of the best things to come out of 2005. Lush string stylings, slightly afrobeat drumming, and Maki's voice to top it all off. There was a full moon on friday night, did you see it?

Only one song left. No, three.
Sweet Thing by Van morrison. The live cover by The Waterboys interpolates The Beatles' Blackbird into the ending. i like to sing Caetano & Gal Costa's Baby over that bit myself. For good measure, here's Van singing Angeliou, which is about meeting someone.

And finally, here are some words from The Good Captain himself.

The Clouds Are Full Of Wine (Not Whiskey Or Rye)
The clouds are full of wine
Not whiskey or rye
'n the sky is full of bluebrains,
Bluejays, mermaids
Bluebrains, bluejays, bluebirds, mermaids
bluejays, bluebirds, rainbows
'n the night is full of rhinestones,
Pinecones, telephones
'n the sky is full of rhinestones, pinecones, telephones
Wolfhowls, milkcows
Shadows to some hows
'n the clouds are full of wine
Not whiskey or rye
'n the sky is full of bluebrains,
Baboons, rhinos, fools 'n buffoons
'n my eyes are full of bloodbones,
Snowcones, serenaders 'n sen-n-n-oritas
'n so on...
Melodies that go on, go on,
Go on, go on, go on, go on,
Go off, go off, go off, go off

We here at WGD Central hope you've enjoyed this. It's not about the music. it's about what goes on around it.

Happy Birthday, Don Van Vliet.