The Beatles, Watching Rainbows

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on August 31st, 2011 by Willie

On January 14th, 1969, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr were sitting around Twickenham Studios.  George Harrison had temporarily quit the band, so John was on piano, Paul was on electric guitar, and Ringo was behind the drums.  John led the shortened group through a new improvised jam he had been fooling around with called “Watching Rainbows.”  The song would never see the light of day as a Beatle tune or as a John solo song, but did find its way on Beatles bootlegs by 1978.  I think its a shame that John never finished it, because it has a real seductive folk rock hook, and a beautiful lyric.  Perhaps they junked it because they didn’t feel like working on stuff that they created when George was absent, or perhaps they just forgot about it.  Either way, the version I have below has all the lyrics, including the studio banter, giving you the full picture of what was going on that day during one of the lesser known unreleased Beatle song sessions.  I personally love it, and have played it seven times in a row.  Oh, and don’t forget to keep voting for me everyday as CBS’s best local NYC blogger, just click these words, thanks!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

James Paul McCartney, The Wings TV Special

Posted in Paul McCartney, Youtube Favs on August 30th, 2011 by Willie

Paul McCartney fans, do I have a present for you.  Did you know that Paul’s real first name was James?  Did you know that Paul did a music special for ABC and the BBC in 1973 called “James Paul McCartney?”  Did you know the critics hated it?  Did you know critics are mostly idiots?  Well, now that you know, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce this 7 part Paul McCartney extravaganza.  What’s extra special about this post, is that this TV special WAS NEVER released on VHS or DVD, so this is the only place you’re gonna find it for now.  You get Paul and his newly formed group Wings, featuring wife Linda and guitarist Denny Laine, performing some solo Paul songs, some Beatles songs, and some Wings songs, all with aplomb.  It’s basically a glorified series of music videos stitched together that you’ll find heard to turn off.  My only problem with the videos are Paul’s unfortunate mullet, his worst hair style ever.  Oh well, it shouldn’t stop you for enjoying the music, and it shouldn’t stop you for voting me in as CBS’s Best Local NYC blogger, which you can do by clicking here!  Paul McCartney told me to tell everyone everyday, so if you gotta problem with voting for me, take it up with the old knight himself.  Cheers!






Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Notorious B.I.G., Hypnotize

Posted in Biggie Smalls, Youtube Favs on August 29th, 2011 by Willie

Biggie.  Everybody loves him.  In fact, he’s the most searched artist on my website.  “Hypnotize,” the first single from 1996’s “Life After Death” LP, is perhaps his best pop song.  Now, by pop song, of course I just mean pop smash, not “pop song” in the traditional sense, because obviously its strait hip-hop.  But a smash it was, peaking at #1 right after Biggie’s unfortunate assassination.  The most memorable thing about the song for me is how it showcases the unlimited potential Biggie had at being the world’s greatest rapper.  Can you imagine how many other diamond cut classics Biggie would have churned out if he was allowed to live past 24, and how his style and music might have evolved?  It’s a crying shame, and the world’s bitter loss.  For those keeping score, the rhythm track is sampled from “Rise,” an 1979 Herb Alpert hit, and the chorus is sung by Pamela Long, not Lil’ Kim, as many assume.  It’s one of the most defining tracks from the 90s, and its greatness will probably live on forever.  One last thing, being that I’m based in Brooklyn, Biggie would want you to vote ME as CBS’s Best NYC local Blogger, which you can do so, by clicking here!  Thanks Biggie, you’re too kind.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Beastie Boys, Triple Trouble, 3 Times

Posted in The Beastie Boys, Youtube Favs on August 27th, 2011 by Willie

After I saw that Bored to Death trailer that featured the boys going crazy on Coney Island to the Beastie Boys song Triple Trouble, I myself, have gone crazy, seeking this song out in all its forms.  So, that’s what I’ve done, finding three killer performances of the song on youtube.  The song, which samples heavily from rap’s first song, “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang, is just one of the catchiest things I’ve ever heard.  I love the sped up version the best, performed on MTV in 2004.  They absolutely kill it.  The second performance is from AOL’s live sessions, and is just a perfect display of their rap mastery.  The third performance is the music video itself.  I really like it, but the song doesn’t start until about a minute and a half into it.  It features some bizarre story about the Beasties making a fashion statement at an awards show, before Big Foot comes to fight and dance with them.  I hope you enjoy this incredibly funky and fresh cut.  And just in case you like it as much as I do, don’t forget to vote for me in the CBS’s Best NYC Blogger Contest, in which I am a finalist.  Just click these words!  Thanks!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Twist and Shout

Posted in Fun and Crazy, The Beatles, Youtube Favs on August 26th, 2011 by Willie

The greatest cover song the Beatles ever did was of The Isley Brothers 1962 hit, “Twist and Shout.”  Written by Bert Russell and Phil Medley, the original song was a tepid little dance song, but when John Lennon and the Beatles got their hands on it, they redefined rock and roll, and gave the genre one of its most iconic performances.  John Lennon’s throat shredding vocal is one of the greatest expressions of pure joy in the entire universe, and it’ll never ever get old.  When John Hughes had Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) sing the song on a float in downtown Chicago, he only added to the universal authority of the song’s power.  It’s the best scene in a movie that helped put a big cultural stamp a whole generation of 80s and 90s kids.  I wonder what sort of impact, if any, this film has on current and future youthful generations. I have a feeling people will always like it, after all, who doesn’t like Ferraris, ditching school, hanging out with the coolest kid ever, and singing “Twist and Shout” in front of 10,000 people?  Also, Charlie Sheen sums up his entire life through a fictional character at the end.  Amazing.  (Insert daily CBS plug…) Remember  to vote me as CBS’s best local NYC blogger by clicking these words!  Thanks!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

John Lennon Singing Lead on Get Back

Posted in George Harrison, John Lennon, The Beatles, Youtube Favs on August 25th, 2011 by Willie

The Beatles are one of those bands so famous, that to the untrained ear of the average person, its hard to tell which Beatle is singing what.  Of course, such distinctions are “Beatles 101” to hardcore fans, but part of the confusion lies in the seamless harmonic blend Lennon and McCartney produced in many of their classic hits.  When they weren’t sharing a lead vocal or a song dominated by harmonies, the Beatles had simple rules about who was going to sing lead for any given song.  Normally, the principle songwriter was the logical choice for the lead.  It was very rare when these roles were reversed.  For instance, there isn’t one song that George or Ringo wrote that John or Paul sang lead on, and there isn’t one instance in the Beatle catalog of Paul or John writing a song specifically for their partner to tackle.  There were anomalies of course.  Sometimes John would write a song with melodic sections too high for him to reach, so he’d have Paul take over.  This is evident in the bridge 0f “A Hard Day’s Night,” and the choruses of “Anytime At All.”  “Day Tripper,” another John song, was almost entirely out of John’s vocal range, and so Paul becomes the dominant voice throughout the verses with John beefing up the lower harmonies and the bridge.  Despite this, John and Paul never poached each others tunes, or more exactly, they were so competitive, they wouldn’t allow it.  This came to a head during the Abbey Road sessions when John really wanted Paul’s “Oh! Darling,” but Paul wouldn’t give it up.  All this history leads to the rarity of the video I’m about to present which is a near complete performance of John Lennon singing Paul’s 1969 hit “Get Back.”  What makes this so rare and interesting is that for starters, Paul sings the lead on the record and in the live rooftop performance.  Secondly, to have John sing a Paul song with fun and relish right when they were breaking up is extremely bizarre given how their respective massive egos could barely keep them in the same room by that point.  What’s also interesting about John’s performance here is that he includes bits of lyrics that Paul originally wrote about Pakistanis taking British jobs, but later cut out due to political incorrectness.  So, with all that said, I’ve laid out this super treat of rock and roll goodness for all you to enjoy, but before you do, make sure to cast your vote for CBS’s Best Local NYC blogger, in which I’m a finalist.  Remember, if you’ve voted already, you can vote again, once every day until the contest ends on September 9th.  Just click these words to help me out, I really appreciate it!

Wait, don’t go just yet.  As a bonus I’ve included another ultra rare performance, this time its none other than George Harrison taking his shot at singing lead at “Get Back.”  He was doing as a guiding track for Doris Troy’s cover version that she was cutting for Apple in 1970.  George isn’t as intense as John or Paul, but he’s having a good time leading this funkier version of “Get Back,” plus he even tries to make up his own new melodic section at the end before he gives up.  AWESOME!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RIP Nick Ashford and Jerry Leiber

Posted in Youtube Favs on August 24th, 2011 by Willie

Two songwriting icons passed away yesterday, and ironically, both were halves of legendary songwriting teams.  Nick Ashford, legendary Motown songwriter, who was paired with his wife Valerie Simpson, died at 70 in Manhattan.  Jerry Leiber, partnered with Mike Stoller, co-wrote some of Elvis Presley’s greatest hits, died at 78 in Los Angeles.  Among Ashford’s greatest hits were “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” displaying his mastery of the word “ain’t.”  Leiber and Stoller churned out “Hound Dog,” “Yakety Yak,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Stand By Me.” Both Ashford and Leiber were beloved geniuses of their craft and produced songs that are etched like concrete in the public’s minds.  It’s a sad day, but on the sunny side, the great  thing about dying a master songwriter is that your music truly lives on, leaving the perfect memorial.  My little memorial comes in the form of Ben E. King’s rendition of “Stand By Me,” and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s version of “Aint No Mountain High Enough.”  Oh, and just a reminder, click here and you can vote for me every day for CBS’s Most Valuable Blogger where I am a finalist!  Thanks!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

George Harrison, Trailer for Martin Scorsese's Living in the Material World Documentary

Posted in George Harrison, The Beatles, Youtube Favs on August 23rd, 2011 by Willie

I normally don’t update twice in one day, but news such as this demands action on my part.  I am a massive George Harrison fan, and when I heard a few years ago that Martin Scorsese was putting together a three and a half hour George Harrison documentary, I started counting down the days.  At last, the film is finished, and will get its premiere on HBO on October 5th and 6th in two parts.  To casual fans of rock and roll, George Harrison is known as the “Quiet Beatle,” but hard core Beatle fans know he was anything but.  In many ways, George was the most radical Beatle, refusing to conform to any traditional system of life living.  He was a rule breaker and a seeker, blazing new frontiers in his own quest to figure out why the world was so miserable, and what he could do about it.  Lastly, he was a beautiful musician, criminally overshadowed by his Beatle friends, who unfairly excluded him from the tight partnership thing that Lennon and McCartney formed in the early Beatle days.  Paul McCartney even admitted that there was nothing stopping him and John from excluding George, other than feeling superior to him via their dominant personalities and older ages.  Also, it is really hard to blame Paul and John because when they were young boys making these decisions, it was impossible for them to know what impact such choices would hold in music history.  Its a silly footnote in rock history, but one made all the more remarkable as George blossomed his own unique musical genius with little help from his friends.  (Zing!)  Anyway, I’m the sure the documentary will cover these issues with greater complexity, so I’ll leave my own historical commentary to a minimum for now.  Enjoy the trailer, and don’t forget you can vote for me to be CBS’s top NY blogger!  Already voted?  Well, don’t let it stop you because you can vote once every day!  Just click these orange words, it only takes a second!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CBS's Most Valuable Blogger, The Monkees, I'm a Believer, and a New Banner!

Posted in The Monkees, Youtube Favs on August 23rd, 2011 by Willie

Like the new banner?  I sure do.  I might tweak it a bit in the next week, but I think it’s beautiful. I have to give a special thanks to my dear friend Sonia for creating it.  The unfurling of the new banner coincidentally coincides with a cause to celebrate, as this site has been selected by CBS to be a finalist in their Most Valuable New York Blog competition.  For me to win the big prize, you’ll have to vote for me by clicking these orange words.  Not too hard right?  Oh, and if you really want to see me win, you can vote for me once a day until the contest ends.  Do I believe I can win?  Of course, and that’s why I have everybody’s favorite manufactured rock band, the Monkees, singing this Neil Diamond classic, “I’m a Believer,” in support.  The song is a glorious slab of 60s pop rock, sung to perfection by drummer Micky Dolenz.  One fun fact about the song, it’s one of less than 30 singles that have ever sold more than 10 million copies.  Incredible.  And please, I can’t express enough my thanks for everybody who checks out the site, and has helped it grow since I launched it not too long ago.  It means the world to me, and I hope I never have to stop.  All the best, Willie.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Seinfeld, Brokeback About Nothing

Posted in Larry David, Seinfeld, Youtube Favs on August 22nd, 2011 by Willie

I’m getting pretty good at predicting trends.  Just a few days ago I posted a series of Seinfeld trailers cobbled together by a brilliant internet guy, and today I have a new one from a different guy who imagines Jerry and George lost somewhere on Brokeback Mountain.  His future film entitled, “Brokeback About Nothing,” is a passionate and serious look at the obvious chemistry between Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza and the consequences they face pursuing forbidden love.  Of course there have been dozens of Brokeback parodies in the past, but this is the first Seinfeld one, and its just as funny because there is ample accidental moments to pull from.  Anyway don’t feel bad if you enjoy this because after all, it’s not like there’s anything wrong with it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,