John Lennon, Mother, Live

Posted in John Lennon, Youtube Favs on September 9th, 2011 by Willie

I’m not ready to leave John’s 1972 concert just yet.  Yesterday I posted about “Come Together,” and in the past I posted the live performance of “Cold Turkey.”   Despite the fact that Yoko only released the inferior afternoon version of the show, as opposed to the superior evening version, there are still incredible worthwhile performances to be had, and John’s performance of “Mother” is one of them.  “Mother” is the unofficial sequel to John’s Beatle song “Julia” from the White Album.  Julia Lennon was struck down by an  drunk driving off duty police officer when he was 17.  Her death was already the 3rd or 4th tragic moment in a young life that was quickly piling up memorable scenes of wretched heartbreak.  By that point, young John already had to deal with the sorted split up between his parents which included an aborted kidnapping, the death of his uncle George, the strict surrogate parenting of his aunt Mimi, the discovery that his mother had another family whom all lived down the road without his knowledge, and the complete abandonment of his father who provided no support and lived in New Zealand.  The death of his mother, who he had just begun a reconciliation with, pushed John over the edge personality wise and hardened his soul.  The song “Mother” is the result of a bunch of soul searching and therapy, and is subsequently a triumph of someone who refused to be swallowed up by sadness, bitterness, and rage.  It’s one of John’s best songs, and one of my favorites too.  BTW, today is the last day to vote me in as CBS’s Best Local NYC Blogger, so, cast me one last vote for all time’s sake!  Thanks.

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John Lennon, Come Together, Live!

Posted in John Lennon, The Beatles, Youtube Favs on September 8th, 2011 by Willie

They say elephants never forget, and they also say fuck Yoko Ono.  When John Lennon played Madison Square Garden Live in 1972, he played an afternoon show and an evening show.  “Elephant’s Memory,” the backup band for John, claimed that the evening show was far superior, but upon releasing this concert  in 1986, long after John’s death, Yoko decided to use the inferior afternoon show  as the basis for the album and the concert video.  Why?  Nobody knows what Yoko is thinking.  She probably thinks that her performances in the afternoon show were better than her performances in the evening show, which is insane, because nobody could possibly care.  The tapes and video of the evening show are locked away forever, or maybe even destroyed, and we might never get to see them thanks to the brilliant Yoko.  Yoko did the same thing for the Mind Games video where she took a raw 19 hours of footage, shot by college kids who followed John Lennon around for a day, and condensed it to a precious 4 minutes!  In that 19 hours you can supposedly see John Lennon making an appearance at Radio City Music Hall, where the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band On The Road” was playing.  He apparently got a 20 minute standing ovation that he described as one of the greatest moments of his life, and proceeded to sit down on organ and play with the house band.  Why this footage is not released is beyond me.  I actually rather wish I knew it never existed, then to think Yoko’s got it hidden away somewhere for no one to see.  Blah, that’s the end of my rant.  Enjoy John’s performance of “Come Together,” a song originally written as a way to get people to vote LSD guru Timothy Leary as governor of California.  It’s a little historical tidbit that’s a perfect segue for me to champion my status as finalist in the CBS Best Local NYC Blogger award one last time!  Tomorrow is the last day of voting, and you can STILL vote for me, even if you’ve already voted!  Once a day counts, so click that link and put me over the top! 

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The Top 20 George Carlin Moments

Posted in George Carlin, Louie CK, Youtube Favs on September 7th, 2011 by Willie

So I was surfing the internet today, and I came across a brilliant little monolog that Louie C.K. did as a tribute to George Carlin.  George Carlin died in 2008, and if you didn’t know, he’s probably the greatest and most influential standup comic next to Richard Pryor.  He had an absolutely relentless ability to speak the truth in a hilarious and brilliant way.  He was a genius who just took the art form of standup comedy its apex, which is basically standup philosophy.  The first video is Louie C.K.’s tribute video to George that’s gonna convince you that watching the next four videos below is well worth your time.  What are these videos?  They are four incredible videos which contain George’s greatest moments in standup comedy.  All I can say is that watching these clips is utterly thrilling and thought provoking, and will inspire you profoundly.  George tackles politics, religion, the English language, the poor, class warfare, sports, the homeless, brainwashed populaces and much more.  There is not much I can add to this, other than, watch.  If you are just some random internet visitor who has never watched George Carlin, or have never heard of him, please, watch, now.  It’s your duty as a human being.  Oh, and I have one more autocratic order, please vote for me as CBS’s best local NYC blogger.  The contest ends September 9th, so please click the link!  Thanks, folks.

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The Strokes, Last Nite

Posted in The Strokes, Youtube Favs on September 6th, 2011 by Willie

I had a fun Labor Day weekend.  I crossed the Williamsburg Bridge on foot for the first time, explored Greenpoint, went to a great BBQ in Sheepshead Bay, got free tickets to the Museum of Natural History, hung out in Chinatown eating at the legendary Wo-Hop, and had a Belgium Chocolate milkshake at Haagen Dazs.  Basically, I was all over New York City, taking in the city I love before I depart for South Korea and Australia next month.  One great thing about this city is its history of rock and roll music, and no band in recent memory has blazed the torch for New York cool more than the Strokes.  At once both declared the saviors of rock and roll, and everything wrong with it, the Strokes have persisted for ten years now.  Coming out right after 9/11, the Strokes rock harder than ever, at least they do live, and it all started with their debut single, “Last Nite.”  When this single came out, I was 17 years old, starving for a new rock band to break into the pop scene and change the awful commercial images that dominated the depleted American cultural landscape at the time.  A lot of people would argue that the Strokes were depleted themselves, merely presenting a retread of the early 80s post punk rock movement, but I didn’t subscribe to that theory.  I saw them for what they were, rock stars writing catchy, exciting, and tasteful songs.  They were cool, and they still are.  Stroke on Strokes, and remember to vote me as CBS’s Best Local NYC Blogger by clicking here!

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Willie Simpson, Funeral Business

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music, Youtube Favs on September 4th, 2011 by Willie

I first wrote this song when I was a senior in college in 2006.  I had it kicking around until this past Spring when I decided to revive it.  I brought in my friend and musical genius Ian Wehrle to help me flesh out the lyrics and the bridge, and then I brought in guitar genius Andrew Lee to lay down one of the most exciting guitar solos I’ve ever heard.  The image above is taken from some website I found long ago which shows you pictures of tombstones with your name on it.  I think this one was from England.  It was rediscovering this image, lost somewhere on my hard drive, that was also a motivating factor in me bringing this song to life, and I hope you enjoy it.  Remember to vote for me as CBS’s best local NYC Blogger by clicking here! 


Oh, here are the lyrics.

You gotta degree
and now you need a career.
You studied philosophy
so whats it gonna be?
Lets get in the funeral business
there’s money in your buddy’s bones,
or your brother or your mother
or any kind of sucker
don’t you know they’ll all need a home.
See the skeleton playin piano
with a rhythm and a grace untold .
His hollowed out eyes are no disguise,
he’s laughin right in your soul
your soul

I think I finally picked a career
I haven’t had any luck, but its a whole new year
read the lines on my palm, and just look in my heart
where your life ends, is where my life starts
Lets get in the conjurin business
just waitin on a tax free loan
i got an old curse from a crooked nurse
who i married by the sacred stones

A skeleton sang at the wedding
with a voice broken like a ghost.
He put a vestment on when the sun was gone,
you could tell he was the perfect host
The perfect host

I dig my shovel in the dark wet earth
to another fresh grave I’m a giving birth
I guess I’m just a man who spends his days in a morgue
His nights in a crypt with the gutted and gored
(repeat first verse)


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The Kinks, Brainwashed

Posted in The Kinks, Youtube Favs on September 2nd, 2011 by Willie

I promised more Kinks, and by God I’m delivering more Kinks.  For who?  I have no idea.  Who are you people?  Are you even out there?  Is this just a daily exercise in attempting to augment my already distorted sense of self and importance?  If it is, it’s not working, as those last two things are at all time lows.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the theme of this website, and I realized that theme is reflected 100% accurately in its title.  This website is for me.  It’s not about me, rather, it’s for me.  This is the exact website I would read, with music I’d like to hear on a daily basis.  Some of the posts bore me, but I put them up because some version of me in the past was interested in it.  In other words, it’s a chance to exclaim a notion or some admiration I had five years ago.  Exclaim is a stretch, as I’m probably communicating these long dead sentiments to myself again, exclusively.  Well, here’s a new notion that just came to me.  I have a problem with this song, “Brainwashed” by the Kinks.  The crux of the problem rests in how I can’t get over what a perfect rock and roll song this is.  It’s got everything you could ever want out a 2:32 long pop song, and here’s why.  It was released in the 60s yet its still fresh because no one really knows about it.  It laid the groundwork for punk rock while also managing to be perhaps the greatest punk rock song ever created.  Lastly, the lyrics are unassailably inspired.   My spell check is telling me that unassailably is not a real word, driving me nuts as that squiggly red line underneath refuses to disappear lest I add it to the dictionary myself.  Fuck it, its going in the dictionary.  Vote for me.

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The Kinks, Australia

Posted in The Kinks, Youtube Favs on September 1st, 2011 by Willie

I’m moving to Australia!  That’s right, come October, I’m packing my life up, grabbing a friend, and taking a 21 hour flight overseas to the land down under.  Actually, I’m headed to South Korea for a week first, and then off to the land of kangaroos.  Don’t worry, it’s only for a year at most, and the website won’t change one bit, except for what time in the day I update it.  Anyway, in honor of this historic event in the life of Willie Simpson, I present you “Australia,” a track from one of my favorite albums of all time Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire.)  This song, from the Kinks’ best album, was the longest cut, and is like some hilarious sardonic commercial for moving to the continent.  Thematically, the song is part of the album’s concept about an idealistic British man named Arthur who is a World War I vet who tries to live the British dream, but can’t find real satisfaction because of the hollowness of such pursuits.  It’s a great groovy 60s song that blends satire, psychedelia, hard rock, and piano pop.  In honor of the this occasion, I’m gonna post as much as I can from Arthur for the rest of the week, assuming youtube is chalk full of videos.  In the meantime, you can vote me as CBS’s Best NYC Local Blogger by clicking here!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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