Sly Stone, You Really Got Me, Fantastic Kinks Cover

Posted in Sly Stone, The Kinks, Youtube Favs on February 8th, 2012 by Willie

Sly Stone, I can safely say, is the funkiest man ever born in Texas.  Ray Davies, the mastermind behind the Kinks, was born of a more dainty British cloth.  Don’t get me wrong, Ray’s rebellious awesomeness cannot be questioned, but there is no doubt that he is crumpet eating, village green strolling, nostalgia reflecting English gentleman.  What was so great about the rock revolution of the 1960s was how world’s so seemingly divergent, could merge through music, in thrillingly unpredictable ways.  The song below is such an instance.  This is a fantastic, funky, and fresh studio outtake of Sly tackling Ray’s garage rock classic, “You Really Got Me.”  Words to describe what awaits you behind the play button are useless in the face of Sly’s sleek and sexy guitar playing.  So, do your soul a favor and groove to this.

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

Pink Floyd, Pigs on the Wing 1 and Dogs (Live)

Posted in Pink Floyd, Youtube Favs on November 24th, 2011 by Willie

Animals by Pink Floyd is my absolute favorite Floyd album and one of my favorite albums ever.  For me, this is the highlight of Pink Floyd week as I get to share a live performance of “Pigs on a Wing 1” as an intro to “Dogs,” my favorite Pink Floyd song.  Animals is Pink Floyd’s real masterpiece, with better songs then Dark Side of the Moon, and is way more thematically focused then The WallAnimals has 5 songs, with the intro “Pigs on a Wing 1,” being brought back at the end with slightly different lyrics, so its really 4 songs.  The record is mostly the work of Roger Waters, who at this point took full creative control of the band.  It’s a concept album loosely based on George Orwell’s book Animal Farm, mainly a railing against with the oppressive social-political of Great Britain.  The whole thing is a psychedelic progressive folk rock masterpiece.  It is also an angry finely manicured response to the emerging punk rock movement.  Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols famously wore an “I hate Pink Floyd,” t-shirt, and Roger Waters and company wanted to remind the punkers they too emerged from an underground movement determined to unmoor the uptight and conformist British hierarchy.  For “Dogs,” Waters wrote the lyrics, and Gilmour, in his only songwriting contribution to the record, wrote the music.  It was originally titled, “You’ve Got to Be Crazy,” and features some of Pink Floyd’s best lyrics and dynamic guitar solos.  It’s a piece of fantastic psychedelic dark funk, and demands worship.  So check out this live performance and go for the gold by sitting through the whole thing, its worth it.

Part 2 cannot be embedded, so just click this link to be taken to it on youtube.

Here is a clean recording of “Dogs,” but with no live footage.

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

Greatest Rock Vocalists #5, Janis Joplin, Piece of My Heart, To Love Somebody

Posted in Greatest Rock Vocalists, Janis Joplin, Youtube Favs on October 3rd, 2011 by Willie

Did you know “Piece of my Heart” was originally recorded by Aretha Franklin’s older sister Erma?  I didn’t even know Erma existed and had a music career.  Thanks Wikipedia.  Well, we all know Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company’s classic version.  The video I have below is the most hard rocking and punkiest take I’ve ever seen.  Janis and the boys deliver this one with some extra kick and funk, blasting it out for hard core blues addicts.  The tempo is super-charged, and the atmosphere is damned manic, I’ve never seen a Janis performance like this.  The next bonus song, “To Love Somebody,” is taken from the Dick Cavett Show in 1969.  This one is just a pure showcases for Janis’s unbelievable talent and energy.  It reminds you that Janis was, and remains, the greatest female rock vocalist, and in the overall top 5 of greatest rock vocalists ever.  I have her as #5.  I came out about this number extremely scientifically, having gone through the long process of spontaneously coming up with the concept as I’m writing this sentence.  This is bound to be fun, so stay tuned tomorrow and watch me pull #4 out of my ass.

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

The Beastie Boys Feat. The Roots, "So What'cha Want" Live On Jimmy Fallon

Posted in The Beastie Boys, The Roots, Youtube Favs on July 6th, 2011 by Willie

It’s the Beastie Boys, its the Roots, and they’re performing “So What’cha Want” LIVE!  Well, it was live, on the Jimmy Fallon show not too long ago.  This is an awesome clip of Mike D, Ad-Rock, and MCA killing their classic hit single from their 1992 LP Check Your Head.  I’ve always like the Beasties, but never really delved head first into their records until recently.  I appreciate their aggressive 3 pronged vocal attack, recording creativity, and their general subversive attitude they interject into the mass culture.  They are three radical uncompromising artists who command a massive fan base which is an impressive feat in today’s sell out sort of world.  This is a flawless performance showcasing their rock solid vitality, an amazing feat in itself for any group that’s been together as long as they have…

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

Michael Jackson, Leave Me Alone

Posted in Michael Jackson, Youtube Favs on June 12th, 2011 by Willie

Soul week comes to a close with part 87 of my ever expanding youtube countdown.  Today, I have my favorite Michael Jackson cut of all time, “Leave Me Alone,” from Bad. Released in 1987, “Leave Me Alone” was actually left off the American version of Bad, but was later added as a bonus track.  This, I’ll never understand.  It was clearly the best song from the session, representing a clear, concise, and true message from the King of Pop.  It’s basically his banner, more than “Billie Jean,” or “Beat It,” and he should have played it at every live show.  Actually, I don’t think he ever performed it live, which is a shame, because its the hardest rocking piece of funk MJ ever came up with.  The thing that grabs me most are first few seconds.  That 80s snyth keyboard intro is nothing less than hardcore 80s psychedelia.  In fact, this whole song is the closest Jackson ever got to psychedelia.  It’s a swirling, paranoid, personal, foray into his inner demons set to pop music, and it rules.  Anyway, enjoy the music video, which is also one of Jackson’s best.

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

James Brown, Get Up Offa That Thing, Dancing Lessons

Posted in James Brown, Youtube Favs on June 10th, 2011 by Willie

Part 86 kicks your ass.  It’s soul week at, and I got the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, in two incredible clips.  The first is a dancing lesson not meant for beginners.  It’s James in full 70s flair, just announcing steps and performing them with utter mastery.  I don’t know who this tape is supposed to help, outside his own potential backup dancers who were never in his league anyway.  It’s both really funny and truly spellbinding to see the master of dance just strut his magic.  Clip two is another rare clip of James performing his classic “Get Up Offa That Thing.”  This is a hard stomping dance funk explosion of a song.  I really believe James was the Mozart of funk and soul.  An artist without peer, a true genius plugged directly into God’s inspiration.  There is just no other explanation for his dazzling gifts.  So get up offa that thing folks, and dance till you feel better, and happy Friday.

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

Marvin Gaye, Sexual Healing, 1983 Grammys

Posted in Marvin Gaye, Youtube Favs on June 9th, 2011 by Willie

Part 85 my soul people, back with more Marvin Gaye like I promised.  This time, its a special performance of “Sexual Healing,” sung live at the 1983 Grammys.  This was Marvin’s last worldwide smash hit, eventually peaking at #3 on the Billboard 100 after dominating the R&B charts.  There is a lot of tragedy and joy to be found in the creation of this record.  It’s a reflection of Marvin attempting  to embrace a healthier more peaceful life through sobriety, exercise, and  Sadly, just as he was in the midst of his triumphant comeback, he was gunned down by his father in one of the more bizarre rock and roll assassinations.  It reminds me a lot of John Lennon’s demise after he completed Double Fantasy. It’s really painful to think of the three icons; Marvin Gaye, John Lennon, and Bob Marley, all dying in the early 80s.  They left a tremendous void.  Anyway, this song was almost entirely produced by Marvin himself outside of the rhythm guitars.  It’s a true masterpiece that touched on elements of doo-wop, snythpop, reggae, funk and gospel.  This performance, a lot like the song, is a triumph.  Marvin reminds the music elite that he is an absolute God, taking them to school by defining what pop music is and can be.  RIP Marvin.

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

Marvin Gaye, The National Anthem

Posted in Marvin Gaye, Youtube Favs on June 8th, 2011 by Willie

Soul week grooves on with part 84 of my youtube countdown.  Today I have Marvin Gaye, the Prince of Soul, singing “The National Anthem” at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.  For my money, this is the greatest National Anthem ever, slightly better than Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic Woodstock performance.  Marvin managed to turn the normally stuffy and militaristic anthem into a smooth soul jam complete with the most seductive beat and vocal delivery ever achieved for the song.  There is just too much to love about this video.  I love the way he sexualizes the song, driving every woman in the crowd absolutely crazy.  I love the way the NBA arena reflects off his large sunglasses.  Most of all, I love the way he squeezes all that emotion from his performance to the point where he looks like he is going to cry.  The most amazing feat of the song is that Marvin’s version somehow reflects the entire history of cultural cool that America has produced in its history, not just its military glory and political power.  It’s almost a personal anthem, reflecting Marvin’s sad yet sexy soul.  Whatever it is, its a pure wonder, and an essential listening experience.  Enjoy.  Oh, PS, expect more Marvin this week.

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

Michael Jackson, Pepsi Commericals

Posted in Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, Youtube Favs on June 2nd, 2011 by Willie

We’re the Pepsi Generation in part 79 of my youtube countdown.  I’ve got Michael, Marlon, Jackie, Randy, Tito, and Jermaine all pitching soft drinks in the height of the 80s soda craze.  These 3 awesome videos to take you back in time to a more magical place where if you were drinking a Pepsi and dancing in the Bronx, you might just run into Michael Jackson and his brothers doing the same.  Wearing the same clothes as them only increased your chances by the way.  The other video features the gang getting ready for one of their Victory tour shows, evidenced by the guy wearing a 350 dollar official Victory Tour jacket.  Lastly, I have a clip of Michael’s hair catching fire filming, the event that supposedly led him to consider more and more radical plastic surgery.  Pretty freaky stuff.  It’s kind of incredible that even though his head is blazing, he keeps dancing until the entire crew tackles him trying to save his life.  Crazy!


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

The Top Ten Most Played Songs on my iPod

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music on May 18th, 2011 by Willie

Did you know that when you plug your iPod into your computer, iTunes can arrange your iPod’s mp3s by plays, from most played to least? It’s pretty fascinating to see what you’ve been listening to exclusively, and how many thousands (yes thousands of times) you’ve clicked play on certain songs. Well, I’d thought it’d be interesting to share the top ten most played songs on my iPod in a new awesome mega post. So, without further ado, here is the list, starting with #10!

#10- The Police- Can’t Stand Losing You, 255 plays. My countdown kicks off with the Police’s catchy little reggae punk tune known as “Can’t Stand Losing You.”  From Outlandos d’Amour, this song isn’t skipped much for a bunch of reasons.  First, its supremely catchy, with its syncopated guitars, tight harmonies, and perfect drumming.  Second, Sting’s lyrics are so raw and real, that its one of the greatest breakup songs ever.  I’m just addicted to the way that chorus fades into oblivion.

#9-  The Beatles- Eleanor Rigby, 509 plays. Ahh, the Beatles, of course, you’ll be seeing a few songs by the fab four pepper my top ten I’m not ashamed to say. “Eleanor Rigby,” from Revolver, is just a brilliant song to play on a crowded depressed subway during rush hour.  The song swoops in with George Martin’s brilliant string arrangement, and you look around the train and see “all the lonely people,” wondering “where do they all belong.”  Then you wonder if you yourself is one of those lonely people who is gonna die alone while you are arranging your socks in your dingy apartment. Read more »

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