Monday, April 11

Music Monday: RIP Merle Haggard

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! I was literally just finishing a tribute to the late Gato Barbieri when Merle Haggard passed away. So get ready for Gato's tribute down the road. This week's death recap goes to Merle.

Merle Haggard - (My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers


Merle Haggard was born in a boxcar. Merle Haggard lost his father when he was still in single digits. Merle Haggard taught himself to play guitar by listening to records. Merle Haggard was in prison, where he saw Johnny Cash perform, and Merle Haggard decided he wanted to do that to. Merle Haggard was basically the character you'd expect a Hollywood writer to create as a caricature of a country star, except Merle Haggard earned every damn bit of it with his own two hands. Merle Haggard was a bad-ass. Today's all about him. This song here was his first top ten hit which is why we're starting with it. He didn't write it himself, but he made it famous.

More Merle ahead. Be ready.

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Monday, April 04

Music Monday: RIP Phife Dawg

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Even though there are some other tributes in the way, today's March 23rd, and we've just learned about the passing of A Tribe Called Quest rapped Phife Dawg. So today's a slightly-belated tribute to him. Enjoy.

A Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It?


Q-Tip was always the most visible member of the Tribe, but Phife Dawg was right there beside him from the start. He's the second rapper on this particular track and his raps are just as playful and infectious as his partner's. Like many young men, I listened to a lot of hip hop in the '80s and '90s, and I was always happy when a Tribe Called Quest song came on the radio. Phife Dawg was a part of why.

More good music coming up after the jump.

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Monday, March 28

Music Monday: RIP Maurice White

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! On February 4th, the great and wonderful Maurice White passed away, and somehow Scott just didn't hear about it until right now. He's a big Earth Wind & Fire fan so he's going to make up for his mistakes right now! Let's pay tribute to a musical juggernaut together.

Earth, Wind & Fire - After The Love Has Gone


This is the first Earth, Wind & Fire song I ever heard. It was on the stereo in our downstairs room, it was summer, the back door was open and there was a light breeze. I had nothing to do and most of the day to not do it in. I was still a kid, and I didn't know the band's name, but I felt like it was the most perfect song for that moment and I still do. I didn't know anything about the history of the band or what they were trying to do or really anything at all, I just knew that it was an amazing song that felt like a nice summer's day. And that was really enough for me.

More coming up, as you'd expect.

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Monday, March 21

Music Monday: RIP Keith Emerson

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! At this point it's pretty clear that it's NOT a good year to be a '70s rock star from the UK. The legendary keyboard warrior Keith Emerson passed away about two weeks ago, and only got time-shifted because the George Martin tribute was already done. But Keith was all about cool effects, right? He'd probably be fine with a little time-shifting. And prog rock wouldn't be prog rock without ol' Keith.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Karn Evil 9


If we're being honest with ourselves, there's a real chance the Insane Clown Posse starts the first time two Detroit kids hear this song. But no matter if that's true or not, this bizarre mix of classic rock and future synth slips in and out of tomorrow funk and pre-rock classical. And don't forget the Giger album cover! If you're a prog head, you've had a beat up copy of this in your collection at one time or another. And it's not even the coolest thing Keith Emerson was involved with.

Unless you're a die-hard fan, you're gonna be surprised what Scott found. And if you are a die-hard fan, you're just gonna want to pay tribute. Come join us as we RIP a prog god.

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Monday, March 14

Music Monday: RIP George Martin

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! 2016 has killed again. But don't worry, this time it was a ninety-year old man who had a full and magical life. We'll miss George Martin, but he certainly wasn't taken from us too early.

Peter Sellers - The Trumpet Volunteer


Some of George Martin's first work was in comedy, in fact. For the Parliphone label he took a hip and current comic and recorded some of his bits onto a 10" EP. Today it might seem a bit tame, but once upon a time, this was serious comedy. And the sales helped make George Martin into someone the company could take seriously.

More to come as we delve into the great George Martin's life and music. No Game Of Thrones jokes please. IT'S BEEN DONE. Editor's Note: after writing this I learned about Keith Emerson, so watch for him next week. It's gonna be a long year.

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Monday, March 07

Music Monday: Transformative Covers

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Today Scott's taking a look at songs that exist in two ways: the first version that some people know, and the second version that other people know. Probably you can come up with a few off the top of your head, all those songs that were transformed completely by the cover. Maybe you didn't even know the cover WAS a cover! Here's our first example now:

Lynn Anderson/Kon Kan - I Never Promised You A Rose Garden


Lynn Anderson's country crossover hit was pretty popular with, well, a good chunk of America. Kon Kan's dance remix wasn't anywhere nearly as big. But you can tell by listening to them both that they take two very different paths to the end result. I'll leave it to you which one you like best.

Get the idea? Good! Four more on the way...

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Monday, February 29

Music Monday: New Day

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! If you're seeing this, we've gone a week without a famous music figure dying. Let's start a new trend, shall we? Today Scott's got five songs about new days. Get ready. The last one might be controversial.

Husker Du - New Day Rising


Ever gotten out of bed the day after a breakup and told your reflection "this is where it all begins again!" Ever walked away from that mirror and immediately spent the day mad at the stuff you supposedly just threw away? That's the sound of this song. It's a new day, but that doesn't mean you've immediately forgotten the past. It takes some work to push through that new day and start a new trend. But if you keep at it, you'll reach the new week, then the new year, then the new you.

Four more comin' right up.

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Monday, February 22

Music Monday: RIP Denise Matthews

by Scott Lydon

So we're ending the second month of 2016, and we keep losing musicians every freakin' Monday. I write this on a Tuesday, after learning that Vanity passed away last night. Based on current trends, another musician is dying as you're reading this. Who knows how many RIP posts I'm gonna do before the year is out? Anyway, today's a tribute to Vanity. Even though she renounced her crazy old life and turned to God, she still left behind some cool music.

Vanity 6 - Nasty Girl


It's totally fair to say that this song wouldn't exist without Prince, because that's 100% correct. Vanity was basically a stand-in because Prince couldn't transform himself into a woman and sing these songs. But that doesn't mean she was untalented. Here's a way to test it: try to sing this song. Seriously. It's like a wave of words and rhythm that just keep slapping against you. You can run out of breath before you even get to the chorus.

Think Scott can't do four more? THINK AGAIN.

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Monday, February 15

Music Monday: RIP Paul Kantner

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! I've actually been really busy of late, and I wasn't even at a computer when I heard Paul Kantner died, back on January 28th. That's really for the best because can you imagine how depressing it would have been to have three consecutive Music Mondays about dead rock stars? Even still, Paul Kantner was pretty cool, so now that I'm back at my desk, he gets a well-deserved send off.

Jefferson Airplane - Chauffeur Blues


So before anyone was building a city or asking Alice, the Jefferson Airplane was a bunch of young people playin' the blues. At that time, Grace Slick wasn't singing, that's Signe Toly Anderson you hear. Why is that notable? Because Ms. Anderson also died on January 28th, same date as Paul Kantner did. So this particular song serves as a double tribute. Kind of the month the music died.

Four more coming up as we say goodbye to Paul Kantner together.

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Monday, February 08

Music Monday: Harmonies

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! It's always neat how different layers can combine to make a greater harmony. Today Scott's looking at some of these layers when they're dissected one by one. You'll catch on pretty quick if you know your music history. Let's begin, shall we?

The Journeymen - Run Maggie Run


In the early '60s, this trio of folk friends formed to harmonize sweetly. Dick, John and Scott put out a few albums and did okay, but never really broke any records or anything. But don't they sound nice? That's harmony right there!

More harmonies to come! Sing along if you wanna!

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