5.21.2010

battle of the bands

*singing* party people...party people

any hip hop heads out there know what i'm referencing? would it help if i said "party people" begins the 12" version of the song? any guesses? is this dumb? ha ha!

so in continuing with the music theme of the show, i thought i'd share a few more treats.

first, i need to give a gratitude shout out to my parents for instilling in me a deep love and appreciation for music.

if you will, imagine growing up in a household with rows and rows of vinyl. rows that could make you feel like a mini amoeba is in your living room. imagine only being able to watch a few hours of tv and within those hours sesame street and the electric company are prerequisites and your "electives" are the bionic woman, six million dollar man and wonder woman. everything else was music and books.

imagine your parents have a family band where your dad thinks he can compete with stevie wonder's harmonica skills, your mom swears she's chaka khan and you're little sis is shaking the tambourine. and you're in awe of all three. wait, what are you asking? is that the faint scent of hippies and marijuana in the background?

i was one of those kids that didn't love being in school, didn't love making friends, didn't love people at large and didn't particularly love much of anything outside of my home. needless to say, i've grown accustomed to the human population--albeit, i still have a love/hate relationship with it...them, but there's a part of me that is still very much like the above and can't wait to be home, surrounded by music.

what was truly amazing about my parents (and what i later discovered was rare) was that there were no limits to the music they collected. they loved and consumed music and it wasn't one particular genre they stuck to either, they appreciated everything. and i had full access.

through them i learned how to respect vinyl, learned how to take care of it, clean it, place the needle on it without scratching it but most importantly, i learned how to listen to music.

there were days my dad would take me on drives with him around the long, winding back roads of sonoma as we ventured along the russian river, through guerneville and out to goat rock. and there was a soundtrack to it all.

sometimes we spoke.

sometimes we just listened to music and watched the world go by through the window of his hatchback.

which brings me to a song i often heard growing up by paul simon called "50 ways to leave your lover." i'm sure you're familiar, it's a classic and if you need a refresher course, the link is below.

this song feels like home. it never gets old and it's amazing how at different points in my life, it's taken on different meanings and i grew to have different understandings. i think i heard that soothing melody when i was a kid as an adult, it was more of a "a-ha!" moment...like, oh yeah, mr. simon, i fucking get it. amazing what a songwriter can do.

and then a few years ago i heard the cover. i'm not sure if it was a homie of mine spinning or if i was out somewhere with fellow music heads but i remember taking notice. and i remember thinking, "wait, who?...what the fuck?" and i remember digging it.

ladies and gents, may i direct your attention to "battle of the bands."

to be honest, i'm not a huge cover fan unless an artist really brings something new to the table or at least makes it theirs. there's a few covers out there that do just that and i'll share more as things progress but for now, i think triple p (aka platinum pied pipers) did a wonderful jazzy version that is a respectable and beautiful homage, with lush vocals to boot by rogiers.

sweet and simple. enjoy.

50 ways to leave your lover - paul simon buy > here or here
50 ways to leave your lover - platinum pied pipers buy > here

p.s.
below is also the kind of shit i'd find "digging in the crates." this album cover kept me up nights since i knew it was just in the next room. waiting. i'd often bury it behind other records hoping it wouldn't be able to escape. i hated the texture of its nose and that wonky eye that looked like it was covered by an onion peel. i also imagined intense and feral halitosis.


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