Greetings, fellow music lovers. I know we’re all ready to go MAD this weekend over the NCAA tourney, but first, let’s whip out our favorite randomly chosen 10 tunes to begin the weekend.
The NLS 10 eases in with (1) what Liz Phair called a “perfect little jewel” about a ruined rock hero. Tune two (2) is a hip-hop instrumental tribute to the S1Ws, Public Enemy’s (in)famous security team. (3) “New Day Rising” is the title track to one of the most underrated punk-ish albums to spring from the genius of Hart & Mould (that said, the only lyrics to this opening song are, essentially, the words in the album/song title). Track Four (4) is a funny old favorite, based on a woman Jim Croce met at a local bar (Croce also claimed that he wouldn’t play the song locally, as her husband could “really mess up a nice day”). Track Five (5) is an early one of many moody Robert Smith songs about (sex and?) death. (6) “Mr. Policeman” is the fourth track on the album “Street Songs.” The lyrics lament the pain caused by police brutality (from forty years ago, and before James’ own well-known run-in with the law). The song also features Stevie Wonder on the harmonica and Teena Marie on background vocals. (7) Skip Scarborough, a songwriter and producer who worked with Earth, Wind & Fire, Patti Labelle, LTD, and many others, wrote the music for this wonderful Bill Withers song, and was also the inspiration for the lyrics. Withers explained: “Skip was a very nice, gentle man. The way Skip was, every day was just a lovely day. He was an optimist.” Song Eight (8) is a beautiful but simple well-known love song by the iconic Bob Marley. Track Nine (9) is a jangly progressive pop hit from 1987 that mirrors (philosophically) the book of Ecclesiastes. (10) And we finish off this week with the only hit by Dutch quintet Urban Dance Squad, one of the first groups to successfully blend rap and rock in an affirming way.
(1) “Explain it to Me” by Liz Phair
(2) “Security of the First World” by Public Enemy
(3) “New Day Rising” by Husker D (full album at link for the uninitiated)
(4) “Roller Derby Queen” by Jim Croce (<— gorgeous live version here)
(5) “The Hanging Garden” by The Cure (official video in all its goth glory)
(6) “Mr. Policeman” by Rick James
(7) “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers (live from ‘88)
(8) “Satisfy My Soul” by Bob Marley & The Wailers (soul-satisfying live version)
(9) “No New Tale to Tell” by Love and Rockets (original trippy video)
(10) “Deeper Shade of Soul” by Urban Dance Squad