Song of the Week: “The Handshake” by Bad Religion

by Douglas Cowie on 20 January 2017

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “The Handshake” by Bad Religion:

Donald J. Trump is being sworn in as President of the United States today.  It’s worth spending some time thinking about whose hands he’s shaken to get there, and who is willing to shake his hand now that he’s there, and where you stand and what you’re going to do about it.

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Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Hanging on the Telephone” by Blondie:

Honestly, some weeks I really just phone this blog post in.

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Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Straight, No Chaser” by Thelonious Monk:

I’ve been learning to play this song.  There’s about a million components (give or take a couple) to the genius of Thelonious Monk, but what I’ve grown to really appreciate while playing a few of his notes (on a trumpet) is the complexity he fashions out of a very simple structure and key here.  It’s basically a B-flat blues in 2/2 time, and yet he makes it lurch and wind all over the place.  It’s a song I’ll never get bored of listening to, and trying to play it seems to be endlessly fun and interesting, too.

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Song of the Week: “El Relojito” by Gloría Rios

by Douglas Cowie on 30 December 2016

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “El Relojito” by Gloria Ríos:

A couple of weeks ago I read Refried Elvis by Eric Zolov. It’s a really interesting history of the culture and politics of rock ‘n’ roll music in Mexico.  When rock ‘n’ roll first hit Mexico, one of the forms it almost immediately took was the “refrito,” in which American, English-language rock ‘n’ roll hits were performed by Mexican artists in Spanish (or, as here, a slightly odd mix of Spanish and English).  This version of Bill Haley and the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” by dancing up a storm Gloria Ríos is one of the best.

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