Unleash the Love

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Don't Get Around Much Anymore: David's April 2020 Playlist

Given the current situation, I suppose I've been consuming the musical equivalent of comfort food, mostly older tracks that I already know and love. So unlike Porter's April playlist, there's not much new music in mine, though a couple of these tracks are new to me. The Spotify playlist is embedded below, followed by a track-by-track breakdown.

1. "Little Sister" by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley's post-Army output, prior to his '68 Comeback Special and "Suspicious Minds" from the following year, doesn't get much respect. But he released some great songs in the early '60s, including this one in 1961, by the songwriting team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. The flip side, "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame," also written by Pomus and Shuman isn't bad either.

2. "Everybody's Talkin'" by Bill Withers

I must confess that prior to his death in March, the only two Bill Withers tracks I could name off the top of my head were "Lean on Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine." But his backstory is fascinating, and I love his cover of "Everybody's Talkin'" from his first album. (He did the "record-skipping" vocal repeat for the "skipping over the ocean" line years before Squeeze used the same trick on "If I Didn't Love You.")

3. "Somebody's Crying" by Chris Isaak

Back in the 1990s, in my early years in Chicago, my main discovery system for new music was the banks of CD players with headphones at the Tower Records at Clark and Belden. It seems like the bulk of my CD collection came from stuff I found there, including this album.

4. "Killing the Blues" by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Listening to Chris Isaak sent me down an Internet rabbit hole, wondering what he was up to these days. That led to the discovery of the Robert Plant & Alison Krauss version of this wonderful song, written by his bass player, Rowland Salley.

5. "What Kind of People Live in These Houses" by Morrissey

Morrissey might be the musical equivalent of cilantro -- those who like him love him, while many listeners find him unpalatable. I'm in the former camp. (Referring here to the music, not his personality or political statements.) While this is technically a new song, his vocal melody borrows from previous Smiths and Morrissey solo songs. And the instrumental melody that appears throughout the song is a direct lift of "Rhythm of the Rain."

6. "Rawhide" by Link Wray & The Wraymen

Not as well-known as Wray's "Rumble," which appeared on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, but this instrumental rocks.

7. "Why Not Your Baby" by Velvet Crush

This is one of my favorite songs from the 1990s, but it's an older song, a cover of a Gene Clark (from the Byrds) track.

8. "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" by Ella Fitzgerald

It seems like everyone has covered this Duke Ellington/Bob Russell song at some point (Paul McCartney did a rocked-up version on his 1988 covers album) and I must have heard multiple versions of it over the years. But it didn't stick with me until I started watching the "Peter Gunn" series on Amazon Prime last year. The series, which ran from 1958 to 1961, often featured a song performed by Lola Albright, who played singer Edie Hart, the love interest of Gunn's character. Their relationship was somewhat racy for television of that era. Nothing too explicit was ever said or shown, but Lola's character was often seen at Gunn's residence, waiting for him to return after working a case, and it seemed pretty clear she wasn't going home that night. Her performance of "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" isn't available on YouTube or Spotify, but it seems likely that it was modeled on this 1957 version by Ella Fitzgerald, who was born 103 years ago today.

9. "Over You" by Roxy Music

For me, the Roxy Music catalogue is hit or miss. The more experimental early years, when Brian Eno was still in the band, never did that much for me. But the highlights of their later years are perfect.

10. "California Stars" by Wilco (and Billy Bragg)

I'm not sure if Billy Bragg actually appears on this track from the first album of his collaborations with Wilco, where they set Woody Guthrie lyrics to music. But it might be my favorite Wilco song of all time, with music that was primarily written by the late Jay Bennett.

posted by David

Monday, April 13, 2020

All In It Together: Porter's April 2020 Playlist

Porter's playlist for April is embedded below, or you can follow this link to open it on Spotify. I'll be posting my own April playlist later this month.

posted by David

Thursday, April 9, 2020

RIP John Prine

Porter of put together a quick tribute to John Prine last night, a cover of "Summer's End," with a remote mandolin overdub from his friend Chris Lozier.

posted by David

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

And Your Bird Can Chime

Based on the various alternate versions I've heard of Beatles songs ("Norwegian Wood," "I'm Looking Through You," "Strawberry Fields," etc.), it seems like the group almost always made the right call -- I usually prefer the released version to the outtakes and alternate arrangements. But I wonder if the band/George Martin made a mistake with "And Your Bird Can Sing." I think this chiming Byrds-like arrangement would've been a better choice than the version released on Revolver, assuming they tightened up the vocals and guitar solo:

Though maybe the overt Byrds influence was the problem. After "If I Needed Someone" from Rubber Soul, perhaps the band was reluctant to release another Byrds-sounding track on their next album. (This version did see the light of day on the second Anthology collection, but it was marred by excessive giggling on a vocal overdub by an obviously stoned Lennon and McCartney.)

posted by David

Friday, February 8, 2013

David's 2012 Favorites, Part 2: "Good Time" by Donnie & Joe Emerson

There's a great backstory here -- teen rockers Donnie and Joe Emerson lived on a farm in rural Washington state. They started playing music and their dad took out a second mortgage on his land to buy them decent instruments AND to build an 8-track home studio. They self-released an album in 1979 which went nowhere until it was discovered 30 years later by music bloggers and a track from it was covered by a big-time indie rock act. The album was re-released in 2012 and received an 8.0 rating from Pitchfork.

The album's lead-off track ("Good Time") is extremely catchy and reminds me a lot of Guided By Voices, channeling CCR:

posted by David

Friday, January 25, 2013

David's 2012 Favorites, Part 1: "Heaven" by the Walkmen

Porter put me to shame with his top 10 list and his nifty Spotify playlist. While I listened to a lot of music in 2012, his list made me realize just how little NEW music I discovered last year. So I'm skipping the full top-10 format, but I'll highlight -- in no particular order -- a few of my favorite songs from 2012.

First up is the title track from the latest Walkmen record. "Heaven" knocked me out more than any other Walkmen song since "The Rat" from 2004. Nice video, too:

posted by David

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #1: "Pyramids" by Frank Ocean

The best song of the year, IMHO. This will take 10 minutes to listen to but it likely won't seem like it. The album overall is an absolute bar-raiser.

This link will open a Spotify playlist with all of my top 10 tracks and other 2012 music I loved, including tracks from Beach House, Grizzly Bear, Guided By Voices, the Walkmen, Beach Fossils, Andrew Bird, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

posted by Porter

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #2: "Offspring Are Blank" by Dirty Projectors

When I first heard this track I literally laughed out loud. I thought it was unintentionally ridiculous. And then it grew on me, as did the whole album. Some of you will hate it. Lots of awesome, unexpected twists and turns throughout the record. For fans of: Eagles (not The Eagles); Snakes; Queen (not the Queen); Weirdness. Best YouTube comment: "AAAIIIIEEEEUUUUUUHHHa" (which may very well also be a lyric).

posted by Porter

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #2.5 "Elephant" by Tame Impala

At number 2.5 (sorry, I forgot about one earlier and had to wedge this one in) is this track. Really solid album overall, too. For fans of: John Lennon's trippy voice; distortion; grooves. Best YouTube comment: "I'm sure, even if I hadn't had a smoke, I would have liked this."

posted by Porter

Friday, January 18, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #3: "The Descent" by Bob Mould

For fans of: Guitars; melody; alt rock pioneers who can still crush it and make it seem easy. The video is pretty cool too. Best YouTube comment: "I cannot stop listening to this song! Even after the millionth time listening to it my hands still shake!!"

posted by Porter

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #4: "Would That Not Be Nice" by Divine Fits

I'm no fan of the album, but the single is undeniably catchy. For fans of: Spoon; other flatware; maracas.

posted by Porter

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #5: "Deer Creek Canyon" by Sera Cahoone

For fans of: Emmylou Harris; acoustic guitars; hand claps; the outdoors.

posted by Porter

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #6: "Locked Down" by Dr. John

Produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who also plays a great solo on this one. My money is on Auerbach to win a Grammy for the album. Dr. John is 72! For fans of: The Black Keys, black cat bones, juju, mojo, voodoo, hoodoo, mofos, izzness. Best YouTube comment: "Very cool track, it's been a while since I've heard a new song on the radio that made me want to know who it was."

posted by Porter

Monday, January 14, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #7: "Wet Blanket" by Metz

Listening to this may give you a facial tic for a few days. (If so, that means you like it.) For fans of: Early Nirvana; angel dust; jackhammers; distortion; compression; obsession; depression. Best YouTube comment: "Why do I feel that the moment this video ends some terrible things will start happening?"

posted by Porter

Friday, January 11, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #8: "Lithe & Blithe" by Stephanie Rearick

This is actually from 2011 but I just think it's beautiful and that more people should know about it. For fans of Rufus Wainwright, Debussy, flowers, birds, pianos. Full disclosure: Steph is a friend of mine.

posted by Porter

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #9: "I Bought My Eyes" by Ty Segall Band

For fans of: The Sonics, reverb, guitars, shredding. Best YouTube comment: "fuck hairmetal i always think of it when i hear certain tones, not that this is anything like that i just wish i never heard the other."

posted by Porter

Friday, January 4, 2013

Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve Starts NOW!

At number 10, it's "Doused" by DIIV:

posted by Porter

Unleashing Unleash the Love

Welcome to the new blog for the Layaways! We'll post the latest band news and updates here, but for the most part, David and Porter will write about music and pop culture.

And if you're wondering about the name, it's inspired by the one and only Mike Love of the Beach Boys. In addition to his unique stage moves and banter, bizarre Rock and Roll Hall of Fame speeches, and an ability to annoy Beach Boys fans by "firing" Brian Wilson and the rest of the original band, Love excels at naming his unreleased solo albums. I've heard neither of them, but they're two of my all-time favorite album titles: "Mike Love, Not War" and "Unleash the Love."

posted by David

The official blog of the Layaways. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Listen to the Layaways on Spotify or Pandora.

recent posts
Don't Get Around Much Anymore: David's April 2020 ...
All In It Together: Porter's April 2020 Playlist
RIP John Prine
And Your Bird Can Chime
David's 2012 Favorites, Part 2: "Good Time" by Don...
David's 2012 Favorites, Part 1: "Heaven" by the Wa...
Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #1: "Pyra...
Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #2: "Offs...
Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #2.5 "Ele...
Porter's Top Ten Tunes of Twenty Twelve, #3: "The ...

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