Tag Archives: music

The Rain Song

Well it hasn’t rained today, at least not while I’ve been awake and I’ve been awake since about 8:30. It’s been a good run, since it’s now 5:34.

I’m listening to a playlist I’ve made on iTunes for Led Zeppelin, labeled Eat @ Blimpies. It’s quite humid out and listening to Robert Plant sing seems most apt.

I have a memory of this song from a few years ago, driving down to Sandy Hook with Stine, Annemarie and Earl. It was overcast in Hoboken but I think I got Annemarie and Stine into going anyway applying my wisdom in saying that it just might be different weather down there.

It rained a bit on and off as we were driving and The Rain Song was playing as we drove through various streets in search of the eventual blue sky.

Now Fool in the Rain comes on. I can play the basic bass line on this song. A small accomplishment.

It’s from In Through the Out Door. Which is dominated by the most underrated John Paul Jones since Jimmy Page was strung out most of the time.

You can tell since the guitar isn’t the main instrument. Nice Latin break in the middle eight.

I was never much of a Led Zeppelin fan, in fact I loathed them. I held to the punk ethos on that one. In grammar school when most of my classmates were discovering music, it was the ‘bad’ kids that listened to Zeppelin.

The ones who discovered sex and drugs and rock and roll before I did. I liked whatever was on the Top 40 then. If it was on Music Radio 77WABC I generally liked it.

Of course Elton was always there. Bowie was an alien to me, and some of the ‘bad’ kids got into him as well.

A lot of the music that I heard that wasn’t on the radio was from my brothers and sister. Frank played Mott the Hoople’s All the Young Dudes a lot for a while. Annemarie played Somethings Happening by Peter Frampton and Brian was undergoing some Brain Salad Surgery from Emerson Lake and Palmer.

And on top of that was the music my parents liked which was mainly Big Band stuff from the 1940’s.

Right now, Trampled Underfoot from Physical Graffiti is playing. That is a funky groove. One of the handful of songs that I like from that double album.

Bonham is going nuts on the drums. I played this once when I was DJ’ing at a bar on Washington Street in the last century.

No, not McSwells.

Slapani’s which is now something else. I was playing a lot of chill out music, some quiet jams, some light hip hop, when some townie comes up to me and asks me to play some white music.

‘But music has no color man’ is what I said.

He gave that look that matched the horn hanging around his neck. I dutifully played some white music, Zeppelin, which was almost entirely derived from black music, the Blues.

As John Paul Jones’ clavinet was percolating, Joe Neckbone strikes poses and plays terrible air guitar.

One of my last DJ gigs I believe. It certainly wasn’t fun anymore.

Singin’ In The Rain

Well I am home again, first official 3 day weekend. I’m presently listening to a version of Singin’ In The Rain by a Brooklyn band called Just Water. It’s a song I had as a 45 that I bought after hearing the song a few times on the old WPIX- FM back in the late 1970’s.

It’s more of a power pop song, you could imagine Cheap Trick singing it, or maybe Shoes. I’ve been looking for it online for a while, since finding songs online was the thing to do. Found it on iTunes oddly enough even though I could swear it wasn’t there a few months ago.

Still, for $0.99 I couldn’t resist. I’m sure when I originally bought it, it was more than $0.99. It was an independent record then and reading about it today, I found that it was picked up by Stiff Records back in the day.

I used to love Stiff Records and would buy the compilations of their artists and sometimes artists that weren’t on Stiff. Music by John Cooper Clarke, A. More, The Modettes etc. Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, Lene Lovich were all on Stiff at one point, as was Madness. But I never really liked Madness once they left 2 Tone Records.

That’s the type of music geek I was. I would search out record labels. I guess that’s how it’s always been for music geeks. If you liked a certain type of Soul and R&B, then buying Atlantic, Motown or Stax among others, you probably couldn’t do wrong.

With Punk, New Wave and Post Punk, it was almost the same but sometimes you could get a real stinker. Those were the days when there was lot’s of spending cash, and $40.00 spent in a record store would have you coming home with a few albums and singles.

I’d ride the Path or the bus home and just look at the album covers, anxious to play what was inside. I’m the guy who would trek up Rochelle Avenue, boom box resting in the crook of my arm on Friday nights, buying whatever I could get at Sam Goody or Alexanders where most of the albums were on sale for $4.99.

My brothers and sister were all possessive about their music so it wouldn’t be surprising to find 2 or 3 copies of Sticky Fingers by the Rolling Stones, or anything by the Beatles. My father couldn’t understand it and once stopped me from getting the Stones Some Girls album with the original artwork (which they got sued over and forced to change) for myself since my brother Brian had a copy.

Yes, I hate to say it but I was Shattered.

It was also around the time where I would go to St. Marks Sounds and buy countless import 45’s at $5.00 a pop. Special versions, different mixes, posters, colored vinyl always made money leave my pocket and wind up in the register of the British woman with the red hair, or the dread locked brother who managed the bag check. I was in awe of that woman for some reason. I think I had a weakness for strong, judgmental women.

Around the corner from St. Marks Sounds was Free Being, which I mentioned last week. That was a dreary store but also had great selections. Sounds is still around I think, Free Being isn’t. St. Marks Place is a shopping mall these days and you probably wouldn’t see Prince walking down the street (like I did), or the Rolling Stones shooting a video on the 4th of July weekend in St. Marks Bar & Grill.

I also downloaded for free from Popdose today, The Inmates covering Dirty Water, another song from my WPIX FM listening days, as well as 2 versions of Peter Gabriel, Steam which was way after WPIX-FM went to ‘love songs, nothing but love songs’.

I recommend checking out and subscribing to Popdose. Every night I get interesting articles about pop culture and occasional free downloads.