“Fatherly Influence” – The Skald’s Lyre

Happy Saturn’s Day

Musical Journal:

I probably should have done this closer to Father’s Day but this post is more the result of reflection on my father the last couple weeks. I can count my mother’s influence on my musical tastes in a couple things – classical and choir arrangements.   My father, on the other hand, was eclectic in his music tastes. That rubbed off on me.

The family story goes that dad tried to buy a car but the guy said he had no credit rating so no dice. Dad then figured out the quickest way to get a credit rating.  He bought a record player on credit and paid it off in six months.  He then had the credit rating to get a car.  I don’t know what happened to the car.  But the record player was in my room as a teenager and I used it to play a lot of things. Including some metal if your wondering.

The result of this was a record collection which was part my mom ( a whole collection of classical music and some choir stuff) and part my dad. Later it would be part me. For my dad’s part, he was all over the place. Below are a few selections and some of my thoughts still regarding them. mostly though I picked up my eclectic, ‘if it sounds good to me I like it’ attitude from dad.

Personal Significance:

“Good Night Sweetheart” – Sha Na Na

I know it is hard to believe but when I was a teenager they had a show dedicated to the 1950s music and culture called Sha Na Na.  I suppose this song which is shortened for the purpose of the show represents a lot of doo-wop which my day was a big fan.  Dad never missed this show and mom liked it too.  I was kind of interested as doo-wop is still something I like to listen to on occasion.  I like this one because Bowser as a bass singer was top notch.

“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash 

Probably the greatest thing dad ever did for me was expose me to Johnny Cash.  legendary song by a legendary artist in a legendary place.  To me Cash defies classification.  Is the country? Rockabilly? Rock-n-roll?  The answer is yes and no.

“Good Woman Blues” – Mel Tillis

Dad loved Mel mostly because he was fascinated by the fact that the man should sing like an angel but he could not talk straight because he stuttered. He always reminded me that just because people struggle in one area it does not mean they will be extraordinary in another.  This is also a good representation of the country music my dad was a fan of.

“Allentown” – Billy Joel

I used to have a paper route.  In the winter dad would drive me around to deliver and he would play the radio.  One of the songs at the time was this one and given my dad liked it.  He didn’t really like Billy Joel as a person much or even the message of the song completely.  having been a former union man and later on against them feeling a good boss and being a good human being was better than the antagonism of union vs. management. But he liked the song.

“In a Gadda Da Vida” – Iron Butterfly

The story goes that dad was putting together his next stereo and the guy at the shop said if he wanted to test the sound quality he should buy this song, sit between the two speakers and if he could tell him something interesting about the drummer’s playing then he had the sound right.  What it was is if you had it right the dri=ummer sounds like he is moving around you.  It works I tried it myself. This album stayed on dad’s record shelf until his death. He actually seemed to like the psychedelic 60s stuff.

Play List: 

“Good Night Sweetheart” – Sha Na Na

“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash

“Good Woman Blues” – Mel Tillis

“Allentown” – Billy Joel

“In a Gadda Da Vida” – Iron Butterfly

Bonus Tracks:

Two Bonus Tracks today.  One more a representative of the doo-wop songs my dad had in his collection and something that I think was dad’s celebrity crush. Janis Joplin.  I think it was her voice.  I know to me, her voice is sexy as hell. Enjoy.

“Blue Moon” – The Marcels

“Piece of My Heart” – Janis Joplin

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Hard Rockin’ Girls” – The Skald’s Lyre

Happy Saturn’s Day

Musical Journal:

I need a female voice that sings in my life.  I am fairly much a sucker for it.  I find myself drawn to women who can sing and it has always been an interest of mine to listen to bands and solo artists that are female. I have lost track of how many times and female voice singing has calmed me down. I have also lost track of how many times a female voice has caught my attention when singing and I have to go see who it is.

Now if you add that said female is involved in hard rock or metal then there is definitely a bonus attraction.  Girls that Rock are a rare breed as it is unusual or at least it was in rock and roll’s past to see it.  Not so much today but the selection has gotten better as women have basically said this is one stage where we can play just as well as the boys may be better and they are right.

Below are some of the girl front women and actual female groups that have made my playlist from time to time. Most of them are definitely a representative of the rebellious female that screams that rebellion, lust, anger, love or rage into a microphone.  I think emotion is probably a stronger thing in women and it comes out in their music.  There is, of course, the attraction fo being female and showing us that you can rock in a feminine way that still rocks.

Personal Significance:

I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts:

One of my teenage crushes was Joan Jett.  Sorry I was never into the prom queen type.

Rock Me Like The Devil – Crucified Barbara: 

Women singing a song about how they like good sex and want the man in their life to fuck them like a pro. Too bad this band was short-lived.  They definitely had some super good rifts and attitude.

Mz. Hyde – Halestorm:

Halestorm is one of my newer discoveries and I love the band as a whole.  This song is catchy in that it is well done, has a great rift and seeing we are talking about female rockers is one of Halstorms that actually has the title ‘Mz.’ in it.  The fact that women have multiple personalities is no surprise to any man, other than in this case she has so few.

Zombie – Pretty Reckless:

This song about being dead to others who have wronged them is really good and I find myself humming it to myself when I think of certain people at times.  Pretty Reckless has some good tunes other than this, but this one I feel in my soul at times.

Edge of a Broken Heart – Vixen: 

Vixen was a girl hair metal band.  I know back in the 80s the achieved a level of popularity among teenage boys that was legendary and I am sure it was for the quality of music they produced.  Yeah, right.  They were good but I think it was that 80s look that we liked seeing on four women rocking it out.  I mentioned before that prom queen types don’t appeal to me before right?

Headbanger – Babymetal:

‘Babymetal is going to ruin metal’ is what people thought when they first came out. My response is that ‘if metal can’t handle three Japanese girls, then metal music is in sorry shape’. I do have to give a shout out to the musicians that are behind the group, they are skilled. The whole thing with this group for me is that they brought pageantry and spectacle – imagery – back to metal.  They have a lot of good songs. Metal music and cute Japanese girls, I wonder what the attraction to people was? Headbanger is probably a solid song of theirs but you should check out Karate too.

Play List:

I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts:

Rock Me Like The Devil – Crucified Barbara: 

Mz. Hyde – Halestorm:

Zombie – Pretty Reckless:

Edge of Broken Heart – Vixen:

Headbanger – Babymetal:

Bonus Track: Karate – Babymetal:

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Covers Better Than the Orignal” – The Skald’s Lyre

Happy Saturn’s Day 

Musical Journal:

Cover Songs are something  I like to hear from time to time.  It is what causes me to remember that music is something that can connect with other people other than the original artist that did the song.  It also reveals from time to time that the emotions that the cover performer has are more closely connected to the song than the original artist.  When that happens the cover is often ‘better’ than the original. It is better in the sense that it speaks louder than original in terms of the strength and power of the message.

I have to say that a few covers have meant a little more to me than the original. So today’s List is cover songs that I find better than the original for the reasons outlined above.

Personal Significance:

Hurt – Johnny Cash: (Original – Nine Inch Nails)

You know a cover is better than the original when the original artist basically says: “That song is a Johnny Cash song now.”  For me, the whole idea of a man who has lost all that is really important to him but still has the other stuff, ‘my empire of dirt”, is a powerful metaphor.  One that I try very hard to remember.

Am I Evil – Metallica: (Original – Diamond Head)

I doubt very much people look up this song to hear Diamond Head play it.  It’s the live performances Metallica did when they were in their prime that people like to listen to.  you might even refer to the live performance of the big four of metal as well, but it is Metallica’s performance of this cover that makes my day these days.

The Sound of Silence – Disturbed: (Original – Simon and Garfunkel)

Now, I am not diminishing Simon an Garfunkel’s performance at all.  It is very haunting and wonderful and is one of those songs that you can’t get it out of your head.  What Disturbed does to this song si give it grit and power on top of all that.  They don’t take away from its wonderful quality, they add to it.

I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (Original – The Arrows)

Yeah, nobody has ever heard of the Arrows.  Joan Jett takes this to a new height of performance.  You believe her when she says it and it was a 1980s anthem.

I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (Original – Dolly Parton)

Dolly’s performance is memorable.  Whineys is unforgettable and it is her one of a kind voice that does it.  Yes, I know this song made the list last week, but that is just how good this cover is compared to the original.

Playlist:

The playlist this week is a little different in that each song will first have the original and then the cover.  You can listen for yourself.

Hurt:

Original – Nine Inch Nails:

Cover – Johnny Cash:

Am I Evil:

Original – Diamond Head:

Cover – Metallica:

The Sound of Silence:

Original – Simon and Garfunkel:

Cover – Disturbed: 

I Love Rock and Roll:

Original – The Arrows:

Cover – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts:

I Will Always Love You:

Original – Dolly Parton:

Cover – Whitney Houston:

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!