“Feel the Pain” by Dinosaur Jr.
This live version has a painful introduction- It’s a bit scratchier than the studio version. The instrumental arrangements are so complimentary. The bass and guitar were born to play like this together. This song comes off of their lesser-known gem of an album Without a Sound.
“Give Me Strength” by Neil Young
Straight from the scenes of an unreleased 1997 album Chrome Dreams, this is the acetate that is a bootleg that is a recording with the “Rust Edition” tacked on the Chrome Dreams title. A soft delivery of a powerful tune.
“Powderfinger” by Neil Young
This comes from the same series. Here he is no longer 22, but he manages to not blow his career being old; and he still has guitar playing skills; and he didn’t need to bring up politics to yield a response from anybody. My favorite line is the reference to the title “Shelter me from the powder and the finger // Cover me with the thought that pulled trigger.” The background echoes during that part detract from how it sounds compared to the bootleg, but it is still intensely stirring.
“Shadowland” by Youth Group
I didn’t realize they would have a video for this. The lofi art production is a sight for sore and boring performance eyes. Just a frolicking song by artists of this decade.
“Oh, Glory How Happy I Am” by Rev. Gary Davis
Commentary and interview by Pete Seeger from the Rainbow Quest show in the 60s. Donovan gets to hear this blues/gospel master. Gary Davis is a blind man who can see more than I can. He gives credit to the Holy Spirit for the birth of this song in New York. It must have come from somewhere heavenly- I am always touched by the might of his voice. This song is becoming one of my favorite songs. It can make my eyes water. I don’t consider myself an expert at listening to explicitly religious format of music that has a systematic and mechanical structure today, but some of the old gospel songs and other pre-commercial christian songs really speak out on such a real and personal level. Godliness in song has rarely penetrated the timelessness of the truth quite as much as the uplifting bittersweet praise of “Oh, Glory How Happy I Am.”
“Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go with Friday on Saturday Night” by Al Jolson
Al Jolson has a charming accent. Directly from the noisy artifact of a 78. It’s hard to imagine that such music was being made in 1918. What ever happened to this sort of talent? There are many things that are contemporary and likable, but it seems like the gap between classical and “oldies” gets ignored. And why do oldies stations play nothing in the 40s or earlier. In my city, I’m lucky (if I was to ever turn to an oldy-station) to hear something from the early 50s.
“Ol’ Man River” by Paul Robeson
Made famous in Showboat in 1936. I have not heard such a bellowing voice. The clarity of his bass register is astonishing. I am not fortunate enough to actually have a recording of this. I only have Al Jolson’s take of this in 1928, where Paul Robeson made his first recording of it.
“There’s a Rainbow Round My Shoulder” by Al Jolson
Happiness. A pure boppin classic. I feel a bit deranged staring at a frozen grin of Jolson during the duration of the swinging number.
“forever longing the golden sunsets” by The Appleseed Cast
Horrendous sound quality in the vid. The repetitive guitar solo/jingle seems to work well with the song. They come across as a vocal-fronted post-rock instrumental band where the singing integrates seamlessly.
“Into the Mystic” (originally by Van Morrison)
I’ve got a live version of this from 1970 that packs an amazing punch. The instrumentation is performed as graciously as the recording and the slight variations are so inspiring. This version presented is by Warren Haynes, which isn’t exactly the same magnitude, but it isn’t butchered either. I want to rock your gypsy soul…
“Feels Like Home” by Randy Newman (singing commences around 2 minute mark)
You either know of Randy Newman or you’ve just heard his songs (“I Love L.A.,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” in Toy Story). He’s a bit different, but he has a unique voice (just the right amount of awkward perfection) and a sit-in-their-shoes lyrical style. He seems to take on different personas and that is what is captivating to me.
“She Knows” by Thin Lizzy
This has one of the absolutely lively riffs in history. Thin Lizzy have amazing harmonizing guitar abilities and this is just a single example. Are Thin Lizzy Catholic?