127: The Band, ‘Tears of Rage’ (“Music from Big Pink”)

So much of The Band’s essence can be found in the instrumental introduction to ‘Tears of Rage’—the lead voice of the guitar so integral to the whole; the floating sustained organ; the interplay of the bass and the drum and the rhythm piano providing an implicit rhythm created as much by the gaps as by the beats, as intimate as lovers, as self-effacing as monks, as synchronized as guys who have been on the road together for six years.

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211: Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, ‘Help, I’m a Rock’ (“Freak Out!”)

Happy Mother’s Day

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109: Daniel Zamir, ‘Shir HaShomer’

Why does free jazz/Chabad soprano saxophonist Daniel Zamir draw materials from an old Israeli song glorifying a watchman from the 1930s? Why is today’s Israeli jazz a natural, organic expression of early Zionist settlement? Why is Jeff calling a 21-year old drummer a genius? The answer to these and many more questions in Song of The Week.

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126: Bob Dylan, ‘Tears of Rage’ (The Basement Tapes)

‘Tears of Rage’ is Dylan’s “King Lear”, a brutally painful description of a daughter’s love denied. The Basement Tapes, recorded in 1967 as he convalesced from his motorpsycho accident, lay underground for decades. But their impact on the way we perceive the world is greater than any other pop music, including “Sgt Pepper”.

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162: The Everly Brothers, ‘Crying in the Rain’

It’s been pouring here, so we’re visiting the whole soggy genre of Crying In The Rain songs. Guess which one we like best?

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132: James Taylor, ‘Enough To Be On Your Way’

Twelve years ago this week my sister Madelaine passed away, long before there was a Sibling’s Day. James Taylor wrote the moving song ‘Enough To Be On Your Way’ as a lamentation for his late brother, Alex. My love for my sister is bigger than any pop song. But in the real world, what comes through the car radio is the soundtrack of our lives.

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040: Lennie Tristano Quintet, ‘317 East 32nd’ (Live in Toronto 1952)

Desert Island music. Ice also burns.

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157: Nilsson, ‘One’

Nilsson, Part II–the many gems he made in the short time before he embarked on self-destruction.
“I’m sure he influenced the Beatles as much as the Beatles influenced him.”–Al Kooper

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