Some of Thomas Dolby's songs didn't too much for me, but I've always liked The Flat Earth, the title song of his album from early 1984. (Hyperactive was the hit single from it, should that jog a memory.)
Earlier today, I found myself silently singing "Whoa-ah, whoah" ... and not sure where that came from. The subconscious served it up: it's Cath, a single by the Bluebells, from no less than (coughs) 30 years ago.
This is an obviously lip-synced performance from UK television. (Whoa-ah, whoah.)
David Bowie's performance of Wild Is the Wind was the first I had been aware of, but once I learned that he modelled his version on Nina Simone and thus tracked down her recording of it, I now think of the song as hers. It was actually brought to the public eye, or ear, by Johnny Mathis, but five decades on, it's still Simone's song.
This Sniff 'n' the Tears song came out in 1979, and reminds me of very much being in tune with the time, at least what was coming out and being branded as new wave. I was curious to learn that a) the album had been recorded a year earlier and b) a lot of the band quit just as the song became a hit. That might explain why they didn't have hits in the subsequent months and years ..
Cage The Elephant revives the spirit of 1976, right down to the old-school "play" super at the very start, in this nod to rollerskating and retro dancing. (The leader sing was born in 1983, so the band isn't exactly working from memory!)
The Small Faces burned brightly for a few years before Steve Marriott split off to launch Humble Pie and the rest became, well, just The Faces. Tin Soldier features PP Arnold, who is still going strong, as far as I know.
From last year, here's the Lumineers covering This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody), which might be one of the sweetest Talking Head song ever. The Lumineers lose the groove and strip the song bare; this version was recorded live for a radio feature called Like a Version (ho ho) on the Australian network Triple J. I have to say: I love how they reinvented the song.
On his YouTube channel, Pat Metheny has a series of solo performances of songs he loved growing up. I was surprised to see a cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim's Girl From Ipanema; it turns out that an attempt to learn a chord gave him the opening sound of a song he knew well from the radio.
A Neko Case performance from Q last fall. Martha was lucky enough to see Neko Case perform live a few years ago, and I was lucky enough to get a tour T-shirt ... except that it shrunk. Our son wears it now.
One of the standout songs from Quadrophenia is 5:15, which shows what an excellent racket the Who could make.
This was the winner of a competition in which fans were invited to make their own videos to illustrate 5:15. I thought it was fitting that the artist wrecks his work, presumably in a nod to a band that was infamous for trashing their gear in the Sixties.
I've occasionally been dipping into And I'll Scratch Yours, the collection of covers of Peter Gabriel released (after a few delays) last fall. It's the matching glove to 2010's Scratch My Back, in which Gabriel covered songs by others ... most of whom reciprocated for the followup.
David Byrne's take on I Don't Remember is one of my favourites. It sounds like it was made quickly at home, which is probable if you've read Byrne's book How Music Works, which extols the virtues of inexpensive digital recording.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.