Friday, May 02, 2008

Non-random music selection

Now that the elections are behind us, this blog can get back to its normal business of mid-Atlanticism, esoteric music, yidishkayt and personal obsession. This post is the second of those.

First, Johnny Paycheck's "Take This Job and Shove It" is one of the two great Marxist country songs, along with "9 to 5", written by Dolly Parton. Listen to the former at Setting the Woods on Fire, one of my current favourite music blogs.

Second, stretching my category of Jew-ish music pretty far is a version of the lovely Jorge Ben "Pais Tropical" recorded in Israel and released by Varig Brazilian Airlines on CBS records in Tel Aviv. Listen at Twelve By Twelve.

One of the greatest of all Jewish musical figures is Doc Pomus, who I only discovered relatively late in life via Lou Reed's Magic and Loss. like many Jewish artists within African-American music (see this post, and Mick Billig's Rock 'n' Roll Jews), Pomus was not so well known as a performer, but made a huge contribution as a songwriter. The wonderful Boogie Woogie Flu has the definitive Doc Pomus blog post, featuring Ray Charles, Dr John, Bob Dylan, BB King, Irma Thomas and many more.

Sticking with Jews, I've been meaning to check out the new young Ladino superstar Mor Karbasi for a while. Martin has inspired me to buy her album.

I hate Slavoj Zizek, but I love all sorts of Latin music and I love grime and baile funk, so I was likely to like the new dirty urban forms of cumbia music coming out of Colombia, as featured at Buenos Aires' Zizek Urban Beats, as brought to you by Arjan.

Circling back to North America, for one of the most beautiful songs in the repertoire of American folk music, Stephen Foster's "Hard Times, Come Again No More", as recorded by many of the greatest American musicians, at the Old Blue Bus. (My favourite version, though, is the recentish Mavis Staples one, which I'll try and dig out.)


Stuart said...

I think there may be a few more than two great "Marxist" country songs.

How about Bob Wills' "Take Me Back to Tulsa"

Little bee sucks the blossom, big bee gets the honey,
Dark man picks the cotton, White man gets the money

During Operation Dixie, the CIO hired a country singer who recorded
"We Will Overcome." This was before Pete Seeger changed the verb and recorded it.

bob said...

Good suggestions Stuart. I'm sure there are many more. Anyone else?