Saturday, June 21, 2008

Footwear: Walk A Mile

Holly Golightly: Walk A Mile


This is the fabulous first track from Holly Golightly's fantastic 2003 album Truly She Is None Other. The entire album is great, but is just one of her 14 full-length releases (and that's not including two live records and a compilation!). For those who do not yet know Holly, this album would be a great place to start.

You might also want to know that she was in Thee Headcoatees, a female offshoot of Billy Childish's The Headcoats, and that she has collaborated with Childish, Rocket From the Crypt, The Greenhornes, and appeared on The White Stripes' album Elephant.


Footwear: Shoe Clearance

These are leftovers that I'd thought worth posting. It's too hot to trot out a few paragraphs, so I'll let the music do the talking.

Graham Parker: Socks 'N' Sandals


Sonic Youth: Dirty Boots


The Reverend Gary Davis: Got On My Traveling Shoes


Kevin Ayers: Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes


Steel Pulse: Roller Skates


John Lee Hooker: No Shoes


Footwear: Boots or Hearts

A song about the end of a relationship and the now insurmountable distance between the two people:
See when it starts to fall apart
Man, it really falls apart
Like boots or hearts, oh when they start, they really fall apart.

Footwear: "You'd know what a drag it is to see you" edition

Bob Dylan: Positively 4th Street [purchase]

No survey of footwear in song could be complete without a nod to the greatest lines ever written featuring shoes. Now, this song doesn't actually include footwear in the title nor highlights footwear in any other respect, so I've excerpted the brief, shoe-centric bit of genius.

On a totally self-indulgent note, when I was a senior in high school I was a delivery guy for Lino's Pizzeria in Huntington Beach, and my co-worker, Steve, quoted this exact verse as an example of Dylan's brilliance. So, upon his hearty recommendation, I went to Licorice Pizza the next day, bought the Greatest Hits, and was summarily hooked on the Bobster. So, here it is ... the verse that turned me into a Dylan fan and showed every songwriter how to properly say, "Fuck You!"

Footwear: Burgundy Shoes

Patty Griffin: Burgundy Shoes


The hot weather has finally hit SoCal - I find myself unable to sleep and writing a post about Patty Griffin. In Burgundy Shoes, she sings about her mom - since I'm in the throes of heat prostration, I'll let her describe it:

"'Burgundy Shoes' was really trying to find a moment in my memory that I could really feel joy in and I went back to one of my earliest memories of waiting for the bus in the town that I grew up in. It was a big, exciting trip to the big city that was Bangor, Maine with my mom on a really beautiful spring day. When you grow up in the Northeast, you have to wear big boots for the whole winter and then suddenly your mom says it's OK to take your boots off and you feel like you're walking on air 'cause your feet are in these shoes. And they’re pretty shoes, not ugly boots. It was just that simple moment - having that time with my mom and thinking about I used to think she was the most beautiful woman in the world. When you start digging back into being really little, you find all these memories that are very pure and aren't crowded by anxiety or anything like that. I was trying to write that song from the point of view of who I was then." - Patty Griffin

From NPR: "Griffin's songs are often shot through with a big streak of melancholy — so much so that a friend challenged her to write a 'happier song.' That challenge resulted in 'Burgundy Shoes,' a song on her new CD." Hear all about it in the interview.

I know "advice" was last weeks theme, but let me tell you, if someone gives you a free air conditioner in November, for god's sake, put it in before a high pressure system parks itself over your burgh and you find yourself posting to the Internet at 2 ayem. I think my next move is mixing up some saline solution. Damn you, global warming!

Footwear: Dames, Booze, Chains & Boots

The Cramps: Dames, Booze, Chains, and Boots


Some call it psychobilly, Some call it garage rock... Others could call it something else but I can't tell: I've got the volume cranked!

A slab of dedicated rock and roll madness, courtesy of The Cramps. It's what they do. They do it well.

Footwear: Daddy's Workin' Boots

Dolly Parton: Daddy's Workin' Boots


Aside from liking country music, Dolly Parton and I have nothing in common.

If the popular mythology is to be believed, she grew up in a run-down cabin the backwoods hills of East Tennessee. I grew up in suburbia. Her mama sewed colorful biblical coats out of scraps of fabric. My mom made brownies for the cub scout troop. Her daddy worked his fingers to the bone doing whatever it took to make an honest day’s pay. My dad was a dentist. Dolly’s a Hollywood star with platinum blonde hair and a giant bosom. I’m—well, never mind… You get the picture.

I have nothing in common with this lady. So I really don’t know what to make of this song. But at least it’s about footwear...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Footwear: Hockey Skates

Kathleen Edwards: Hockey Skates


One of my favorite artists to have emerged into the alt-everything stew since the millenium, Canadian folk/alt-country singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards has a gorgeously tuned, slightly hoarse folkvoice, and an incredible knack for saying complicated things with few words, a couple of simple images, and not much more. Add an instinct towards thump and twang, and the perfect radio-ready folkpop production, and you've got a hitmaker whose music stays on the shuffle mix pretty much permanently.

Here, on one of three rising-star singles from her 2003 major label debut, she brings the weary weight of an age-old complaint -- same old bar, same old defensive pose, same old guy who loves the bar more than he loves her -- to new heights. This track is a little slower and a little more alt-Nashville than some of her others, but to me, the choice of pace and production is stunningly apropos: the dragging, exhausted voice, the wailing slide and fiddle, and the slow alt-country beat combine to make the song a perfect barroom soundtrack to its own narrative.

Footwear: Cowboy Boots

Backsliders: Cowboy Boots [purchase]

Once again mining the classic era of ... 1997 for those of you keeping score at home ... here's North Carolina's Backsliders with a certifiable honky tonk classic. Sure, the lyrics won't confuse anyone with Harlan Howard, but killer harmonies and Chip Robinson and Stephen Howell on guitar duel more than make up for that. "Cowboy Boots" is the final track on the sadly neglected, Throwin' Rocks At The Moon, an album that gets bonus points for being produced by Dwight Yoakam's right-hand man, Pete Anderson.

Say, where in the hell ARE my cowboy boots???

Footwear: Shoes


Shoes: Running Start

I'm a big fan of technological advancement, but not when it comes to music technology. Vintage gear is still where it's at, from a Vox guitar amp to a Studer mixing console, all the way to the end user with a fine Thorens turtable. Towards the late 70s and 80s producers were so busy looking for the next new sound that the equipment from the previous decade was replaced with solid-state amplifiers and digital recording systems. It is my opinion that popular music production has suffered since.

Luckily there were bands like Shoes, who recorded their 1977 debut on a 4-track in their living room, and were happy with a lo-fi sound and subpar equipment. This classic album would influence tons of bands from the jangle and indie rock scenes and go down as their best. So much for hi-fidelity.

Footwear: Fairies Wear Boots

Black Sabbath: Fairies Wear Boots


Okay, enough with all the folk and country: it's time to give this blog some balls.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Footwear: Just Walk In My Shoes

Gladys Knight and the Pips: Just Walk In My Shoes


One of the best Motown soul singles ever recorded, period.

Though the song is pretty straightforward, lyrically speaking, Gladys Knight's young powerhouse vocals bring an incredible sense of empowerment to a message of outrageous post-breakup pain. The quick, almost gospel a capella "break" from the company assembled gets us from verse to chorus so effectively, it gives me goosebumps both times we hear it.

Imagine what this must have sounded like, back when the Motown sound was new. Almost makes me wish I had a real time machine, rather than just the record of it.

Footwear: Fuck Me Pumps

Amy Winehouse: Fuck Me Pumps [purchase]

While Amy's life has become a pathetically public shambles, this tune was recorded when she was still a fresh face in the British hip-hop/soul scene. Still showing the Lauryn Hill love, but on her way to the slinky sound perfected on Back To Black, "Fuck Me Pumps" is actually a clever (and quite funny) dig at the superficial singles scene.

You can't sit down right,
'Cause your jeans are too tight,
And you're lucky it's "Ladies Night."

With your big empty purse,
Every week it gets worse,
At least your breasts cost more than hers.
I would like to add that I doubt I'll have as much fun searching for thematic pictures like I did for this post. HA.

Footwear: Flyin' Shoes

Townes Van Zandt: Flyin' Shoes


Townes Van Zandt wrote a lot of songs about leaving. Here is one of the best.

Days full of rain
Sky’s coming down again
I get so tired of these same old blues
Same old song
Baby it won't be long
Before I’ll be tying on my flying shoes
Flying shoes
‘Til I’ll be tying on my flying shoes...

Footwear: Blue Suede Shoes

Carl Perkins: Blue Suede Shoes


Blue Suede Shoes is an important song in Rock's history. It's considered one of the first Rockabilly records and simultaneously rose to number one on the R&B, Country and Pop charts its day. Johnny Cash gave Perkins the idea for the tune - Wikipedia has an outstanding write up of the history of Blue Suede Shoes, be sure to check it out. From the History Of Rock website:

Blue Suede Shoes song put 23-year old Carl Perkins in the national spotlight. Appearances were arranged for the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como TV shows, but while traveling to New York for those engagements he was involved in a terrible automobile accident. The driver, Dave Stewart fell asleep at the wheel and the car ran into a pick-up truck near Dover, Delaware. Stewart was killed, Carl suffered a fractured skull and broken arm. His brother Jay's neck was broken from which he would never recover. Eventually Elvis Presley, covered Blue Suede Shoes, which became Elvis' third top forty hit. These events served to steal some of the his thunder and Perkins never quite recovered his momentum in the world of pop, although his place in music history was assured.

Things that you can do instead of stepping on Carl's blue suede shoes:

  • Knock him down, step on his face
  • Slander his name all over the place
  • Burn his house
  • Steal his car
  • Drink his liquor from an old fruit jar

  • Wednesday, June 18, 2008

    Footwear: Big Shoes

    Jill Sobule: Big Shoes


    A sweet, funny and heartbreaking tale about having to wear orthopaedic (yes, we use extra letters here in the UK!) shoes in school...

    "When everyone wore loafers
    I needed more support
    I'd always hide when we take a drive
    To that awful store
    I had a choice of black or blue
    The biggest ugliest ass shoes
    but what could I do
    My feet they came out funny

    Mary McKay she had Mary Janes
    With that patent leather shine
    She was known as Tinker Bell
    And I was Frankenstein

    Big shoes before they were big
    Big shoes I'll never forgive
    My mother made me wear big shoes

    In my school when Spring came
    Sandals they were all the rage
    With plastic beads on straps to match
    Their painted nails
    Heavy-footed in the hall
    What I wanted most of all
    Was red ball jets
    So I could get over the schoolyard fence

    Kip O'Neil she had high heels
    She went all the way
    By the time I got up to bat
    They called off the game

    Big shoes everyday
    You can hear them coming a mile away
    Outside you hear them say
    Here comes Big Shoes

    And when I could go to the real shoe store
    On the shelves I looked in horror
    On display were combat boots and platforms
    Here comes Big Shoes

    Big shoes before they were cool
    Wanted feet so miniscule
    I even wore them at the swimming pool
    Here comes Big Shoes

    Big shoes everyday
    You can hear them coming a mile away
    Outside you can hear them say
    Here comes Big Shoes"

    Footwear: The Other Shoe

    Old 97's: The Other Shoe [purchase]

    They may be pop stars now, but back in the day the Old 97's were the little band that could, with a clever spark plug of a frontman in Rhett Miller. I think this stands as one of their best early tunes, a riff of sorts on Jimmy Webb's classic song, "By The Time I Get To Phoenix." In this one, the protagonist lies underneath the bed while his wife and her lover do the deed. This being a country song, I think you can figure out what happens next. Kin to songs like "Hey Joe" and "Miller's Cave," "The Other Shoe" is an example of country music's basic thematic sturdiness. Give us some hurt feelings, a little gunplay, and Old Testament vengeance and we're happy.

    One old brown shoe falls in slow motion,
    And the bedsprings hover right above your head,
    As bedsprings do, when you're beneath them.
    Someone else just climbed into your bed.

    By the time she thought you'd probably got to Phoenix,
    She'd arranged for your shoes to be filled.
    Well, you've got your pride, and a blue-steel .45,
    And you're waiting for the other shoe to fall.

    You'll dig a double grave out in the meadow,
    And you'll curse the rain that turns the dirt to mud.
    You'll take I-35 south towards Laredo,
    Then you'll try to find a doctor who can prescribe an elixir
    That'll make everything better, except your late wife and her lover.

    By the time she thought you'd probably got to Phoenix,
    She'd sealed her fate and gotten herself killed.
    Well, you've got your pride, and a blue-steel .45,
    And you're waiting for the other shoe to fall.

    Footwear: Turtle Shoes

    Bobby McFerrin: Turtle Shoes


    Long before he crashed the Pop party with Don't Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin was a true-blue jazzman, pushing the envelope with innovative bodysound and a voice that could imitate pretty much any instrument. His second album, "The Voice", is notable for being the first jazz vocal album recorded without accompaniment or overdubbing; on Spontaneous Inventions, the primarily live and improvised third album on which today's track emerged, he pairs his four-octave range with the likes of Manhattan Transfer, soprano saxophonist Wayne Shorter, comedian Robin Williams, and Herbie Hancock (that's Herbie on piano in the track you hear here).

    You may remember Bobby for his Grammy-winning earworm, but it's worth noting that he won five of his eight Grammys before that song was even recorded: four of them in the Vocal Jazz category, two of them alone for his work with Manhattan Transfer and scatman Jon Hendricks on Night in Tunisia from this 1985 release. Turtle Shoes may be short, but it's a masterpiece of slow jazz improvisation, a playful, slippery ditty on the back of a turtle's plodding, shod baseline. So stop saying "ick", and listen to the damn track already.

    Bonus trivia points: McFerrin came from a seriously musical family; his father, operatic baritone Robert McFerrin Sr., provided the vocals for Sidney Poitier in the cinematic version of Porgy and Bess.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Footwear: Red Ball Jets

    Steve Goodman: Red Ball Jets


    What are Red Ball Jets?

    Just let Steve Goodman tell you…

    If you want to read a great book about the amazing Steve Goodman, check the comments to this post for info! (And maybe even the comments to this post if Clay is on his game.)

    Footwear: Red shoes edition

    We've already had two posts on red shoes (Loretta Lynn's Little Red Shoes and Elvis Costello's Red Shoes), but there are plenty more out there. Quite why the fascination with red I do not know, but it's certainly a popular colour when it comes to footwear songs! I like to think, as a 'friend of Dorothy' that it's all about the magical ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz...but, then again, perhaps not.

    Whilst there are a load of songs about red shoes in particular, possibly the most famous 'shoe song' features a different colour...I'm truly surprised that no-one has posted it yet!

    Chris Rea: Red Shoes [purchase]
    (Not so much because it's a great song as because he comes from my home town!)

    Tom Waits: Red Shoes By the Drugstore [purchase]

    Sawyer Brown: Ruby Red Shoes [purchase]

    Elton John: Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes [purchase]

    Kate Bush: The Red Shoes [purchase]

    Throwing Muses: Red Shoes [purchase]

    David Bowie: Let's Dance [purchase]

    N.B. The Raincoats also did a song called Red Shoes, but it's pretty awful, so that's why I didn't include it here!


    Footwear: Shoes and Clothes

    Pernice Bros.: Shoes and Clothes


    One of my favorite songs from Joe Pernice's best album. Has Pernice ever written a melody that didn't beg to be sung along with?

    Footwear: Sand On My Shoes

    Kinks footwear left to right Ray Davies, Peter Quaife, Dave Davies, Mick Avory


    The Kinks: Sand On My Shoes

    Here is a great lost Kinks track bound for official album release glory under another title. Any Kinksnerds know what song Sand On My Shoes would become?

    Footwear: In These Shoes?

    Kirsty MacColl: In These Shoes?

    [purchase] the superlative 3 disc set From Croydon to Cuba: An Anthology

    A cheeky, saucy little number from the ever wonderful, and dearly missed, Ms MacColl. This really showcases her great sense of humour and features a nice, sultry salsa-style backing.

    Then I met an English man
    "Oh" he said,
    "Won't you walk up and down my spine,
    It makes me feel strangely alive"
    I said "In these shoes?
    I doubt you'd survive"
    I said "Honey, let's do it!"

    Footwear: These Boots Are Made For Walking

    Nancy Sinatra: These Boots Are Made For Walkin´

    "Are you ready boots? Start walking..." Lee Hazlewood´s ´66 composition for the daughter of ol´ blue eyes remains a pop classic. Everything fits, from the trademark sliding bass line to Nancy´s Lolita vocals to Lee´s clever wordplay. "You keep lying when you oughta be truthin', and you keep losin' when you oughta not bet. You keep samin' when you oughta be changin', now what's right is right, but you ain't been right yet."

    It´s funny to notice that Bay Area ska punks Operation Ivy give their hiccupping cover ("pick it up pick it up!") a different title, leave out most of the lyrics and don´t credit a composer either. To them it´s a traditional. Very subversive, gentlemen...

    As for the boots pictured above, these were made for scoring goals of course. Go Holland!

    Footwear: Stinkfoot

    Frank Zappa: Stink Foot


    Okay, so seriousnous, glamour, or utilitarianism may pull sway with a foot-fetishized (s)talking-point-style-topic, but worn enough they'll all end up in the same court: Stink Foot!

    "Stink-foot, Stink-foot, I ain't lyin'
    Could you rinse it off, do you suppose?"

    I have to say, I'm a tad gleeful to plop a Zappa into our soiree. He's my spiritual guiding whatzitz, after all.

    Monday, June 16, 2008

    Footwear: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

    Traffic: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys


    Rickie Lee Jones: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys


    EMF: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys


    At almost twelve minutes long, Traffic's 1971 laid-back jazz jam anthem is heavy with solos from the various bandmembers, and a tight funk/rock chorus which plays on their supergroup sound -- fitting for a song which supposedly emerged from a brainstorm session about rock stardom.

    The lyrics, written by songwriters Winwood and Capaldi, offer a bitter, cynical take on the industry's tendency to profit off the backs of artists everywhere, but the Miles Davis-inspired slowjazz setting, the length of the piece, and the band's tendency to perform the song as an even longer space-jam in concert, are anathema to traditional A&R radioplay; as such, the piece seems to offer ample evidence for salvation for the artist's dream, as if suggesting that, through attention to dreams and the music itself, rather than focusing on the trappings of stardom, cool will win out in the end. Appropriately, of course, FM DJs were happy to play this subversive track despite its length and diversity; it remains a late-night staple of classic rock stations.

    Another doubly-covered set, this one vastly divergent: the slow, dreamy jazz-piano-and-organ take from Rickie Lee Jones is almost as recognizable as the original, while UK indie dance/electro-alternative band EMF weighs in with a typically nineties techno-rock rarity that falls somewhere between the original and the stuttered yet contagiously danceable synths of their greatest hit Unbelievable.

    Footwear: Sailin' Shoes

    Little Feat: Sailin' Shoes


    Little Feat got their name from drummer Jimmy Carl Black's comment on guitarist Lowell George's small fat feet. George was an amazing singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist - here's a worthwhile interview to learn up on him.

    Lowell George backed Robert Palmer in this nifty cover.

    Robert Palmer: Sailin' Shoes


    Footwear: Bad Sneakers

    Steely Dan: Bad Sneakers


    If any major fool had a large sum of money to spend, I'd bet they'd get some good sneakers, lest they be called a squonk.

    Footwear: My Adidas

    Run DMC: My Adidas


    Say you wanna be a B Boy? You need the proper accouterments: Kangol hat, Cazal shades, 3-stripe tracksuit, gold rope chains, boom box, but most of all - a pair of Adidas. Without them, you can't rock the beat.

    Footwear: Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes

    Paul Simon: Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes


    Graceland is Paul Simon's last great album. And it really is great.

    I happened to be living in South Africa when it came out, so it has always been an important record for me.  I heard it frequently in people's homes, and I played it almost constantly on my little one-speaker tape recorder.

    Paul Simon instantly became a sort of hero in South Africa when he recorded this record there in spite of accusations that he had broken cultural and legal boycotts against the country. His use of South African sounds, South African musicians, and a South African recording studio was great validation for many (but not all) of the citizens of a country that saw itself as, at best, outside of the world community and, at worst, shunned by it.

    One striking thing about the South African people, at that time at least, was that they were very concerned about how the world saw them.  As I was preparing to move back to California probably 10-15 people independently said to me, "Go back and tell people that our country is beautiful.  Tell them that we're not bad people.  Tell them that many of us hate the current system.  Tell them that many of us want a freer country too..." etc.  I was struck by their concern for these things.

    Of course apartheid is now history.  I saw it in action back in the mid and late-80's, and it was extremely disturbing and awful to witness; however, I loved that incredibly beautiful country and its many wonderful people. I appreciate Paul Simon for being able to find some of what was beautiful about them, at the time when they needed it most, and showcase it to the world.

    Graceland was Album Of The Year.  The title track was Record Of The Year.  The album has sold more than 14 million copies, making it Simon's most commercially successful album.

    Sunday, June 15, 2008

    Footwear: Boots of Spanish Leather

    Bob Dylan: Boots of Spanish Leather


    Nanci Griffith: Boots of Spanish Leather


    Martin Simpson: Boots of Spanish Leather


    There's been a Bob Dylan song in almost every single theme we've attempted here on Star Maker Machine, but those of us who appreciate his iconic songwriting know there's no such thing as too much Bob Dylan. Hence, Dylan's neo-traditional ballad of separation, loss, and fine Spanish footwear, with the boots in question the final request from a left-behind lover who, after thrice refusing material possessions, finally asks for the memento as a signifier of his acceptance that he will never again have what he truly desires.

    Call it cavalier or callous, the power of those final three verses, spoken by the remaining narrator after the dialogic "other" has faded from the song, are undeniable. In fact, I believe the song is one of Dylan's most powerful and enduring -- and for a man with such a canon, that's saying a lot, indeed. But then, I'm not alone in this assessment, which I share with no less an authority than the Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th edition, which included the lyrics to this song in a section titled "Popular Ballads of the 20th Century."

    That said, it may be sacrilege, but as someone who has gone on record as preferring Dylan the songwriter to Dylan the performer, I genuinely prefer both of today's covers to the original 1964 performance from Dylan's seminal work The Times They Are a-Changin'. Nanci Griffith's genderbent countryfolk take is more plaintive and delicate, as her songs are wont to be; master guitarist Martin Simpson's version is more mystical and poignant, revealing the song as less neo- and more a true traditional folk ballad from across the sea. Each, in its own way, hits the gold standard of coversong, subjectively speaking: though there are a dozen or more covers of this one out there, it is these two which, for me, transformed the original song from something decent into something truly great, more than worthy of its inclusion in my own high school English Lit textbook.

    Footwear: Red Shoes (The Angels Wanna Wear My)

    Elvis Costello: Red Shoes (The Angels Wanna Wear My)


    Hem: (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes


    I had a feeling I'd have to be quick with 'red shoes' songs this week, and I see Paul beat me to it with the first one...nevermind, there are still plenty to go around. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least another five songs just about red shoes, never mind any other colour!

    Elvis Costello is one of my faves, and there are no two ways about it, this is a brilliant song, also covered very ably by Hem on Almost You: The Songs of Elvis Costello...this cover technically breaks the '20th century songs only' rule here at SMM, the CD it is on being released in 2003, but it's ever so pretty!!


    Footwear: Slip In Mules

    Sugar Pie DeSanto: Slip In Mules


    An awesome song here from the not-talked-about-nearly-enough Sugar Pie DeSanto. The best line? "And it ain't the back that's cut too low"...risque business!

    DeSanto was born Umpeylia Balinton in Brooklyn, New York in 1935, although moved to San Francisco at a young age, and it is the Bay Area with which she is most associated. She is possibly best known for her collaborations with Etta James, although had had hit singles in her own right before this - the first being I Want To Know in 1960. The song above was released in 1964, and it's a corker!

    Footwear: Shoe Salesman

    Adrian Belew: Shoe Salesman

    [purchase from Adrian]

    Purportedly, Adrian Belew was discovered playing in a hotel lounge band by none other than Frank Zappa. After putting in time under Zappa's musical tutelage, Belew went on to record with a who's-who of avant-garde artists: Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Paul Simon, Cyndi Lauper, Laurie Anderson, Nine Inch Nails, and King Crimson, to touch on the most well-known. Throw in William Shatner, Jars of Clay, Crash Test Dummies, and Peter Wolf, and it becomes apparent that Adrian is one of the most diversely spread guitarist/ producers in the rock spectrum.

    And, like all most of those artists, he seems to have a pretty good sense of humor, to boot! Check out these grimace-inducing lines from today's selection, for example:

    "Oh, I love her even though
    she's made a heel out of me

    My baby's in love with a shoe salesman
    now I don't fit her, no, I don't fit her
    now I don't fit her anymore"

    ...but, within the context of the song, and delivered in Belew's keening tenor, they work perfectly!

    "Shoe Salesman" is from the CD single for "Pretty Pink Rose," Adrian's almost-hit that featured David Bowie on vocals. I'm not sure if the song ever was on another official release, and my rushed looking over the Amazon collection didn't turn it up, so the "buy" link up top goes to Adrian's webstore. Lotsa good stuff going on there!

    If you really want to keep on top of the guy, he's got his own Blogger page, too: Elephant-Blog!

    Footwear: Little Red Shoes

    Loretta Lynn: Little Red Shoes


    Here’s some scary music from Appalachia.

    Loretta Lynn gives a firsthand account the trials and tribulations of her poor family trying to make do without adequate healthcare, charity, or transportation. The somewhat creepy background music orchestrated by Jack White is a perfect accompaniment for Loretta’s tale.

    Dying is a big part of folk music. Loretta’s story about her little red shoes evokes the traditional bluegrass/folk song Put My Little Shoes Away (sometimes credited to Woody Guthrie) which is another first-person account told by a dying, but stoic, child. Little shoes are the primary image in each song.

    We know Loretta pulled through, but the fate of the other little kid is not clear.

    Bill Monroe: Put My Little Shoes Away [purchase]
    Freakwater: Put My Little Shoes Away [purchase]