Tag Archives: Iggy Pop

20 Duets

Duets. Twenty of ’em.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Top Songs Of 2016

Herewith, my top 99 tracks of 2016 (playlist below the written list):
1. “Sorry” – Beyoncé
2. “Happy” – Mitski
3. “Wasn’t My Fault” – Christie and the Dream Beats
4. “WTF (Where They From)” – Missy Elliott featuring Pharrell
5. “Starboy” – The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk
6. “Hold Up” – Beyoncé
7. “Tilted” – Christine and the Queens
8. “Lazarus” – David Bowie
9. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake
10. “The Community of Hope” – PJ Harvey
11. “Broccoli” – D.R.A.M. featuring Lil Yachty
12. “No Problem” – Chance the Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
13. “Formation” – Beyoncé
14. “Sister” – Angel Olsen
15. “On My Heart” – School of Seven Bells
16. “Augustine” – Blood Orange
17. “The Wheel” – PJ Harvey
18. “Here” – Alessia Cara
19. “Kill v. Maim” – Grimes
20. “The Pop Kids” – Pet Shop Boys
21. “Wow” – Beck
22. “Nikes” – Frank Ocean
23. “Lipslap” – Kero Kero Bonito
24. “California” – Grimes
25. “T5” – Swet Shop Boys
26. “Work from Home” – Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign
27. “Gardenia” – Iggy Pop
28. “Player” – Tinashe featuring Chris Brown
29. “Flesh Without Blood” – Grimes
30. “Frankie Sinatra” – the Avalanches
31. “Floridada – Animal Collective
32. “When We Were Young” – Adele
33. “Borders” – M.I.A.
34. “Wide Open” – the Chemical Brothers featuring Beck
35. “Highway Vagabond” – Miranda Lambert
36. “Boy Problems” – Carly Rae Jepsen
37. “I Have Been to the Mountain” – Kevin Morby
38. “Crisis” – Anohni
39. “Rich” – Maren Morris
40. “Hands of Time” – Margo Price
41. “Mercy” – Eric Bachmann
42. “The Big Big Beat” – Azealia Banks
43. “Too Good” – Drake featuring Rihanna
44. “Genghis Khan” – Miike Snow
45. “Straight Outta Vagina” – Pussy Riot featuring Desi Mo & Leikeli47
46. “All the Way Up” – Fat Joe featuring Remy Ma, Jay-Z & French Montana
47. “Knickers” – Jidenna
48. “Little Bit of This” – GTA featuring Vince Staples
49. “River” – Leon Bridges
50. “Radio” – Sylvan Esso
51. “Giant” – Banks & Steelz
52. “I Can’t Give Everything Away” – David Bowie
53. “Daddy Lessons” – Beyoncé featuring Dixie Chicks
54. “In Bloom” – Sturgill Simpson
55. “You Want It Darker” – Leonard Cohen
56. “Come Down” – Anderson .Paak
57. “Lake by the Ocean” – Maxwell
58. “One Dance” – Drake featuring WizKid and Kyla
59. “Life Itself” – Glass Animals
60. “Runnin’” – Pharrell Williams
61. “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars
62. “Real Love Baby” – Father John Misty
63. “Send My Love (to Your New Lover)” – Adele
64. “Boyfriend” – Tegan & Sara
65. “Cranes in the Sky” – Solange
66. “Really Doe” – Danny Brown featuring Kendrick Lamar & Ab-Soul & Earl Sweatshirt
67. “Bike Engine” – Stylo G x Jacob Plant
68. “Burn the Witch” – Radiohead
69. “I Wanna Boi” – PWR BTTM
70. “Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake
71. “Fuck Donald Trump” – YG & Nipsey Hussle
72. “Guns of Hysteria” – Annalie Prime
73. “Born Again Teen” – Lucius
74. “City Lights” – the White Stripes
75. “Somewhere in Paradise” – Chance the Rapper featuring Jeremih
76. “Sister of Pearl” – Baio
77. “U-Turn” – Tegan & Sara
78. “Shut Up Kiss Me” – Angel Olsen
79. “Moth to a Flame” – Chairlift
80. “Blackstar” – David Bowie
81. “A Burning Hill” – Mitski
82. “Pretty Pimpin’” – Kurt Vile
83. “Break” – Kero Kero Bonito
84. “In the Night” – the Weeknd
85. “Elevator Operator” – Courtney Barnett
86. “Piece of Me” – MK featuring Becky Hill
87. “Love and War” – Banks & Steelz featuring Ghostface Killah
88. “Cold Light” – Operators
89. “Vice” – Miranda Lambert
90. “Water under the Bridge” – Adele
91. “Dorothy” – Kevin Morby
92. “Say U Want Me” – Chris Farren
93. “Lifted” – CL
94. “Sound & Color” – Alabama Shakes
95. “Cash Machine” – D.R.A.M.
96. “Drone Bomb Me” – Anohni
97. “Who’s Gonna Miss Me?” – Loretta Lynn
98. “Lift Me Up” – Vince Staples
99. “Cool Out” – Matthew White and Natalie Press

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A Rock Lobster In A Love Shack

The debut single by the B-52’s, 1978’s “Rock Lobster,” was conceived of in a Georgia cabin with a tin roof set way back in the middle of a field. It was the home of band member Kate Pierson.

When re-recorded for Warner Bros. Records and released as a single in 1980, “Rock Lobster” reached #56 on the US Hot 100.

Nine years later, the B-52’s had their first top 40 single. “Love Shack” peaked at #3. The song tells of a funky little place in Georgia with a tin roof, rusted, set way back in the middle of a field. Hmmm….

The actual house burned down in 2004.
Winston + B-52s
Today is the 68th birthday of the B-52’s’ Kate Pierson. Here are twenty career highlights, focused mainly on her work in the band but also including solo efforts and extracurricular activities.


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Cool New Music

A Tunes du Jour reader asked me to post a playlist of current tunes I’m enjoying. I’m more than happy to oblige.

Here are twenty recently-released tracks that get a lot of play in my home:


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The Magic Of Blondie

“Lost inside adorable illusion and I cannot hide”

The first Broadway show I ever saw was The Magic Show, a musical with lyrics and music written by Stephen Schwartz, no relation to me, but a relation to some other Schwartzes, I assume.

My parents took me to the show for my eleventh birthday. I recall I was wearing green corduroy pants, a white turtleneck, and a New York Jets jacket. Or New Jersey Jets. No, I think they were from New York. They were a football team. Maybe they still are. I digress.

Magic was one of my main hobbies at that age, along with coin collecting and rock polishing. It was around that birthday that music overtook all other interests of mine.

At one point during The Magic Show, its star, Doug Henning, asked for a volunteer from the audience. I raised my hand. Henning pointed to me and asked me to come on to the stage. My job was to check that the chains that went around a trunk from which Henning was going to escape while inside a sealed sack were sturdy and locked. Who better to check their strength than a 67-pound boy in a New York Jets jacket? Or New Jersey. No, I’m pretty sure New York.

I checked the chains and gave the thumbs up for the trick to begin. Somehow, Henning escaped from the sack in the trunk and from the trunk itself! I was standing right next to the trunk. I could tell you how the trick was done, had I been paying attention. I was too caught up in the sets. My interest in magic instantly waned while my interest in performing rose.

What happens to a child after he makes his Broadway debut at age 11? Some end up depressed alcoholics who spend their rest of their days trying to recapture the magic but they can’t because they are no longer cute or bankable and their stage parents oh their stage parents alienated the artistic community and they have no option but to turn tricks for cash which is spent on drugs or would be spent on drugs except nobody wants to hire the porcine past-his-prime actor. Nobody except those who fetishize former “stars” and I put stars in quotes because come on, get real.

That’s not what happened to me. I became a stand-up comedian with a large record collection.

Blondie + Ringo
In my record collection one will find Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” from which the lyric that opens this post is taken. The song was written by band members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein and had the working title of “The Disco Song.” Drummer Clem Burke said his part was inspired by the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.”

Said Harry “When we did ‘Heart of Glass’ it wasn’t too cool in our social set to play disco. But we did it because we wanted to be uncool,” with the band’s keyboardist Jimmy Destri adding “We used to do ‘Heart of Glass’ to upset people.”

The song was included on Blondie’s Parallel Lines LP “as a novelty item to put more diversity into the album,” per Stein. The novelty song became the group’s first charted single and first #1, in 1979. Its success prompted John Lennon to send Ringo Starr a postcard advising to write songs like “Heart of Glass.”

Today Debbie Harry celebrates her 70th birthday. Here are twenty of her finest moments.


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David Bowie – “John, I’m Only Dancing”

Bowie_JohnDancing1
“I’m gay and always have been.”
– David Bowie, January 1972, in Melody Maker

In June of 1972, the same month he released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, named the “Greatest, Gayest Album of All-Time” by Out magazine, David Bowie recorded “John, I’m Only Dancing.” In the song Bowie, as the narrator, tell his boyfriend John not to get jealous just because Bowie is with a girl, for all they are doing is dancing, though he does say that she turns him on.

Released as a single in the UK, “John, I’m Only Dancing” became Bowie’s third hit, following “Space Oddity” and “Starman.” His US label, RCA, declined to release the song until 1976 when they included it on the compilation Changesonebowie. (RCA also issued Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World album in the US in 1972 with a photo of Bowie on-stage in slacks kicking a leg up as opposed to using the image that graced the UK version of the album, a long-haired Bowie reclining in a dress.)

By 1982 it was well-known that Bowie was not gay. Rolling Stone made that clear with their cover story entitled “David Bowie Straight.” Did he exploit gay sexuality to achieve fame? Yes. Is that a bad thing? Tom Robinson (“Glad to Be Gay”) doesn’t think so. “For gay musicians, Bowie was seismic. To hell with whether he disowned us later.”

Nicholas Pegg, star of Doctor Who and David Bowie expert, suggested that “John, I’m Only Dancing” may not be a gay song after all. Perhaps the narrator was telling John, the boyfriend of the girl with whom the narrator is dancing, that he needn’t worry about his intentions.

In January 1973 Bowie re-recorded “John, I’m Only Dancing” for his Aladdin Sane album, though it did not make that release. This version, referred to as the “sax version,” was issued in the UK as a single in April of that year utilizing the same catalogue number as the earlier single. In the US, the first 1000 copies of Changesonebowie pressed included the sax version.

In 1974 Bowie recorded “John, I’m Only Dancing (Again).” This version retains the chorus of “John, I’m Only Dancing” but the verses use new lyrics and a different melody in which the narrator expresses his joy of dancing.

Today is David Bowie’s 68th birthday. Here are nineteen songs he wrote or co-wrote, plus “Walk on the Wild Side,” which he co-produced. He may not be gay, but as you will hear, a lot of his music is.

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Garfunkel, lang, Frey And Diddy

One day in the late 1990s, while in my office at Sony Music, I received a call from the security desk in the lobby. “Art Garfunkel is here to see you.”

I wasn’t expecting Art Garfunkel. I’d never met Art Garfunkel, though we spoke on the phone a few times. I worked in the International Licensing department and received a fair number of requests to have Simon & Garfunkel and Art Garfunkel solo tracks included on compilations. “Send him up, please.”

A few minutes later, Art Garfunkel walked into my office. We shook hands and then both sat down and chatted. I don’t recall our entire conversation, though I do remember him telling me that he is particular about the artists with whom he is to be coupled on compilations, saying he wouldn’t want a track of his to be next to one performed by Iggy Pop. It wasn’t meant as a slight to Iggy; he meant the transition from one of his ballads to a heavy rocker would be jarring to the listener. He said he and Paul Simon used to argue about the running order of the tracks on their albums.

He hung out in my office for around fifteen minutes, during which time I got him to laugh more than once (about what I have no recollection). When he got up to leave he shook my hand again and told me “You are my favorite person at Sony Music.”

A decade later I met k.d. lang at a small party meant to celebrate her latest release. I’ve seen many concerts over the years; only twice has a singer so thrilled me that the hair on my arms stood up. The first time was when I attended the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls and Jennifer Holliday sang “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” The other time was when I saw k.d. lang at Radio City Music Hall and she covered Roy Orbison’s “Crying.” Spectacular!

My interaction with k.d. at this party was very brief. A hello and a handshake. My only memory of this encounter is that she had the firmest handshake of anybody with whom I’ve ever shaken hands, including my step-uncle Steve. Damn, girl!

In 2012 I attended Warner Music Group’s pre-Grammy bash. Sean Combs a/k/a Puff Daddy a/k/a Puffy a/k/a P. Diddy a/k/a Diddy…now I forgot what I was going to write. Oh, yeah – he was at that party. I didn’t chat with him or shake his hand.

I’ve never chatted with Glenn Frey of Eagles nor have we both attended the same party, though I occasionally licensed his music while working at Warner.

k.d. lang’s birthday was this past Sunday, Diddy/Puffy/whatever’s birthday is today, Art Garfunkel’s is tomorrow and Glenn Frey’s is Thursday. Unlike Garfunkel I like compilations with jarring transitions. As such Tunes du Jour celebrates the birthdays of these four folks in today’s playlist.

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Tonys! Tonys! Tonys!

The Tony Awards, celebrating excellence on the Broadway stages, are being presented this evening. The Tony Awards are like the gay version of the Tony Awards. That’s how gay they are.

Last year I took second place in a speech contest where I spoke about the effect Broadway had on my life. Here is that speech, followed by a playlist consisting of cover versions of Broadway classics.

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Iggy Pop’s Real Wild Child

Ringo + Iggy 001
In the UK Iggy Pop has had one top ten single – “Real Wild Child (Wild One).” It’s a cover of a 1958 single by Australian rocker Johnny O’Keefe. O’Keefe’s version didn’t chart in the US or the UK; however, a remake done by Jerry Allison, one of Buddy Holly’s Crickets, reached #68 in the US.

Pop’s version appears on his album Blah Blah Blah. It didn’t crack the US pop chart, though it did reach #27 on the Album Rock chart.

Today Tunes du Jour celebrates Iggy’s 67th birthday.

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Kurt

Winston + NIrvana 002

“I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.”
– Kurt Cobain

“That kid has heart.”
– Bob Dylan

“He had a touch most guitarists would kill for.”
– Chuck Berry

“His music is powerful, very intense. That sort of power is rare. You hate to lose somebody like that, someone who keeps the music alive and moving ahead. Not many guys like him come along.”
– Bruce Springsteen

“Nobody dies a virgin. Life fucks us all.”
– Kurt Cobain

“I went to see Nirvana at a small club called the Pyramid on Avenue A in New York City. It was hard to hear the guitar, but the guy playing and singing had a vibe; he hopped around like a muppet or an elf or something, hunched over his guitar, hop hop hop, hippety hippety hop. I loved that. When he sang, he put his voice in this really grating place, and it was kind of devilish sounding. At the end of the set he attacked the drum kit and threw the cymbals, other bits and finally himself into the audience. Later I saw the same guy passing the bar. He was little, with stringy blond hair and a Stooges T-shirt. I felt proud.”
– Iggy Pop

“Nirvana was the first band in years that I really loved… They were the band I felt a lot of hope for, for the whole music scene.”
– Patti Smith

“If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of a different color, or women, please do this one favor for us… Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.”
– Kurt Cobain

“He really, really inspired me. He was so great. Wonderful. One of the best, but more than that. Kurt was one of the absolute best of all time for me.”
– Neil Young

“Such a beautiful flame never burns very long. The really brilliant flames seem to consume themselves, and then they’re gone. Maybe Kurt was meant to be here long enough to put us on the right path.”
– Tom Petty

“If you’re really a mean person you’re going to come back as a fly and eat poop.”
– Kurt Cobain

“Nirvana made everything else look silly.”
– Bono

“Cobain was very shy, very polite, and obviously enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t awestruck at meeting him. There was something about him, fragile and engagingly lost.”
– William S. Burroughs

“Birds scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth, but sadly we don’t speak bird.”
– Kurt Cobain

“He was an incredible writer and an incredible singer. And when I met him I found him to be a very special person. He was one of those special people. There was a light inside him that you could see. He had a charisma that went beyond his physical presence.”
– PJ Harvey

“I am not gay, though I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes.”
– Kurt Cobain

“The only person I have any respect for as a songwriter over the last 10 years is Kurt Cobain. He was the perfect cross between Lennon and McCartney. He belted it out like Lennon, but his melodies were so Paul McCartney.”
– Noel Gallagher

“Remember Kurt for what he was: caring, generous and sweet.”
– Krist Novoselic

“I still dream about Kurt. Every time I see him in a dream, I’ll be amazed and I get this feeling that everyone else thinks he’s dead. It always feels totally real, probably because I’m a very vivid dreamer. But, in my dreams, Kurt’s usually been hiding – we’ll get together and I’ll end up asking him, “God, where have you been”
– Dave Grohl

“If you die you’re completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on. I’m not afraid of dying. Total peace after death, becoming someone else is the best hope I’ve got.”
– Kurt Cobain

kurtFebruary 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994

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