Friday, November 23, 2007

Mister Trend's Random 10

I often grumble that people will verbally give a nod to Chuck Berry in early rock and roll, but very few seem to actually really appreciate how incredible and revolutionary his music was (and you can make this case for a lot of the artists from the late-1950s and early-1960s not named "Elvis", "Cash", or "Lewis"). However, I remain absolutely flabbergasted at how few people really know and appreciate Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Most who have even heard of him only know "I Put a Spell On You", and much of the credit he gets for his contribution to rock is based on his daring showmanship (such as singing to a skull in his hand and emerging from a coffin onstage). Yet his music is overlooked, which is a shame, because it was as shocking and radical as his stage shows in the 1950s and 1960s. His baritone growl and yelps were pretty much unheard of (only Howlin' Wolf could maybe match him in vocal lack of convention), and amazing in their own right, yet he could also croon when he wanted. The music was often so bluesy, brutal, rough, and raw, it had a primal-ness that made the opening guitar-line of "Maybelline" sound like the most polished, tinny guitar ever. He was a great performer, yes, but his songs were unbelievable too. I guess it's good some people remember him still for his stage antics, but more people should definitely know more of his music, too.

1. "Infinitely Late at Night" - The Magnetic Fields
2. "Trompe Le Monde" - Pixies
3. "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" - T-Model Ford
4. "Minas" - Milton Nascimento
5. Symphony No. 5 - IV: Allegro - Ludwig Von Beethoven (Christoph von Dohnanyi and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
6. "Lazy Line Painter Jane" - Belle & Sebastian
7. "Little Demon" - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
8. "Darn that Dream" - Miles Davis
9. "Black Snake Moan" - Blind Lemon Jefferson
10. "First Day" - The Futureheads