After a long week (I know it’s only Thursday, but we’re college kids, Friday is a part of the weekend) there’s nothing I like to do more than get dressed up nicely, put my dancing shoes on and boogie until the sun rises. No one shared this philosophy more than the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Mr. James Brown.
Have you ever seen that one move of his? The one where he gets down on one knee and one of his band members comes up and places a bejeweled cape around his shoulders and BAM, he gets back up and keeps grooving. Too classy… See for yourself:
But I’m getting sidetracked here…
What I’m trying to say is that James Brown had some serious soul. There are few people I know that can stay that funky well into their 70s. He pushed the boundaries of Funk and Soul and made sure everyone had a great time in the process. So the next time you’re out dancing with your friends, be a little daring, try out that cape routine. The Godfather of Soul himself would be proud.
Here’s some more JB for you to enjoy:
Here at WERS, we’re always trying to stand up for the little guy (I think LMW is getting to my head…). I mean, think about it, our Weekly Top 5′s give love to the underdogs of the music world, the bands and artists who don’t always get the attention that they deserve. With this sentiment in mind, this week’s Throwback Thursday is here to pay tribute to a true musical underdog, Big Star.
In the three years that they were together, 1971-1974, Big Star recorded some of the most memorable and catchy tunes of the decade, showcasing their Memphis roots and a mastery of the Pop song. The band’s legacy continues to live on through their occassional live appearances and the innumerable amount of covers that have surfaced over the years, ranging from artists such as Elliot Smith to Superdrag to Cheap Trick (not to mention the That 70′s Show theme).
Listening to these guys makes me want to grow my hair out, wear flashy sweaters (see for yourself), fall in love and write all about it.
More videos after the jump…
It has been said by many people that those who choose to pursue the business side of the music world (The Biz) are, for the most part, failed musicians that wish they were rock stars *cough* Simone *cough*. And I’ll be the first one to say that I am no exception to this rule – flashback to middle school punk band The Subverts (cringe). To this day, the only reason I would ever find myself picking up an instrument again was if, for some reason, The B-52s asked me to play keyboard for them. Now I know what you’re thinking: keyboardist for The B-52s? Can’t you shoot a little higher than that? And you know, I’ll let the music speak for itself this time:
Look at those guys: the glitz, the glam, the vibrantly colored outfits, the beehive hairdos, the shimmies and the side-steps. The B-52s paired infectiously playful sounds with their own – to borrow from modern times – “swag,” redefining what it meant to be Punk. The 80s would not have been the same had it not been for these guys. Need I say more?
So, while eating lunch this afternoon and of course checking the WERS music blog for all the latest and hippest music news. It dawned on us that we totally forgot to do the Throwback this week! Our bad. Looks like someone on the music staff dropped the ball this week *cough, Rosenfeld, cough*
Please forgive us. We know you depend on our weekly trips down memory lane to get you through the tough work week. So in repentance, we’re offering not one but two throwbacks.
The first comes from a WERS staple, The Grateful Dead. Why? Well, because its bassist and founding member, Bob Weir’s birthday, and also we just like this song. It’s the 1980 performance of Ramble On Rose live at Radio City Music Hall. Check it out:
And in an additional effort to quell you’re blind rage over our forgetfulness, here’s a clip from another birthday boy’s band. Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, turns 47 today! What better way to celebrate then featuring his band as a Throwback. Here’s the band performing Zephy Song from their 2002, album By The Way:
Enjoy these videos and the weekend! We promise we’ll be more on point next week.
While I was on my way to WERS this morning the wind blew hard against me as I trudged from Park St. to the corner of Boylston and Tremont. For some odd reason all I could think of was Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill”. It’s probably from the first verse: “climbing up on solsbury hill/I could see the city light/the wind was blowing time stood still”. Why my mind still works that way I don’t know, but I started remembering the story behind the song. Gabriel discusses his breakup with Genesis and why he left the band. He included some unsavory lines about his former bandmates but he also says that the breakup only made him stronger.
This video comes from his 2004 Still Growing Up Tour which was later released on DVD. Gabriel’s showmanship shines through as he not only performs the song riding around on a bicycle (starting at about 1:08 through the end), he throws in the unique camera angles for the DVD watchers at home.
When was the last time you had a random song pop in your head and you weren’t sure why?
- Jeff Penfield
Allow us to drop some random knowledge on you: in case you didn’t know today, September 24, marks the birth of master puppeteer Jim Henson, famous for spreading joy the world over with creations like The Muppets and Sesame Street. Today also marks the death of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss, famous for such literary classics as Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat.
So now you’re probably asking yourselves what either of these facts have to do with today’s throwback? Absolutely nothing, and at the same time absolutely everything. The parellel births and deaths of these childhood icons, got us thinking about our own childhoods, which of course led to perusing youtube and watching countless clips of our favorite childhood movies and tv shows. And then we stumbled upon this:
Yes, this weeks Throwback comes to you courtesy of Jim Henson’s 1986 movie musical The Labyrinth. Starring David Bowie as a goblin prince who leads a young Jennifer Connelly into a world of magical adventure, this film holds a special place in our hearts. Although the special effects are a tad outdated, nothing compares to seeing David Bowie clad in a pair leggings and gyrating amongst a posse of puppets. So take some time out to indulge your inner child and enjoy the video!
p.s. Did you know David Bowie did all the baby sound effects himself? What can’t this man do!
After last week’s debate over throwing back to Radiohead’s “Creep” (which I was not a part of), Simone asked me to cover for her this week. Maybe it was the pressure. Probably it was the universe telling her about the Herman’s Hermits phase I’ve been going through lately. And how appropriate to throwback to this 1960′s UK rock group as an alternative to yesterday’s exciting but overwhelming Beatles-mania.
You probably recognize the Hermits’ #1 US hit “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” or “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am.” What were HUGE hits Stateside were never even released as singles in the UK. Apparently the group didn’t care for these songs anywhere near as much as American audiences cared for wholesome, clean-cut British boys. Today’s throwback is their song “No Milk Today.” It was released in the US as a B-side to “There’s A Kind of Hush” in 1967.
Believe it or not, doing these Throwbacks every week is hard work. Our quest to bring you a vintage video that all at once incites nostalgia, drops a bit of knowledge, and is most importantly entertaining, is no easy task. So difficult in fact, that these throwbacks have been known to spark up a bit of controversy in the music office.
Just the other day an especially heated debate occurred whilst brainstorming for today’s trip down memory lane. With suggestions ranging from Creedence Clearwater Revival to The Pretenders, to even Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” (to be used at a later date, rest assured), talk somehow found its way to everyone’s favorite band, Radiohead, and the musical merits of their first single, the 1992 hit “Creep”.
Let’s just say there were some strong opinions flying around. The lines were drawn between the “authentic” Radiohead fans, siding with the band on their dislike of the song and its notoriety and those that simply enjoy the tune, shying away from all the pretension attached to it. We thought we’d take it upon ourselves to stir the pot a little by featuring the oh so controversial song as our Throwback clip of the week. Yes, we know we’re potentially opening the floodgates for some serious hatin’, but we more than welcome it. Whether you hate it or love it, don’t be shy we wanna hear from you. Enjoy the video and please, lets try to keep things civil.
It’s Thursday once again so that means it’s time to look in the way back machine for some of the best vintage tunes. The Who are well known for rocking hard with such hits as “My Generation” and “Baba O’Reilly”, but some of their greatest contributions came from rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. Today you still see bands creating rock opera albums but few go through with actually performing the opera (I’m looking your way Decemberists). Of course The Who followed through and filmed both. Here’s “Pinball Wizard” featuring Elton John from Tommy and “5.15″ from Quadrophenia. Enjoy!
Do you have any favorite films from another band?
While sifting through the Throwback archives recently, and of course lol-ing at how downright clever and hysterical we are, it came to our attention that there’s been a grave lack of female presence during our weekly trips down memory lane. Sure, we’ve brought you amazing clips from musical geniuses like Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder, and Jimi Hendrix, but how could we be so negligent as to leave out so many of the female artists that have been so influential and important in the world of music. Shame on us!
In our attempt to make amends to the fairer sex and show some much deserved love to the ladies, our Throwback this week comes from mystical folk queen Joni Mitchell. Watch as she enchants the audience during a 1970 performance of her hit “Big Yellow Taxi“. Enjoy the clip and be sure to let us know in the comments any more female musical powerhouses you think we should feature in coming weeks. Happy Thursday!