While this weekend we here in the US will mark our independence from British rule with fireworks, backyard BBQs and cold beverages, yesterday our neighbors to the north celebrated Canada Day. While we’re not entirely sure what that is, we are feeling in a festive mood with the long weekend ahead and wanted to honor the occasion, so here’s Alberta native Joni Mitchell with a live version of Carey from her seminal 1971 album Blue…
Entries in the 'Joni Mitchell' category
[Published:03/29/07] Life on the road is tough, so it’s no surprise that many songwriters have used the concept of home as a theme throughout their songs. If I were living with 10 other dudes in a small van, I’d be homesick too. The word ‘home’ may conjure up different images to different people, but it seems the connection is a feeling of security and safety.
In the first six months of this column we’ve tried to focus squarely on the music. But today, this B List takes a look at the lyrics as we check out the 20 best songs about home (in no particular order). As usual, we did our best to find a YouTube video or audio clip to illustrate the songs listed:
1. Sing Me Back Home – Merle Haggard: This death-row tale was written in the late ’60s. As you see in the video, Merle used to play this song at a quick tempo, while the Grateful Dead slowed it down to a funeral dirge in their version. I favor the Dead’s version — nobody was better at emoting that sad soulful feeling like JerBear.
“Sing me back home with a song I used to hear”
2. Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue: Leave it to Motley Crue to write a tearjerker that can be classified as kickass. The number one Hair Metal Power Ballad returns to the B List due to its heartfelt lyrics by Nikki Sixx. I guess between shots of adrenaline and pussy, Sixx got a bit homesick.
“I had to run away high So I wouldn’t come home low”
3. Can’t Find My Way Home – Blind Faith: Blind Faith’s gift to the world is possibly the best song ever written about home. Pre MTV Unplugged Eric Clapton rarely picked up an acoustic. But on the version of Can’t Find May Way Home from Blind Faith’s eponoymous album, Clapton delivers one of his most beautiful performances of his career. To me, Can’t Find My Way Home is about being caught up in the excesses of life so much so that you lose vision of what’s important.
If this was an ordered list I’d have to say this song would probably be number one. My friend Hadley hit the nail on the head when he said “If there is a more hauntingly beautiful tune than this, either the standard acoustic version or the electric one, then I’ve never heard it.”
“And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home”
Read on for the 17 remaining tunes on this week’s B List…
Believe it or not, legendary singer-songwriters and avid activists Joni Mitchell and James Taylor were responsible for getting Greenpeace off the ground. Back in 1970, the duo played the Amchitka Benefit Concert to help raise $18,000 for the Don’t Make A Wave Committee (DMAW) to charter a boat named Greenpeace to protest the testing of nuclear bombs in the Pacific Rim. The international environmental organization recently released the concert as a double-disc – which also includes a set from Phil Ochs – with all proceeds benefiting Greenpeace.
- List Time: Stereogum’s 25 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2010
- New She & Him and Arcade Fire albums due out next year
- Cover Alert: Lavender Diamond tackle Madonna
- Check out Joe Strummer’s handwritten note about The Boss
- Blues legend Robert Johnson’s home becomes a tourist attraction
- Influential music site Daytrotter releases their own iPhone app
Finally, with their touring days behind them, industrial-rockers Nine Inch Nails have found themselves with a bit of extra equipment lying around that they have no need for anymore and have turned to eBay to unload it to the highest bidder. The band’s current auctions – which end in about three days – includes everything from a Flying V guitar to a Fernandes Nomad Travel Guitar. Trent Reznor & Co. are promising that hundreds of items will be listed in the coming weeks – so good luck and happy bidding.
As I was trolling through YouTube looking for some tasty clips for our second Grateful Dead themed week, I stumbled across a rather interesting video of a young Joni Mitchell performing the Bobby cowboy classic Me & My Uncle – a song that up until now, I had always thought was a Dead original.
After doing some digging, it turns out the song was originally written by John Phillips – of Mama & Papas fame – in a hotel room during a rousing night of Tequila drinking with folkie Judy Collins, Stephen Stills and Neil Young way back in 1963. Collins would go on to release the song on her live album The Judy Collins Concert, while The Dead started performing it in 1966.
Let’s check out Ms. Mitchell’s strummy, folk-jazz performance from the Oscar Brandt show – Let’s Sing Out in 1965…
Is it me or does the “it being summer I took off my shirt” line take on a whole new meaning coming out of her mouth?
- Previously On HT: Playin’ Dead – Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4, Pt. 5
- The Dead: Gettin’ Ready For The Road
More Me & My Uncle:
No, not that Shine, although this one also has the potential to be terrible. Starbucks, the overpriced coffeemaker-cum-music label, announced it’s signed the ugly-is-sexy Joni Mitchell to its new Hear Music label and will release her latest album in the fall. Mitchell joins Paul McCartney on the recently launched label:
Joni Mitchell, who had been largely retired from the music business since 2002, has joined Paul McCartney on the roster of Starbucks Entertainment’s Hear Music label. Mitchell’s new album, “Shine,” will be released September 25 through the coffee retailer’s stores as well as traditional outlets.
Corporate America is scaring the shit out of people, and all kinds of companies are sticking their noses where they usually didn’t belong. Shit, Wal-Mart was dangerously close to dominating the banking industry for chrissakes. Now Starbucks is building a serious music label, but strangely, I’m all for it. At least they have decent taste in music, signing Sir Paul and Joni as their first two artists. Baby boomer nostalgia continues, and it actually makes a ton of business sense. Maybe I’m just a sucker for Joni’s Coyote and it’s clouding my better judgment…
Man, they just do NOT write songs like that any more. Watching this, you know what’s missing from so many of today’s artists? Actual talent.
Rush has been kicking ass for over 30 years, and this year the band returns with a new album and a full-length summer tour. These guys always keep their fans satisfied and continually add new songs to their repertoire instead of just playing the greatest hits. The producer of Rush’s new album, Snakes and Arrows, discusses the new release and the influence of Rush over the years in this this video. In other Rush news, Geddy Lee talks baseball with ESPN’s Page 2.
And in other other news, let’s take a look at some linkage…
- In case you live under a rock: the Lollapalooza lineup
- Dylan Hears a Who goes down
- Roger Waters is saying no Pink Floyd at Live Earth
- Live Nation won’t quit; plans to renovate the Hollywood Palladium
- The Police have been invited to play in Cuba
- David Gans provides some background on former Grateful Dead manager Ron Rakow’s arrest
- moe. enjoys the freedom of running their own label
- Vanderbilt University’s Rites of Spring festival features The Roots, Wolfmother, Keller Williams, and more
- Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy talks about Sky Blue Sky
- 5 things you need to know about Widespread Panic
- Ben and Jerry’s homage to Queen: a new flavor Bohemian Raspberry
- PopMatters looks into the new trend of sitting at rock shows
- Ozzy Osbourne is back with Black Rain
- Nick Drake’s demos are finally being released
- Heady bonuses in Gov’t Mule’s Live at the Roseland Ballroom re-issue
- Some big names have contributed to a Joni Mitchell tribute album
- Some Dude from Hits From The Blog has created Bonnawho’s Who to discuss all of the acts playing Bonnaroo
- Check out Neddy’s thoughts on the Phil and Friends shows at S.O.B.’s
I’m off to see Umphrey’s McGee this weekend. What’s the haps with y’all?
So I wanna post…some vids on the face of today…and then they’ll paint it.
Let’s lead off with Blind Melon’s Shannon Hoon hopping on stage with Guns N’ Roses in Chicago back in 1992 for a rousing rendition of Don’t Cry. This video is simply amazing, and I’m left wondering why Axl and Hoon never joined the WWF as one of those high-flying tag teams that delivered well-timed simultaneous drop kicks from the top turnbuckle (check out 4:10 into this clip). It all makes perfect sense. Incidentally, Axl’s outfit is worth emulating and bringing back into the mainstream fold: flannel shirt, giant crucifix, boxer briefs and Timberlands.
- Someone had the audacity recently to claim that “Joni Mitchell sucks.” I won’t say she’s the greatest musician ever, but every time I watch or hear her play I’m reminded of the incredible dearth of singer/songwriter talent in today’s music world. Just watch this version of Coyote from Santa Barbara in 1979 with Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny behind her. I always point to Joni as the quintessential ugly girl with big teeth that’s still sexy as fuck.
- There was a six-month span at one point in my Northwestern career during which Chicago’s biggest classic rock station played the James Gang’s Walk Away every time I got into my car. It was uncanny, every time. I had been a big fan of the song and never really complained, but now I’m kvetching about the withdrawal. I miss it. So here’s a sweet version of Walk Away from 1971 that, sadly, the radio never played.
- Most people under the age of 35 don’t really know how awesome the J. Geils Band was back in the day. I mean, seriously, they were off the freakin’ charts. And who doesn’t have room in their heart for a cool band with a great harp player named Magic Dick? Check out this Dick-led Whammer Jammer from Germany in 1979.
- There’s a harp segue here, but instead I’ll go this route: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals playing Mystery Train? Shit, that combines two of my favorite things in the music world. Thank you, Farmerstan.com.
- It’s been awhile since I’ve posted some Tea Leaf Green in any post, and that’s gotta change right now. So here’s One Reason from the Rock and Roll Band DVD they released on Halloween last year.
Are you not satisfied? Well, post some of your own ‘Tube finds below…