Today's musical shout-out is a bit of a grab-bag, but I've conveniently lumped them under the letter "P" Sesame Street Style! Oscar is repping our letter of the day with an offer of a "pickle" that comes from god-knows-where. There's a lesson to you kids out there, don't accept pickles from furry monsters living in trash cans.
Today's songs do have something in common. They all speak to some fundamental discontent in our society, be it political, societal or cultural. And they're all pretty funky and two of them are covers.
Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66 - For What It's Worth
This great cover of the classic Buffalo Springfield song comes from the best Sergio Mendes & Brazil '(insert '66, '77 or '88 here) album. Recorded in 1970 this album sees Sergio tapping some of the Tropicalia-era songwriters like Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso as well as their North American hippy counterparts like Joni Mitchell ("Chelsea Morning"), Stephen Stills ("For What It's Worth") abd Blood, Sweat & Tears ("Sometime in Winter"). Of all of the many covers of this song, this is by far my favorite with its slow build and eventual catharsis percolating over a soulful latin groove.
Dr. John - Patriotic Flag Waiver
On his second album of vood-doo funk Dr. John emerges from his psychedelic swamp to deliver this two-faced political manifesto. Surely Mr. Mac Rebennack is no political conservative, at least he wasn't in 1969, but his lyrics suggest that his tongue-in-cheek commentary on American politics was more serious than the first listening might suggest.
Esther Phillips - Disposable Society
On Ether's fourth album for CTI/Kudu she decided to cover another Gil Scott-Heron song (the first over being her "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" from her first Kudu album), "Disposable Society." Steve Gadd provides the excellent drumming and Pee Wee Ellis is on the arrangement and it could very well be Bob James on the keys. Esther as usual delivers soulful vocals on this still very relevant tune.
I can't help but mention the book, "Cradle to Cradle", after listening to this song's lyrics once more. This book is blowing my &%#!ing mind lately! If you're tired of looking at our society's wasteful ways and long for an approach that's more gratifying than just using less, throwing away less and doing less, it's in your interest to check this book out.
One day to go!