Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts under ‘Music’

Saturday video break: Life Is Hard

I’m cheating a bit with the song titles this week, but I think you’ll forgive me. First, an 80s classic from Timbuk 3: I’m not even sure where I got the three Timbuk 3 songs that I have that aren’t the one everyone knows, but I love playing a song by a “one hit wonder” […]

Friday random ten: Ladies’ night, part 1

Hey, did you know there’s a woman running for President? It’s true! First time ever for a major political party in this country. In honor of that historic achievement, I’m going to spend a few weeks highlighting songs from my collection performed by women. 1. Waterloo – ABBA ( Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog) […]

Saturday video break: Let’s Get Married

I give you the great Rev. Al Green: Makes you want to rush out and buy a ring, doesn’t it? Now for a Scottish twist on that, here’s The Proclaimers: If someone in that audience didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to pop the question, then I just don’t know what we’re even doing here.

Friday random ten: In the city, part 15

We come to the end of another theme. 1. Weekend In Cincinnati – The Bobs 2. Welcome To New York – Taylor Swift 3. Werewolfs Of London – Jackson Browne and Warren Zevon 4. The Wexford Carol – The Chieftains 5. The Wharton UFO – Flying Fish Sailors 6. When In Rome – Billy Joel […]

Saturday video break: Lady Luck

A couple of newer songs from my collection. The first one called “Lady Luck” is by Pickwick, featuring Sharon van Etten: That’s from a South by Southwest sampler I got via Paste magazine. Don’t ask me how I came to be offered some of these samplers, the original impetus for them is lost to the […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 14

In case you were wondering where that other Staten Island song was: 1. Staten Island Baby – Black 47 2. TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) – MFSB Fet. The Three Degrees 3. Tupelo Honey – Gordian Knot 4. U.M.M.G. (Upper Manhattan Medical Group) – Joe Henderson 5. Vienna – Billy Joel 6. Walkin’ In Jerusalem […]

Saturday video break: La La Land

Here come the Go-Gos: That’s from their 2000 reunion album “God Bless The Go-Go’s”, which I bought on a whim while perusing at a record store, as one did back then. The video is from a 2001 concert at Central Park that followed. Offhand, I can’t think of an all-female rock and roll band that […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 13

More love for my hometown. 1. Southside Chicago Waltz – Black 47 2. St. Anne’s Reel/Staten Island Hornpipe – Flying Fish Sailors 3. St. Louis Blues March – Glenn Miller 4. Streets Of Bakersfield – Beau Jennings 5. Streets Of Laredo – Johnny Cash 6. Summer, Highland Falls – Billy Joel 7. Sweet Old Chicago […]

Saturday video break: Just A Little Lovin’

How about a little throwback country/pop from Dusty Springfield? Such a great voice. I need to find more of her stuff. For a more modern take on that song, here’s Adrian Lynne: Very nice, though I kind of like the fact that Springfield does that in about half the time. And for a different song […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 12

A very California-centric episode today. 1. San Francisco Bay Blues – Eric Clapton 2. San Jacinto – Peter Gabriel 3. San Lorenzo – Pat Metheny Group 4. Santa Ana – Bruce Springsteen 5. Santa Ana Woman – The Bobs 6. Santo Domingo – Rodrigo y Gabriela 7. Say Goodbye To Hollywood – Billy Joel 8. […]

Saturday video break: Jump

It was the year 1984, the year Van Halen gave us this: Albums like 1984 hghlight a problem with our streaming-and-downloads music market these days. Back then, when men with hair like David Lee Roth strutted on the earth, bands made albums whose songs some sometimes interconnected. You can play “Jump” without first playing “1984” […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 11

Still more New York! And other places, too. 1. Pflugerville – Austin Lounge Lizards 2. Philadelphia Freedom – Hall and Oates 3. Phoenix Get Cured – Stereogum vs team9 4. Phone Call From Leavenworth – Chris Whitley 5. Riga In The Fall – Gavin Guss 6. Road Movie To Berlin – They Might Be Giants […]

Saturday video break: I’ve Seen All Good People/Your Move

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs take on a typically tricky Yes staple: I love Susanna Hoffs’ voice, and I love her interpretation of this song. You should definitely check out her various collections of covers with Sweet, called “Under The Covers”, volumes one through (I believe) three, with each focusing on a specific decade, starting […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 10

New York, New York, so nice they said it twice… 1. New York State Of Mind – Billy Joel 2. New York State Of Mind – Rowlf the Dog 3. New York, New York – Big Daddy 4. The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace 5. Nutbush City Limits – Ike & Tina Turner 6. […]

Saturday video break: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

It’s one of my favorite Celtic bands doing their thing with this REM classic: The was Great Big Sea, the finest band from Newfoundland. Hard to believe you could take that song up-tempo, but there you have it. For comparison purposes, here’s the original: I do, in fact, feel fine. How about you? (Yes, I […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 9

In which New York gets its revenge… 1. Miami 2017 (Seen The Light Go Out On Broadway) – Billy Joel 2. Mission To Moscow – Hot Club of Cowtown 3. Mobile – Marcia Ball 4. Mobile Bay – Flying Fish Sailors 5. My Home Town / Kalabakan – Battlefield Band 6. My Love Is In […]

Saturday video break: It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie

Combining two of my favorite things in this post, beginning with the Asylum Street Spankers: Man, I miss these guys. I caught every show they did in Houston for several years running, including some in the most smoke-filled room in town, a dive called Rudyard’s, back before the city’s no-smoking ordinance was extended to bars […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 8

More Memphis! 1. Leningrad – Billy Joel 2. Lisdoonvarna – Ceili’s Muse 3. Liverpool Sunset – Gerald Jay Markoe 4. Lodi – Creedence Clearwater Revival 5. London Homesick Blues – Flying Fish Sailors 6. (Making The Run To) Gladewater – Michelle Shocked 7. Marching Bands Of Manhattan – Death Cab for Cutie 8. Memphis Exorcism […]

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, you must acquit

I knew there was a lawsuit going on over the provenance of Stairway to Heaven, but I hadn’t realized there were Texas connections to it. In a few weeks, jurors will decide if Led Zeppelin lifted the guitar intro to “Stairway to Heaven” from an instrumental song “Taurus” by the California psychedelic pop-rock band Spirit. […]

Saturday video break: Istanbul (Not Constantinople) revisited

I posted three videos of the classic “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” a few years back, including a video of the original, by The Four Lads. Now here’s a video of the They Might Be Giants version, done over a montage of “Pink Panther” cartoons: And here are four rats from the short-lived “Muppets Tonight” doing a […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 7

Spanning the globe, week after week… 1. (Is Anybody Going to) San Antone – Doug Sahm And Band 2. Istanbul (Not Constantinople) – They Might be Giants/Lager Rhythms 3. I’ve Been To Memphis – Lyle Lovett 4. I’ve Got A Gal In Kalamazoo – Glenn Miller 5. Jerusalem – Eddie From Ohio 6. Jimmy’s Gone […]

Saturday video break: Inside Out

From their second album, which was of course called “Volume 3”, the Traveling Wilburys: Not bad, and a treat to see George Harrison again. They just weren’t quite as good without Roy Orbison, though. And for a completely different song with the same name, here’s Phil Collins from his third album, which was not called […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 6

Some old familiar places this week. 1. Halfway To Memphis – Sammy Hagar 2. Halley Came To Jackson – Mary-Chapin Carpenter 3. A Heart In New York – Art Garfunkel 4. Hello Hopeville – Michelle Shocked 5. Hey Marseilles – Heart Beats 6. Hideaway Tokyo – Pretty & Nice 7. HOOPS Yes! (FC Dallas) – […]

Saturday video break: In The Mood

Still one of my favorite songs, from one of my favorite bands: As a sax player who was in jazz band in high school, Glenn Miller was my first musical love. And let me tell you, the sax part for that song is a killer. But it feels amazing when you get it right. That […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 5

A bit of international flair this week. 1. Flowers of Edinburgh – Jim Malcolm 2. From Dacca – Eddie From Ohio 3. Funky Nassau, Part 1 – The End Of The Beginning 4. Gallipoli – SixMileBridge 5. Galveston Bay – Bruce Springsteen 6. Galway Farmer – Ceili’s Muse/Maggie Drennon 7. The Girl From Ipanema – […]

Saturday video break: In The Air Tonight

A classic of the 80s, from a pre-bald Phil Collins: Collins gets a lot of guff for hist stylized, very-80s albums, but I thought “Face Value” and “Hello, I Must Be Going!” were great. I loved his re-take on Genesis’ “Behind the Lines”, and I’m always a sucker for a good horn riff. I wore […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 4

Hello, Detroit! 1. Debbie Does Montreal – team9 vs. Stereogum 2. Detroit – Black Gold 3. Detroit City – Alice Cooper 4. Detroit Rock City – Kiss 5. (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville – R.E.M. 6. Don’t You Hear Jerusalem Moan – Asylum Street Spankers 7. Dunmore Lassies – Chieftains and Ry Cooder 8. East […]

Saturday video break: I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry

The Cowboy Junkies take on Hank Williams: I love the ethereal quality of Margo Timmins’ voice. Her singing just floats over the music. Not everyone can make that work, but she does. And for the opposite end of the vocal spectrum, here’s Johnny Cash: Cash is joined by Nick Cave, which is eminently suitable for […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 3

I love geographical lists. 1. Back To Chico – Clandestine 2. The Barn Yards Of Calgary – SixMileBridge 3. Buffalo Gals – Bruce Springsteen 4. Chattanooga Choo Choo – Glenn Miller 5. Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy – Georgetown Chimes 6. Chicago Falcon – The Budos Band 7. Christmas In Hollis – Run-DMC 8. Cold Chicago – […]

Saturday video break: I’m Beginning To See The Light

A classic and a standard, performed by Bobby Darin: The version I have is from the soundtrack to the movie Swingers, and I feel like Darin enunciates differently in that one. I can’t find a video for that, however, so you’ll have to take my word for it. When you hear “standard”, that usually means […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 2

More city songs! We’re going to be at this for awhile, actually. 1. Asheville/Crashville – Austin Lounge Lizards 2. Babylon – Clandestine/David Gray/Don McLean 3. Back To Tyrone – SixMileBridge 4. Baltimore – Eddie From Ohio/Milkshake 5. Bangkok/One Night In Bangkok – Murray Head (from “Chess”) 6. Battle Of Waterloo – Jim Malcolm 7. Beaumont […]

Saturday video break: If I Had A Hammer

Here’s national treasure Pete Seeger, with an introduction by John Mellencamp: The recording I have of this comes from a Smithsonian collection, with Seeger leading and being backed up by a church choir, with him doing it singalong style, as a song like this was meant to be done. Of course, it can also be […]

Friday random ten: In the city, part 1

I’ve done Random Ten lists based on songs with state names, but I haven’t done any based on city names. 1. Abilene – Yes 2. Albuquerque – Weird Al Yankovic 3. All The Way To Memphis – Mott the Hoople 4. Allentown – Billy Joel 5. Amsterdam – Asylum Street Spankers 6. Anahuac – Austin […]

Saturday video break: If I Had A Boat

Lyle Lovett sings one of his best songs in a stunningly beautiful concert hall while sitting next to John Hiatt and Joe Ely swoon. Gorgeous, and the verse about Tonto telling the Lone Ranger to kiss his ass gets me every time. The cover version I have is by Eddie From Ohio, a cut from […]