Dancing us from darkest night (Eclectic Playlist Series 4.07 – Aug. 2017)

Veal was a Canadian band that hung around off and on for nearly 10 years as the ’90s bled into the 21st century. “Judy Garland” comes from their third and final album, and is as accidentally great a song as I can think of, dropped in the middle of an obscure album by a forgotten band. Front man Luke Doucet remains active in Canada as a solo musician. “Judy Garland” was an early Fingertips find and all these years later I love this song to pieces.

“Kellyanne” is sadly self-explanatory. Juliana Hatfield sounds like an old friend calling out of the blue.

What a beautiful and unexpected little song is “I Fall Down,” still.

“Shilo” is way better than a song about an imaginary friend should be as well as better than I tend to think a Neil Diamond song is going to be (but I’m often wrong about that; he had some serious chops back in the day).

I could feature the Kinks every month and not run out of amazing songs; it’s only my self-imposed “no artist more than once a year” rule that keeps them away. We’ll get back to them in 2018, provided we’re all still around.

And Kirsty MacColl. Sigh.

A couple of outside credits this month. “Girls Girls Girls” came to my attention via the amazing Emma on the ever-engaging Said the Gramophone blog. It comes from a 2008 compilation of recordings put together around 1967 in East St. Louis by the veteran musician and producer Allen Merry, who at that point was working with young men at a community center, aiming to keep them off the streets and out of gangs. You can read more about the project, and listen to the whole album, here.

Secondly, the wonderful Mexican singer/songwriter Carla Morrison floated into my inbox via “Off Your Radar,” a newsletter featuring one weekly album recommendation, accompanied by a dozen or so reviews of that one album from their stable of music writers. OYR had recently recommended Morrison’s 2012 album Déjenme Llorar, which led me to dive into her catalog. She’s a terrific singer and an engaging personality; I’m happy to know of her work and will continue to familiarize myself with her catalog in the coming weeks.

And yes Kate Bush’s cover of “Sexual Healing” is odd in a number of ways but something about it charms me and moves me as it develops. Maybe when all is said and done it’s nothing more or less than the ineffable profundity of her singing voice. Her version of Marvin Gaye’s final classic was originally recorded in 1994 and intended for an album by the Irish musician Davey Spillane (whose uillean pipes are featured throughout), but it ultimately was left off. Bush finally released it as a b-side to “King of the Mountain,” the first and only single from her 2005 double-album Aerial.

Full playlist below the widget.

“Judy Garland” – Veal (The Embattled Hearts, 2003)
“Kellyanne” – Juliana Hatfield (Pussycat, 2017)
“Tainted Love” – Gloria Jones (single, 1964)
“Novocaine for the Soul” – Eels (Beautiful Freak, 1996)
“Wives and Lovers” – Cécile McLorin Salvant (For One to Love, 2015)
“I Fall Down” – U2 (October, 1981)
“Back to Black” – Amy Winehouse (Back to Black, 2007)
“Second Hand Store” – Joe Walsh (But Seriously, Folks…, 1978)
“Girls Girls Girls” – The Young Disciples Co. (single, 1967?)
“You Don’t Know What You’ve Got” – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (Bad Reputation, 1981)
“H>A>K” – Jane Weaver (Modern Kosmology, 2017)
“Another Girl, Another Planet” – The Only Ones (The Only Ones, 1978)
“Shilo” – Neil Diamond (Just For You, 1967)
“All I Ever Wanted” – Kirsty MacColl (Electric Landlady, 1991)
“Nutty” – Thelonious Monk Quartet (Misterioso, 1958)
“Un Beso” – Carla Morrison (Amor Supremo, 2015)
“Strangers” – The Kinks (Lola Vs. Powerman and the Moneygoround, 1970)
“Beating of Hearts” – XTC (Mummer, 1983)
“Hello” – Poe (Hello, 1995)
“Sexual Healing” – Kate Bush (b-side, 2005)

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