The Abominable Showman

 

2017 was a blizzard of natural and man-made disasters. Not the least of which being the white collar looting and out-and-out lies of our newly (unpopular) elected president of the United States. We will be digging out from his self serving crimes, hate and bad decisions for generations to come. For that reason, I’m closing out the year with this, today’s Runner. If you listen all the way to the end, Nick Lowe will pose the musical question, What’s so Funny about Peace, Love and Understanding? Happy New Year all…let’s hope it’s not our last.

 

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Tom Tom Club

 

What are words worth? What are words worth? Words

Words in papers, words in books – Words on TV, words for crooks – Words of comfort, words of peace – Words to make the fighting cease – Words to tell you what to do – Words are working hard for you – Eat your words but don’t go hungry – Words have always nearly hung me

What are words worth? What are words worth? Words

Words of nuance, words of skill – And words of romance are a thrill – Words are stupid, words are fun – Words can put you on the run – mots press?X, mots sens?X, mots qui disent la vâÝit?mots maudits, mots mentis,mots qui manquent le fruit d’esprit

What are words worth? What are words worth? – words

Its a rap race, with a fast pace – Concrete words, abstract words – Crazy words and lying words – Hazy words and dying words – Words of faith and tell me straight – Rare words and swear words – Good words and bad words

What are words worth? What are words worth? – words

Words can make you pay and pay – Four-letter words I cannot say – Panty, toilet, dirty devil – Words are trouble, words are subtle – Words of anger, words of hate – Words over here, words out there – In the air and everywhere – Words of wisdom, words of strife – Words that write the book I like – Words won’t find no right solution – To the planet earth’s pollution – Say the right word, make a million – Words are like a certain person – Who can’t say what they mean – Don’t mean what they say – With a rap rap here and a rap rap there-Here a rap, there a rap – Everywhere a rap rap

Rap it up for the common good – Let us enlist the neighbourhood – It’s okay, I’ve overstood – This is a wordy rappinghood, okay, bye.

What are words worth? What are words worth? – words
What are words worth? What are words worth? – words

He’ll stop … Don’t stop … Stop.

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The Big Beat 01-02-87

 

Goodbye 2016 and Good Riddance!
Ring in the New Year with some new classics, from a second helping of the Big Beat.
What a difference 30 years and a day makes.

“I feel better already.”

 

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The Big Beat 12-26-86

 

Set the wayback machine to December 26, 1986. The place? “A place called space”, Chicago Illinois. Nope, there are no tweets, no Snapchat or Facebook, no Internet (Al Gore hasn’t invented it yet), not even email, hey there’s not even Grunge. You want to know what’s going on? What bands are playing where and when? You pick up a Reader or an IE (Illinois Entertainer) and/or on Thursday night at 10 o’clock you tune into WXRT’s the Big Beat hosted by a young (or somewhat younger) Johnny Mars, the man who at the time, for a time, had a finger on the pulse of alternative music scene in Chicago.

This year I thought I would dust off and serve up this treat, from the ghost of Christmas past. Pulled from old cassette tapes of the show, I would pop one of these into my Sony Walkman (make sure it’s rewound) strap it to the belt, and head out the door to catch the (L) red line into town. Yes, what’s old is indeed new again. See how many you can name, but don’t worry if you can’t guess them all. Mars will fill you in with names, titles and some enjoyable banter along the way. I always loved the show’s opening theme, with the commercials and the club listings, it’s like an audio time capsule from 30 years ago. Enjoy the tape and Happy Holidays from your friends at soundtrax.mobi

Load More Past Trax

 

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Suzanne Vega

SuzanneVega

 

So I’m riding in the car with my daughter and Tom’s Diner comes on the radio. She says, “oh my god, they totally ripped off Centuries by Fall Out Boy.” I looked at her and asked, “what’s that?” She answered, “It’s the song and these guys totally ripped it off.” I said, “Huh…I think you’ve got it wrong, this is Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega, this song came out in the 1980’s.” She then proceeded to roll her eyes and say, “Sure Dad, Tom’s Diner, right.”

It’s funny how kids these days think the world began when they were born, and that nothing existed before that. I had to show her the vinyl when we got home. She then went on YouTube and gave me a listen to Centuries by Fall Out Boy. Seems they took the repeated line in Tom’s Diner and sang it throughout the song (We think they may have lifted some Maroon 5 or Adele in there as well). I’m not sure how the Vega chorus managed to find it’s way into the song. Maybe one of the group’s players use to be rocked to sleep by it as a child. There is no doubt about where it came from though. Not that it’s worth a law suit or anything. It’s not like Fall Out Boy is Led Zeppelin.

For today’s Runner, enjoy Suzanne Vega from her self titled 1985 debut. Good Stuff…and if you want to compare Centuries by Fall Out Boy to Tom’s Diner, here you go.


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Vivid

Living+Colour+Vivid

 

Given all the political attention (or tension) over a certain reality TV personality lately, I thought this would be a relevant and appropriate choice for Today’s Runner.

Living Colour hit the scene in 1988 with this, their debut, album Vivid and its mega hit Cult of Personality. Vivid lays funk, punk, alternative, jazz, soul and rap onto a solid bed rock n’ roll release and Living Colour deliveres it to the masses through exciting stage shows and interesting politically laced MTV music videos. I caught them at the Riviera Theater in 1989. It was a wild show and, I think probably the last time I indulged in the whole mosh pit experience. The album had a second minor hit in Glamour Boys and a great cover of Talking Heads’ Memories Can’t Wait. Other relevant highlights include the Zep inspired Desperate People, What’s Your Favorite Color and Which Way to America.

Webster defines Cult of Personality as: a situation in which a public figure (such as a political leader) is deliberately presented to the people of a country as a great person who should be admired and loved. The Donald may fit that definition even though the loudest voice proclaiming his admiration is his own. I just hope that when voting time comes around the rest of the country can distinguish between personality and genius.

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