The Galaxy – This music is such… madness….

Funfair part of the music video.

Still shot from Madness’ House of Fun music video. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We started the set with some Madness.  As with many of my musical programming ideas, this was inspired by something that a friend of mine said, but I am also reminded of my good friend Mandy Jo, who has played ska here at WDBX for several years now, and who loves the old school material.  Ska bears so many pleasant memories for me, because ska is, at its root, meant to be fun, songs played with a twinkle in the eye and with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  So I played some classics – One Step Beyond, House of Fun, and Night Boat to Cairo.  I matched that with a few classics from their sometime label-mates, The Specials – Gangster, Rudi, A Message to You, Too Much Too Young, and Guns of Navarone.  If there had been video taken here in the studio, one might have caught me dancing (which I used to do quite frequently, back in the halcyon days of my youth).

Concert by the touring Ramones, at the New Yor...

Concert by the touring Ramones, at the New Yorker Theater (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While researching the Specials the other day, I happened upon a concert clip – actually, a full 1977 set, which naturally took only 26 minutes – from The Ramones.  Watching the concert footage, I am once again reminded of the tribute that the Ramones paid to the pop and surf music of the late 50s and early ’60s.  Their music was a conscious effort at simplification of music: a few chords, played fast and loud, and they gave proof positive that good music doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated.  We heard: Blitzkrieg Bop, Beat on the Brat, Judy is a Punk, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue, Havana Affair, Let’s Dance, I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You, Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World, Pinhead, Commando

English: Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), German c...

English: Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), German composer, 1889 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Johannes Brahms was inspired in the writing of his Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52 by his work in editing some unpublished works of Franz Schubert‘s.  After editing and publishing Schubert’s Seventeen German Folk Dances (D. 366 and 814) in 1869, Brahms set to work on his own, eventually producing two complete song cycles (this, and the Neue Liebeslieder, Op. 65).  Like Schubert’s, Brahms used various southern German/Austrian/Swiss folk songs (often referred to as “Ländler”) as the basis for the work.  He initially scored the cycles for four hand piano with vocal quartet, but later at least considered the notion of revising the work for small choir with orchestra.  Tonight’s recording is a 1994 recording by the BBC Singers, directed by Jane Glover, with Catherine Edwards and John Alley performing the four-hand piano, and serves to reaffirm for us Brahms’ considerable mastery of choral writing.

It has been a little while since I’ve played The Doors, and even longer since I’ve programmed any of their recorded songs (as opposed to live performances).  So we heard Five to One, Touch Me, The Crystal Ship, The End, Light My Fire, Love Me Two Times

We closed the show with Mastodon’s Hearts Afire, from Leviathan.

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