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01-20-12 Footnotes
Show 321: Short But Sweet Songs, Review of Craig Finn

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1 Every year it’s interesting to look at what albums took the top slots on the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll. This is a much more accurate barometer of any given year in music than the Grammy Awards. However, this year Jim and Greg actually gave negative reviews to a lot of the Pazz & Jop winners including Watch the Throne and Let England Shake. But they were happy to see Tune-Yards' Whokill at #1.

2 Members of the Velvet Underground including John Cale and Lou Reed have filed a lawsuit against the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts over the famous banana featured on their 1967 album cover. Warhol served as producer of the album and gave the band the image, however it was never copyrighted. And now the Velvets want to prevent the banana from going Apple.

3 Jimmy Castor isn’t a household name, but chances are you’ve heard his music, or at least samples of it. He had a pop-funk hit with “Troglodyte (Cave Man)” in 1972, but also a string of funk and soul gems that ended up being sampled by hundreds of hip hop acts. Castor died this week at age 71, so to honor the late musician, Jim and Greg play one of the often-sampled tracks, “It’s Just Begun.”

4 Today’s episode highlights the short, but sweet. Jim and Greg have chosen their favorite tiny tunes that clock in at two minutes or under. There are some musicians and fans that believe that the longer the composition, the more important (Prog rockers we’re talking to you), but it is possible to pack all the elements of a successful song—verse, chorus, bridge, even a solo—into a petite punch. So here are the best Short But Sweet tracks. But don’t blink or you’ll miss ‘em.

The White Stripes, “Fell in Love with a Girl
Maurice and the Zodiacs, “Stay
Aimee Mann, “Just Like Anyone
Eddie Cochran, “Summertime Blues
Janis Joplin, “Mercedes Benz

Wire, “Three Girl Rhumba
Nick Drake, “Road
The Rock-a-Teens, “Woo-Hoo
Leadbelly, “Black Betty
The Bongos, “Glow in the Dark

5 Craig Finn has achieved a fair amount of mainstream success with his indie band The Hold Steady. So why would he venture out on his own at this point? According to Jim and Greg, Finn wanted to go a little less rock, a little more country on his solo debut Clear Heart Full Eyes, inspired, of course, by Friday Night Lights. He also went for less bombast and more mature lyrics. Those lyrics deserve an A+, says Greg, but the music falls flat. He says Burn It. Jim doesn’t understand why Finn is stepping outside of The Hold Steady, which is a perfect vehicle for his songs. The lyrics are strong when they are funny, but otherwise this is a Trash It record.

Songs Featured in Show #321
tuNe-YaRdS, “My Country,” w h o k i l l, 4AD, 2011
The Velvet Underground, “I’m Waiting For The Man,” The Velvet Underground & Nico, Verve, 1967
The Jimmy Castor Bunch, “Troglodyte (Cave Man),” It’s Just Begun, RCA, 1972
The Jimmy Castor Bunch, “It’s Just Begun,” It’s Just Begun, RCA, 1972
Harry Chapin, “Short Stories,” Short Stories, Elektra, 1973
The White Stripes, “Fell in Love With a Girl,” White Blood Cells, Sympathy, 2002
Wire, “Three Girl Rhumba,” Pink Flag, EMI, 1977
Blink-182, “All the Small Things,” Enema of the State, MCA, 1999
Spoon, “Small Stakes,” Kill the Moonlight, Merge, 2002
Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, “Stay,” Stay, Herald, 1960
Nick Drake, “Road,” Pink Moon, Island, 1972
Aimee Mann, “Just Like Anyone,” Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo, SuperEgo, 2000
The Rock-A-Teens, “Woo-Hoo,” Woo-Hoo, Roulette, 1959
Blur, “Song 2,” Blur, Food, 1997
Louis Armstrong, “Short But Sweet,” Hello Louis: The Hit Years (1963-1969), Verve, 2010
Eddie Cochran, “Summertime Blues,” The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album, Liberty, 1960
The Bongos, “Glow in the Dark,” Drums Along the Hudson, PVC, 1982
Janis Joplin, “Mercedes-Benz,” Pearl, Columbia, 1971
Lead Belly, “Black Betty,” Negro Sinful Songs Sung by Lead Belly, Musicraft, 1939
Craig Finn, “No Future,” Clear Heart Full Eyes, Vagrant, 2011
Craig Finn, “New Friend Jesus,” Clear Heart Full Eyes, Vagrant, 2011
Too Short, “Blow the Whistle,” Blow the Whistle, Up All Nite, 2006
Chromeo, “Call Me Up,” Fancy Footwork, Turbo, 2007
The Jayhawks, “Waiting for the Sun,” Hollywood Town Hall, American, 1992
JVC Force, “Doin’ Damage,” Doin’ Damage, B-Boy, 1988
Miles Davis, “Flamenco Sketches,” Kind of Blue, Columbia, 1959
The Music Machine, “Talk Talk,” (Turn On) The Music Machine, Original Sound, 1966
The Nuns, “Wild,” The Nuns, Bomp!, 1980

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