SOTU 593 - John, Paul, George and...Bongo??!

A Jonathan Richman song about Vincent van Gogh.
I made some cartoons showing JoJo going to look at Van Gogh's paintings at the museum, and a simple animation.
I am not playing OK here. But this is the best I could do today.



There is a big show on Van Gogh here in Singapore right now.
It is described as "a unique immersive experience that takes art appreciation to a whole new level. A 360º digital art exhibition.
A multi-sensorial art experience that will leave you wanting more!"


I prefer the honest connection that Jonathan Richman is making with his paintings.
 
A Jonathan Richman song about Vincent van Gogh.
I made some cartoons showing JoJo going to look at Van Gogh's paintings at the museum, and a simple animation.
I am not playing OK here. But this is the best I could do today.



There is a big show on Van Gogh here in Singapore right now.
It is described as "a unique immersive experience that takes art appreciation to a whole new level. A 360º digital art exhibition.
A multi-sensorial art experience that will leave you wanting more!"


I prefer the honest connection that Jonathan Richman is making with his paintings.

Do you think Van Gogh ever said "Lend me your ears"
 
Thanks Bob. Big Del did a ripper version of this recently. It reminded me what a good song it is. Johnny Mathis hit from 1958.
Bob is it true when you go on your annual seaside holiday to Blackpool wearing your paisley board shorts the locals refer to you as "The Flamboyant Cuttlefish?"

Gorgeous: wonderful playing, terrific singing. And the two—the instrument and your voice—work so beautifully together.
 
...and Tuesday draws to a close over here in Derbyshire. Another great selection of songs added to the playlist!
I've not had chance to tot it all up but, at a glance, it looks like John and Paul are running away with it.
Having said that, Ylle has brought us our second Bongo so I've not lost all hope for a late surge!
Right...it's late. Time for bed...
See y'all tomorrow! X
 
A funny thing happened this evening. I was just in the pub chatting with some friends when a familiar looking chap walked in. Had the air of an ex-rock star. After half an hour or so I finally realised, it was John from the Whelks! He looked like he was on a golfing holiday, which does happen a lot around here. It's usually best to let celebrities relax and mind their own business, but I couldn't resist, since he played a fantastic marimba solo on their cover of "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club, asking him if he'd be willing to help out on this one.

Turns out that was a bad thing to say, and he stormed off. I guess he's got bad memories of how Captain Cheesehawk kept rejecting his songs and never really got over it. You might remember his solo hit "I Often Dream of Crabs", which the Cheesemeister turned down. Their loss, really.

Anyway. In the absence of a marimba, I got out the melodica. It's a song written by Boy George, Jon Moss, Mikey Craig, Roy Hay and Phil Pickett (a George and a Jon!)



By the way, I haven't forgotten that there's two Johns in They Might Be Giants. I'll be back...
 
I've been lucky over the years to stumble onto many great albums that mostly passed by unnoticed. One of these was Paula Kelley's 2003 album "The Trouble with Success", which a co-worker loaned me. The way Kelley sings this song, it's almost a lullaby, with the metaphor of the thoughts that bounce around in your head late at night being bumper cars.

 
I've done John, Paul, and George, so it's time for some bongos.

This one was listed on your Spotify playlist as "A Horse with No Name - America, George Martin", which surprised me, because it was news to me that uber-producer George Martin (aka "The Fifth Beatle", for his contributions to their sound) had anything to do with this first and memorable hit by America. I picked it thinking it might be another twofer - bongos + George. But, in fact, I can find no evidence that George contributed in any way to this record, other than possibly remixing it later for a greatest hits album.

Anyway, it's a great song that I remember fondly from my youth, and it does have a lot of bongos, though I've made no attempt to reproduce them here.

I did suddenly remember that my performance uke, Eppie, is a Les Paul Epiphone, and therefore I might have been playing her all week if I'd remembered sooner.

If anyone's curious, I did a bit of digging to find the best-sounding easy-to-play chords to emulate what America did with a special guitar tuning they used only for this song. I used Em (0432) & D6/9 (2202), and Em9 (0422) and Dmaj9 (2204) for the la-las. Eppie has been modified to a low-G ukulele, but they sound pretty good on a reentrant uke too.

Verandah Jam day 27.



PS, TIL America was not in fact originally a California band, as I'd always imagined from "Ventura Highway". They started as a trio of American high school boys in London, all sons of US Air Force personnel. They choose their band name so people wouldn't think they were Brits pretending to be American. Later they did relocate to LA.

(Don't judge me if everybody else already knew this. As a '70s kid, I sang along to these songs on the radio, but in general I knew virtually nothing about the artists. Most everything I've learned has come in the last decade, from participating in the Seasons.)

PPS, Eppie is my performance uke because she's the only one I have with a pickup. I acquired her with my Sam Ash bucks from playing there at my local open mic every week in Edison, New Jersey years ago, where I quickly discovered how painful it is to perform with a uke that doesn't plug in. She's named for Eppie Lederer, better known by her pen name Ann Landers. (And, of course, it's short for Epiphone.)

PPPS, TIL Eppie Lederer's moniker was short for her first and middle name, Esther Pauline. I've long known that Abigail Van Buren of "Dear Abby" was her identical twin sister. TIL Abby's given names were Pauline Esther, and she was known in the family as Popo. So there's another Paul connection for my Les Paul Epiphone ukulele.
 
By the way, Bob, there is a shoegaze band from Austin, Texas called Ringo Deathstarr. I have a couple songs in my collection from them, though I won't be playing any this week.

Ringo Deathstarr - Stare at the Sun
Excellent! Having checked out a couple of Ringo Deathstarr tracks I'd be very interested to see a ukulele cover!
 
Mornin'...

A handful of wonderful entries as I slept.
Everything should be up to date, playlist-wise. Keep 'em comin'!

The scores on the doors are looking like:

John - 25
Paul - 12
George - 7
Bongo - 3

(Come on, Bongo...you can do this...)

X
 
First recording Mark Wills released in July 1998
Allen Shamblin was inspired to write the song after his school-aged daughter came home and confided that she was being teased by her peers because of her freckles. The song is a ballad in which various characters, such as children who have been teased or a homeless man begging on a street corner, ask for acceptance from others. Wills has received letters from teachers and students who have said that they can identify with the song's story. According to him, "everyone can relate to [the song… Everyone at some point in their life has been picked on, made fun of or put down." He told Billboard magazine that the song is "one of the strongest songs I've ever recorded in terms of dealing with life in general."

Peter Paul and Mary made a recording released 2003
 
I've noted several times over the years about how much I value the Seasons of the Ukulele as a means to discover new music. Of course, it's rarely "new" rather it's new to me. I put these discoveries into 3 categories -
1. Ancient stuff - before my time, before the time before that, and even before that before the time before my time.
2. New Stuff from lesser-known musicians
3. Medium aged stuff that was rightfully recognized at its time, but slipped my attention. George Ezra fits into category 3 perfectly. I stumbled onto a bunch of his songs which have millions of youtube views, released 8-10 years ago. It appears he was successful enough to be bonafide rock star - a guy with chart-topping songs, someone I should have heard of...
His melodies are unique, his singing is soulful and he plays that gitfiddle thingy too.
"Budapest" was his breakout single in 2013.

 
Thanks for hosting Bob. Long time since I have been here....hopefully I can hit more than one week this time. This fits under the John category.

Artist: John Prine
Album: The Tree of Forgiveness
Released: 2018

 
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