Wednesday, May 12th, 2004
I was playing "You Can't Always Get What You Want" tonight and having a lot of fun with it. The key seems to be just to find a groove and get into it -- there are (practically) only 2 chords in the whole song so in order to keep it from getting boring, you need to play it with a lot of energy. My version didn't sound much like the Stones but I think it sounded all right.
Saturday, May 22nd, 2004
I am trying to put together a one-hour set of songs that I can play on guitar and sing. This afternoon I played a 45-minute set and it sounded pretty good -- the songs were generally not what I would call "tight" but they were all good enough that I could play them at an open mike and not be embarrassed. I have a sort of plan going to do several open mikes and then ask Randal (owner of The Dancing Goat) if I can play a set there on one of his slower nights.
Here is the set from this afternoon:
- The Ballad of Hollis Brown
I've been working on this one for a while now, one of the songs that really made me a convert to Drop-D tuning. Dylan plays only D-minor chords throughout the entire song, but I play D-minor/G/A7. My picking pattern is fairly elaborate and in another song would run the risk of being too repetitive -- but in this song that's the whole point.
- You Can't Always Get What You Want
- Stagger Lee
This is the first song I played in Drop-D tuning and I think of it as a critical juncture in my guitar-playing career. It was a year and a half ago or so, and after 3 years of listening to John Hurt I finally got up the initiative to try and copy one of his songs from the record.
- C.C. Rider
- Rocky Raccoon
- House of the Rising Sun
- Prodigal Son
- Palette on your Floor
- No Expectations
The order is just what order I thought of them in when I was writing the set list -- if I were playing an actual set I would fiddle with it some. "No Expectations" is however a great song to end on. Some other songs I reckon should go in there:
- Freight Train
- Tell Old Bill
- Hobo's Lullaby
- Barbara Allen
Also today I worked out Dylan's "North Country Blues" (not to be confused with "Girl from the North Country"), which is very easy to play and sounds beautiful -- once I know the lyrics I will add it to the list too and when all these songs are put together I think I will have about an hour.
Gotta go -- come back later, I am going to add links and comments for each of the songs.
Friday, April 4th, 2008
I just heard Martin Scorsese give an interview to NPR about his new movie -- I was interested to learn the title is "Shine a Light", since that's one of my favorite Stones songs (and gets fairly little play); but Ellen thinks it is a different song with "shine a light" in the chorus.*
I'm looking forward to the movie -- it is probably as close as I will ever get to seeing the Stones live; but Scorsese was kind of grating on my nerves as he described it. You know whose concert films I love? Jonathan Demme's, is whose. The focus is on the music and you get this pretty elemental, raw passion of artistry -- whereas Scorsese was making it sound kind of like his focus was on making the film and on the personalities involved. Hopefully I am misreading the interview, because I'd really love to see a film crystallizing the Stones' music.
*Update: No, looking at the track list of the soundtrack album now, and "Shine a Light" is indeed present, and is the closing track! Sweet.
(Thinking some lines from "Only the Stones Remain" would be a good epigraph, then thinking better of it.)
I was a little irked by my posting earlier that "Shine a Light" is one of my favorite Stones tunes, without fuller qualification. I don't really know their music, and it surprises me that I should not, when I like so much of what I do know by them. I think I've only ever listened to two of their records very closely or repeatedly, namely Beggar's Banquet and Let it Bleed. I only know "Shine a Light" because Janis taught me to play it; I really ought to check out Exile on Main Street sometime.
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