Wednesday, April 8, 2020

John Prine Has Died At 73 From COVID-19 Complications | Pollstar News

John Prine, the ingenious singer-songwriter who explored the heartbreaks, indignities and absurdities of everyday life in “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Hello in There” and scores of other indelible tunes, died Tuesday at the age of 73. [from]

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

John Prine Cover Story Q&A (From The Vault) | Pollstar News

John Prine has a secret. Before leaving for England to headline the Cambridge Folk Festival, he knows in less than 19 hours he’s going to walk out onstage at the Newport Folk Festival as Margo Price’s unannounced special guest to sing “In Spite of Ourselves.” The frisky romp, originally recorded with Iris DeMent, celebrates the odd, sometimes cranky way love endures between grown-ups. [from]

Asia News: Ticketed Streams, Fundraising Stickers, April Fools Miss, Supersonic | Pollstar News


Asia News: Ticketed Streams, Fundraising Stickers, April Fools Miss, Supersonic | Pollstar News


Prime Prine: All The Best | Pollstar News

Everyone knows John Prine’s “Hello In There,” “Sam Stone,” “Donald & Lydia,” “Blow Up Your TV,” “Angel From Montgomery,” even the George Strait No. 1 “I Only Want to Dance With You.” But the real connoisseurs know beyond the standards, where songs get even richer, sweeter, deeper and – on occasion – raucous.  [from]

Who's essential right now? Medicos, of course. Food producers, natch. And in Singapore social media workers have made the list | The Register

Singapore has explicitly singled out social media workers as essential contributors to the city state’s economy as it goes into a new phase of coronavirus-crimping precautions.

The city-state’s response to the pandemic was generally hailed as among the world’s best, but as it eased restrictions things took a turn for the worse. The nation has therefore now closed its schools and imposed new social isolation rules.

Those new rules include a new list of occupations that remain permitted to go about their business outside their homes. Singapore’s list, as is common around the world, includes health workers, those who produce or distribute food, and IT workers whose efforts keep critical comms and payments infrastructure humming.

Singapore’s list also includes “Social media and messaging platforms”. The list also includes those working on ride hailing, food delivery, groceries, and online payments.

It’s not hard to guess why: Singapore was an earlier adopter of WhatsApp in its pandemic prevention efforts and its populace are heavy social media users. Exempting workers from lockdown is therefore a way to help the nation continue to communicate with its citizens, and citizens communicate with each other!

The country has also added a new twist to its app-powered contact tracing effort, by asking citizens to both use the app and keep receipts from taxi rides for at least a month. That cellulose source of information is seen as providing useful additional evidence to track outbreaks. ®

Sponsored: Webcast: Build the next generation of your business in the public cloud


Certain Songs #1790: Ramones – “Rockaway Beach” | Medialoper

Album: Rocket to Russia
Year: 1977

Well, where do you even start with Rocket to Russia?

As their third album in 18 months, and their final album with Tommy in the drummer’s throne, Rocket to Russia is a quantum leap ahead of Leave Home, and is pretty much acknowledged as the peak of their art, and one of the greatest albums in rock and roll history. And one of the peaks is the highest-charting U.S. pop single they ever did, “Rockaway Beach.”

Over a supercharged surf riff, Joey sings Dee Dee’s song about his favorite childhood haunt.

Chewing out a rhythm on my bubble gum
The sun is out and I want some
It’s not hard, not far to reach
We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach
Up on the roof, out on the street
Down in the playground the hot concrete
Bus ride is too slow
They blast out the disco on the radio

The Ramones pull out all of the stops on “Rockaway Beach:” great harmonies, ooooooooohs in the backing vocals, a full stop after which Tommy kicks the song back into gear. And of course the utterly irresistible chorus:

Rock rock Rockaway Beach
Rock rock Rockaway Beach
Rock rock Rockaway Beach
We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach

“Rockaway Beach” was released as a single in the U.S., and I have a vague memory of hearing it once on the radio maybe? In any event, the Ramones were never ever big singles artists, even in the U.K. — which, I know seems insane on ever level, given the high quality of their singles — and so “Rockaway Beach” peaked at #66 on the Billboard pop charts, the best performance (outside of some Modern Rock Chart love in the late 80s) they ever did. No wonder they got bitter.

Why is this Ramones song different from all other Ramones songs?

This is where I came in.

It was late summer, 1978, and I was 15 aching to be 16. I’d been reading about the Ramones and punk rock and all of it for about a year in Creem (who were all in) and Rolling Stone (not as much), but hadn’t yet pulled the trigger on, you know, actually buying any punk records. Seemed scary. But my total and complete love for The Cars, especially side two — the greatest achievement in Western Civilization — convinced me to take a chance.

So one day, I got on my bike, rode to Tower Records, and bought Rocket to Russia and Marquee Moon, two records that I was led to believe — I hadn’t heard a note of either record — were punk rock, but at the same time were wildly different from each other.

I don’t remember which one I heard first, but I’m pretty positive that the first Ramones song I truly loved was “Rockaway Beach,” even though I’m pretty sure I had no idea that it was a real place, but rather a fictional beach where they just used “rockaway” instead of “rock’n’roll.” And while I was suspicious of a record that didn’t have any guitar solos — unlike, say, Marquee Moon — it turned out that they didn’t need any guitar solos. Which was the weirdest thing ever, but OK.

“Rockaway Beach”

Rockaway Beach live in Germany, 1978

The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page