Talking Heads, Thank You For Sending Me An Angel
Yet another 'Stop Making Sense' clip. The two dominant theories about the lyrics are that Byrne was writing about either a newborn baby or the migratory patterns of birds. David f'in Byrne, ladies and gentlemen. Also, if Rolling Stone's next top 100 list is the Top 100 Stable Rock Star Marriages, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz have to be #1, right? They're rock music's answer to Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. This marks the only time that anyone will ever compare Chris Frantz to Paul Newman. I mean, hey, Frantz is a terrific drummer, but he looks like Geoffrey Rush's bumpkin cousin.
Jerry Orbach, Be Our Guest
I was going through my mom's old record collection a few years ago when I came across her Broadway cast recording of Chicago from 40 years ago. I was shocked to learn that the Richard Gere role was played by none other than bad-ass cop Lennie Briscoe himself. Turns out Orbach had been a major Broadway star for decades before he ever picked up the badge on Law & Order. What next? Detective Ed Green singing songs from Rent? DA Arthur Branch running for president? Detective Mike Logan marrying a high-maintenance butterface? That's crazy talk!
U2, One Tree Hill
Some U2 fans point to the band's four concerts at the Point Depot in Dublin in December 1989 as the definitive U2 live experience, at least of the 1980's. The New Year's Eve show is held in particularly high regard, and a bootleg of the show was a hot commodity for fans. Of course, in this era of YouTube and downloading, the whole idea of bootlegs seems as quaint as tying a typewriter to your Edsel. This is why Pearl Jam have released roughly as many bootlegs as there are stars in the sky. Anyway, I was surprised to learn that One Tree Hill isn't the theme song of 'One Tree Hill,' the cheesy teen drama. I mean, it's not bad news, since I'm pleased U2 didn't sink to the level of CW teen dramas. But it's just odd --- imagine a sitcom about a hemophiliac priest called Sunday Bloody Sunday, but U2's song wasn't the theme. There would be outrage. There would be a riots. There would be blood in the streets.
Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright, Careless Whisper
'Careless Whisper' is one of those songs where literally every artist who covers it manages to surpass the original. Oh, Wham! The unintentional comedy never ceases. My favourite Wham! fact (taken from Wikipedia, so who knows if it's true) is that they were known in the United States for a while as Wham!UK, since another band was already known as Wham! in America. Like, with the exclamation mark and everything. Awesome. I would pay to see a double-bill of Wham!UK and Bush X.
Radiohead, Big Ideas
Ok, so this one isn't exactly live, or is it exactly Radiohead. Apparently the band held a contest for fans to remix their song 'Nude (Big Ideas)' and this original entry was the winner. I wonder if the guy thought up his big idea for the remix while, in fact, nude. Lord knows all of my wittiest material is written in the buff. In a related story, I've been fully clothed for this particular post. Sigh.
R.E.M. and Thom Yorke, E-Bow The Letter
Ok, so this one isn't exactly Radiohead either, but hey, at least it's live. I've always respected the fact that Michael Stipe uses a music stand to hold the lyrics during live performances, basically admitting, "Hey, I write a lot of weird shit, so I need a cheat sheet. You gotta a problem with that?" I also admire his self-confidence in wearing a dress in public. If it were socially acceptable, I'd wear dresses all the time. They're comfortable as hell. Eddie Izzard has the right idea. Pop quiz: what's the funniest thing about Thom Yorke's performance here? a) When he's introduced, about 400 people in the 70,000 seat stadium cheer, or b) how he gradually and hilariously gets more "Thom Yorkeish," for lack of a better term, during the performance. He goes from zero to 100 as he gets more and more into the song.
By the way, this performance was from the Free Tibet concert in 1998. How'd that whole 'freeing Tibet' thing work out, anyway? I stopped paying attention the moment the show ended.