29 June 2006

8+

"Ball And Chain" by Big Brother & the Holding Company which clocks in at 9:29

At Beg Yr Pardon #2, D told me something that kinda blew my mind. She said that Oxygen has an OnDemand channel; and on it, there is freaking karaoke ON DEMAND!! Holy moly-cow! For someone who loves singing anything as much as I do, that was quite the revelation. I actually had a virtual karaoke machine already in my house?! Well, I went home and checked it out right away but didn't really get a chance to sing along until last night. I had a friend over, we had a few drinks, and then I busted out the good news.

Me - "Dude, have you seen Oxygen's karaoke thing?"

Him - "Nuh, what?"

Me - "Look..."

Him - "Holy SHIT!"

That's right folks, and we sang our bloody asses off. Okay maybe not, because the selection is more heavily geared towards, well, Oxygen viewers (I suppose) and the songs they would most like to sing (drunkenly) at a bar. Regardless, we found a gem or two and busted through some fine renditions of "The Gambler", "Don't Stop Believin'", and "Every Breath You Take" (among others). But it was during my Johnny Cash meets a throat cancer having Lou Barlow version of "Me and Bobby McGee" that I realized there's quite the fine Janis Joplin 8+ song. This post is about that, not about karaoke.

You may know "Me and Bobby McGee", you may know "Piece of My Heart", or Janis Joplin's version of "Summertime", but you SHOULD know "Ball And Chain". Where the other songs made popular by Janis Joplin delivered a more radio friendly version of her raw emotion, this song IS pure, unedited raw emotion. The song feels alive. It wakes up at 2:30pm stinking of whiskey and cigarettes, it brings the pain, and it captures everything that was Janis better than any other song she ever recorded. It weeps, screams, begs and delivers one of the great human experiences ever recorded onto tape. I'd argue that just this one song, and Joplin's performance of it at the Monterey Pop Festival, did more for showing that women could be rock stars (could feel and exude Rock & Roll just like the men who were dominating the rock world at the time) than anything else recorded by a female musician in the '60s. Man how much I wish I could've heard her live. And, after you listen to this song, just imagine if Janis had recorded a few tracks with Jimmy Page. Good god.

"Ball And Chain" is a time capsule of a song that instantly transports the listener back to 1968. Back to San Francisco and the era of psychedelic peace, love, and harmony. Grab yourself a drink (or a doobie or whatever) and let Big Brother & the Holding Company take over.

Speaking of drinks, I'm playing DJ guy tonight at the EF Presents... show. I'm going to be playing ONE 8+ song at some point in the night (and this song will get posted and written about in next week's 8+) and I've got a little contest for you guys. Here's the deal: whenever the 8+ song is played, the first person who comes up to me and tells me the name of the song, and that it is in fact THE 8+, that person will get a free drink of their choice. Maybe even two if you're really impressive about it. Yes, nerds are impressed by other nerds.

(photo taken by Linda McCartney found HERE)

Buy Cheap Thrills HERE on Amazon.

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
British Sea Power - "Lately"
Islands - "Swans"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"
Wilco - "Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
Isis - "From Sinking"
Lemon Jelly - "A Tune For Jack"
Herbie Hancock - "Sly"
New Order - "Temptation"
Polvo - "El Rocio"
Pulp - "Countdown"
Morrissey - "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils"
Dungen - "Du är för fin för mig"
Loose Fur - "Wreckroom"
The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
Neu! - "Fuer Immer (forever)"
Iggy Pop - "Mass Production"
The Cure - "Fascination Street" (Extended Mix)
Yo La Tengo - "Let's Be Still"
George Michael - "I Want Your Sex, Pts. 1 &2"
Digital Underground - "Doowutchyalike"
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - "1% Of One"

9 comments:

d said...

YES, with a better curated song selection, the karaoke on demand channel could take over the world.

(note to self: convince matt to develop "earfarm presents on demand karaoke")

francis said...

finally something to do on tuesday night

Andy!!! said...

"But it was during my Johnny Cash meets a throat cancer having Lou Barlow version of "Me and Bobby McGee" that I realized..."

you so clevah

(invite me)

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