Jimmy Rushing: Going to Chicago

Jimmy Rushing and the Benny Goodman Orchestra (1958).

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Bonnie Prince Billy: I See a Darkness

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Alison Krauss: Baby, Now That I’ve Found You

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George Harrison: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

George Harrison – “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” (1988)

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Ad of the day

Berliner Philharmoniker

Cool print ad campaign for the chamber orchestra of the Berliner Philharmoniker featuring expansive photos of the cramped spaces inside musical instruments. More images here. (Via Andrew Sullivan)

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Video of the day

Wilco, Nick Lowe & Mavis Staples rehearse “The Weight

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“I’ve been stumped here for a while”

Paul Simon performs a partially written “Still Crazy After All These Years” in September 1974: “I’ve been stumped here for a while.” I know the feeling.

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Sam and Dave: You Don’t Know Like I Know (1967)


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Teddy Thompson: In My Arms

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Talking Heads: Life During Wartime

From Stop Making Sense, 1984. Almost 30 years ago — ouch.

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Amy Winehouse: “Teach Me Tonight” (2004)

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Billy Preston and Ray Charles: Agent Double-O Soul

Oh my! (Via Soul Sides.)

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Record Club: Need You Tonight

“Need You Tonight” (INXS cover) – Record Club

More information about Beck’s Record Club project here.

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Wanda Jackson: Thunder on the Mountain

Wanda Jackson – “Thunder on the Mountain” (with Jack White) (via myonetruevine)

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The Duke’s Men: Either Way

The Duke’s Men of Yale – “Either Way” (2009). As a Duke’s Men alumnus (class of ’85), I couldn’t be prouder.

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Dub FX: Soothe Your Pain

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Kanye West: Power

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Clem Snide covers Journey

Link (via)

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Plan B: “She Said”

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“The Commitments”

It is always dangerous to watch a movie you liked as a kid, but I watched “The Commitments” last night for the first time in years and thought it held up remarkably well. Alan Parker’s 1991 film, based on Roddy Doyle’s debut novel, tells the story of a Dublin hustler named Jimmy Rabbitte who puts together a soul band composed mostly of working-class kids who know nothing about soul or even, in some cases, about music.

The core of the cast are all non-actors recruited from various Dublin bands. Still, “The Commitments” is loaded with great performances. Glen Hansard, who would appear fifteen years later in another great Dublin music film, “Once,” plays the lead guitarist. Maria Doyle, of the band Hothouse Flowers, is one of the backup singers, the Commitment-ettes. And Andrew Strong, an unknown who was 16 years old when “The Commitments” was filmed, blows the roof off with performances that owe as much to Joe Cocker as to Wilson Pickett.

After “The Commitments,” most of the cast returned to careers in music or, frankly, in obscurity. Among the band members, only Doyle and Angeline Ball, who played the blond-bombshell backup singer, have had substantial acting careers since “The Commitments.” So the film feels like lightning in a bottle — an unrepeatable one-off caught on film. It feels alive.

What makes the film live, also, is the sense of music as a pure expression of hope and joy for young people in a gritty down-and-out place. In these down-and-out times, that’s an uplifting thing to watch.

Here is just a taste:

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