Friday Random 5: Spring es gesprungen edition

The daffodils survived being covered with six inches of snow, the rabbits and peepers are out, and I hear the owl at night: spring is definitely here.

  1. TemptationElvis Costello (Costello and Nieve: Live at the Troubador: Los Angeles)
  2. Typical Situation – Dave Matthews Band (Under the Table and Dreaming)
  3. Stone Cold Bush – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Mother’s Milk)
  4. The Candy Man – Cibo Matto (Viva! La Woman)
  5. Night Flight – Jeff Buckley (Night Flight single)

Temptation: Not the New Order song. I’ve loved this song, in this arrangement, for a long time, really ever since I had Tower Records order the Costello and Nieve set for me back in the 90s. It’s literate without being arch, musically witty without being precious, and it’s got the right amount of irony and true emotion. And one of Elvis’s finest lines: “I wrote this song in Nashville, 1978. I was watching a very famous singer on stage, and I said, ‘That’ll never be me. I’ll never be trapped by fame…’ Well, that part was true.”

Typical Situation: I don’t listen to Dave Matthews much any more (and was never part of the crowd that saw him live). And this song isn’t the one that comes to mind when I think of him—the lyrics are a little overstated and pompous without actually meaning anything. But the arrangement is great and it’s really well engineered; unlike some later DMB tracks it’s actually a pleasure to listen to. And fantastic flute work from the late LeRoi Moore.

Stone Cold Bush: Never one of my favorite tracks from RHCP lyrically, the combination of John Frusciante, Flea and Chad Smith is nevertheless fantastic here.

The Candy Man: If you’re looking for proof that music in the 1990s was a different time, look no further than this album. Two women, Japanese expats in New York, make a trip-hop album about food. Tchad Blake’s contribution as producer and engineer is evident, but the supreme weirdness of the lyrics make it unforgettable.

Night Flight: I’ve written about this, a single released in advance of the issue of the complete Live at Sin-é, before—almost 13 years ago! I was overly harsh on his melismas then, though I do think he spent too much time in the upper tessitura. And the guitar work is pretty solid on this rendition too.