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wonders never cease Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WEDNESDAY, MAY 12th, 2010fifteen songs for moms & ma'ams.

[caption id="attachment_4191" align="alignleft" width="349" caption="click to listen"]WorkingMom[/caption] On Monday, the day after Mother's Day, President Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. It marks an opportunity to have three women on the high court for the first time in our nation's history. So inspired are we that we submit a play list with songs honoring, in alternating succession, moms in particular and women in general. Women, we salute you:

1. Your Mother Should Know - The Beatles
Awesome footage of the fab four in their youth, wearing white tuxedos and trying to follow some elaborate choreography.

2. Ladies of the World - Flight of the Conchords
Comic Kiwis in their pre-HBO days, dusting off the roller skates to pay tribute to the fairer sex (and hermaphrodites) as only they could. Did we mention that Bret and Jermaine can really skate? We don't know if people still have roller disco battles but if so, these guys are ready.

3. Surrender - Cheap Trick
The first hit for the pride of Rockford, Illinois, opening with "Mother told me, yes, she told me I'd meet girls like you. She also told me, 'Stay away, you'll never know what you'll catch.'"

4. I Got A Woman - Ray Charles
This song, released in 1954, was the first hit for Charles and would become one of the prototypes for what would later be called "Soul Music." The list of musicians who have recorded covers of this song include Elvis Pressley, The Beatles, Bobby Darin, Roy Orbison, Booker T and the MGs, The Monkees, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tom Petty, Them, and dozens of others.

5. Blues In the Night - Eva Cassidy
The uber-talented DC native applies her deft touch and soaring vocals to this American standard, written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer for a 1941 film of the same name.

6. American Woman - Lenny Kravitz
Denise Huxtable's ex-husband covers The Guess Who, replacing the original's political undertones with overt sexuality, complete with a video starring bombshell Heather Graham.

7. I'll Always Love My Mama - The Intruders
One of the last hits for the forefathers of the Philadelphia Soul movement that spawned The Delphonics, Patti LaBelle, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The O'Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, and led to Todd Rundgren, Hall and Oates, Boyz II Men and Jill Scott.

8. Just Like a Woman - Nina Simone
Eunice Kathleen Waymon lends her mellifluous pipes and piano skills to the Dylan hit, adding a melancholy sensibility to this Blonde On Blonde classic reportedly inspired by either Edie Sedgewick or Joan Baez.

9. Mama Tried - Grateful Dead
An impossibly young seeming Grateful Dead give a signature rendition of the Merle Haggard classic at a 1969 music festival that took place on Max Yasgur's 600 acre dairy farm about 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, NY.

10. Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
We opted for the classic, a number one hit for "The Caruso of Rock," rather than the high energy cover done by Van Halen on 1982's Diver Down since the Van Halen music video (which had the band dress as a samurai, Tarzan, a cowboy, and Napoleon, per a hunchbacked onlooker's request, rescuing a captive girl that turns out to be a transvestite) for this version was one of the first banned by MTV, due to its opening sequence, where the captive girl is groped by a pair of little people. You'll have to search Youtube yourself if you need to see that to believe it.

11. I Love My Momma - Snoop Dogg
Even OG Calvin Broadus isn't above giving a somewhat unique shout out to his mom, fondly recalling the time they spent "Bangin' oldies in the livin' room, sippin' brew, Schlitz Malt Liquor was the thing back then. My momma was my homey, my daddy, and my best friend."

12. Mother and Child Reunion - Paul Simon
The opening track on Simon's first solo album, it was one of the earliest tracks by a white musician to incorporate prominent elements of reggae, and it was recorded in Jamaica using Jimmy Cliff's backing band along with two members of Toots and The Maytalls and Cissy Houston, Whitney's mother. A bit more on this tune, the song is about the loss felt from the death of Simon's dog and the title is lifted from the name of a chicken and egg dish at a Chinese restaurant in which Simon had dined.

13. Woman - John Lennon
The first of his songs released after his death, Woman, from 1980's Double Fantasy, was an ode to his second wife, the band-busting Yoko Ono. Following Lennon's murder, the single shot up the charts, displacing his own song, the remade Imagine, at the number one spot.

14. Mother - Pink Floyd
Stripped down song from The Wall, in which a man struggles with life's worries and is comforted by his overprotective mother, replying to his anxious questions "Hush now baby, baby don't you cry. Mama's gonna make all of your nightmares come true, mama's gonna put all of her fears into you... of course mama's gonna help build the wall." We advise Pink to heed the title of another song from that landmark album and "Run Like Hell."

15. American Girl - These United States
Local rockers cover the second single from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers debut album. The footage was shot in Denver on New Years Eve but we recommend the three dimensional version which can be had when this great American rock band performs live at The Black Cat on Saturday night.


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