Posts Tagged ‘joe jackson


coming april 10 – world party arkeology

It’s been a great year for older music fans. The methods for finding new music continue to grow, and some of the great bands of the past are continuing to put out new and great music.

This year alone, Thomas Dolby is touring, Joe Jackson is releasing a new album and touring and Dead Can Dance is touring (and I think putting out a new album, as well).

And today, I just learned that Karl Wallinger is releasing a new 5 disc World Party set called Arkeology. Thanks to the good folks at, I learned that the new World Party retrospective will include 5 discs of music that Wallinger’s had laying around for the past 25 years. The set will include many covers, unreleased originals and live versions we’ve never heard unless we got them from bootlegs.

Here’s the tracklist. Look for this sure to be great set on April 10:


  • 1. “Waiting Such A Long Time”
  • 2. “Nothing Lasts Forever”
  • 3. “Everybody’s Falling In Love”
  • 4. “Where Are You Going When You Go”
  • 5. “Photograph”
  • 6. “Everybody Dance Now”
  • 7. “Closer Still”
  • 8. “I Want To Be Free”
  • 9. “I’m Only Dozing”
  • 10. “No More Crying”
  • 11. Interview/”Sweet Soul Dream” (Live Radio)


  • 1. “Lucille”
  • 2. “The Good Old Human Race”
  • 3. “Put the Message in the Box” (Live)
  • 4. “Trouble Down Here”
  • 5. “Basically”
  • 6. “Silly Song”
  • 7. “Man We Was Lonely”
  • 8. “She’s The One” (Live)
  • 9. “Ship of Fools”
  • 10. “Mystery Girl”
  • 11. “This is Your World Speaking”
  • 12. “All The Love That’s Wasted”
  • 13. “Lost in Infinity”
  • 14. “New Light”


  • 1. “Words”
  • 2. “Dear Prudence”
  • 3. “Call Me Up” (Live Radio)
  • 4. “Like A Rolling Stone”
  • 5. “Sooner Or Later”
  • 6. “Love Street”
  • 7. “Time On My Hands”
  • 8. “Who Are You”
  • 9. “Sweetheart Like You”
  • 10. “Another World”
  • 11. “You’re Beautiful, But Get Out of My Life”
  • 12. “Living Like The Animals”
  • 13. “Stand” (Live)
  • 14. “Thank You World” (Original Jam)


  • 1. “Break Me Again”
  • 2. “Baby” (Demo)
  • 3. “Ship Of Fools”
  • 4. “Put The Message In The Box”
  • 5. “When Did You Leave Heaven”
  • 6. “Nature Girl”
  • 7. “It’s A Pity You Don’t Let Go”
  • 8. “My Pretty One”
  • 9. “De Ho De Hay”
  • 10. “We Are The Ones”
  • 11. “World Groove”/”Mind Guerilla”
  • 12. “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”
  • 13. “Kuwait City”
  • 14. “Do What I Want”
  • 15. “All We Need Is Everything”
  • 16. “Outro”


  • 1. “Mystery Girl” (Early Version)
  • 2. “What Is Love All About” (Outtake)
  • 3. “I Hope it All Works Out For You”
  • 4. “And God Said” (Long version)
  • 5. “It Ain’t Gonna Work”
  • 6. “Another One”
  • 7. “I Am Me”
  • 8. “It’s Gonna Be Alright”
  • 9. “In Another World”
  • 10. “Thank You World”
  • 11. “Cry Baby Cry”
  • 12. “Temple Of Love”
  • 13. “Fixing A Hole”
  • 14. “Way Down Now” (Live)
  • 15. “Change The World”

scary monsters – joe jackson does david bowie

During Joe Jackson’s latest tour to promote Rain, his latest album from earlier this year, he’s been breaking out some cover versions of some classic song.

But even though his version of Frank Zappa’s “Dirty Love” is a close second, my favorite remake is his cover of David Bowie’s “Scary Monsters.”

Check this out from July 4th of this year…

And if you’re not familiar with the original, here’s David Bowie doing it…

Joe is touring more this fall, in case you’d like to see what he breaks out for this leg of the tour.


conservative indie pop? liberal country western? election season blues…

It seems to me that there’s money to be made for some young, enterprising, conservative musician. There aren’t really any conservative indie/alternative bands, but there are plenty of conservatives who like that kind of music. Can you imagine how they’d rally around a band who was outwardly conservative. And if Rush Limbaugh told his listeners about that band? They’d be millionaires overnight.

Same, though less so, for a liberal country band. By the nature of the art form, there are more liberal musicians, in general, than conservative. But country still doesn’t have too many successful liberal acts (minus the Dixie Chicks, of course). I would imagine there’s a similarly good opportunity for a good liberal country band to come out and take that genre by storm.

So? Why hasn’t anyone seized on these opportunities?

I started doing a little looking, and I came across an article by John Miller written for National Review. He offered up his top 50 conservative rock songs. Surprisingly, there were quite a few songs by real indie bands on the list. That doesn’t mean they were/are conservative bands. But the songs (by virtue of being libertarian, actually) are arguably conservative. Here’s his list of top 50 (there are 50 more, if you want to check those out, too).

[If you want detailed justifications for each, click through to the entire articles above…]

1. “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” by The Who.
2. “Taxman,” by The Beatles.
3. “Sympathy for the Devil,” by The Rolling Stones.
4. “Sweet Home Alabama,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
5. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” by The Beach Boys.
6. “Gloria,” by U2.
7. “Revolution,” by The Beatles.
8. “Bodies,” by The Sex Pistols.
9. “Don’t Tread on Me,” by Metallica.
10. “20th Century Man,” by The Kinks.
11. “The Trees,” by Rush.
12. “Neighborhood Bully,” by Bob Dylan.
13. “My City Was Gone,” by The Pretenders.
14. “Right Here, Right Now,” by Jesus Jones.
15. “I Fought the Law,” by The Crickets.
16. “Get Over It,” by The Eagles.
17. “Stay Together for the Kids,” by Blink 182.
18. “Cult of Personality,” by Living Colour.
19. “Kicks,” by Paul Revere and the Raiders.
20. “Rock the Casbah,” by The Clash.
21. “Heroes,” by David Bowie.
22. “Red Barchetta,” by Rush.
23. “Brick,” by Ben Folds Five.
24. “Der Kommissar,” by After the Fire.
25. “The Battle of Evermore,” by Led Zeppelin.
26. “Capitalism,” by Oingo Boingo.
27. “Obvious Song,” by Joe Jackson.
28. “Janie’s Got a Gun,” by Aerosmith.
29. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Iron Maiden.
30. “You Can’t Be Too Strong,” by Graham Parker.
31. “Small Town,” by John Mellencamp.
32. “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” by The Georgia Satellites.
33. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” by The Rolling Stones.
34. “Godzilla,” by Blue öyster Cult.
35. “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
36. “Government Cheese,” by The Rainmakers.
37. “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” by The Band.
38. “I Can’t Drive 55,” by Sammy Hagar.
39. “Property Line,” by The Marshall Tucker Band.
40. “Wake Up Little Susie,” by The Everly Brothers.
41. “The Icicle Melts,” by The Cranberries.
42. “Everybody’s a Victim,” by The Proclaimers.
43. “Wonderful,” by Everclear.
44. “Two Sisters,” by The Kinks.
45. “Taxman, Mr. Thief,” by Cheap Trick.
46. “Wind of Change,” by The Scorpions.
47. “One,” by Creed.
48. “Why Don’t You Get a Job,” by The Offspring.
49. “Abortion,” by Kid Rock.
50. “Stand By Your Man,” by Tammy Wynette.

Eric Kirk at SoHum Parlance saw this article and decided (with some incentive from Miller) to take on the task of finding the top 50 liberal country songs. Here’s his list below (follow this link to see the justifications)…

1. Man in Black – Johnny Cash
2. The Pill – Loretta Lynn
3. 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton
4. We Shall be Free – Garth Brooks
5. Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie Riley (and others)
6. Take this Job and Shove It – Johnny Paycheck
7. Devil’s Right Hand – Steve Earle
8. Sixteen Tons – Tennessee Earnest Ford
9. Rainbow Stew – Merle Haggard
10. Trouble in the Fields – Nancy Griffith
11. Abraham, Martin, and John (It’s a Hard Life) – Emmy Lou Harris
12. They Ain’t Makin Jews like Jesus Anymore – Kinky Friedman
13. San Quentin – Johnny Cash
14. America – Waylon Jennings
15. Heartland – Willie Nelson
16. Jesus, the Missing Years – John Prine
17. Okie from Muskogee – Merle Haggard
18. Conversations with the Devil – Ray Wylie Hubbard
19. Travelin’ Soldier – Dixie Chicks
20. 40 hour week – Alabama
21. My Uncle – Flying Burrito Brothers
22. Coal Miner’s Daughter – Loretta Lynn
23. Ballad for a soldier – Leon Russell, aka Hank Wilson
24. Fishing – Richard Shindell
25. I Washed my Face in the Morning Dew – Tom T. Hall
26. One Hundred Children – Tom T. Hall
27. Aragon Mill – Dry Branch Fire Squads
28. Workin Band – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
29. Right or Left at Oak Street – Roy Clark
30. Two Story House – Tammy Wynette
31. Church – Lyle Lovett
32. Devil Take the Farmer – Dry Branch Fire Squads
33. Blame it on the Stones – Kris Kristofferson
34. Skip a Rope – Henson Cargill
35. That’s the News – Merle Haggard
36. A Week in Country Jail – Tom T. Hall
37. Common Man – John Conlee
38. Kids of the Baby Boom – The Bellamy Brothers
39. Mississipi on my Mind – Jesse Winchester written, Jerry Jeff Walker performance
40. Hank Williams Said It Best – Guy Clark
41. Billy B. Damned – Billy Joe Shaver
42. Don’t you think this outlaw bit’s done got out of hand?- Waylon Jennings
43. Lights went out in Georgia – Reba McEntire
44. Peace on Earth – Willie Nelson
45. High Cotton – Alabama
46. Why can’t we all just get a long neck? – Hank Williams
47. White House Blues – Vassar Clements
48. Saginaw, Michigan – Lefty Frizzell
49. Copperhead Road – Steve Earle
50. Hobo’s Meditation – Dolly Parton

In most of the cases in the rock section, the songs are written by artists who are generally liberal, but have swerved into the conservative side of an issue. The country side largely includes artists who are generally liberal.

Thus, my curiosity still stands: Could a “good” indie/alternative band who was conservative gather a critical mass of fans? I think it goes deeper than that. I think the question really is “do people like songs because of the lyrics, melody, instrumentation, vocals, etc. (obviously, “all of the above” is an option, too)?

Can you love a song which endorses a philosophy to which you are vehemently opposed?


children’s music for adults

If you’re a music fan with children, you’re constantly trying to bridge the gap between kids music and adult music. The children’s music industry is constantly hurling music like Raffi, Barney or The Wiggles at your child.

There’s a somewhat delicate balance to maintain between providing music for your child that is fun, appropriate and teaches them about music and music that you, too, can enjoy on some level.

One of the considerations is obviously lyrics. The majority view is that if the lyrics are inappropriate, then so is the song. However, how many songs can you remember listening to when you were little that only as an adult did you realize exactly what the lyrics were really saying?

A friend of mine was telling me recently about growing up listening to the Hair soundtrack. She said that she would sing along with “Sodomy,” only to realize years later what the lyrics actually meant.

So I find myself listening to many Flight of the Conchords songs with my 4 year old daughter. “Foux du Fafa” is fortunately her favorite, and not at all controversial. However, when songs like “If You’re Into It” come on, I find myself either cringing or just taking it off.

Another factor for me is if the song is sung by kids. It just seems very condescending to me that children’s songs have to be sung by kids. And it’s never just one child. It’s always a group of kids. There’s probably some clinical, well-researched reason behind this, but I just don’t feel the need to re-enact driving around with a daycare center in my car. So we steer away from those completely.

Fortunately, at this point, some of the bands I grew up with now have kids of their own and are feeling compelled to make children’s music. They Might Be Giants is probably the most well-known of this group, but Barenaked Ladies have also released a CD. For you Deadheads, Jerry Garcia also released an album of children’s songs – Not For Kids Only – about 15 years ago.

I’ve found it very possible – and really fun – to find music in my own library that is appropriate and fun for my daughter. Here’s a sample of what I’ve come up with that she really likes:

There’s also some good songs that were intended for kids that are excellent adult fare, as well. Check out “I Got Six” from Schoolhouse Rock…

“Pictures of Pandas Painting” from They Might Be Giants is also a great psychedelic groove. Here’s a video of it, preceded by “Ooh La! Ooh La!” – not a bad song, either (though more kid-centric).

“Catch That Train,” from Dan Zanes, is a slower folksy song, but if you’re into that (which I am, from time to time), it’s a very solid single…

As I was sitting here finding music for me and my daughter to check out on this sunny Sunday morning, I was thinking of how much fun discovering music is – not only for myself, but with my daughter, too. For those of you with kids, take some time to explore it.


Allow me to introduce ourselves…

This blog’s been chugging along for over two months now, and I’m constantly surprised by how much fun it is to do and how much feedback I’ve been getting from you (well, maybe not you, but you know who you are).

One of the questions I get is who’s all behind this site.

There are three people behind NewTunes right now, me (Jon Friesch), Joe Kletzel (JFK… The President) and Joe Amstadt (nothing parenthetical to add).

After spending the summers of ’88 and ’89 in San Francisco, I moved there full-time in 1993. One of the best parts about San Francisco was the music scene. The Greek Theater in Berkeley, the Fillmore and the Warfield are all classic and excellent places to see a concert, and I definitely went to my share of them – Thomas Dolby, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Pete Townshend, David Byrne, Jerry Garcia, Jimmy Cliff, Robyn Hitchcock to name a few.

I worked for PC World magazine for four years, and I met my wife there. We moved to Madison, WI in 1997, and I went to work for the two newspapers and I built the Marketing Department there and assembled quite a team – including Matt Everson, who designed our NewTunes logo and S.J. Barlament, who’s writing the copy for our site.

Last year, I moved on to and spent six very important months there. Working at Broadjam was like going to graduate school. I learned an amazing amount in a very short time. This past March, the NewTunes opportunity came up, and here I am.

JFK, the President, has been part of NewTunes for over a year and has the distinction of having resided in every city in the continental United States (well, it seemed like every city when he was listing them off to us, but I have to admit I stopped listening after a while). He oversees everything that goes on and handles all of our operations and raised all of the money that we’re using to build this site.

JFK is one of the best people for whom I’ve ever worked. He has absolute trust in Joe and I and is in a perpetual good mood. On my way out last night, he thanked me for all of my hard work that day. This is not at all unusual for him to do, and he sincerely means and appreciates it (which is why I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I didn’t really work all THAT hard). JFK’s as honest as one can be and really sets the tone for how we want to interact with our customer base.

Joe Amstadt (the one who requires no parentheticals) is our developer and programmer. He’s the man behind our infrastructure, our technologies and our site. We’re working with a partner on the development of our website, and Joe is making that all possible.

Joe seems to be an expert in nearly everything he touches. He’s got a great eye for site usability and has done things with our infrastructure that have impressed both JFK and myself – although it probably all seemed second nature to him. My favorite part about Joe, aside from his concerns about absolutely everything, is his mutant ability to spot someone who is good at what they do. This is especially helpful as we assess technical people.

All three of us have profiles on LinkedIn (me, JFK, Joe), so if you’d like to see more, please check those out.

That’s the core team behind assembling the puzzle that is the NewTunes website. We do have some partners, as well, without whom this would not be possible. We’ll reveal them in due time.

So, that’s who we are… who are you? I invite you to introduce yourself via the comment area, or by email –, to reach me.


Start your weekend with the dead 60s

[Part five of the New Music from the Past 30 Years series]

We’ve hit Friday, and I was thinking a little about weekend music. This brought me immediately to the Dead 60s.

Unlike the other bands I’ve written about in this series – all of whom are still creating music and have been around a long time – the Dead 60s put out their first album only a few short years ago and have already broken up.

But their first album – Dead 60s – which someone recommended on the Joe Jackson list to which I belong, hit me right between the eyes. It is a faithful throwback to early 80s Coventry beat ska with abrupt, from the guts vocals and punk attitude.

They stuck around for one more album – Time to Take Sides – which, to me, lost a little of the attitude, but still delivered on some great alt-rock.

Check out “Riot Radio” here.

The fisheye lens on the video is kind of off-putting, but if you can avert your eyes and just check out the song, I think “Riot Radio” is a great weekend kick-off song and an excellent entry point into their first album.

Meanwhile, the video for “Ghostfaced Killer” could have come right off any Specials album. And the video is truer to the feel of the band…


Producing the best website we can

Posted on the wall across from my desk is a classic, 26-year-old poster for Joe Jackson’s Night and Day album. They album features the time-tested “Steppin’ Out,” but has some of his best work in “Cancer” and “Target,” among other songs. Here’s a picture of the poster, taken from my chair…

Joe Jackson Night & Day poster

There’s a quote on this poster, which you may or may not be able to read. It says…

“People are too concerned with whether they’re going to appear cool, or hip, or whether their ‘street’ credibility will suffer if they do this, or that. No one’s going to be hip forever. Who cares. The important thing it to follow your instincts, and produce the best music you can.”

I’ve had this poster for years (given to me by my older brother… the same one who gave me all those TDK cassettes back in 1982). I’ve read the quote many times. I’ve always liked the sentiment. But I’ve only recently started dissecting it and taking it to heart.

We’ve been doing a lot of work on our brand personality, lately. We’re in the hunt for a marketing agency, and I’m getting a lot of questions about who we are, what we’re doing and who we think our users are going to be – or who do we want them to be.

There’s a lot of research we can do. And focus groups have been suggested to learn more about these people.

But I keep coming back to the quote on the poster that I see every day. I don’t want to try and be something for some specific target group. Never in my personal life have I ever tried to be anyone other than who I am. I’ve never tried to speak the language of any group I’ve presented to in my professional life, and I’ve never tried to be something other than what I am for anyone in my personal life.

Since my charge with NewTunes it to run our marketing efforts, I’m not going to start with this site. We are a new way to find new music for people that are interested in finding new music. I don’t care what kind of music they find, so long as they’re truly happy they discovered it.

I don’t want to design the site for the “hip-hop crowd” or for “indie fans” or anything else. It’s a site about finding music. We’re getting music fans off the cold, statistic-driven “people who bought this, bought that” model and trying to give them music they’ve never heard that is compatible with music they like. Pretty simple stuff.

This site is for people who truly enjoy music. It’s for people who are always sure they’ve got their iPod or their CDs with them. People who, when they rent a car, are most concerned with what medium will work in the car. People who could talk all day about the songs, the sounds, the instruments or the lyrics. This site will be for them. It will be for me.

If we deliver on that, we’ll stand the test of time and get past the phase of being the “site of the day” or some music fan fad and fall comfortably in to being a reliable source – day in and day out.

So, no surprise to those who know what a Joe Jackson fan I’ve been, but I guess he’s a driving force behind our brand personality these days… and I thing that quote truly sums up what we’re about.

July 2018
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