Songs 15 Through 21 

The Great 28 

28 Songs That May Or May Not But Probably May Be Better Than Songs on the New Album, Mannish Boys, Songs 15 - 21

 

Watch out na! Catfish got the third batch of his favorite tunes for you below. Play 'em and may they get right to you the way they get right to me. After all this music has done for me, it would only be right to spread it around. If you would like to support Brooks Long & The Mad Dog No Good's first album, Mannish Boys, please head directly to www.GoFundMe.com/BrooksLong. You folks are the ones making all the wheels spin. I thank you so much. 

-Jermaine Maintaine


 

Elis Regina & Antonio Carlos Jobim - Aguas De Marco [The Waters of March]

 

“It's stick, it's stone/It's the end of the road/It's a rest of stump/It's a little alone/It's a shard of glass/It is life, it's the sun/It is night, it is death/It's the snare, it's the fishhook… It's the firewood, it's the day/It's the end of the trail/It's the bottle of liquor/Splinter in the road/It’s the house’s design/It's the body in bed/It's the broken down car/It's the mud, it's the mud.... They are the waters of March/closing the summer/It's the promise of life/In your heart” 

And it just sounds like all that stuff, wrapped up in a big blue ball. And then they start laughing at the end ;)

Gary U.S. Bonds - Quarter To Three 

Yes, it’s supposed to sound like that. No, it’s not a live cut. Yes, it was a #1 hit. Why? Maybe because it feels alive. Big ups to producer Frank Guida putting real work into making a party leap out of the speakers. This is the energy of you and your friends at four in the morning, drunk and belting out some tune everybody kinda knows. (My favorite is Kiss From A Rose. Nobody knows all the words. Nobody cares.) Gary is right there with you singing his head off from start to finish because subtlety is for people who come to the party at eight and leave at nine. Somehow instead of merely being the soundtrack to a good time, the song is having a good time right along with you. Someday, when I settle down with a producer that’s crazy enough, I’ll make a whole album like this. Hell, I’m crazy enough.

 

Elvis Costello - The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes 

“Well, I used to be disgusted. Now I try to be amused.” You ever been an idealistic kid that couldn’t stop aging and had to learn to stop resisting this cruel, cruel world and cope through heavy doses of bouncy songs that melded your old innocence to your current disillusionment for a few minutes and made your angst manageable? I bet that was Elvis Costello too.

The Beatles – She Loves You 

“Hey, remember when you we’re an asshole to your ex-girlfriend?” 

“Thanks for bringing that up.” 

“Well she said she still loves you.” 

“What?” 

“Yeah.” 

“Really???” 

“Yeah!” 

“REALLY???” 

“YEAH!!!” 

“THAT’S THE SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!” 

“YYYYEAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!”

Outkast - B.O.B

No, you don’t need to constantly push things forward to make great music. No, Outkast has not overtly pushed things forward with all of their best music. But I must admit sometimes there’s an energy about boldly going where no one seems to have gone before that’s just rapturous. “Giant Steps”. “A Day In The Life”. “Purple Haze.” “When Doves Cry.” I think when we constantly expect this from our artists we, as music listeners, get into trouble. But sometimes you gotta go to The Grand Canyon because there just ain't nothin' like it. Sometimes you gotta get your breath took. Oh yeah, the lyrics are somewhat about finishing what you start. Which reminds me… 

You know how most of your favorite music got to your ears? Because artists used to have these things called “record deals.” But since the music industry is about as dead as Sam Jackson in Deep Blue Sea and apparently wasn’t worth much of a damn anyway, Ol’ Catfish proposes a proposition. How about you and I make a record deal just between us? Why, sure we could. You could give me a small amount to help release my album, Mannish Boys, and in turn I’ll give you a copy of the album plus a heap of other stuff when it’s all done. I sure could use your help and I sure hope you can use my music. The campaign officially ends on March 7. But don’t hesitate. www.GoFundMe.com/BrooksLong

 

Refugee Camp Allstars featuring Lauryn Hill – The Sweetest Thing 

This is a perfect song. Music is melody, harmony and rhythm. Add words and you’ve got a song. This is a perfect song. Not including Ellington and Coltrane’s take on Duke’s “In A Sentimental Mood,” there are at least two classics on the Love Jones soundtrack. The other one is Dionne Farris’ “Hopeless,” written by one of the most songwritin-est brothers around, Van Hunt. But this one? In perhaps Lauryn and Wyclef Jean’s last official collaboration, Ms. Hill reminisces about a hazily-remembered, young ghetto love from a lyrically ever-present past. Languid chords move up and down her guitar in the verses as if it was over long ago, but the harder-edged, spookier bridge admits she still can’t shake it. “Excuse me if I get too deep.”

David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes 

    

Now I love Bowie. As I mentioned in Where I’m Coming From, Hunky Dory was one of my first rock records. But did you know that the only reason Bowie became a musician was because he dreamed of playing saxophone in Little Richard’s band? Or that The Beatles got their big break opening for Richard and that Paul McCartney took singing lessons from Richard while on tour? Or that for a while Richard’s organ player was some kid named Billy Preston and his guitar player was some dude named Jimi Hendrix? Or that Little Richard was the idol of fellow Georgia boys, Otis Redding and James Brown? Or that Richard would ask his stage drummer Charles Conners to play unorthodox beats that James Brown (known as the originator of Funk Music) said marked his first encounter with Funk? Why I am I not talking about David Bowie? Because while it's sad that Bowie has passed away, he knew he was appreciated when he left. Fortunately Little Richard is still alive, yet does not get nearly the love he deserves. I hear he’s not doing very well these days. This is the man who originated the persona of the rock star as an uncontrollable maniac and whose voice contains all you need to know about the power of Rock & Roll. So I’ll get the ball rolling. #ThankYouRichardPenniman. Happy Black History Month!!!



I love music. If I've conveyed any of my love of music here, then I guess I've done part of the job. The other part of the job is to let you know that I am counting on YOU and people just like you to help me release this album. It's gonna be a good one. Catfish wouldn't lie to ya. Thank you spending time listening to old records with me. The campaign ends March 7. Check it out: www.GoFundMe.com/BrooksLong

Songs 8 through 14 

The Great 28

28 Songs That May Or May Not But Probably May Be Better Than Songs on the New Album, Mannish Boys, Songs 8 - 14
 

Watch out na! Catfish got the second batch of his favorite tunes for you below. Play 'em and may they get right to you the way they get right to me. After all this music has done for me, it would only be right to spread it around. If you would like to support Brooks Long & The Mad Dog No Good's first album, Mannish Boys, please head directly to www.GoFundMe.com/BrooksLong. You folks are the ones making all the wheels spin. I thank you so much.

-Jermaine Maintaine
 


Chuck Berry – No Particular Place To Go

Yeah, you wanna do the nasty, but you ain't doin' the nasty tonight, brother. Fate has seen to this. All you can do is play one hell of a sexually frustrated guitar solo. By the way, Chuck is the king of Rock & Roll/R&B songwriting meter. This tune is in iambic pentameter for all you Shakespeare fans. And that's really a great guy to compare him to. The Bard's influence is so common that it's hard to even notice it. Same for Chuck. We're talking about two people who solidified languages here. And they both liked talkin' about doin' the nasty, too.

Aretha Franklin – Ain’t No Way

This is a perfect song. Music is melody, harmony and rhythm. Add words and you’ve got a song. This is a perfect song. And no, that’s not the great Queen of Soul doing an overdub back there. That’s Whitney’s mama, Cissy. You know what I’m talking about. As for the rest of the song? Well, sometimes it doesn’t have to be “The Blues” to have the blues all up in it. A song where your jaw drops, your heart beats like a hammer and your eyes are filled with tears. Written by Carolyn Franklin, so you know that damn family is talented.

Parliament – Mothership Connection (Starchild)

  

Imagine it. Just imagine cruising through the galaxy bumpin’ this. Just sounds right, right? George Clinton said his concept for the whole album was how cool it would be to see [negroes] in outer space. That chilled out “Swing down, sweet chariot” part with Bootsy Collins digging deep in his “Space Bass” and keyboardist Bernie Worell laying down some weird synth is genius. Even more so when you consider that it comes from a song slaves sang about a Biblical flying chariot as they secretly prayed for deliverance through the Underground Railroad. “Stop and let me ride,” P-Funk sings to the Mothership. “Comin’ forth to carry me home.” If my years of Sci-Fi study serve me well, Motherships take aliens back to their Motherplanet/Motherland, right? “We have come to reclaim the pyramids.” Can you dig it?

Van Morrison - Linden Arden Stole The Highlights

Van was asked once “Who is singing the song?” Morrison answered, “The question really might be ‘Is the song singing you?’” Vocal possession. That isn’t anything new. It happens to shamans when they sing about animal spirits. It happens to gospel singers when they sing about Jesus. It happens to R&B singers, usually when they sing about sex. It just happens to Van when he’s singing about the street and the people on it. This is a somehow beautiful song about man on the run who has to kill his pursuers with a hatchet, yet still loves “the little children like they were his very own” and… well, you just have to hear it. You can hear a whole life in here and a man's whole world. And in less than 3 minutes that whole world is gone and you’re left wondering “what the hell just happened?” Did you get healed?

The Drifters - Up On The Roof/On The Boardwalk

   

These two songs share a story. Rudy Lewis, a closeted gay man who sang with gospel great Clara Ward, took the lead on “Up On The Roof.” A song about finding the perfect place to get away from the world, it’s one of the best gems from husband and wife Carole King and Gerry Goffin, the powerhouse songwriting team Lennon and McCartney wanted to be like if they ever made it big. You and I understand the need to escape every now and then, but listening to his command of the tune, maybe Rudy understood a bit too well. To capitalize on the success, Arthur Resnick and Kenny Young wrote another great tune about a place to get away, “Under The Boardwalk.” Unfortunately, The Drifters entered the studio in sadness. Rudy Lewis had passed the night before from heroin use and former lead singer Johnny Moore was called in to do the heavy job. There’s only so much a songwriter can do. A great performance can marry a song to the needs of the moment and leave it vitally transformed. On that day in the studio, The Drifters, the studio musicians and producers made “a blanket with my baby” sound like some secluded place in heaven.

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – More Love

“Gonna give you more love and more joy than any age or time could ever destroy.” Whole lotta love, ain’t it? See what I mean about the best love songs? [See Adore and Time After Time] And another gorgeous melody. And you can dance to it! That Smokey dude? He's another contender for my favorite songwriter. The word genius doesn’t quite get there. “The Tracks Of My Tears.” “Ooh Baby Baby.” “Ain’t That Peculiar.” “My Guy.” "My Girl." “Since I Lost My Baby.” No writer made 3 minutes feel more sincere than Smokey, and yet rarely were his songs autobiographical. But this one was. Smokey’s wife and fellow Miracle, Claudette, had a long series of miscarriages and he meant to let her know “This is no fiction, this is no act/This is real, it’s a fact.” The kind of song that’s a hit if it can make just one woman smile.
 

The Beach Boys – When I Grow Up To Be A Man

I’ve always been old, so I mostly don’t mind my age catching up with my personality. Even still, there is a reflective “What the hell is going to happen to me?” moment that everybody has. The Beach Boys -- unembarrassed by an embarrassment of melody, harmony and production -- tend to lay it on pretty damn thick with an innocent lushness you could definitely call corny. Except what’s so corny about questions like “Will I love my wife for the rest of my life?” Can I make a plea in favor of innocence and corniness when the artist comes by it with honesty and beauty? And how can we know when an artist has those qualities? That's up to you, of course. But it goes a long way when we give the artist, any artist, from your sister’s favorite boy band to the next one up on the open mic list, more than half a shot. Shit. I just laid it on too thick myself. My bad. I just know that one day we’ll be very old or very something else and we’ll regret the corny feelings we didn’t express. “26, 27, 28. Won’t last forever. It’s kinda sad.” God, I love pop.
 


Alright, alright. I hope you are enjoying this series as much as I am. Stay tuned for the third batch of The Great 28. And don't forget to visit www.GoFundMe.com/BrooksLong, donate if you can and spread the word!

Songs 1 through 7 

The Great 28

28 Songs That May Or May Not But Probably May Be Better Than Songs on the New Album, Mannish Boys

Folks, Catfish does his best to be a realist. Could this debut album Mannish Boys contain fifteen of the greatest songs ever recorded? The short answer is absolutely! The long answer I’m not touching with a ten-foot pole. Are you crazy? I’m trying to raise money for an album here. Anyway, just for fun and relentless self-promotion I’ve complied a list of twenty-eight songs I feel may or may not but probably may be better than songs on the upcoming debut album, Mannish Boys.

This was a lot of fun to do. I’d love to read your thoughts. Below in no particular order are the first seven. Check in again soon for songs 7 through 14 and don’t forget to visit www.GoFundMe.com/BrooksLong. I really do think this album is going to be special and it will happen because of you!

Peace and Love,

Brooks





Cody Chesnutt - Six Seconds

Pristine production can be great. But then what makes those old scratchy Bessie Smith and Son House sides so good? Conventionally, this sounds not unlike crap. But it’s gorgeous. From Wikipedia: "Chesnutt shopped the album around to record companies, but they mistook it for a demo and rejected it. They encouraged him to reproduce it smoothly, rearrange the drums, and rerecord his vocals. He said in an interview for Vibe at the time, "I refuse to re-record it-that defeats the purpose. What about the experience I had in my bedroom? To go back to the studio, I'd be chasing something. If you're listening to it and you love it, then it's already done what it's supposed to do." It’s the final song on The Headphone Masterpiece, an album that was crucial in the musical development of 15 yr old Catfish. So crucial that I recently realized I unconsciously borrowed some lyrical themes and approaches for the new album Mannish Boys. “Boys don’t cry. It’s a lie because I do. I got a truth that I don’t show. I’m a whole lotta ego.”

Sly & The Family Stone – Hot Fun In The Summertime

This is a perfect song. Music is melody, harmony and rhythm. Add words and you’ve got a song. This is a perfect song. A groove of persistent, yet laid back momentum laying under a golden melody displayed by The Family Stone’s best use of passing around the lead vocal. You just hope everybody has had a summer this good at least once.

Randy Newman - Sail Away

A slave trader selling the American Dream to future slaves. It makes you cringe, it makes you angry, it offends you, and though it’s definitely not funny, it makes you laugh. And once you do that, you have to look at it from inside yourself and deal with it from whichever angle you come from. The beauty of the melody and orchestration shame an entire national history. Maybe my favorite songwriter.

Prince - Adore

Perhaps the most complete music artist of his era and certainly among the most sexually explicit finally decides to make a real love song. Might be the greatest ever. Yeah, I’m sayin’ it. Definitely has the most (intentionally) hilarious line in a love song ever. When you hear it, you’ll know. Which you can't right now because The Purple One doesn't do the whole Youtube thing. Shame. I think a whole generation is missing out on him.


At this point, I'd like to say a word about a great American brand, Pepsi. No, Brooks Long & The Mad Dog No Good hasn't sold out yet. But we'd like the people at Pepsi-Cola to know we are very interested in doing so. What a tasty beverage! I think it's clear, Pepsi is a great soda. Handsome soda. Sometimes on a sunny day, I'll buy a can, smile and pretend I'm walking in slow motion just like in the Pepsi commercials. So many musical greats have had Pepsi commercials. Michael did Pepsi commercials. Beyoncé did Pepsi commercials. Ray did Diet Pepsi commercials. Oooh, Diet Pepsi. The sexiest of the Pepsies. You ever notice Pepsi rhymes with Sexy? #Sexy Pepsi.

Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time

Miles Davis' version of this is dope and there are some great live versions of his out there, but the original record? Oooh wee. I could go on forever about how people gotta pour the 80s Haterade down the drain, but that would distract from what I’m learning right now about my favorite love songs. The best ones find beautiful, unique and usually non-creepy ways to say the same thing: I’ll be there. [See Adore]

Boyz II Men - End Of The Road

Don’t even get me started on 90s music. The masterpiece from the songwriting team of Babyface, L.A. Reid and Daryl Simmons, who had more than a few good ones. (Though tell the truth, y'all swiped the intro to that Spinners songyoutu.be/EkDrnauXhRA) And with over-the-top-done-right vocals ("spinn'nin-nin around"), this could be the greatest single performance by a male R&B group (Drifters, Dells, Temptations, O Jay’s, Dru Hill, please don’t hate me) ever. Big ole hit. People alive in 1992, did you ever think you would escape this song? I know you and I can get cynical about pop, but when a lot of people want to hear it, that’s because somehow, someway it reached a lot of different people. That's a special thing. I remember being little and telling my mom this song reminded me of how much I missed my friends in Pre-K. This one’s for you, Stephanie!

Muddy Waters - Standin' Round Crying

In the mid-1950s, Muddy had a great run of Willie Dixon-penned bragging hits like “Hoochie Choochie Man” (the template for Muddy's “Mannish Boy,”) and “I’m Ready.” But before all that thrilling machismo, Muddy used that big booming voice and stabbing slide guitar to sing his own songs and they were usually about pain. And Little Walter ain’t doin’ nothin’ but cryin’ into his harp on this one. What a band. Song after song sounding like they are one haunted entity, chasing after something they know good and well they ain’t never gonna get. That’s some blues for yo’ ass.
 


Alright, folks. Let's see what your thinking in the comments. Stay tuned for the next batch and don't forget to visit www.GoFundMe.com/BrooksLong! #Sexy Pepsi.