Entries tagged with: The Shangri-Las

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Shadow Morton

By all accounts possessed of a brazen, naïve genius -- he played no instrument, could not read music and wrote his songs in his head -- Mr. Morton was almost single-handedly responsible for the wild success of the Shangri-Las, the Queens girl group he introduced and propelled to international stardom.

The group had its first hit in 1964 with "Remember," recorded more or less on a dare in a session frantically pulled together by Mr. Morton, who had never written a song before.

The result, with lyrics and music conceived by Mr. Morton in what he later said was about 22 minutes, was released on the Red Bird label and reached No. 5 on the Billboard singles chart.

A song of lost love, "Remember" was imbued with the lush, infectious strangeness that would prove a hallmark of Mr. Morton's other hits. It employed a narrative, quasi-operatic plot, spoken dialogue, chanting, unconventional sound effects (in this case sea gulls) and lyrics that encapsulated all the ardor and angst of the teenage years.

The song was followed later that year by "Leader of the Pack," written with Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. It told the story of Betty, who falls for Jimmy, a young tough on a bike. - [NY Times]

Songwriter/producer Shadow Morton lost his battle with cancer earlier this week. He was 71. In addition to hits for the Shangri-Las, Morton wrote songs for Janice Ian and others, and produced Iron Butterfly's "In-A -Gadda-Da-Vida," as well as albums for Vanilla Fudge and The New York Dolls. Rest in peace, Shadow.

A few of his most memorable songs, below...

Continue reading "Shadow Morton, RIP"

photos by Bryan Bruchman

Magnetic Field

Magnetic Field

Magnetic Field

Magnetic Field in Brooklyn is closing down, and this is sadly their final week of shows. Last night's show featured The A-Bones and special guests the Condo Fucks. Bryan Bruchman (aka Subinev) was there to document the action....

Continue reading "the A-Bones & the Condo Fucks (Yo La Tengo) @ Magnetic Field's final Friday night of shows, Brooklyn, NY - pics"

DOWNLOAD: Billy Bragg - O Freedom (NEW MP3)

Billy Bragg & Kate Nash @ FILTER Courtyard, SXSW 2008 (jinners)
Billy Bragg & Kate Nash @ SXSW

"Our friendship is based around an affinity for the Shangri-las," said Bragg as he strapped on Nash's guitar, suggesting that this was more than just a deft move by her people to insulate her from knee-jerk criticism ("Well if Billy Bragg thinks she's a bit of alright then maybe..."), while also placing her within a grand British tradition of songwriters like Ray Davies, Paul Weller and Bragg himself. The two traded lines like old friends, before launching into a three-song set of the Shangri-las' "Give Him A Great Big Kiss," Bragg's classic "New England" and Nash's "Foundations," a tell-off song that's everything "Dickhead" isn't: clever, introspective and fun. [Time Out]
That's not the first time Billy & Kate performed together - videos from SXSW and another time can be found at the end of this post.

Billy Bragg played a few shows while he was in Texas for SXSW, and then last night (March 16th) he opened for The Pogues at Roseland Ballroom in NYC.

Billy also has a new album coming out April 22nd on ANTI called "Mr. Love and Justice". The MP3 on the top of this post is from that album. Download that now. Then check out the videos of he and Kate below.......

Continue reading "Billy Bragg, Kate Nash, videos, new album & MP3, the Pogues"