Saturday, 23 January 2010

A Restrained Blog

I've been very restrained in my blogging this week. You'd never believe that I'm seeing Buffy Sainte-Marie in concert next week, not once, but *twice*. Firstly at the Sage in Gateshead and then at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London. And have I being going on and on and on about it? No, I haven't so you'll have to pardon this blog entry.

Yesterday I started a mammoth session of listening to all my Buffy songs over the weekend, compilations as well as individual albums and singles, famous songs and the not-so famous including obscure 'B'sides, songs I've found around the Internet and a song I recorded from a TV programme about Buffy in 1976 (I think) that doesn't seem to have been recorded but I love anyway, 'I Never Knew What It Was Like To Be An Indian'. This weekend, I will listen to everything so I'm well prepared if Buffy slips an obscure album track into her setlist. Now, I suspect the setlist will be a selection of her big songs and songs from the new album, and I'll be well pleased with that. But then I started thinking, Buffy has a huge catalogue and if I could pick one or two songs, what would they be? I don't think I could pick just one or two, so here are three that I've found clips of on YouTube for you to listen to.

'Song Of The French Partisan', one of the few recordings of other people's songs by Buffy, from the 'She Used To Wanna Be A Ballerina' album. I've no idea why Buffy recorded this particular song, but it usually makes my eyes go moist, a song of bravery and loss. Buffy starts and finishes the song in French in this recording from two years ago:

It would be fun to hear 'Better To Find Out For Yourself' from 'Illuminations', with its abrasive guitar and howling vocals, a very powerful song with a simple message in the title. It's on one of Buffy's compliations from the '70s and I used to play this loudly in my bedroom when I was young. Now, I play it loudly everywhere.

I'd also like to hear 'Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan' from 'Sweet America'. I got 'Sweet America' in '76 or '77 and played it in my bedroom, just 10 miles from The Sage concert hall so that would take me back in time with it's simple drum beats and pow wow singing. It's a song about Buffy's homeland where her family lived when she was welcomed back into the Cree nation after being adopted in America. It seems appropriate to me and a great homecoming song.

Of course, I also want to hear 'No No Keshagesh', 'Until It's Time For You To Go', 'Still This Love Goes On', 'Soldier Blue', 'Cod'ine', 'Piney Wood Hills', 'Fallen Angels', 'Indian Cowboy' and dozens more .... I'm counting down the days ...

UPDATE: more tracks later and I'd have to add 'Generation', 'Lazarus' (the song Kanye West sampled), 'Los Pescadores' and 'You Know How To Turn On Those Lights' (dontcha baby). So many songs.

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