Category: The Daily Loper

Certain Songs #794: Joe King Kologbo & His Black Sound – “Another Man’s Thing”

Album: Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro Rock & Fuzz Funk
Year: 1973

Ever since I first wrapped my head around the immortal The Indestructible Beat of Soweto back in the mid-1980s, I’ve gone through occasional phases where I’ve waded through various compilations of African pop/rock/whatever music, looking for other songs that hit me as hard as some of those did.

This is just dabbling — I wouldn’t even remotely consider myself an expert on any of it — but I tend to really enjoy what I discover when I go through those phases. And so a few years ago, I came across (actually I think it came from Kirk) the wonderfully titled Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro Rock & Fuzz Funk, which featured the truly bonkers 1973 track “Another Man’s Thing” by Joe King Kologbo & His Black Sound, which to me is proof positive that White Light / White Heat made it to Nigeria.

And while the lyrics of “Another Man’s Thing” are mostly sexist “don’t look at my woman” drivel, I’ll excuse it, because the music is so much fun. Over faster-than-usual congos, “Another Man’s Thing” has a rhythm guitar that barely keeps any kind of rhythm, a guitar hook the continually threatens to spiral right out of the speakers and every few minutes, and a lead vocal that sounds like a deranged street corner preacher.

And best of all, at various points it lurches into an instrumental section that was probably where they would have put the horns had they been able to afford them, but in lieu of those horns they squeeze the rhythm guitar out of the song like water from a bladder, and it somehow sounds like a lost part from “Sister Ray.”

Eventually, there’s also a guitar solo that comes roaring out of the mix like “I Heard Her Call My Name” or “Sympathy For The Devil,” but also sounds like Tom Verlaine’s solos on The Neon Boys “That’s All I Know (Right Now)” in the way it’s careening cartwheels around the rest of the song for awhile until the singer stops him with a scream.

Pure fucking chaos.

I know ya’ll have realized that I have a pretty liberal definition of what is punk rock, but I’m not even kidding when I say “Another Man’s Thing” is one of the most punk rock songs I’ve ever heard in my life, and it was recorded in 1973.

“Another Man’s Thing”

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

Certain Songs #793: Joe Jackson – “I’m The Man”

Album: I’m The Man
Year: 1979

Fuck yeah, “I’m The Man!”

It goes without saying that my favorite Joe Jackson song is the raver that that gave his second album not just its title, but its reason for existing.

With guitarist Gary Sanford frantically throwing out chords while drummer David Houghton and all-time killer bassist Graham Maby lay down cover fire, Jackson sets himself as the “I Write The Songs” guy of useless ephemera.

Pretty soon now
Why ‘know I’m gonna make a comeback
And like the birds and the bees in the trees
It’s a sure-fire smash
I’ll speak
To the masses throughout the media
And if you got anything to say to me
You can say it with cash
‘Cause I got the trash and you got the cash
So baby we should get along fine
So give me all your money
Cause I know you think I’m funny
Can’t you hear me laughing
Can’t you see me smile

With without even pausing for even a breath, they locomotive into an all-hands-on-deck chorus with the rest of his band chanting “I’m The Man” over and over and over and over and over and over while joe gives us just a taste of all of the neato things he’s brought us over the years.

I’m the man
(I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man)
I’m the man
(I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man)
That gave you the hula hoop
(I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man)
I’m the man
(I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man)
That gave you the yo-yo

And with the whole song stopping at the end of each chorus so that Maby, Sanford and Houghton call all echo “yo-yo” on their respective instruments, “I’m The Man” would have been just fine as it was, but not an all-time classic. It’s after the second chorus where “I’m The Man” rockets into the stratosphere.

That chorus comes after a verse where Jackson takes credit for Kung Fu, skateboards and Jaws, but instead of going into a third verse they decide to do an good old-fashioned rave up with Sanford strumming his guitar like his hands are on fire and only way to put them out is to repeatedly slam them against the strings while Maby is using his bass to make the fire hotter and hotter and hotter and hotter and all of a sudden, they all explode all over Houghton’s drum kit as Jackson yells for his life:

RIGHT NOW!!
I think I’m gonna plan a new trend
Because the line on the graph’s getting low
And we can’t have that

AND YOU THINK YOU’RE IMMUNE!!
But I can sell you anything
Anything from a thin safety pin
To a pork pie hat

That explosion into the third verse of “I’m The Man” utterly dramatic and completely thrilling, and not even a freak-out double-time ending where they’re all screaming the title without regard for time or space or order matches it for me.

I loved it so much that I was always thrilled when Aqua Bob played it as well, even if I always thought that Mark sang it as “I’m a man” instead of “I’m the man.” (Though I could be wrong.)

Fan-made video for “I’m The Man”

“I’m The Man” performed live in 1979

“I’m The Man” (with an extended rave-up) performed live in 1980

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

Certain Songs #495: Geto Boys – “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”

geto boys mind
Album: We Can’t Be Stopped
Year: 1991

The key to Gangsta rap’s massive popularity was, of course, larger-than-life celebrations of the dangers and rewards of the gang-banging lifestyle, as millions of teenagers who would freeze from fear from actually having live any of these scenarios got off pretending they were as hard as the guys in the songs.

Kinda like superhero comics. In fact, somebody should chart the rise of the popularity of superhero comics vs. the popularity of gangsta rap. No black superheros? Have you ever heard “Midnight” by Ice-T? That’s some Batman-level shit right there.

Anyways, my problem was that I was slightly older, so while I appreciated the reportage, the violence and misogyny always made me uneasy. So I mostly gravitated to songs that looked at the life from different angles — the devastating “Dead Homiez;” the exhilarating “Gotta Lotta Love” and the paranoiac “Mind Playing Tricks on Me.”

Rapping over a icy cool Isaac Hayes sample, the Geto Boys spin verse after verse filled with same themes that powered six seasons of The Sopranos — that a life where you fuck people over on a regular basis, a life where you could be killed at any moment — “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” tells stories that could come right out of a session with Dr. Melfi:

Day by day it’s more impossible to cope
I feel like I’m the one that’s doing dope
Can’t keep a steady hand because I’m nervous
Every Sunday morning I’m in service
Playing for forgiveness
And trying to find an exit out of the business
I know the Lord is looking at me
But yet and still it’s hard for me to feel happy
I often drift while I drive
Havin fatal thoughts of suicide
BANG and get it over with
And then I’m worry-free, but that’s bullshit

In the end, Bushwick Bill is down on his knees pounding the concrete while hallucinating a beatdown, and the song just fades to black, with no relief in sight.

And man, what if David Chase thought to score that last scene of The Sopranos to “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” instead of that fucking Journey song? Maybe it would have been too on the nose — as we see all of those folks at the diner who might or might not be ready to kill him — but it would be kind of cool to see how that scene would play.

That said, Tony Soprano wouldn’t be caught dead listening to this song,

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

Certain Songs #495: Geto Boys – “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”

geto boys mind
Album: We Can’t Be Stopped
Year: 1991

The key to Gangsta rap’s massive popularity was, of course, larger-than-life celebrations of the dangers and rewards of the gang-banging lifestyle, as millions of teenagers who would freeze from fear from actually having live any of these scenarios got off pretending they were as hard as the guys in the songs.

Kinda like superhero comics. In fact, somebody should chart the rise of the popularity of superhero comics vs. the popularity of gangsta rap. No black superheros? Have you ever heard “Midnight” by Ice-T? That’s some Batman-level shit right there.

Anyways, my problem was that I was slightly older, so while I appreciated the reportage, the violence and misogyny always made me uneasy. So I mostly gravitated to songs that looked at the life from different angles — the devastating “Dead Homiez;” the exhilarating “Gotta Lotta Love” and the paranoiac “Mind Playing Tricks on Me.”

Rapping over a icy cool Isaac Hayes sample, the Geto Boys spin verse after verse filled with same themes that powered six seasons of The Sopranos — that a life where you fuck people over on a regular basis, a life where you could be killed at any moment — “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” tells stories that could come right out of a session with Dr. Melfi:

Day by day it’s more impossible to cope
I feel like I’m the one that’s doing dope
Can’t keep a steady hand because I’m nervous
Every Sunday morning I’m in service
Playing for forgiveness
And trying to find an exit out of the business
I know the Lord is looking at me
But yet and still it’s hard for me to feel happy
I often drift while I drive
Havin fatal thoughts of suicide
BANG and get it over with
And then I’m worry-free, but that’s bullshit

In the end, Bushwick Bill is down on his knees pounding the concrete while hallucinating a beatdown, and the song just fades to black, with no relief in sight.

And man, what if David Chase thought to score that last scene of The Sopranos to “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” instead of that fucking Journey song? Maybe it would have been too on the nose — as we see all of those folks at the diner who might or might not be ready to kill him — but it would be kind of cool to see how that scene would play.

That said, Tony Soprano wouldn’t be caught dead listening to this song,

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The Daily Loper – Dec 17, 2010

Today’s links of interest: