The Friday, Nov. 25, Column

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Soundbytes – Shopping Songs

It’s “Black Friday” today and some of you will actually be venturing out to brave the masses looking for that one amazing deal, or maybe you’ll just end up at the food court beaten down by the sheer enormity of it all. Regardless, you’ll need some songs to keep you going. This was a tough one to compile, and since we don’t do ‘Top 10” lists, here’s the top eight shopping songs the way we see it. Have a few more? Feel free to comment below. .

8) Christmas at the Mall – Jerry Reed

Yep, the man that brought us “Amos Moses,“ “She Got the Goldmine…” and “When You’re Hot You’re Hot” also brings us a shopping song just perfect for the season and was released in 2007, just one year before his death of Emphysema in 2008. Reed may be remembered for his parody songs, but he was actually a prolific country musician and had his songs covered by Johnny Cash, Brenda Lee and even Elvis Presley. In 1971 and 1972 Reed was awarded the “CMA Instrumentalist of the Year.”

7) Customer – The Replacements

The critically acclaimed act out of Minneapolis never garnered the fame expected of them, and the act almost continually sabotaged their own career, even being banned from the famous club CBGB for being too loud and a permanent ban from Saturday Night Live in 1986 for performing so intoxicated they forgot the lyrics to their own songs. Originally a punk act, and even had Johnny Ramone produce one of their albums, this song is truly in the spirit of the Ramones.

6) Supermarket Blues – Eugene McDaniels

Born in Kansas City, KN in 1935, McDaniels was primarily a jazz and gospel singer, and had a couple hits and even a gold record in the early ‘60s, but turned to blues in the early ‘70s. McDaniel is credited with creating psychedelic soul-funk-jazz rhythms that are still sampled to this day. Released in 1971, the song never charted, but was included on the much acclaimed album “Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse.”

5) My City was Gone – The Pretenders

Originally called “The Ohio Song” the title was changed, as an act from the ‘60’s you may have heard of already had a song called Ohio. The song was first released as a B-Side to “Back on the Chain Gang” which was the comeback song after the death of bandleader Chrissie Hynde’s partner and Guitar player, James Honeyman Scott and her bass player, Pete Frandon, both of who died of drug overdoses within a year of each other. The song laments the loss of the open space in the town that Hynde grew up in ”…replaced by shopping malls.”

4) I Don’t Go Shopping – Patti Labelle

Best known for the number one hit in 1974, “Lady Marmalade” which sold over 1 million records, LaBelle got her start like many, singing in the gospel choir in her local church, signing her first record deal in 1971. This song never charted and even discovering it while researching this piece was a nice surprise, as Labelle’s soulful vocals really stand out. LaBelle has won nine Grammys and was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004

3) Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles

One of many number one hits b\y the “Fab Four,” the act was under pressure to come up with another hit after the incredible success of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” the song was penned in a hotel in Paris by McCartney, although credit is given to John Lennon as well. Many speculated on the meaning of the song, but McCartney simply stated “The idea behind it was that all these material possessions are all very well, but they won’t buy me what I really want.” The song was the first one to be recorded without the traditional “Beatles vocal harmonies” that many were used to hearing.

2) Step Right Up – Tom Waits

If you could accuse Tom Waits of doing a rap song, this would be it, although released in 1976, it was long before rap was mainstream. Born in Pomona, CA in 1949, Waits taught himself how to play piano and developed his truly unique style. Waits could be called a musician, songwriter, poet, actor and much more, but at this point in his life, he is a cult icon and in many circles has the respect similar to the likes of Bob Dylan. The irony of this song is in Wait’s words it is “…indictment of advertising.” Waits currently lives locally, and we were fortunate enough to track in the “Waits Room” the last time we recorded at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati.

1) Shop Around – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

You had to know this one would be in any shopping list. Originally released in 1961, the song was penned by Robinson and Barry Gordy, and hit number one on the billboard charts. Proving the song had legs, the tune was covered in 1976 by Captain and Tennille and again reached number one. The story is about a mother counseling her son to “shop around for that special woman. We’re not sure that’s something you’ll find at the mall this year but stranger things have happened.


Nate Lopez

Set List – The Rundown

Annex Wine Bar, 865 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 938-7779
Tonight, Nov. 25: Hannah Jern-Miller. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 26: Noah Trettor. 7:30 p.m.

B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille, 400 First St. E. Sonoma, 938-7110
Tonight, Nov. 25: MC Persistence, DJ Ryan I from Blessed Coast and Moses Jee . 9 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 26: DJ Cal. 9 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 27: Celebration for Kwasi with the No Buenos. 9 p.m.

El Verano Inn, 705 Laurel Ave. El Verano, 935-0611
Saturday, Nov. 26: Sugar Candy Mountain, the Proudest Monkeys and liquid light show with Mad Alchemy. 8:30 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market, Depot Park, 270 First St W. Sonoma
Today, Nov. 25: Stewart Degner. 9:30 a.m.

HopMonk Tavern, 691 Broadway Sonoma, 935-9100
Tonight, Nov. 25: Nate Lopez. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 26: Shelby Lanterman. 8 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St. E. Sonoma, 935-0660
Tonight, Nov. 25: the No Buenos. 8 p.m.

Olde Sonoma Public House, 18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs, 938-7587
Saturday, Nov. 26: Karaoke. 7:30 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall, 452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma, 996-1364
Tonight, Nov. 25: Ryan Tatarian. 6:30 p.m. 3 on a Match. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 26: the Marks Brothers. 5:30 p.m. Tri Tip Trio. 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 27: “Open Mic and Mimosas.” 1 to 7 p.m. Acrosonics. 5 p.m. Blues Jam. 8 p.m.

If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it.

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