Midweek Music: Michael Rault
Curated By Michael Rault
On the eve of his album release for It's A New Day Tonight, Canadian musician Michael Rault has curated a playlist for us. Pulling from his cannon of classics, below are some tunes he's been into lately, ranging from power pop, to funk, jazz, art rock and classic rock. Michael Rault presents: "The Jazz Rock / Prog Pop Listener." You can catch him live in Brooklyn on May 31st at Our Wicked Lady.
"Working Too Hard" - The Nerves
Appropriate for the midweek playlist...The Nerves rock! They are maybe the original power pop band? This song wasn’t my first favourite by them, but it’s my latest.
"When My Baby’s Beside Me" - Big Star
“Don’t need to talk to no doctor, don’t need to talk to no shrink, don’t need to hide behind no locked door…” amazing rhyme right there. 'Nuf said.
"Too High" - Stevie Wonder
Funkiest groove meets weird jazz choral break down and love blossoms in my heart. Stevie Wonder’s anti drug song makes me want to get really high on every drug, and I don’t even really do that many drugs usually.
"A Long Time, A Long Way To Go" - Todd Rundgren
I’ve been really into this album lately. This song just has such a great melody and the production is right on.
"Honeymoon With B Troop" - 10cc
I’m not 100% sure what cheeky thing they are going on about here, and like most 10cc songs it definitely pushes the limits of what is acceptable in listenable music, but it somehow works - at least for me!
"Wheels" - The Flying Burrito Brothers
Ok, now on to some straight good old earnest songwriting. As the song says, “We’re not afraid to ride, we’re not afraid to die…come on wheels, make this boy a man.”
"Little Child Runnin’ Wild" - Curtis Mayfield
This entire album is stellar, as is most everything Curtis ever did. The string breakdown at the end of this tune puts it over the top.
"Riverboat" - Lee Dorsey
Produced and written by Allen Toussaint, backed up by the Meters, and boasting one of the most original drum beats of all time. Lee Dorsey is always one of my favourites, especially in this era of his career.
"Lazy Old Sun" - The Kinks
One of my all-time favourite songs by one of my all-time favourite song writers. Ray Davies' flare for bizarre chord changes that somehow underpin hauntingly beautiful melodies is on full display here - and topped with off-kilter lyrics in true Davies fashion. Also, Dave Davies’ guitar track is so good.
"What Would I Do Without You" - Ray Charles
I was recently driving my roommate out to the suburbs of Montreal listening to the "Ray Charles Complete Atlantic Years” collection, and when this song came on, we both ended up actually crying while we were driving around the sunny country side on this beautiful day. Ray Charles’ emotional expression in his voice is uncontrollable. He hits you right in the heart.
"Ram On" - Paul McCartney
A good antidote to the all too often terrible ukulele driven modern indie pop that gives the instrument a bad name with some. Macca knows how to do it right.
"On Your Way Down" - Allen Toussaint
The Meters and Allen Toussaint are back, and this time with Allen taking lead vocal duties. When the groove drops on this joint, it is unbelievable.
"Dancing Days" - Led Zeppelin
Page’s guitar layering on this song has always blown my mind and given me endless inspiration for my own attempts at guitar arrangements. I love the way the lyrics on their own are basically just classic rock and roll dancing lyrics while the vibe of the music makes it all seem like there may be some demonic pagan rituals going on as additional accompaniment to the regular things you might expect from such an evening.
"Ruler of My Heart" - Irma Thomas
Another written by Allen Toussaint. I didn’t plan this, but I guess I was in the mood to revisit one of my favourite songwriters in this playlist. Irma is amazing as she always is.