Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cat Stevens "If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out"

Here’s a reminder to tune into Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) on Little Radio Thursday morning from 11AM – 1PM Pacific Standard Time. Tomorrow their guests will be Division Day. Division Day are promoting the release of their album Beartrap Island which comes out October 2nd on Eenie Meenie. DD are also playing a record release party at the Echo on 10/2 with Sylvia and Todd DJ’ing between sets by Eulogies, The Mae Shi and Division Day.

I’m still playing catch-up in writing about my weekly picks on the show. On August 23rd my song pick was Cat Stevens’ “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out.” This song comes from one of my favorite films of all time, Harold and Maude. Harold and Maude’s a great film about a younger guy (we’re talking 20) who is morbid and death obsessed and incapable of enjoying life. It takes a much older woman (we’re talking 80) to teach him to embrace and learn to love living. It’s heartfelt, moving and darkly comedic. Hal Ashby’s direction is pretty much perfect and Colin Higgins script probably is perfect. This Cat Stevens’ song completely captures the spirit of the film. There’s another great Cat song in the film called “Don’t Be Shy.” Both tracks are available on the Cat Stevens Box Set.

My first knowledge of Cat Stevens was the controversy over comments he made about Salman Rushdie in the late 1980s. I was a 10,000 Maniacs fan at the time (maybe a little embarrassing now) and they had their cover of “Peace Train” pulled from future pressings of their album. Yusuf Islam (his name since 1977) has since distanced himself to a certain degree from the comments he made and he’s even been to the U.S. to promote his music. Although there have been some noticeable hiccups with Homeland Security.

If you’re new to Cat Steven’s music, I recommend you pick up Tea for the Tillerman. If you own a turntable, you can find multiple copies in the $1 bin at Amoeba or Freakbeat. One of the highlights is “Father and Son” which the Flaming Lips famously ripped off (and subsequently got sued for) on their song “Fight Test.” Some of Cat’s music is a little too hippy dippy for me, but there’s a lot of great stuff in his catalog too.

Watch the video for “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” HERE on Youtube
Watch the trailer for Harold and Maude HERE on Youtube

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