Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Grayson & Whitter- Ommie Wise


I'd always loved Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You." But when I heard it blaring through an upscale shopping center yesterday, I knew that its ubiquitous use as a Halloween novelty song had finally spoiled it for me. Here's something that continues to scare me- Grayson & Whitter's 1927 version of the ancient murder ballad "Ommie Wise." Its matter-of-fact telling and lack of a just resolution make it exceptionally chilling. Most of the songs on The Recordings of Grayson & Whitter: 1928-1930) are similarly spooky. It's the essence of OWA. If you can't get past the scratchy fidelity of the original recording, try Elvis Costello and the McGarrigle's version. Typically, Costello couldn't resist adding a coda. I can't really recommend it. Far more effective is this genuinely disturbing video set to Grayson & Whitter's original.

A friend asked me to download a song from Amazon and burn it to CD a couple days ago. Amazon's system was seamless. It's no different than an MP3 blog, except for the credit card thing.

Kansas City Click: My favorite night of music on Halloween was They Might Be Giants and Poi Dog Pondering at the Grand Emporium in 1988. It's not quite the same, but Shiny Toy Guns should make for a decent Halloween party tonight at America's Pub.

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