Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddam (Live in 1965)

On December 25 in 1965, Nina Simone did a show at the Mickery Theater in Loenersloot, a town outside Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Simone and her band – Rudy Stevenson on guitar, Lisle Atkinson on bass, and Bobby Hamilton on drums – played a short set of six songs, and “Mississippi Goddam” was one of them. It’s an angry, bitter song about the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi in 1963. The song was a little over a year old at this performance, and originally released on Nina Simone in Concert.

Nina Simone is not interested in going slowly…

The entire performance is available on the DVD Jazz Icons: Nina Simone – Live in ’65 & ’68.

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Ben Harper – Rock and Roll Is Free (Live on Letterman in 2011)

“Rock and Roll is Free” popped up on shuffle when I was working out earlier, and I can’t get it out of my head now. It’s a Beatles feeling rocker from Ben Harper’s 2011 album Give Till It’s Gone. It was the lead single off the album, and has a cool animated lyrics video. This version is from Letterman. Watch.

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Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Cortez The Killer (Live in Glasgow in 1976)

“Excuse me, could you tell me where the Bank of Scotland is?”

Check out this great live version of “Cortez The Killer” from Neil’s show in Glasgow on his 1976 Tour Of Japan & Europe with Crazy Horse. It’s an outstanding black and white clip. If you watch until the end of “Cortez The Killer”, you’ll get to see walking the streets of Glasgow and asking people where the Bank of Scotland is. Then he plays “Old Laughing Lady” on a street corner. Yes.

“Cortez The Killer” is from Neil Young’s 1975 record Zuma.

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Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Portrait Of Those Beautiful Ladies (Live at Montreux in 1975)

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was a musical visionary whose music deserves more attention than it gets. “Portrait Of Those Beautiful Ladies” is from his 1975 record The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color. There are two different versions of “Portrait Of Those Beautiful Ladies” on the album. One is very similar to this – a more “standard” jazz version – while the second is a slicker, funkier exploration of the song. The album was double sided, with one side blank (except for a “hidden” track, apparently) – thus the “3 Sided Dream”. The songs are interspersed with spoken bits in which Kirk is traveling through a dreamscape. Trippy.

The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Red House (Live in Stockholm in 1969)

Great footage of The Jimi Hendrix Experience in Stockholm in 1967. Here we’ve got a 10 minute or so “Red House”, and you can find the rest of the concert on YouTube if you are so inclined. Enjoy!

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Erykah Badu – Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop) (music video)

Today is Erykah Badu’s birthday. She turns 43. I’m celebrating by posting this great video for “Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop)”. It’s a walk through the history of hip hop with Badu as the central character, following its evolution through the years. Common has a verse, DJ Screw gets a hat tip, and Badu raps a short verse after an appearance from MC Lyte. Enjoy!

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Bobby Womack – Please Forgive My Heart (live in 2013)

“Please Forgive My Heart” is a haunting Bobby Womack song, performed here on the The Jonathan Ross Show (a British talk show with musical guests). Musically, it’s beautiful, but lyrically it’s full of pain. If you’re familiar with some of Womack’s history, you can understand why. “Please Forgive My Heart” is from  Womack’s 2012 album The Bravest Man In The Universe.

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