Monday, August 13, 2007

He was a stranger in our land.

I've been slacking on my blog reading for the past month or two, so I was shocked to learn a few days ago of Lee Hazlewood's death on August 4. I know that there have been a slew of celebrity deaths in the past week or two, but it's unfathomable that I didn't read or hear mention of Hazlewood's passing via ANY mainstream media outlet until I specifically hunted them out after reading of his death via bloggers. A shame. I loved him. RIP, Lee.

  • Lee Hazlewood "It Was a Very Good Year" (Frank Sinatra cover, comp. Ervin Drake)
    Thank you, Lee, for many very good years of music. I, for one, will sorely miss you and your talent.

  • Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood "Jackson" (comp. Lieber/Wheeler)
    I get that the Johnny Cash/June Carter version won a Grammy, but I still don't see why theirs is the most popular version of this song. (Although Cash's duet with Miss Piggy is one of my favorites.) Honestly, I think Johnny and June's version lacks the sense of deadpan snarky resignation that Nancy and Lee's has. Theirs is coyer. Grittier. Angrier. Sexier. And it's one of my favorite songs of all time.

  • OP8 "Sand" (Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood cover, comp. Lee Hazlewood)
    OP8 was a project featuring Lisa Germano, Howe Gelb (Giant Sand) and Joey Burns and John Convertino (Giant Sand/Calexico). Their sole album Slush—which features a cover of Neil Young's "Round and Round" as well as a slew of lush originals—is one of my favorite albums of the 1990s.

  • Calexico feat. Valerie Leulliot "Sundown, Sundown" (Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood cover, comp. Lee Hazlewood)
    Speaking of Calexico, here's another of their Hazlewood covers. This and the following track come from Total Lee! A Tribute to Lee Hazlewood album.

  • Lambchop "I'm Glad I Never..." (Lee Hazlewood cover)
    I'm not the hugest fan of alt-country or Americana, but when it's done well I'm all for it. I discovered Lambchop, a Nashville band, via the handful of covers they've done, but I'm now a fan of their originals as well. It makes me sad that this track is so short.

  • Caroline Williams and Spectre "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" (Nancy Sinatra cover, comp. Lee Hazlewood)
    I have so many covers of this that I just put them on shuffle and picked the first one that hit that I hadn't already posted in the past. And here it is!

  • Steve Wynn Quintet "Summer Wine" (Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood cover, comp. Lee Hazlewood)
    Steve Wynn's post-Dream Syndicate catalog is so immense that I've weaved in and out of it for years never deciding whether I was into it or not. I do know, however, that I really like the stuff the quintet has put out.

    Merritt said...

    Thanks you for sharing the tribute! Having long been a fan of These Boots and Some Velvet Morning, I picked up my first Lee Hazlewood album ironically the day before he passed on. I look forward to listening to these.

    Slacker said...

    I knew it by the title: Sand with Lisa Germano and Howe Gelb is about as good as it gets! :)

    Anonymous said...

    Great stuff. You probably already know this, but there's also an Einsturzende Neubauten cover of "Sand." Pretty close to the original except that whole "metal shelves falling over" quality.

    I think it's on Strategies Against Architecture II, if you're interested. (I would offer to share, but I don't have it.)

    evan said...

    haven't told you lately how cool you are.

    Jason T. Carter said...

    Good stuff. Do you have Faster Pussycat's version of "These Boots"? Very good in my opinion. Drop me a line if you need/want it...

    Bruckner said...

    when he produced "these boots..." he sait to nancy "sing it like a 16-year old girl who fucks truck drivers" - what a man...

    Unknown said...

    megadeth did a cover of "these boots" on their first album "killing is my business...and business is good!"..i have seen the video with nancy sinatra on, the international music feed.

    Anonymous said...

    On the original version of Germano's breakthrough record she recorded a version of Boots. The later 4AD version remixed and reshuffled the tracks and omitted These Boots. I can send it if you want it.

    angie said...

    calvin johnson also does a really good cover of "sand"