99 Luft Balloons – Friday Fives edition

balloon with Mandala. Vintage decorative elements. Oriental pattern, vector illustration. Islam, Arabic, Indian, turkish, pakistan, chinese, ottoman motifs

What’s your favorite song that’s not in English?

Easy, you racists!  It is 99 Luft Balloons.  She also did it in English, but its way better in German, and I speak no German.  Nor will I learn.  Fuck them.  They started two world wars.  BUT that is a terrific and catchy and fun song.  Linked to it above.  OOOH, can I have another one?   Cancion De Mariachi.  This song kicks ass on a thousand levels, and I love it even more as a guitar player.  This was from the movie, but its actually Antonio Banderas singing it, and killing it.  for trivia reference, his backing band is Los Lobos.  Also, I speak Spanish, so I understand what he is singing.  It’s not deep.  I like girls, playing guitar, and tequila.  Maybe the best soundtrack song ever!   And here is him singing it live, 25 years later.  It appears he was genuinely not prepared to do the song.  He is pulled out of the audience to do it.  he had to grab his glasses and be handed lyrics.  It was clearly planned, but I think a total surprise to Antonio.  And she shows what a class act he is by jumping in.

*** I have recently been told this is a standard of Mexican classical guitar.  If I had an editor, he would google that shit.  I have in fact googled that shit, and it was written by Los Lobos for the movie.  Why do I have have a goddamn editor?

What’s a song where another musician or band is referenced in the lyrics or title?

Well, country songs do that all the time.  But, I’ll give you a specific example as you request.  I have listened to this song about 14 times in the last 10 days.  Often on repeat, or I sometimes dig up various live versions.  Its called ‘Feelin Good Again’ and you need to discover it now.  Its folky, country, and lyrically I feel some Arlo Guthrie in his sly whimsy.   For the record, the song he references is Otis Redding.  With that being said, for this question one MUST acknowledge ‘Luckenbach’, where Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Jerry Walker aren’t just mentioned briefly… they names are the chorus.  Note how Willy sneaks in only at the end.

What’s a great song that mentions an animal, or you can hear an animal sound in it?

Well, there is Seamus from Pink Floyd.  It’s dumb, not even going to link to it.  I love this song, and its super underrated.  Everyone loves Pink Floyd.  Jesus, throw out your copies of Dark Side, and they the other 12 albums.  Pigs on the Wing is a short and beautiful and acoustic and pointless little ditty on their largely acoustic EP ‘Animals’.  Oh, that was the song about an animal.  To hear a dog on a recording, there is the Pink Floyd song ‘Seamus’.

What’s a song that’s not from your generation but you love?

Harry Styles ‘Sign of the Times’.  My god that song is good.  That guy is such a talent I’ll only link to a live version, to show how powerful he is.  No, let’s not link… let’s embed.   Btw, I have to admit I know not a single other Harry Styles song.  He is also the most legendarily kind and likable rock stars on the market today.

What’s a great song based on actual events?

I like Neil Young’s brilliant ‘Ohio’ is too obvious an answer.  It’s a good story, though.  Legend has it Neil saw that on the news, went out for a walk all upset and came back with that song.  CSN had learned it, recorded it, AND released within a week.  Other lesser known impacts of that day (the Kent State Shooting where police shot up and murdered student protesters.  Boy, did people really really fucking hate Nixon after that.).  Devo and Mark Mothersbaugh (samesies) were there, and the band name Devo is a reference to that experience – the de-evolution of society he witnessed.  Never forget that.  Our National Guard fired on and shot down student Vietnam protesters.


Remember when Trump said while campaigning ‘I could walk down 42st street and shoot someone and still win this election’.  He was right, sadly.  And just another pull from the Nixon the Narcissist playbook.

BUT I said I wasn’t going to talk about that one, but it needed mentioning.  Hold on, lemme get some coffee and think.  Every song is based on something that happened.  Oh boy, about every Todd Snider song, or John Prine.


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