Kevin Morby – I Want To Be Clean (2019)

October 12, 2019 – Day 134

Kevin Morby’s “Oh My God” is clearly a spiritual album and his song “I Want To Be Clean” seems to represent a yearning for a closeness to nature. “Clean” in this context is about a purity of self, a sense of detachment and a fear of having hard conversations. The music is a vehicle for the clever lyrics but it also doesn’t take a backseat. A nice single note piano line adorns the song and enhances the lyrics. “And I want to be clean / No, I don’t want to be mean / Or break anybody’s heart”

Lou Reed – I Want To Boogie With You (1979)

October 11, 2019 – Day 133

Lester Bangs wrote in a 1979 Rolling Stones article: “The Bells isn’t merely Lou Reed’s best solo LP, it’s great art.” The third song, “I Want to Boogie With You” is both a great moment on the album as well as a throwback to the type of song you’d expect from Lou Reed albums from earlier in the 1970s. His best songs tell a story and evoke a feeling and the narrator from “I Want to Boogie With You” has a lot to say about the friends and family of the object of his attention. Saxophone takes center stage here with a riff played on repeat over a clearly Phil Spector inspired wall of sound production from René Tinner, best known for his work with CAN. “Well, I know your little baby sister / She thinks that I’m a flop / Well, I guess that you know that it’s true / I spent more time at the bottom than the top”

Vashti Bunyan – I Want To Be Alone (1965)

October 10, 2019 – Day 132

Vashti Bunyan wrote and recorded this ode to the introvert in 1965 and released it as a the B-side on her first single. The A-Side was a cover of the Jagger/Richards song “Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind.” The single didn’t chart and I wonder if the B-Side would’ve received more attention. The masters have been lost so the re-release of the song on the compilation “Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind – Singles and Demos 1964 to 1967” has the crackle and pop of old vinyl which adds to the warm psychedelia of the track. It would be another 5 years before Vashti released her first LP and another 30 years after that her music was discovered and given its proper due. “I Want To Be Alone” is an auspicious start to a strange journey. “I don’t know why it is but I sometimes feel / That I have to get away yet I know I love you”

Jimmy Reed – I Wanna Be Loved (1959)

October 9, 2019 – Day 131

Jimmy Reed was covered by all of the big bands in 60s. He had a string of popular songs from 1955 into the early 1960s and although his songs stopped landing on the charts as Beatlemania rolled across the world, his songs lived on. “I Wanna Be Loved” is an easy moving blues number with a great harmonica part – a call an answer with a guitar lick that really bounces. Reed’s voice is inimitable, a very honest, come as you are approach to the blues. “I want to be loved, but by only you / Because I never had a love as true”

Lefty Frizzell – I Want To Be With You Always (1951)

October 8, 2019 – Day 130

John Prine and Willie Nelson did nice versions of this song (in fact, Willie did an entire album of Lefty covers called “To Lefty From Willie” but sometimes the original is all you need. “I Want To Be With You Always” was Lefty Frizzel’s 4th #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Chart in less than a year over 1950/1951 and it also hit #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 as a crossover hit. Frizzell’s sound was often copied over the years which means, I guess, that he was ahead of his time and all of the biggest names in country from the second half of the 20th century idolized him. “I lose my blues, honey, when I’m with you / No one else can do what you do, you’re in my heart to stay”

Old Man Luedecke – I Wanna Go (2019)

October 7, 2019 – Day 129

Old Man Luedecke isn’t old but I guess he’s just thinking ahead. He has 8 albums over a 15+ year solo career so I reckon he’s about halfway there to true old man status. Luedecke won a Canadian Juno award for a few of his albums and if you listen to his music you can see why. “I Wanna Go” is a perfect example of his brand of folk music, someone who “went to the valley to pray” but “got drunk there and slept all day.” Luedecke lives in a small town in Nova Scotia but recorded the album “Easy Money” from which this song is taken at Hotel2Tango studio in Montreal, Quebec, collaborating with local folk musicians. “I’ve never been a pilgrim, I’ve never been a saint. I could tell you all the things I’ve tried but I ain’t.”

The White Stripes – I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother’s Heart (2003)

October 6, 2019 – Day 128

“Elephant” is where The White Stripes really entered mainstream culture. “Seven Nation Army” took the band into sports anthem territory but Elephant had deep cuts that called back to the garage rock of their earlier albums. The somehow very Jack Whitesque title of “I Want To Be The One To Warm Your Mother’s Heart” is one of these deep cuts. On the surface it seems that the song is about the narrator trying to get the respect of his girlfriend’s mother, however, it seems obsessive and the girlfriend is barely mentioned at all in the song so there might be something else going on here. Then again, it could be perfectly innocent… “We’ve been sitting in your backyard for hours / But she won’t even come out and say hi”

case/lang/veirs – I Want To Be Here (2016)

October 5, 2019 – Day 127

K.D. Lang emailed Neko Case and Laura Veirs out of the blue and the supergroup case/lang/veirs was created. The resulting album is a collaborative effort overall but “I Want To Be Here” is one of the few songs on the album written by all three musicians. The lyrics celebrate creation and art, and with mild psychedelia plus three part harmony, the song would be a good anthem for a hippy festival. The legendary voices blend well and sound younger than their collective experience. “I just want / I wanna be here with you / Not bracing for what comes next”

The Fugs – I Want To Know (1966)

October 4, 2019 – Day 126

The Fugs earned the attention of the FBI who in a 1969 memo called their music “the filthiest and most vulgar thing the human mind could possible conceive.” Their song “I Want To Know” from their second album it’s kind of tame however, the lyrics do reference needle drugs (a year ahead of “Heroin” by fellow New York City band The Velvet Underground.) The lyrics were written by influential poet Charles Olson, which was his only collaboration with the band. The joyous song has the sounds of an instrument rarely heard in a rock music context, the celeste, and it gives a heavenly sound that underscores this tribute to hedonism. David Bowie listed the album as one of his 25 favourite albums (The Velvet Underground & Nico also made the list) in a 2003 Vanity Fair article called “Confessions of a Vinyl Junkie.” “The thrill / Of the knowing / Has me / Out of my brain / I want to know / I want to know”

Johnny Cash – I Want To Go Home (1959)

October 3, 2019 – Day 125

“The John B. Sails” is an old Bahamian folk song that was first published in 1916 by English author and poet Richard Le Gallienne. It has been recorded by many artists, including The Kingston Trio as “(The Wreck of The) ‘John B'” on their debut album which went to #1 on Billboard charts and directly influenced the first single off of The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” which was released under “Sloop John B.” In between these two renditions, Johnny Cash released the song as “I Want To Go Home.” on his sixth album “Songs of the Soil.” Johnny’s version is much simpler than the Beach Boys elaborate harmony filled version, but the contrast reveals what a great song it is at its core. Johnny was apparently fascinated with death at this point in his career due to his brother’s death and also due to a drug addiction he was dealing with at the time, so this song of a terrible boat trip fit right in with his mood and the other songs on the album. “Let me go home why don’t you let me go home / Well this is the worst trip since I have been born”