Produced by Creed Taylor for ABC-Paramount Records, Down at Paone’s Place features the restaurateur and entertaining crooner, Nicola Paone playfully performing Italian-inspired, upbeat folk tunes for a vivacious atmosphere of classic, early 60s music in the vein of the popular, Volare. Paone’s voice is slick, smooth, and at times laugh-out-loud silly. His execution is considerably impressive knowing he turned down several singing gigs in order to maintain his restaurant at 207 East 34th St. in New York City, which was in full operation until its inevitable closing in 2008.
If you’re craving a little spice with your Tortellini Al Bosco, look no further than Down at Paone’s Place. I’ve personally never had the pleasure of a Nicola Paone specialty dish, but enjoying this prized album with homemade Lemon Butter Linguini is the next best thing. Mangia bene, vivi felice!
Bar/None, one of the best singles to emerge from 1987, They Might Be Giants’ Don’t Let’s Start is a mindnumbingly-catchy little diddy that, when coupled with its amazing video that frequented the vid-screens of MTV, saw TMBG shooting harmonized-lighting into the ear-holes of everyone outside the confined NYC arena.
The Don’t Let’s Start single/EP/whatever-you-call-it contains the genre-bending favorite, The Famous Polka. If ever there was a fast-paced, accordion heavy, punk-polka anthem, it would be The Famous Polka (a personal favorite of The Prudent Groove).
Before the Band of Dans, before the TMBG-ified big-band-sound, there were two Johns, Linnell & Flansburgh. Stripped down compared to their more recent work (anything past 1994), Don’t Let’s Start showcases the clever wit of these two mad-genius John boys. The following lyric captures the whimsically-savvy, yet devotedly-bleak outlook of TMBG, and is arguably the best line the band has ever written:
No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful
Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful
I’m contemplating having the above phrase inscribed onto my epitaph. It’s a phrase that needs to be chanted from the mouths of babes for a solid 15 minutes at least once a day. That’ll learn ’em to see beauty!
If you’re new to the whole They Might Be Giants thing, start with their early work. Their fresh jams are like, totally proficient, man, don’t get me wrong, but nothing beats classic TMBG.