Eight Days A Week: The Velvet Underground & Nico

Of all the evergreen subjects covered by rock ‘n’ roll (girls, street fightin’, cruisin’, California, love, god), the days of the week hold their own in terms of the sheer number of good songs meant to fete the seven that exist. (Plus the weekend, of course: whether we’re livin’ for it, workin’ for it or taking a Tuesday point of view of it.) MAGNET’s Corey duBrowa presents the best songs written about each day of the week.

:: SUNDAY: The Velvet Underground & Nico’s “Sunday Morning” (1967)
velvet-underground340The final song to be recorded for the Velvet Underground’s debut LP—added almost as an afterthought in an effort to inject a tune with radio-single potential (to the point where the final master tape of the album shows the song penciled in as the lead track, as though tacked on at the last minute)—“Sunday Morning” is the perfect summation of the morning after the night before. From its pioneering use of bell-like celesta (a keyboard instrument that sounds more like a twilight xylophone) to Lou Reed’s pitched-up, almost feminine vocal track, it remains the most pop thing in the VU catalogue and stands in stark opposition to a record otherwise marked by tales of drug abuse, sexual deviancy and observations of Warhol Factory tragedies-in-waiting (e.g., actress and “Femme Fatale” Edie Sedgwick). “Sunday morning/Brings the dawn in/It’s just a restless feeling/By my side:” Sleep this one off, Holmes. Monday’s just around the corner.

“Sunday Morning”

Eight Days A Week: Tom Waits

Of all the evergreen subjects covered by rock ‘n’ roll (girls, street fightin’, cruisin’, California, love, god), the days of the week hold their own in terms of the sheer number of good songs meant to fete the seven that exist. (Plus the weekend, of course: whether we’re livin’ for it, workin’ for it or taking a Tuesday point of view of it.) MAGNET’s Corey duBrowa presents the best songs written about each day of the week.

207208:: SATURDAY: Tom Waits’ “(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night” (1974)
Tom Waits was given to introducing one of his most poignant, beautiful songs to audiences back in the day with a Springsteen-like monologue: “It’s very simple: Saturday night rolls around and you need a date? You call yourself up on the phone, you know you’re gonna be around and you ain’t no fool, you know you’ll always say yes. I always take myself to class joints, though. I ain’t cheap.” Part Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and part Tortilla Flat, Waits’ day-defining track is the perfect description of a typical Saturday night for a typical working-class American out for a real good (cheap) time: “You got paid on Friday and your pockets are jinglin’/And you see the lights and you get all tinglin’/’Cuz you’re cruisin’ with a six and you’re looking for the heart of Saturday night.” Suspended by time, place and situation, this song has become as relevant and meaningful as it was 35 years ago when it was first conceived and recorded.

“(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night”:

Eight Days A Week: The Cure

Of all the evergreen subjects covered by rock ‘n’ roll (girls, street fightin’, cruisin’, California, love, god), the days of the week hold their own in terms of the sheer number of good songs meant to fete the seven that exist. (Plus the weekend, of course: whether we’re livin’ for it, workin’ for it or taking a Tuesday point of view of it.) MAGNET’s Corey duBrowa presents the best songs written about each day of the week.

:: FRIDAY: The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love” (1992)
cure360bPurists will argue about whether it’s the band’s best song (there are plenty of other contenders in the Cure’s lengthy back catalog; “Just Like Heaven” seems to be the consensus favorite if YouTube plays are any indicator), but this ode to Friday as the greatest among the many days of the week for love (“I don’t care if Monday’s blue”—a direct reference to New Order’s song—“Tuesday’s grey/And Wednesday, too/Thursday I don’t care about you/It’s Friday, I’m in love … Saturday, wait/Sunday always comes too late/But Friday never hesitate”) is perhaps the penultimate musical gateway to the weekend. “Friday I’m In Love” was nominated for a Grammy Award and its oh-so-90s “hey, let’s pretend we’re thespian amateurs for laughs!” video won the Best Music Video award from MTV in 1992 (way back when the outlet was actually playing, uh, music on television). It’s also proven to be the last commercial hit for the Cure in the U.S.

“Friday I’m In Love”:

Eight Days A Week: Morphine

Of all the evergreen subjects covered by rock ‘n’ roll (girls, street fightin’, cruisin’, California, love, god), the days of the week hold their own in terms of the sheer number of good songs meant to fete the seven that exist. (Plus the weekend, of course: whether we’re livin’ for it, workin’ for it or taking a Tuesday point of view of it.) MAGNET’s Corey duBrowa presents the best songs written about each day of the week.

:: THURSDAY: Morphine’s “Thursday” (1993)
morphines360d“We used to meet every Thursday, Thursday, Thursday in the afternoon/For a couple of beers and a game of pool/We used to go to a motel, motel, motel across the street/And the name of the motel was the Wagon Wheel.” This driving, bluesy, “tales-from-the-down-low” of a guy, his secret lover and a jealous husband is the ultimate tribute to the late, irreplaceable Mark Sandman and his jazz-meets-blues-meets-scuzz-rock trio, Morphine. “Thursday” sets the tone for that desperate need to just make it through another week with heart, soul (and pulse) intact.

“Thursday”:

Eight Days A Week: The Undertones

Of all the evergreen subjects covered by rock ‘n’ roll (girls, street fightin’, cruisin’, California, love, god), the days of the week hold their own in terms of the sheer number of good songs meant to fete the seven that exist. (Plus the weekend, of course: whether we’re livin’ for it, workin’ for it or taking a Tuesday point of view of it.) MAGNET’s Corey duBrowa presents the best songs written about each day of the week.

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:: WEDNESDAY: The Undertones’ “Wednesday Week” (1980)
It’s an odd coincidence that this track from Northern Ireland’s Undertones should bear the same name as the Elvis Costello song from the same year. (They are entirely different tunes, though, and this one’s by far the better of the two.) That said, the Undertones’ signature punk-energy time signatures, wistful, love-besotted lyrics (“She was the girl for me/Wednesday week, she loved me/Wednesday week, never happened at all”) and frontman Feargal Sharkey’s inimitable quavering vocals make this the unquestioned theme song for Hump Day.

“Wednesday Week”: