Friday, July 28, 2006

Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin', Wakin' Up Screamin'

Courtesy of John Scalzi, some hilarious comments on the band Journey. I say lol, but I rarely laugh aloud when I'm reading something - this, I did.

In the circles I run in, Journey is looked on with something less than regard, which means that the band's cultural persistence irritates and terrifies most people I know. I remember ten years ago, when the Escape-era line-up reteamed for the Trial By Fire, Ted Rall declared that the reunion album would debut to massive indifference, so I bet him a fiver that the album would enter the charts in top five. In fact, it debuted at #3, and Ted still owes me $5. Look, people like Journey. It's like the multivitamin of rock: It's got the rockers for the boys, the ballads for the girls, Neal Schon's technically impressive fret work, Steve Perry's swoopingly expressive voice, Jonathan Cain's major-chord bell ringing keyboards, Steve Smith's thundering drums, and whatever the hell it was Ross Valory brought to the party (mostly, a droopy 'stache). Maybe it's not in the best taste, but name a multivitamin that tastes good. No, Flintstones don't count. So chalky.

The other thing, which is what I told Ted at the time, is that for the vast majority of Suburban Americans between the age of 14 and 24 in the early 80s, when it was time to make out and you put Escape on the turntable, you were automatically spotted two bases. Honestly, if you didn't have a hand under a bra or massaging a button fly by the end of "Who's Crying Now," Steve Perry would stop what he was doing, fly to your house and then beat the crap out of you for blowing a sure thing. God forbid you actually flipped the LP, because then, baby, you were going home. There's an entire generation of white 22-to-25-year olds walking around today whose moment of conception is largely coincident to the second chorus of "Open Arms." These people will be driving along with their moms, that song will come on that radio, their moms will get a small, wistful smile, and these people will spend the next three minutes, nineteen seconds uncontrollably shuddering.

Good times, good times.

Anyway, that's why all you snobs will never be rid of Journey; too many other people got lucky with Steve Perry yodeling in the background. Deal with it. It could have been worse. There's a whole bunch of 15-to-20-year-olds whose mothers were inseminated to Warrant. No amount of therapy will ever make that right.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Some Drive By Truckers lyrics

The beautiful thing about the Drive By Truckers is that they have three great songwriters in the band.

Yesterday I was listening to two songs over and over. Here are the lyrics.

Lookout Mountain, by Patterson Hood
(this one's faster, with a killer hook)

If I throw myself off Lookout Mountain
No more for my soul to keep
I wonder who will drive my car
I wonder if my Mom will weep

If I throw myself off Lookout Mountain
No more pain my soul to bear
No more worries about paying taxes
What to eat, what to wear

Who will end up with my records?
Who will end up with my tapes?
Who will pay my credit card bills?
Who's gonna pay for my mistakes?

If I throw myself off Lookout Mountain
who will ever hear my songs?
Who's gonna mow the cemetery when all of my family's gone?
Who will Mom and Daddy find to continue the family name?
Who will stand there taking credit, who will lay there passing blame?

Who will lay there passing blame?

Goddamn Lonely Love, by Jason Isbell
(This one's slower and gorgeous)

I got green and I got blues
and everyday there's a little less difference between the two.
So I belly-up and disappear.
Well I ain't really drowning 'cause I see the beach from here.

I could take a Greyhound home but when I got there it'd be gone
along with everything a home is made up of.
So I'll take two of what you're having and I'll take all of what you got
to kill this goddamn lonely, goddamn lonely love.

Sister, listen to what your daddy says.
Don't be ashamed of things that hide behind your dress.
Belly-up and arch your back.
Well I ain't really falling asleep; I'm fading to black.

You could come to me by plane, but that wouldn't be the same
as that old motel room in Texarkana was.
So I'll take two of what you're having and I'll take all of what you got
to kill this goddamn lonely, goddamn lonely love.

Stop me if you've heard this one before:
A man walks into a bar and leaves before his ashes hit the floor.
Stop me if I ever get that far.
The sun's a desperate star that burns like every single one before.

And I could find another dream,
one that keeps me warm and clean
but I ain't dreamin' anymore, I'm waking up.
So I'll take two of what you're having and I'll take everything you got
to kill this goddamn lonely, goddamn lonely love.

All I got is this goddamn lonely, goddamn lonely love.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Pink Floyd

We watched the concert portion of the Pulse dvd last night. Thank goodness it's finally out on dvd. I was thinking of writing a post about all I remember about seeing the concert in real life. It was a long time ago, and there are a lot bits I remember clearly as well as a lot of bits I don't, but this stands out, really:
It was like god.

One of the bonus features (although the menu has the grace to call them "features," because, really) is the films that show in concert for certain songs. This is something I've wanted for years and years: "too bad you can't just get those films on video!" They're directed by Storm Thorgeson, who is a gawd. He's done much of their most memorable art (and many other things besides, such as that Cranberries album with the eye?). One thing I really like is that he likes to create a tangible 3d thing. Need 500 hospital beds on the beach? Storm brings 500 actual hospital beds to the actual beach. It shows; you can tell, even while you're like but how can that guy really have like an 80-foot cape? what's holding it?

While we're Floyding, Here's a link to a great story from 2002 from the Observer. It's a profile of/history of/encounter with Syd Barrett, and ... if you're wondering who Syd Barrett was, OR if you're a fan, there's a lot of information and interesting stuff here.

It looks like we won't be going to Tom Waits unless he adds a St. Louis date. The short version is that we have a scheduling conflict with the Chicago date, and the long version is that I'm willing to go to a lot more trouble and more expense to get to a concert than J is. So there's one for the great list of regretted missed concerts. I hate that list.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Jimbo Mathus in Springfield

Apparently Jimbo Mathus is going to be in town tonight.
Jimbo Mathus Dot Net.
His myspace page.
Perhaps best known as a Squirrel Nut Zipper, he's now a scruffy north-Mississippi trance-blues guitarist, the zoot suit replaced by ill-fitting jeans. He'll be at the Underground City Tavern, where, unfortunately, music doesn't start till 10 even on weeknights. It's a work night, and I'm old; most nights around 10:00 I'm barely energetic enough to turn on The Daily Show, so we might or might not make it out.

Here are my not-very-in-depth comments from when we saw him open for Buddy Guy last year at the Roberts Orpheum Theatre in St. Louis:
Our tickets said "an evening with," and apparently the theater management aren't aware of what that means, because there was an opener - but that was cool, as it was Jimbo Mathus - you might know him as James Mathus from the Squirrel Nut Zippers, but he's put away the zoot suit and donned redneck gear. He worked on Buddy Guy's last couple of albums and (therefore, obviously) is big into the north Mississippi blues style - that kind of trancelike blues where you can play the same chord for the whole song, you know? Mmmmmnuh. So Jimbo was pretty good. He was kind of sloppy, but it's not a precision genre, so we forgave. Also his dog Sue was with him, and she hung out on stage most of the time, venturing out to greet the audience from time to time, or nosing at Jimbo's leg as he played. Once she started to run off with the KB volume pedal and a roadie had to save it. heh. Adorable pooch.

No word on whether the dog's with him this time.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tom Waits tour. No, really!

Big news.

Huge news.

Really big, huge news.

Tom Waits schedule as announced by thus far:
Tue 08/01/06 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
Wed 08/02/06 Asheville, NC Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
Fri 08/04/06 Memphis, TN Orpheum Theatre
Sat 08/05/06 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Mon 08/07/06 Louisville, KY Louisville Palace
Wed 08/09/06 Chicago, IL Auditorium Theatre
Fri 08/11/06 Detroit, MI Opera House
Sun 08/13/06 Akron, OH Akron Civic Center