Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Joe Walsh - "Turn To Stone"
1972

Is this a some sort of Black Sabbath Vol. 4 outtake? Hmmm, both LPs were released the same year, it’s bottom-heavy (that bass that bass that bass...) in the best Sabbath manner, though the guitars are surely Walsh as are the harmonies. Alternate theory: The Sabbath crew visited Joe to check out The Rocky Mountain Way, and a late-Saturday-night chemicals-fueled collaboration (after the good Catholic boys from Birmingham had gone to Saturday mass) left fragments in minds and on tape. From this sprawling mess, Joe pieced together “Turn To Stone”. Result? Walsh's best metal move since "The Bomber". Later, he cleaned up this same song up for another try in '75, a if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it exercise to clear the path for Life's Been Good in the Fast Lane City which ended in pulling a proto-Dukakis on an album cover. Say it ain't so Joe!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Pearl Jam - "Rearviewmirror"
1993


CITY CENTER FOOD COURT

There was Taco Bell, which I avoided because coworkers would always want to place orders for me to take back. Same with Subway. Same with McDonald's, which was always crowded and I usually chose the wrong line and thought they should have a guided-rope line like a bank so you didn't get screwed by choosing the wrong line. There was an Orange Julius. I think they served hot dogs or something else sketchy. I never liked an Orange Julius, just wished it was orange juice. There was a place that just served baked potatoes. One gal I worked with loved it. (Who eats a baked potato for lunch?) There were a bunch of other shops, including a Chinese place that a coworker always ordered from because our company had been sued by them and he thought it was funny to be their paying customer. He claimed he had a list of such places that he tried to frequent.

The secret attraction of the food court was the stairs. Stairs that took you to a smaller, upper level. You could go up there, sit next to the railing, avoid the hustle-bustle noise below, people watch. One stretch at the office they had increasingly frequent Friday lunch potlucks. I would bring cookies from Byerly's, but was stymied when someone else started bringing homemade desserts. So I would sneak out the back door, hit the food court, spend lunch reading the paper on the upper level. Upon returning to the office, skip the potluck cleanup and the accompanying chatter.

Return to my desk, turn the radio on. Four more hours, then the weekend.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Black Flag - "Wasted"
1979


OTHER KIDS' BULLIES

1981

He was on the bus sometimes. Always seemed to be wearing the same shirt. One of those guys who went from bully to burnout sophomore to junior years. Heard he got picked up on Cherry Street at one a.m., jogging down the middle of the road with an open container. I smiled, then heard he skated. Of course, this guy. I could only shake my head.

1998

As usual in the Entry in flannel and Chucks. That psycho from up north was there. Last time I was in the same bar with this guy, he was picking on people in the Mr. Spud Lounge. He moved from victim to victim until he could get a fight started. Now he was in flannel as well, nodding along to the music.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Black Sabbath - "N.I.B."
1970

+ COULDN’T GET Z-ROCK IN MY OFFICE

1. Downs

They just tell you that you're on your own
Fill your head all full of lies

     Sabbath's weirdo/cryptic Catholic song
     described your final days
     in Corporate America,
     salaried

2. Ups

Dude
They sent you to Rochester
to ask one question
           one specific question
           about rebar
tunes blasting all down/back Highway 52
window open

You expensed the mileage
 - 29 cents per mile -
made a tidy profit

Dropped off the rebar answer at District
slapped on a surfer hoodie
hit Down in the Valley Richfield/Penn Avenue
scored We Sold Our Soul For Rock 'n' Roll
the clerk was drinking a Molson

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Love - "Alone Again Or"
1967

OFFICEMAX CREDIT

true the dress code is awesome
jeans, tee shirt, sneakers
(okay the landlord keeps the heat on high)
actually: shorts, tee shirt, sneakers
and yes I'm in bliss with no coworkers
- nosy, talkative specimens
             who I never automatically
             embrace as friends
             geez give a guy
             some space
sleeping in is nice
working evenings/weekends
with no email distractions
music cranked
Premium on the coaster
can sometimes approach fun
but truly at times I'm convinced when I finger
3M Post-It Notes, Pilot pens, Bic highlighters,
Avery Glue Stics, Office Max binder clips,
Ampad graph paper, All-Matic clipboard
the main reason I stay self-employed is:

I love buying my own office supplies.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Extreme - "Hole Hearted"
1991

saying you will
stop with the cheap beer,
listening to Extreme's love songs
1992 was lost
               by late '91
               if not sooner
but you've got your new losses
                 now
so still the beer's the same
and those songs call you back
                                   back
                                   back

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
ZZ Top - "TV Dinners"
1983

Dear Netflix:

No more recommendations on kitchens, a chef, multiple chefs, cakes, or anything else involving food. I don't know who James Beard was, don't care. When the Star Tribune has their annual top ten local restaurants, I take it as the Top Ten Places I Have Never Eaten (and probably never will.) Usually I'm at home with meats on my George Foreman Grill or a Stouffer's Spaghetti With Meatballs. (Had to switch it up a while back from their also-hardy Lasagna With Meat And Sauce.) If it's a Friday, maybe a Heggie's. If I can work up the energy and hunger to place an order: pizza and wings or tacos-and-nachos or Chinese delivery. I used to get Jimmy John's but they turned from freaky-fast-to-taking-freaking-forever. If I venture out (BIG IF) it's the neighborhood counter diner or the local bar with the BLT that adds a fried egg. Oh and that place I bike to that has chicken tenders, sandwiches, gyros, fries, and is take-out only. That's it. No dining experience, no Grass Fed Beef!™, no dessert menu, nobody sitting across from me, nowhere to go afterwards. You should know by know I like crime thrillers, spy movies, maybe the occasional bawdy comedy or historical drama. Keep the foodie nonsense away from me. Unless it's Soylent Green.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Stabbing Westward - "What Do I Have To Do?"
1996

They were opening for Killing Joke
                                   First Avenue

Tom:
        "they're mad as hell and
         aren't going to take it anymore"

Later that month
in your car
heard them, thought:
hey they sound like Def Leppard

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Veruca Salt - "Volcano Girls"
1997

Pretty sure you compared this to Def Leppard
upon release, think you did that for any tune
you could
       Unless you compared a tune to Mott the Hoople
       (You compared Def Leppard to Mott the Hoople)

it was a gambit you tried with Stabbing Westward
or so you think

       memories are tricky things
       when you tend to write
                        and rewrite
       the same thing
       twenty years later
       it all becomes one long repetitive essay
   
Mott the Hoople sounded like
"Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl"
by The Barbarians
whose drummer had one arm
Def Leppard sounded like Mott the Hoople
Def Leppard's drummer had one arm

(why do bands like The Grateful Dead have two drummers - four arms -
 is such flashy indulgence welcome at the commune?)
     
Others compared Veruca Salt to The Breeders, accused them of theft,
but you stuck with your sweet gentle Def Lep comparison - actions that
encourage Pyromania on headphones are always solid

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Saga - "On the Loose"
1981

She was carrying on about her boyfriend. She cried about him
every month. Check that. She cried about him every other month,
when they broke up. Then the next month they would make up,
then the next month back to a break up. She was addicted to
drama, drew my roommate into it. Phone calls where he would use
the word maintain. He was there for her. But that one Saturday
night, I don't know what the hell happened. If I wasn't with
my usual running buddies, then I should have been
somewhere quiet reading a book. But we were together
having a nightcap, Stroh's, gathered near the window,
open in winter as the heat blasted that small room.
The radio on the desk played Saga, then Moving Pictures.
Not the Rush album, the band. She started crying, saying
the song was so specific. I wished I was listening to Aerosmith.
At that point I would have settled for The Goddamn Hooters.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Big Star - "Back of a Car"
1974

On 35-W
realized you were
someone who takes
cabs
           to
    from
literary events

       fifty-one years old

better than being twenty-nine
  with a Ford
  and a general ledger
     eh?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Rush - "New World Man"
1982

Canadian smart-not-clever prog-metal power trio set out for
something different, ended up sounding kinda like ... The Police.
Geddy Lee - ...who sounds like a cross between Donald Duck and
Robert Plant. - Alan Niester, The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1979
- doesn't sound manic, no not AT ALL. Subdued Geddy ultimately
makes this tune weird, not fun ...  unless you're into nostalgia and
this came out when you were in high school when the Rushies ran
amok, then it's likely oddly fun(ny). And hey the bass sounds cool.
Any bets on when these guys start their Second Farewell Tour?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Zebra - "Who's Behind The Door?"
1983

Unlike Kingdom Come, who five years hence with "Get It On" would
shrewdly-and-astoundingly make every Hard Zep move possible, 
this one starts out as Mellow Zep, acoustic niceties off of Zep III
slowly morph into a synth/guitar/bombs-dropping blowout. The tune
is like a trip from 1970 Zep to Possible Future Zep. Synth drums
mean business sometime dammit, BadCo's "Rock 'N Roll Fantasy"
showed us this. By the last half of the tune, the vocalist suddenly
starts out hype-Planting the master: Geddy Lee. And all those
chumps in my high school hallways who insisted that Rush was
superior to all other hard rock competition because "they're so
technological" - Rush had synths, you see, and they played them
WITH THEIR FEET in concert, no sidemen needed - probably dug
these guys. You know what? Now I do too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesday Tuneage
Michael Jackson - "Rockin' Robin"
1972

Twitter is almost as fun as cinnamon toast and is the only social network that matters. Unlike LinkedIn, it doesn't promote an ultimately-futile way of networking your way through the business world (which just results in getting "would you like to connect" notifications from high school classmates) or FaceBook (a home for baby photos and casual racism, I am told), Twitter mostly exists to make wry comments and take cheap shots regarding current events, politics, sports, entertainment, pop culture, and whatever else tweeters deem shot-worthy. Fellow tweeters here in the Twin Cities likely follow a lot of the same folks that I do, so here is My Five Fave Non-Minnesotan, Non-Minneapolitan, Not-Manned-By-Friends-Or-Acquaintances Twitter Accounts, as of January 10th, 2017:

@REALpunknews - What started out as a punk rock The Onion has started to expand its scope and has been killing it for months now. No hyperbole here, just some sample headlines:

"Skinhead Band Not Racist But Also Not Good"
"Henry Rollins Driving App Tells You How Hard It Would Have Been to Get There in the ’80s"
"Ted Nugent Begrudgingly Inducted Into Straight Edge Hall of Fame"
"Christian Metal Flyer Not Intelligently Designed"

@RevoltoftheApes - Calmly hypes stoner rock (and more up my alley) old-school heroes UFO, Blue Oyster Cult, and The Yardbirds. Plus throws in Buddhist wisdom and essential coffee reviews as well, dude.

@DadBoner - Our guy Karl Welzein isn't as hilariously productive as he was in the tweets leading up to 2013'3 Power Moves: Livin' The American Dream USA Style book - an essential tome - but he is again employed and for everyone who's in need of an antihero to rail (or at least shirk) against Corporate America, Karl is the sleeping-on-the-office-restroom-floor guy we need.

@TheRealCarlG - What is it about Midwestern German-American functioning alcoholics and tweeting? Green Bay Packers super fan Carl Gerbschmidt on Twitter does great duty as he does on the air for a respected segment on KFAN late Friday afternoons: He gleefully mocks the Minnesota Vikings Viqueens and their misguided fans. Easy targets, yes, but they deserve every ounce of ridicule. Plus Carl is a warrior and is almost always correct in his mockery. Again: how many Super Bowls have the Viqueens won?

@BangsQuotes - Whoever runs this account is my new hero. He/she (they?) tweets gems from my favorite writer ever, the smart/hilarious/poignant Lester Bangs. I can spot a few quotes from Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung and Mainlines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste but obviously the kind soul behind this account is reaching deeper into the Bangs canon. "Elvis was into marketing boredom when Andy Warhol was still doing shoe ads." Amen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tuesday Tuneage
Faux Joni Mitchell - "Febreze Jingle"
2016









I thought to myself while waiting for the commuter rail to Minneapolis, apparently inadvertently summing up my life from North Dakota to Minneapolis, ending up a Joni Mitchell admirer in middle age after a long beginning as a hard rock partisan. KNOX-AM, I am yours.