Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Tuneage
Bruce Springsteen - "Atlantic City"

This one has my favorite Springsteen opening lines ever or at least this month:

Well they blew up the Chicken Man in Philly last night
Now they blew up his house too

The song opens like something from The Sopranos, though the narration quickly moves to the narrator, who exists on a much lower level than the forces at play with The Chicken Man, the DA, the Gambling Commission, and the oncoming rumble. He's a man in fix, he's got debts no honest man can pay, and he's going to do an unnamed favor for an unnamed associate and hopefully hit paydirt and skip town with his girl.

"Atlantic City" was the first single from Nebraska. It was released thirty years ago, but see if these words apply to present times:

Down here there's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line

Thirty years. Wonder if the narrator of "Atlantic City" is still around and wonder if he's still waiting for that money to trickle down.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Tuneage
Motorhead - “Bomber”

I was once told that Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister has done so much speed in his life that the doctors told him not to quit taking it, that his metabolism was so accustomed to amphetamine that his body would shut down if he quit. This may be urban legend but I don’t want to google it. Like the tale that Ozzy Osbourne once dropped acid once a day, every day, for a year ... it just seems right.

Back when my allergy drugs were still imported from a former Eastern Block country (or so I liked to believe), they had wicked side effects. The side effect until the mid-nineties was downs. Drowsy, sleepy, heavy heavy eyelids that forced me into a no-win choice: Suffer the constant congestion and burning eyes from the ragweed allergy, or take a pill, get relief and (hopefully) take a long nap. (This is what led me to start drinking coffee, to stay awake at work.) (So that’s whay I can sleep after drinking lots of coffee, my mind looks at coffee as an offset, not a 100% stimulant.)

Then Claritin-D came along about fifteen years ago or so and it was, I declared, legal speed. I could drink a few beers with it and not get that much buzzed. I didn’t get hungry when on it, and had to make myself eat. I stayed up late, later than usual. Much pacing was involved. I wasn’t yet into craft beer, which is unfortunate. These days I have found beers that could have slowed me down to normal when on Claritin-D; hoppy, boozy beers made by small brewers. These things have alcohol contents up in the plus-six-percent range. One recent fave is Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale, which I can get at my local liquor store in a 22-oz bomber. Late in December 2011, I set a goal to listen to Motorhead’s “Bomber” while drinking a bomber sometime before the year ended.

The tune seemed appropriate. As Hop Stoopid was a beer that could have slowed down my Claritin-D speed buzz, Motorhead was a band that would have went rather well with said Claritin-D-enhanced mood. As Chuck Eddy once wrote: Their music veers closer to early Black Flag or the Angry Samoans than to any heavy metal band, mainly because they play their 'Paranoid' and 'Stranglehold' riffs so goddamn fast they belie the "heavy" tag completely.

Though I am off the speed, I still have a use for Motorhead ... it's called Valentine's Day. And as it's late January, I gotta make a mental note to stock up on bombers for my Motorhead-on-headphones for that night. Bring you to your knees, it's a bomber ...