Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Tuneage
Deep Purple - "Pictures Of Home"

The south Minneapolis baby boomer. You know the type: Gray hair, getting smaller by the minute, never smiles. Why do they look daggers at me? Am I such a bother? I sit on the bus with my earbuds in, my UND hockey hat pulled so low it almost touches my glasses, and I'm merely listening to music and reading a book on my phone. When I sit at the coffee shop and write in my notebook, I'm trying to fade into the background. Why are you south Minneapolis boomers such downers with your sense of entitlement and constant frowns?

The boomer who yelled at one of my delivery guys because his van was blocking the alley and she was forced (heavy sigh) to turn her car around and use the south alley exit instead. The boomer who when asked if I truly was about to use the elliptical cross-trainer at the YMCA and I said "uh, yeah" (my right foot was just about to swing onto the machine's footpad), turned her smile upside down, glared at me, and walked away without uttering another word. The boomers at Kowalski's who dominate the narrow aisles and won't give me an inch when I try to walk by. The boomer down the alley who works on his roof in the spring well after dark and well after the city noise ordinance says he can. The boomer across the alley who is sure to rototill his garden on Saturdays at 7 a.m. (When said boomer 
meticulously cleared his garage driveway, was chatting with a neighbor proud of his work and the city plow came through the alley and pushed a bunch of snow on his driveway? Awesome, totally awesome. Watching that was the most fun I have ever had looking out the kitchen window while firing up the morning coffee. Tops observing the murder of crows that hang out in that area, even.)

Look south Minneapolis boomers, it's a long winter and like last year I have the feeling the snow will keep coming for another couple of months. You don't like me, and I'm starting to move past apathy and into active dislike for you as well. The streets are gonna be as narrow as those aisles at Kowalski's. Our glasses are gonna fog up a lot. I will continue in my belief that I don't owe you a goddamn thing. So here's my suggestion: Grab yourself a beer or three, pour a shot of whiskey or vodka, and fire up some metal on headphones, as metal is ideal coping-with-winter music. This week my suggestion is Deep Purple's Machine Head, an album the proles rallied around during your youth. Play it loud, play it proud. Because nothing is better in these times than catharsis, and it's obvious your yoga and meditation ain't working.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday Tuneage
The Bangles - "Hazy Shade Of Winter"

The Bangles. That stretch senior year of college where "Walk Like An Egyptian" was in MTV's top ten videos so we roommates would call attention to anyone not in the room, gather around TV when they were on, mostly to look at Susanna Hoffs' eyes at that moment toward the end of the video. The album was okay from what I remember. They released a glossy followup a few years later and for me that was it for The Bangles except to Google Susanna Hoffs photos every once in a while.

But then. But then. "Getting Out Of Hand" (recorded when they were known as The Bangs) appeared on the Children of Nuggets collection that I bought back in '08. Catchy, slightly garage, and charming as hell. Hmmm. Scoring their debut album, All Over The Place in pristine condition on vinyl for fifty cents at a Roadrunner Records sale shorty after that was another revelation. Seamless harmonies, driving beat, hooky guitars, brilliant pop songs … it added up to a gem of a debut album and while it shimmered it wasn't eighties glossy. It's always a fun listen with coffee on afternoons off work.

So, I figured, The Bangles had an outstanding debut, got more commercial and less interesting as the eighties went on. Is the "Walk Like An Egyptian" video on YouTube? Then Jack FM ("No Repeat" "Playing What We Want" "Tuomala's Go-To Fun Station Now That K-Twin Changed Formats") the other night played The Bangles' version of "Hazy Shade Of Winter", which was taken from the Less Than Zero soundtrack in 1987. Holy moly. Rick Rubin-produced flawless production. Metallic guitar. Those harmonies. Simon and Who? All for, as Chuck Eddy put it, "a soundtrack to a lousy flick about rich teens on drugs (named after a lousy novel about the same, named after an Elvis Costello ditty about the National Front.)" Well The Bangles showed up, did their job, and took no prisoners. Quite impressive.

And in the song's video, how smokeshow are The Bangles? When I watch it, I don't want to see Jami Gertz, that's how smokeshow. Not to mention VICKI PETERSON'S HEELS, STOCKINGS, SKIRT, AND HER BANGS COVER ONE EYE AND A SHOULDER STRAP HANGS FREE

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Tuesday Tuneage
Van Halen - "Bottoms Up!"

Not another poem about wanting
a drink, not another wait in vain
screed. You'll be at that bowling alley
soon enough, IPA/kami lined up in front
of you, checking bus schedules, getting home
for hockey, delivered sandwich, various
cusses lobbed at the screen.