Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday Tuneage
Marah - "Pizzeria"

Glenwood Springs (CO) Post Independent - June 23rd, 2015:

Anson Lemmer had no way of knowing that on his last delivery order of the night of June 15 for Uncle Pizza in Glenwood, he would perform CPR and help with a potentially life-saving rescue. Lemmer, 19, of Denver is staying in Glenwood with his parents to work over the summer. Only two days after starting with Uncle Pizza, this incident occurred.

“This was my very last order of the night. I expected to just run right out there and back,” Lemmer said. Instead, when he arrived at the address on Valley View Road with a hot pizza, he saw a man turning blue outside of the house. Two other people were with the man — one attempting CPR and one on the phone calling it in. “When I pulled up there, I knew something was wrong, and I had to act. They asked me right away if I knew CPR,” Lemmer said. “I jumped in right away to do those chest compressions.” 

Trained in CPR a year ago, Lemmer didn’t think twice about acting. He said it was like a fight-or-flight choice, and he had to fight. A situation like that is tense with a lot of variables, he said. “It’s important to not get caught up in the bystander effect,” Lemmer said. “I felt a couple of ribs break. He’s going to wake up with sore ribs.”

It all happened in 10 to 15 minutes, he said, when EMTs from the Glenwood Fire Department showed up to take over. Lemmer said they shook his hand and thanked him. “He started to breathe ... very wheezy. Not coherent yet,” Lemmer said. “I backed off.”

Fire Chief Gary Tillotson confirmed that his EMTs responded to an incident on the 15th of a CPR in progress. The man was taken to Valley View Hospital, but the man’s name and further details were not available.

His manager thought he had gotten lost, wondering what had taken so long. Soon after, he called his parents. “I called my parents and said this has been the craziest pizza delivery ever. I left a pizza boy and came back a pizza man,” Lemmer said. “They were proud of me. Totally unexpected thing.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday Tuneage
Chris Norman and Suzi Quatro - "Stumblin' In"

You knew Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, bored with writing all those rah-rah teenybopper songs for Suzi Quatro, The Sweet, and assorted never-broke-in-the-US glam rockers like Mud and Smokie of course had a crossover country shuffle up their sleeves, just waiting for that moment when it could make a major dent on the charts. Pair Quatro - known mostly to America from post-shark Happy Days episodes but with no US hits to her name - with the vaguely Rod Stewartish-sounding (with Rod's brand near its all-time post-sellout high) Chris Norman and BOOM! The charming "Stumblin' In" went to Number Four on the US Top 40 in 1979. Not that you'll hear it on the condensed oldies playlist that KOOL 108 now uses, but that's what SiriusXM's Seventies on 7 channel is for.

So we can spend the rest of the day gazing at Quatro in her leather and contemplating that she had an album titled Rock Hard, but one nagging question: Who the hell is this Chris Norman? A few stabs at his identity:

- He's Greg Norman's brother.
- He's AWA wrestler Norman Christopher.
- He's a Chapman/Chinn creation, who they later renamed "Nick Gilder." (Not "Bryan Adams" as the urban legend claims.)
- He was one of those guys in Mott the Hoople that wasn't Ian Hunter and that didn't later join Bad Company.
- He's the guy who played Eddie Haskell on Leave It To Beaver.
- He's the cousin of Paul Norman, who once yelled "jump!" at a guy leaning out of a fourth-floor window on the University of North Dakota campus in the fall of 1983. I cracked up, so any time we saw each on campus we would yell "jump!" at each other. A few months later, Van Halen released "Jump" as their leadoff single from 1984. Back in school for the second semester, first time I saw Norman, he grabbed me, grinned, and asked: "Heard that Van Halen song??"
- He's that guy who turned down "Because The Night" so Bruce Springsteen turned and offered it to Patti Smith.
- "Chris Norman" is a nickname for Suzi Quatro's bangs.

And more important question regarding Chris Norman: Should we ever trust a man with two first names?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tuesday Tuneage
Public Enemy - "Don't Believe The Hype"

Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back came out in 1988 and during my first listens to it in 1989, I knew it was unique and great and a landmark. Sonically and lyrically revolutionary, and funny, the album contains unforgettable mottos that I've appropriated over the years, trying to slip them into conversations, tweets, and asides: Bring the noise, How low can you go?, Don't believe the hype, Who gives a fuck about a goddamn Grammy?, No more music by the suckers.

Once at work back in the late eighties, my pal and fellow writer Janell - she's the one who bought me the first notebook that I seriously scribbled through in the nineties - had bought a mini tape recorder to assist her in her writing and pulled it on me in the break room, asking me to say something. I immediately said: "No more music by the suckers" and of course was overly gleeful when she played it back to quizzical looks all around. Nobody in that room knew what I was talking about, of course. Then again, I barely did.

My fave one lately is when I saw the headline of the Star Tribune on June 27, 2015 - RIGHT TO MARRY FOR ALL - and unleashed a "Yeahhhhh boy!!!" that my neighbors likely heard.

As for "Don't Believe The Hype": How many times have I brought that slogan out in the past quarter-century-plus? For any number of overrated movies (Forrest Gump), TV shows (Six Feet Under), bands (where do I start? I'll use Ben Folds Five as a placeholder …), sports teams (so many Gophers hockey teams), boozes (Johnnie Walker Black), food (Krispy Kreme, Popeye's chicken - at least the location four blocks north of my place), the Aeron chair (good way to further mess up an already-messed up back), any big-name designer promoted hard by Target, literary novels (Jonathan Franzen's Freedom and Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue) … etc. etc.

All those cheap shots, good thing I live alone. Plus all those cheap shots divert from the basic core of this wacky little post: In 2015 as in any other year since I bought it, when I track It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back it still feels like I'm listening to some mind-blowing music from the future. For reasons too lengthy to get into here, I lost track of hip-hop in the early nineties. Time to play some catch up, starting with Public Enemy.

And does Hot 102.5 FM have a request line?

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Tuesday Tuneage
Kevn Kinney - "Heard The Laughter Ending"

7th Street Entry, fall 1990. Went to check out Drivin' N' Cryin', a blast - both ears-wise and mood-wise - of a night that ended with them doing the Ramones with Bob Stinson guesting on guitar, it starts with a polite-as-heck guy my age wearing a nice sweater asking me if I had heard the band before. I said no, I showed up on a recommendation of a friend. He tells me to check out the lead singer Kevn Kinney's solo album. That it's mostly acoustic, produced by Peter Buck, outstanding. That he's called Cities FM to request that they add Kinney to their playlist.

I soon bought Drivin' N' Cryin's Mystery Road, a solid and at times spectacular album. Around the same time I also got the Kinney album, MacDougal Blues and was stunned. This was the type of folk music I could rally around. I hyped it incessantly to friends, nobody seemed to care though my pal the receptionist at the office I work at was intrigued when I played a bit of a song over the phone to her.

It's no secret that I'm not a lyrics guy, but Kinney's "Heard The Laughter Ending" is brilliant words-wise. A snapshot of an also-ran of a comedian working away on the road because it's all he knows to do, dreaming of getting home to an imaginary plush mansion far, far away from where he grew up. He plays small rooms, isn't asked to do a residency or come back any time soon. He somehow plays a bigger room, he bombs, he's quickly forgotten. One thinks of the episode of Louie that features Doug Stanhope. A mirror is mentioned twice, and that imagery takes you to the final scene of Raging Bull. The comedian in this tune does finally get to go home, we're not sure if it's a victory or a loss.