Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Nick Lowe - "Heart of the City"
I don't aspire to much. I'm too lazy to explore this great city I live in and I don't like to travel. Go see a monument or a momentous place or read an article about said place? Magazine, or better yet: a short book (with illustrations!) Learn to skydive or Rollerblade? No thanks, I'll go for my 3.2 mile walk though, it takes almost exactly an hour, and burns over 300 calories. Take up a new craft, skill, or hobby? Nope, hockey is on TV tonight. (Though I recently got my over-ten-years-since-last-touched guitar a setup and new strings. Am I going to learn songs and maybe think about trying an open mike down the road? No, I just want something relaxing to do while watching hockey, and strumming some chords - I can't remember any complete songs any more - just seems to hit the spot.) So as I reside in my fifties, the idea of coming up with a Bucket List is something that drew a complete blank in my brain. (Not having much disposable income doesn't aid in attempting any gotta-do-this-befores anyway.) And hence, the more I thought about a Bucket List, the more I hated the idea. Then, a brainstorm struck. It was the best idea I had come up with since I decided to get rid of my car five years ago. I would come up with a Bucket List, but it would instead be things I never want to do. This would take no effort on my part and if I don't screw up by getting ambitious, I already have my Bucket List done.
BUCKET LIST ITEM: I NEVER WANT TO GO CAMPING.
Get away from it all? Abandon the city for a weekend? Get off the grid?? No, no, nope. I WANT to be connected, plugged-in, near my iPhone, iMac, and MacBook. I want my Amazon Fire box streaming Amazon Prime and Netflix. I want the Fire box streaming Chromecast so I can watch sports on NBC (have great difficulty getting KARE-11 on my rabbit ears, d'oh) and on YouTube watch the complete 2016 NCAA men's ice hockey title game so I can see the University of North Dakota win its eighth title all over (and over and over) again. I want the Fire box streaming PlayStation Vue so I have ESPN, TBS, TNT, ESPN2, USA, and NBCSN. I want HD radio, I want my 10-key, I want great lighting in my living room for reading the newspaper that was delivered to my (building's) front door. I want cold beer out the fridge, I want ice in the freezer for my Evan Williams and Brandy Old Fashioneds. Keep me connected, plugged-in, and with hot water. The call of the wild or call for pizza delivery? Easy call. Oh-so-easy.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Run-DMC - "King of Rock"
My Ten Nonessential Albums
10. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Dunno why anybody who had a legit shot of being their generation's John Fogerty would instead aspire to be another Brian Wilson/Alex Chilton crackup who writes crappy cute pop tunes.
9. Talking Heads - Little Creatures. The only good thing about these jokers was their rhythm section and you can get through a fun fun fun listen of Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love" in under eight minutes.
8. Any REM album that isn't an anthology. Because they were a singles band, after all.
7. The Clash - Sandinista!. Weird fact: More people have walked on the moon than have actually listened to this complete album.
6. Journey - Escape. "To say that (Steve Perry is) a whiner does not do the man justice. Perry's a whiner's whiner, squealing away furiously in the implausible air that falls between rarified and denatured. If they ever create a cartoon character based on snot, Steve will no doubt be called upon to do the voice." - Rick Johnson
5. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours. This annoyance fortunately generated a brilliant assassination plan and a great comic about said plan. (Also: It should be spelled "Rumors", dorks.)
4. Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture. Trying to disguise show tunes as rock 'n roll still leaves them as show tunes. (Substitute Jesus Christ Superstar's soundtrack here when it has its inevitable revival.)
3. Elvis Costello - Imperial Bedroom. More like Imperial Boredom. "Metal Mike" Saunders once called Elvis Costello a "can't-rock weenie", which is why I want to buy Metal Mike a beer or two someday.
2. Radiohead - Kid A. Fifty minutes in search of a melody.
1. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds. In my world, The Beach Boys are a nasally annoyance. You know, just like any one of their rabid fans.
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
The Rugbys - "You, I"
This scrappy little regional hit that went big nationally upon re-release packs so much into three minutes. Starts out with fuzz guitar AND a smoker's cough*. (Predating Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf"!) BOOM: hard rock, scratchy guitar, sparse glorious production, blue-eyed-tinged vocals, proto-Uriah Heep "ahhhhh"s. Then it gets even more urgent, adds fast pulsating keyboards. The end approaches and before you get a chance to play it over (and over and over) again it slows down into wah-wah guitar and drum roll, like The Rugbys want to take a shot at being metal pioneers. As Wikipedia advises: Check out the 1969 Palm Beach Music Festival poster.
*Alas, not heard on any YouTube version I tracked. Trust me, it's very clear on Apple Music.