Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Guns n' Roses - “Live and Let Die”
Loft writing class summer of 2001, one evening a week, six sessions of learning a new form. After the last class I was pumped about what I’d learned and where I could take it. Feeling I deserved a reward, I headed a block over to Grumpy’s for what I thought would be a couple of beers and watching the Twins. I grabbed a seat at the bar, ordered a beer. The bartender poured a cold one and I sipped on it, daydreaming about my literary takeover. Then the perils of being around people slapped me down. As it did, as it does.
A tall overly-tan blonde gal in jeans and a gold top sat down next to me.
“I’m Sheila from KQ, how are you?”
“Fine.” (I don’t want to talk to anybody except the bartender.)
“What’s your name?”
“Bill.” (I should have lied, guess it wouldn’t do any good.)
“I’m doing a promotion tonight, going to be asking some trivia questions and doing giveaways.”
“Cool.” (It doesn’t sound cool. I just want to watch the game and have a couple of beers and be alone with my thoughts.)
She tapped me on the knee. “You’re going to help me.”
“So, where’s the ladies room?”
“Over there to the right.”
She left for the ladies room. Suddenly the bar seemed too loud, the air conditioning too chilly, and the evening sunlight a little strange. Wanting anonymity and believing that this minor celebration of mine deserved it, I pounded my beer, grabbed my bookbag, and fast-walked to the front door. Out on the sidewalk, I pulled my hat low and made for my car, muttering about promises to myself broken. There was beer at home. Goddamn you, KQRS.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
The Beaches - “Let Me Touch”
A. Rock Is Dead (Long Live Rock)
The new band, the new love. The chance to revise your outlook, reinvent yourself, recoup all the losses from these past years where you would turn on the radio or click an icon on your phone and be bored bored bored.
Late Show by The Beaches. You haven’t been this excited about an album since you started with Apple Music and found out it had Mitch Hedberg’s Strategic Grill Locations. To wit:
- There’s interjections: “Yeah!” “woo-hoo!” “hey!”
- There’s handclaps.
- Flawless production.
- Zero guitar solos.
- The whole go for broke-ness of it is breathtaking: 12 songs in 39 minutes means 3 minutes, 15 seconds per song. Not a wasted note and there’s no time to think before the next beauty hits.
- Even the slow song works.
- A throwaway line is better than your favorite lyric: “I want to go to the late show (and play tic-tac-toe”).
- And the lyrics are the best kind — not Deep Songwriter Thoughts, but lines that jab at you at stick:
“Play with the Queen of Ice you get cold”
“I’m just a girl I’m not a thing”
“Need to make money”
“You’re just an insult to my eyes and ears and mouth”
“I want a milk shake filled with pills”
These are anthems, these are goddamned anthems. The riffs slice perfectly, the hooks grab and don’t let go. How many times have you had a Beaches song going through your head as you wake up to shower, shave, coffee?
B. The Sign on the Door Says: “$2.00 per Person, $5.00 for Couples”
Dance party in the living room. Longnecks of Premium and cans of Bud Light Lime-A-Rita in the massive Schmidt seventies-style cooler on the kitchen floor and you have The Beaches blasting and you don’t worry about catering this because it’s like when you were young, get the big box of Old Dutch Rip-L chips and some French onion dip, those are the snacks fuck appetizers who the hell cares about food this is a party and we’re listening to The Beaches if you get hungry later pizzas are in the freezer. Now just want the music and to move around and feel it and smile and dance and Monday is a long ways away. Continue this past midnight until it’s pizza time with some wind-down music from 88.5 on the radio and then there is tomorrow to play The Beaches again and you can clean the apartment later, time to put hockey on the tube on mute and Late Show on the stereo, have a slow whiskey, and don’t plan anything, not for a while now. No worries, just enjoy the songs.