Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Eyes

I've been listening to this band a lot lately. I don't know a whole lot about The Eyes but from what I've heard, they really really wanted to be in a band with Brian Jones. It seems half the songs they recorded are Stones covers - or covers of Stones covers. This band's take on Route 66 is a pretty straight forward copy of the version done by Mick and Co. I'm not faulting them for that though. Their ├╝ber-fuzzed version of Satisfaction is really fun if you're into freakbeat. See for yourself.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Where it all started...

I went through a snotty phase. I wasn't some punk kid; I was too shy for that. But, I knew I was smarter than the popular kids and cooler than the kids who smoked. I knew life was better outside my little town. It was that kind of snotty phase. I realized it when I was about nine. It was the mid-80s. My dad and I were watching a national news magazine show and the broadcaster was talking about some people who were clearly insane. They had this rock-n-roll band and the music they played was unsettling, to say the least. I knew about rock-n-roll from my mom. I loved her records. Especially The Beach Boys. They had songs about things unfamiliar to a shy kid in a small town. I wanted to move to California and be a surfer and drive a 57 Chevy and date cheerleaders because that would solve all my problems. So I listened to Brian Wilson and his gang because somehow I was convinced if the girls knew how much I liked Sloop John B I wouldn't have to be as awkward. That's how the world worked when I was nine. Like The Beach Boys, the rock-n-roll band of insane people was from California. That's where the similarities ended. These guys were singing something about going on a vacation in Cambodia and it didn't make any sense. There was something wrong with the singer and I knew it. My dad knew it, too. I seem to remember him telling me something about how dire things would be for me if I ever brought music like that into his house. I'd be grounded, or kicked out. Something like that, you know. I was pretty offended that my dad thought I would ever bring something like that into his house. This guy's name was Jello for crying out loud. Why did my dad feel like he needed to tell me that I better not like that stuff? We both had just seen what happened. Had I done something wrong? Honestly. That stuff was weird. I didn't want to be weird. I wanted to date cheerleaders and be a surfer. Well, something about the way my dad reacted to the Dead Kennedys stuck with me. That's what happens, right? I had to know what it was. My dad reacted to Jello's band the same way all the square dads had reacted to The Beatles in his day. As it turned out, though, The Beatles were awesome. What if the Dead Kennedys were awesome, too? What if the kids who liked the Dead Kennedys were smarter than my dad? What if my dad kicks me out of the house? Crap. The notion that I was missing out on something didn't just bother me. It drove me crazy. I didn't want to be like the kids who were too stupid to like The Beatles. In hindsight, I wish I could say it was some deliberate act of rebellion that started my career of pissing off my parents, but it wasn't. My defiance happened entirely on accident. It was 1985 and I had just entered the sixth grade. I joined one of those mail order clubs where you could get ten albums for a dollar but you had to buy ten more in a year and they wouldn't stop sending you magazine subscription offers. As I was going through my haul I was horrified to discover the tape club had made a heinous error. There was a tape in there with skeletons all over the cover. Damn you, BMG. Dad would kick me out for sure. Didn't they know I was a good kid? Now, you've got to understand. I grew up in a really small town. R.E.M. was something you did when you were asleep. We had one radio station in town that played the country hits of the day. Another radio station in a town about 40 miles away played dentist office music. Seriously. On a clear day you could maybe pick up a couple of top forty stations from the state's capitol but that was it. And now. Now I have this mistake in my hands. I took stock of my options. I could take a moral stand and return the cassette to those jerks at BMG. I could tell my parents about the ridiculous thing they had done, plead my case and demonstrate my innocent virtue by returning the cassette unopened. But I had a Walkman. What a great invention that thing was. I could just go straight to my room and listen to the cassette with skeletons on the cover. No one would ever know. Oingo Boingo blew my mind. How did I not know about this until right now? This stuff wasn't evil, it was brilliant. Finding them this way was serendipity or intervention. Either way, that event was the game changer.

Have More Time

Northern Soul tune of the day. This one gets me every time and it is also an appropriate tune for my life right now. My wife and I work opposite shifts at our respective jobs so we don't really see each other until the weekend. It gets really old. So yeah, I wish I had more time to see my baby.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Volume 5

It's been a LONG time since I've posted anything here. About four years ago I would make "scooter mixes" for my iPod for when I rode my P-125x around town. I would post the mixes, along with other stuff, here. It was a lot of fun. Anyway, I just made a new mix. To the four of you who still follow this blog, let me know if you want to hear it and I'll oblige.