Wednesday, April 10, 2002
A colleague of mine gave me Blink 182's "Enema of the State" (MCA/1999) to listen to. I love the cover art (nurse! nurse!). But there's a real disconnect between the look and sound of the band. The look--frat boy Chili Peppers--suggests something a little rougher...wait, maybe not. I get it now. The inside photo (Bermuda shorts, tattoos, one guy skinny and another pot bellied) indicates they're a Chili Peppers parody...maybe even tribute band. Their song is good...I mean that, song--one after the other, the song remains the same. The singing's lightweight, but the guitars have some crunch. My colleague, who is going to see the Blinkers with Green Day tomorrow night in NYC, likes their pep and Ramones-like tempos. But Blink 182 is Bubblegum Bop to the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop." In other words, gabba-gabba. Not!
Monday, April 08, 2002
Took a long drive with the family last week. Most disputed aspect? What to listen to in the car's CD player. (The Honda came with a 6-CD changer, stuffed in the trunk, so you've got to load before you go). We tried to have a little something for everyone: On the way out of town: "Now 8," (Virgin America). You know, the hits from MTV Nation: Destiny's Child, J-Lo, Janet, Christina, Mandy, Aaliyah, Jessica (Simpson)...the purpose of which was to keep the girls in back seat bopping until we could air it out on the highway. Funny that another of their favorite CD's is a similar compilation: "A Child's Celebration of Rock n Roll" (1986, Music for Little People label, then a division of Warners). This one didn't have a loser: from "Yakkety Yak" and "Charlie Brown" by the Coasters to "Name Game," by Shirley Ellis, though the kids know the latter from a pretty good version by the hipper-than-most kid singer Joanie Bartels. "La Bamba," "Splish Splash," even Johnny Otis' "Willie and the Hand Jive." Even Sheb Wooley's novelty "Purple People Eater," which at the time (1958) served as evidence to the record industry that teens were so moronic they'd buy anything stands the test of time better than Usher or (you name the current chart topper) ever will. And by the way, there was nothing moronic about "Purple People Eater." I'd say that a Martian who could play saxophone from a horn in his head had to be some kind of genius.
Sunday, April 07, 2002
Since I'm new to this, I just want to see if I can paste the url here for one of the Blues Access reissues columns I did two years ago, from the April, 2000 issue.
Song of the day: "One for My Baby and One More for the Road," not by Sinatra this time but by Ida Lupino in the 1948 melodramatic noir "Road House." She's new in some dump of a town, gets a job singing in a lounge. Her voice a rasp from too many cigarettes--like an early, but very feminine Tom Waits--but the playing and the convicition she puts into the song has every bum in the joint mesmerized. They feel her pain, and she feels theirs.