Friday, June 24, 2011


Don't tell me what the poets are doing - The Tragically Hip

I'm in a mood. With just hours to go before the weekend I find out I have to work tomorrow. Now I gotta race home from work tomorrow and take off for the Elvis Costello concert at Buffalo Rocks The Harbor where I'm serving beer at a booth for Meals On Wheels. I don't know how these things happen. When my brother asked me to do volunteer work at the Costello show for Meals on Wheels, all I could picture was delivering drugs on a scooter to stoned out hippies at the show.

I'm live baby. Let me entertain you with the next 10 random songs on my iPod. Jesus, I wish I had a (martini).Drive-By Truckers, Moved, I hear "I moved on down to Georgia / Where people so nice they got a wild stallion stare" - I don't think that's the actual lyric and I'll be disappointed to find out it isn't. This double album from the Truckers, Southern Rock Opera, shows up a lot on my iPod. I downloaded it in its entirety. Southern fried blues wailing about disassociation in modern culture. Heady or what?

Swans, The Sound, Give this song to a guy standing on a bridge contemplating jumping, and he will certainly take the plunge. So dark, it's dangerous. It happens man. Music like this and drugs are a lethal combination. One minute you're grooving to the tunes, the next you're standing on a street corner flagging down the communist starfleet that is due in your town. Dig the broken glockenspiel tinkling at the end. Groovy, but so cliche Michael. From the album, Soundtrack For The Blind.

Swans, New Mind, It's a Swans double-header! Take that same guy standing on a bridge and give him this song and he'll ram an ice pick into his eye before jumping. For the initiated, a beautiful intolerance towards status quo. From Children of God / World of Skin.
The Afghan Whigs, Lost in The Supermarket, From the Clash tribute album, Burning London, the Whigs put their soulful touch to this London Calling fave. Social disengagement seems to be a running theme in this iPod adventure.

The Handsome Family, Up Falling Rock Hill, The Handsome Family love the dead and old Americana folk songs of cheery resigned despair. Take these opening lines from the song and picture a smoking shotgun under an Appalachian moon - Up Falling Rock Hill where the leaves swoop like bats, I shot my brother William 5 times in the back, have mercy have mercy dear brother he cried, but the wind has no mercy and neither do I. - From the album, In The Air.

The Band, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, I loved what somebody somewhere said about this song. You will not find a more concise description of the anguish caused by The American Civil War in all of history and literature. Sorrow quivers in the singer's voice as he watches his kingdom coming down around him. One of rock music's finest moments. From The Band's self-titled second album.

The Clash, Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice), It opens with what sounds like a non-music NYC public radio show being interrupted by a punk phone caller politely requesting "more music now". From there it's a delicious romp in Joe Strummer's New York City where the world seems to have jumped aboard an apocalyptic drug infused joy ride. From Sandinista.

Men Without Hats, I Sing Last / Not For Tears, You don't like Men Without Hats? Well then to hell with you. This song closes their magnificently ignored second album, Folk of The 80s, Part III. It's a sad gulp of intolerance wrestling the slightest ray of hope. One of my favorite albums of that decade.

Steely Dan, The Things I Miss The Most, Steely Dan at their most gentle; a breezy brass infused and oh so melodic ode to divorce. From another ignored album, their most recent Everything Must Go.

Drive-By Truckers, Angels and Fuselage, How cool that they started this 10 random songs and are now ending it. Come to think of it, my last fortune cookie said this would happen. From the album Southern Rock Opera, which may be an entire eulogy to Lynard Skynard, it's a ticket aboard Skynard's last plane ride. Beautiful.

It's official. Peter Falk has died again.