Posts filed under ‘Video’
June 8, 2012
1. Wait for the cover art to kick in at 18 seconds. The guy from the Melvins was in a band with John Tesh? Huh?
2. The craftsmanship is devastating. In the entire canon of recorded music, how many other songs can claim two functional, world-class choruses? As soon as you get one unstuck from your head, you’re humming the other one. Marketing genius.
3. If Gen X spans 1960 to 1980, that means that almost half of my own generation has little to no recollection of the 1970′s. Specifically, they have no recollection of the 70′s profound ickiness, of which this track, released in ’80, is a swan song. Consider:
- There was a time when men actually named their own band “Ambrosia”, as if their music was sweet, sweet nectar.
- The whisper at 2:36. That’s the whole decade right there. Adults in the 70′s were always whispering seductively to each other. It was gross.
- All those plaintive, distant sax cries. What fills this emotional function in pop music now? Scratching? Grunts?
- When the late-inning bonus verse kicks in at 3:12, the one guy sings, “I’ll put my loving arms around you” and then, as if to underscore this point, John Tesh does so on the cover of the record.
4. Rest assured, the young woman sung to was very much NOT the only woman in Ambrosia’s life. This song is like the guy who shows up with the surprise bouquet of flowers to hide a dalliance. Good God, how many decapitated hookers did this song attempt to cover up?
May 25, 2012
THE ZONE OF UNEASE, May 25 – Last month, in New York, I had a long chat with a friend about the music of the twenty tweens. “Nobody makes creepy music any more,” she said. With a jolt, I realized she was right. It’s as if one whole shade of the emotional spectrum has simply vanished from popular music. Unpopular music, too. Where has all the creepiness gone? Here are a few songs from its heyday:
1. “I Got You”
Remember that one guy in your high school? He’s the singer. And while his bandmates know how to dress the part, it’s clear that Red, Purple, Pink and Greeny have no real clue that Baby Blue actually did build that basement dungeon they all joke about at practice. Bonus: the sociopathically upbeat chorus.
2. “19th Nervous Breakdown”
Probably the best Rolling Stones cover ever recorded. Wait for the chorus at 3:01. Ouch.
I once complained to myself that this song is how I always wanted Bauhaus to sound. That was a stupid observation, and an unfair one. Bauhaus were plenty creepy in their own right. Check out the first few minutes of 1983′s “The Hunger”:
Even if it were possible to make this kind of movie now, the music would be either an overbearing film score or runway-decibel raprock. It’s a shame.
3. “Human Certainty”
Here’s a weird video someone made. The full song is even creepier, and sadder, once the vocals kick in. I used to listen to this song a lot in high school, which was an unhealthy choice.
Watching this spry young lady, I kind of expect the whole thing to morph into this:
4. “Hamburger Lady”
This is probably what the guy in the first video was listening to when he did those terrible things that got him into the paper.
May 2, 2012
ENDLESS FUCKING BOOK TOUR, May 2 – The tour continues. I’ll be doing 2 shows in San Francisco tonight. Check my LIVE page for details. It should be good, in that you are going to show up on time, smile and clap at the appropriate moments, and leave with a freshly purchased book and art print under your arm. Here’s a nice write-up in the SF Bay Guardian.
Also, I made a promo video for this book:
Thanks to Tony & Nappy & Eddie, my next door neighbor. 17 stitches, but it was worth it.