Sunday, April 25, 2010

You Too Are Blind Without My Eyes

This song from the masterpiece Yesterday's Wine album:

I passed a home the other day
The yard was filled with kids at play
And on the sidewalk of this home
A little boy stood all alone
His smiling face was sweet and kind
But I could see the boy was blind
He listened to the children play
I bowed my head and there I prayed
Dear Lord above why must this be
And then these words came down to me
After all you're just a man
Aand it's not for you to understand
It's not for you to reason why
You too are blind without my eyes
So question not what I command
Cause it's not for you to understand

Now when I pray my prayer is one
I pray his will not mine be done
After all I'm just a man
And it's not for me to understand

"You Could Arrest Me"

In the Sacramento airport yesterday, I watched an interview with Willie Nelson that included this casually awesome admission:

Did he really get high on the roof of the White House during the Carter years? Yes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

7 Screaming Swords and Swindles

Nothing against the fantasy genre, but I have always avoided reading Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné. Even (way) back when I was first reading Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea, and other kids in my school were reading the Elric series, I never gave it much thought.

Perhaps it was snobbery on my part. Perhaps I considered the Elric books dimestore stuff. I judged books by their covers, I guess, and the Elric covers were nothing but a glorified version of Marvel's Mighty Thor comics (which, come to think of it, I did read from time to time).

I now know that I may have been short-changing myself out of a small though awesome chapter of rock history. Apparently, Michael Moorcock not only penned lyrics for the Blue Öyster Cult (an honorific he shares with wordsmiths  Richard Meltzer and Patti Smith), but he also wrote the Great Rock n' Roll Swindle (the fictionalized account of the Sex Pistols' feud with Malcolm McLaren). Since the Swindle is rare and (way) out of my price range, I might now have to make up for lost time and delve into the he-man world of Elric.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"When No One Can Tempt You With Heaven or Hell You'll Be a Lucky Man"

Thanks to Z Channel, this is how I've known Helen Mirren's name since I was a kid (McDowell already from A Clockwork Orange and Cat People). I dig this opening song and the way it was shot.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Body Glows, You Cling to Your Seat"

This must be why Stiff Little Fingers has been on my mind lately. My recent e-mail interview with Colin Abrahall of GBH was published in the Campus Circle, a weekly newspaper geared toward the collegiate to 35 year-old crowd. As with all writing for the newspaper (it's not a fanzine), I wrote for a general audience. But I also tried to remain true to the music and the band. Kind of a delicate balance to keep, really.

Nonetheless, it was fun to connect with someone who had been an influence on my younger days. The ringing in my ears, I believe, is in part due to my listening to GBH's "Give Me Fire" 7-inch over and over and over and over in 1982, through headphones, turned up to 10.

The remainder of the Pretenders story, by the way, involves the original drummer Wilf. He was asked to go and talk to one of the Girl Scouts who was blind. He made her happy by "pretending to be a Pretender." Ain't that the makings of a Hallmark Channel movie?

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Otherworldly Edward Hill

Above is the newly famous "Trolololo" internet meme (aka Edward Hill). I am so enamored of it, it is sick. His carefree manner, the strings of nonsense phonemes, the double-breasted suit, the golden earth-toned palette, the sparse setting, his shadowy intro, and the invisible audience all combine for one otherworldly experience. And the melody will haunt you. Forever.

It hit me at first like some segment from a forgotten Residents concert, approaching but never reaching the level of the truly grotesque. I was, however, actually relieved to learn this wasn't self-conscious art or a Paul McCarthy piece (as much as I like McCarthy). Edward Hill's techniques are pure. Maybe this was taped in the mid-70s on Russian TV, but for two and a half minutes, Hill luxuriates in non-space and non-time.


This music still stops me in my tracks. Neckties, sideburns, and dog collars: