“Christmas in Hollis” by RUN DMC
“Father Christmas” by The Kinks
Boom. That just happened.
“Life in a Northern Town” by The Dream Academy
In case you were laboring under the illusion that Nickelback actually wrote music they like about things that are important to them.
We talked about Nickelback on Tuesday, and you will be able to hear that conversation this coming Tuesday when Pretty Broken episode 7 drops like a hammer on modern rock and roll music.
- “I Can Change” by LCD Soundsystem
- “Carparts” by Long Winters
- “Cecilia” by Simon and Garfunkle
- “Ceremony” by New Order
Sometimes things just work out.
“Here comes the rain again” by Eurythmics
One that works surprisingly well:
“Fists of Love” by Big Black to “England” by The National.
From this morning’s drive to work.
“U-Mass” by Pixies
Welcome back, students.
Had to be done:
“Piano Man” as interpreted by me pretending to be Tom Waits.
Vocals only because I can’t play an instrument. If someone wanted to do backing tracks for whatever reason, they could download the .MP3 track here.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the past. Not fondly, necessarily, or with any kind of sepia-toned nostalgia. I’ve just been thinking about it, and some of the things I’ve done and seen.
David Yow isn’t dead. By all rights, he probably should be. The front man for Qui and Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard used to drink himself to oblivion and fling himself into performances. He’s quoted as saying he doesn’t remember recording some albums. They’d bring him into the studio, prop him next to a microphone and let him do his thing. When he was done, they’d have nine or ten songs and call it a day. It’s a wonder he’s still lucid, but he mostly is.
I saw David Yow perform one night with The Jesus Lizard at the Hardback Cafe in Gainesville, Florida. The Hardback was the local—and for a really long time the only punk rock club in town. It was dark and cramped and during the day served shitty pub food and cheap beer. Its walls were lined with old books and people would come grab a beer and a snack in the afternoon and maybe read a little something. Nights, the tables were shoved into a far back corner and bands performed in a little open area towards the front of the club. It had been a small room, but the owners tore out the walls so people could see. The worst seat in the house was behind the remaining support stud. It was necessary to keep the roof up, but sometimes people got trapped back there, jammed among a tight-packed throng and stuck facing a stucco column. The acoustics were horrible and the place was loud and tight and hot, even in the dead of winter. But it was where the bands came to play: Schlong, Big White Undies, NDolphin, Playpen, Pillow, Whoreculture and others. I went when friends played and stood with twenty others to watch a show. I went once to visit a friend who was working the bar and watched some keyboard duo perform in front of five people. Seven, if you included my friend and the door guy. The claps that night seemed like an afterthought.
The night The Jesus Lizard played, the place was loud and hot and packed with bodies. I think it was April ‘91 because Goat was released that February, and no one had jackets on. I wish I could remember more. I wish I could remember the songs they played or the little things that happened, but I can’t. All I remember is how loud it was and how Yow strutted and gyrated and accosted the audience. Sometimes it was playful, and sometimes not. I remember my ears rang afterwards, and during, the packed bodies surged like a tide toward the stage and back, toward the stage and back. I remember the music’s pace picked up. I remember it got louder and more frantic. I remember my forehead pressed between the shoulder blades of the guy in front of me, we were all so close. And I remember David Yow took to the air.
There wasn’t much of a stage to speak of. A little wooden riser, maybe eight feet on a side was all that would fit in that little room. But he still jumped for us, and we caught him and lifted him. As we bore him up, he howled into the microphone. His skin was slick with sweat. The band played on and Yow began to kick at the ceiling with those old crusty cowboy boots he wore. It must have been tough for him to get leverage. The ceiling wasn’t that high. I think eight feet, maybe nine at the most. I think of him there, trapped between the crowd and the plaster, singing. Of course he had to kick the plaster away. Of course he had to take it all out on something.
Chunks of plaster came loose and pebbles of it ran down our shirts. Each time he kicked a new hole in the ceiling the crowd roared and lifted him higher, the band played louder, and Yow bent and strained and looked more and more like a man possessed. Plaster dust clouded the air. We carried Yow for a lap or two and placed him back on stage. The song was done, and after a couple songs more they had finished their set. Then they disappeared somewhere into the back. The next day I brushed plaster dust from my hair and from my teeth. I was twenty.