Archive | November, 2010

Thanksgiving Debauchery

24 Nov

Of course, it’s all about food! Here to inspire you is the track ‘Food, Glorious Food‘ from the 1969 musical Oliver!

Hope you have a great feast with loved ones – enjoy!

A Surprise to the Speakers: Wire Train

19 Nov

Without fanfare, without all the added references and without long notes to talk all about it, I present the song of the day – a surprise to the speakers.

Ever so briefly: Wire Train was an American band from the mid 80’s/early 90’s that if memory serves me, was on the same label as Romeo Void (further post should come about them).

Just a great song to bop around to and I hope you’ll enjoy it. Let me know if you do.

Wire Train: Chamber of Hellos

Admittedly, messy, but for some reason WordPress won’t let me add the link. Only presents a black background when using ‘Link’. So, for now, until I can get back here, a direct link. I’m also going to be messing with themes for a bit.

So Much More … Tim Curry

4 Nov

What impression of Lennon would you have if you listened exclusively to pieces of Rubber Soul? What if you knew Roberta Flack only through a portion of the First Take album? How would you feel about Sinatra if you had only known a track or two off of Duets? If Funkadelic had issued only the eponymous album, would that be enough for you to get an idea of the totality of the artist’s output?

That’s what’s so unfair about most of the artists we read about on music blogs – the writers, for the most part, have only room enough, or time enough, to highlight a particularly gooey slice of output from an artist. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to compare anyone to the arguable ‘cream of the crop’ I mention in the preceding paragraph and that’s not my intention. Very few even have the prolific output of those artists mentioned in my opening salvo, and fewer still have anything beyond a one-hit star-burst or a one album supernova to write about anyway.

But, there are countless artists out there who have stretched way beyond what they’re normally associated with, and on this recently past Halloween themed internet, and with the major explosion of hundreds of blogs churning out bits of the glitter that is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tim Curry comes to mind as one of those artists that deserves much more recognition and attention for what he’s accomplished beyond what he is most commonly known for.

Tim’s been in scores of movies you’ve seen but you probably didn’t recognize him without his garters and gloves! You’ve also most likely never heard his musical output unless you count the only radio ‘hit’ he ever had, “I Do The Rock”.

Time and time again a few of the more common remarks one hears from the uninitiated when I place the Fearless album into active rotation again are “Damn, who IS this?”, and “Are you kidding me? I had no idea!” Over the passage of time a few have even demanded to read over the cover art themselves in order to prove to themselves that Tim Curry is indeed the one singing.

This album also has a special double meaning for me – it’s forever entwined, sharing the same Siamese twin body, with Marianne Faithfull and her ‘Broken English’ album. They both came out in 1979 and I played them with, and against, each other mercilessly and unceasingly for ages. It was a good year for quality albums – not single tracks off of an album mind you, but front to back a heady dose of superior music.

Paradise Garage
From the opening crack through the triumphant fade out this track preaches serious hip sway. A broiling and controlled guitar, sax that has actual meaning and force (instead of sax for the sake of sax that’s so popular these days but is in fact, oh, so repetitiously weary don’t you think?), background singers that add joy and finesse to the track (instead of simply filling in air time) and Tim with that amazingly unique vocal and the occasional mocking banter that all combine so sweetly to make this a major trump card to play in an unsuspecting crowd.

A major high while listening is the monster bass line that carries into the snare and the line “Baby’s got a dream that she can boogie” – pure lubed joy! And when he sings “Me, I’m oiling up my dance machine – and it goes like this”, it fuses perfectly into the accompanying guitar fill-in. This is just an amazingly satisfying song that has stayed high in appeasement for years.

I went down to Paradise Garage
And took my place in line
The cashier said “Are you alright?”
I said “I’m feelin’ fine!”
I’m a stranger to Nirvana,
I don’t box outside my weight
But when I stepped out of this taxi
I did not anticipate this feelin’

Baby’s got a dream that she can boogie
Daddy’s got a groove that’s coming clean
Jemiah’s got a vision of a permanent position
Me, I’m oiling up my dance machine

And it goes like this!
And it goes like this!

For me, with very few as peer, this track has come to mean the crazed but together tranquil crescendo of mood, ambiance and lyric when experiencing the loss of love.

When all defenses have been relinquished, shoulders are slumped in submission, taut skin on forehead, cheek and chin have given way to a flowing uninhibited droop, and love of self and friend have been replaced with the starkness of a single, nervously flickering, white candlestick in your soul seeking an escape route from the moribund soliloquy of desperation … then you are ready to hear the despondency in Tim’s voice.

The opening strains of a gentle flowing off-shore breeze carries with it a tender bass line and soothing, caressing piano. Tim begins with a timorous but smooth vocal and it’s easy to visualize his hands nervously wringing with hope, desire and controlled anguish as he likens his loss to being a lost, sinking ship tossing in tumultuous waves.

Superbly written and expertly performed, I can not imagine this being presented in higher clarity of emotion than this, and I’m also hard pressed, well, actually at a loss, as to whom would be chosen to reinterpret Tim’s performance.

Look at me
In waters so deep
Much too far from shore
To see the lights of reason anymore
And I’m sinking slowly to the bottom
No emotions to save me
I ain’t got ’em anymore

Night and day
I keep drifting farther away
Much too far from home
Where the fires of passion keep me warm
And I’m miles away from where we started
No I don’t know the reason that we parted anymore

I’m gonna do my best
To get a message through to you
Make contact
The way we always did before

I’m gonna get no rest
‘Til I come sailing home to you
Through this storm

These tracks are a snapshot of what you’ve been missing when you speak of Tim Curry. Consider them a pair of post holiday treats designed to wire your brain differently, hoping to ignite a passion to delve deeper.

Paradise Garage
From: Fearless [1979)

Because of a destructive virus, not have a computer for a while filled me with an appreciation of both getting everything else done that would most likely be put off while online, and for the simple joy of not having a computer!