Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

[ATTENDED: December 12, 2017] Groovy Movies

I had never been to The Black Box before. It is a smaller club inside the already small club Underground Arts (the main room is cordoned off).  The setting is intimate and cozy with couches and a tiny bar.

When I got there, there were seven people waiting for the show to start.

I felt bad about that.  I love a show to be not too crowded, but that was uncomfortably empty.

Groovy Movies, a Philly band, came out and did their opening set.  And they were terrific.  Dressed all in white, they played the greatest not-exactly-Beatles music I’ve ever heard. (more…)

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chunkySOUNDTRACK: FOO FIGHTERS-In Your Honor Disc One (2005).

Foo_fighters_in_your_honorIt took another couple of years before Foo Fighters’ next album came out.  Grohl was unsure what to do with the songs he had been writing.  He originally thought perhaps a film score.  But when he realized he had a whole bunch of acoustic songs, he decided to do a double album–one heavy and loud and one acoustic and mellow.

The rocking side opens with some fast guitar and Grohl’s voice kind of deep in the mix.  He is screaming as the song continues unabated.  And then about two minutes in, the song doesn’t change but the drums kick in and the song grows quite dynamic.  The song pauses near the end so that Grohl can take a breath and give a big scream to end the song.  “No Way Back” is the first great song on the album.  It’s got a fantastic opening riff and a big chorus.  It’s followed by “Best of You” a wonderful single that’s a big song with a super-sized chorus.

“D.O.A.” has a unique guitar sound for the Foos.  Not heavy metal but more punk.  Then there’s the big chorus that kind of quotes Jim Morrison “No ones getting out of here alive.”  I had this chorus in my head for a couple of days last week.  “Hell” is only two minutes long but it feels like a much more complete song–big choruses and really fast verses elevate this from what could have been filler.

“The Last Song” has a very punk feel (especially the pounding snare drums in the opening and verse).  It’s followed by “Free Me” one of my favorite Foo Fighters deep cuts.  The riff is awesome and Grohl totally unleashes as the song progresses.  There is something about the way the song seems to get busier and louder as it ends that is really cool.

“Resolve” is a nice come down from the intensity of “Free Me.”  It’s not quite as mellow as the stuff on disc two, but it definitely slows things down.  And is still very catchy.

The final two songs don’t run out their welcome (it could be that this disc is only 40 minutes, not 55 like their more recent ones)–these songs don’t drag.  “The Deepest Blues Are Black” has a cool transition from loud bashing into really grooving chorus.  It’s quite a heavy song but it’s really melodic too.  And “End Over End” is another song that gets stuck in my head over and over again.  It’s not terribly original, but it rock and is catchy as well.  I find it to be a far more successful album ender (with it’s repeating outro) than “Come Back.”

I tend to forget about this disc because the news (and guests) of disc two tended to overshadow the solid songwriting of disc one.  But this is a great Foo Fighters disc, no question.

Tomorrow’s post: Disc Two

[READ: August 29, 2012] Goodbye, Chunky Rice

I’ve read a few books by Craig Thompson and enjoyed them quite a lot.  And this one, with the strange title and cute looking characters on the cover seemed like a sure fire hit.

As the story opens, we see a deer mouse riding her bike to visit her friend, a turtle.  The turtle hops on the back of the bike and off they go.  They have a great time at the beach (we even see a heart form over the turtle’s head as he watches her in the water).

And then we learn that the turtle is Chunky Rice and he is leaving.  He asks the mouse to come with him, but she says she cannot, and that they are to have no more tears while they are together.

The scene cuts to a human guy telling the Eurydice story to a bird (we hear “doot doot”).  The man has found the bird, who was injured, and has brought him back to his place.  He has named it Merle. (more…)

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newyorkerSOUNDTRACK: LOVE-Da Capo (1967).

dacapoA few years ago, my friend John gave me Love’s Forever Changes. I’ve enjoyed that disc very much and decided to get some other Love music.  I chose Da Capo (their second album, and the one just prior to Forever Changes) for two reasons.  One: Rush did a cover of “Seven and Seven Is” on their Flashback CD and two: there’s an 18 minute song on it, and I love me an eighteen minute song.

The first side is a bunch of shorter songs; each one is quite charming. In fact, “Orange Skies” is so sweet, complete with flute solo, that you can pretty much hear Arthur Lee smiling all the way through it.  The song is borderline cheesy, and yet I can’t help but find myself walking around singing “orange skies, carnivals and cotton candy and you….and I love you too.”

“Stephanie Knows Too” is kind of angular with a weird jazzy interlude.  And “Que Vida” is just a poppy little number that is fun and interesting.  It fits well with “The Castle,” another stop/start song that has a beautiful guitar melody at the opening.  The side ends with a classic psychedelic track “She Comes in Colors.”

The only oddball of the side is, paradoxically, the single “Seven and Seven Is.” It’s a fast rocking number with the fascinating chorus of “Oop ip ip Oop ip ip, yeah!”  Perhaps the only line that’s stranger is “If I don’t start crying it’s because I have got no eyes.” And this was the single?  Clearly Arthur Lee liked his psychedelia.

Then we move to the 18 minute gem.  Well, in fact, “Revelation” (the first song ever to take up an entire side of an album) is something of a disappointment to me.  It is basically a jam that sounds like it was done in one take, although since Arthur Lee was a taskmaster I doubt very much that it was one take.

It’s starts promisingly enough with a rapid harpsichord intro, but it moves into a fairly mundane jam session. There’s a great line from a Paul F. Tompkins skit, in which he says that jazz is just music of solos: “everybody gets one, it’s not like regular music where only the best dude gets one, in jazz everybody gets one.”

And that’s the case with this song.  The solos go: guitar, harmonica, vocals (Arthur Lee improvising some pretty lame segments (Mostly about how he feels good), and let me tell you, he’s no Jim Morrison when it comes to this sort of thing), another guitar solo, a clarinet solo (!), then a bass solo and finally a drum solo, rounded all out with a harpsichord outro that mimics the beginning.  The problem is that none of the solos (excepting the guitar) is particularly noteworthy, and it’s not recorded especially well.  It’s all rather flat.  In particular the sing along part, where Lee is screaming and whatnot, it’s just not convincing, especially since the band doesn’t seem all that excited about the proceedings.  I got tired of it at after about 5 minutes (although the opening of the clarinet solo which sounds an awful ot like a flock of geese is pretty cool).  It’s a shame really, because I wanted to like this track a lot.  Nevertheless, it hasn’t put me off of Love.

[READ: March 3, 2009] “Wiggle Room”

This week’s New Yorker featured not only a story by David Foster Wallace but also a sort of biography/obituary of him.  D.T. Max, a name straight out of Wallace’s imagination, writes a moving and depressing epilogue to the story of DFW.  (It’s available here) The main thrust of the article is that DFW had a hard time writing fiction after Infinite Jest, but that he had been working on a new book (which, although unfinished, is due to be published sometime this year). (more…)

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