LINK: Beatles/Stones Cage Match, Refereed by Michael Salfino

Michael is a friend of Remnants, and has categorically decided who is greater, the Beatles or the Stones.

A fun read.

Michael and I went to a show with Mike Meyers, the Spy Who Shagged Me, at the NY Public Library a few years ago, that tried to answer the same question.

Michael’s approach here is a little more data driven than Mike’s (and his brother’s), and at the same time just as arbitrary as everyone else’s. The problem, I think, are the categories. Deriving anything from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is bound to get you in trouble.

What are the right categories? Off the top of my head?

Best Album

Best Run of Albums

Live Performance

Influence

Innovation

Songs

I don’t know. It’s hard not to shape the questions to fit the answer you want to give, though I think the answer is the Beatles, even though the Stones are my more favorite band.

Try going with my categories and Michaels and see if you can up with different answers?

It could easily be a tie.

 

Song of the Week – Being Around, The Lemonheads

IGNORED OBSCURED RESTORED

The Lemonheads strong 1993 album, Come on Feel the Lemonheads, had the Modern Rock hit “Into Your Arms” on it. “Into Your Arms” may be this underappreciated band’s most popular song – except, maybe, their cover of ‘Mrs. Robinson” is better known. That’s all the more interesting because he didn’t write either of them.

The album is a lot of fun, containing some of eye-candy frontman Evan Dando’s finest examples of “bubblegrunge.”.

Today’s SotW is the goofy but catchy, country flavored, “Being Around,” that comes in under 2 minutes!

The lyrics ask a bunch of questions from someone seeking attention from a person he /she wants to “be around.” It sounds to me like an awkward 4th grade boy trying to get a disinterested girl in his class to notice him.

If I was the fridge would you open the door?
If I was the grass would you mow your lawn?
If I was your body would you still wear clothes?
If I was a booger would you blow your nose?
Where would you keep it? Would you eat it?
I’m just trying to give myself a reason, for being around.

Really? Boogers!!! The other verses go on just like this.

The current popular rock star Courtney Barnett covered “Being There” during her 2014 tour. Versions of it can be found all over the internet.

If the album title – Come on Feel the Lemonheads – sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because it was nicked from the Slade hit “Cum on Feel the Noise.” Sufjan Stevens took it a step further with the title of his 2005 album, Come on Feel the Illinoise.

Enjoy… until next week.

Boomtown Rats, I Don’t Like Mondays

When I first heard this song it was way more punk rock than most punk rock, thematically if not sonically.

When I was in high school I fantasized about blowing the whole place up. Didn’t we all?

This is the conceit of the movie Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, isn’t it?

But the Boomtown Rats endure, and are important and their initial joust doesn’t say much about gun violence, but it sure does crank on the dynamics of mental health and violence and our lives.

Song of the Week – Floating in the Forth, Frightened Rabbit

IGNORED OBSCURED RESTORED

I wasn’t planning for this to be today’s SotW. But then I heard the news that the singer/guitarist for Frightened Rabbit died and read this unnerving headline in yesterday’s edition of the British newspaper, The Daily Mail:

Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison imagined his own death in song Floating in The Forth – the river where police have found his body

The article continued:

Scottish musician Mr Hutchison, 36, disappeared on Wednesday after walking out of a South Queensferry hotel at 1am and he was found dead close to the Forth Road Bridge last night.

Police today confirmed a body found in the river is the Frightened Rabbit star as his heartbroken family admitted he had been fighting depression but they still hoped he ‘would walk back through the door’.

On his band’s acclaimed 2008 album The Midnight Organ Fight he penned the song ‘Floating in the Forth’, which Scott himself said ‘would remind him that he was alive’ every time he performed it.

He sings: ‘And fully clothed, I float away. Down the Forth, into the sea’ and the song ends with the words: ‘I think I’ll save suicide for another year.’

Here’s the song:

Too, too sad.

The band formed in 2003 and released their debut album in 2006. Several more critically celebrated discs came out, the last being Painting of a Panic Attack (2016). They had just recently begun a tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Midnight Organ Fight.

While it’s too soon to conclude on Hutchinson’s cause of death, it is regrettable to think that revisiting “Floating in the Forth” may have played a part.

Another talented, tortured artist has left this mortal coil.

Enjoy… until next week.

Dream Syndicate, Still Holding On To You

They came from LA in 1983. Jon Pareles, NY Times rock critic then and now, wrote about their show at the Mudd Club. They did indeed do a fine job imitating the Velvet Underground back then, as I learned a few days later at their show at Gerdes Folk City.

Their second album, Medicine Show, was produced by Sandy Pearlman, of Blue Oyster Cult fame, who had a few years had produced the Clash’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope. Medicine Show sounds harder than Days of Wine and Roses, their debut. I put the record on the other day, for the first time in probably 30 years and liked this one right off the bat.

 

Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Walking on the Water

The lone cover from the band’s debut elpee, Blank Generation, seemed unlikely. Creedence? Until you hear it.

The Voidoids take the pounding rhythm from the original, cut the running time in half by getting rid of a long instrumental break in the middle, and replace John Fogarty’s growling defiance with Hell’s skreechy pleading. Different approach to the guitar solos, too. It works.