I was camping in Vermont this past weekend and we had the usual hootenany, which means singing a collection of classic rock songs in loud voices with banging guitars. Lots of Stones, which is fun, and a nice debate about Yer Blues were the highlights. Heard It Through The Grapevine was probably the nadir. Not singing well can sometimes be a curse.
But Tom Petty played well, too. He’s a classic rock star who has managed to make classic easy rock popular through a long career. One of the songs we demolished the other night was very attractive Free Falling.
Most notable to me, reviewing the official music video, is that when it came out in 1989 the gal boarding seemed rad. Now she’s just lame. They couldn’t find a gal who could do the tricks? Times change.
Since returning from camping I started reading Karl Ove Knaussgaard’s novel, My Struggle. Knaussgaard is Norwegian, but finds himself in Sweden, father to three children he has to get off to school while trying to write literature. It makes him cranky and think about death a lot. But he is a fine explicator of art, and has a way with narrative detail, plus kids are great even when they’re monsters, all of which perhaps explains why the book is one of this year’s surprise hits.
In any case, in one scene he’s in his office listening to a Swedish rock band called Dungen, while his family is in the rooms around him, getting ready for the day.
I’d never heard of Dungen, but it turns out they actually had a bit of a US breakthrough, even though they sing in Swedish. I know, weird. They’re categorized as progressive and psychedelic, and they have songs that are quirky, but they’re also pretty ingratiating. And this song features skateboards, which makes it a nice match with Tom Petty.