OK, I Think I am Back (and Steve Would Like This)

Ugh!

I have had so many thoughts about what to write and who to write about here over the months since our friend Steve passed away, and nothing seems worthy.

My new band, Jackknifed Big Rig played The Clash’s Safe European Home our last set, and I dedicated it to Steve, and Diane even filmed it. But, the sound was funky and it was not worthy of a You Tube, although we have a fancy schmantzy gig coming up July 14, at the storied Hotel Utah in San Francisco, opening for Patrice Pike. And, the plan is to play it again then and try to film again and then post.

But, this Family GuyThe Griffin That Stole Christmas–has become a favorite cos of one-liners and cut-aways like this, and I know Steve would have busted up.

So, I return with this. And, since the ice is broken, well, more to come.

 

Van Gets Even

One of my favorite Van Morrison albums is his 1991 double CD Hymns to the Silence, which is admittedly uneven but is also eclectic and lovely and swinging, religious and profane, too. And that’s what the best of all Van Morrison’s work is.

Hymns wasn’t on any streaming service and my version of it is vinyl, so I hadn’t listened to it for a long time, but Steve’s post prompted me to look for it again and there it is now on Google Music. But that’s not today’s story. While looking for Hymns today I found a record called The Infamous Contractual Obligations Albums of 1967, which consists of 30 songs, not one of which is more than a minute and half long.

The title is relatively new. The record was originally released as The New York Sessions ’67, and the story is complicated, involving contracts, hatred and death. You can read the whole thing here, at Dangerous Minds.

The writer there ponders the question of whether there is musical merit in these dashed-off tunes, a Minutemen-colored version of Van the Rocker. I’m not sure about merit, but what is cool about listening to the album through is how elemental the chord progressions of these “songs” are. Many refer to other hit songs, like Hang On Sloopy and Twist and Shout, but others are just clever enough to stand as underdeveloped bits of rock ‘n’ roll with goofy lyrics.

This is more derivative than some, more rockin’ than others. Go ahead, try out the whole thing. It’s fun.

Songs that immediately clicked

That’s what Lawr posted about. I’m with him on Locomotion. Here’s his post about songs that grabbed him immediately. That’s a great idea, and I’m with him on Complete Control, maybe the greatest of the great Clash’s cuts.

I think he’s out of his mind on the Peter Gabriel, but that isn’t my call. What is my call is this is No. 1, without a doubt. Changed my life. Really.

But the Beatles were huger.