Name That Tune!

A few days ago Rolling Stone published a story about a song that appeared on the internet some years back and no one can figure out who recorded it, wrote it, or where it came from. It’s not a very good song, but it is kind of catchy, and suitably mysterious.
It was apparently recorded off a German radio show in the early 1980s.
It seems like there must be other music out there that is similarly unknown. Why did this one break out?

The Dirt

So Mötley Cruë made the movie of their story, and it’s on Netflix. It’s called The Dirt, and it is about the band’s life told through the voices of its members. This is standard modern narrative. You have a narrator or narrators who know more than the characters, and who know where the story ends up, cracking wise while moving the story along quickly. And, if you like naked women, eye poppingly. I spent all of watching The Dirt wishing I was sitting in my TV room with Steve Moyer, not because he admired the Cruë, but because he loved tales of rock ‘n’ roll life, and this is definitely that. I’m ambivalent. The scenes of debauchery are debauched, but are mostly offensive because the premise seems skewed. What is misogyny is played for the cutes. The naked ladies are jokes, at least until the lady leaves, at which point love is lost. Boo hoo, and boys are sad. This isn’t a sophisticated look at the way the world works, but the movie feels like a somewhat accurate look at the adolescent rock life, and the way it changes with rehab and maturity. It way underplays the tunes, which you would think a movie produced by the band would try to promote. But they’re all sober now, and maybe better understand their weird moment in rock history. Steve, how do you feel about this one? I watched the whole thing, even though Vince Neil looked like Wayne or Garth from Wayne’s World (I forget which one), which bothered me a lot. You may not have. No link to a Cruë song. I never paid attention to them, but I did watch their movie. Weird.

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.