Darlingside, Hold Your Head Up High

I wrote about these guys a few years ago, posting one of their new wavey songs with an excellent video. That was then. After they made that good song their drummer left, and rather than replace him they remade themselves as a bizarrely earnest harmony band. They stand on the stage, no matter how big, closely together so they can hear their partners and make incredibly lovely harmonies. They played tonight in the park by our house, and we were jazzed. This is music that is far from rock, but also music that has no genre. I think sometimes they sound like Mumford and Sons, revivalists with big ideas, but they resist that. They aren’t old style. They’re still new-wavey, only they eschew the drum kit (they have a kick drum) and they love their voices, which they surely should. Moyer will roll over tonight. Good for him.
So, YouTube fed me this one I didn’t know. I like this band.

Wicked Lady, Plastic Queen

Live and learn. I found the source for my Wicked Lady post. Dangerous Minds. There was also a band called Wicked Lady in the Netherlands in the late 70s. This clip is from 1981.
If you listen to the songs linked in the Dangerous Minds story you’ll find some good sounds with some pretty weak songs. This might be the best of them, if you don’t count Girls cover of Cherry Bomb. Plus that’s a nice guitar solo. Not that punk.

Amazing Grace, the movie

Aretha Franklin died last year. A movie shot in 1972 with some tech problems and edited to everyone’s satisfaction but her’s in 2015, was shelved in 2015 for reasons never explained. The movie wasn’t released until she passed. Now it’s out. I guess there could be questions about that, about Aretha’s preferences, she’s the star, but the fact is that the movie made from these oddly stranded film clips from 47 years ago, film shot on 16mm supposedly for network TV, is awesome. Mainly because of Aretha’s performance, which is mind-boggling, but also because of the view our filmmakers got of life inside a Black church in LA in that moment when one of pop’s biggest stars went back to her origins. Sort of, but plenty enough. The vibe is powerful. It counts for a lot. This supposed network special is anything but what you might expect. It is raw, real, awkward, and totally winning, thanks to the collective spirit of the choir, the church and especially Aretha, who seems unhappy every moment she isn’t singing, which then seems unimportant every moment she sings.

Liz Phair in Denver, God Loves Baseball

She was here at the Ogden Theater on Sunday night. I went to see her. It’s not an easy trip. Boulder to Denver is a snap, but Denver is a weird mix of elegant street scenes and aggressive street psychos. I come from NY, so I think I know my street people, but in NY I get them. Out here, I’m on uneven ground. Liz played a greatest hits set in front of a terrific band that was both more rocking than the originals but just as airy in the arrangements. The terrific guitar player was understated, but on the few occasions he solo’ed he ripped the cover off. Which brings us to the one new song of the night. I go to live shows because there are differences with the records, and on this night, in addition to having a better band than played on Exile in Guyville and Whip-smart, Phair played a new song that hasn’t been recorded, called God Loves Baseball.

Like most baseball songs it’s too sentimental and this doesn’t rock at all, but I agree. And I think I like god less than Liz and baseball more. Here’s a clip, though this was far from the high point of the show, even though it was kind of nice.

Graham Parker and the Rumour, Mercury Poisoning

He’s pissed. The sound isn’t great, but the spirt is clear.

Here’s the original version. Better sound, and you can get the lyrics if you click through YouTube.

Looking at the picture sleeve, which I think I have a version of, the A-side was I Want You Back. How about that cover?

 

 

Wussy, Teenage Wasteland

This is another one h/t to the Dean of American Rock Critics, though he didn’t plug this song. I found it on the YouTube.

These guys are old and weird. The first two songs of theirs I listened to were called Gloria, and this one, which was once a Who song. Neither was a cover.

They skew to the indie side of rock, but I’ve put this clip on repeat. I liked them at first hear. They sound like they need to do this more than anything. That’s enough for now. Maybe more later.’