I became friends with Lawr, like most, because of our mutual loves of baseball (real and fantasy) and rock ‘n’ roll, but much of our chatter when we would get together was about literature and storytelling, or food and cooking, or politics and wishing.
For most of the history of the Fantasy Baseball Guide Lawr put together the Mock Draft, assembling All-Star casts from his wide circle of friends and experts. Back in the early days his wife, Cathy, worked as proofreader and copyeditor on the Guide. She passed away not long after from cancer, and as one got to know Lawr one learned that his grand passion and enthusiasm for doing things came from a shadow of tragedy that trailed after him his whole life.
In 2011 he released a full album of original songs called Downward Facing Dog. I reviewed it on Amazon, where you can now find a copy for $32 cheap, to support my friend but also because I think it’s a terrific piece of work.
Lawr was diagnosed a few months ago with some potentially serious problems and set himself on an even better diet than the good diet he already followed, and he tried to strengthen up by taking care. He said he would work on the Guide this year, but then stepped back. He passed on our Tout Wars meetings, and said he had Rock Remnants pieces to write but had to get better first. When I heard he’d taken a turn for the worse a few days ago I thought of his love for the Kinks and Richard Thompson, but when I’d heard the bad news this morning I thought of this Lawr original song.
Well, I thought of the studio version, which is neater, but this rougher version has video of Lawr himself, which is just a moment of comfort at this sad time.
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.’
Okay, I’ll try not to make a habit of this. But at No. 34 is Ivy, a band that made a near perfect soft-rock album called Apartment Life, from which this tasteful gem comes.
Rolling Stone has a piece by Rob Sheffield ranking the top 98 songs from 1998.
Since it’s a celebration of the diverse weird styles and songs of a year that he says was known for being diverse and weird, it’s a grab bag of the unknown, forgotten, and other songs that are fun to remember. Like this one, ranked 48th, which I think would be good (love those breaths) even without the video (which is an able promo for the minor at the time, classic in the end teen flick Jawbreaker).
I think we may have posted this clip before, but maybe not. It is great.
Writing catchy political song that endure is a fool’s task, but while this Ry Cooder tune hasn’t hit the top of the charts, I think chances are it will eventually.