The High Numbers, “You Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying”

This is the High Numbers, an early detour into mod by the Who, covered with professional film. Careers are made of this, though the band didn’t fit the fashion and soon reverted to their original name.

But this is also a great cover of a Miracles tune, a Holland-Dozier-Holland composition, something that can make a career, too.

In this case, however, it wasn’t this great cut but what came later that made the career. And the film of their live performance ended up in a documentary that earned a Grammy nomination in 2009.




Jens Lekman, What’s That Perfume You Wear?

Jens has a new elpee out. My first time through I was disappointed. Seemed a little pro forma Euro disco.

But in fact, after a few listens, there are some other great songs here beside Evening Prayer.

I think this is the single. There is a real video. Secretly Canadian is promoting this. Good for them.

Mainland, Leave the Lights On

Very Strokes-ish, which means it sounds pretty good. It’s two years old, and would be a welcome sound on the radio. On the other hand, could there be a worse band name than Mainland?

Listening to other tunes, they are pretty good at mining the same commercial rock vein as the Strokes, but the rhythm section doesn’t hit quite as hard, and the songs aren’t quite as good. And the arrangements can veer toward, ugh, the commercial crap we try to avoid (and ambitious rockers sell their souls to achieve).

But this one just dropped, and apart from the fake English accent it’s pretty jangly and rocking.


The Cyrkle, Red Rubber Ball

What I didn’t know before today was that Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager, discovered these guys. He changed their name, and John Lennon suggested alternative spelling.

Plus their biggest hit was co-written by Paul Simon. He still gets royalties.

They played as an opener on many of the Beatles last stadium shows.

After the well ran dry they wrote jingles, and produced Foghat albums. Kind of crazy, like a red rubber ball with spin.

ZZ Top, Legs

My old friend Dot skipped the debate tonight to see ZZ Top in Scottsdale, in Arizona.

Good choice, I said, but then I started thinking about ZZ Tops’ biggest hit and the video that dominated MTV for a while and thought it provided some commentary for the current political situation, which involves a lot of lies, a discombobulated narrative, bullying and, we hope at the end of day, some women’s liberation. Even if we don’t ever see Hillary kiss Bill again.

As you might expect, the signifiers are a mixed bag. Just vote.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats: I’m Listening

This is not an upbeat tune, but it has a drone-y appeal. From the most recent album

This is another midtempo tune with a dubious sexual ethic. From 2015

This is from 2014. I’m sensing a pattern.

These guys can play and are fun, in a biker chick line of coke kind of way. I’m not denigrating that at all.