March 2009


Title: Lotion

Artist: The Greenskeepers

Album: Pleetch

Year Released: 2004

What It Is: A witty, catchy tribute to The Silence Of The Lambs. And you will listen to it or you will get the hose again.

Riffage / Hookage:A pretty decent, and understated, guitar part, and it’s a pretty catchy hook. This is more noteworthy since it’s a song that’s either a tribute or a joke regarding the movie.

Cowbell?: Nah, but pretty solid handclaps, eh?

Words Of Wisdom: “The night is very cold I’m feeling kind of weak
I think I’ll make myself a cap from your right buttocks cheek
And then I will go walking with my little dog
and then I’ll bury you underneath a log”

Mixology Report: Oh, sure. It’s clever and people remember the movie.

For The Good Of The Order: I really don’t recall how or why or when I found this, but I found the video first and, you know, why not. The vid does a pretty good job of matching to the movie. Brilliant! Just put the lotion in the basket, beyotch!

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Title: Ah! Leah!

Artist: Donnie Iris

Album:King Cool

Year Released: 1980

What It Is: Good ol’ power pop / rock from a wily veteran of the business, who had been in two one-hit wonder bands before (The Jaggerz and Wild Cherry).

Riffage / Hookage: It’s got a great opening riff, a hook or twelve, harmonies, almost everything you need…

Cowbell?: …except cowbell.

Words Of Wisdom: Baby, it’s no good. We’re just askin’ for trouble.
I can touch you, but I don’t know how to love you
It ain’t no use! We’re headed for disaster.
Our minds said, “No!” But our hearts were talkin’ faster, Leah!

Typical teenage stuff, right, or something? Or maybe not just teenage.

Mixology Report: I think this is a great mix starter.

For The Good Of The Order: Back in C’ville after college, my man Moose and I were somewhat smitten with a “touch key professional” at Target named…Leah. Unfortunately, she being just a few years younger than us, had not heard the song. (It hit #29 in 1980, but still…) So when we sang part of the verse, she just looked at us funny. She may have looked at us funny if she HAD known the song, though.

Here’s a live cut from Donnie’s prime!

Title: Archangel Thunderbird

Artist: Amon Duul II

Album: Yeti

Year Released: 1970

What It Is: One of the more ‘accessible’ songs by a seminal and legendary (at least in Krautrock circles) prog-rock and Krautrock band. They were more influential than popular, but had a decent continental following amongst those who really thought that King Crimson and Yes weren’t progressive enough.

Riffage / Hookage: It’s got a hell of a guitar part, don’t it. Very nice riffage.

Cowbell?: Not that I picked up but the drummer is pretty competent and uses cymbals well.

Words Of Wisdom: Let’s just post all of the lyrics, and YOU can decide if they are wise or just, well, art damaged:

“When the everywhere-eye
Asks you who is the emperor of the sky
Take the archangel’s thunderbird

Go to Edgar Allen in the tower of sleep
He’ll tell you a story which makes you to creep
The echo of your cries is falling so deep

Rent a destroyer and sail to Cape Cod
There lives a lion, they call him God
There is no elevator to Eden, but a hole in the sky

In shock-corridors
People are standing
With their eyes in their hands

But they don’t understand
Don’t get that your confessional
Flare into the vaulting flight of stairs

Baiting soldiers sleeping in melting house of wax
Why is the audience not taking the insurrection-axe
Thousands of windows burst open
And alarm bells are broken”

Mixology Report: Oh, you need to be careful. This kind of prog-rock can disrupt a flow because of its disjointed nature and general weirdness, but it also can illuminate and educate.

For The Good Of The Order: Yes, there was an Amon Duul. The short story is that Amon Duul was a commune in Germany and they recorded a big jam session and put it out as an album (actually a few albums) that got some notice. Those in the commune who really wanted to make a go in music (instead of just being anarchists in a commune) formed Amon Duul II (I guess with the blessing of others) and set out to make music a career. Now, again, they did it their way and probably used a lot of substances, but Amon Duul II, along with Can, really were the cutting edge for progressive Krautrock. Their albums have a lot of jams and suites, but this song, at least, is concise (kinda) and self-contained.

Someone made a video to this song, so you can hear it, and realize I’m not making this up!

Title: The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

Artist: Gordon Lightfoot

Album: Summertime Dream

Year Released: 1976

What It Is: In case you don’t know (young in’) this is a tale of a famous shipwreck in Lake Superior by the Edmund Fitzgerald in November 1975. The “Fitz” was the largest ship on the Great Lakes at the time, and even though it had trouble with “the gales of November” (you know, they came early and all), down she went without much warning in the big lake they call Gitchee Gumee.

Riffage / Hookage: I think the reason for its popularity is the guitar and slide guitar parts more than anything else. Terry Clements and Pee Wee Charles’ lines stick in your head for sure. I mean, you know the guitar riff after the verses by heart, don’t you?

Cowbell?: Nah. Just good ol’ MOR drummin’.

Words Of Wisdom: “When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it’s too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it’s been good to know ya.”

I understand that Lightfoot was using poetic license, but you know, since everyone died on the boat, it is plausible that the cook came on deck and said, “HOLY SHIT! WE GONNA DIE!” and then binged on hard tack and grog. Yo ho ho!

Mixology Report:Well, it is rather a depresso song, but everyone KNOWS it, and those guitar parts, man, they stick with ya. So, use your judegement.

For The Good Of The Order: This is proof positive that the 70’s were just a weird decade. This song is 6:28, and it’s about a shipwreck and is a sad (poignant, moving, yes, but still…) sea shanty. This went to #2 on the Billboard charts as a single. Again, let me say this: #2! Not only did it have to sell a metric ton of copies, but Top 40 radio stations had to play it pretty regularly. Can you imagine your ‘hot hit’ radio station playing something like this NOW? (I wonder how Casey Kasem reacted to it, and if he had any issues with long distance dedications about dying dogs right after it…)

BTW, this was kept out of the top spot by “Tonight’s The Night” by Rod Stewart. Yeah…those songs are similar, right?

Here’s Gordon on the late great show Soundstage doing his thing (the band and good singer well seasoned) with some film of said Edmund Fitzgerald:

Title: The Ledge

Artist: Fleetwood Mac

Album:Tusk

Year Released: 1979

What It Is: Lindsey Buckingham’s Flying Circus! It’s a delightfully oddball tune which was not expected from Mac at all, especially after two super smash albums. Featured as track two of the sprawling double album, and situation behind the mellow “Over and Over”, Christine McVie’s track that led it off, listeners must have wondered if they were entering the Bizzaro Fleetwood Mac world.

Riffage / Hookage:The bass and guitar riff at the beginning propels the song and starts the weirdness.

Cowbell?: No. Mick Fleetwood hits one snare drum and one cymbal in the entire song until the end.

Words Of Wisdom: “Countin’ on my fingers
Countin’ on my toes
Slippin’ thru your fingers
Watchin’ how it grows
You can love me baby but you can’t walk out
Someone oughta tell you what it’s really all about”

I don’t think Lindsey was quite over Stevie Nicks…or at least not over at his anger, or something.

Mixology Report: It’s a great song to break up a mix, plus it’s short so you can shoehorn it in everywhere.

For The Good Of The Order: The first time I heard this, I did wonder if it was some sort of joke, but then you really can’t mistake the voices of Buckingham, Nicks or McVie on it.

They actually did it live, and Buckingham seems even more sinister in his put down on this version. One wonders how Nicks felt about it. Alas, it’s not on the current tour, so perhaps Lindsey FINALLY got over it…

Title:Stormy

Artist: The Classics IV

Album: Mama’s & Papa’s / Soul Train

Year Released: 1968

What It Is: One of those pop songs everyone knows, somehow, whether it be in the dentist’s office, the grocery store, on karaoke night, or on oldies radio. It’s mellow and sad.

Riffage / Hookage: Oh, the hook is marvelous and it’s odd because it’s in a minor key all the way. And the riff is the “Classics IV” riff that is in the chorus here. (In “Spooky” it was the main riff in the intro – in “Traces” it’s the intro riff but slowed down – and in “Everyday With You Girl” it’s under the verses.)

Cowbell?: No. That would harsh the mellow.

Words Of Wisdom: Yesterday’s love was like a warm summer breeze
But, like the weather ya changed
Now things are dreary, baby
And it’s windy and cold
And I stand alone in the rain
Callin’ your name”

**snif**

Mixology Report:Good for a mix where you don’t wanna get people too riled up, or one that shows

For The Good Of The Order:I thought I was one of the only ones to notice that the same riff is in ‘the big 4’ of Classics IV hits, but someone who is not a music geek (who grew up in the late 60’s) mentioned it immediately when the Classics IV came up in a conversation.

Here’s a vid from a local TV show (Cleveland? Hello, Cleveland!):

Title: Lunatic Fringe

Artist: Red Rider

Album: As Far As Siam

Year Released: 1981

What It Is: A moody song that has kind of a post-apocalyptic vibe. It’s quite effective in that it paints some stark pictures with its soundscape. No wonder many TV and movie producers have used it.

Riffage / Hookage: It’s got a pretty menacing groove behind it underlying the mystery. The solo is played on a steel guitar that’s got amplification and distortion like a regular rock guitar. (If you can believe the video).

Cowbell?: No, just drummin’. And if you believe the vid, the drummer makes ‘O’ faces when just doing simple fills.

Words Of Wisdom: Lunatic fringe
In the twilight’s last gleaming
This is open season
But you won’t get too far
We know you’ve got to blame someone
For your own confusion
But we’re on guard this time
Against your final solution”

Not exactly polite Canadians, are they.

Mixology Report: It’s a great piece to set or extend a mood.

For The Good Of The Order: You may know that Red Rider’s singer, Tom Cochrane, infected the USA with a noxious bit of populist ear candy “Life Is A Highway” back in 1989. In my book, that ruins his goodwill from this song.

If you, like me, were watching MTV during its glory days (you know, when they played MUSIC VIDEOS, now VH-1 Classic is running away from that – can’t we have just ONE music video channel please?) this was on pretty much constantly. And it was probably filmed with a budget of a couple of toonies and a loony (Canadian money references for $100, Alex), so please excuse that. But just watching this brings back all kinds of memories.

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