February 2010


Title: Feeling Gravity’s Pull

Artist: R. E. M.

Album: Fables Of The Reconstruction

Year Released: 1985

What It Is: A classic R. E. M. song that kicks off a moody, understated, misunderstood album. The album is murky, mysterious and unsettling, and this cut very much epitomizes that feeling.

Riffage / Hookage: Peter Buck’s guitar riff is one of the all-time classic R. E. M. riffs, and one I actually learned long ago. (Like I remember it now…) The cello and strings are a fascinating counterpoint to the whole thing.

Cowbell?: Bill Berry is very, and rightly, understated in this cut.

Words Of Wisdom: “I fell asleep and read just about every paragraph.

Read the scene where gravity is pulling me around
Peel back the mountains peel back the sky
Stomp gravity in the floor
It’s a Man Ray kind of sky
Let me show you what I can do with it
Time and distance are out of place here

Step up, step up, step up the sky is open-armed
When the light is mine, I felt gravity pull

Somewhere near the end it said
‘You can’t do this’, I said ‘I can’
To shift sway rivers shift, oceans fall and mountains drift
It’s a Man Ray kind of sky
Let me show you what I can do with it

Step up, step up, step up the sky is open-armed
When the light is mine, I felt gravity pull onto my eyes,
Holding my head straight (looking down).
This is the easiest task I’ve ever had to do…

I fell asleep and read just about every paragraph

Read the scene where gravity is pulling me around
Shift the swaying river’s shift
Oceans fall and mountains drift
It’s a Man Ray kind of sky
Let me show you what I can do with it
Time and distance are out of place here

Step up, step up, step up the sky is open-armed
When the light is mine, I felt gravity pull onto my eyes,
Holding my head straight (looking down).
This is the easiest task I’ve ever had to do…

Holding the sky in their arms
Gravity pulls me down”

Since Stipe is mumbly on the album, I thought I’d post the entire lyrics.

Mixology Report: I think you may have to watch where you put it, since it’s so moody and introspective. But yeah, throw it on a mix!

Top Five Genius Results: The Replacements – Achin’ To Be
Bob Mould – See A Little Light
XTC – Mayor Of Simpleton
10,000 Maniacs – Verdi Cries
Echo & The Bunnymen – Do It Clean

For The Good Of The Order: 1985, Butler University. The Minutemen opened up. Who the heck thought it was their third to last gig? R. E. M. came out on stage. Stipe had a music stand and a bag over half of his head, and sung to the side of the mike. They opened with this. My girlfriend wasn’t that whelmed, but I about lost my cookies. Sorry, Marie, I wasn’t that fun of a date that night, but I was in heaven.

Here’s the official vid. It’s very much influenced by Neil Young’s films, I think (as in, WTF am I watching here?)

Here’s a live cut from 2003

And now, from their Dublin shows which were compiled in a totally KICK ASS album just recently. Go buy it! YESTERDAY!

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Been a long time since I rock and rolled…

Title: Jim Dandy

Artist: Black Oak Arkansas

Album: High On The Hog

Year Released: 1974

What It Is: Cheesy cheeky southern boogie. This cover of LaVern Baker’s great 1956 hit propelled BOA into second-tier stardom. They toured and sold a lot of records, but never really hit it huge like Skynyrd or Grand Funk Railroad.

Riffage / Hookage: Not that riffy, even though they use THREE (count ’em) guitarists. But there’s a hook, of course. Baker had the hook, too!

Cowbell?: I don’t hear any, but there may be some somewhere

Words Of Wisdom: “Once upon a time, I went to Maine.
Got a ticket on a DC plane.
Mr. Dandy didn’t need no chute!
I was high and ready to boot!
Jim Dandy to the rescue!
Go, Jim Dandy! Go, Jim Dandy!”

Mixology Report: The cheese factor is strong. Why not?

Top Five Genius Results: Ted Nugent – Stranglehold
Blackfoot – Highway Song
Nazareth – Love Hurts
Rick Derringer – Rock & Roll, Hootchie Koo
Foghat – I Just Want To Make Love To You

For The Good Of The Order: Did you realize that they covered “Taxman” by the Beatles on 1975’s “Ain’t Life Grand” record? I didn’t. Wow. It sounds how you’d expect it to sound.

Here are two clips featuring BOA, Jim Dandy Mangrum and guest vocalist Ruby Starr (with the largest hair to skirt ratio ever). Did David Lee Roth cop everything from Jim Dandy? Could be…

ACK! So sorry. Been working. Which is good, but bad for you music fans…