The girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear. “One for every year he’s away,” she said. Such a crumbling beauty. Ah, there’s nothing wrong with her $100 won’t fix. She has that razor sadness that only gets worse with the clang & the thunder of the Southern Pacific going by.
“Sometimes you’re surrounded by mates but you’re not surrounded by friends. You feel protective of people, because no matter who we are, we all return to quite a vulnerable place, a flat, mates, a family, a room or whatever. You can see through all that stuff, a lot of young people artificially take on adult issues, that have maybe been pushed at them, or maybe they’re living out an adult relationship, proper life issues, maybe their family isn’t looking out for them anymore, other serious stuff that you can’t take lightly. I’ve seen that if you take on that stuff early on, it fucks you up. My new tunes are about that, wanting an angel watching over you, when there’s nowhere to go and all you can do is sit in McDonalds late at night, not answering your phone.”
Bottom line: This is my new favorite record store in LA. It’s pretty much all jazz and soul records. Reasonably priced for the gems that they have. They’re only open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon to 6 pm and they only take cash. When they’re not open, they’re scouring the world for collections to buy. I think I’m in love.
Burt Turner and his wife taught music at the YMCA located at Tillamook and Williams. In 1936, Turner was hired under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as the community bandmaster. Former students of his described the band practices as follows: “Even small children who were not even in the band came to rehearsal to watch and imitate. Burt would march up and down the street and it was quite a spectacle. The police would block the main street with cars. Burt was like a basketball coach who let everyone play regardless of their skill level. This fairness gave all the kids a chance to get better.”
[in Robert Dietsche, Jumptown. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, 2005.]
Maybe I’ve been reading the wrong writers or speaking to the wrong people since the early 90s, but it seems that almost no one ever mentions that the guitar parts on Liz Phair’s first two albums are more often than not as poetic as her words. The tone in “Nashville” is drowsy and nearly serene, but its churning rhythm is nervous and unsteady in a way particular to feeling terrified about losing something in which you’ve invested too much. It’s an interesting subtext for a song that depicts a relationship in its most uneventful yet most emotionally loaded moments, and proclaims “I won’t decorate my love” at the end like a mantra, a promise, and a manifesto.
Of course, when she sings those words, the arrangement contradicts the notion with some sentimental adornment in the form of a few faded saxophone notes and some distant twinkling sounds, presumably an echo of the sweetest thing that Phair sings in this, or possibly any other, song: “They don’t know what they like so much about it / they just go for any shiny old bauble / and nobody sparkles like you.” It’s a genuinely beautiful thing to say, but it’s grounded in an elitism that I find to be human and true, and it speaks to the reality that who you fall in love with is a matter of taste, and some people have better taste than others. Ultimately, this is a song about pride, and the way that it makes love both more difficult in that it keeps you from opening up to just anyone, and more rewarding when you find someone with whom you can feel safe enough to drop your defenses. (Originally posted 2/6/2007)
“so okay, i don’t want to be a traitor to my generation and all but i don’t get how guys dress today. i mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair—ew—and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we’re expected to swoon? i don’t think so.”
Okay so maybe you’ve heard of KMFDM. But have you heard of MDFMK, hot shot? You see, KMFDM “broke up” several years ago over differences in which direction the band should take, founding member En Esch was all about making experimental “statements” with the band, while Sascha Konietzko actually wanted to write you know, real songs and whatnot. Him and Tim Skold with female vocalist (and my future wife and lover) Lucia Cifarelli formed this group, MDFMK. Which….essentially…. was just KMFDM with the letters reversed, as Skold had featured prominently on the last KMFDM record and they always used female vocals in their songs. This group lasted one album before they said “who the fuck are we kidding?” and decided to just start making KMFDM records again. The rest, as they say, is …..something. I forget how the saying goes.