Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Fall's Motown Era*

If I don't love the Fall like RL Burnside or Flannery O'Conner then grits ain't....

Still...not even I can find the sexy there. Grooves? Yes! Grooves that cut deeper than the Mariana Trench but...sesssy?

No...I don't think so. Soul? It's hard to have Soul when you're laying waste to every thing in your path.

That's where Jonathan Fire* Eater comes in...to give us a glimpse, five seconds maybe...and they flicker out.

"A girl had a seizure there.../she was putting on her make up in the club car/There's make up everywhere...You little Princess"

Is his brother a cross-dresser or a werewolf?

Killed by hype before anybody knew who they were...the hoopla was ridiculous. Matador scoffed...but, only after they'd failed to singed them. They signed to a major label...released a fantastic but unappreciated album and then disappeared.

In the aftermath we got the Walkmen...eh.

*Stax woulda signed 'em.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Great Storm of 1987

This weekend, with evidently nothing better to do, The Boy sat down to watch The Weather Channel feature...10 Worst Hurricanes Ever! A certain curiosity with these things is to be expected around here.

A very pregnant Martha next to a downed live oak after tornadoes in 08.
Hurricanes are a regular feature of this part of the country and when they come they dominate the news...and they are featured events in people's lives and a recurring topic of conversation. Of course, a storm has to be a real monster to reach Jackson as a hurricane. Katrina managed it at Category 2.

The view from our driveway in Spring of 08.

The most direct threat for us is tornadoes. There were two (edit:make that five) yesterday down around Hattiesburg. So interest in severe weather is natural. He's a little obsessed though. This is Martha's doing but we shame her here...at least not at Christmas time.

Anyway, after watching the show and after 800 more questions about Katrina, he has begun to fixate on the Great Storm of 1987...a Hurricane (like?) storm in England has struck him as very curious and he's telling everybody about it and then asking questions. Like I said :coughMarthacough: he's got some weather issues.

I told him I knew where we could get some answers....Q.

No that didn't help (well it helped me..to force coffee through my nasal cavity...my favorite of the weather forcasts). I told him I'd ask y'all about. Anything you can convey about your own experience with the Storm will be passed on an much appreciated.

And Merry Christmas y'all.

Ice Cream taste better when you got no 'lectricity...and when you're pregnant.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Have Eye Nawwt

Most of the Southern accents you hear in the movies and T.V. are nonsense...as bad as anything that came out of Dick Van Dyke's mouth in Mary Poppins. These people are rarely Southerners anyway and, until very recently, if you were a Southerner and wanted to be in the movies, t.v. or broadcasting...you were instructed to get the Cotton Boll or the Peach Pit out of your mouth.

Things have been changing....not only are you hearing real Southern accents but, we're starting to get Southern stories (as opposed to stories about The South). Rectify from A&E was outstanding. Not only did the people in South Georgia sound like Southerners and eat dinner in the middle of the day and say pea-can instead of puhcahn (according to my Little Granny...only uppity people from Atlanta said puhchan)...they communicated like Southerners. What wasn't said was often more important than what was....and what was said usually conveyed a Truth beyond the facts of the sentence.

MUD....not a Movie about The South but, a Southern story...Love and Faith and Violence...coded violence...Retribution and Honor...the Grotesque.

Even now that you hear more actual Southern accents on the T.V. and in Broadcasting...you rarely get an unadulterated listen. People do have to understand you if you're conveying information. That brings us to The Paul Finebaum Show and Tammy.

Finebaum started doing radio in Alabama...like twenty years ago. A sports show. A sports show in Alabama means a show about SEC football in general and the year round rivalry between Alabama and Auburn specifically. It soon became infamous...not only was Paul well connected and unafraid (an Alabama Football coach tried to get him fired...Kenny Stabler threatened to kill him) he took a fiendish delight in letting the callers run wild. It worked...because he's as dry as a Water Cracker...a straight man for a region full of gleefully unhinged people.

When the SEC started it's own network, in co1njunction with ESPN, this year...Paul's Show went national. People have gone nuts for it. National sportscasters are eagerly getting into public spats with local callers...and Charles from Realtown, Alabama...Jim from Tuscaloosa...Phylis are being regularly quoted on Sports Center.

If these people only knew what the show used to be like...when it was regional.

That brings us to Tammy. A long time caller*...her and Paul have been picking at one another for years. Tammy..she's got a cotton boll the size of a softball between her cheek and gum...she don't give a damn whether you can understand her or not. A pure, unadulterated Southern accent for your delight.


*I'll have to dig up her call about "teabagging" and the one where she threatens to run through Auburn naked...naykid...showing everybody her fanny.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

You've Been Complicated

The first in a series of post concerning my favorite records.
Chrome - Half Machine Lip Moves (1979)

Some of my favorite songs appear elsewhere...Slip it to the Android, Animal, Something Rhythmic...but this is my favorite collection of songs by Chrome and one of my favorite "albums".*


Dig it...after almost a minute of gurgled moans and scrapes...the lights come on and they rip the MC5 a brand new a**hole.

Just as suddenly, it descends back into the muck...evidently to murder those riffs because the song reemerges with their entrails laid over an mechanical beat. It's deconstruction...not as an intellectual exercise but as an act of pure malice. It is completely unnerving, disorienting...and it is glorious.

Half Machine is a companion piece to Alien Soundtracks...a tighter grip on the idea. Found sound collages and industrial beats...bludgeoning these scuzzy riffs with a wrench. It's the sound of The Stooges in the process of being assimilated by the Borg.

This isn't an album that I merely enjoy...it's one that was written specifically for me. It's a record that fits perfectly into a space in my brain. There aren't many of those...but, there's enough to make a list out of.


* I really don't like albums...or I hate the idea of The Album. I'll take as many good songs as I can get but, this standard of releasing 8 to 20 songs as a coherent artistic, Artistic, statement every year is nonsense and ruination. It's a ridiculous standard that has eventually embarrassed everybody...including Mark E Smith and Prince. 
We all know who's to blame for this bull s***!

The last truly great Pavement release was a throw-off maxi-single...songs that were intended for the Silver Jews. There's a reason singles and EPs are so much fun. They don't bear the burden of being an Album...no ponderous bits forced into the aural narrative...tedious filler...just songs.

That's not to say it never works...I mean we have started with an album here but there will also be EPs and maybe even compilations. I refuse to adhere to the standard.