Thursday, July 28, 2016

THURSDAY

So outside the bug zapper is popping and snapping and naturally I'm thinking about ice cream. I guess it's what they call a “trigger” these days----not necessarily in a bad way...Dad always took us out for ice cream as kids, and hey, that was good.....
Bending down and picking up pieces of flotsam in the blue of the bug light.....what about you, you poor, brittle bastard? Did you used to be my tooth?
I know one of these sons of bitches must be...
Hard to see in the blue of the bug light. Every now and then there's a long crackle, things brighten up and something big is dying.....a moth or a mayfly or something....
I worked 15 years in the food industry....customers complained about the buglight then, too. Unsanitary, they said. Hey, you think the buglight's bad, maybe you oughtta see the flies.....
Snap. Crackle.
At least for tonight I give up on the tooth. I stumble around 'til my ass finds the chair.
That's middle American Dentistry, kids.....we lose our goddamned teeth. We lose a lot of things.
Unsanitary, shit.
Little lives are ending to save you and your ice cream, and I don't wanna be like Bruce Springsteen and preach at you, but it does sorta mean something. A moment of silence for the eternal rat race of the cosmos? Something. Whatever. I'm drunk.
That's the trouble in this goddamned town, though----nobody understands the gravity of the little things. People have teeth and they lose teeth and these bugs who are minding their own business run into the worst day of their lives so you can have your ice cream, pure, free and unmolested.
Yesterday I was in the IGA parking lot and I saw this half-eaten corndog lying in the carriage stall. Might have been the saddest, loneliest sight I'd ever seen. People fought secret wars in Central America, precisely for that corndog. Jesus died so you kids could all twerk to your Beyonce music.
Screw it.
I've gotta find that tooth one of these days......
Snap. Crackle. Pop, fizzz.....
Peppermint Stick----that was my favorite.
Goddamn fuckin' town....

copyright 2015/2016 Molotov Editions

THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST:

BLUE OYSTER CULT-Spectres
AEROSMITH-Get Your Wings
AEROSMITH-Rock in a Hard Place
RESearch Incredibly Strange Music Vol. 1 & 2
 

 

Monday, July 11, 2016

APOCALYPSE NOTES: WRAPPING IT UP

“It's all over but the shouting”
---VAN HALEN
“I am now in control of all things”
---Allegedly written by the Zodiac Killer

We were done at North Main Music. We grabbed a little lunch and then I got to meet, ever-so-fleetingly, the lovely Robyn Neville.....maybe we'll get to hang out more next time I'm in town. After that it was off to Mike's house to record the one last song.
Upon my arrival at Chez McAdam Mike had to give me that Shadow Protocol----which is to say the drill involved in dealing with his dog, Shadow. Shadow's a good dog and an exceptional watchdog. Once we'd gotten through that it was a trip upstairs to deal with the final bit of recorded fun. And “fun” was the operative word.
The setup was pretty simple: Mike and me mic'd up and just going for it raw, him on acoustic guitar and me vocalizing. Past all the rave-ups, all the screaming and yelling and all the sturm und drang it was down to a goofy, folky protest song to wrap the whole package up in a big, sarcastic bow.
My intial vision for “The Candidate's a Religious Man” was actually similar to some of the binaural recordings Lou Reed did with Richard Robinson in the mid 70s (“Kicks” and “All through the Night” being my favorite examples)----the folk song itself would loop in and out of ambient noise and vacuous conversations that might take place at a party or an intimate gathering .
We didn't have any of that going on, although I secretly found myself wishing Shadow might be looking out the window and start barking at the UPS guy or the Roto Rooter truck. YAY SPONTENAEITY!!! Didn't happen, though.




ONE LAST THING: “THE CANDIDATE'S A RELIGIOUS MAN TALKING BLUES”

“Ah, but I've grown older and wiser
and that's why I'm turning you in”
---PHIL OCHS


I had endless trouble with being tight throughout the recording session, but with “Candidiate” it was just going to be loose city, no matter how you sliced it. That wasn't really a detriment (I don't think so, anyway)----the song just lends itself to that. We had multiple start-overs and do-overs and it was different every time we did it. It was really just one riff running through the whole thing and so there was a lot of ample space for us to play around and have fun.
In the intro I rechristened the song “The Candidate's a Religious Man Talking Blues”, almost trying to lend it a kind of faux-Robert-Johnson-cum-Bob-Dylan style gravitas.
Some verses remained the same....

“The Candidate's a religious Man
so let's catch him in a place of worship
Tell that old lady praying in front of him
to stop looking at the camera

The Candidate's a religious man
so let him spew some dogma from a soapbox
Up those credibility points!
Break out that makeup, our boy is for sale!

The Candidate's a Religious Man
So let's plug his kids with sedatives
Show all those viewers they're well-behaved
True offspring of a pillar of the community

The Candidate's a religious man
So let's cover up his booze problem
Break out that mouthwash quick!
Try to hide that whole thing about rehab”

When we wrote this song it was a reaction to the likes of Bush I, Bill Clinton, Al and Tipper Gore, et. al, but from there you add a few new verses to update it and you could drop in Hillary, The Donald, Ted Cruz and whoever. It's a hop, a skip and a jump just to bring it forward....

“The Candidate's a religious man
let's make sure he's Christian
not one of those weird, obscure sects
It's gotta be one that looks good in public opinion polls

The Candidate's a religious man
a star in the 24 hour news cycle
run his speeches past those focus groups
get those spin doctors to nip and tuck his opinions”

The last verse originally had this line that Mike and I crooned together, “so put away his Quaaludes!” I felt like I had to update that a little, since Quaaludes aren't really a thing anymore....what was a trendy drug that gets abused these days. I vacillated between Adderol and Oxycontin...in the end it became “put away his Oxy” because it just sings better.
By and large I've stuck to my guns on the fact that the S.E. Apocalypse Krew's politics are BROAD, because I hate all these fascist fuckers. Republicans, Democrats, I don't give a shit-----they're all dirty and corrupt and they'll probably end up getting our asses killed in the long run. “Candidate” is a number that stays pretty relevant, and 25 years after we wrote this thing it just gets better as the political climate gets stranger and more ridiculous.
We bounced it around several times before we finally got a good take. It sounded fun and we got a laugh out of it. It was easily one of the simpler recordings we did, but hopefully an amusing little slice of intimacy in the midst of the roaring din.....

It was a wrap.