Monday, December 15, 2008

This next one is the first song on our new album

Tech note: I discovered that Rhapsody does work from my office when tracks are streaming through the website, but not through the Rhapsody player. Its still a little draggy between tracks, but it works. I don;t believe it had this feature when I first signed up for it, so maybe it is recasting itself in the shape of lala, which is the flavor of the month in digital music services.

I was going to listen to Pink Floyd's Meddle as research on a review for something else, but well, I've listened to enough Pink Floyd in my life, so before "One of These Days" could even get rolling, I hit on The Move from the similar albums list. The Move is one of those holes in my sonic knowledge that I just never got around to filling. I knew their nuggets-esque"I Can Hear the Grass Grow" and "Flowers in the Rain" but the flowery excess of their final LP Message from the Country (lala) which pushed to member Jeff Lynne to form Electric Light Orchestra is heretofore been experienced directly. Its indirect influence lives on in the amped up party rock of Cheap Trick, and well, maybe that's where it is best heard.

I haven't purposely listened to Cheap Trick since maybe junior high, mostly because they are generally around when their services are needed. But they will occupy a special place in my mind because they played a concert at Nicholls State, in the college town just down the road, and everyone I knew went. It was their collective first concert, and Cheap Trick was the defacto favorite band of everyone. Every girl I knew blossomed in a grey Cheap Trick t-shirt. Every learner's permit came with a copy of At Budokan (lala) for the dash. I didn't go; it hadn't occurred to me that one could actually go to concerts instead of just daydreaming about KISS specials on HBO. My first big stadium concert was Thompson Twins years later, which I'm afraid says a lot about me.

My late life Cheap Trick was Guided By Voices. I was smitten with them from the moment my friends' band Orange Pop Chicken added "I am a Scientist" to their adorable sets. Robert Pollard has a well-documented Cheap Trick and Who affection, and while Mag Earwhig (Rhapsody) is not my all-time favorite GBV record, it is their greatest stadium-in-my-head moment and "I Am a Tree" is up there with "Surrender" and "Baba O'Reilly" in the pantheon of perfectly huge rock songs, even if it has never been echoed off the upper deck of a football stadium. In Guided By Voices we find the dream of the thing competing healthily with the thing itself, fruitless and free! no symmetry! touch me and see!

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