Monday, March 9, 2009

I like American music

The Holy Modal Rounders - The Moray Eels Eat the Holy Modal Rounders (lala) Still reading the 33 1/3 book about The Notorious Byrd Brothers, and am resisting listening to the album while I read it, letting Ric Menck tell his tale unencumbered by the relative truth of my own listening, but it is whetting my already healthy appetite for fussy, fuzzy psychedelic music. Publishing a book about this record would likely be money tossed gingerly in a chasm as deep as that from which these consciously weird songs emerge, but I'd read it. From this interview in Perfect Sound Forever, Peter Stampfel explains the name of the band:
PSF: So you and Weber started the Rounders?

Yeah. We kept changing the name. First it was the Total Quintessence Stomach Pumpers. Then the Temporal Worth High Steppers. Then The Motherfucker Creek Babyrapers. That was just a joke name. He was Rinky-Dink Steve the Tin Horn and I was Fast Lightning Cumquat. He was Teddy Boy Forever and I was Wild Blue Yonder. It kept changing names. Then it was the Total Modal Rounders. Then when we were stoned on pot and someone else, Steve Close maybe, said Holy Modal Rounders by mistake. We kept putting out different names and wait until someone starts calling us that then. When we got to Holy Modal Rounders, everyone decided by accumulation that we were the Holy Modal Rounders. That's the practical way to get named.

Violent Femmes - Hallowed Ground (lala) Cannot imagine when I last heard this record in toto. The first Violent Femmes record eclipses everything else in their catalog - there was a time when the cassette copy seemed to be come factory installed in the deck of every teenager's car - and Violent Femmes has the timeless singles,but Hallowed Ground is really more of a complete album statement, the fuck-you-Dad nucelus of the Femmes' atomic structure releasing more energy as the electron knife of their songs gets closer to it. I'd read a book about this album too. And it sounds even more genius after The Holy Modal Rounders. Were I making you a mix tape right now, Side one would start with

and finish with

leaving myself the challenge of how to get from death song to death song for the middle.
Lifter Puller - Soft Rock (lala) While I prefer the grand Americana-rama of their later incarnation the Hold Steady, Lifter Puller rocks the red,white and blue drug looser vulnerability with alarming accuracy. Instead of listening to Cheap Trick, it is having some idiot at a party blow your mind by saying something brilliant about Cheap Trick. A keg handstand atop Mt. Olympus that ends in a fall and a fractured collarbone. It's good stuff. I like American music.

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