Friday, April 9, 2010

You look like a kitty

Big Star - "Nighttime"
The Fall - Grotesque (After the Gramme)
(lala) and Your Future, Our Clutter (out soon)

The above photo is the view from the balcony power spot at the new pizza joint Schlitz & Giggles, whose soundtrack of "Shades of Grey," "Paradise City," and that goddamn Spin Doctors song further underscored the fact that people really will listen to the same songs forever if allowed. One progressive note: I say at least three families from the neighborhood across Perkins Road walking over to sit outside and eat pizza by the slice. Families. Walking. One slice. This may sound mundane to you, but in commuter Purgatory, eat-away-the-pain Baton Rouge, this is practically revolutionary. Were it not for the giant TV's and a sound system so loud that my daughter shout-whispered "is making my bottom rumble" I'd have thought we'd fallen through some kind of wormhole. Look out Portland, we're about to catch on! And our artisan bullshit whatever will come in Cajun Spice flavor!

Media Announcement: The Oxford American has put up a fine tribute to the late Alex Chilton featuring a long gaze into the well of memory that is the Keep an Eye on the Sky boxed set by yours truly. I should be more flexible, I guess.

I woke up with both Big Star then the Fall in my head; the former a tummy rumbling from the long feast of over-thought and the latter for a different taste in my mouth, but I suppose there are lines that can be drawn between the two (as long as there is blank space and a pencil, one always can.) Both can drive off a band like nobody. I suspect both enigmatic frontmen could wax poetic about Red Sovine and could give a bullet-point presentation on how Punk Rock never existed as a thing-itself outside of a marketing plan penned by dear departed Malcolm McLaren, bless him for it.

Anyway, I couldn't stop singing the opening to Big Star's "Nighttime" a song of theirs I never really embraced until this morning

And when I set my eyes on you
You look like a kitty

My daughter twisted her face up at my singing of this line in my terrible falsetto. "A kitty?" I feel the same way when Big Alex does it, but now it is confounded with how precise kitty is. What other word could get you exactly there? Kitten is too sexually loaded, as is cat with cool. The guy could write a song.

The Fall's Grotesque is a cleansing strut of a record, abrasive yet about as swinging as a dour drug addict from Salford can reasonably get. This double punch is a leaf blower to the brain.

This version of Grotesque has quite a different track order than the version I memorized on CD a decade+ ago. The re-ordering of tracks is a concern I voice in the OA piece, and maybe it only matters to me, but why would you ever do that, especially in the digital/CD age when fitting songs physically on one side or another is no longer a concern? Would you reissue a book with a different chapter order? Serve Thanksgiving dinner pie first? Dry off then take a shower? A good album is in an order for a reason. I can go on a similar tirade against "shuffle mode." But I won't.

The forthcoming Fall record has a track "Bury Pts 1 + 3" where a demo is joined with the finished version of a garage stomper like beat-up truck towing a shiny new jet ski. Neither are remarkable until you get to that joint between the two and then things really open up in both directions. Smart band, that Fall is.

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