Thursday, October 1, 2009

your friend's mom's car's tape deck

Crabby Appleton - s/t (listen) I am freshly sun bleached and a little emotionally depleted by the Big Star box set and am wide open for suggestions. At the end of the the last track, a live version of "O! My Soul" recorded at Lafayette's Music Room, Alex Chilton mumbles that the (something or other) Girls are up next, and despite three rewinds I still can't really hear what it is, so I cannot follow his advice. I feel confident there are 1,000,000 people on the Internet right now who when awoken from a dead sleep can immediately tell you who that band is, but until one of them steps forward, Crabby Appleton is what Rhapsody offered.

Actually, I rather love this - it's a more rockist Flying Burrito Brothers, a Big Star that wants to party - but I'm not sure I can get over the name, and maybe they couldn't either. Wiki says it is from Tom Terrific but I remember this being a general epithet for the dour child I was in the early Seventies. In my pretentious wanna-be-an-depressed-experimental-musician stage (not all that dissimilar to the pretentious anxiety-riddled-music-writer stage now) I made a tape of muddy, downer noise titled "Crabby Appleton" and my friend with whom I traded tapes said he immediately burst out laughing when he saw it, thinking about this exact band, and couldn't even listen to it because of the name.

R.E.M. - Dead Letter Office (listen) Hey R.E.M.! Its been like six months since I caught up with you. What's that? It's actually been twenty-two years? Really? Well! Um, so what's been happening?

For real. I had an album size promo card for this record on my wall right next to the giant Lifes Rich Pageant poster and the life-size Iggy Pop poster from Blah Blah Blah. And a big poster that was the pilot's view of the cockpit of a 747 that I put up to replace the one of Gunther Gebel-Williams, infamous and renowned lion tamer for the Ringling Brother Circus. But central on my poster altar was R.E.M.

But anyway, this was in no one's mind the best R.E.M album (my choice then and now being either Murmur or Fables of the Reconstruction) but we played the hell out of this tape riding around in Scott's mom's car, the only one to have a tape deck. I think Robyn Hitchcock's I Often Dream of Trains was on the other side. I was always partial to this song.

The version of "Crazy" (a cover of a song by Pylon, the Athens band that you were supposed to declare to be superior if you were cool at all) might be early R.E.M. at its most distilled form.

and aww..., the Chronic Town EP is tacked on the CD just for fun. Here's to you 1,000,000 people not reading this and your Crabby Appleton records and your Big Star knowledge and your memories of your friend's mom's car's tape deck and your pretentious ambitions!

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