Tuesday, June 15, 2010

think about Jackie DeShannon

I don't really think about Jackie DeShannon ever or singers like her. It's not that I don't like the music, what's not to like about it? I figure plenty of people are already thinking about everything everybody likes, people who think better things than I do probably, so my time and meager efforts are spent thinking about other things. Thinking is like mining to me; why chip away in the same ole shaft with the crew when there's gold in them thar hills.

But, I heard a bit of her being interviewed in Fresh Air last night, and they played "Splendor in the Grass" and talked about how the Byrds are the backing band, and it's not that much of a story. If, say, a less beloved group like the Association or whoever had been pulled in to back her up, or had it been countless unnamed session musicians and done as good a job, would it be something to moon over on national radio? I mean, it's very Byrdy and that might peck holes in my argument but what I'm getting at is that friction between the song and the song-maker. Is that friction what causes the spark? What's the good part anymore when you know all the parts? Is the song better for knowing all this, or is it clouded by it, and are we then left to the basest human impulse - to stare at clouds?

Really I'm not even so sure the song is that great of a song - it's a pretty shallow one about the movie - but that rumbling shudder of the bass and the tambourine and how she angles a little hesitantly into the Byrds perfect lazy harmonies.... That tambourine! Now I can't stop listening to this song and can't stop thinking about Jackie De Shannon.

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