Wednesday, March 1, 2006

all shook up

there’s really just no way to play catch up, and a half-assed attempt would leave numerous gaps – some important, some not – but since half-assed attempts are an area of excellence for me: some time ago I interviewed Carl Palmer (formerly of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, as well as Asia) for the drummer book (where hopefully slow and steady wins the race). also John McEntire of Tortoise. other interviews for other projects over the past two weeks include Hayden Menzies of The Grey, Ani Cordero of Cordero, Kurt Marschke of the Deadstring Brothers, Bill Janovitz, musician and author of the 33 1/3 book on Exile on Main St., and my buddy Will Blythe, author of the tremendously fabulous and deservedly well-reviewed To Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry which came out just yesterday and is holding steady in Amazon’s Top 100 sellers (of course, yesterday was Mardi Gras (shout out to my favorite people in Mobile, Alabama: Michael Smith and Karen Carr), and I celebrated with a live phone interview, pushing The Shortstop, with WIBX, (“The Mohawk Valley’s Big Talker”) followed by a late dinner with spouse and mother-in-law and sister-in-law at Bluewater Grill (with the exception of the company and pleasantly attentive servers the experience was muchly disappointing) in Union Square).

the discussion with Will was a long one, over two hours recorded, and took mucho, mucho time to transcribe (I’m still editing), but an excerpt, as well as an excerpt from the book, will appear a week from today (March 8) in Independent Weekly down in Will’s home state. my short piece on Cordero runs in today’s Philadelphia Weekly (I also scribbled a shorty on Test Icicles at the last minute and then the sons of bitches broke up the day after my deadline so it didn’t run), and tomorrow’s East Bay Express will run a piece I wrote on former Dream Syndicate frontman Steve Wynn whose new album with the Miracle 3, . . . Tick . . .Tick . . . Tick, is some good, good stuff. KGB Bar tonight to hear Mark Jacobson and Richard Ben Cramer (with hopefully food following), dinner out tomorrow night (got to remember to make a reservation), then having to miss Belle & Sebastian Friday night to catch a flight to Birmingham to attend a memorial service Saturday morning. then, of course, Saturday night is Duke-Carolina II.

so even though the calendar is full, for the first time in a long while I have no deadlines except my own on the music writing front. which means I can listen to any damn thing I want to. so do I go back through the stacks in search of those discs I wanted to listen to the moment they came in but couldn’t find the time for? no, I do not. not last night at least (which happens when you don’t get home from frickin’ dinner until almost midnight). nope, not me. nope, nope, nope. instead I grabbed the closest CD handy – in this case the expanded edition re-issue of Cheap Trick’s All Shook Up that arrived in yesterday’s post (I wrote that in an English accent, by the way).

now I’m one of those for whom a Cheap Trick Greatest Hits collection would more than suffice. I appreciate their melodic sense, and one song at a time the overt, pre-Oasis attempt to rip off The Beatles ain’t so bothersome. I mean, after all, this is pop music, right? But All Shook Up is even worse than most Cheap Trick albums that I don’t have an interest in. The songs just aren’t very good and the tries at thievery are both more ostentatious and less tasteful (even considering production from George Martin and a near note for note cover of “Day Tripper,” the band sounds more like mid-career Wings than Fab Four (while managing to plunder some early 80s Rod Stewart and other bands in the process)).

here’s hoping we get home early enough tonight to cherry pick tomorrow’s morning commute music.

No comments:

Post a Comment