Melancholy in a capitalist, like the appearance of a comet, presages some misfortune to the world.
Not to say I am anti-capitalism, or melancholic but I do suffer both those traits on occasion. It’s a pity travel is for the rich in the century where we can do so many other things with relative ease and sometimes on the cheap. upon hearing of Pete Seeger’s passing, (american activist, agitator, singer of folk songs, songs for folks who work and those who hate war) i was reminded of the fact he dropped out of Harvard in 1938 to ride a bicycle across america. people used to do remarkable things for the sake of being free. now we do remarkable things to line our pockets and be on TV.
Lou Reed’s passing got me thinking about the songs that shape us all in one way or another. at my age, there’s thoughts of 45 rpm records, greatest hits albums, crappy K-Tel compilations, am radio jams and that occasional hum and crackle of “oldies” being played on Friday nights. which brings me to The Shangri-las. the all-girl teenage group from new york that had a #1 hit with Leader of the Pack in the mid-60s. every boy my age remembers the goosing of the motorcycle throttle in that song. but there other “big” single was “Remember (walking in the sand).” something about the hauntingly melodramatic, almost weepy doo wopping is one of those songs that sticks with you, in the same way a kick to the groin does. in stark contrast to sunny beach songs about sand, surf and fun, this one is about heartbreak, memory and that feeling of an inability to move on. all of that wrapped up with a nice bow, brought to you with teenage voices from a songwriting factory in NYC. doesn’t sound too punk rock does it? nonetheless, this one is a downbeat classic in my eyes and the vocals from lead Shangri-La, Mary Weiss are soul scorching. hindsight is 20/20, Mary is credited to inspiring the Runaways, the Go-Gos, Blondie (Debbie Harry has always tried to ape the vocal style), Hole, L7, the Donnas to more modern acts like The Vivian Girls and the Dum Dum Girls. of course the Shangri-Las have been covered by everyone from the Beach Boys to Aerosmith to the Chipmunks to the Carpenters. here’s to Mary and the Shangri-Las. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy8_38U3xLU
i have to tell you, big festivals are really no way to enjoy bands, music, beer, food, soil, water or casual sex. maybe i am just old but i find myself staring at the damn video screens instead of the stage, i just cannot connect to the bands. spoiled by a youth of booking bands, playing in a band, eating with bands, and generally being bored with bands before being blown away by bands who were literally sharing my sweat, spit and spite the whole festival thing ultimately leaves me a little cold. not that i don’t appreciate the whole overpriced flea market appeal of it all but $10 Sierra Nevada’s and taco truck lines sure ain’t for old punks. give me a draft, a chair and a band i’ve never heard of within throwing distance, in a room of a couple dozen enthusiastic know-it-alls and i’d be more tickled…you know, just how we used to see The Black Keys. i’m guessing, inside, the boys in the band feel the same way.
Patrick Carney @patrickcarney of The Black Keys on a video screen at Forecastle Festival.
hey, i just heard that the US got beat by Mexico. no, not talking about in the Gold Cup or any of that. i am talking about for the title of fattest, most obese, most likely to belch then fall over dead. ironic how poverty now leads to obesity instead of starvation. explain to me again how fresh food is too expensive for normal humans to eat yet factories can pump out completely processed shit for much less than we can get it from a farmer? job creators to human cremators. makes little sense. sigh.