If you’re in the area this Saturday, come watch me fumble around on bass guitar for VAGUESS for the first time live in about seven years.
This song is one of my favorites and holds a lot of personal significance so, naturally, I decided to butcher it. I’ve already written about my obsession with Warren Zevon and the importance of this composition, so I won’t repeat myself. If you feel so inclined, you can read all about it here.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off for a virgin margarita…
I’ve been rather bad with updating my blog as of late, so firstly, I’d like to apologize for that. Right when I finally thought I had some time to do some serious writing, I went and caught the plague. Funny how that works.
I actually meant to post this last week and couldn’t find the time or energy to do so until now. Excuses aside, I plan on doubling down on my output and posting at least three to four new entries a week in the hopes that you all grow exceedingly sick of me.
Now on to the business at hand: “Two-Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)” by Roky Erickson. Erickson was the singer for The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, which was one of the first psychedelic bands of the ’60s. He’s an interesting character (to put it mildly): he’s done a fair few stints in mental hospitals and believes in things like goblins, demons, vampires, and zombies (which he uses as lyrical content for his songs). Simply put, he is a man after my own heart.
I’m still kind of sick so I’m gonna go lie down and dream about two-headed dogs and such. Enjoy.
Here’s a fun little number by The Forgetters, which is the current project of Blake Schwarzenbach (Jawbreaker/Jets To Brazil). I admire all of his work and he is one of few contemporary artists that continues to surprise and delight me. I’m very fond of this song and would recommend checking out the original, as well as the band’s full length release that came out last year.
Schwarzenbach is real good at incorporating a personal narrative into a larger commentary on human condition (particularly the American experience), which is a songwriting approach that is rarely done successfully in my opinion. He’s also got a knack for poetic (and sometimes cryptic) verbiage; my favorite line in the whole number has to be “I’m a straight up ghost in a tattered cape.” That’s just fantastic.
So here I am butchering his fine, fine work for the sake of “staying in practice.” Whatever the hell that means.
I suddenly find myself with the time and the urge to play more music. Unfortunately, I have this problem where I compose songs at a rate that surpasses my rate of recording (especially proper studio recording), so that I lose too much in the shuffle. As a way of keeping my fingers busy while preventing myself from composing any more before I finish the album I’m currently at work on, I’ve decided to make YouTube videos of me covering songs that I especially like and present them as a series on here, entitled “Cover Me Impressed.”*
I don’t know how long I will keep this up before I get bored or overwhelmed, but it seemed like a good idea this morning. The first one is “Dandy” by The Rockin’ Vicars, a little known British outfit that featured Ray Davies of Kinks fame and a then little-known bloke by the name of Lemmy Kilmister, who would go on to wreak havoc in Hawkind before founding one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest and longest running institutions: Motörhead.
I’ve done a lot of short-lived musical projects with shaky and questionable premises. The full moon tonight reminded me of one I haven’t thought of in quite some time: Werewolf Sonata.
Werewolf Sonata lasted two very drunken songwriting sessions and one and a half recording sessions (the result of which was two charmingly raw live tracks). It was all a bit disappointing to be honest: I had this dream where we would tour with Vampire Weekend and, like, only play gothic cathedrals on full moonlit nights in the Romanian countryside on lots of LSD.
File Under: Lycanthropic Psychedelia
CLICK THE PICTURE TO LISTEN TO THE ONLY TWO LYCANTHROPIC PSYCHEDELIC COMPOSITIONS IN ALL OF EXISTENCE, MAN! AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
When I was in elementary school, one of my best friends was a kid named Jon. Jon’s father was the vice principal of Dana Hills High School, which I would later attend (albeit very reluctantly and infrequently). Mr. Schlesinger, as his father was called, thought it would be beneficial for us young children to attend the air guitar there one year, so that we could glimpse how fun and exciting our futures would be. I was maybe ten years old, and even though the event would just be a bunch of pimple faced kids pretending to sing vapid pop songs, this would be the closest thing to a concert I would experience at that time.
I remember the hallways seeming really large and the ceilings really high. The students were so big that they were more adults than kids in my eyes; I was intimidated to be sure, but excited nonetheless.
As I would come to discover in time, the event wasn’t much different from nearly every other air guitar, pep rally, and school dance function in existence. Students did performances of popular radio hits of the day and classics from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. Some were more entertaining than others, but nothing really stood out too much in hindsight—with one notable exception.