Friday, November 11, 2005

The Power of Oily Hair

No more shampoo. No more tears.
In "Riverside," the anti-call-to-arms on the debut album (America, 1972), the "river" is clearly the Red State-Blue State divide that makes distinct the longhairs from the shorts. America, God bless'em, take a laissez faire attitude about the whole affair.
You stay on your side and I'll stay on mine/You take what you want and I'll take the sunshine...I said the world don't owe me no livin'...
It's the hidden libertarian in the hippie. The idea of cashing it in for a sunshine-based economy is pretty appealing, with soaring three-part harmonies to ease the pain of reality-based burdens like jobs and health insurance. Thinking of Mr. Poncho's soft-rock semiotics, it's the touchstone for the Devendra Banhart people, a spiritual reference that wends its way to Wilco (A Ghost Is Born, etc.) and others.
On a side note, these guys often get pegged as a second-rate CSN&Y, but that's unfair. They're more pure, without the Laurel Canyon decadence. These are the dudes who hung out in the smoking section at high school--kinda greasy, into reefer and Henry David Thoreau, love a good distended dorm-room acoustic jam, ever ready with a weathered copy of the Mel Bay chord book.

1 comment:

Mrs. Lefty said...

Few too children are named Dewey these days.