Thursday, April 12, 2007

Memories, Dreams, Reflections

In his memoir, Carl Jung confessed to having a recurring dream about an underground vault that housed an erect penis wearing a crown. Veh-wee intah-westing, Doc-tear Jung... But who among us can claim to know what dark force rules our psyches? Our early childhood experiences shape our desires. This got me wondering: Is there a subconscious playlist that rules one's pop tastes? A Rosetta Stone of the ear? The ultimate song in the subliminal vault, wearing Satan's jeweled crown? I've aleady told you about the man with the watch on his ankle. Things stick with you. Allow me to lift the lid a bit:

MEMORY: I don't remember seeing this, but it's a close approximation of my musical Big Bang: Stevie Wonder playing a deep 7-minute rendition of "Superstition" (YouTube) on Sesame Street in 1972. A free-to-be-you-and-me vision of kids in bellbottoms and saturated Technicolor t-shirts living in a muppet ghetto triumphant with heavy funk.

DREAM: Of all the Pink Ladies, I loved Frenchy the best. When Frankie Avalon floated down from heaven in Grease -- tan, coifed and wise -- all I wanted was for him to escort the beautiful pink-haired Jewess out of the TV box and into my arms. I was eight. Freudian result: a barely repressed Broadway fetish forever sautered into my circuit board.

Beauty School Drop Out - Frankie Avalon

REFLECTION: Dewey Dell and I recently stayed up late watching a Time-Life infomercial for a 10-CD "Classic Soft Rock" collection. After watching one solid gold video clip after another, we concluded that our beliefs and feelings about music were formed by unrepentently hirsute men who sang like women and dressed in satin and denim.

Too Much Heaven - Bee Gees

MEMORY: When I was 11, I was so utterly obsessed with Kiss' 1975 LP Dressed to Kill, I even fell in love with the long silences between the songs. I waited in heavy, pulse-quickening anticipation for the first sludgy riff on "She" while studying Gene Simmons' clogs. I thrilled to the crackling LP quietude before the first acoustic pluckings of "Rock Bottom." The two sleepers were my favorites:

Anything for My Baby - Kiss

Getaway - Kiss

DREAM: My Philip Larkin edit: They fuck you up, your mum and dad/but Ronald Reagan was even worse! Truth is, I wouldn't have graduated from high school without the DIY anti-authoritarian rants of The Krayons, the best hardcore punk band in South Texas circa 1988-89. I used to leaf through piles of Maximum Rock'n'Roll while these guys rehearsed in the bass player's parents' basement. In craptastic audio cassette!

Reaganstein - The Krayons

Nor could I have survived without the hardcore metal of Angkor Wat, whose singer David Brinkman (a way-out-of-high-school employee of the local bread factory) gave lost souls like me the uplifting message we needed to ignore our teachers: "The answers you seek are inside yourself!" This is how we rocked it before irony took off, people. HARD.

The Search - Angkor Wat

REFLECTION: The 1990s happened and now I'm old. My friend Dave Wechsler produced my only authorized recording, an amalgamation of Frankie Avalon, Kiss, the Bee Gees and Pee Wee Herman into a single Jungian pop song.

Japan - Lefty

Last summer, when we were in Woodstock, New York, Dewey Dell and I helped Dave record a song for his new album, Vacations. What a fantastic record! Sounds like Harold from Harold & Maude grew up and became a wry singer-songwriter of the Lyle Lovett-Randy Newman school. That's Lefty on uke, Dewey Dell on fake Soweto-style backup singing. Roll credits...

We've Finally Come Home - David Wechsler



Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

Dave said...

My goodness! It's been forever since I heard Japan. The sudden and unexpected appearance of "the clown" still has the power to shock and surprise me.


Happy In Bag said...

As that Time-Life infomercial would have it, "This isn't just a collection of songs; it's a collection of emotions!"

hector23 said...

Thanks for the post Joe. I really liked seeing the stuff about the Krayons and have passed on the link to the Caller Times article to other members of the old CC underground.

I have been using a new service to upload tracks to my site and its pretty cool. Send me an email and I will forward it to you.


Richard Rude said...

Best band in CC circa 1988-89?! Are you sure you're not thinking about Pure Hate????

Thanks for the props ... To that end, I had Roger transfer an old VHS tape of the King High talent show ... here's the Youtube link:

There's more vintage CCHC on the way ....