Thursday, September 06, 2007
Life on The Bay of My Way or The Highway
Dadgummit this world is relentless! The news, the wars, the fear, the candidates, the hurricanes, the whole celebutardistic mob beating the holy hell out of anything with Good left in it! All the crap-o-lyptic horrors percolating on the crumputer screen of doom, gouging our eyes out with pop-up ads featuring dancing female aliens wearing lipstick and bikinis...
It's end times, I tell ye!
So as long as it's the End of History (and fuck you very much, Francis Fukuyama, you supposedly-reformed neocon twit), I'm cherry-picking the good shit from the old days and calling it the bedrock for a new society, starting now. (Yes, we've been down this road before -- and we'll be back no doubt!) Anyway, I don't care if Osama bin Ladin dyed his beard black last month so he looks like a younger, sexier fanatic, or if Dick Cheney is manipulating the world's oil prices on his Xbox. Me, I've got heaven in a wild flower, infinity in the palm of my hand. I'm getting alternate universe on this universe's ass. I'm tacking into a quiet cove called The Bay of My Way or The Highway and rolling up the jib and dropping anchor.
All of which is to say, "Welcome, friends! Here's some music."
1. In the Bay, most of the talk you'll hear on the beach will sound like Professor Longhair. I quoteth he: "Tipitina! Yu-la mah-la wah-la dah-la, tra la, ti na na..."
Tipitina - Professor Longhair
2. One night in 1987 I lay in bed before sleep with this song in my headphones for the first time, ears entirely virgin to reggae. Literally, no lyin': I wept the first time I heard 1975's Live!. Oh Jah! Fools filed it forever under "frat boy" after Legend saturated the dorm rooms, but lest we forget, this is perfect music. And pretty much crystalizes the New Bay Way:
Trenchtown Rock - Bob Marley
3. It came from the campfires of Brothers Wilson and Spector, back in ancient times. The Holy Drum Beat tells us a secret we must keep passing down through the ages. Heart. Beat Beat. Heart. Beat Beat...
The Bear - My Morning Jacket
Forever - The Explorers Club
4. Sometimes it's okay not to sing. Just listen.
All I Have Are Memories - The Byrds
Delfonics Theme - The Delfonics
5. In the cove, no poem is ever the same twice. Joshua Beckman and Matthew Rohrer are poets who make up verse on the spot, trading lines in front of audiences to create spontaneous works. Here's one riffing on the word "hillbillies."
is no hillbilly
Can you believe they built that fence
around the place where all of the hillbillies
It seemed wide open
the hillbillies were there.
I know a hillbilly
and I love a hillbilly,
but they're not the same.
Hillbillies - Joshua Beckman and Matthew Rohrer
6. Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald facing off against Hall & Oats in street combat? All that and more on the comedy film series "Yacht Rock," which is the best comedy film series ever made about the secret history of late 70s/early 80s soft rock. Watch and weep with laughter and joy. As I was telling Mr. Poncho, this stuff pretty much makes obsolete our blog's raison d'etre.
Click here, scroll down a bit and watch the videos now.
7. Yacht Rock's comedy is matched only by James Brown attempting Spanish. Vaya con Dios!
Please, Please, Please - James Brown
8. When you're rough and salty from a day spearing fish in the ocean, a slight chill on the skin, cocktail in hand, breeze blowing your Hawaiian shirt open to reveal your chest mat, you'll hear this streaming from a warm transistor radio as the pink and purple sunset fades into evening stars...
Gulf Shores - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
9. A suggestion: Werner Herzog as Secretary of Beauty, Department of Madness. What say ye, Lord Herzog? This is from a collection of Herzog film music called Requium for a Dying Planet and it's absolutely awe-inspiring music for meditation of the earthly divine. (Hat tip: D. Stone)
Dank sei dir Gott - Ernst Reijseger
10. Over Labor Day weekend, two visionary bald guys with guitars and a drum machine were playing Grateful Dead covers on the lawn in front of their house in Westchester County, New York. Despite the heavy amplification, there was only one person "listening" -- a woman curled up on a lawn chair reading a book. Two guys + amps + trees = love. Before I tromped down a nearby hiking trail, they were playing this:
Me and My Uncle - Grateful Dead (Winterland, 11/11/73, Set 1)
11. Here's another bald dude playing on a lawn: The Pixies, live at the Newport Folk Festival in '06, totally acoustic, totally awesome.
Wave of Mutilation (Newport Surf) - Pixies
12. Secretary of True Feelings, Department of Honesty. Purple Heart for Valor in the specific theater.
Vincent Van Gogh - Jonathan Richman
13. And don't forget the youths.
Weed - The 1990s
14. Finally, the bedrock of any society. Because they're better. Because they're stronger. "Woman, I know you understand the little child inside the man. Please remember my life is in your hands."
Woman - John Lennon
Posted by Lefty at 8:37 PM