Good morning, Camper Van Beethoven, Camper Van Beethoven IS Dead, Long Live Camper Van Beethoven. Ridiculous times call for ridiculous titles like “Broadcasting Live From The MCI-Worldcom-AT&T-Daimler-Chrysler-Mitsubishi-Phillips-BASF-LG-Phillip-Morris-BP-Texaco-Pfizer-AOL-Time-Warner-Boeing-Microsoft-Aeroflot-United-Yoyodyne Coliseum, Strom Thurmond City, Mars”. A best-of-never collection of rarities recalls the dot-bust, dying flowers, heat-warped flexidiscs, and the lonesome, loathsome world.
Good morning, David Bowie, Aladdin Sane. Lightning flash and introspection, drive-ins and Detroit, 197?-201?. If a pop star could release Time as a single 40 years ago, they can challenge today’s dystopian cusp further.
Good morning, Fugazi, Steady Diet of Nothing. Throwback to the nascent curl of the culture wars. Warnings about Supreme Court appointments, women’s rights, anti-abortion control freaks, and to Keep Your Eyes Open. Fugazi were often taken to task for strong ideologies by those more blinkered or less progressive for being too vocal. Looks like Fugazi got the last laugh. KYEO.
Past the fourth but nothing’s more red-white american and blue summer than the spitting churn and howl of this officially classic rock aged classic. The fact that it’s not a Kinks chaser on playlists and radio merely underscores the paucity of pasty business brains burning hot under the influence of google spreadsheets not guts. From lead-infused garages to you, open doors, heatwaves, humidity-choking, single-coil huffery.
Fantastic Voyage, drifts out an album/day opener benign as blossoms before unfolding its lyrics, a parasol of depression, recrimination, rumination: loyalty is valuable, but our lives are valuable too…nobody’s perfect…
But that’s no reason / To shoot some of those missiles / Think of us as fatherless scum / It won’t be forgotten / Because we’ll never say anything nice again, will we? Sentiments illuminated as pointed relevant in the simmering summer post-fireworks, all angry ideologues and threats.
Truly lost, master tapes thrown away, this is in-between a more convential past and his freer future. Often in the last 21 months thoughts turn on the Church of John Coltrane, his use of music to explore spirituality, art as a higher means of expression, being, and, ultimately, escape or release, depending. Send the Sun Ship.
Good morning, The RockATeens, Sixth House. Of all the unbelievable 2018isms, this new album is the most welcome. The crooked cracked vocals, bombastic showtune anthems dredged through broken reverbed amps, soothe any aching-hearted optimist. A welcome addition to a band as American as there’s ever been: outcasts, underdogs, heroes.