For Local Bastards

This evening Jody Stephens will be chatting about his favorite topic, nachos.  Just kidding!  Big Star, of course.  I  won’t be attending, but passing along in case any of you local bastards are interested.

Fest 18

The first batch of Fest 18 (that’s the number, not the year) bands has been announced and it’s a doozey. Jawbreaker is headlining, which blows my mind, but the rest of the line-up looks pretty great as well (Mariachi El Bronx, Dag Nasty, Lee Bains III, etc. etc.). Almost makes living in Pigville worthwhile. Almost.

More at thefestfl.com

I Had a Vision When I Was Young

This is such a great song.

Guitar riffs don’t come any simpler than this one, but the keyboard squiggles, horny lyrics and head-bobbing rhythms on this one are undeniably fun.

John M. Borack, Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide

Somehow, I’ve never seen Cheap Trick live. SO MANY MISSED OPPORTUNITIES. Next time they’re anywhere close, I’m going. Sucks that I missed the Bun E. Carlos years, though.

Ramones 12th Show Ever

CBGB, September 15th, 1974. If there’s anything better than this, I don’t want to know what it is. Including the between-song arguments and Tommy bitching about how fast everything is.

1) Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
2) I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement
3) Judy Is a Punk

That Missing Persons EP

Guilty Pleasure Time!

There’s a special place in my heart for the first self-released Missing Persons EP. Although technically, it’s the 1982 re-release I love, the one that replaced the original EP’s “Hello, I Love You” with “I Like Boys.” At this stage in my life, I don’t know if it’s an entirely accurate memory, but it seems like we spent a lot of time blasting this in a friend’s car one summer.

Anyway, as we’re living in the Digital Age, I now present to you the videos for the songs from that glorious EP.

Rock The Casbah Isolated Tracks

A few years ago, I was surprised to learn the true origins of “Rock the Casbah,” the only Clash single to make the top 10 in the Billboard Hot 100.

“Rock the Casbah” was musically written by the band’s drummer Topper Headon, based on a piano part that he had been toying with. Finding himself in the studio without his three bandmates, Headon progressively taped the drum, piano and bass parts, recording the bulk of the song’s musical instrumentation himself.

This origin makes “Rock the Casbah” different from the majority of Clash songs, which tended to originate with music written by the Strummer–Jones songwriting partnership. Upon entering the studio to hear Headon’s recording, the other Clash members were impressed with his creation, stating that they felt the musical track was essentially complete. From this point, relatively minor overdubs were added, such as guitars and percussion.

However, Joe Strummer was not impressed by the page of suggested lyrics that Headon gave him. According to Clash guitar technician Digby Cleaver, they were “a soppy set of lyrics about how much he missed his girlfriend”. “Strummer just took one look at these words and said, ‘How incredibly interesting!’, screwed the piece of paper into a ball and chucked it backwards over his head.”

Strummer had been developing a set of lyrical ideas that he was looking to match with an appropriate tune. Before hearing Headon’s music, Strummer had already come up with the phrases “rock the casbah” and “you’ll have to let that raga drop” as lyrical ideas that he was considering for future songs. After hearing Headon’s music, Strummer went into the studio’s toilets and wrote lyrics to match the song’s melody.

The version of the song on Combat Rock, as well as many other Clash compilations, features an electronic sound effect beginning at the 1:52 minute point of the song. This noise is a monophonic version of the song “Dixie”. The sound effect source was generated by the alarm from a digital wristwatch that Mick Jones owned, and was intentionally added to the recording by Jones.

Sadly, Headon was kicked out of the band for heroin addiction just four days before Combat Rock was released. Also, one of my friends had that same “Dixie” digital watch when we were in the sixth grade. He annoyed the shit out of us with it.

Anyway, on to those isolated tracks …

Drums

Keys

Bass