Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hot! Live! Music!

XTC, 'Great Fire/Dear God/Big Day'

'Dear God' makes me wish I had been raised Catholic and taken guitar lessons as a youngster. With this background in place, I'd travel back in time and take over my body just before the annual high school Christmas assembly, where I'd sign up to ostensibly play some innocuous rock cover, but then bust into a version of Dear God in front of the shocked gathering. It would be akin to Sinead O'Connor ripping up the picture of the Pope on SNL, even including the bald-headed singer. I'm betting the school monsignor would either cut the power or tackle me onstage. Then when I'm being led off with my arms handcuffed (the monsignor would've thought to bring handcuffs), I would yell out "Nyah, where's your messiah now, Flanders? Nyah!" in my best Wiggum impression.

Though, wait, if I go back in time into this other reality, my current mind will be in control, thus I won't be able to play guitar. Also, I don't think I really know what goes on in Catholic high schools. I suspect the monsignors also don't carry police gear. And I don't know what a monsignor actually is. This plan was not well thought out.

Talking Heads, 'What A Day That Was'

Reason #485 why Stop Making Sense was the best concert film ever: each song is treated like a separate visual entity by director Jonathan Demme. It's a simple but effective method to keep the viewer visually interested throughout the course of the movie; for example, this is the only performance in the movie that was shot entirely in medium close-ups. It's a little-known fact that Demme didn't plan on using such varied filming styles throughout the picture, but was inspired after noticing that Tina Weymouth looks different every time you look at her. In this video, she resembles an older version of Family Ties star Tina Yothers for the only time in her life. Is Tina Weymouth really Clayface? Between she and David 'Plastic Man' Byrne, no wonder the Heads were such a potent band.

Manic Street Preachers, 'A Design For Life'

My pal Dave used to derisively refer to a mutual friend of ours as a 'manic street preacher' because this friend is the sort of guy who, in Dave's words, is the kind of guy who will meet someone and go, "Oh, you're a mechanic? Then let's sit here and let me tell you everything I know about fixing cars." I found this definition amusing because this isn't actually what a manic street preacher is. In the words of Inigo Montoya, I do not think that word means what you think it does. My original choice for this song was a legendary performance delivered by the Manics at the Brit Awards in 1997 (maybe 98) but it doesn't seem to be available on YouTube. But this one is also good. Is it kind of lame that I'm openly admitting that there's another clip of this song out there that's even better? Boy, I'm a regular manic street preacher.

Bruce Springsteen, 'A Night With The Jersey Devil'

Okay, after picking a live clip that I admitted was a backup choice, I'm now picking one that isn't even a live clip. My format is truly going to hell. But it's really hard to ignore a video that makes Bruce look like the second coming of Robert Mitchum in Cape Fear. Now that Johnny Cash is dead, I think Springsteen is moving to the top of the ballot in the poll to decide who's the baddest-ass rock star. Coming in last in this voting, by the way, is Brandon Flowers. It was this video that first made me notice that YouTube has switched to a widescreen format. Has it been this way for a while, or do I have terrible attention to detail?

Hey wait a second, this blog is written in English!

Noel Gallagher, 'Rock and Roll Star'

On my long list of future blog topics, right between 'Which Golden Girl Was The Sexiest?'* and 'The Story Of The Time I Ate That PBJ' **, is going through every Oasis song and judging whether the album version or the Noel acoustic version is better. For example, Wonderwall = Noel acoustic. D'You Know What I Mean = album (the acoustic one is sadly lacking in helicopters). Supersonic = album. Morning Glory = album. Master Plan = Noel acoustic. Every Oasis song recorded in the last decade = who's listened to Oasis in the last decade? Rock and Roll Star is probably a push, for the record.

* = Rose!
** = It was tasty!

No comments: