Saturday, November 22, 2008

Subbaculture On The Kids

My friend Will and I could hear a sound check in progress as we approached the night club. A voice from my past was singing some familiar lyrics...some painful emoting about "sunless gardens" and "cold eternity", it sounded like something I would have written when I was twenty years old.

The song finished as we walked into the nearly empty club. A few staffers were stocking the beer coolers and the sound man was working on a monitor mix, but there wasn't anyone else there yet except us and the band.
Suddenly, the sound check was interrupted when Mary, the bass player, saw me, put down her instrument and bounded off-stage to give me a great big Southern hug- we hadn't seen each other for at least 15 years! She looked great -and I loved it when she rubbed her gleeful hands on my bald head! The stuff of memories.

"Omigod", she said, " What are you doing here? I was just playing 'Sunless Garden'! Did you hear it and walk in?"

Holy shit! No wonder it sounded familiar!

'Sunless Garden'
was a song I wrote when I was twenty years old and Mary and I were in a band together. My lyrics are um, er, ah, not-so-good, but it's a fun bass line to play...21 years later, she's playing it just as I walk into the room- it was as if she were casting a summoning spell and I materialized! I was on Cloud Nine.

I explained that Will and I were from the radio station and we were the ones doing their interview - an already great reunion was suddenly even better! We went upstairs to the dressing room but it wasn't heated and felt like a walk-in freezer, so we wound up conducting the interview amidst the broken glass and general wreckage in the billiards's that sort of nightclub.

It was a happy interview though, happy and funny as hell; Mary and guitarist/singer Rick have some of the best rock stories ever. Will is going to edit it for his show and I will have a copy eventually, I'm actually in some of the stories...jeez, Mary and I used to get wasted back when getting wasted was still fun for me, she really was my best friend for the short years she lived in Fallentown.

I was broken-hearted when she moved away , but today it's truly wonderful to see her actually living the dream that she left to follow.

Her band, Southern Culture On The Skids , has been successful for decades. They are one of the hardest-working bands that I know, playing hundreds of shows every year. Author Stephen King considers them one of his favorite groups.

Rick can play the hell out of his guitar and he's a great entertainer, he really loves his work and the audience can tell. I could have watched him play for hours...I did, actually.

Mary is a Rawk Goddess in her vintage 7-11 smock and white go-go boots. I'm still a little sweet on her, I think.

How could I not be?

What a week! Thursday night I recorded a percussion orchestra, Friday night I was a VIP at the SCOTS show and today I had my weekly radio program...and this was also my first full week at my new job. Thanksgiving is early this year.


Snakefinger- Eva's Warning
Once upon a time, I got very, very stoned with Snakefinger in a smelly Fallentown dressing room. A few weeks later he was dead from a heart attack suffered while on tour in Europe. Never take anything for granted.

Captain Beefheart- Run Paint, Run Run
Once upon a time, I got very , very stoned with Eric Drew Feldman, who was in Snakefinger's touring band, The Vestal Virgins...EDF was also an integral member of Capt.Beefheart's Magic Band. Small world, eh?

XTC- Ballad For A Rainy Day/1,000 Umbrellas
XTC- Wrapped in Grey
A trio of painty-headed pop songs dedicated to painters everywhere and one in particular.

Fairport Convention- Now Be Thankful
I'm being thankful today because I fear that Thanksgiving is not going to be a good day for me. This will be the first holiday since my Granny and my cousin died. It won't be the same.

Damien Dempsey- Seize The Day
Damien Dempsey- Catch The Light

Pretty Things- All Light Up
A set of songs about facing and defeating one's fears. Well, the third song is actually about dope and smoking in public, but it's a good one anyway.

Kinks- Top Of The Pops

Southern Culture On The Skids- Muswell Hillbillies
I just got this CD at the show last night- this is a cover of the classic Kinks's a great version! The CD is 'Countrypolitan' and it's highly recommended.

Pixies- Subbaculture
I heard my pal DJ Paul say: "The Pixies were one of the first bands that seemed to enjoy attacking their fan base." I laughed, but Paul was right.

Kinks- Here Comes Yet Another Day
And thank Godzilla for that!

Jimi Hendrix- Little Miss Strange
Jimi's drummer, Mitch Mitchell recently passed away. Mitch's drumming on this Hendrix anomaly is franta-tastic. Rock in Peace, Mitch.

Soft Boys- Let Me Put It Next To You
Pretty please? With sticky sugar on it?

Golden Palominos- Pure

Genesis- I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Um. Yeah.

Funkadelic- Sexy Ways
Got it?

Blond Redhead- Hated Because Of Great Qualities
This is why I have no friends. I'm too awesome.

Gong- Can't Kill Me
I am frustratingly difficult to kill...I have survived more assassination attempts than Fidel Castro. "One for the pleasure, one for the pain" indeed.

Red Noise- A Better Home In The Phantom Zone
One day I will live in a house and it will have a sofa; maybe I'll even have a gong in the living room.

801- T.N.K.
I wish I could turn the whole world on with a song.

Green Man- Mr. Soul
Great moody cover of the Buffalo Springfield classic.

Garbage- Medication
Hanging out with Mary almost made me forget about my infatuation with Shirley Manson. Almost.

Grace Slick & Paul Kantner- Silver Spoon
This is the best fiddle-based psychedelic rock song about cannibalism that I have ever heard. I dedicated it to Sarah Palin...if she eats turkey, she's a cannibal.

Neurons- Luminosity
Here are your bells. Happy now?

Actually, I am happy. I hope you are too.


angel said...

friggin awesome dude- how cool is it that she was playing your song when she walked in the door!

more cowbell said...

A summoning spell -- ha! Life is weird, cool story. Oh, and white go-go boots are what my mom was wearing when my dad first saw her.

Anonymous said...

That is way cool that she's singing that song.

Citymouse said...

How cool is that?!?!

yellowdog granny said...

Wow!..that's just the greatest..and I'm so happy that your happy.
life is good..

beth said...

I don't want to make you jealous, but when I last Southern Culture on the Skids (about three years ago), I talked to Mary before the set and she gave me a kiss!

Allan said...

A- It was bizarre in a good way...I didn't even recognize it.

MC- Dad took notice, eh?

C- It was all-around good.

CM- It was a 28 on a scale of 12 to 29.

JS- Thanks.

B- I got kisses too. Not sure who I'm supposed to jealous of, though.

NYD said...

For some darned reason this post really made me feel good. Not just the stories of friendship, but the playlist as well.
Got that f**kin Genesis song running though my head now.

Try and have a happy Thanksgiving. After all, you got plenty to be thankfull for.