Saturday, May 16, 2009

Go Ask Lemmy

Today's show is a tribute to the music and spirit of legendary drummer Joe Smoker, founder of seminal 70's grammar-rock band Big Dictionary, a band that defined the short-lived heyday of gram-rock with their bizarre combination of Strunkian philosophy, Bacchanalian excesses, mega-syllablic words and I-IV-V chord progressions.

Big Dictionary was preparing to tour in support of their first LP, What Would We Do Without Rhetorical Questions? ( released in 1975 under the now-defunct Alexandria label), when Smoker was severely injured in a proofreading misadventure, leaving him with the language skills of an eight-year old.

The band's tour was canceled and Alexandria withdrew support for the LP, which was given extremely limited distribution and quickly vanished from the public notice. The original master tapes for Questions have never been located and are rumored to have been destroyed when employees at the Alexandria warehouse triggered the building's sprinkler system during an ill-fated attempt at insurance fraud.

Following a year of rehab, a diminished Smoker briefly re-united with Dictionary bassist Ashton Verb and toured under the name Smoker's Pole, but Dictionary's cult following of voracious readers were soon disenchanted with Pole's new material, which was largely composed of ham-fisted atonal guitar feedback, incoherent guttural consonants and dull male thuds.

After several poorly-received shows, Smoker disbanded the Pole and retired from music altogether, taking a job writing technical manuals for the U.S. Government.

Decades later, a garbled bootleg cassette of a Smoker's Pole live performance surfaced in Oslo, Norway and quickly spread throughout Scandinavia. Some rock historians credit the influence of this tape for inspiring several generations of Nordic Umlaut Death Metal bands.

"That n-not my fault", stammered a terse Smoker during a recent telephone interview. "Go blame Lemmy."

That sounds like a good idea to me.

Lemmy, this is all your fault.


The New Breakfast Snob, Sat. May 16th

Motorhead- Killed By Death
Is Lemmy still alive? He must be, because the current version of Motorhead are getting ready to tour Scandinavia. Really.

Mothers of Invention- Happy Together
Happiness is a warm Turtle.

Crack The Sky- Maybe I Can Fool Everybody Tonight
"The last place I want perspiration odor is under my arms"

Jethro Tull- No Lullaby
Flute Metal at it's best.

King Crimson- 21st Century Schizoid Man
This is a great song for testing the endurance of speaker cones.

Alan Parsons Project- The System of Dr. Tarr & Prof. Fether
A literate rocker! This is what Big Dictionary could have sounded like.

Pere Ubu- My Friend Is A Stooge For The Media Priests
Aren't we all?

Jane's Addiction- 1%
He's right.

Cop Shoot Cop- Two At A Time
"I've been using up my lucky days two at a time"

Ross Phazor- You'll Never Change
This band is from a big city in Massachusetts that already has a band named after it. This track is a great "fuck-you" song that fits my mood quite well. This is one of the bands that I want to interview for my radio project, but they don't know it yet. Shhh. Let it be a surprise.

Kelly Richey- Leave The Blues Behind
My buddy Dave called me after this cool rocker and asked me if this was Chrissie Hynde, which is high praise, I think. Like Hynde, Richey is from Ohio, plays guitar and spins a good musical tale. Look for an interview in the near future.

Paw- Seasoned Glove
A bitter song generated a bitter call. My friend was explaining to me how he just quit his band after nine years. He sounded wounded and angry. I grok.

Pretty Things- Bitter End
I dedicated this to my bitter friend. I feel almost cheerful in comparison.

Golden Palominos- Work Was New
"You better shoot me, electrocute me
Put the hood over my head and execute me
Put me outta my misery like a broken horse"

P.J. Harvey- Rid of Me
I'm hurting.

Agony Column- Bayou
This band has a bummer name.

Suicidal Tendencies- A Little Each Day
Another bummer name.

Coffin Break- Stupid Love Song
One more bummer name.
"Why do/you do to me/what makes me write this/stupid love song?"

The Damned- Just Can't Be Happy Today
The last song of the "bummer name" set.

Nikki Barr- Go
I hate war, but I respect our troops and the bands that entertain them. Props to Barr's band for doing that.

Neil Young- Welfare Mothers
"Dee-vor- cee...beautiful."

Area 27- Wild Card
Wonderfully produced wrathful sex machine song.

Anouschka- Good Girl Gone Wild
This jaunty blues goes out to my favorite Scorpio.

Jenn Cass- Forever Damned
This one also goes out to my favorite Scorpio, because once is never enough for her.

Lou Reed- Vicious
Have another!

Stephanie Seskin- Stay Where You Are
This song sounds nice but isn't. Seskin is another artist that I'm planning to interview for the radio.

Iridesense- Obvious
It took me forever to find this band on-line because of the mis-spelled name. Bookmarked now.

Sexsha Brayne- Armageddon A Go Go
Did you know that Revelations is part of the Gay Agenda? I think that's kinda cool.

Next week: Smooth, 'lite' jazz.



Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to start saying "Go blame Lenny."

Anonymous said...
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angel said...

I think I can get used to saying "Go blame Lenny."
Nice selection!

NYD said...

What exactly happend to Smoker? Did he hit a bookmark or end up on the end of a dangling participle???

I really enjoyed reading this and will certainly be blaming Lemmy for all things inconvenient.

Craig D said...

How many of the good ones did we lose to proofreading back in the 'sixties? Addictionaries are on a one-way ride to literacy, my friend. It is a dead-end street, in the day and age.

Speck said...

...Strunkian philosophy...Bwahahaha! Love this! Geez you are a genius.

Allan said...

CW- "Lemmy"

SPAM- Goodbye

Angel- "Lemmy"...he's sensitive about it.

NYD- It's a long story. Period.

CD- Addictionaries! I love that!

Speck- Strunkian...I think you might be the only one who got that. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You say Lemmy, I say Lenny. :)

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