Saturday, April 23, 2016
Purchase Bettie Serveert's Kids Alright
Back in the bushes we find a cat
Beat him up with a baseball bat
And grandma says we’ll turn out bad
And go straight to hell just like dad
I grew up in a sweet neighborhood where I could almost touch the window of the house across from me. But when you live that close, you can hear all the fighting and crying on the block. The loudest kids are seen as the worse. I remember listening to my quiet and boring neighbors next door try to make my mom crap on the loud boy across the street who ran out of his housescreaming at his parents. Shouldn’t we be more curious about the quiet houses where nothing seems to happen?
In “Kids’ Alright” Bettie Serveert has some fun with adults who get off on predicting doom for kids. Well these kids ain’t so nice actually, beating up cats and all with Louisville Sluggers and yet you cheer for them against their grammie through the line “But don’t you (grandma) get your hopes up high, The Kid’s alright.”
Bettie Serveert is from the Netherlands but played a lot more like an alt-country act from Missouri with some Dinosaur Jr guitar worship thrown in. Carol Van Dijk’s mumbles and snarls, the guitar twangs. “Kids’ Alright” is the fastest tune off their 1991 debut Palomine. In fact, you have trouble listening to this slow album straight through because “Kid’s Alright” is so catchy you want to hear it again and again. Yeah, maybe like a nude scene in a slightly above average film.
Bettie Serveert caught a good buzz early on, even opening up for Counting Crows on a leg of their tour (which made me respect Counting Crows a lot more) and then they fell. I thought Bettie Serveert had broken up shortly after their second album “Lamprey” and the Crows tour but I learned they made another 8 albums. So I dove into Youtube and came across a lot of playful pop which is pretty good but neglects the guitar chops of Peter Visser. Listen to them live and Visser’s work comes through.
Living in Istanbul where you can reach into the house next to you and grab the spoon out of a person’s hand, I always find it eerie how few kids I hear and see.
Posted by LaRay Gun, for Mr. Becker
Friday, April 22, 2016
From the beginning, what made Steve Martin great was the way he turned expectations on its head. Martin first burst into public consciousness at a time when comedians were moving away from the buttoned-up look to a more 60s counterculture appearance. Yet, he was known for performing in white suits, virtually the dictionary definition of “uncool.” His routines were based on unexpected juxtapositions, and ironic goofiness, like putting a fake arrow through his head. Or interrupting his set with some banjo playing. He is a true comic genius, and isn’t bad as an actor, playwright, musician, author, and art collector.
For some reason, despite the huge number of possible songs that I could have written about, this routine from the 1986 holiday episode of Saturday Night Live immediately jumped into my head. It is a classic example of Martin’s way of twisting expectations. It starts off with Martin, in a stereotypical “sincere television” Christmas setting, with soft music playing behind him, stating that if he had one holiday wish, “it would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace.” A beautiful sentiment, but not particularly funny, and we know that SNL at least tries to be funny.
Of course, Martin actually has other wishes, and by the end, “the crap about the kids” gets shunted behind what people would really want for the holiday, even if they wouldn’t ever admit it, and certainly not as part of a sappy ‘holiday wish” TV segment, including a month-long orgasm, unlimited power over every living being in the universe, $30 million a month, and that his enemies “should die like pigs in Hell!”
Then, of course, the children joining hands and singing.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
purchase [Child of the Moon]
Without children ... we don't continue.
I've got one, only one, and that's not "replacement" level. At my reproductive level, if we all do this over time, we'll end up with no one on earth.
Without children ... well ... you know.
But, to zoom in on this week's theme: Here's a trivia question for you to answer: What is the B side of Jumpin Jack Flash?
Of course, to answer that, you need to know what a B side is. But if you're following SMM, you already know. That would be the flipped side of the Jumping Jack Flash 45 RPM vinyl disk that came out in 1968. (The "hit" went on the A side, and the B side had some kind of filler.)
So ... Child of the Moon is "filler". Of sorts. The song "backing" Jumping Jack Flash.
Among my limited collection of early LP albums were two from the Rolling Stones. The year being about 1967, the albums would have been <Between the Buttons> and <Aftermath>. Whereas Jumping Jack Flash appeared on album in the late 60s, Child of the Moon was left for later albums - kind of an obscure Stones song. Interesting to me is the fact that a Google search of <Child of the Moon> brings up a multitude of other references. I would have thought that "Child of the Moon Wikipedia" would resolve/result in the Stones as the first link. (They are - after all - the first) Not so. Child of the Moon, while not a major musical hit, has taken on a life of its own beyond the song: TV episodes and such riding on the name/fame.
Someone else said:
... [the song] actually feels closer to pagan curse than lyric poem, a mixed-bag mojo potion invocation of a dream lover pushed to ritualistic nightmare by the hoodoo “Rain” beat of Charlie Watts’ drums, Brian Jones’ hypnotic saxophone drone, Jagger’s own fixed-pitch chant vocals and Jimmy Miller’s deeply unsettling shouting in those murky opening moments.
The song does appears to be a part of the Stones' acid journey - belonging more to the late 60s Satanic Majesty or Beggars Banquet than the mid 60s, when it came out. Must have been fast-lanes/ fast times in 1967-8.
As for lyrics:
Give me a misty day, pearly gray, silver, silky faced,
Wide-awake crescent-shaped smile
... child of the moon