Monday, May 28, 2012

Eating The Animal Kingdom: Praying Mantis

Don Dixon & Marti Jones: Praying Mantis
[purchase studio version]

I just finished spending the day smoking a pork butt, creating some delicious pulled pork, so I’m going to head off in a very different direction. There is a sense of recycled-ness to this week’s theme—we are extending last week’s theme, and this blog has already done a food theme, but a long time ago in Internet terms, and in any event before I was part of this community of music obsessives. So, in keeping with this overlay to the theme, I am writing about a song that was posted back in 2009 by Darius, our fearless leader. But to liven things up, so to speak, I am posting a live version.

“Praying Mantis,” by Don Dixon, is a great, twisted pop song, by a performer who is not widely known, and known if at all for being a producer of little known acts such as R.E.M., The Smithereens (the New Jersey band founded in 1980, not the Northampton, Mass. a capella group founded in 1945), Marshall Crenshaw, and his wife, Marti Jones. Dixon, as a songwriter and performer, reminds me of people like Nick Lowe and John Hiatt.

This track is from a live “official bootleg” that was, I believe, available for purchase at some point, but no more. I originally downloaded it from the music blog Popdose, which states that Dixon and Jones permitted them to post the show for download. It was recorded on May 11, 1990 at the 1313 Club in Charlotte, NC. It is still up and you can hear the entire show here: [Live from the 1313 Club]

It appears, however, that the story that the female praying mantis always eats the male after mating isn’t true. [Snopes Article] So, if any male praying mantises are reading this blog, you may be able to rest easily, and should get out of your house, or nest, or wherever praying mantises live, and try to meet a nice girl.

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