Jun 092020

This pretty much sums up…something…

Jam on it!


  14 Responses to “All-Star Jam”

  1. trigmogigmo

    Someone needs to put the opening theme music for “Succession” over that.

  2. I’m getting a Michael York vibe out of the devil child.

  3. Here’s some interesting theory about the conventional wisdom surrounding the Doors from a 30something music/culture writer.


    If you don’t want to go to Twitter, here is copy-and-paste version.

    It’s totally valid to just not be into The Doors, but every reason “they suck” provided by someone who performatively hates them is some combination of wildly off-base, hypocritical in terms of their own taste, or just flat-out dumb, and it’s often just parroting someone else. I loathe hand-me-down opinions in music culture, where the bias of some asshole from 1972 or 1983 or 1994 has to be eternally echoed by lazy, cowardly people who want to feel safe in their taste. Also the notion that Jim Morrison’s lyrics were actually worse and more pretentious than almost any of his contemporaries doing garage/psychedelia in the late 60s is laughable if you’ve got any real knowledge of his context. Frankly if you want to single out a major 60s band for being overblown, wildly pretentious, and having a frontman with very little depth, I direct you to The Who – they don’t suck at all obvs, but most complaints about The Doors fit them a lot better.

  4. Mr Mod, I don’t know what it says about you or about me but I totally understand your “This pretty much sums up…something…” intro.

    But you must give the etymology of the rabbit hole that led to that video.

  5. I watched two streaming concerts the last two nights both of the same origin, Signature Sounds, a studio/venue in Northampton (the Massachusetts one, Happiness Stan, not yours).

    Monday was James McMurtry whom I have been disappointed in the last few times I’ve seen him and Monday that was the case and more so. He definitely falls in the category of someone much better with a band than solo.

    Last night was Freedy Johnston. I have not seen him or heard anything of him for probably 15-20 years (and yet, apropos of a recent thread, I think of him as someone “new” I’ve liked). Last night’s performance was very good; maybe it’s time to see what I’ve missed with him.

    These Signature Sounds shows are archived if anyone is interested. Robbie Fulks did one a few weeks ago that was great.

  6. “Also the notion that Jim Morrison’s lyrics were actually worse and more pretentious than almost any of his contemporaries doing garage/psychedelia in the late 60s is laughable if you’ve got any real knowledge of his context.”

    That’s true…but I’m not sure that anyone who complains about Morrison’s is really comparing him to any of them—or, I should say, perhaps they are, but I have very much never seen anyone make such a comparison. They’re comparing him, in my experience, to Bob Dylan and John Lennon and Ray Davies, yes, perhaps, Pete Townshend (is he the Who frontman in this context or is Roger Daltrey? I assume Daltrey, but unlike most frontmen—then and now—he didn’t write the lyrics, obviously). Meanwhile, Morrison himself wanted to be compared, I believe, to the likes of Baudelaire and Mallarmé and Verlaine (…Tom?) and Rimbaud and such and, I mean.

    Meanwhile, no one really defends 60s psychedelia, in my experience, as anything other than dated, if perhaps fun.

    I mean, compare Morrison’s lyrics to those of his own very much contemporary, John Fogerty, and it’s absolutely embarrassing. Or, hells bells, even compare him to Robert Plant, whose lyrics were mainly about sex when not about Tolkien (tangent: I’ve always found it amusing that prog bands get tagged with the Lord of the Rings snide remarks when I’m not sure any of the major prog bands ever actually did make any such references, whereas the coolest of the cool bands, LZ, did several times), and are sometimes kinda icky in a “yes, okay, we GET it, you wanna bang her/all of her friends and maybe her sister, now move on” kinda way and yet aren’t as jejune and puerile as Morrison’s “hey, I got an A- in my sophomore creative writing class! and I was TRIPPING when I wrote it!” lyrics.

    I mean, I don’t want to be snotty, I really don’t, but the lyrics to one of the best song the band ever did go, in part:
    “There’s a killer on the road”
    Okay, that’s evocative, especially with the stormy lounge lizard music going on behind it…
    “His brain is squirming like a toad”
    …at which point how can you help but feel deflated by such a lazy and simply silly rhyme?

    Here’s the reason I think they sucked: their organist sounded like a carnival player, their drummer (who seems to be an AWESOME guy) is described as jazzy except he doesn’t have the chops to even get an audition to Berklee, never mind not being able to actually play jazz, and their singer was a pretentious douchenozzle.

    Now, none of those are exactly firing offenses. The reason the Doors get the criticial slings and arrows they do is because they were so popular, and became so again in the late 70s/early 80s, and because people still claim they were not just popular or even important but also great.

    Listen, the heart wants what it wants—god knows I get that. And I do believe the Doors were one of the most important bands of the 60s. They also had a [seemingly perpetually stoned to this day] good guitarist who wrote most of their best stuff and could rip off some pretty sweet lines, actually. And pretentious as Morrison could be, he was admittedly objectively hella hot (these things matter!) and did possess, to my ears, an arresting baritone.

    And, for what it’s worth, I DO think the Doors pushed music forward in some ways, including (for better or worse) laying some of the roots of prog with their lengthy epics—and going all Oedipal like that really was a pretty bold damn move, for example. Even if I don’t actually want to hear “The End” even 1% as often as “Close to the Edge.”

    “Peace Frog” — especially but not exclusively the guitar — is a damn jam and no mistake.

  7. Happiness Stan

    Cripes, if the choice of listening is The End or Close to the Edge I’ll go and slash my wrists now

  8. @al, that video was sent over Facebook from one movie collector friend to another. I’m not sure that they recognized the humor of it, as they and other movie collectors commenced to comparing that montage to other montages from obscure foreign films.

  9. Jim Morrison was his own worst enemy, thanks to the combination of his inflated sense of poetic self and his hotness. If he did that whole Bacchanalian poet act while looking like tough-guy Hobbit Eric Burden, we could better appreciate The Doors for what they were.

  10. diskojoe

    After not having any Doors music in my collection for about 30 yrs., I first purchased the singles compilation that came out a few years ago & I traded my MOJO magazine collection for a Doors box set. Although I still think Jim Morrison was still a bit over the top, the music itself is half decent. I think that their Soft Parade album was their attempt of doing their own version of Love’s Forever Changes.

  11. BigSteve

    Manzarek blathering endlessly about Morrison being a shaman has blinded people to the Doors’ virtues. If only we could foreground the singles, especially the Krieger songs.

    And did people who liked psychedelic music really like it for the lyrics? I think not.

  12. BigSteve

    I just watched the Spasmo clip. That was AWESOME.

  13. mockcarr

    After three months without a haircut, I think I could fit into 1974 with a little hairspray and wider lapels.

  14. I’m not sure that “The Soft Parade” is an attempt at Forever Changes. I think it’s more an attempt at a slick LA pop production a la the Fifth Dimension or MacArthur Park. I love that album totally for it’s flaws, totally underwritten and overproduced. And then there’s the title song. It crams about four times the half developed material of the Abbey Road medley into a shorter package, with some hilarious Morrisonisms to boot.

    I recall a friend very long ago, like in 1971, saying she thought that the album was weak because it was more of the same old. Weak, maybe, but it certainly was something else compared to the first three albums. Waiting for the Sun was the one that deserved her criticism.

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