Do the Doughnut with our Lockdown Sessions captain and close personal friend Townsman hrrundivbakshi! That hole in the middle is for you to fill in this All-Star Jam.
Considering that INXS was one of the most popular bands in the world during their reign, you will be forgiven for thinking, “What asshole thinks INXS is in need of a critical upgrade?”
Recently, on a work call, a Scottish colleague quoted an INXS lyric that was actually poignant. I’d never considered the lyrics of INXS, and maybe the rest of their lyrics are still not worth my consideration, but I did realize that one reason I never paid any attention to their lyrics was because the rhythms and animal desire expressed by Michael Hutchence were so strong. The craft of those unavoidable hit songs from the late-’80s was strong, too. I’ll go one bold step further: For a popular ’80s band, they struck a solid Look.
I never particularly loved or even liked INXS, but they had it down. I discovered Roxy Music just as they started to get super slick, over their last couple of albums. Because I was hooked by the early, wild stuff, I could “excuse” some of the too-slick-for-my-sensibilities areas into which Bryan Ferry led the band. On the other hand, INXS came out of the gates, for me at least, all slick and shiny and pumped up. Looking back, I’ll take this INXS song over any late-period Roxy Music song other than “More Than This.”
I expect that both my close personal friend E. Pluribus Gergely and the wonderful 2000 Man are squirming as they read this, but I think they’d agree that Mick Jagger, from 1983 on, would have cut off his left nut to make music this good.
I woke up today and was reminded on public radio that it’s Ringo’s birthday, his 80th! The first thing I thought was, “Wow, just thinking about Ringo makes me feel good! He’s the perfect antidote to these times.”
Last week, his song “Photograph” came on the radio, and as happens any time that song kicks in – pre-pandemic, pandemic, and eventually post-pandemic – I teared up. There’s so much empathy in that song, in Ringo’s delivery, in the arrangement. If I’m ever required to tear up, something that isn’t too hard to get me to do, play me “Photograph” or Elton John’s “Daniel.”
I’m a John Guy with a strong Paul Sensibility lurking in the background, but I’m going to let Ringo be my co-pilot today.
I wish I had seen this video a couple of days ago, to help me cherish it on the 4th of July.
Beside Japan’s Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi; Beto O’Rourke; and the late, not-lamented, reprehensible White Boy Blooz icon Lee Atwater, are there any other contenders for Most Rocking Political Figure? Politicians from outside the United States are welcome. Some contenders who immediately come to my mind…after the jump!
Me and (relatively) new music, especially (relatively) new music in the country vein…this happens about as often as a Philadelphia sports team winning a world championship. But first, can we talk about the most intriguing hairdo the music world has ever set before my eyes?
I don’t know how we measure this, so let’s trust our hearts. Years ago, after already putting in 10 years of loving The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society album, my wife and I were driving somewhere as that album played and I had my finger on the SKIP button of our old car’s CD player as “Big Sky” began to play. “Big Sky” was not a surefire needle-lifter for me, but beside Lou Reed’s music and some Bob Dylan songs that may qualify, I’m not a big fan of talk-singing. I felt there was something hokey about “Big Sky” to make me want to listen to it every time I listened to that album. And I listened to that album frequently.
DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL, my wife essentially said to me. She explained, “The song captures how I feel about nature, and the break is the most beautiful thing!”
She had a point there: the break is the most beautiful thing. “When I feel/That the world’s too much for me…” Beautiful!
I no longer skip “Big Sky,” not even occasionally, and for this city boy, it’s 100% for the love of the middle eight, not nature. Sorry. To be less of a natural, take-it-as-it-comes person, every time I hear that song I ask myself, Is there any middle eight that dominates relative to the song into which it’s set, that is so far greater than the rest of the song, than this one?
I think not.
You may have your own relatively most-dominant middle eight to suggest. REMEMBER: This is different than simply your favorite middle eight. I’m looking for songs that you find possibly saved by the middle eight. You might say, “the break is worth the price of admission.” Let’s hear it!