Wow, here’s an oldie-but-goodie, first posted almost 5 years to the day, that many of our current daily participants have not had a crack at. This thread is so old that Wilco has had time to change its chemistry at least one more time. Enjoy.
This post initially appeared 1/28/07.
Changes in band chemistry need not ruin a band’s sound, but they will alter it greatly – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, sometimes for something just as good and interesting as the orginal but…different. Today, I’m most concerned with the first and last categories. We need not spend much time on the “for worse” category. Remember, this is a site to which fans on Ron Wood-era Stones need not apply.
Sad to read, just now, that producer Martin Rushent is dead at 63. He’s a musical figure whose name I’ve jotted down on yellow sticky notes as someone to attempt contacting for a Rock Town Hall interview: Buzzcocks, Generation X, The Stranglers, and—I’d forgotten about this until just now—Human League‘s Dare, possibly the only ’80s synth-pop band capable of turning out a few songs that I liked! (Speaking of Buzzcocks and Gen X, stay tuned for a coming thread/tournament centered on a brief discussion around those bands at our recent Sausagefest!)
Andrew Gold also died, also in his early 60s. I first heard him as the man behind the soft-rock anthem “What a Lonely Boy.” Prior to his solo career he was a key contributor to Linda Rondstadt‘s big ’70s albums. He would later strike paydirt writing and performing the theme songs to television sitcoms. Then, with money in the bank, didn’t he release some pseudo-’60s psych albums under a pseudonym and become a hero of the Audities power pop crowd? Or am I thinking of someone else? I do not recall Wax, an ’80s band he formed with 10 cc’s Graham Gouldman that seemed intent on showing Tears for Fears who was boss. Dig the trick Gold pulls at the end of his sax solo!
NEXT: Rock Town Hall’s Official Eulogy…
First, what must have been the commercially released video to accompany this star-studded cover of The Buzzcocks’ most-successful song. A list of the contributing artists appears toward the end.
Then, if the notion of the UK as a small, close-knit music community unlike anything we could imagine in the United States still hasn’t hit you, there’s the following, more mind-blowing homemade video:
See if you can hang on through the hyperventilating woman interviewing The Buzzcocks in Toronto, in 1979 (following a set up by some more recent Toronto VJ). As your reward, a little past the 5:00-minute mark, there’s a pretty clean performance of “What Do I Get?,” a rarity among the typically sloppy Buzzcocks live cuts from ye olden days that I usually come across.
What I really want to get at, though, is the inanity of media members who expect musicians to aspire to STARDOM and the whole “star treatment” routine. How intoxicating that can be for young musicians, but what a pain! I can think of at least one Townsperson who I bet has been through this type of interview. Anyone else to any degree? It’s one thing for a musician to humbly or secretly desire some form of success – or even to gun for it without prompting, but it’s quite another to be expected to act like you want to be the next Mick Jagger, like you should be oozing stardom and secretly hitting on the interviewer while he or she is sticking a mic in your face. This woman seems to be trying too hard to lead The Buzzcocks into acting like they’re something other than they are, missing the opportunity to talk to what seem to be a fun, interesting bunch of guys. I guess anyone on the other side of an interview has been guilty of feeding into an expected routine with an interview subject, but this style of interview strikes me as especially cheesy. I’ve got no beef with rock musicians who actually possess and/or attain star power, but the expectation for musicians to fall into that pattern can be…icky. It’s awkward to watch The Buzzcocks squirm through these expectations, no?
As ladymisskirroyale suspected, our latest Mystery Date, a song entitled “4jg,” was by early Human League, or maybe The Human League under their original name, The Future. I downloaded this track from a collection of early demos, The Golden Hour of The Future, and didn’t pay attention to which band name this track was recorded under.
There’s no doubting the band name for this track, from the same collection:
Supergrass announced their breakup today. As a memorial, please enjoy the above video, which never fails to cheer me up. I really enjoyed their stuff. Early on, they sounded like the Buzzcocks. Later on, they sounded like T.Rex and Bowie.
To be honest, though, their most recent album, Diamond Hoo Ha (2008), was easily my least favorite. Maybe this is mean, but I’m kinda relieved they’re breaking up, because I couldn’t really see myself buying any more of their albums. To put it a nicer way, they’re getting out just in time. Any other artists you feel that way about, glad they’re splitting because you can feel their inspiration waning?