Sorry for the radio silence. Thickness of events in the life of J Frank's ghostwriter.
Doesn't mean that J Frank couldn't meanwhile surf the web.
Now then: thanks to former New Yorker Bill for putting me onto the debut, North Pole, by The Primary 5, an offshoot of Teenage Fanclub by TF's former drummer Paul Quinn. So far, I think the one track I've heard, "What Am I Supposed to Do" sounds exactly like later-period Fanclub. Which is to say it's prettier than most other pop songs out there. And yet falling in a forest devoid of ears.
The Rich Girls are Weeping continues to turn me onto a milky way of music: the Crystal Skulls, for one, who don't always please me, but have one or two pleasure points isolated in my hippocampus with a specific track or two, no more. There's something emo, bad emo-ish, in other tunes that I can't explain away. But the following track is buttah:
Included in that milkway, RGaW today provides tracks from the syrupy brit-pop of the Veils (me likey their cabaret leanings, however subtle) and the Victorian English Gentlemen's Club, whose sound, more often than not, straddles the right side of that thin line between 'retro' and 'having influences.' The right influences, thank you.
Last night, like the rest of the music geek universe, I watched We Jam Econo, the probably defining movie on the Minutemen. Nice and short, like the songs, the flick has perfectamundo live footage that blows even this well-Minutemen-acquainted mind. Funnily enough, although they went against the punk vein, musically, I never really thought of them outside their peers in Black Flag, Saccharine Trust, etc; but watching this, I heard them with new ears, understanding their Beefheart and Pop Group hero worship, but also seeing their influence in the early Boredoms, even. DVD offers some swell extras, especially their "Ain't no Picnic" video, aka The Best Video of All Time, the video that changed my life one 1 am night when I was 12 watching Nite Flight. Can't find that on you tube right now, but please settle for a live rendition of my favorite Minutemen song, "Viet Nam."
I was also shorthaired by my sudden like for their Project: Mersh material, mostly through the great video for their "King of the Hill," which I had no idea existed. The Minutemen wrote great songs, but they were art projects, an acquired taste, and genius. Project: Mersh proved they could do it all, and do it conventionally, if they wanted to, and that makes me all the sadder that they'd have no future after D. Boon's death.
This past Friday night, at the Long Blondes with Mr. Tapeworm, I ran into an acquaintance who knew them, and once lived with drummer George Hurley. He told us that Mike Watt starts crying, to this day, whenever he speaks of D. Boon, not just in the flick.