John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band – “Tender Years” (Video – 1984)

November 11, 2008 at 9:37 pm (Music)

Video of Cafferty’s other big hit from the soundtrack to Eddie and the Cruisers. This song also had a very big Bruce Springsteen vibe to it – not just his voice but the saxophone of course sounds alot like the Big Man, Clarence Clemons. Good song though…
This song came out in late 1983 but was released as a single in early ’84…

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John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band – “On the Dark Side” (1983)

November 11, 2008 at 9:32 pm (Music)

From the Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack, this was one of the best Bruce Springsteen imitation songs of the 80s.

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NRBQ – “At Yankee Stadium” (1978)

November 11, 2008 at 2:40 am (Fran Fried, Reviews & Articles)

Fran Fried wrote this review for Amazon.com, June 9, 2005…

 

A Great Moment in Yankee Stadium History

 

It was the spring of ’78. The sun was shining. The Yankees were enjoying (though not for long before going back to battling among themselves) their first world championship since I was a year old. Phil Rizzuto was about to earn his first and only gold record for his play-by-play of Meat Loaf trying to beat Ellen Foley’s tag at the plate. And four musicians were making history by just sitting next to the first-base dugout at the empty Stadium – just so they could do a photo shoot so they could have a wiseass title for one of the best rock’n’roll albums ever recorded.
NRBQ had a big effect on a dweeby teen who was still too young to see them play at one of about a dozen bars around Connecticut (seemingly every night, by the radio ads). You could hear Big Al Anderson, Terry Adams, Joey Spampinato and Tommy Ardolino on any FM station in the state, and Al’s bouncing, wistful, madly infectious “Ridin’ in My Car” (from the All Hopped Up album from ’76) was already as much an anthem in those parts as his “No Good to Cry” was with The Wildweeds a decade earlier.
I already knew these guys were good, with songs like “Ridin’ in My Car,” “RC Cola and a Moon Pie” and “Get That Gasoline.” But the night WHCN played Yankee Stadium in its entirety at midnight in the spring of ’78 was my second big, life-changing musical experience (after Costello’s first Saturday Night Live appearance three months before). Up to that point, I had heard music that was loud and hard; I had heard soft and sensitive; I had heard clever; I had heard jazzy; I had heard soulful. But I had never heard magical. It was when I first realized this wasn’t just a bunch of guys who played cool tunes – this was a Great Band! One of the best ever. Later on, I appreciated them for their vast encyclopedic knowledge of American music; for their ability to be incredibly sloppy yet incredibly tight at the same time. At that moment, as a music fan-in-training, it was just enough to be wowed.
The nasty guitar riff Al laid down to open Terry and Joey’s “Green Lights” (later the title cut to a Bonnie Raitt album) was a wakeup call. But it was just one of many sounds they played with on this short little LP: the flat-out simple, sing-song innocence of Joey’s ballad “I Love Her, She Loves Me” (with Terry’s toy piano bringing it all home); the reverent but tough raveup of Johnny Cash’s “Get Rhythm”; the freewheeling 12-bar blues of “That’s Neat, That’s Nice”; Terry’s innocent, unabashed and mighty rocker “I Want You Bad” (later done by Dave Edmunds); Al’s relentless (and true) “It Comes to Me Naturally”; and a version of “Shake, Rattle and Roll” that showcased their trademark slophouse, big-backbeat rhythm.
After over a half-hour, I still wanted more. Then came a pause after “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” and then came the cherry on top: “Ridin’ in My Car” making a return appearance on yet another Q album. It was only fitting that their best song capped off their best album.
Yankee Stadium made me a fan for life. (It was also the first album I ever reviewed, for my high school paper.) The later releases of the album don’t include “Ridin’in My Car,” but it can be found on a number of other CD collections. Besides, it doesn’t take away from what was already a stupendous collection of rock’n’roll. If you have a teenage music fan, play it for him or her. The kid really will thank you for it someday…

Fran Fried

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Terry Southern – “…A Devastating Ridicule of All That Is False…” (1962)

November 11, 2008 at 1:56 am (Reviews & Articles, The Beats, William S. Burroughs)

This essay was included in the 1962 promotional “prospectus” that Grove Press prepared for the publication of “Naked Lunch”…

 

In life there is that which is funny, and there is that which is politely supposed to be funny. Literature, out of a misguided appeal to an imaginary popular taste and the caution of self-distrust, generally follows the latter course, so that the humor found in books is almost always vicarious — meeting certain “traditional” requirements and producing Naked Lunch the kind of laughter one might expect: rather strained. Burroughs’ work is an all-stops-out departure from this practice, and he invariably writes at the very top of his ability.
The element of humor in Naked Lunch is one of the book’s great moral strengths, whereby the existentialist sense of the absurd is taken towards an informal conclusion. It is an absolutely devastating ridicule of all that is false, primitive, and vicious in current American life: the abuses of power, hero worship, aimless violence, materialistic obsession, intolerance, and every form of hypocrisy. No one, for example, has written with such eloquent disgust about capital punishment; throughout Naked Lunch recurse sequences to portray the unfathomable barbarity of a “civilization” which can countenance this ritual. There is Naked Lunch one way, of course, to ridicule capital punishment — and that is by exaggerating its circumstances, increasing its horror, accentuating the animal irresponsibility of those involved, insisting that the monstrous deed be witness (and in technicolor, so to speak) by all concerned. Burroughs is perhaps the first modern writer to seriously attempt this; he is certain Naked Lunch is the first to have done so with such startling effectiveness. Social analogy and parallels of this sort about in Naked Lunch, but one must never mistake this author’s work for political comment, which, as in all genuine art, is more instinctive than deliberate — for Burroughs is first and foremost a poet. His attunement to contemporary language is probablly unequalled in American writing. Anyone with a feeling for English phrase at its most balanced, concise, and arresting cannot fail to see this excellence. For example, in describing the difficulty of obtaining narcotis prescriptions from wary doctors in the southwestern United States, he writes:

“Itinerant short con and carny hyp men have burned down the croakers of Texas…”

None of these words are new, but the sudden freshness of using “burned down” (to mean “having exploited beyond further possibility”) in this prosaic context indicates his remarkable power of giving life to a dead vernacular.
Or again, where the metaphysical finds expression in slang:

“One day Little Boy Blue starts to slip, and what crawls out would make an ambulance attendant puke…”

And, psychological:

“The Mark Inside was coming up on him and that’s a rumble nobody can cool…”

Imagery of this calibre puts the use of argot on a level considerably beyond merelly “having a good ear for the spoken word.” Compared to Burroughs’ grasp of modern idiom in almost every form of English — and his ability at distillation and ellipsis — the similar efforts of Ring Lardner, and of Hemingway, appear amateurish and groping.
The role of drugs is of singular importance in Burroughs’ work, as it is, indeed, in American life. In no other culture in the history of the world has the use of narcotics, both legal and illicit, become so strange and integral a part of the overall scene. And reviviscent addiction has reached such prevalence and intensity that, in teh larger view, it can no longer matter whether it be considered a “crime” or a “sickness” — it is a cultural phenomenon with far more profound implications than either diagnosis suggests.
Burroughs’ treatment of narcotics, like his treatment of homosexuality, ranges from that of personal psychology, through the sociological, and finally into pure metaphor. And he is perhaps the first writer to treat either with both humor and humility.
Although Naked Lunch, and his second novel, The Soft Machine, have not been available (except clandestinely) in either America or England — ostensibly because of the preponderance of “obscene words” — they have had, in their Paris editions, an extremely wide reading among the creatively inclined of both countries. No one writing in English, with the exception of Henry Miller, has done so much towards freeing the reader of the superstitions surrounding the use of certain words and certain attitudes. And it is safe to add that for the new generation of American writers the work of William Burroughs is by far the most seriously influential being done today.

Terry Southern

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