Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week: Wednesday 7th November

Best Music-Related Tok Pisin Phrase
“The Prince of Wales spoke in the local language called Tok Pisin as he introduced himself as the nambawan pikinini bilong Misis Kwin—the number one child belonging to Mrs Queen. It is a creole language widely spoken in Papua New Guinea. Tok is derived from the English word talk and Pisin from pidgin. Much of its vocabulary has a charm of its own. For instance, liklik box you pull him he cry you push him he cry is an accordion…”

The Video That Killed A Career
Alexis Petridis wrote an interesting piece about the new book, I Want My MTV, a few weeks back, and mentioned eighties arena rock star Billy Squier and the video for the track Rock Me Tonite, directed by Kenny Ortega. I finally got around to watching it, and it is quite the most deranged and strange video ever made (it often makes lists of the worst videos of all time), after which Billy’s career tanked. As I watched it I felt sad for Billy, and perused the usual sidebar links to other Billy Squier videos. I alighted on one where he’s sitting on a high stool in a lecture theatre, alone except for a blonde Telecaster, capo’d at A. I clicked the link. He’s playing a smallish fundraiser, fairly recently. He has a suit jacket on, and looks like a better preserved, more dignified Joe Perry. The guitar is powerfully amped, and he starts a strutting riff as he plays In The Dark. It’s terrific. A fairly generic eighties rock number, he gives it 110%, wailing and bending strings like a man possessed, and for as long as it plays you want to be driving down a road, really fast, at night.

Nail. Head. Ladies & Gentlemen, Robbie Fulks
On sifting and sorting and downsizing his CD collection: “Scrapping fat glossy packages by the likes of Timbaland, Nelly, Luke Bryan, and T.G. Sheppard (to be clear, and not to inflame everyone, I like a few songs by all these guys okay, but can’t justify the permanent storage of dozens of them) reminds me of the passing nature of fashionable taste, and the extravagance of the moneyed sector of the music industry in satisfying it. The photography on the Timbaland record that has somehow come into my possession looks like it cost a hundred thousand dollars. The booklet is so thick you can hardly coax it from the jewel case. If some dude turns a goofball idea into a popular hit and everyone dances around and enjoys the summer more, it doesn’t seem very objectionable. But when you give a moment’s thought to the year-of-vaccines-for-Bangladeshis’ worth of art design, the carbon footprint of multiple buses crisscrossing the country for years on end, and the transfer of millions upon millions of dollars from work-weary parents to summer-enjoying kids… you almost have to weep.”

Albert Hall Ceiling

No Day In The Life references here, no siree…

What Has Happened Down Here Is The Wind Have Changed
Listening to jazz clarinetist Sammy Rimington sing River Stay Away From My Door on Saturday night, I’m put in mind of the effects of Hurricane Sandy on friends on the East Coast. Rick in NYC: “It’s weird and slightly creepy walking back into the deep dark of lower Manhattan below 30th Street at night. I expect highwaymen with every breeze.” And John in Woodstock: “A bunch of big old trees came down, leaving us cold and dark and off the grid until early this morning. The soundtrack is chainsaws, nothing but chainsaws.” As the song’s lovely Carmichaelish melody unfolds, Sammy sings plaintively over the top: “Don’t come up any higher/Cause I’m all so alone/Just stay away from my bed and my fire/Cause that’s all I own…”

The Sammy Rimington International Band, Headcorn Village Hall

Comments

  1. antonioolmos says:

    Your blog reminded me to watch the Billy Squier video. It reeks of the record company involvement. I dont remember seeing it in the 80s. We know one thing for sure, Billy Can’t dance.

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