Picture this – your lead singer is such a drunk your label fires him after recording your first album, the album is a smash, you have hits with songs he wrote. But you can’t get him back because he committed suicide after being fired. Hollywood fiction? No, this is the story of The Gin Blossoms. The album was New Miserable Experience. I still have a review & write up about the band that was published in Entertainment Weekly.
With all that drama I expected Experience to be dark & brooding but instead it was light, cheerful. Songs were about breakups & romantic difficulties. Their sound was very Byrds – sweet guitar, strong harmonies. Comfortable. They followed it up with ‘Congratulations …I’m Sorry’ & later ‘No Chocolate Cake’ They’ve released other lps but these 3 are all I needed. Later albums are solid pop music, easy to listen to & lyrically they remain in that angsty sweet romance territory.
Also on this mp3 collection is music from the late-60s Emitt Rhodes. The Merry-Go-Round Live: the band he started with; then 3 of his solo lps Emitt; Mirror; Farewell To Paradise – by solo I mean he does everything. Plays every instrument. This was a thing back in the day & it was done without GarageBand 🙂 The group album is another Byrds/Cyrcle sound of radio friendly pop.
I had the first two solos as lps then eventually replaced them with mp3. He sounds a like Paul McCartney (who also did a couple of I-play-everything lps). The songs are sweet, full of domestic playfulness. More a curiosity than compelling music. This I-play-everything has been taken up by Stevie Wonder, even Prince.
To span decades & styles I also have The Best of Chubby Checker here. He’s before my time but I do enjoy this r’n’b James Brown lite stuff that sold millions. He was part of the dance craze craze with songs here like The Fly, The Twist & even the Mashed Potatoes. Finally to bring things into this decade is some Nosaj Thing: Drift – fun electronica. All music you can dance to so – everybody do the peppermint twist.
‘Do you think it’ll work? I mean does it suit me?’ The woman stood in front of the mirror holding a shapeless, pink lace blouse in front of herself.
‘Looks great. Good colour for you. What do you think David?’
Tracy always called on him for these final moments with a customer who had been worrisome. The woman had been in the story for about thirty minutes. The longer they took the less likely it was they would buy.
‘It’s for a party I’m going to. It isn’t too, you know …’
‘It’s fun but formal.’
‘I don’t want to look like a … ’ her voice dropped, ‘slut. You know what I mean.’
Dave wanted to laugh. Slut. It would take more than a blouse to make this mousy woman look like a woman let alone a slut.
‘I’m not sure. Let me look at that other one again.’
Tracy handed her a shiny silver pull over with small mirror beads sewn around the wrists and neck.
Dave went to overcoat section where a man had been taking coats down.
‘Can I help you, sir?’
He had been reluctant to go over as overcoats was Mr. Oaks speciality. No one sold these overpriced, dead weight coats as well as he did.
‘I was wondering …’
‘Are these waterproofed?’
David pulled a tag out of the sleeve of one of the coats.
‘Yes. It says here the wool has been treated to be water resistant.’
‘Water resistant is not waterproof.’
‘At this price I would expect it to be waterproof.’
‘Not in wool.’ Mr. Oaks joined them. His cologne was stronger so Dave knew he had been off for another visit to the facilities.
‘Top quality is never waterproofed. You know what that does to the fabric. Destroys it. Absolutely. Oh, it looks fine but after a few rains you’ll be sorry. Stretches out. Looses its shape very fast, it does. Thanks to the waterproofing. Now these are the finest Alpinea wool, naturally water resistant.
‘You know what that means? Water resistant? Water beads and rolls off. Simple.
‘Water proofing causes the fabric to hold water on the surface longer, it doesn’t just roll off but rather clings and drips. You have to hang to dry. Water resistant – once quick shake and its as dry as it needs to be.’
April 03 – every Tuesday
June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)