Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pass That Pipe

Artist: Bob Frank

Album: Bob Frank

Song: "Judas Iscariot"

In his book God Is Red, Vine Deloria Jr. noted:

Theories abound as to the exact origin of the Jesus movement, but at least one reputable theory is that it came as a desperate effort by young people to get off drugs....Jesus became a drug substitute for a significant number of people....Jesus was a perpetual "high"...

Perhaps Bob Frank was a free-spirited archaeologist, unafraid to dirty his patched bellbottoms as he explored damp caves and forgotten city sites. He seems to have brushed stringy hair from his eyes long enough to discover an unknown gospel, one written by one of Jesus's more progressive disciples. In this little-studied manuscript, Jesus did not just turn water into wine. He also may have turned grass into, um, hash.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pushin' That Diesel Since Early Dawn

Artist: Bud Brewer
Album: Big Bertha, the Truck Driving Queen
Song: "Caffein, Nicotine, Benzedrine (and Wish Me Luck)"

Corduroy Mountain is overdue for
another truck-driving song, so let's turn to Mr. Bud Brewer and this ode to one long hauler's favorite passengers. Notice the energetic pedal steel seems to personify the frantic pump of an overworked heart, and the sawing fiddles imply the motion of a forearm wiping a torrent of sweat from the brow. Please forgive the misspelling in the song title; your spell checker would be fried too with a highway diet consisting of such a copious amount of stimulants. Listen to his story and wish the man good luck. Sounds like he needs it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No Need to Take No for an Answer

Artists: Bread

Album: On the Waters

Song: "Blue Satin Pillow"

I'm posting this fine example of firm rock for my friend Josh. During a recent brunch at Langer's Deli, he expressed his desire to hear Bread rocking out harder than their classic singles would allow. Josh mentioned scouring the blogs for concert bootlegs where he rightly expected the band to get fuzzier and wilder. But I think "Blue Satin Pillow" off of Bread's sophomore platter is downright thunderous make-out music.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Offer on a Hundred Beautiful Memories

Artist: Wayne Parker

Album: Oklahoma Twilight

Song: "This Van's for Sale"

Boogie vans crisscrossed America in the 1970s. The shaggy occupants searched for another breathtaking sunset, keg party, or airbrush competition. These rectangular steeds with their shag interiors were the first hybrid vehicles, running on a mixture of gas, grass, or ass. That last ingredient surely sparked many impromptu romances and road trips. The great Sammy Johns memorialized this bellbottomed era with his classic "Chevy Van." But what happened when the gas tank of love hit "E" and there were no more tokes to be had on the romance roach? Wayne Parker gives us the tragic answer song.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

You Don't Hear My Voice

Artists: Black Grass

Album: Black Grass

Song: "Lock, Stock, and Barrel"

For someone whose patron saint of losers and unrequited love is Paul Westerberg, the soaring beauty of "Lock, Stock and Barrel" hits like the surprise of finding a $50 bill on the ground. My soundtrack for desperate yearning has always been hoarse, bleary-eyed, and coated in stubble, but Black Grass offers a compelling flipside that shows even wallflowers can stand elegant and proud.