4.28.2005

Psssst...

Sorry about the inactivity lately. It's entirely self imposed, and only because I'm about to reach the end of my bandwidth for the month and sadly can't afford the $2 for every 1GB I go over my percentage. Maybe when I'm making the big bucks. So please, rest assured that I haven't thrown in the towel. I'm actually dying to post more, but I'll have to wait a few more days.

Right now I'm taking down the Radiohead stuff, so if you see something there you absolutely must have, drop me an email to my profile addy and I'll see what I can do.

And for being patient with me, here's one more song to carry us out of April:

clem.jpg
"Joan Jett of Arc" by CLEM SNIDE: Clem Snide (that's the name of the band, not a dude) have been around for years now, and just recently released a new record. "Joan Jett of Arc" is from two records prior, 2001's THE GHOST OF FASHION.

While these guys haven't exactly tasted fame and fortune (the NBC show "Ed" used one of their songs as its theme for a year or two), they most certainly deserved a taste with this album. So many good songs. If you find your way over to iTunes or eMusic, check out "Long Lost Twin," "Chinese Baby" or "Let's Explode." Once you get over lead singer Eef Barzelay's Kermit-the-Frog vocals (I personally have no problem with 'em), the record will just suck you right in.

Oddly, I didn't even stumble on this record because I was looking for Clem Snide. I was browsing through the iTunes music store one night and decided to see what Joan Jett songs they had available (not many). When I was growing up, I had a HUGE crush on Joan Jett. I was there for the start of MTV, and nothing captured my attention like Joan kicking around a bar in black leather in the "I Love Rock n' Roll" video. Ever since, I've had a little thing for punk rock chicks who could probably beat my ass. Of course, Joan turned out to be a lesbian. Such is my luck.

Anyway included in that iTunes search was tonight's song. I listened to the snippet and hit download before the 30 second sample had finished.

I challenge you to find a song that so expertly balances equal parts sadness, longing and sexual innuendo. Seriously, this is the filthiest sad song I may have ever heard. From what I can tell, it's the story of a guy fondly remembering his first love, his "Joan Jett of Arc." Barzelay plays with words brilliantly here, evoking the time frame the story takes place in by including song and artist references in his innuendo.

"Take me down south, with Hall and Oates in her mouth." Hilarious. Of course, we don't know if she's humming Hall and Oates, or if that's the narrator's nickname for his private parts. But come on, you know what he's talking about. Other references include Joan Jett herself ("My black heart was heavy" = Jett's backing band, The Blackhearts), John "Couger" Mellencamp ("her mom's Couger was fast, as little pink houses were whistled") and the song's ending, which is - to my ears - a nod to that quiet verse near the end of Don McLean's "American Pie."

I'll forgive the guy for making a verbal quip out of my first love's name while trying to honor his own first love. You're lucky it's a great song, you bastard.

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27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm no blogging expert, but can't bloggers receive donations from grateful readers? That way, you could rock us full-time.

noachim said...

Great call on this song, and on Clem Snide. I think you're right about the sexual innuendo, but this song is totally a rip on white trash culture, too (making fun of The Sizzler, a Mercury Couger, sunflower seeds for dinner, etc).

I've had THE GHOST OF FASHION for probably 3 years now, and it's a great, underrated, generally unknown album. The opener is a pretty great song, too.

Dylan Gaughan said...

Anon #1, you're right... I guess I just never feel like I have the right to ask for help like that. I've seen bloggers put links to Paypal right on their site, but that kind of stuff embarasses me for some reason. I'm obviously not trying to profit off of this blog (it costs me money every month).

I guess if you're so inclined, my PayPal address is the same as my email address: dmg541@comcast.net.

But please, no matter who is reading this, don't feel obligated one bit. I just appreciate the fact that there are people out there reading and listening to this stuff.

Noachim, that's a great call regarding the white trash element of "Joan Jett of Arc." It's totally something I've thought about (really, who eats at Sizzler... and is it around anymore?), but I guess the song sounds so sincere that I felt kind of bad somewhere in the back of my mind about judging someone else's sentimentality.

Normally, I'm an unbearable prick, so I don't know how that thought escaped me last night.

Thanks everyone!

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