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:
"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.
Sometimes I think maybe I've met too many good people.
I've always been a somewhat hesitant misanthrope. On paper, the human race is just a big fucking mess, isn't it? One gigantic, untrustworthy fleshy mass of psychosis with a behavioral ineptitude that would rival any rabid pack of hyenas. To quote one of my favorite Mr. Show skits, "What a collection of assholes."
A small part of me has always relished the though of disappearing. Just cashing in my chips and going off to some beach or some island somewhere. I think about the dust-bowlers or guys like Woody Guthrie, hopping trains whenever things got too familiar. Or I'll wonder what it was like for the first settlers in this country to fill a wagon with everything they could fit and wander out into a wilderness like we'll never be able to comprehend.
Sometimes I wonder if I could pull off something like that, but then I remember all those goddamned good people who I've befriended over the years and know I could never do it. That's right, my friends and family are standing in the way of my perfect hobo's life.
After a lot of stressful inner debate, I've made the decision to leave Chicago at the end of next month. The details aren't all that important... I'm just looking to start a career in nursing (see what I mean about the hesitant misanthrope?) and this town isn't the cheapest place to get it done. I've only been here for about two and a half years, but I've fallen in love with this city and it's going to be hard to leave. I still haven't gotten over leaving the East Coast, my family and friends behind, and now I get to do it all over again.
I'm posting only one song tonight, and it's one that is always at the top of my mind when it comes time to say goodbye to the people I love:
"I Was Young When I Left Home" by BOB DYLAN
Back when I lived in Philadelphia and Delaware, I played a show every few months at the coffeeshop where I worked. If it hadn't been for the constant pushing of my friend James out there, I probably never would have bothered breaking out my guitar. (I certainly haven't done it here in Chicago. Overstimulation's a bitch.) Anyway, I played this song once or twice, but I remember playing it for my last show in town before I moved. As I practiced for the week or two before the show, the lyrics got me to the point where I couldn't play it without crying.
"It was just the other day,
I was bringing home my pay
when I met an old friend I used to know.
Said your mother's dead and gone,
baby sister's all gone wrong
and your daddy needs you home right away.
Not a shirt on my back,
not a penny on my name.
But I can't go home thisaway.
Thisaway, lord lord lord.
And I can't go home thisaway."
Bob recorded that in a hotel room on December 22, 1962, and the above two verses do a better job of explaining my dilemma more than my preceeding six paragraphs. I want to live everywhere and see everything, and there's a price to pay for that in the form of that enormous lack I will have in my heart when I think about my nephews, my parents... and dammit, James. I miss bowling with my brother. I'll miss sitting in my apartment with my roommates and listening to all of this music that means so much to us.
I wish I could stay. There's just too many good people out there.
A reader reminded me the other day of another band whose b-sides have created in me a salacious need to collect as many as possible: Radiohead. Thom Yorke and his palefaced buddies somehow manage to be both the argument for album bands AND singles bands. Records like KID A, THE BENDS or OK COMPUTER stand as complete statements, proof that not all albums are just a couple of good tracks surrounded by a bunch of filler.
But some of their most adventurous and beautiful music never made it onto their records. B-sides are always a good opportunity for a band to have a little more "fun," to say "this one's for the people who don't mind if we stretch out a little." Radiohead are no exception to this rule.
I'd love to make you all an album-length collection of Radiohead songs, but I don't have the time to burn all those discs and mail them out. So I'll do it here. This is intended as the first in a series of 3 or 4 posts. Depending on how much bandwidth gets eaten up in the next few days, I may just do this as a series of consecutive posts. I'd just like to ask that if anyone wants to link to this post from another blog, please contact me beforehand if you can.
So here goes, the first part of your Radiohead Virtual Mix Tape...
I Am a Wicked Child: A Radiohead Compilation
1. "A Reminder": This OK COMPUTER-era track appeared on a couple of singles, most notably the rare AIRBAG/HOW AM I DRIVING EP. It's a sad, soothing little number that sounds like something Yorke wrote as a message on his answering machine. It may be hard to make out the lyrics, but this is actually one of the band's more humorous songs... a guy asking a friend to remind him of the better times, when he wasn't such an asshole. "Whatever happens, if we're still speaking, pick up the phone and play me this song."
2. "Lull": Before I was knocked out by the melancholia of Andrew Bird's "Lull," this was the song that gave me the same feeling, and it just so happens to have the exact same title, and even similar instrumentation. What can I say, I have a thing for lulls. I'm not even sure what era this is... I'm guessing this was recorded after or during THE BENDS, but I can't say for sure. I never would have known of its existence if it hadn't been for the early years of Napster.
3. "Inside My Head": I have to admit, I was late to the game on Radiohead. I didn't really care all that much for "Creep," and avoided their debut album PABLO HONEY entirely. Even THE BENDS left me a little nonplussed at the time. So, finding a gem from their back catalogue like "Inside My Head" took me an extra time. It's still a little standard of a rock song when compared to the music they'd eventually release, but I kind of like its mixture of New Wave and Bond Theme.
4. "Cuttooth": This one is one of my favorite Radiohead b-sides, a stray track from the "Knives Out" import single. It's definitely one of their most elated numbers, soaring along on a bouncy piano riff and a dancey drum beat. " Not your typical song structure, with no real bridge or chorus sections, and all kinds of nuttiness in the middle section. I love the way the music drops out at that "Run until your legs are sore" bit. This is Radiohead beating Coldplay at their own game (which is really just imitating Radiohead).
5. "Gagging Order": A simple but earth-shattering leftover from the HAIL TO THE THIEF sessions. Just an acoustic guitar and Thom's broken voice, "Just a body... nothing left to see."
6. "Worrywort": This track, with its fuzzed out/Aphex Twin bleeps and beats that sound like a mixture of digital brushed drums and beatboxing, is definitely one of my favorite Radiohead songs ever. I had to order a second version of the "Knives Out" single to get this track, but it was worth every penny. Play this for anyone who might complain that the band are nothing but a bunch of sad sacks. "There's no use dwelling on / On what might've been / Just think of all the fun / you could be having."
FOR MORE ON RADIOHEAD:
At Ease, an incredibly helpful Radiohead resource
The Band's U.S. home page
Radiohead news, more at Climbing Up the Walls
A link to an all-piano Radiohead tribute
Ah, April 15th... the most depressing day to be a poor person since, well, every other day on earth. The day when we pathetic masses shed tears as we hand the government back more fistfulls of our hard-earned cash. Thanks, gub'ment!
To be honest, I actually got lucky this year and have wound up on the receiving end of a small refund. I guess I should clarify that "lucky" means that I made jack shit as far as income goes last year, and the government looked at me and said, "You poor bastard. Even we can't rip you off." So tonight, I'll try and pass some of the savings on to you, in the form of some more rare tracks, b-sides, etc. Enjoy, and don't forget to get that pound of flesh stamped and mailed by midnight tomorrow!
"Fume" by BECK: This hilarious track is from one of Beck's early releases, the LOSER CD single. A sloppy, out-of-tune ode to inhalants, it actually sounds like it was recorded under the influence. "There's a fume / in this truck / and I don't know if we're dead / or what the fuck / or what..." That last line always cracks me up, along with the line about beating up kids. If you're not a fan of Beck's white-trashier early recordings (like "Satan Gave Me a Taco" or "MTV Makes Me Wanna Smoke Crack"), avoid this one. Halfway through, it turns into a screaming blast of fuzzy death metal. Be prepared.
"Engine" by NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL: Jeff Mangum and his critically praised Neutral Milk Hotel are long gone now, and any fans looking for more music from them are pretty much forced at this point to just buy all the Decemberists' records. This track appeared on Merge Records' 10th anniversary compilation, OH, MERGE, along with some other great tracks from Portastatic, Magnetic Fields, and more. While I wasn't much of a fan of the band's first album, their second (IN THE AEROPLANE OVER THE SEA) is an absolute classic. I'm guessing this song is from that period.
"Dark End of the Street" by THE AFGHAN WHIGS: Oddly, while this rendition was the first time I'd heard any rendition of Dan Penn and Chip Moman's brilliant "Dark End," it was the Flying Burrito Brother's version that first caught my ear. Really, I could write a whole post about all the different versions of this song out there, from James Carr to The Eels. Such a sad, sad masterpiece. I'll have to post the Burrito Bros. version here some day. Gram Parsons vocals will break your heart. For now, here's the Greg Dulli-lying-in-a-pool-of-his-own-blood version.
"Winter Song (Acoustic Version)" by SCREAMING TREES: The Trees should have been huge. Granted, all the members of the band were - literally - huge, with Mark Lanegan topping off at about 19 feet tall and the Connor brothers about the same distance wide. Here we've got an acoustic take on one of the best songs from their flawless SWEET OBLIVION album, featuring some devilish vocals and a sweet slide guitar solo. This track comes from the CD single for "Shadow of the Season," but also appeared on the superior "Dollar Bill" EP, which also saw the band covering Black Sabbath's "Tomorrow's Dream" and the gospel classic "Peace in the Valley."
"Honey Man" and "Once I Was" by TIM BUCKLEY: I'm closing things out tonight with a couple of rare live tracks from Tim Buckley, father of Jeff Buckley and a folk-rock legend in his own right. This scorching live performance of "Honey Man" comes from a taping of the UK music show the Old Grey Whistle Test. Love the use of slide guitar here as well, and the military-esque drums that come in at the chorus. "Once I Was," one of the saddest songs about being a deadbeat dad/husband ever penned, was recorded for John Peel's radio show. The album version, which is even more sad and heartbreaking, was featured in the Jane Fonda film "Coming Home."
It's been days since I've posted, and I bet some of you thought I'd fallen off. It happens all the time out here in the blogoverse... you add some jackass to your "Favorites" folder, and then within weeks, he has fallen off the face of the earth, never to dish out music or commentary again. Who knows, that time may eventually come for me as well. I may be planning a move in a month or two, so who knows. But for now, I'm right here. And as my gift to you for being patient with me, I'm posting all b-sides tonight.
B-sides are those extra tracks added on to singles to get the superfans to dish out a few extra bucks for a few extra songs from a band they love. Before the arrival of the web and places like Napster or iTunes, music geeks had to scour record stores -- sometimes for years on end -- to find a fabled track they may have heard about in a magazine or from a friend. When I was in junior high, I was in love with The Cult. No one put out more b-sides than those bastards, and I spent top dollar hunting every one of them down, the good and the bad. In high school, that love shifted to bands like Pearl Jam, who were also no strangers to the b-side.
Eventually, I would come to learn from bands like Superchunk: if you wait long enough, the band will just compile all of those tracks and you'd be able to find them on one or two affordable CDs. Groups like U2 and the Smashing Pumpkins just posted all of their b-sides on iTunes, making them not only available for purchase, but also available so fans can finally sample them and see whether or not they're wasting their time and money hunting some of this crap down. My guess is the guy who owns 8 different versions of U2's "Lemon" single is cursing them right now for this very reason.
So, hopefully tonight you'll find a few tracks here you've always wanted but could never find or afford. Please feel free to email me any band/song requests, as I'd be happy to keep this feature going.
"Cars Can't Escape" by WILCO: Anyone out there familiar with the oft-leaked Yankee Hotel Foxtrot demos from Wilco may have already heard a more skeletal version of this song, with singer Jeff Tweedy singing somberly over a simple piano. This is a much more fully realized version that actually popped up on the band's website last year. While it may not actually qualify as a "b-side" (having not been released on an actual single), I was still pretty stunned to learn it existed when I found it while hunting around online.
"Tender (Cornelius remix)" by BLUR: From Blur's "No Distance Left to Run" CD single, this remix (done by Cornelius, who I posted about a few weeks back) is as good as remixes get, really. The original, a great song from Blur's 13 album, is like an indie gospel song. Cornelius keeps the gospel vocals while completely revamping the track with all kinds of bells and whistles (literally and figuratively). This track was so powerful that it may me go back and reconsider my dislike for the original.
"Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" by JOSH ROUSE: Anyone who has ever moped a day in his/her life can probably guess that this is actually a cover of a Smiths song. Rouse has already shown an obvious love for the Smiths on his new record, with the song "Winter in the Hamptons" sounding like a classic bouncy Smiths number like "Ask." If I'm not mistaken, this track was a b-side from his first album, DRESSED UP LIKE NEBRASKA.
"Another Pearl (The Broadcast Remix)" by BADLY DRAWN BOY: Another remix, this one a b-side from Damon Gough's debut album, THE HOUR OF BEWILDERBEAST. There were at least 2 UK singles for "Another Pearl," so there are a few remixes of the track available. This one appeals to me in the same way the Cornelius stuff does. I love when someone radically remixes a song because I'm a firm believer that putting a song - even one you don't like - in a different light can redefine it. If you're a fan of BDB, I'd recommend checking out the iTunes music store for a ton of b-sides and EPs that are hard to come by in the States.
While readers of my blog may know by now that I can spew hyperbole like no one else, there's one word that I don't use lightly when it comes to music and the people who make it: "Genius." I think people throw that word around too carelessly these days, and it can be embarassing.
But Andrew Bird... he's a fucking genius. A prodigy at the violin, he started playing at the age of four. A multi-instrumentalist, he played every single instrument (except drums) on his new album, & THE MYSTERIOUS PRODUCTION OF EGGS. His soaring vocals (and backing vocals) recall a more restrained Jeff Buckley, and his lyrics are some of the most interesting I've heard in years. Check out "A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left", with tons of clever wordplay like:
"Stretched out on the tarmac / Six miles south of North Platte / He can't stand to look back / on 16 tons of hazmat / So it goes undelivered" (Bird later returns to this verse but changes words around, singing "Splayed out on the bathmat / Six miles north of South Platte / He just wants his life back / What's in that paper knapsack?")
Oh yeah, and that weird Theremin-sounding spooky noise in the background? That's Andrew Bird whistling. The guy's a fucking expert whistler, too! Now that's talent. I've been reading that in concerts, if not accompanied by a band, Bird will pluck away on an instrument, sample the results and grab another instrument to create the impression that he's playing with a full band. If you find all that hard to believe, follow THIS LINK to a solo performance/interview Bird recently recorded for a Minnesota public radio station.
I've posted one or two songs by Bird in the past (I think this is go-around #2 for "Nervous Tic"). Check out my post from 2 days ago for his heartbreaking "Lull," a song from his WEATHER SYSTEMS album that has pretty much become my soundtrack these days. If I'm walking around in public and that song comes on my iPod, I'm seriously compelled to sing along every single time. If that one wasn't enough to get you to check out that album, try "Action / Adventure". It's like a piece of classical music colliding with a theme song to an old western. There's that whistle again.
But if you really want a great place to start, hunt down that MYSTERIOUS PRODUCTION album. 14 songs and each one's a keeper, like "Sovay," which originally appeared as a bonus track on WEATHER SYSTEMS. This is the SYSTEMS version, but it's not radically different from the new version. (If any fans out there can find me an .mp3 of him playing this song with My Morning Jacket, I'll gladly hunt and kill your enemies.) For a change of pace, try out the jazzy, swinging "Skin is, My". That "guitar solo" is him plucking away on his violin, by the way.
Look, my point is that the guy isn't just talented. He's a force of nature, and he absolutely cannot be trapped by the confines of genre. His most varied work can be found on four albums from his band, Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire. Since Bird was a recent discovery for me, I haven't had the cash to check out all of their records, but one that I can definitely stand behind is 2001's THE SWIMMING HOUR. The band's previous records were full of references to everything from ragtime jazz to German music, but TSH is their most "pop" effort to date. The amount of songcraft on this record is simply insane, and trying to pick out all the styles of music that drift in and out of each song is impossible. For example, "Core and Rind" contains elements of rock, soul, funk and more... and then, at the 1:38 mark, you even get a little 60s psych rock keyboard.
I recently closed a friend's mix CD with "11:11", and I think it's the perfect way to close tonight's post. If this song, which speaks to the fleetingness of life the certainty of death, fails to seal the deal between you and Mr. Bird, I can't do anything else for you tonight.
"And the end's coming soon."
FOR MORE ON ANDREW BIRD:
Follow THIS LINK to hear a new song, "Dark Matter"
Bird's official site, where most of these pics come from
Link to a live Bird appearance on WFMU
His Allmusic.com bio
Bird's page at Righteous Babe records, where you can listen to his new album in Quicktime
So, I was looking at my web stats last night and got some shocking news: My bandwith for the month of April has already been 25% consumed. I won't say how many gigs that equals (just in case the RIAA is browsing), but that's a LOT for 4 days of usage. My traffic has quadrupled since Friday. What I mean to say is that 4x as many people have been here since April started than ever visited in March. What the hell happened?
I couldn't figure it out until I got to go through my weekly routine of checking the 20 or so blogs I try to keep up with on a regular basis. Much to my surprise, I found my site profiled in the New Revolutions section at one of my favorite blogs (and one of the first ones to catch my attention and make me dive into this whole world o' blogging), The Tofu Hut. I'll say it right now, that motherfucker John gets some traffic, and deservedly so.
Here is John's review of my blog: "Pimps of Gore is doing some really excellent work: long, well-thought-out and equally well written theme posts, crawling with music, linkage and informed, inclusive commentary. I'm not especially drawn to his music selection, but this is PRECISELY the direction I'd like to see more music bloggers take: up the writing quality AND the quantity and you make yourself a must destination for me."
Damn. Thanks John. Flattery will get you everywhere. In addition, I've gotten some nice words from a few other places, including a nod from another favorite at Copy, Right?. I've even noticed that France is now my 3rd highest group of visitors (after the U.S. and "Undefined"). Viva la France, eh!
Hopefully, I'll someday be able to send thousands of people over to their sites to check them out. Hell, hopefully I'll one day figure out how to list my favorite blogs in a column on the right side of this page... but for now, I can only say thanks for the attention.
Because of all this added traffic, the Fiona Apple and Slint stuff is going to have to come down now. I may be able to handle an email request or two for .mp3s (if I don't reply to you, please don't feel hurt -- it means I've been deluged with requests and can handle no more). For tonight, since the e-spotlight is shining a little brighter than usual on me, I'm just going to post a couple of favorites in the hopes that I can at least sell these cats a few records while I have the eyes of a few extra strangers pointed my way. I'll be back to regular posting once this self-congratulatory mood wears off...
"Lull" by ANDREW BIRD
"Holiday Road" by MATT POND PA (Yes, it's that Lindsay Buckingham song from the end of the movie "Vacation")
"This is How it Goes" by AIMEE MANN
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY OTHER FAVORITE .MP3 BLOGS:
Bradley's Almanac weekly .mp3s
The Cool Out (70s funk, soul, vinyl)
Diddy Wah (great songs, informative writing)
Largeheartedboy (music and media, unbeatable)
Cocaine Blunts (hip-hop)
Soul Sides (classic soul, R&B, funk, hip-hop and more... top notch)
The Big Ticket
Music for Robots
When it came to the British Invasion in the U.S., Ray Davies and The Kinks must have been too damned English for their own good. While they started off with a few big hits like the explosive "You Really Got Me" (often called the first "heavy metal" song because of the distorted guitar sound that Dave Davies achieved after puncturing his amp) and the quite similar "All Day and All of the Night," their success in the Big Country began to fade out in the late 1960s, just as their music was becoming truly unique and interesting.
A lot of this can probably - in retrospect - be blamed on the fact that after a disastrous tour in 1965, The Kinks were banned from playing in America until the next decade... after similar groups like the Rolling Stones, Beatles and the Who had left no room for anyone else at the top of the heap here.
It's a damned shame, because the songwriting legacy left behind by Ray Davies and his brother Dave (two siblings who fought so much and so openly that they laid the template for the Gallagher brothers in Oasis) is one that is just as rich as any of the aforementioned bands. The Kinks recorded some classic albums in those years they were consigned to British shores, but their pastoral style of songwriting and Euro-topical lyrics probably alienated American fans looking for songs with power chords instead of class warfare.
No album more captures the Kinks in this glorious stage of their career than THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY, a baroque "concept album" about memories, nostalgia and the loss of a simpler way of life that is just as good as anything in The Beatles' storied catalogue. If I were a wealthier man, I would write you all a guarantee that if you bought this album and were disappointed, I would refund your money (and call you a lunkhead under my breath).
VILLAGE GREEN was a bomb upon its release in 1968. Ray Davies drove the band insane while recording it, constantly fiddling with the track listing and even pulling the record after an initial pressing so he could add and remove songs. His perfectionist tendencies, and his inability to allow band members to collaborate with him most of the time, caused so much tension that this and the following record (ARTHUR) would be the last recorded efforts of the original Kinks line-up.
Luckily, the album has gradually started to get its due, especially in the last couple of years. Most of the tracks I'm posting tonight come from a recently released import 3CD version of the album. You may recognize one of VILLAGE's finest songs, "Picture Book", from a recent Hewlett Packard commercial. If you don't remember the ad, you may also recognize this as the song that Green Day completely ripped off when "writing" their hit song "Warning" a couple of years back. Two-and-a-half minutes of perfect folk-pop (I love that ascending bassline), "Picture Book" spells out all of the themes touched on in the album, with great lyrics like "Picture book / of people with each other / to prove they loved each other / a long time ago."
"Do You Remember Walter" is another perfect creation, telling the story of a man idealizing the past and wondering why people must inevitably change. "Walter / You are just an echo of a world I knew so long ago / Walter / If you saw me now you wouldn't even know my name." The inherent sadness of the song is hidden behind some machine gun drumming and a "la-dee-da" melody played on the mellotron.
I'm tempted to say that the 3CD edition is really the definitive document. I found my copy online for a fairly cheap price ($24, and that included shipping, from the UK wing of Amazon.com). This edition features both the Mono and Stereo versions of the album, along with alternate takes/mixes, b-sides, unreleased tracks and other songs recorded during the same sessions, like "Days", a UK hit that Ray Davies wrote for his wife as their marriage was falling apart because of an affair the singer was having.
This 3CD edition also netted me the perfection that is the stereo mix of "Berkeley Mewes", a song recorded for but cut from the album. I've been a Kinks fan for some time but had never had the joy of hearing this song until last year. It's now a personal favorite. It's telling how much fiddling must have gone on in the studio when you notice that there's a horn section on this song, but only during the last 8 seconds. That couldn't have been cheap.
Another favorite from VILLAGE GREEN is "Monica," a somewhat risque song about a prostitute with a snaky, almost reggae guitar line and a tropical beat. So I don't spoil too many treats for you folks out there who are wisely going to heed my advice and seek out this record, I'm including it here in an old live BBC radio performance, as collected on the wonderful Kinks' collection, KINKS BBC SESSIONS 1964-1977.
For more on THE KINKS:
A CNN article on Ray Davies
A Kinks bio at The Kinks Forever
A huge Kinks site
A stellar Pitchfork review of the album and remaster