The first time I heard “Feel it All Around” was watching Portlandia last summer. If you’ve seen or know the show, the tune acts as the opening theme song. And upon hearing it I had to know who, what, where and how. What I came up with initially was a group (which I would later find out was just Ernest Greene) called Washed Out. I put it on the back burner for some reason until recently and then it just hit me like a wonderful hazy memory…and that Portlandia show is terrific as well. Fred Armisen cracks me up, but that is another topic for another day.
The sh!t song of the week is “Winds of Change” by Jefferson Starship. I know that it’s too easy picking on Jefferson Starship because of their mega fluffy hit songs like “We Built This City” and “Nothing is Going to Stop Us Now”. As far as I am concerned the whole 80’s Starship catalogue is the soundtrack for Richard Gere’s gerbil escapades. The Jefferson Starship of the 80’s were so far removed from their original roots of Jefferson Airplane’s brand of psychedelic hippie rock it is astounding . Where did the white rabbit from the Bay Area go? Did they find somebody to love and just give up? When did Airplane became Starship? Why did this happen? I’m thinking it probably had something to do with cocaine. I saw that episode of “WKRP” when the record executive tries to push a new record on Johnny Fever and offers up some booger sugar to sweeten up the deal so I am figuring this may have been the case with “Winds of Change“. I was also shocked that Howard Hesseman passed on free coke even in a fictitious scenario. Anyway you want to slice it Jefferson Starship are widely known to many as purveyors of schmaltzy 80’s hits that you can often hear at Walgreens when making the import decisions in life like going with generic brand of KY jelly instead of that expensive brand name stuff. The song I chose this week is not one of Jefferson Starship’s best known songs but it is equally on point with the above mentioned songs. The video for this song is also cut from the same jizz rag because it is a light rock, Heart rip off song but the set design in the video would lead you believe that Jefferson Starship are a heavy metal band with a wall of generic Marshall stacks, an eighteen piece drum kit with double kick drums behind them and last but not least, they have a fucking keytar involved. Do the math. Terrible album art + Shit song + Coked up video conception = “Winds of Change“. This is just my two cents on a three cent matter but the song “Winds of Change” by Jefferson Starship strongly qualifies to be the shit song of the week.
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s 1996 Now I Got Worry takes me back. I mean, it really takes me back. Back to a time that seems like it was in a galaxy long ago and far, far away, where the world was a decidedly different place. Maybe that’s why I have trouble going back to an album like this on a regular basis regardless of how much it kicks; nostalgia is a relative phenomenon, relative to the experiencer, and the older you get the more it plays a funny game with time. The world early-20’s Shawn experienced in the mid 90’s was relatively different from the world that existed twenty years before that, so much so that at the time the late 60’s/early 70’s seemed archaic in many ways. However, jump up another twenty or so years and you land here in the NOW and guess what? Relative perspective – perceived through me as the aforementioned experiencer of course – shows that 1996 really wasn’t that different from 1976 or even 1966, because 2016/17 is exponentially different than that starting point in our time line.
The Joup shit song of the week is “(You Can Still) Rock In America” by Night Ranger. I’m repulsed by their mega hit “Sister Christian” but I like to dig a little deeper because I know if a band is capable of writing one shitty song they probably have more. You can still rock in America according to the lyrics in this song which was released in 1983 during the-hey day of the Cold War. I feel this song was to remind people of their freedoms here in the U.S. as opposed to the Soviet Union where you could not rock at that time. However, when I hear such a dreadful song such as this one it makes me feel like maybe we have too much freedom? I am aware this song is dated and the genre an easy target but there are songs older than this that have withstood the test of time. This piece of shit is not one of those songs.
I had the week of National Women’s Equality Day, and now I have the week of International Women’s Day. Back in August I had said “…we don’t need a day on the calendar for equality. We just need equality.”
With a shifting tide, I’m just going to go ahead and take the day. Screw it – let’s take the week. Let’s take the time and appreciate the likes of Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, and Mavis Staples (Seriously – did you hear her new track with Arcade Fire?) Let’s worship at altars dedicated to Etta James, Karen Carpenter, and Poly Styrene. Take your pick! Find an amazing woman who has contributed to your musical upbringing, turn the volume up, and spend some time with them!