Monday, December 22, 2014

RIP, Joe.

And thanks for all the joyous noise through the years.









Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Love and War

For the Rest of Our Days

A busy December. Happy & Merry to you and yours.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

From Seneca to Cuyahoga Falls


When I was growing up, my hometown had three used-record stores within 200 yards.

I was just there a few days ago.

All three are gone.

But there's a Starbucks.

So there's that.

But I don't think anyone will have great stories in 20 years about that time they were at Starbucks and the amazing discovery they made there.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Stars Are Laughing At Us

Crawl on and on...

Two different demo versions of the song that I haven't been able to get out of my head for the past few days...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

All the Papers Lie Tonight

...Is The News of the Day

The car screeches in the snowy streets.

You breath out, see the warm cloud rise up and dissipate.

The car moves off. Somewhere.

Everyone going somewhere.

And then the streets are empty again. The cloudless night sky twinkles with a few stars.

Not enough stars to matter, but a few.

And as you look up you wonder if you can build on them, stack the stars together and make a structure. A simple machine that can reach you back to the stars.

And you turn, marveling at the smell of the fresh snow and the cold air.

And the lack of people and animals.

It's just you. And an impossibly empty section of the city. And your memories.

Just the way you like it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gimme Gimme Gimme Gimme (Etc.)

This song was stuck in my head all day today.

Perhaps because the addiction to drama doesn't seem to end when people get out of their teens.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wait, There Was a Video For That?

Apparently so.



No Difford, Tilbrook, or Neil Innes though...

Too bad.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Laser-Etched History Repeats

Late-September rerun from 2009.

I remember the scar.

I wake up in the middle of the night. Burning with memory of texture, the feel, the way the years softened the color.

It takes a few minutes to realize I'm here and now, not there and then.


In the darkness, I remember.

It was just below her knee. She never explained it, never told me the childhood injury that caused it. It was just there. And whenever I'd touch it or kiss it, she'd pull back. So willing in other ways, so shy about the scar.

And if the scar was protected, the cause of the scar was walled-in, completely off-limits. And therefore endlessly fascinating.

She'd been to New Zealand. At a time when people just didn't go to New Zealand. And she loved Split Enz, whom she'd seen in New Zealand.

And she loved her copy of True Colors, the album that had images etched onto the vinyl with lasers. As a result, when light hit the spinning record, laser images of different shapes danced around the room. So we'd listen to the album at night, watch the shapes on the walls, and talk about everything.

Except the scar.

Years later, the CD still sounds good. The perfect pop songs are there. But there's no laser-etched shapes to dance around the room.

And she's gone, too. Took the scar and her secrets and went far away.

But late at night, when the moon reflects off something shiny, I watch colored shapes dance around the room. And I remember the record, remember her.

And, most of all, I remember the scar.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's Late September and I Really Should Be Back At School

You Stole My Soul and That's a Pain I Can Do Without...

Most of the year, this song bugs me.

But for a week or two after Labor Day every year, I'll hear this song... and be struck by the sense of melancholy and loss. And the painful realization the poor sap in this song would do it all again...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

And Waste Another Year

Something Better Happen Soon

Looking past the signs at the start of the long, slow drive west.

The dew on the trees already.

The summer turning fall.

The nights turning cold.

This time different, you say.

This time it means something.

And yet, you're not sure.

You don't want to see it slip away.

Like the long, slow drive west.

But she gets in the car. Packed. Like it's always packed.

And you say something. And she says something.

Not the things you've said before.

And she starts the car.

And you wave as she drives.

And she waves once.

And then you can't see anymore.

You look. Stand there.

For a long time.

You think you hear something. Maybe she's turned around. Maybe she forgot something.

Maybe.

And then the cold hits you.

And you think: Maybe not.

Because it's fall. And it's getting colder.

And soon it will snow.

And that's not what you want.

Not this year.

Not this time.

Not without her.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Your Friends Don't Know...

I don't care the way they talk...

Psychologists of the future may have a field day interpreting why I loved this song when it first came out.

Or maybe they'll just listen and enjoy...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

McCartney at Dodger Stadium

I knew dozens of people at this show. Oddly, none of them offered me a free ticket.

But we live in a world of miracles, wonder, and the intertubes.

I imagine this will be gone shortly.

But while it's up, enjoy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thirty Years In the Blink of an Eye

Let's Active reformed this weekend for a benefit concert in North Carolina. Well, as much as they could reform after the suicide of Faye Hunter last year.

Here they are rehearsing for a tour in 1984:


And here they are onstage in 2014 (original members Mitch Easter and Sara Romweber with Suzi Ziegler from Game Theory on bass, Missy Thangs from Love Language on keyboards and singer Lynn Blakey):

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Memory Failure

From the pre-dawn of their disco era (when they were toying with being more of an R&B act), here's a Bee Gees song that I must have heard a million times.

A song I believed was some sort of heartfelt declaration of love.

Until I heard it the other day... and realized it is one of the creepiest songs every written.

And maybe one of the first songs ever about stalking.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

George Harrison Covers John Lennon

Live in 1974, with slide guitar and wailing sax.

With lots of feeling, even though the voice sounds really (Dark) hoarse.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New Hafis Hull Video

A great video by Alisdair Wright for Hafdis Huld's "Wolf."

It saunters up to the line between fantasy and reality, then skips back and forth until you're not sure what side you're on.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Beach Boys Meets Raspberries

I never needed any bun...

From his first solo album after the Raspberries broke up, Eric Carmen adds some Beach Boys-style harmonies for what should have been a huge gigantic enormous hit. Instead, it was bubblegummed-up by Sean Cassidy a couple years later.



But instead, the big hit for Carmen was "All By Myself," which is what it is. (And, for what it is, is a pretty good example of... that.)

Which brings me to this ad... which is simultaneously the most brilliant and stupidest thing I've ever seen:



Monday, July 21, 2014

Two Versions

Liberating the opening line from Johnny Cash, John Cale wrote and recorded an orchestral version of "I Keep A Close Watch" for his 1975 album Helen of Troy:




... and then stripped it down to its spooky, heartbroken angst-ridden core for 1981's Music for a New Society:

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Connecting the Dots

Guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young went from the Easybeats...



... art rockers Flash in the Pan...



While producing the first six albums of George's younger brother Angus's band (a little combo called AC/DC).

Friday, July 18, 2014

Backwards Forwards Square And Round

And More and that's for sure...


There's an alley, down the hill. You cut through there on the way to the restaurant.

You stop at the restaurant on the way to the other place.



She doesn't want to go to the restaurant. She thinks you should walk around the block instead of cutting through the alley.

You want her to be happy. So you do.

You're annoyed by this. You have your routine. She's causing you to break it.

And you do.



Years later, you don't remember the other place.

You barely remember the restaurant.

You know you went there dozens of times.

But you remember all about the girl.

How she annoyed you. How she didn't want to do anything you wanted.

How her hair smelled.

The way she smiled when you walked up.



Years later, you remember.

Even though you wish you didn't.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

It Just Goes By Different Names

The Dignified Don't Even Enter Into the Game...

Mod. But, you know, with horns.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Born Down the Shore

From the days when it looked like Bruce Springsteen would never finish Born in the USA comes the best garage band in history (with a kick-ass horn section):



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Years Between Vocals

Atoms Dancing to a Metronome Heart

Colin Moulding from XTC sings lead on this song from Days Between Stations:



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Palpitating Ritual


This is the first Robyn Hitchcock song I ever heard.

Still one of my favorites.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

She Worships The Sun

My Name Is Gone From All The Files

A song for the summer solstice:

Monday, June 16, 2014

But My Way's Better And It Took Less Time


From the Neo-New-Wave of last decade, the Kaiser Chiefs prove that there are worse things in life than listening to Black Sea-era XTC over and over.

Plus, bonus points for a title that turns the Beach Boys on their bearded, balding heads.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Know Where the Cops Hang Out

Three More Reasons to Love Kathleen Edwards

Love all of these with insane devotion.







Saturday, June 14, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Song for the L.A. Kings

I'm still thinking that there's something wrong with a hockey team in a city where it never gets cold enough for water to freeze.

But, tonight, there's this:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

You Just Can't Have It All



Listening to a lot of old Bob Seger the past few days.




I'm sure that means something even if I can't figure out exactly what.




If you have an idea, drop me a line.




Meanwhile, if you can actually get from Denver to Loveland Pass in under half an hour, mad props to you.




Monday, May 26, 2014

The Only Song I Ever Think About on Memorial Day

Boom Goes My Heart...

England. Via Germany. To the U.S.

(In my mind anyway.)



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

This is the Modern World

Michael Jackson is a hologram and Paul McCartney dances with robots.

Welcome to the future. Can I have my Jet Pack now?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

You'll Catch Your Death in the Fog

Woof Woof Bow Wow

Ice crystals without the chill.

Waves rolling in from the mountains.

A time when the possible tints everything.

Shades. Covers. Manipulates.

The feeling inundates you. Overwhelms you. Threatens to carry you over, pull you under.

It's just fog, they say.

Just a way of making things a little less transparent. A little more mysterious.

And you nod.

But you know. You've seen it before. You've experienced it.

The fog rolls in with possibilities.

Rolls out with changes.

The only question is which way you're rolling. Which way you'll go.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

This Sh-t Wasn't Fashionable When I Fell In Love

And a smattering of old-time romance...

I wanna be Frank Turner when I grow up...

Saturday, May 3, 2014

There's No Law, No Law Anymore

I wanna rob from the rich and give to the poor...

Sha-La-La indeed.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Your Ironic Belief Song Du Jour

Because, at the end of the day, he reportedly did believe in all these things.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Nothing Matters But the Weekend From a Tuesday Point of View

This song would be old enough to be elected President in 2016.

Except that it was born in Canada. And advocates excessive partying.

And, you know, is a song. (Actually two songs. So I guess one could be Vice-President...)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

And While We're On The Subject

There was no Pete Ham in yesterday's clip...

... so here's an entire half-hour documentary about him (and Badfinger).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Holding On

Tom Evans and Joey Molland, with Tony Kaye from Yes, attempting to revive Badfinger in 1981.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Two Songs

Our beloved tuxedo cat Sitka P. Coldfoot (named after not one, but two places in Alaska) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last Tuesday at the far-too-young age of 11 1/2.

He had a huge personality, loved playing fetch with his toy mice, meowing along at rhythmically appropriate spots when anyone sang, staring down the birds on the patio, kneading us, taking baths (except for the rinse cycle), watching TV with us (especially dog TV), and meowing, urping, and chirping at us whenever we'd talk to him.



Sitka was a rescue kitty who had over 2000 friends on MySpace (back when that was a thing). He was smart enough to figure out that doorknobs were key to opening closed doors (but not evolved enough to have the opposable thumbs he needed to open the doors). He listened when I talked to him and was the first to come and comfort anyone who was sad.

He loved just being in the same room with us and helped us taught us all kinds of lessons about life and love.

He once saved the life of a turtle and would demand that we pay the "belly toll" before we could go upstairs to the living room.

He made sure we knew he loved us with all his heart and soul.

He was a gigantic personality in a small body and the hole he left behind can only be filled by the memory of how much we loved him and how much he loved us.


I liked to say that getting him to pose like that was easy, it was the teaching him how to read part that was hard.



Godspeed, little guy. I love you more than I can put into words.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Brief Interlude

The past week has been a very sad one here at chez Clicks & Pops.

And in sad times, it's good to turn to music.

So here is Joe Jackson doing Steely Dan (and adding a nice polyrhythmic twist).

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Compare And Contrast, Baby


The original:




And the better-known version (with the "Bayyyyyby" lifted from the original and inserted here):




And then years later, who wouldn't want to hear this sung by Susanna Hoffs?


Monday, March 24, 2014

Let the Drummer Sing one

... and sometimes you discover he sounds a lot like John Lennon.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Street, Not Town


I looked up Muscal OCD on the internet today.

The definition is someone who lets the use of the word "town" instead of "street" prevent him from loving this:




Makes sense to me.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's a Don Dixon Morning

It is, perhaps, a sign of my music obsession that my first thought on hearing about Russian troops on the Crimean is to immediately think of the only song I know that uses the word "Crimean" in its lyrics.

And that's why it's a Don Dixon morning.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Team Norway

In honor of the fact that there are FIVE Norwegian teams competing in the Iditarod this year (including two-time champ Robert Sorlie, back for the first time in many years), please enjoy this slice of Norwegian Rock & Roll.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blast From the Aussie Past

Originally Le Hoodoo Gurus was three electric guitar players and a drummer.

One of the guitarists left (and took the "Le" with him) and they picked up a bass player. And a better drummer.

I loved these songs then.



Still love 'em now.


Happy Birthday Harry Georgeson

This sounds just as good now as it did 25 years ago.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What's It All About

A little ditty from Paul McCartney.

And maybe the band should all switch instruments just to make it more interesting.

Because it's just a B-side, so no one will pay attention.

Right?

Monday, February 10, 2014

John Stays Silent For the Time Being

No one understands him but he always was the cryptic one

I watched part of the Beatles 50th Anniversary Ed Sullivan thing last night... and it was a mixture of insanely great and just puzzling.

Which seems like a great time to play this song by John Wesley Harding (in a slightly updated version):




And the original version for all you completists out there, the original version from 1990:

Sunday, February 9, 2014

And the Rain Is Pouring Down


Seems like a good time for the late, great Stiv Bators.

Yup.



By the way, is it just me or does it seem like this song is constantly on the verge of tipping over sidewise and turning into "Eve of Destruction"?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Evidence Against Our Case

I'm in a movie where boy meets girl]

While looking for something else by Joe Jackson, I found this.

And remembered all over again how much I love it.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love, Understanding, and Irony

Just like the Rollers...

The Tartan Horde (with Nick Lowe and Rat Scabies from the Damned) pay tribute... of a sort:



And the hows and whys of this particular record:

Friday, January 31, 2014

From Here

Your life is heading in a questionable direction...

The sound comes through the radio.

High in the mountains. Late at night.

The guy who shouldn't be there. The girl he left behind.

Stuck in the radio station. Convinced no one's listening.

Playing her favorite records. Over and over.

Reading from her letters. The letters that she sent him.

Reading them on air. For the people who won't listen.

The snow is coming down now. And soon it will get harder.

And soon it covers everything. Except for that one sound.



And if you think you can outdrive it. If you think you can get away.

If you think you can cross over the mountain range. And you won't hear it anymore.

You've got another thought coming.

And another. And another.

While the songs keep on coming. And the guy keeps on talking.

And the snow falls in front of you. Blanketing, blinding.

Your headlights keep moving you forward. Because you'll never go back.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Queen Bee

Stop everything and watch this

Hafdis Huld has a new album coming out and here's a video for "Queen Bee" one of the songs on it.

After years in the city, Hafdis Huld moved to the countryside and her neighbor Jon gave her a dog. To thank him, she wrote this song.

And then Alisdair Wright did this video... which is completely magical and wonderful and enchanting.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

One Poor Correspondent

Too Too Hard To Find

From 39 years ago.

A perfect mid-70s mixture of tunefulness, self-indulgence, profundity, and lazy, lazy lyrics.



Produced by George Martin and engineered by Geoff Emerick, who clearly learned something from all those Beatle records.

And as a bonus, from the same album, here's another one:


Monday, January 20, 2014

American Compare and Contrast

Out on 441 like waves crashing on the beach


Roger McGuinn:


Taylor Swift:


Foxes & Fossils:


Frank Turner:


Cruiserweight:


The Howling Tongues:


And Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Because Nostalgia

Or was it just a desire to share those "fashions" of the 70s?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We Now Live in the Kind of World

Where Bruce Springsteen gets more attention for doing parodies with Jimmy Fallon than for having a new album out.

Tramps like us, baby...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Spiders Without Bowie


Please enjoy the Spiders From Mars without Ziggy.

Because the internet.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tumbling in Turmoil


I may be the last person in the world to know that the Everly Brothers sung on this song.

RIP, Phil.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sweat Pours From Everywhere


Heat coming down. Really too hot for this.

Outside it's the opposite. Freezing.

So when you come inside it's overwhelming. Feels feverish.

You can sense the crowd pressing forward.

Wanting. Needing. Moving as one.

The sound is ragged. Not as deliberate as some might want.

But through it all is the feeling.

Years later the details will fade.

But you'll remember the passion. And the sweat.

Pouring down from everywhere.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Curio Curio

I think I was vaguely aware that this existed, but never saw or heard it until today.

Please enjoy the Attractions without Elvis Costello on their own album released in all its glory in 1980.