Saturday, April 15, 2006

"Burned My Credit Card For Fuel"

Here's an "H/H" 1st: My ugly mug (I'm the one with the cheesy porno-style moustache and the baseball hat) for all the world to see! My 10-month-old daughter, Emily, is enjoying her 1st ice cream cone, a freebie courtesy of a fine local establishment: a Dairy Queen and A&W sandwiched together in the same building...sheer genius!

As I burned a CD copy of RUST NEVER SLEEPS for my brother--er, I mean my car (whew, that was close), I was reminded that it is as good an album as I'd imagine you'll ever encounter. I never actually reviewed it here. I merely posted a link to a really good "professional" review. Well, here are some amateur thoughts of mine. Lyrically, it challenges AFTER THE GOLD RUSH as Neil's best, in my humble opinion. Musically, the songs are tightly structured, and flawlessly executed. I love the 1 side acoustic, 1 side electric set-up, including the "My My, Hey Hey" and "Hey Hey, My My" bookends.

And, man oh man, "Thrasher" is a great, great song! It's a good thing I feel a DEEP bond with my family, including the little girl you see pictured above, enjoying her 1st ice cream cone on my 36th birthday. Because, I'll tell you what...when I hear lyrics like those in "Thrasher", I just have an almost irresistible urge to hop in my car and drive. I'd just head west into the afternoon sun, and disappear from all obligations and responsibilities..."Burned my credit card for fuel"...what a great line!

Well, I'm not going to go into a whole song-by-song thing here. But, I did try to fill up the CD (got to 79+ minutes) with some non-Neil nuggets. I threw on "Vamos" by the Pixies (the SURFER ROSA version) right after "Hey Hey, My My". As I've said before, I think the squealing guitar in "Vamos" is directly descended from Neil's bursting solos in HH,MM.

I followed that with The Yardbirds' "I'm A Man", a frenetic cover of the old Bo Diddley tune. The guitar solo "freak-out" that Jeff Beck lays down at the end of this song is wild-sounding to this day. If someone can find me an earlier example (1965) of someone sounding this wild on electric guitar, please tell me. What a scrape-fest of a sonic delight! The fast, driving drumbeat fits nicely as a follow-up to the almost impossibly fast "Vamos", IMHO.

Next up is "She's Gone" by Hound Dog Taylor. When Neil was once asked which guitarist he most regretted not having been able to meet, his answer was Hound Dog Taylor. This song is a fantastic example of the joyous marriage that was Hound Dog's growling vocals and biting blasts of slide guitar. Great stuff!

The next one is one that I've been thinking about a lot recently, as examples of great, @ss-kicking guitar solos have been discussed. It's Love's electrified version of "Signed D.C." The solo that closes the song is pure guts. I also included "Once More" by The Bevis Frond, featuring Bari Watts. Please see my previous post on Bevis's INNER MARSHLAND for a lengthy discussion on this one (including that it just might be the greatest guitar solo ever recorded).

Finally, I finished with four songs from BEET by Eleventh Dream Day, possibly my absolute favorite Neil-inspired band ever! "Between Here And There", "Testify", "Teenage Pin Queen", and "Go (Slight Return)". It's a damned fine CD if I do say so my damned self. Happy Easter, people!


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