Monday, June 4, 2012

Mommy's alright, daddy's alright

Every now and then I get into a band I hadn't been previously into and win up buying a bunch of records from their catalogue in a very short time. It's sort of like an epiphany but without all the religion-forming stuff and on a more regular kind of pattern. Previous artists that had this treatment off the top of my head are The Byrds, Slayer, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, and Porcupine Tree. A bit diverse I know, but that's me!! This is usually preceded by years of appreciation but a strange lack of appearance in my music collection. What with music downloads being the way to go these days (instead of something so 1990s like actually going to record store and getting the physical CDs...sheesh cavemen!!) and with a music subscription like eMusic (yes I am aware of Spotify but I still have fundamental misgivings about it...more on that another time) it is so easy to just go hog wild and fill up on a catalogue.

Hence yesterday and my downloading the first three Cheap Trick records. I've always liked the ones you hear on the radio all the time like "Surrender" and "I Want You...To Want...Meeeeeeeee!" but it wasn't until my band starting talking about (not even working on it mind you) covering "Surrender" that I decided I sorely needed some CT in my digital library. Listening to that song I am reminded what a perfect freaking pop song it is. Need a refresher or just an excuse to listen to it again? Oh, Internet?

I think one of my turn-offs to CT was that Rick Nielsen is a strange person. Watching this right now and having seen a fair share of Rush shows both live and on TV/VCR/DVD/Blu Ray Rick seems like a more manic Alex Lifeson. Or maybe Alex is a more restrained Rick Nielsen. Whatever, I am reminded of Alex Lifeson a bit just in terms of funny face making. It's just strangely off-putting and amusing to watch. And Robin Zander seems bored. And Tom Petersen needs more pins on his strap (that sounds kind of dirty). And I am amazed Bun E Carlos is not dead from lung cancer (had to go check wikipedia to make sure he actually isn't really dead from lung cancer or dying from lunch cancer. Doesn't appear so, so rock on Bun E!!)

This all leads me to thinking that I need to write more songs for my band that sound like Cheap Trick. Punchy 3 minute things that have a good hook. We have a few songs that already sound like that, but they sound more REM-y than Cheap Trick-y. I reckon I need to rectify that. Kids these days want sing-alongs and hand-claps. At least in my world the kids want sing-alongs and hand-claps. If they don't then frak 'em.

BTW, if you ever see my band (here or here) play a show (ahem...June 23rd at Old Firestation #3) in Fairfax VA) be sure to ask Tom the guitar player to tell you his story about meeting Cheap Trick. It's a cool story and it'll make you happy because Tom tells it real good.

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