Election Eve With Fred
Sisters of Mercy
After seven solid nights of mostly incredible shows, Tina Turner through Los Skarnales, on the eighth Rocks Off rested. I even bought a freakin' bottle of milk. As it so often is, the XM receiver at Rocks Off HQ is tuned to Fred, so the Cure have been by several times. Morrissey, XTC, U2 and the Jesus and Mary Chain have all checked in. Ditto OMD, Iggy, the Replacements, Berlin and Bowie.
The Clash, "Spanish Bombs" (London Calling, 1979): One of the band's best revolution rockers, and irrefutable evidence of the impact their Lubbock pal Joe Ely - and Buddy Holly, for that matter - had on them. Oh, my corazon.
R.E.M., "World Leader Pretend" (Green, 1988): Q.E.D. Not a coincidence. Which line will be more prophetic tomorrow: "This is my mistake, let me make it good" or "I demand a rematch"? Surely not "I divine my deeper motives." Could an actual human be at the satellite controls tonight? "Let my machine talk to me."
Pogues, "Tuesday Morning" (Waiting for Herb, 1993): Their best (and best-known) non-Shane-sung song? Probably. Evidence somebody at Fred knows exactly what they're doing? Absolutely. Brimming with optimism - banjo, accordion, tin whistle, etc. - with a definite undercurrent of sadness. Sound like the mood of any nation you know? So far, this is too easy.
The Cars, "Good Times Roll" (The Cars, 1978): Ahem. A media forecast for tomorrow: "Let the stories be told, let them say what they want... if the illusion is real, let them give you a ride."
Sugarcubes, "Coldsweat" (Life's Too Good, 1988): Bjork: The Early Years. Very Siouxie and the Banshees - swirling, feline, predatory, glam - and oddly bluesy at that.
Public Image Limited, "Public Image" (First Issue, 1978): More Pistols-y than most PIL - written when its author was still a Sex Pistol, in fact - the band's namesake song is prime Johnny Rotten and John Lydon, and the guitar is all over U2's first three LPs. Politically, a redline for the media file.
ABC, "The Look of Love" (The Lexicon of Love, 1982): Motown meets Marc Almond (the "Tainted Love" guy). Strings and everything. They can't all be about politics, right?
10,000 Maniacs, "Like the Weather" (In My Tribe, 1987): "With force of will my lungs are filled, and so I breathe." Happy Election Day! - Chris Gray
[Note: Not long after, Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure" and X's "4th of July" both came on. Even in such a crazy, fucked-up time, there's no place like the good ol' U.S.A. Now, if you haven't already done so, get off your damn computer and go vote.]