Certain Songs #313: The Dictators – “Master Race Rock”

dictators go girl crazy Album: Go Girl Crazy!
Year: 1975.

There may be records that are funnier than Go Girl Crazy! There may be records that rock more than Go Girl Crazy!

But in the four quadrant graph charting records that are funny and records that rock, Go Girl Crazy is right there in the upper right-hand corner. No record in the history of record music has combined as many jokes as much rock ‘n’ roll spirit.

Oh, and by the way, it’s a key record in the inevitable confluence of punk rock and heavy metal, providing a bridge between the Stooges and (especially) the New York Dolls and the late 70s punks, and of course the grunge bands with a sense of humour. (Which I guess was Mudhoney.)


Certain Songs #302: De La Soul – “Eye Know”

eye know Album: 3 Feet High & Rising
Year: 1989

Back in the mid-1980s, one of my favorite things in the world to do was to build commercials for various KFSR shows. Someone like The Three O’Clock would be coming to town, and I would spend hours at the KFSR production studio writing and recording commercials and promos and jokes.

This was all analog, of course, so everything I built was the result of splicing songs and words and noises together on a reel-to-reel tape tape using a razor blade, a grease pencil and dead reckoning. But I loved it. I loved the the hours spent rocking the reels back and forth over the tape head in order to determine the exact right place to make a splice.

And even though my voice wasn’t professional and my delivery even less so, the whole process was the perfect combination of creativity & discipline. (Kinda like using digital technology to build Medialoper Bebop 30 years later.)


Certain Songs #301: De La Soul – “The Magic Number”

61SXZxd5nwL Album: 3 Feet High and Rising
Year: 1989

What a unique document 3 Feet High and Rising is! Released in the last year of the 1980s, it pointed yet another way for hip-hop: less strident than Public Enemy, less gangsta than N.W.A., and less sparse than Run-DMC.

The stew that Posdnuous, Trugoy, and Maseo — along with their genius producer, Prince Paul — cooked up was unique, tasty and immediately influential. Or at least it should have been.

Of course, it all had to come crashing down, and when one of 3 Feet High and Rising‘s lesser-known tracks got them slapped with a lawsuit by the Turtles, it was a signal that the sample-heavy, amazingly complex rap albums that seemed like the future would instead be frozen in amber, as tossing in everything including the kitchen sink would become terribly expensive.


Certain Songs #300: Deerhunter – “Desire Lines”

Deerhunter-Halcyon-Digest Album: Halcyon Digest
Year: 2010

One thing that I’ve realized for sure after writing 300 of these posts: it’s much easier to write about older songs than it is to write about newer songs.

That’s not really the revelatory realization, of course. Not only have I been thinking about those older songs a lot longer, I’ve heard them a lot more, and probably had experiences with them or the artists who made them, to boot.

That’s partially why there were so many Deep Purple songs: I’ve loved them for over 40 years. Whereas I’ve only loved Deerhunter for five years. Pretty much since this album, Halcyon Digest, which was a highlight of my favorite year for music in this millennium, 2010.


Certain Songs #299: Deep Purple – “Burn”

414BFTJGCKL Album: Burn
Year: 1974

Of course, by the time I discovered and purchased Made in Japan — probably 1974 or 1975 — Deep Purple Mark II had already broken up.

Because things happened at supersonic speed in the world of Deep Purple, Ian Gillan had already resigned, which led to the sacking of Roger Glover while Made in Japan was still riding high in the charts.

So while there was a ton of new Deep Purple for me to discover in the mid-1970s, before 1973 had even ended, Gillan and Glover had been replaced by David Coverdale & Glenn Hughes. Who combined almost made up for about a quarter of the awesomeness of the guys they replaced.