Ace of Moms Basement

Ace of Moms Basement

Comments

Love Grandaddy, and this is great stuff. Nice Nineties-esque guitar riff, and I really like symphonic flourish toward the end. I hope we hear more uptempo material from Grandaddy. Last Place was perfectly fine but they can do better and this track proves it. Thanks for sharing it, Stereogum!
Kim left us hanging in the mainstream for six long years after walloping us with “Kids in America.” By the time those synths swell at the climax of her 1981 hit, the song has cemented its place as one of the Eighties’ great teenage symphonies to God (or at least Country). Chalk it up to nostalgia, but her version of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” works for me; I like the passion. It probably isn’t possible, within the known laws of physics, to produce a superior version of something by the Supremes, and that’s as the universe should be. My nitpick with Wilde’s version is minor, but it’s always bugged me. In the chorus, after “Get out my life why don't you, babe,” the female back-up singers come in, and it’s a nice callback to the 1966 version, though not necessarily needed because the song as a whole is a callback. No, I want some Moroder-caliber synth* bells to replace those “oo-oo-oo-oo”’s. Listen to it again sometime and let me know if I’m smoking crack. If I’m smoking crack, I appreciate your efforts at intervention. It could be a Very Special Episode. *(I’m certainly aware of rock’s complicated relationship with synths. It started in ’78 as a mad crush that blossomed into marriage, then kids, routines that got stale, you-sound-like-Richard-Marx-I-don’t-even-know-you-anymore until finally, one stark morning in early 1992, that was it—get out!)
Beautiful post, Fishhead! I'm thankful you're doing better. TNOCS would be a lesser place without your wonderful voice here.
U2’s Eno-assisted Americana arc is one of the most exciting in rock history, from 1984 to 1995, from The Unforgettable Fire to the post-script of “Elvis Ate America.” It’s a journey where U2 goes from Simple Minds (1984’s “Elvis Presley and America”) to Tom Waits, with some lacerating guitar and Bjork-like techno in between. White America in 1987 was ripe for charismatic foreigners to poetically paint us pictures of ourselves, remind us we could be our better angels, humanists, help us process regret. Taking post-punk from late-Eighties malaise into the stratosphere, U2 pumped it full of anthemic gestures toward a greater state of being. U2 gave us empathy, through imagery, in a way USA for Africa never could. As showcased by the passionately chiming synth-build “With Or Without You,” U2’s Americana arc (leapfrogging a big trip to Berlin) is full of incredible songs that don’t focus on the hypocritical deficiencies of a place once called a shining city on a hill (a rather U2-esque phrase). U2 in 1995—at the tail end of a world-conquering run that really first came to the wider public’s attention with “With Or Without You”—was putting out material that stands with its very best. Everything you want in a U2 ballad can be found in “Your Blue Room”—gorgeous lilting organ, evocatively elusive lyrics, the distinctive brushed drums, heavy twanging bass, ghostly chorus that the band perfected in the Zoo TV era. “Time is a string of pearls,” Bono intones, and it’s a moment that can hit your heart. https://youtu.be/MuyAPwAg0oU Earlier that year came top-10 Nineties rock masterwork “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.” Hooks for days and breathy glam for the ages: there’s no excuse for brilliance like this to be off corporate rock radio—unless U2, in the irony they’d mined by ’95, maybe dug a little deeper than America was comfortable with. https://youtu.be/e7N8J6rTZrA
But you have to admit cappie has a fascinating idea. Imagine the Talking Heads doing "Everybody Have Fun Tonight." I wonder if it would be more organic and brittle, slower(?), surely more ironic, a tribute to the masses who push themselves to dire lengths to have fun, destroying themselves in the process. While actually having fun?
I haven't read James, despite being assigned to do so many years ago in school. But from what I know, I totally get what you mean about him needing an editor! (I thought the same thing about Augie March and was happy to see that Bellow, on his deathbed, admitted it should've been 200 pages shorter.) I'm not sure who could get away with high-profile fiction that dense today, especially now that David Foster Wallace is dead.
The Bell would make a great movie. A mysterious, ancient religious community, a lot of comedy about social standing and different ways of life chafing against each other in rural, 1960s England. The legend of a gigantic bell said to rest at the bottom of a lake. Two nuanced, sympathetic female characters that you learn early on can't swim...it adds up to terrific tension. I enjoyed the hell out of this book and learned what "rebarbative" means (unattractive and objectionable). Highly recommended.
Mr. Plow, that's a brilliant comment -- thank you! I'm floored by the great background you bring to TNOCS. (I think I missed Mr. Mister...sometimes a whole week of TNOCS will go by me because of work and e-learning I'm supposed to be overseeing.) I love how we can take a passing or nostalgic interest in a song here in the TNOCS community and suddenly learn more about the act than we ever knew, and hear songs that are our new favorites by that artist. It's an outstanding thing we have here.
Hadn't heard this, prefab -- and I love it! Great watery low end, seemingly a mix of live bass and synth. Excellent atmosphere and build, especially when the horn comes in. They (like Prince) always had a nice grasp of cool drum-machine rhythms. Here's a song that deserves a much bigger audience. Thanks for this!
Zooropa is an absolute masterpiece and I'm perfectly willing to explain my position to any doubters out there.
Did someone say "Edith Wharton"? I count myself as a new fan after reading Summer last year. My wife is an Edith Wharton super-fan, so it was only a matter of time before I broke down and gave EW a shot. I found Summer to be elegant and depressing in equal measure (but I loved it). Another author I've come to love is Iris Murdoch (after reading The Bell, which was brilliant). Such great satire and tension.
You may sometimes wonder—did scientists ever isolate what a Wang Chung was? The answer is yes: it’s two white guys with a dream, guitars that sounded like wang and chung, a band name just north of unfortunate. In 1987, their time on the charts comes to an end. Getting the To Live and Die in L.A. soundtrack in 1985 seemed to elevate Wang Chung briefly to vanguard status, an unfair position to be in unless you’ve got Prince-like swagger and songs. I own the TLADILA soundtrack and want to love it, but it’s let down by its thin production. (A recent listen to Wang Chung’s underrated, vanished-without-a-trace 1989 album The Warmer Side of Cool, however, told me this could’ve been the TLADILA soundtrack. Its biggest sin seems to be its inability to come up with a dancefloor single.) It was the moody, haltingly strange, immersive pop of “Dance Hall Days” that earned Wang Chung the soundtrack to TLIDILA, which they followed with “Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” as viable a retirement plan as I can imagine and one of those hit songs that presumably has more haters than fans. EHFT’s album, Mosaic, gave us lesser-remembered tracks too, one being the excellently titled “Hypnotize Me,” released May 5, a song that appears in the 1987 movie Innerspace. (Innerspace, out July 1, holds up well, a couple annoying Eighties music cues aside. It’s miraculous as the kind of major-studio, mid-budget sci-fi adventure that’s all but vanished, though it underperformed at the time. It has charismatic villains, terrific special effects, leads Martin Short, Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan at their most engaging. Comedy beats that land thanks mainly to Short, perfect as a lowly everyman injected with an astronaut in a miniaturized pod who figures out how to talk to him. It’s among the last great movies of Spielberg’s light-and-magic era (he’s producer; Gremlins mastermind Joe Dante directs). It didn’t become 1987’s Back to the Future, but maybe that works in everyone’s favor.) “Let’s Go!” is a song 13-year-old me bought on cassette single, liking the weighty beat, a hint of New Wave swoon, good build to a chorus that resolves with a squishy synth-bass figure and chunging guitar. So Eighties it hurts. Fitz and the Tantrums would like to have written this song. Wang Chung never gestured in the slightest toward depth in their lyrics, but hey—they had a moment and they made it work. https://youtu.be/pJNazEjVd6Y
This mix is so incredibly great I don't even know where to start. Ah -- the first song will do nicely. Bix, thanks so much for this. Love it.
Thanks for this, Jaimie! Midlife Crisis is a top-10 '90s single for me, criminally underrated on the basis of the fact that I don't hear it on corporate rock radio. (Why this is is something I can't figure out; are the lyrics too edgy? A menstruating heart?) Regardless, it's a monster of a song with an epic (that's right) bridge...beat-heavy and orchestral at once, the soundtrack to a self-loathing party at the end of the world. Just great, great stuff.
mt, I'm such a fat-fingered dork that I accidentally just gave you a downvote. You know I'd never do that deliberately. I really appreciate your kind words, my friend.
Thanks so much, washingtonknight, and everyone below for the kind words. It means so much to know I have this great community of music fans to open up to.
Introducing a band that needs no introduction: Dropping April 23, 1987 is the major-label debut from a gonzo act once fronted by Courtney Love that would achieve stratospheric success in a couple short years. Yes, it’s Faith No More. The album is Introduce Yourself. Pre-Mike Patton vocalist Chuck Mosley (RIP) is an outsized presence—a snotty, lackadaisical, skate-punk Ian Curtis backed by an industrial-strength band. Joining him is onetime Bill & Ted guitar icon Jim Martin, while the great Roddy Bottum gives us his best taste of New Wave synths. The rhythm section asserts itself assuredly, Billy Gould on bass and powerhouse Mike Bordin on drums. The overall effect of Introduce Yourself is of expert pieces awaiting polish and stronger songwriting. Evident from the start, however, are FNM’s inclinations to stick a middle finger into the face of the establishment while trafficking in its pop conventions. It’s possible that America needed Faith No More. “We Care A Lot” is a YMMV parody of “We Are the World” (USA for Africa were just asking for it). As Mosley puts it, “It’s a dirty song but someone’s gotta sing it.” How did the Eighties think they were going to get away with it? They don’t, with anarchists like these in party-band drag going for the jugular. https://youtu.be/LQhX8PbNUWI
A song I was waiting for in 1987 (without knowing it at the time). Along with “Open Your Heart” and an upcoming number one, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” nails pop euphoria better than anything else that year at the top of the charts. It’s the weight of the bass that really sells it, but at the same time it just isn’t the same song without the neutron-star charisma of Aretha Franklin and George Michael. A good friend of mine, youngish and seemingly completely healthy, died suddenly yesterday—a friend from work who believed in me more than anyone else there, someone who really helped me out. Brand-new grandfather. It’s the whole-cartwheel-through-emotions thing when you get the news, where you feel strangely energized, determined to do normal things but in a slightly manic way. And then you just have to dive into the idea of death. (Not to be a downer.) Listening to today’s song for the first time in awhile, it struck me, curiously, almost as a hymn. It’s the mountains-and-valley imagery, notions of belief, keeping faith, things preordained, the spirit-of-wisdom chemistry that takes the place of true romantic connection (and that’s fine) between our vocalists. Why must a hymn be ponderous? Why not give it an indelible beat, a succinct and sweetly floating bridge? “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” is a song of connection and love, generations and cultures coming together, the perfect song for Valentine’s Day. My friend who died believed in God; he knew He was waiting. Even if I’m not very religious, I take comfort in that.
An arrest on federal lad is a whole different ballgame. (Sorry)