Bri Blahg… Another Bri Pod Countdown

2 07 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)

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Several months ago I started writing columns about what my Ipod played for me on the way to work in the morning. Self absorption? Perhaps…. Still people occasionally ask me to write more. Here then is another installment in our occasional “Bri Pod” series.

1. The Beatles “Two Of Us”

A few weeks back this song came up in a conversation I was having with members of White Rabbits about obscure (being a relative term here) Beatles songs. A lot of their stuff sounds a bit dated, but this simple folk pop tune holds up quite nicely. For all the elegant simplicity of this track, “Let It Be” was the most laborious of The Beatles career as you can read here.

7 more tunes after the jump…

2. Dream Syndicate “The Days Of Wine And Roses”

Title song from this LA band’s groundbreaking 1982 full length on the Slash label. As evidenced on this sprawling track band leader Steve Wynn was from the beginning unafraid to reach and hope to grasp. I have pretty much everything Wynn has been involved with in my collection and “Days” remains my favorite. It’s noisy, urgent, and made by kids unafraid to fail. They didn’t.

3. Eugenius “Mary Queen Of Scots”

Eugenius was a short lived band headed by Scotsman Eugene Kelly from The Vaselines. One of Kurt Kobain’s greatest qualities was his unabashed love and support for the artists that shaped him. Kelly’s Vaselines had broken up by the time Nirvana began covering their lovely, forlorn “Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam,” but Kobain invited Kelly’s new band (previously called Captain America until Marvel sued) to open shows for Nirvana. By 1992 Eugenius were signed to Atlantic. Eugenius were less pop and more indie rock than The Vaselines, but you can’t go wrong with either. In fact The Vaselines recently reunited to tour in support of a two disc Sub Pop retrospective. Eugenius split in 1995.

4. Robert Pollard “Folded Claws”

Keeping up with the one time Guided By Voices front man is like trying to trap fog in a ball cap. This mid tempo track comes from “Standard Gargoyle Decisions,” one of four releases Bob slapped his name on in 2007. I’m doing the best I can, but in 2008 and half of ‘09 alone Pollard put out six solo releases and at least three involving other bands. The term “functioning alcoholic” doesn’t quite fit the unreconstructed boozer from Dayton. Pollard is more of a prolific alcoholic.

5. The Yardbirds “Shapes Of Things”

This version of The Yardbird’s biggest hit comes from their BBC Sessions CD. The album features three years of live radio sessions from the vast British Broadcasting archives. “Shapes” was cut for “The Beeb” in May of ‘66 with Jeff Beck on lead guitar. Beck would soon be ousted and replaced by The Yardbird’s new bass player, a bloke named Jimmy Page. (Beck of course replaced Eric Clapton is the winter of 1965.) Just from a personel stand point alone it’s impossible to understate this band’s importance. When you add to that The Yardbird’s groundbreaking experimentations with distortion, it’s hard to imagine hard rock, and indie rock without them.

6. The Clean “Beatnik”

Lo-fi devotees The Clean have existed in a velvety obscurity here in America (and most everywhere else). It doesn’t help that they’re from New Zealand I suppose. Of all their songs, this 1981 track may be their most purely 60’s garage sounding. Might I recommend “The Clean Anthology” as a perfect place to start? I shall.

7. The Damned “Creep (You Can’t Fool Me)”

Before they decided to become the world’s shittiest goth band, The Damned were among the world’s greatest punk rock groups. (Save your hate mail scrawled in your own blood people you know I’m right) This one comes from the essential “Music For Pleasure.” Yes I know The Damned are still soldiering on, but I saw them about nine years ago and it was kind of embarrassing.

8. Lou Reed “Downtown Dirt”

An outtake from 1975 included on the Between Thought And Expression boxed set this song is almost a self parody of Reed’s career of reporting from underneath New York’s skeezy soiled mattress. A sample lyric:

You’re twenty eight years and your face has been lifted
But you still look so much older
You been desoiled and your linen is drab,
You’ve got crabs

Nice…. I picture Lou lying on the floor while mumbling this song. I could be right.

So that’s my commute this morning. I’m convinced the Bri Pod has been learning. It’s a nice set.

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