In a club a DJ must seamlessly take their audience from one song to the other, so as not to lose dancers… or momentum.
In radio, a DJ is responsible for a flow… a continuum. At least the best sets seem to connect somehow… theme… building beats and rhythms… a specific time period… something that keeps it together.
The commercial break allows the audience to reset, so they can come back with almost anything. Start from scratch, as it were.
I do not mean this to be a pat on the back… but merely a recognition… a self-realization…
I LOVE that my brain can seamlessly go from Charlie Parker to Cheap Trick in an instant. No revving up… no moment to breathe and start anew. Just, BOOM! The music plays and it goes… I go!
That’s just the way iTunes did it last night. One minute I was listening to Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach in Live At Massey Hall 1953… and then that moved right into a whole Cheap Trick playlist…
And no… that was NOT a guarantee, by the way… as I have Charlie Peacock in between, and it skipped that… So it was not a purely alphabetical jump, PS and by the way! Charlie Peacock’s No Man’s Land is a kick ass record, too… if you are so inclined to seek it out. Sorry, let me be more definitive… SEEK IT OUT!
So what does all this have to do with New Wave Wednesdays? Nothing… Shut Up!
Based a bit on what we discussed last week, today I opted for something that gives me pure joy… pure calm and serenity. Maybe not calm… I am singing and moving to this record, that’s for sure… But definitely a peacefulness.
I never hide away from the absolute truths in this blog. I am an open musical book. My life is in a bit of an upheaval, so I either feed into that… or find things to calm it down… I was gonna say “Calm it the f— down” but opted not to… And yet, I just did.
No thrasher Metal today… Sorry, Jason. No head banging. Right now my whole life is a headache… and I don’t want to hurt the poor wall…
Today is… a day of beauty.
This band is not a clear “New Wave” act… though they show up on many “New Wave” band lists… I would put them in the Pop or Rock category and have no issues with that at all. The word “Pop”, I mean… The word and the genre have taken such a hit with all the teeny bopper acts… Which in my brain is firmly Bubblegum Pop… a different, more artificially sweetened confection.
Pop and especially Power Pop is potent… Hell, Pete Townshend calls The Who a Power Pop band. Y’all know I love my Power Pop!
I would also put this group on my Favorite Bands list… With ease and great pleasure. They have so many brilliant albums, I could easily post about them for a whole week. So many of their songs have a depth… a real, intensely personal and probing understanding of love and life and loss. There is a reason their songwriting has been compared to Lennon/McCartney. They write beautiful melodies and stunning lyrics.
Squeeze – A Round And A Bout
If you are a regular reader you know that I tend to view compilations and greatest hits as a bit of a cheat. Doing a full album allows me to discuss themes, a coherent vision, a concept… not always, but sometimes. This is a live album, which could easily serve as a partial greatest hits collection…
So why did I choose it over Frank or Play, the two albums I was leaning towards today? Not really sure… it makes me happy. I liked the list of songs here and wanted to hear all of them. And this is a band who sounds just as good live as they do in a studio. How many of today’s artists can you say that about? Seriously???!!!
You get the sexual anecdote of “Pulling Muscles From A Shell”… the glorious “Black Coffee In Bed” and the fun “Hourglass”… a song I still mess up the chorus on. You also get amazingly poignant songs like… “She Doesn’t Have To Shave”, that take such an honest look at relationships…
“There’s a boiling point
That you’re bound to reach
When it’s all your fault
And you’re half asleep.
She’s lucky she doesn’t have to shave
I’m so lucky I’m not doubled up with pain.”
And “If It’s Love”…
“If it’s love does it matter
If I’m thin or I’m fatter
If it’s love then it feels like I’ve won the pools
If it’s love
Then it needs some devotion
And I feel like I’m walking on air
If it’s love
Then I feel like I’m floating
Through my world without knowing who’s there.”
Pop gems with a message… a celebration… a wisdom… a keen observation…
In other words… what great songs are!
So grab your love and give them a good, long Squeeze. Sing out loud, dance in public and celebrate living. The world really can be “Some Fantastic Place.”