Saturday, May 25, 2002

Babies: I am so sorry for skipping. I hope I will never skip again. Except on ice cream days. Those are days when the Very Large Ice Cream rolls into town on the giant flatbed, but I know that on those days you will be out in the streets with me, spoons poised, to greet the Cone, and you will not want to be on your computer anyway.

The reason for my absence was that I was writing a long piece and it dominated the writing center of my brain. A the moment, the writing center is dominated by sleeping drugs, as you can see. I will crash headlong into the computer screen shortly.

Now I would like to mention that a great song on "OK Computer" blatantly rips off a melodic turn form Derek and the Dominoes' "Layla"--it's taken from the latter section of the song during that beautiful piano part that keeps repeating. Something about the bit they stole speaks to me of endings, of resolution, of hard-won closure that, somehow, isn't ever over. Maybe that's because this bit ends on the two notes that begin it, you could sing it over and over in a round. I wish I could remember the Radiohead song but if you can think of it I will give you a huge and fabulous prize.

Once Liam Gallagher said, why does everyone accuse us of ripping off the Beatles?--What about that piano bit in "Karma Police" that sounds dead like "Sexy Sadie"?

Maybe it's because Radiohead never claimed to BE the Beatles. Just a guess.

So the other night I heard "Private World" by the New York Dolls at a bar, and it really turned me on. Don't you like songs about trying to invent, by sheer force of imagination, a new world? Maybe a secret world? There aren't enough of these sorts of songs today. For some reason, most rock today believes it has to be of this world, it has to be worldly. It has to be "with it" and viable for the machine. I think most rock musicians are of middling-to-good talent and they do not have the courage of their talents to completely ignore the machine and say," I am weird. I sound weird. Maybe nobody will get me. Here goes."

In any case, I blame most cases of "selling out" not on greed but on fear, and/or a lack of self-awareness. I would put a lot of the rap-metal bands in that category. It doesn't make them any less horrible to hear, of course.

I am a Pollyanna and I like to see the good in people, though. Except in the record company's share holders and the radio chain owners, who have one thing in mind and thus suck huge martian butt.

Tonight I would also like to send a large kiss out across the universe to the late Ben Orr of the Cars. I am learning "Just What I Needed" on guitar and his singing is so fine. Plus, what a wonderful songwriter.

PS: In the Silverlake Guitar Shop today I heard that Paul Williams is alive and was spotted recently in Silverlake, and seems to be happy and clean.

PPS: "Maladroit" is really good and much more emotional than Rivers may even have known. Sometimes people think they're being terribly elusive and oblique and they're wearing their hearts on their sleeve just the same.



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