I got a lot to say, there's nothing not to say anymore... Well friends, it appears that another Wednesday, that is to say Wodnesdæg, that is to say óðinsdagr, is upon us, which means it's time for another Song for Odin, that thing I do where I select a video "resource" of a song, add some commentary, and post it on the internet. I've been doing it weekly for well over two years now. I'm not sure it's a thing worth doing, but like a lot of things of debatable value, I find myself doing it anyway, so here I go again... What we've got here is the MTX of 1997 doing "The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful" in in Forlì, Italy on the Euro-tour with the Groovie Ghoulies ca. November, 1997. https://youtu.be/xAMja5Slgy0 This is the only live version of this song I've come across, which is not much of a surprise: though it's a good tune and quite a popular one as well, it wasn't included in too many sets in those years because there were even more popular (and easier-to-play) songs from the same album in the same vein and only a few slots in which to fit them. And this touches on the heart of my ambivalence about the Revenge Is Sweet album at the time (and continuing, though I've gotten over it by now, mostly.) People love that "sound," that approach, that treatment and I know why they do: it's something I love, too. But too much of it all in a clump can be too much of a good thing. "Here She Comes," the lead-off track from that album, was exactly as it was meant to be. I didn't mean for them all to be arranged, performed, and produced like that, but for a variety of reasons, there was a sort of leveling process that sort of nudged most everything in that direction, even songs that weren't all that well-suited to it. I wrote an essay last year going into this ad nauseam (see the link in notes below) if anyone's interested. It was a long time ago and I've made my peace with it, but I still wish we'd been a little less heavy-handed with some of this stuff. It would have made for a more interesting album in which the virtues of the songs per se were less... concealed; though I have little doubt it would have been less loved and less successful. That's known as the artist's paradox I think: the worst thing you can do for your art is to get what you want. As a case in point, this song, one of my favorites and indeed (I can say it) one of my very best, wasn't meant to be quite so generic, nor so pummeling and in your face. I had a sort of British Invasion feel in mind, which maybe you can kind of hear vestiges of in the opening riff. I had a rather complex arrangement in mind. I don't know if we, as a band, could have pulled it off, frankly. Anyway, in the end we did what was comfortable and familiar, the usual beat, the usual feel, the usual guitar sound. And it's fine that way. But in the context of a whole lot of other songs with that same approach, well, I feel there's a risk of songs getting lost in the generic flow. And this one was, as I say, kind of special. That said, as I've observed before a few times, in the broader view matters of production and arrangement and so forth, though important, really fade away in comparison to the song itself. Ultimately that's what matters, much more than the minutiae of production or the foibles of the band playing them. It's why the Revenge Is Sweet album works in the end not only for diehard fans of the "sound" but even for a curmudgeonly member of the "loyal opposition" like me. Good songs equals good album, almost come what may. In my old age, I've learned not to take that for granted. Sixteen good songs in a row, that's a lot, and not something that happens too often. Sometimes I'm amazed I can manage even one. A ways back I wrote about this song vs. the Jimmy Buffett song of the same title (link in notes below.) Snip: 'The title is, in both songs, a well-known joke switching the terms of a conventional phrase people write on postcards. And the conceit of my song is that the lyrics are the actual message written on such a postcard, reflecting, in effect, a darker reality beneath the cliché. There is a narrative of a wistful love-gone-wrong scenario that can be filled in around the edges, a backstory. By the end, it's the actual postcard speaking ("I'm a message you won't return...") with an air of finality that has developed during the course of the actual writing of it. The narrator, by then, has left the building, so to speak.' In other words, as a composition, it was rather high-concept, and not all that generic, as generics go. At any rate, it was what it was and it is what it is, and this isn't a bad rendition of it, all things considered. I miss Italy. So, yet again, we did it. I wrote it, you sat through it, those of you who did. Let's give ourselves a pat on the back and a round of applause, and an award just for being us. And we will, I'm sure, do it again next week. Ciao. notes: -- studio recording: https://youtu.be/TYB5V3_nRA8 -- My Stupid Revenge (that essay on RISASAY): https://medium.com/@drankf/my-stupid-revenge-ce55aa2bd65b -- that MTX / Jimmy Buffett post: https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/1006647073198727168?referrer=frankportman -- Songs for Odin playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLommF46BbnATopffORs0YkspebJHka2o_ #music #songs #video #punkrock #minds
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