Saucerful of Assignments As you may have noticed, I do this thing each Wednesday where I post a video of a song and type out some comments. The comments are styled "minor secrets" and the whole thing is called Song for Odin because it's, you know, Woden's day. I've been doing this for three years now, for no articulable reason, when I don't flake. And in the spirit of not flaking, here we go again. It's the MTX of 1998, covering the Primitives' song "Crash" at the Fireside Bowl in Chicago. And here's some typing about it. It's a pretty great song, and the Primitives were a pretty great band, one of very few bright spots in the generally execrable 1980s. Our version is rather crude, I suppose, and deliberately so, pop minimalism, just the barest bones underlying the original, much more beautiful "text." People really seem to like it, so thanks. Like many of the covers we recorded, it wasn't motivated by a burning desire to interpret it anew or anything like that. It was simply, someone was putting out a compilation and gave us $200 to record a track for it. It was an assignment. We took the money, booked studio time, recorded it, and turned it in. Then if it was easy enough to play and remember it was in the repertoire and turned up on set lists, as here. In this case it was the 1997 Vagrant Records CD compilation called Before You Were Punk, subtitled "a punk rock tribute to '80s New Wave." As I said before in the Shards vol. 2 liner notes, I find the title and concept rather baffling, but it's basically a collection of semi-ironic covers and people love those. (Ours wasn't ironic at all, even though it was made-to-order and not particularly passionate.) According to wikipedia it sold 70,000 copies, which is huge for that type of thing. Anyway, I'm pretty sure they gave a list of songs to choose from and we chose "Crash" because it seemed like one we could pull off quickly and uncomplicatedly. An easy A. We used stack these compilation project assignments up so we could record several songs in one go and possibly slip in one of our own while we were at it for future use. For this "stacked" session we did "Crash," "Is There Something I Should Know?" for the very similar Duran Duran covers compilation, and "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah." (That last was one my songs, for an even more baffling compilation called Generations I: a Punk Look at Human Rights. See link in notes below. I think what we were doing there is disputing the premise of the assignment, which is what you do when you haven't done the reading. And I think we scored a solid B, maybe even a B+ on that one. Never fails.) As for "Crash," I'm glad we phoned it in. Smart things come in stupid packages, and it wouldn't have been any better if we'd tried any harder. We did precisely what was required, no less, and certainly no more. Long live rock and roll. notes: -- that studio recording: -- original song: -- Shards vol. 2 liner notes: -- Before You Were Punk discogs: -- "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah": -- "Is There Something I Should Know?": -- Songs for Odin playlist: #music #songs #video #punkrock #minds