Minor Secrets of "Up and Down" Revealed! Happy Thanksgiving eve, one and all. Another Wodensdæg, another song for Odin, that's how it works. It rained last night as forecast and the Bay Area air has finally moved into the Environmental Protection Agency's "moderate" yellow category, meaning "acceptable" down from purple "hazardous" meaning "emergency, entire population at risk". I've seen reports in the media that the rain will just visit a whole new and even worse disaster on everyone, but, you know, they kind of always say that, and have been for thousands of years really. It'll be a relief when the world finally does come to an end, putting an end as well to the speculation about what's going to cause it. The suspense is killing me. In the meantime, here's my band, at Gilman Street, Berkeley, 1988, playing a Sesame Street cover. https://youtu.be/tKkX03ub1n4 This was one of the most popular songs in the live set for a stretch there, and when we finally recorded and released it on the Big Black Bugs 12" ep on Rough Trade in 1989 it got pretty good airplay on college radio. At this point, it seems, we had just started playing it and hadn't worked it out all the way: the goofy intro, following the dialog of the muppet monsters in the original, is there, but I'm singing the whole verse rather than trading lines with Jon von as the monsters do in the song, and as we eventually started doing. (Jon's usual line was that he was looking down because he was looking for his beer, but he says "glass of water" here because, you know, Gilman, no violence, drugs, or alcohol: all the alcohol was got at Picante down the street pre and post show. You can't have rock and roll without some alcohol. You just can't.) I eventually came up with a pretty nifty guitar solo for this, but either I hadn't by this point or I just kind of choked in the middle and gave up. It's a basic arrangement of a very well-written song by Jeff Moss, who also wrote "Rubber Duckie" and "I Love Trash" among other iconic songs. I'd do the chords differently if I were to do it now, but part of my missing some of the compositional nuance here is the fact that the mix on the cassette version of The Sesame Street Book and Record that I was going from has the music way in the background, almost completely over-shadowed by the monster vocals. It was hard to hear what was going on, exactly. I did the best I could, and basically it worked out okay. We had lots of fun playing it. This rendition is rough, but pretty much everything was. There are a couple of compilations of bands doing Sesame Street covers that came out in the 90s, one on a real, legit label, I think, and many people assume this track was from one of them, but in fact we did it all on our own, only to watch it fade away into oblivion like everything else we did. As for the particulate matter in the air, may the good lord bless the air, and keep the air... far away from us. Have a great Thanksgiving. #music #songs #covers #livevideo #minds
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