I Will Defend Your Right to Cry I'm not gonna lie to you -- Song for Odin came perilously close to being cancelled today. What with one thing, and another, and another, it seemed rather unlikely that I would pull one together and put it up, so to speak. However, I'm rallying round. And for the handful of people who care, well, I'm doing it for you. In addition to various other afflictions, the heat turns my brains to consommé (if consommé is the word I want) and, well, you know what they say about consommé: it makes bad brains. Nevertheless, here's what I came up with: "Love American Style," live at the Joiners Arms in Southampton UK, July 8, 1992. https://youtu.be/iA5budmX6xw If you've been following this "series," you know that I've posted quite a few songs from this set, which captures the 1992 era live MTX, for better and for worse, with more clarity and in more detail than any other document I've seen. We still don't know the videographer's identity. But he got the whole thing, which is kind of cool because without it I, for one, would have forgotten what it was like, mostly. This is in fact the final song of the eighteen in the set to be posted here. And as promised, I've uploaded the whole show as single file as well, just in case you'd like to experience the set with all the awkward pauses and failed attempts at showmanship in between songs; and I put the playlist of the individual songs in order too.) I've been thinking quite a bit about the song "Love American Style" lately because of the Mtx forever comp., which will most likely include it. It's a strange little production. It embodies and kind of sums up what we were all about as a band in an inarticulate way, leaving a lot unsaid, all the elements inadvertently balanced such that it comes close to crashing down but never does, quite. I've been told it's my most "romantic" song, by several people, and I think I know what they mean, despite the ungainliness of many of those elements. I don't like a lot of my stuff, to be perfectly honest, but I do like this. And just like a whole lot of things I like that I didn't have a hand in making, I can't quite say why. "I will defend your right to cry": that kind of says it all. The guitar arrangement is great. Had we done the whole subsequent Milk Milk Lemonade album like this, our history may well have been quite different. Though probably not all that different. As for this rendition, well, it's rough, sloppy, too fast, and not all that together, like so much else. Also, the video is garbled and glitchy in several places, which is why I saved it for last. Garbled and Glitchy isn't a bad description of the entire enterprise, really. In fact, it's something of a miracle that this chaotic, duct taped, scatterbrained operation made it to the UK at all in this instance. Allow me to illustrate with an anecdote. The previous week, the van had rather permanently broken down in the Pyrenees, which could well have been the end of the "tour" as we liked to style it. Our time at that Basque separatist squat would, doubtless, yield many tales if my memory of those days weren't so hazy... it all has a fuzzy, dreamy quality, a florid, sticky debauch of kalimotxo and limbs, the smell of sweat and hashish always heavy in the air, to the sound of paramilitary drilling in the morning and punk rock at night. I feel as though we might have stayed there forever, never to be heard from again. But somehow (and exactly how remains almost completely dark to me) we managed to make it, sans van, to France, with what equipment we could carry, to take the ferry to England. (It's the kalimotxo, maybe: just looked it up and was surprised at how it's spelled. Everyone had it in big two liter coke bottles, including this girl who insisted I call her by her true name "la puta madre"... like I said, the details are, perhaps mercifully, extremely distant.) So there we were, on a boat to the UK with guitars, drum hardware, a drum or two, maybe an amp head. We were of course "sneaking in", without work papers or anything like that. It seems distinctly implausible that we could have been tourists, traveling on foot carrying cymbal stands and such, but that was our story and I suppose it was no less implausible than the truth. They bought it. We, and our cymbal stands etc. were in the UK. But we had no plan on what to do next. My recollection is of hours waiting desultorily with our stuff on some platform while our minions, such as they were, tried to figure out what to do with us. As the night deepened, the word came through: someone was coming to pick us up in a van and take us to stay at someone's parents' house in London. In the event, the "van" turned out to be a tiny vehicle with two little bucket seats in the front and a small cargo area in the back. It was smaller than an ordinary car. But, you work with what ya got, and the way we worked it was, two people in the shotgun seat, one on the other's lap, and the rest of us lying on the floor of the small cargo area with the drum hardware, guitars, and amps balanced on top of us, on our bellies, chests, and legs. (I think it was Alex and I in the back, probably the most intimate situation we'd ever been in.) All things considered, it wasn't so bad, except that the driver got lost looking for the house, which was in a kind of posh area with lots of twists and turns and thickly wooded round-abouts and such. A mysterious "van" poking around here and there in such a locality soon attracted the attention of the local constabulary, and we were summarily pulled over by the police, who launched an impromptu investigation. Our driver dissembled as best he could at first but in the end had to come clean. In response to the police officer's "now then now then what's all this then?" the driver said: "You're probably not going to believe this, Officer. But, this is an American rock band, on tour in the UK." The officer, peering in at Alex and I and the drum hardware on top of us in the back, replied: "So, doing well, are we?" Maybe you had to be there, but it was just about the funniest thing I'd ever heard anyone say. He let us off with a caution or whatever. Somehow we wound up playing five or six shows in the UK plus two in Ireland. Therein lie more tales, but they are for another time. In the meantime, a happy Wodnesdæg to you all. Tie each other to posts, make each other tea and toast, be at each other's trials, etc. Love love love.... notes: -- studio recording: https://youtu.be/Oi6PvQOLTxQ -- youtube link to whole show: https://youtu.be/4Ri4izon1No -- youtube link to show playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLommF46BbnAT2hVGz-QZ_w79KOfoStHb3 --kalimotxo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalimotxo #music #video #songs #punkrock #minds
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