In keeping with my band’s first gig in months, I thought I’d pass along links to a bit of what I’ve been listening to of late.
Status Quo: Pictures of Matchstick Men. Status Quo soldiered on far longer than anyone would have suspected, especially in their home country of England, where the band is basically synonymous with Foghat-style boogie rock. But for 3 minutes in the 60s, lightning struck, and this song has been covered by everyone from Ozzy to Camper van Beethoven — a funny kind of yellow indeed.
The 13th Floor Elevators: You’re Gonna Miss Me. Some of you will recognize this as the opening song in the movie High Fidelity. The rest of you are just in for a treat, but one with a bitter aftertaste. Roky Erickson was the American Syd Barrett. A combination of schizophrenia, drug use, and the punitive use of what was considered the “mental health system” have left Roky irretrievably damaged.
The Haunted: 1-2-5. Montreal’s answer to the Stones, these guys also did a nifty Francophonic cover of “Purple Haze” called “Vapeur Mauve”: “Pardon, que j’embrasse le ciel.”
The Ugly Ducklings: Nothing. Toronto’s entry in the garage sweepstakes, a nice dose of distilled attitude.
And away from the garage:
The Angels: No Secrets. Another band that is legendary at home (Australia in this case), but America (where the band was called Angel City) didn’t want to know. Great White would later have some success covering “Face the Day.”
Glenn Gould: Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 888. Bach has always been my favorite composer, and Gould may well have been the finest interpreter of his piano pieces. His version of the Goldberg Variations may well be definitive.