Are you OK?

I am, at least on a night when I can see Was (Not Was):

Was (Not Was)
Don Was introduces the band, The Majestic, Detroit.

And guess who came out for the encore? Mitch Ryder. He sang “Devil With a Blue Dress.” I would have preferred “Rock and Roll,” but no one asked me. A great band, a great night.

Added: Full transcript of Don Was’ Freep interview from Friday. Bonus quote from Keith Richards: “When you think, you stink.” Proving Richards is a Zen master, or maybe just channeling Yogi Berra.

Posted at 10:07 am in Uncategorized |

12 responses to “Are you OK?”

  1. caliban said on May 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Mr. Ryder (as we‘d say in the NYT) has chosen to open his website to Devil With a Blue Dress On. What caused kids to go actually berserk back at the Birmingham Teen Center when Mitch was young and I was younger. (He’s only 62, but those knee drops and subsequent surgeries have to have taken a toll, and I bet at least one of his knees is stainless steel.) was Jenny Take a Ride. It’s been most of a lifetime, but I’d pay to see him do that song.

    The version of Rock ‘n’ Roll on the Michigan Rocks album is very good, but I don’t think anybody but REM and Yo La Tengo can really do Lou Reed just right. Although, I’d imagine Lou wouldn’t mind waking up one day with Solomon Burke’s style, Wilson Pickett’s voice and James Brown’s death-defying stage show. Which about sums up Mitch Ryder.

    Michigan Rocks is a very low budget sort of compilation that probably never made it to modern audio media like tapes and those disks, but if you can find it (and play it) on vinyl, it’s pretty great. On the Seeds and Stems label, but of course. MC-5 (unbowdlerized on my copy), Dick Wagner and Frost, Scotty Morgan (who wore an ascot, somewhat unforgiveable in those days, but he sang white boy soul like Michael Hutchence)and the Rationals doing the Otis and Sister Re song, Stooges (1969), Journey to the Center of the Mind (when Ted Nugent wasn’t, ahem, ingesting hallucinogens), Ramblin’ Gamblin Man!!!, an amazing version of I’m So Glad by SRC. Soundtrack of my wasted youth. I bought this album at a Goodwill Thrift in Brockton MA.

    As for Rock ‘n’ Roll, the definitive version (my choice) is on the amazing live Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal album with Frost and Alice Cooper alum Dick Wagner (not to be confused with the Nazi composer that Robert Duvall likes).

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  2. moe99 said on May 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I have a well worn Mitch Ryder album. Last time I played it, my kids broke a lamp jumping up and down and running around the living room. Guess I’ll have to get a CD. I’ve almost replaced my Steely Dan, Creedence Clearwater, and Spirit albums. Ah misspent youth!

    Btw Nancy, no coverage of the First Family wedding?

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  3. caliban said on May 10, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I was thinking about Lou Reed covers and a href=””>Cowboy Junkies< comes to mind. A good friend of mine said that when REM covers the Velvets, they’re reverent. Much as I think Margo Timmins has a gorgeous voice, she seems “reverent” to the point of somnolence, except on the lala bridge. She’s a beautiful woman, but on this, she sounds like, and she seems to be trying to look like, a character in a Lou Reed Song:

    A junkie ran down a lady a pregnant dancer
    She’ll never dance but the baby was saved
    He shot up some china white and nodded out at the wheel
    And he doesn?t remember a thing

    Maybe it was that NYT fashion mag heroin chic thing. But slap a little Maria Mckee into that delivery. I do think Mitch and Detroit (great name for a band, balls got some heft) banged it out. But the urgency of the vocals was always driven percussively by the staccato chords, and the vocals are what some people call bad singing and I say is nearly perfect espression.. None of the Velvet songs by Lou Reed were anything but settings for plays,probably., but once he blew through them, there was less of a need to act them out..

    Listen. Laurie Anderson didn’t just latch onto some schlub with a …schlub or Chris Noth.

    Nancy. Were you always an original Detroit riotttgrrl. Back in ’69, it was a boys club, to our chagrin. Or did you find your way there through Silver Bullet? What’s the greatest song Seger ever made? And you can’t say Ramblin. And you can’t say Heavy Music. Noah? You know that one? Brilliant but no. I mean, I’m not trying to be a jerk. You think Bob and Iggy rule. They were really good, but SRC and MC5 were so much better.

    First Family wedding? First snout out of the cockpit. These aholes bail.

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  4. caliban said on May 10, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Oh sorry Nancy. Didn’t mean to impugn your Detroit credenetials. I understand why you’ve taken to the motor city. I mean, if you come from Ft. Worth, anything looks good. This is a lamo battle. I assume you agree that Curtis Mayfield is so far superior to Marvin Gaye this ones beyond question. But gutdom. If you don’t know Curtis is betterturn it in..OK, I’ve had it..

    Obama wins wecause HoDean ws so pissed off. That’s why immense numbers of voters don’t count. Thet probably equal the morons that voted for nader. Howard Dean is an idiot with an axe to grind. He fucked over Kerrywhen Kerry was the actual hero. If you don’t understand this your fucking dumber than Georfe Bush. Nobody’s that fucking stupid. Not possible

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  5. caliban said on May 10, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Keith also said: “I’ve never had a problem with drugs. I’ve had problems with the police.” So Moe 99. Mick is OK, Keith is definitely not. Talking about kids here. My kid can take “Until They Make Me Run”, but she’s a grownup young woman of fairly spectacular accomplishment. I figure she takes Mick and Keef the way she takes her dad. Mostly lying, but pretty messed up. Is he a liar? I don’t think so’.

    But I’m not lying about those encounters at the Birmingham Teen Center. Procol, Salty Dog, through the roof. Teagrden and Van Winkle, who said Seeger had feet of clay.. Played ping-pong with Skip. And Gary Brooker bought me a coke. Co-cola. And they didn’t just play Salty Dog with our friend Danny Harteau on Bill Scollins shoulders. Then they played Whiskey Train and Power Fused. Chopped up churned out weeks of greasy, spark plug burned out powerfused. We were kids. This was inspiring.

    Actually, I never lie about anything. Most definitely about Detroit.

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  6. beb said on May 10, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Weird synchronicity, but then what synchronicity isn’t weird. We were out shopping for, among other things, a copy of the new Was(Not Was) album. Turns out the album is kinda scare. It wasn’t a Target, FYE had one copy at a high price. Best Buy had one copy at a more comfortable price. I would have thought a local band would have had better representation.

    Meanwhile Caliban’s talk about Frost’s version of “Rock and Roll” reminded me of my college days when I heard a copy of a Frost album and absolutely fell in love with that song. I’ve wanted a copy of the album, or even just that song for years. Caliban’s talk got me to go to YouTube where I found this
    a recording from the Grande Ballroom. The song is as great as I remember it. It’s also a video of “I’m so glad” that I haven’t downloaded yet. Now if only I could save the video…

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  7. whitebeard said on May 10, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I cannot sit idly by, Caliban, while you demonize Howard Dean; he actually ran for the Democratic National Committee post and won it, fair and square, from under the Washington establishment’s noses. He turned the Democratic Party into a 50-state party instead of blindly following the Terry McAwful pick-and-choose foolishness. Dean is the reason the House turned Democratic and proved that people, ordinary people, can be energized, which is what provides the support for Obama. I met Dean and I got good vibes from him; I went to an Obama rally and got good vibes as well, especially from the mix of people in the crowd. Face it, Caliban, progress is going to roll right over you like a Sherman tank and you will be left sputtering stupid obscenities in the dirt. Michigan and Florida broke the rules and they got what they deserve. Since when do people get rewarded for lawlessness.

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  8. caliban said on May 10, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    What do you think about Margaret Atwood? Alias Grace might be the great American novel if Angle of Repose isn’t. Both are better by miles than F. Scott. Isn’t Oryx and Crace better than The Road? Without a doubt.

    I’m pretty much committed to the idea that Don GeLillo has kumped the shark (though Great Jones Street is astounding) and Tom McGuane won’t actually write any more. TC Boyle may erupt at any minute, just after Martin Amis makes an ass of himself.

    So who do you think is going to write something really good? Maybe Walter Moseley. Certainly, James Lee Burke, but nobody’s considering him for being seriously, like Elmore Leonard and other guys that can’t carry his jock.

    I think it’s time for Thomas Pynchon. Mason & Dixon was Jonathan Strange before anybody heard of that book. That’s a fact, jack. Jonathan Strange was superb, but it wasn’t actually as good as Lemprierre’s Dictionary.

    But anyway, get and read a copy of Oryx and Crake. Brilliant

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  9. caliban said on May 11, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Howard Dean? Enron reinsurance. Patron saint of…patronage? Vermont the New Bermuda. Meanwhile, How does the 50 state plan let Republican statehouses disenfranchise 3 mill voters while bizarre caucus states skate? What a self-serving jackass. And this is Howard’s revenge on the Democratic Party. Very petty little man that challenges Ralph Nader in the belly-button gazing contest to see whose umbilicus rules the world by virtue of its owner gazing at it.

    Could Howard at least be honest enough to start his interminable money-grubbing emails to me with the thrilling idea of the 48 state strategy? Rewards for lawlessness? Republicans set those primary dates, and the little pitbull that couldn’t ate it alive. He’s a virtual Republican. And that’s not progress. He might be a master of internet money scrounging and obscuring his unseemly ties to guys like Kennyboy, but that’s not hardly progressive.

    Oh, I forgot the stupid obscenities. Blast. Jehosaphat! And we like rolling in the dirt but no Sherman tanks please. I don’t think they’re still clanking along except when the generals drive to MSNBC to make Keith look like he’s not a pouf with incredibly bad Brylcreem.

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  10. caliban said on May 11, 2008 at 4:20 am

    The Grande was a ridiculously cool building. Like the Bradbury in LA. I‘m So Glad.

    I saw Cream there. And wasn’t that Jack Bruce’s band?

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 11, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Working novelists of the early 21st century who may yet have a GAN* in them — Richard Russo, Marilynne Robinson, David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, John Irving, Jane Smiley, Robert Olen Butler.

    But i’ll give you “Grapes of Wrath/Of Mice & Men/Cannery Row,” “Johnny Tremain,” and “The Great Gatsby” as novels as close as we deserve to the *Great American Novel for the last century. Updike and Roth are trying too hard to write one, and Bellow wrote literature, which may (depending on who sets the criteria) disqualify a book from consideration.

    But “The Book of Mormon” is my quiet candidate for unappreciated work of fiction of the 19th century, hiding behind the vast bulk of “Moby Dick,” the high impact of “Little Women” and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (whatever their literary merits) and the obscuring baroquely Victorian ornaments of “The Scarlet Letter” and “The Last of the Mohicans.” Toss in “Knickerbocker Tales” by Irving and Poe’s “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque” along with Longfellow’s “Tales from the Wayside Inn,” and you’ve got that era covered.

    But there’s plenty to anticipate from this century without asking Thomas Pynchon to step out from behind his “Simpson’s” persona and actually write something that you can read.

    Oh, and Michael Chabon.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 11, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    For regional color in the 20th century, i have a soft spot for Nelson Algren’s “Chicago: City on the Make.”

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