Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Willie Nelson with the Beach Boys, "Warmth of the Sun," from that mostly un-pleasing "Beach Boys meet the Stars of Country" collection. Beautiful song. Mickey Raphael's harmonica -- beautiful. Willie's diction clearer than the Boys' original -- very country, that. 2nd verse, surprise, it made me misty today:

The girl that I loved
She left me one day
I cried when she said
I don't feel the same way

That last line, so idiomatic -- *that's just how people talk*. But this time it was Willie's performance, the very slight bearing down on the key 3rd line, moving closer to the mic, singing softer and more intensely -- it hit me.

Scientific pagans that they are, Willie and the Beach Boys have the warmth of the sun within them tonight -- nothing could be truer, and that they find consolation in that truth is nothing short of religious.


Jazz singer Andy Bey's cover of Nick Drake's "River Man" -- his gorgeous bass voice caressing the mysterious, lovely song. Listened to it many, many times before realizing -- it's in 5/4! Haven't heard N Drake's original more than a couple times, and it's been a while, and I'm (perhaps mis-) remembering it in 6/8. A Bey's cover beautiful.


Don't hit me . . . but did and do the timbre and vocal approach of Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder owe something to those of classic Partridge Family-era David Cassidy? I think they do -- the grainy melodic baritones taking it up in pitch and intensity for the choruses. Kurt and Eddie would have been the right age to have watched the show as kids. I know I did.

"I think I love you!"


Likewise, the superfast electric boogie of the Brothers Van Halen -- the superfast electric boogie of jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham and (uncredited!) electric guitarists on a tune called "Quadrant 4" prefigure it. Cobham -- wow -- those relentless 8th-note triplets on the bass drum(s?) in prestissimo tempo. All Cobham needed was a handsome witty hammy melodic shrieker to front his band, he would have sold millions!
just listened to "River Man" again. i can't get enough of that guy. what a master.

(kowtowing in reverence)
Nick Drake or Andy Bey the master?
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