Amoeblog

The Replacements

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 19, 2009 12:11am | Post a Comment

Today at Amoeba we heard The Replacements' Let It Be over the store’s stereo. To most alt rock types, this album is considered a timeless classic. Released back in 1984, it is a mix of adolescent angst and Paul Westerberg's foray into mature songwriting. And…much like most 80’s albums, it also painfully dated. As the album played I thought to myself, “Would any kid born in the nineties understand why people liked Let It Be so much?” Perhaps if they listened to the lyrics to “Sixteen Blue,” “You’re My Favorite Thing,” “I Will Dare,” and “Unsatisfied,” they would. Those songs speak to that inner adolescent that is still in us or yet to be.

Still, I had to laugh at some of the other songs. Not because they are terrible songs, but because they all dealt with subjects that post-nineties children wouldn’t understand. For instance, in the song “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out,” teenage drummer Tommy Stinton gets a tonsillectomy by an impatient doctor. According to Wikipedia, the number of tonsillectomies in the United States has “dropped significantly from several million in the 1970s to approximately 600,000 in the late 1990s.” The chances of anyone born in the United States after 1990 getting a tonsillectomy in their lifetime are minimal. Maybe the title “Tommy Has Tonsillitis And Gets a Prescription For Antibiotics” would work better in 2009.

How about the song, “Seen Your Video?" It was the Anti-MTV anthem of the eighties at a time when your main chance of having a career in music depended on whether MTV playing your video. Now, most bands don’t even make a video and MTV rarely plays them. Now there is YouTube. Your music video viewing is no longer dictated by MTV when you can put your favorite artist name YouTube's search engine and magically their videos pop up…that is, if they chose to even make one.
 
Finally, there is the angst ridden “Answering Machine.” From the first line, “Try to breathe some life into a letter,” it sounds dated. Really, when was the last time you wrote a letter? I’m not talking about an e-mail, I’m talking about an actual letter. On top of that, how many people still have an answering machine? I have voice mail on my cell that cuts you off after a certain time if you babble on and besides that, no one ever leaves a message. If I miss a call, I get a text message a minute later that reads “call me.” We are even too lazy to leave a voice mail. Then there's text messages -- how many regrettable texts of love have been sent? Far more than songs written about, “How do I say I love you to an answering machine?”

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Don't Let Me Down - It's Been 40 Years Since a Little Rooftop Concert...

Posted by Miss Ess, January 1, 2009 01:08pm | Post a Comment
40 years ago this January, the Beatles dragged their equipment up the stairs of their offices at 3 Savile Row, London, for a rooftop concert.

How long has it been since you heard "Don't Let Me Down?" Probably too long. It's been a long while for me. Let's get this new year started off right:


How is it that the Beatles made everything seem so effortless, even when they hated each other and were close to the end? "Don't Let Me Down" was released as a B-side to "Get Back." A B-side!!

I don't listen to the Beatles too often anymore. Honestly, I don't even think about them too much, and after all this time, one glimpse and to me they are the still coolest dudes in the universe.

Come As You Are: Let It Be

Posted by Miss Ess, July 10, 2007 09:26pm | Post a Comment
I'm watching the film Let It Be right now.

The Beatles look....exhausted.

let it be beatles john lennon paul mccartney george harrison

Paul's singing "Let It Be" at the piano and he just looks like he's about to keel over. They look so worn out, so at the end of their ropes.
paul mccartney let it be
Paul seems like the only one who was even trying to give the cameras a little "entertainment"...if you count heavy eye contact as that. (When it comes to The Beatles I have to say I am entertained by pretty much anything.) He's irrepressibly a showman. It's so interesting to watch. They are phoning it in, practically asleep while playing, and yet their music and songs are still transformational. Even though the magic between them personally had faded their raw talent never faded.

I haven't watched this since I was a kid. When I was growing up I somehow found the one video store within a 20 mile radius of my home that had a copy. I would go about once a year and rent it ... until one year it was mysteriously gone.

let it be rooftop concert apple john lennon paul mccartney ringo starr george harrison

The rooftop concert is, of course, my favorite part of the movie. One time when I went to London I found the Apple building. I stood on the concrete outside the door and tried to imagine what it was like that freezing day in January when everyone's regular old workday was interrupted by the sounds of the one and only Beatles filling their ears. How phenomenal! This is where that rawness really shows itself. I think it's beautiful and painful to watch; it's like observing a tiny happy moment within any necessary but sad breakup that's been a long time coming. I remember standing there on Savile Row, turning around to find the exact direction theysavile row the beatles rooftop concert apple had been facing when they performed by the view of the church spire and buildings.....yes, I am coo coo.

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