“…when the train come in the station,…”

Recently, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about music. There are any number of bands whom I absolutely adore, and as the prior post demonstrates, Pavement is certainly one of them. Anyone who really knows me, though, knows that when it’s time to bring it all back home, though, I’m a sucker for traditional musics, be they zydeco, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, bhangra or rhythm’n’blues. Especially the r’n’b. This can be devastating.

God, a little fatback drumming, some walking bass lines, whomping dominant seventh chords on the piano and syncopated ninth chords on a Thinline Telly will get my toes tapping and my head knodding. Good grief! Is this a familiar picture to anyone? How many of you poor readers have had to endure a Dheeraj refusing to leave because the band has just started playing a cover of a Meters song? How many of you have had to suffer through Dheeraj’s insistent claims that Live At Fillmore East is probably the greatest live album of all time? How many of you endure having Meters songs and Rolling Stones songs as your ringtones when you call me? (n.b., I have never, ever included any album material post-1979 as a ringtone. I am a fan, but I’m not stupid.)

So, in any event, I was talking to my friend Erik Swedberg about this and that, and we came to the subject of how hard John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival jam. There’s really no way to put it other than to say that Fogerty managed to make that rhythm guitar slash and burn some like bayou born moonshine, but for me, it always comes back to The Rolling Stones. From those early, burning singles like Play With Fire and Satisfaction, with that tight, tight drumming and those sinewy guitar lines in minor keys to those amazing years between ’66 and ’79, when they began to break down rock and rolling into it’s constituting elements, and recombine them, The Stones have always been amazing to me. I can just never get over how amazingly perfect each note seems to be.

Tonight, while kicking it with Erik, I was stunned by the awesome, solemn majesty and intricacy, as well as the painful intimacy, of their performance of Robert Johnson’s Love In Vain. The original, as can be imagined, is a very spare, haunting and quiet song of reflexion and loss. When put in the hands of The Glimmer Twins, however, the song acquires an amazing orchestration. I would have loved to have sat in a corner during a recording of this song. Jagger and Richards add a bit more structure to the song, as well as a veritable chamber orchestra of traditional blues instrumentation. Stunning, stunning, stunning, in its execution.

What a fantastic song. Good night!