Friday, January 20, 2006

Novel Sndtrck: Let it Be (33 1/3 )

Play it: Novel Sndtrck: Let it Be (33 1/3)

Colin Meloy, of The Decemberists, grew up in Helena, Montana, rural and in the middle of nowhere to most folks. The Replacements' brand of trash punk was a ultimately was a fight against a Midwestern environment not wholly conducive or accepting initially to such a sound. That's what makes The Replacements so appealing to folks that grow up in 'middle of nowhere' areas, like Meloy (and myself for that matter... thus spake drake salutes my hometown Cashmere, Washington... population 2,982 - "Saaaluuute!"*)

Meloy's offering in the appealing 33 1/3 series** takes on the classic Mats album Let it Be, and also chronicles Meloy's musical maturity, battling his rural surroundings to find his music, during the advent of MTV, it's late Sunday program 120 Minutes, and 'college music.' It's an endearing 'coming of age' story, and Meloy doesn't flinch from letting you see the geek and uncool (Dungeons & Dragons, Men at Work, a Nylons concert,) which is more of a true memory. I find myself reinventing my past sometimes, when in fact, outside of early Prince (Dirty Mind) and Bootsy Collins (Player of the Year, both by happy accident) my tastes ran mostly MOR (w/ range.) Where AC/DC meets Billy Joel, and Olivia Newton John's Physical (on 8-Track, no less) reveals more about physical maturity (listening with my newly discovered groin) then actual musical maturity. As usual, with rural kids, there's an older influence, in this case an older Uncle (Paul) who's just out of college - the perfect age to feed a starving young ear what he needs to hear. Through mix-tapes, Meloy enters a world inhabited by Camper Van Beethoven, Robyn Hitchcock, Guadacanal Diary, R.E.M. and, of course, The Replacements. College music, they're calling it, and it's a revelation that creates a unquentiable thirst for Meloy, that's filled with Depeche Mode, The Smiths and the Jesus & Mary Chain as well as Uncle Paul's suggestions. The playlist, as a result, is a telling chronicle of Colin's growing musically, warts and all. Chicago's Peter Cetera butts up against The Replacements, while an unintentional insight is gathered from having The Replacements' "Androgynous" followed by Poison's "Every Rose Has it's Thorn."

*A little Hee-Haw reference for those that care.

**The series takes artists and has them write about a favorite album, freeform style... could be fiction, could be a memoir, could be a biography... just what the album inspires.

P.S. I know what you're saying, two Novel Sndtrcks in one week? Just don't get used to it, k?

Novel Sndtrck: White Apples
Novel Soundtrack: Kafka On The Shore (Ribaldry and Schmaltz's J Shifty)
Novel Soundtracks: Killing Yourself To Live (Drive Like Hell's Dallas Hudgens)
Novel Soundtracks: Drive Like Hell
Novel Soundtracks: Fortress of Solitude
James Frey's My Friend Leonard
Jonathon Lethem's The Disappointment Artist

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Novel Sndtrcks: Let it Be (33 1/3)

* "Hard To Say I'm Sorry / Get Away" - Chicago
* "Darklands" - The Jesus And Mary Chain
* "I Will Dare" - The Replacements
* "Favorite Thing" - The Replacements
* "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out" - The Replacements
* "Glory Days" - Bruce Springsteen
* "Surrender" - Cheap Trick
* "Raspberry Beret" - Prince And The Revolution
* "Don't Stand So Close To Me" - The Police
* "The Needle And The Damage Done" - Neil Young
* "Our House" - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
* "88 Lines About 44 Women - (bonus track)" - Nails
* "Perfect Way" - Scritti Politti
* "The Meaning of Love" - Depeche Mode
* "People Are People" - Depeche Mode
* "A Question Of Time" - Depeche Mode
* "Pray For Rain" - Guadalcanal Diary
* "Superman" - R.E.M.
* "The One I Love" - R.E.M.
* "Sixteen Blue" - The Replacements
* "Just Like Honey" - Jesus and Mary Chain
* "We're Comin' Out" - The Replacements
* "The Ledge" - The Replacements
* "Seen Your Video" - The Replacements
* "I'll Be You" - The Replacements
* "Kiss Him Goodbye" - The Nylons
* "Happy Together" - The Nylons
* "Camelot" - Monty Python's Flying Circus
* "Eye Of Fatima (Pt. 1)" - Camper Van Beethoven
* "Sweet Jane" - Cowboy Junkies
* "Thirteen" - Big Star
* "September Gurls" - Big Star
* "Bigmouth Strikes Again" - The Smiths
* "She Divines Water" - Camper Van Beethoven
* "Black Diamond" - The Replacements
* "Black Diamond" - Kiss
* "One" - Metallica
* "Androgynous" - The Replacements
* "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" - Poison
* "God Save The Queen" - The Sex Pistols
* "Good Feeling" - The Violent Femmes
* "Patience" - Guns N' Roses
* "Up The Beach" - Jane's Addiction
* "Barnaby, Hardly Working" - Yo La Tengo
* "Leslie Anne Levine" - The Decemberists
* "Long Distance Runaround" - Yes
* "Personality Crisis" - New York Dolls
* "Iron Man" - Black Sabbath
* "Kids Don't Follow" - The Replacements
* "Radio Free Europe" - R.E.M.
* "Color Me Impressed" - The Replacements
* "War Pigs" - Black Sabbath