Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Drivin N Cryin - Great American Bubble Factory (Vintage Earth Music, 2009)

Once again, I owe my fandom of a great artist to the best radio station in the history of Tidewater, VA -- 92.1 WOFM. Drivin N Cryin received major attention on the left-of-the-dial band, with tracks from 1989's Mystery Road getting the most cheek pinches and ass grabs. "Toy Never Played With," "Honeysuckle Blue," "Malfunction Junction," "Straight To Hell" among others joined key cuts from Scarred But Smarter (1986) and Whisper Tames The Lion (1988) to give the somewhat snooty a proper curtsy with these fine gentlemen from Atlanta. (To the writer in Catharsis whose poison pen slammed The Smithereens: Screw you and your Yo La Tengo!) When WOFM switched over to the syndicated Z-Rock in 1990, it was 98.7 WNOR's turn to carry on DNC's brief-but-beloved tradition. Though not as generous with sharing the booty, the AOR spot's adequate rotation of the title song from Fly Me Courageous won over the not-as-sophisticated readers of Rockflash. Indeed, the tune contained enough cowbell to satisfy the sons-of-a-bitches in Nazareth, the reaper-fearers in Blue Oyster Cult and the production demands of Christopher Walken-as-Bruce Dickinson. After acquiring all three releases on cassette (I wouldn't join the world of CDs until 1992 or so), I dubbed each of them for my college bud John. He liked DNC well enough to accompany me at The Boathouse for the Norfolk date on the Courageous tour. I was so engrossed in head-banging along to the band, a couple of preppy pukes nearby were mocking my movements. The crowd was a bit light in comparison to other shows I'd attended there (PiL, The Connells, etc.), but my future amigo Kenny enjoyed the killer set with John and me. One regret: I wish I'd taken my brother Mike along for the ride. Anyone who blasted "Catch The Wind" and "Powerhouse" on a surf-stickered boom box certainly deserved a ticket. Don't cry for him, though, 'cause the man's got something over his older sibling. Mike has seen REM in concert; I have not.

DNC share an outline on the U.S. map with the boys from Athens, but their differences at the plate are as pronounced as Hank Aaron and Ty Cobb's. If Peter Buck is the guy selling heavy metal records at a yard sale, the members of DNC are the ones handing him the cash. Wait, are those Soul Asylum's Hang Time, Meat Puppets' II, Skynyrd's Nuthin' Fancy and Led Zep's III wedged in the middle of the milk crate? Here's ten Washingtons from DNC's Kevn Kinney, Peter. That should be enough for a couple sandwiches down at Walter's BBQ. Kevn's funny-but-cool voice expressed the concern of having side dishes with your dinner, so take five more bucks for Neil's Rust Never Sleeps and Bob's Highway 61 Revisited. Enjoy the fries and slaw, PB. Done reading that stack of paperbacks from the likes of Harper Lee and Hemingway? KK wants to know if they're worth a cherry pie and a chocolate shake to you. Pete, have fun pullin' pig. DNC's got a gig.

Kevn quotes Springsteen in "Detroit City" ("I went out for a ride and I never got back"), but his heart's hungry for a Motown miss who's built like a (pink) Cadillac and crazy about The Stooges and MC5. A cool chick, no doubt. However, if I had the keys to the Fleetwood and $12,000,000 in Amoco allowance, I'd ride the 10th Avenue back streets to Baltimore, Jack, and ask a female friend if she'd like to go next level with me. Have the "Midwestern Blues" got you down? Though it would be awesome to have you and 300 other mouths in the unemployment line join me and the Oriole Bird at Camden Yards, please move to a town where you don't have to perform the same work as your father. Also, tell your mama not to wake you from the dream of hugging a pillow and pretending it's a woman. "I See Georgia" is where you've found freedom as a truck driver. Rock on, B.J. and your bear! When parked for the evening, Gladys Knight, Dave Dudley and Dolly on the juke should keep the whiskey and cold rain company. Try to catch the Braves on an off day, 'cause Heyward's been a stud so far. Every relationship is one "Ricardo on the beach" from being over. Once the 12 million's in the gas tank and the Caddy's in an impound lot, "The Hardest Part" is keeping the Charm in the City. If you're a man with a sponge in your hand who throws away green bean cans, that could be the Key for her not to move West. Speaking of Florida, "Preapproved, Predenied" has lines that read like "Good Times" ("I gotta work two weeks just to pay my rent/I gotta work three days just to keep my lights on/I gotta work two days just to get to work/I gotta work one day just to pay the fines"). The "hand-me-downs from Goodwill racks" and "off-brand soda from the corner store"?

Sounds like a Charm.

-Gunther 8544

1 comment:

gunther said...

Guess who's seeing DNC on November 3rd?