Friday, January 26, 2007

Song of the Week 1/26/07

Earth Opera - "The Red Sox Are Winning"

I know we're only in the first month of the year, but I do believe I have a guaranteed entry in my Top 10 Reissues/Compilations/Etc. list for 2007. Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra Records 1963-1973 surveys a decade of releases from the label that brought us everyone from Judy Collins to The Doors and Carly Simon to The MC5. This five CD set is packed with some so-so folk songs, some so-so early '70s singer-songwriter tracks and a whole bunch of weird shit. Listening to the second and third CD discs Wednesday night while doing laundry I thought my iPod had suddenly tuned in WFMU. One great '60s gem after another made for perhaps the best night of laundry ever. And the highlight had to be this track from Earth Opera. The liner notes say this Boston band got caught up the "Bosstown Sound" hype of the mid-to-late-60s. I just think these once and soon-to-be-again bluegrass musicians just got their hands on some great drugs to make this song. There's a xylophone solo, weird lyrics about wars and arranging hair while looking in a mirror, a bridge that sounds stolen from a Gershwin tune and a hook about the 1967 Sox "Impossible Dream" team. Whew, it's almost too much for a brain unaddled by drugs to take.

I suppose I shouldn't have been shocked to find that one of the main forces behind Earth Opera's everything but the mushroom-filled-kitchen sink sound was David Grissman, who later went on to make bluegrass recordings with Jerry Garcia.

Oh, and did I forget the over-the-top lyrics at the end of the song? Here you go:

"Let's make Boston America's number-one baseball city. Kill the hippes! Kill the hippes!"

WOW. I'm glad I was born in the '60s, but even more glad I wasn't old enough to be aware of anything until 1973.

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