So, another stellar and incredibly entertaining Nick Lowe show last night at Great American Music Hall in SF. Don’t fight the mini NPR promotional onslaught – go buy the guy’s records, go see his shows. Simply because they’re great. I mean, really great. A man, his guitar and, like, a half-decade of killer songs. Just a lovely evening.
So, on the way down to the show, I start riffing through Steven’s CD’s to see what our listening options are and find the new Jonathan Wilson CD. Now, I barely know who this guy is, but I kinda do. That is, I know his name, but I think I mix him up with Jonathan Rice, and then I think there’s another Jonathan Wilson who is a member of Eisley (another name I recognize, but I couldn’t tell you much about ’em). So, there’s that. And it leaves me occasionally confused.
The intrigue is elevated as a couple years back I actually bought not one, but two copies of Wilson’s solo debut, “Frankie Ray”. And then I sat them aside. And then I sat other things aside, likely on top of the Jonathan Wilson CD’s, and so on. After a couple of weeks, let alone years, I’ve completely forgotten about Jonathan Rice. Sorry, Wilson. I don’t clearly recall how it happened, but my guess is that it happens the way it usually happens – I read a great review somewhere, think for some reason that I not only need to hear it, but I must own it. And I must buy an extra copy because at the time I’ve divined that this is something that will escalate in value. Yeah, that’s the way my brain works. It was a terrible thing to waste, but for the most part, I enjoyed wasting it.
So…I sold one of my copies a few weeks back for, I think, $25. Thought to myself for just a second “I need to listen to this.” And just as quickly thought to myself, “Eh, just sell the damn thing and get it out of here.” And then last night happened. And I heard his new record, “Gentle Spirit”. Nice stuff. He’s a man-out-of-time Laurel Canyon guy, with a production bent that runs to the mildly psychedelic. Steven made reference to Pink Floyd’s “Meddle”, and I concurred. I suppose Sparklehorse might be a more contemporary, ummm, contemporary. Whatever, I kinda dug it. And I loved the production on the record. And it made both Steven and myself wanna go back and listen to “Meddle.”
But…I can’t listen to “Meddle”. Because I don’t have a copy of “Meddle”. And for the life of me, I can’t understand how I don’t own this on CD. And then I realize that I own very, very few Pink Floyd CD’s. How can that be? I worked in the music business for 30 years and I didn’t walk away with the Pink Floyd catalog on disc. Why do I own more Plastikman CD’s than Pink Floyd CD’s? Wow.
And forget about listening to Pink Floyd on Spotify. That is, unless you wanted to listen to a “Chillout Tribute to Pink Floyd”. For those who find Pink Floyd, uhh, unchilled? So, I guess I’m gonna pop that shrink on “Frankie Ray” and give it a spin (because, well, it ain’t on Spotify either). I’ve done some light recon on Wilson this morning and realized that I also missed his first band, North Carolina-based Muscadine (which actually is on Spotify, natch). And I love that the band’s only album release is entitled “The Ballad Of Hope Nicholls”. That brought a big smile to my face as, back in 1986(!), when I was working for Record Bar in Durham, NC, I actually interviewed Hope and the rest of Fetchin’ Bones (also a NC-based entity) for a promo-only cassette release entitled “Yak-O-Latern” (as the band was promoting it’s “Bad Pumpkin” release) that Capitol sent to college radio stations for potential airplay. Life is weird. See how I brought that full circle? Or, at least, semi-circle?
Okay, I gotta get to work. And apparently listen to Jonathan Wilson. And long live Fetchin’ Bones! (And I think they still do).