I guess it’s no surprise that someone with a deep affection for the relatively obscure movie “That Thing You Do,” not to mention a nom de blogue of “stands for decibels,” would have a deep appreciation for music, particularly music of a particular era. From what little we know of him from his postings, he is also a fan of Rachel Maddow and Eric Blair, and one of the calmer voices on an often cacophonous blog.
He is also tonight’s guest host. Ladies and gentlemen, sfd:
“I’d been thinking about some pretext to recommend a tune by a band whose song “Start!” is one that’s somewhat familiar to American ears, and while it may not be my absolute favorite ever-ever by the Jam, I gave it another listen last night and heard some elements I hadn’t previously considered.
For starters, it’s not necessarily specific to the “start” of any particular kind of relationship–it might be about connecting with a potential lover, or a friend, of maybe just a fan. (Given that I was as big a fan as one could be when they recorded it, I wanted to believe that last one.) Musically, when you consider bandleader Paul Weller’s unabashed love for mid-60s rock, it’s kind of a one-song homage to all three composers of the Revolver lp–the opening riff is lifted from George’s “Taxman,” the solo could’ve been part of John’s “Tomorrow Never Knows,” and the bit of horns is a nod to Paul’s “Got to Get You into My Life.”
I could regale you with personal connections to this band, but suffice to say this tune appeared on an album that was released whilst I was sharing a house with a bandmate, wherein we rehearsed in the basement, and we covered more of the Jam’s tunes than we should. I loved their sound, dug the look, and I envied the massive following they had in Britain while being dumbfounded as to why they couldn’t get more of an audience here in the states. (as to that last bit: now it’s obvious. 1) they were just too English for most Americans to digest, and 2) the Jam likely didn’t give enough of a crap to adjust their sound, and tone down their accents, to make themselves more marketable here.)
If you’re not familiar with their catalog, they did six albums–all have some classic nuggets within, but you can’t go wrong with the 3rd, 4th, or the 5th album (Sound Affects), from which “Start” is a part.
And back, for just a bit, to the sentiments expressed? I think it’s true of what we try to do at your blog, with one another. We don’t always really understand each other, we get p–ed off and fight over the silliest of reasons, but it’s different sides, talking to each other, sort of. And at least it’s a start.”