Jazz 88.1 FM is playing crusty wanker blues, and 88.5. KCSN is playing the crusty The Band. I used to really love the eponymous album, but I’ve heard too much at the expense of other things. Well, at least it ain’t “The Weight” and “Up On Cripple Creek,” which they usually play. “Across The Great Divide” and “Rag Mama Rag.” are worth keeping on (it isn’t like there’s likely to be much better right now)—not bad driving music. I can play some mouth trumpet rather than smoking, but now they stretch their luck when they play “The Night They Drove old Dixie Down,” another one I used to love and one of the first piano songs I learned. I would definitely dust it off for a request more than a certain Billy Joel song (& I’ll certainly take it over Neil Young’s sanctimonious “Southern Man”), but even this album feels crusty with too much “rustic” testosterone. I guess The Band is a money band for this station, since they’re having their pledge drive (which makes sense with their crusty Dylan hour, and most of the contemporary songs they “break” when they’re not taking the lead of the World Café). Still, I listen to this station a lot, but generally only by default. I like Nic Harcourt’s voice.
Now, however, I move upward (or right) skipping over the Latino programming on 88.9 KXLU which ain’t doing it for me, to see if 89.9 KCRW is actually playing music, and they actually are. And it’s got a good groove. At first I think the song is called “I’m Living In the Us Generation.” It seems like “conscious hip hop” or “old school hip hop” (detractors I suppose would call it “lite hip hop” or “pop hip hop”). Whatever it is, it’s not crusty, and it makes me glad I abandoned The Band on KCSN. It’s got a real cool bass meshing with low-end piano, and horns! It’s definitely a positive message.
The lyrics go by fast, and cover many topics. I only catch a few, but like them: What's wrong if a girl loves sex/It's only wrong if it's not with you/So maybe you should get better in bed/(You naughty boy).” Of course, I disagree with the title. The “Us Generation” hasn’t been true since 1966 at the latest. But I’ll take that lie over others right now. Maybe I should write a song: “I wanna live in an Us Generation,” which would be more honest, and could be great if it had the right groove.
It turns out the song actually agrees with me much more than I thought on first listen during this drive. It’s actually called, “The Lost Generation,” by Rizzle Kicks, and was just recently released in the UK on August 25, 2013, and reached #6 on the UK (digital) singles charts—from their forthcoming album on Island Records (part of the Universal Music Group). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL51Tsh6Sdg
Then KCRW plays “She’s Sexy And 17,” by the Stray Cats (turns out it was by accident), and seques into Gene Vincent. Gene Vincent may be older, but certainly is less crusty than The Band (I almost wrote The Bland); hell, maybe even that Stray Cats song seems fresher now. Well, I’m in Lucy’s parking lot now, so enough radio—but not a bad 20-30 minute commute.
Written while driving from Hollywood and Vine Trader Joe’s to Lucy’s Laundrymart in Echo Park (which I can only go to because the Dodgers were beaten by the St. Louis Cardinals and the hypocritical steroid legacy of their batting coach)…