26 September 2005

sonic's rendezvous band - "city slang" (from the "city slang" single, out of print.)

in brief : punk fucking rock. literally.

ok, i've given you a lot of new shit recently, so, indulge me.

first, i don't think i've yet linked to rocklist, which has long been one of my favorite stops on the www.

music fans who don't make lists often look w/, at best, curiosity at music fans who do. "why?" is a loaded question, and i'm only going to supply one answer for now. like so many things in life, we do a particular action b/c we hope someone else will do it in turn, to our benefit. it's the same sort of motive that has buttressed civilization for millennia. i make lists that contain things you might not have heard of b/c i hope someone else will do the same for me--and, oh, how they have. (this same impulse is why so many of us get upset w/ the usual rolling stone list.)

"city slang" is one of those songs (and also a uk label), though i can't recall for the life of me which list it was on. whichever it was, it was incredibly idiosyncratic--always the best kind. "sonic" is fred "sonic" smith. released in '78, the song, naturally, sounds like mc5, though not political--at least that i can make out; there could be euphemisms for all i know. it's probably what iggy had hoped raw power would turn out like, and though "city slang" sounds as if it couldn't have been w/o "search & destroy," it seems to me that it repaid its debt: it's a song iggy v. likely had in mind when he remixed raw power years later.

i often talk about "moments" on this here website, and "city slang" unsurprisingly has one--many, actually, but one especially. it's the piano on the chorus, paired masterfully w/ sonic's stuttering of the title. i don't have a piano nearby, but my guess is that the struck key is almost certainly an "e"; i doubt pianos in the motor city come equipped w/ any other. (if punk had pared the guitar down to two chords, it was much more severe to the piano.) it's severe, triumphant and rare, and that last is not only why i feel compelled to write, but why i feel compelled to share, though w/ the hope that i don't detract from the song's charms by eliminating the chase. if so, you can try and find the eleven minute version, and do keep me informed ...


Anonymous said...

Wow, thank you. That was great!
-- jonhope

fred said...

glad you enjoyed. though i try to be forward-looking, it's comments like yours that encourage me to post tracks from the back catalog.

Anonymous said...

There are loads of mp3 blogs that try to discover the next Arcade Fire, but fewer that fill in the blanks between the well known stepping stones in pop history (i.e., VU's begat NY Dolls, who begat the Ramones and Pistols, who begat everyone else).
-- jonhope