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Musical Torch

I’ve been passed a musical torch by Rob Weychert

The Volume of Music on My computer

17.52 GB (did I just say that!?)

The last CD I bought was

Actually not a CD, I got the album from the iTunes Music Store. Les Sans Culottes, Faux Realism.
Radical 60′s French pop. This band is originally from NY, though the thick French accent during spoken English intros tell a different tale. Before that, I think it was The Essential Johnny Cash.

Song playing right now

Up On The Hill (Traditional), Ween
When I was younger, my mamma told me, she said Gener, I wanna smell it. And then she smelled it and it was smelly and I say Lordy, Lordy, Lord I’m comin’ home

Five songs that mean a lot to me

Tom Waits Jesus Gonna Be Here.
I don’t know if this is a traditional gospel or not but Tom takes my breath away with a simple four chord progression arranged on nothing but stand-up bass, foot taps, two sustained A notes from a slide acoustic (played by Keith Richards, if I’m not mistaken) and his beautifully gravel voice. Sort of the inspiration for my own When the Hell is Jesus Coming Back!? For my money, his trademark “drunken-alleyway scat” doesn’t get better than in the first four bars of this baby.

Frank Zappa The Closer You Are.
My dad was a fan. He put that Yellow Snow epic on one snowy morning and something clicked with me and Frank. I can’t stand listening to endless guitar solos though. I suppose I’m missing what is great about them and that makes me inferior to you, but Frank’s ability to arrange entire sections of vocalists and instruments was extraordinary. Again, I may be mistaken, but I don’t think Frank could read or write muscial notation. Overnight Sensation has got to be my favorite (many a childhood hour was spent staring at the psychadelic album art). The man was truly a visionary and scholar, much more than your modern-day rockstar could hope to be.

The Dead Milkmen Big Deal.
I remember getting the Stoney’s album at Newberry Comics in New Hampshire and listening to it all the way through on the way back to my girlfriend’s parent’s house. Later, while practicing the drums to the album (ah, memories) the line, “You’re late for your class, you’re walkin the halls without a pass- big deal!” suddenly grabbed me. Big Deal was my anthem during that 18th year of my life, the year, coincidentally, I dropped out of high school in 11th grade and picked up a pretty healthy weed habit and was arrested (the first time). While some people will tell you that this is the worst DM album, I think it’s totally awesome. Crystalline, The Blues Song (he’s right about white people and tampons), Like to be Alone – Hello!? Just because it doesn’t sound like Tiny Town doesn’t mean it’s not awesome, Sutter!

The Dead Milkmen All Around The World.
Sorry to pick the same band again, but these guys were such a part of my development that they’ve become integrated into who I am and how I think. Sort of like a tree that grows too close to a barbed-wire fence. Joe’s intimate vocals ride over top of simple, bouncing, echoey synths. His accent is so Philadelphian and there’s never any attempt to cover it up proving that you can be punk at 80 bpm. The album fairly-well winds its way around conspiracies, UFOs, the meaning of life and Shaft. This one for me is the stand-out. I know about the UFOs, I know about the mind-control. I know some things I know I shouldn’t know.

Ben Rush Matthews All of the Fullness.
Ben’s my buddy, buddy boy. If anyone’s heard You Can’t Help Me (also known as the screaming guy song)- you’ve heard him play drums. I met him at a party when I was 19. He was sitting on the floor playing guitar in a gym shirt that had breasts painted onto it, his head was mostly shaved except for two long, unwashed bangs that hung nearly into his eyes. I passed him the joint, he denied. I later learned that he was 14 at the time. I started to record with him a couple of months later. He’s an incredible musician because he goes with what comes to him. There’s no composition! This is the song. You’ll notice that its just him and a mic and a four track. That’s one of the things that Ben very slowly taught me. That you can work all day to make something sound great, like the best it can be, and you can do takes until its so tight that air couldn’t get in, but in the end, you’ve lost the record of the event. I suppose I was more into making records and he was more into making music (maybe the other way around?). Right now he’s living in Arizona with his wife (my wife’s cousin) working as a blacksmith apprentice. Like I said, this guy’s awesome.

Five people who are getting this baton from me

Sutter, Dean Clean (mister boom-diddy-clang), Kevin Cornell, Brendon Small and Jeremy Hedley.

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