Here’s to valiant indiscretion!

I’ve got some more songs here that feel like they belong with the last post, although I’m not aware of any actual link between the two…

Hands up, who’s heard of Let’s Active? Didn’t think so. Me neither. Well, do a quick bit of catch up here, and come back in a minute (It’s OK, we’ll wait, we’re not going anywhere…)

Mitch Easter

If you played along with that little device, you’ll now be aware that Mitch Easter was the main drive behind the legendary North Carolina trio – that’s “legendary” in the “I know I should’ve heard of them” sense of the word – and apparently produced a number of REM albums, the latter being a pretty impressive line on anyone’s cv. Mitch’s is a name I kind of think I’ve heard a number of times before but it’s not really stuck – his Wikipedia entry mentions production credits for a good few other well known artists, including Pavement.

Well, anyway. Mitch has just recently (well six months ago) gone onto record his first actual, in his own name record, Dynamico, the name taken from a flyer he saw advertising Cuban dance lessons.

It’s an album released by 125 records in this country and they’ve made two tracks available from it on their site, both of which are pretty catchy chunks of seventies-influenced power pop. As I’ve said they seem to follow on rather neatly from those Joel Gion records, being of the same ilk if not actually conceived in the same decade. Easter’s got a voice that reminds me of Wreckless Eric, and his songs have that same hey-ho feel as the Stiff man, if not as much out-there quirkiness.

I’m including here the two tracks on 125, and also Easter’s own words about both songs, which is the sort of thing I always find fascinating:

Sudden Crown Drop

“This was inspired by an NPR piece on “sudden crown drop,” which is the non-scientific name for an actual disease of palm trees. There’s no outward sign anything’s going on but the tree is rotting, it becomes weak, and the whole crown falls off all at once. I thought, “This is the best disease name possible, and it’s a wonderful metaphor for everything.” So every verse is about the world going to hell in a hand basket with the last line being “sudden crown drop.” It’s like, what do you expect? I mean, this is what’s going on. A lot of these songs have a quasi-political theme to them, and my assessment of politics is always negative. So if the top’s falling off, which is the kind of the case, the rest isn’t far behind.”

Time Warping

“The song goes from A to Em—a classic Major I to Minor V chord change. It is such a great change that anytime I can find a place to use it, I will. “Time Warping” is a slightly naughty space-age love song. It’s about being bad and running off with a new person. That’s what the line “It starts like that when you’re a rat” is all about. I like rats, they’re such successful animals. The idea is, we wanna move forward; the past is where people are mad at us, so we want to blast out of there and they can think what they will.”

There’s not enough space-age love songs around these days…