May 18, 2005

The Left Banke- She May Call You Up Tonight

If there had been The WB in the 1960s, it’s a safe bet that the Frog would’ve raided the Left Banke’s catalog for any number of ready-made themes. That’s not a knock, either; the discography of Steve Martin and co. is young angst done right. A mid-tempo pop-rocker (no baroque pop here) rooted in piano, Martin’s trademark mix of ache and wistfulness elevate “She May Call You Up Tonight” into a proto-power pop stunner. Add great high harmonies and a ringing backing guitar, and you can trace the lineage to the Banke’s grandchildren in Zumpano. As pitiful as Martin’s narration can sound on paper, it’s when you hear his keening tenor, pushed to the bounds of its register, that you really get the resignation: “She may call you up tonight; then what could I say that would sound right?”

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The Crystals- Girls Can Tell

Cinematic, galloping, pedantic. Dig the percussion: castanets. Ringing kettledrum. That drummer pulling up stakes at the end. Mourn the state of modern pop production. Hear the studied yet joyously heartrending shout: “I gotta kiss you one more time! I gotta hear you say you’re mine!” One of Mr. Spector’s many, many highlights.

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Eddie and Ernie- Standing at the Crossroads

Phoenix’s soul heroes in their best form. From the 2002 Lost Friends reissue on Kent; I don’t pretend to be a classic soul wonk, but material like this makes the idea (becoming one, not pretending) tempting. Everything comes up aces on this song. Structually, it’s perfect, with plucked strings and woven horns building tension from verse to pre-chorus to that explosive, gorgeous chorus, where the two men’s harmonies create a canyon of regret. This should have been 1971’s biggest r&b track; it was released on Buddah, but I guess the label figured Melanie was a safer bet for promotion. Everything else I post may be shrugged off, but I swear this is a keeper.

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The styPod | 8:00 am

2 Responses to “Under the Stylus (Brad Shoup)”
  1. beta Says:

    i would pin more of them castanets and kettledrums more on mister jack nitzsche’s lapel than phil’s.
    and you should definitely peep eddie and ernie’s flipside, “hiding in shadows.” it’s on one of the deep soul treasures series. it blows away everything on lost friends, which is good, but not great.

  2. Brad Says:

    Will do. Thanks.

 
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