Be Your Own Pet. adventure.

Jemina, what happened?

You started out so well.

this song (and the first BYOP album). such a jam.

Damn, this band makes me feel old now.

PS. the drummer now is Public Access T.V. lead singer and guitarist.

Enjoy.

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David Peel & Death. king of punk.

Interesting facts about Mr. David Peel:

  1. his debut album (1968 on Elektra Records) is the first major label LP to contain the word                 motherf-cker
  2. good friend with John Lennon and Yoko Ono (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThUkPscsUEU), he was signed to Apple Records, The Beatles’ record label.
  3. the LP he put out while on Apple Records is the infamous “The Pope Smokes Dope”. It was, of course, a flop but a legendary one.

In 1978, with the punk/CBGB scene on the rise, he decided to claim his status of First Punk, King of Punk. Roaming the streets of the Lower East Side (name of his first band as well) since 1968!

And he did it in his style with an epochal “F-ck You” to all the greatest US and UK punk bands of the time. All namechecked.

The music? the highly distorted riff is taken from the classic “Steppin’ Stone” and his band provides great, shouted out loud backing vocals.

The importance and the greatness of this song do not end here. His critique of the punk scene is very clever indeed. He addresses the drug issue that was plaguing the scene:

everything you think is cool when you’re stoned

Using his hippie rhetoric he underlines the need for real punk bands to speak for and to the man on the street:

If you wanna be a punk, go live on the street. Power to the people singing on the street.

Power to the people. uh, Patti Smith?

A Classic!

Enjoy.

Willie Loco Alexander. Gin.

A legend. yes. no euphemism.

Have a look at his “CV”.

Willie started his career as founder of The Lost, one the best garage bands of the 60s. He then joined Doug Yule’s Velvet Underground (the band nobody wants to talk about) replacing a guy named Lou Reed. He has since written a dozen of albums as a solo artist, with his Boom Boom Band and The Confessions (his early 80’s band under contract with the French punk rock label New Rose Records). Honestly, it’s hard to keep track of all his projects throughout the decades.

The Music? A Garage Rock hero, with his piano/keyboards he has played Rock & Roll, Punk, New Wave and everything in between.

A talented lyricist as well, one who pays great attention to the sound of each word.

Gin, written for a then girlfriend, is not his most famous song (check out the timeless “Kerouac”) but its fresh new wave sound made it an instant classic.

Enjoy.

Aleka’s Attic. scales and fishnails.

They say River wanted to be a musician. That he didn’t really care about his movie star status and his career in Hollywood. All he wanted was to write songs, jam with friends and perform live.

Aleka’s Attic, the band he put together with his sister Rain and some friends, was his attempt at starting a music career.

The band recorded and performed live dozen of songs but disbanded in 1992 after a record deal with Island Records fell through. Their album remains unreleased to these days.

River kept writing and performing live until his death in 1993 and recorded a song “Height Down” with John Frusciante (available on the “lost” album “Smile from the streets you hold”).

“Scales and Fishnails” is a short ballad (44 seconds), an acoustic lullaby sung by River and Rain. Sweet, charming and impossibly beautiful for a song so short I’d say.

Enjoy.

Elvis Perkins. while you were sleeping.

Son of actor Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho). His mother, a photographer, died on 9/11 (a passenger of one of the flights that hit the Twin Towers).

Elvis wrote “While you were sleeping” for his first album “Ash Wednesday” (9/11 was a Tuesday) originally released in 2006. Neutral Milk Hotel, David Gray, Nick Drake and so on were mentioned as influences for the record.

“While you were sleeping” is simply one of the greatest songs of the past decade.                                                                                                                                                       In my top 10, for sure.

Lyrically a masterpiece (I can imagine the media frenzy if Bob Dylan had come up with those lyrics), it appears to be an intense and moving tribute to his mother.

  While you were sleeping your babies grew…

Here, Elvis playing the single version of the song live at The Late Show with David Letterman. A way to appreciate the arrangement: 4 instruments slowly join the singer to send the song into the stratosphere. Talk about great songwriting!

Enjoy.