PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Crampy

I find that the best way to connect with the youth of today is through punk classics of yesteryear. For example, The Cramps are a band that you can enjoy with your own son or daughter. You don’t remember The Cramps because you were busy listening to The Carpenters in the 1970s and 80s, but they were out there whether you were aware of them or not. I was introduced to the Cramps by my friend Roy way back when he was my friend Roy. (Yes, that Roy!). As Roy had a superb sense of humor, he loved The Cramps, a band that had a superb sense of humor. Take their stupendously funny song “Chicken” and the lyrics it contains:

Yeah Chicken

I said, boiled chicken

Any kind, any kind of chicken

Boiled chicken, fried chicken, cotton-pickin’ chicken

oh my baby-baby-baby

she fixes fixes chicken for me.

Alas, you and I will never see The Cramps, as their lead singer, Lux Interior, has been playing in that great punk/rockabilly band in the sky since circa 2009, but of course, you can always enjoy a smattering of their live act on Youtube, as I often do.

 

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Oober Alice

Why have I become so obsessed of late with this video of the Dead Kennedys doing their punk classic California Über Alles? Is it that the first images we see are those of 4 geeky dudes in a recording studio who haven’t pierced themselves, colored their hair, or otherwise taken on a punk demeanor? Is it the green rubber gloves that front man Jello Biafra wears in various live clips? Or is it simply the line “It’s the suede-denim secret police/they have come for your uncool niece,” which is the kind of rhyme my daughter became famous for making when she was about 3 years old?

First, see the video:

 

Part of the reason this video works so well (for me – maybe not so well for you!) is the excellent studio audio, which provides the structure and muscle over which a series of film clips of the band playing the song at various live and studio venues are overlaid. This is not the first time I’ve encountered this editing technique: there is a well-known Led Zeppelin video of The Immigrant Song, which used bits of concert footage that could not be synced up with an audio recording. Obviously, it works much better to have a seamless audio recording of a song underpinning video/film of varying quality than to have a single seamless video/film running over a mishmash of audio takes of varying quality.

In the mid-1980s I had urges to see the Dead Kennedys but never sought them out and didn’t have my finger on the pulse of the local music scene (because I wasn’t making use of the Boston Phoenix enough, I guess), but all these years later I wish I had seen them. Even if the band mates put aside their differences and were willing to do a tour, I can’t imagine Jello coming at his audience these days with the same vigor he displayed all those decades ago.

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Boredom

When I was a bored adolescent getting dragged off to the Jersey Shore and Myrtle Beach on family vacations, what I came to love most wasn’t riding the waves and eating the ice cream cones, but finally having the access to cable television. Most families in my neighborhood already had cable by then, but my Dad refused to allow it, regarding it as a hippie plot to penetrate the minds of his Catholic children with liberal ideas and lots of bare flesh.

One day in Myrtle Beach, I must have had to use the bathroom and went into the hotel room while my parents hung out by the pool. Now was my chance! The hotel room had all kinds of naughty channels, things like MTV. I turned the TV on and soon was watching a video of this skinny and odd-looking musician doing a song that had never come out of the speakers of my parents’ car radio.

 

This is not the official video of "I’m Bored" that was in heavy rotation for those couple of weeks of our spring vacation in 1979, but it still takes me back to the eye-open hotel room experience. All these years later, what I find most striking is just how much Britt Daniel of Spoon has an Iggy thing going when he loses the falsetto and allows his voice to drop several octaves.

I know that soon there will be large numbers of people clamoring for examples of Britt sounding like Iggy. Stay tuned for that.

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Young Punks

 

In the next five-to-ten years, I expect the letters of the Roman alphabet to form their own association, with annual awards in a variety of categories (best letter in a supporting role, e.g.), and while the letter S will have huge popular support (so curvaceous!), I’ll be lurking in the background, lobbying hard on behalf of X.

There are so many reasons to love the letter X, beginning with its shape. I happen to like symmetrical letters, and one that has two firmly planted legs, two victoriously outstretched arms, and virtually no tummy flab strikes me as a letter that is very fit. Also, without X our language would be lacking in key words, such as “Sox” and “Pixies”.

X is such as great letter that an L.A. punk group used it as its band name. The heyday of “X” (the band) might have been in the 1980s, but I can assure you, from having seen them just four nights ago, that the band still exudes authentic punk nearly 40 years after it was formed, despite the wrinkles and increased BMI. Of course, it never hurts to be playing at a superb venue, which The Sinclair (in Cambridge, MA) certain is: intelligently designed, with the bar (mostly) separated from the music, no damnable posts to interfere with sight lines (take that, Paradise!), and excellent sound all around make this my favorite small venue in the Boston/Cambridge knot of human activity.

 

Punk Never Sleeps

 

It occurred to me, when I saw the show listed months back, that seeing aging punk rockers in a small venue that might not entirely sell out (unclear if it was) would be just too depressing (for aging fans, including me, and for the band itself), but after being steeped in all the great energy, excellent vocals and harmonies, and guitarist Jesse Dayton’s expert performance sitting in for Billy Zoom (get well soon!), I can assert that the experience was the very opposite of depressing. I walked out of the show thinking that this band isn’t so very old after all (and maybe neither am I).

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Trumpian Tweetage Haiku Continuum

 

 

It's unlimited
Presidential harrassment
Dems are going nuts!

 

Isn't it nice when
Countries help rebuild neighbors?
Thanks to Saudi A!

 

NBC FAKE NEWS
The Harvey Weinstein Story
Look at their license?

 

Investigations
Republican Congressmen
Two wins now in doubt.

 

Dems love Sessions now
Same thing: lyin' James Comey
Saint-like. Really sick.

 

Russia: "nothing to
do with meddling." Why isn't
Hillary looked at?

 

The Special Counsel
Is UNCONSTITUTIONAL
I’ve done nothing wrong

 

 

The phony witch hunt

The soon to be released book
Looks like a big hit

 

Fake News Media

Together with the witch hunt:

My best poll numbers

 

“Caravans” coming

Must go nuclear option.

NO MORE DACA DEAL!

 

We don’t have a wall

Not going to have a country

FUND THE BORDER WALL

 

Trade Wars are good and

Easy to win. They get cute?

Don't trade; we win big!

 

Gun-adept coaches

Weapons-talented teachers

Instantly Shooting

 

Promote the Fake Book

Mentally Deranged Author

False Information

 

Now that collusion

With Russia: a total hoax

FBI/Russia

 

Kim Jong Un, I too

Have a nuclear button.

And my button works.

 

 

Tax cut/Reform bill

Massive Alaska Drilling

Incredible Year

 

 

United Nations

Sanctions on North Korea

World wants Peace, not Death

 

 

False Accusations.

Women I don't know. FAKE NEWS!

Collusion. Russia.

 

Army Navy Game

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S TROPHY

Congratulations

 

Pelosi/Schumer

He's bad on Crime, Life, Border.

Vets. Guns. VOTE ROY MOORE!

 

 

Time Magazine Called

Prob'ly "Person of the Year"

I took a pass. Thanks!

 

The Christmas Story

Mother, Father, Baby Son

Jesus Christ. Bahrain.

 

Matt Lauer just fired

When will top executives

Be fired for Fake News? 

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