Archive for the sad grandma music Category

Lynsey De Paul- Sugar Me

Posted in closet favorite, ineffably poignant, sad grandma music, whole weird world on July 11, 2010 by jonathanghess

Just stumbled across the “Sugar Me” video while looking for something else. It was on a non-English fan page of some sort, and was set to play automatically, something that’s always unwelcome. I had never heard of her or the tune, and was assaulted by the stomping jackboot fuzz beat, which was further distorted on the video version I watched by a terrible transfer… To be honest with you, I wondered if it was Lady Gaga, who I have also never seen or heard, and thought “Wow! Lady Gaga is amazing! Jeez, I’m getting on the bandwagon!”.

Nope. It’s Lynsey De Paul! Well, maybe you’re hip to her- “Sugar Me” was a big hit- but Lynsey, a prolific ‘seventies British pop girl who I now see lived a high-profile celebrity life, was new to me.  I’m going to keep an eye out for her records now (in New Zealand, hmm!).  There’s something intriguing about her- that robotic yet ethereal feminine delivery… that mole…. And as much as I was bemoaning the over-abundance of media and its effect on our imagination, I have to say in this case, the video makes her come alive to me. What is this frightening, dark space in which she performs to what appear to be a motionless colony of silverback Morlocks?  Apparently, Lynsey is politically right-wing, and one might discern a whiff of the fascist in her image and sound…

But hey! That’s pop for you!

Here is a link to a fine and special fan site, and a page of absolutely unbelievable 45 covers. You’ll need to click on the special Lynsey De Paul section- but I want you, too, to experience the beauty of her French fan’s home page; it’s the most BEAUTIFUL website I’ve ever seen!

sugar me mp3

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The Bowen-Jenkens Band: Pretty Senorita

Posted in closet favorite, easy listning, ineffably poignant, my favorite song, real surf music, sad grandma music on June 24, 2010 by jonathanghess

The Homegrown compilation series are the work of San Diego radio station KGB AM/FM. Apparently, five separate editions (and one “best-of”) were released. These records are comprised of the winners of an annual  competition for submissions of original music with the binding theme of… San Diego! (and environs). Sample titles include:

Spring Valley Lady

Can’t Go Back to Cardiff

My Home in La Jolla

…and so on. Listening to a whole LP of such stuff (I have three) is a mildly disorienting experience; suddenly you’re in an alternate universe where one soft-rock tune after another is about one thing and one thing only (…). No other aspect of the human condition need be expressed.

Pretty Senorita mp3

This bouncy, gently racist little tune would not leave my head; like a junky parched for his skag, I needed to hear it over and over, returning the needle to the beginning again even as the last plaintive notes were dying away. So many of the little hooks tugged at that ineffable confluence of sound, emotion and temporal context… the way Bowen (or is it Jenkins?) spits out “PURtee senorita”; the way Jenkins (or is it Bowen?) chimes in with her “dew-it, dew-it”‘s- well, in this particular case, that’s what I was getting at by temporal context: we just don’t use the term “do it” in the same way in 2010 as we did in 1975. The chord progression in the chorus seems to me particularly keening and wistful, especially because I consistently mis-hear the repetitious “Muy Bien” lyric as the more poetically meaningful “More Again”… According to the liner notes (which you can double-click to legibility if you’re truly bored), the group  was “in the midst of recording 12 new songs for its own album”. Believe me, I’ve  searched, but this fine tune and only one other (“This Boulevard”, from Homegrown IV, which I haven’t heard) appear to have made it to vinyl.

Back cover (click to enlarge)

Greatest Hits (sic)

back cover (click to enlarge)