Friday, June 22, 2007

Guided By Voices - "Captain's Dead"

Which brings us back to the first full-length, the surprisingly good Devil Between My Toes. There's a bunch of good cuts on this one, but the closing one always grabbed me more than any other, possibly due to the way it reminds me of the Jefferson Airplane. Seriously.

Granted, the Airplane's rhythm section never sounded this relentless, nor did Jorma ever crank up his guitar to such Ramonesian buzzsaw levels. But hearing the close vocal harmonies and the oblique, vaguely anti-war lyrics, I can't help but think of the 'Plane's three lead vocalists warbling away at the Fillmore in, say, '68. The Airplane were rarely this brief after '67, either, but Pillow's pair of hits were both under three minutes.

I actually had the pleasure of hearing this song live once. I saw the Voices several times in their heyday, but I'm pretty sure this was a show at New York's late, lamented Tramps. Uncle Bob gave a brief, expository introduction during which he seemed to be warning the crowd that this was an old one they might not have heard, and the band launched into it. What a treat.

Buy it... on vinyl.

From my deck to you: Guided By Voices - "Captain's Dead"

Which wraps up half a dozen Voices tracks in two weeks. And leads us to... the Airplane. Much to the chagrin of some of my college roommates, who had to listen to Baxter's way more than they wanted to back our younger days. But they don't read this.

I'll be out of town next week, so Airplane week starts 2 July.

1 comment:

jenks said...

And here I've been hoping that you'd wait and offer up Captain's Dead on the last day so you could have a smooth transition into a full month of The Grateful Dead. Oh well...