Monday, November 24, 2008

If I Could Just Remember The Words

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This is either the Pontiac Brothers' second or third album, or second and a half, depending upon how you count "Doll Hut", but there's no question that this is one of the best straight-up rock albums ever to come out of the 80's, period. Actually, with most people it wasn't all that easy a question, which was kinda too bad, so "Fiesta En La Biblioteca" sorta fell by the wayside; but by then Frontier was already making millions off Suicidal Tendencies, so what's one more record that didn't sell?

"Be Married Song" has been described as "the best Paul Westerberg song that Paul Westerberg never wrote", which is a bit unfair to Ward Dotson, whose songwriting trumps Westerberg's in several ways, not the least of which is the lack of total dreck. All the other songs on this record are sung by Matt Simon, who'd sorta laid off the Mick Jagger thing by then, although "Girl From El Reno" still sounds like it could've been lifted from any one of the Mick Taylor-era Stones records. And the Spinal Tap moment "She Likes To Rock" (properly pronounced here as "rök") sounds like it could've been lifted from a Ratt record, production-intact, except that it's a lot less dull-witted.

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The Pontiac Brothers -

"She Knows It"

"Look Out For That Train"

"Be Married Song"

"She Likes To Rock"

"The Thing Just Goes"

"The Girl From El Reno"

(these files are now listen-only)

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Anonymous said...

can you please add me to your will? i'd like to inherit your record collection. kthanks!

ib said...

Pretty damn good. The Ward Dotson shit especially. "Be Married Song" is almost beautiful, and reminds me more of Johnny Thunders - without the cliches - than Paul Wersterberg. Nice post. Thanks.

Brushback said...

Yeah, "Be Married Song" is definitely sounds more like a Thunders song ("You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory"), now that you've pointed it out.

Not to say that Westerberg wasn't influenced by Thunders, either, but that's one of the things that annoys me about the Pontiac Brothers/Replacements comparison; The Replacements were coming more from an early hardcore/punk background, while the Pontiac Brothers had their own thing going with a different set of influences.

Spike Priggen said...

I cover "Be Married Song" on my all cover CD "Stars After Stars After Stars". I also have covered "Can't Put Your Arm Around a Memory" alot live ( for decades-usually as a medley with "Eve of Destruction" which is pretty much the same song).

Ward and Westerberg were definitely buddies at one point, I remember Ward telling me how impressed he as at how hard Westerberg worked at songwriting (up early at the piano after a hard night of partying).

Ward told me the Pontiac Brothers started out as an all Stones cover band called The Gall Stones, not sure if they ever actually played out as that, but it gives you an idea of where they were coming from musically-

Spike Priggen

Brushback said...

Hey, Spike! Thanks for stopping by.

Brushback said...

The mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. They're now being hosted on my Vox account-- which is accessible through any of the above listen-only links-- along with three additional songs which weren't included in the original post: "Old And In The Way", "Don't Have To Die", and "Can't Get Out Of Bed".

For those of you who missed the boat, I will do my best to respond to any e-mailed requests for the original files. Just don't ask for all nine of them, since sending more than 3 or 4 files as attachments gets to be a bit of a chore.

Doug said...

I've been trying to find the acoustic version of "Be Married Song" which i got from Ward years ago but he's not at the contact I reached him at previously. SPIKE - absolutely LOVE your music - your impeccable nuance and tasty homages in your work are unreal! I've been ranting on my FB page about your work the last few nights.

Am I insane - or is that acoustic version I had something that was an outtake which ward was kind enough to pass on to me? Perhaps SPIKE you would know as you must know him better than most anybody.


Dusty Doug