Saturday, February 12, 2011

Points of view, what to do...

I wrote some lyrics tonight that I will put into a song.

There is a song that I heard literally decades ago on a jukebox in Philadelphia. This song was released on an indie label and never got distributed other than in the Philadelphia area, I think. It was more or less 'snuck' onto the jukebox. But I found a recording of it on youtube, it is a great song. It is not a genre of music that I like, the way it is done here, the original was more straight rock-- but the lyrics, and the melody are really good. So the more purely acoustic treatment it gets in this video is different than I recall it being on the record, but here it is: Suzi Said So.

It has a great chorus, but it seems to me that it comes too late into the song and only occurs once, so it doesn't "hook" they way it would if it were structured more along "The Manual" pop lines. But the lyrics are great, of youthful longing and loss and missed opportunities and fond memories, they paint such a picture for me.

The performer/artist is Kenn Kweder, and he used to perform during the mid-seventies early 80s in the Philadelphia area, when the rock singer-songwriter era was in full swing, and when Springsteen was emerging as a phenomenon. He played with a band and was billed as "Kenn Kweder and The Secret Kidds" and I saw him with that band there at a place called The Bijou. He seemed to be able to really sync up with the moods and minds of the crowd, but he also seemed either high, or manic, or having some kind of mystical vision while he was performing. It was very wild, but a great experience.

Everyone was really elistist and snotty about music then, where punks were demanding everyone be so authentic and the rock fans squared off against the plastic disco glitz that was threatening to de-Dylanize all of music, and to convert the generation that questioned authority into shallow robots. But the production style in rock and outside of rock was more and more lush and really creative and so much demand for all kinds of music. Basically, everybody's attitude was really shitty, and you simply could not make any kind of decent recording without a recording studio.

It was all big big big business much more than now and there was no way you could make any kind of record without having some backing money, and so if you wanted to be weird and put yourself on a pedestal and not put the hooks in your songs where they should be then you would not end up on the record shelves.

edit: An article from a 2002 Philadelphia Inquirer, on Kenn's official website


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