October 13, 2003

"All I'm left to do is play bumper pool and go out to the garage to get drunk." - barnabys

So the cord is almost cut, and here is where the warm pants will now officially preside full time -- all that is to say that I am giving up the old site and getting down with the econo style of Blizznogger. It was inspired by similar departures to this service by the worlds of Bleach and Dahlilililah, and of course by ease of use.

Also this evening I was experiencing those old fall feelings that life is getting away from you, prompted by a couple spins of the Barnaby's 1993 effort 'Augustus Loop.' From the vantage point a decade of music listening has given me, this is actually a tepid work. 18 tracks that could have easily been cut to make a stronger 9 song statement. "Losers from Rodman Street," "Borders," "Punk Rock Love" and "Yeah Whatever" still kind of hold up because of the good songwriting, but ultimately the Joey Sweeney solo work is so strong that the delicate production and innocent songs here seem tame. Unfortunately, no real record of the strongest, rockinest Joey Sweeney solo incarnation exists. I speak of the trio of Sweeney backed by drum messiah Rob V (Haywood, Red and The Black, Cherubino) and basshead Brian McShane. That trio was together for maybe a little over a year, post Sweeney's "Heartache Baseball," and was balls to the wall rock, with the rhythm section like fist in glove and Sweeney hollerin, sweatin and pushin up his glasses in between slams on his Gibson SG. The trio recorded a never released record called "Girls High," but came apart after Sweeney did a little playing on the side with Alex Kemp and Haywood officially reformed for what is considered their Golden Era, the late Philly and New York years. McShane went on to some success in the Philly adult alternative scene with an eponymous band comprised of various members of his family.

The point of this long diversion is that it struck me as I was listening to Barnabys that I have come to the realization that I may actually never like any new music the way I like the music of the mid-'90s Philly scene, particularly the acts whose members I was close with. I guess the real realization is two-fold: That shit is never coming back, and the reason I love it so much is because there was some reflected glory in that the music was by "us" and for "us," it was about our lives. When Barnabys sing about the Losers from Rodman Street, I know he is talking about the guys in the band Dandelion (or at least that is what I heard); when Ted Haywood sings about looking for your car on the expressway every time he gets up, I know he is singing about the Schuylkill Expressway which bisected his walk between his apartment and Penn. That is all.

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