Thursday, March 19, 2015

She Mob - "Tear Me Down" "Arnica" videos - a 2-fer

I've been beavering away on my fictional writing project, where I basically teach myself to write fiction AS I DO IT. It's a real-time learning experience and a longtime one as well. MEANWHILE, the She Mob videos are a side project that help keep me sane while promoting music in a fun, nonprofit (but oh-so-satisfying) way. I am completely sincere. Putting little films together is the best hobby ever, especially when it's your own musical endeavors.

Today's a 2-fer. Shall we go from older to newer? Why not! Here's Tear Me Down from She Mob's sophomore effort, "Turn to Chocolate." It's great to have been in a band long enough and somewhat together enough to actually have a sophomore effort. It's such a indie-rock trope and although it's a pretentious and ridiculous term for "second album," I'm going to indulge myself: SOPHOMORE EFFORT. That's a description that's probably been retired longer than I realize.

Friend and bandmate Joy was once talking to me about this one, years after the fact (it came out in 2001, that magical year), and her general consensus was, (paraphrase) "I dunno—there's all these extra ingredients, like horns, keyboards, guest musicians, and I listen to it now and I think—what was I thinking?"

But here's my take on it—this album is just fine and all the extras give it some oomph. If our first album, "Cancel the Wedding," tipped its hat to sloppy punk, "Turn to Chocolate" gave a mostly unconscious and accidental nod to melodic new wave. There's strong material throughout and a wide range of genre-play. Everything from big-pharma sing-alongs (Viagra), to mental-illness death metal (Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy), to dot-com bubble lament, Tear Me Down. I apologize for writing a record review of my own record—how gauche. But I'm fifty now and I don't give a shit. I do what I want, when I want. That's the age-fifty-and-up way.

Tear Me Down, composed and sung by Diane Wallis during San Francisco's first dot-com boom-and-bust in the late 90s, is prescient all over again fifteen years later. Evictions, tear-downs, and ship-loads of money—that's a legacy for San Francisco. The online technology angle just hurried the phenomena along a little faster than usual. For now, San Francisco friends are going through shady rent hikes and underhanded evictions so millionaires can move in and enjoy fine dining experiences. It's not the bohemian enclave you remember, but let's enjoy The City's eternal beauty in the CinemaScope footage shot by Tullio Pelligrini (great inventor name) in 1955. I did no editing for this, simply placed the music at the top of the film. It didn't need any editing.

Onward to Arnica from the new album, "Right in the Head" (our album titles are directives because we're kind of bossy). This is a Joy Hutchinson composition, an ode to medicinal plants, with Alan Korn and Suki O'Kane doing their thangs. This song is especially special because Alan sings a lovely falsetto background chorus—a wonder to behold. Footage is from A/V Geeks and the Prelinger Archives—my found footage godsends.

Apologies for the, uh, looseness of my writing for this post. We're all working under a severe sleep deficit here due to a family illness that will hopefully get better with the help of big-pharma antibiotics. When there's walking pneumonia to contend with, big-pharma is usually the answer. Cheers.

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