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Thursday, July 22, 2010

126. "Show Me The Way" by Dinosaur Jr

I don't know if I've ever heard the original Peter Frampton version of this song. I think I may have very recently and remarked upon it in passing, but it didn't stick to my mind enough to displace this version, which I've heard really quite a lot over the years. It's a weird thing about my youth that I didn't really ever hear the pop music of the time for which a lot of my peers have a great deal of nostalgia, ironic or otherwise. In my house we basically heard the country radio of the day, which had both great stuff (the Outlaws were out in force) and not so great stuff (it was also Urban Cowboy time), and I didn't really get out to other kids' places much, living way back in the woods as I did. Later on, at about 14 or 15, we got cable, and I checked into MTV very briefly, but for the most part Talking Heads, R.E.M. and the voracious consumption of rock lit steered me right out of mainstream pop music and within a year of starting to listen to rock and roll I was all about Sonic Youth and Husker Du, the Velvets and Throwing Muses, Television and the Voidoids. There are some really popular arena rock songs that I don't know which of those bands it is. Now, I don't think this makes me really cool or anything... it's just how it worked out. But it has some nifty advantages... lacking that haze of nostalgia, I can experience a fairly real thrill at realizing belatedly how awesome Fleetwood Mac often was, meanwhile not having to justify my non-existent prog-rock phase to my punk rock self. That sort of thing.

Um, what was I saying? Oh yeah. Anyway, I purposefully didn't look up the Frampton tune and to further solidify this as a cover of Dinosaur's cover, I recorded myself playing and singing along to the original in the headphones. I may have overdone my J. Mascis impersonation, but the point of it was to be sort of singing it on the fly, not intimately familiar with the melody line Mascis wasn't entirely locked into himself. I love Dinosaur Jr. and some of their covers are truly brilliant, but they really took a dump on their contributions to two of the early, good tribute albums with their vivisections of "Feel a Whole Lot Better" and "Lotta Love", so they sorta had this coming.

Personnel: Rex

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