Circles

God bless Winona Ryder

Kevin Bacon is a poor man’s Christian Slater. In fact, Christian Slater’s a poor man’s Kevin Bacon. They are each a bad version of the other. Bacon was in My Dog Skip. Slater got sloppy seconds with Hollow Man II. Bacon leant his voice to Balto; Slater, to Fern Gully. Luckily for Bacon he appeared with Sean Penn in Clint Eastwood’s  Mystic River. Slater’s chef-d’œuvre happens to be the greatest movie of ’89, Heathers.

The point is, you can go round and round comparing the two’s celebrated underachievement and playing off the parallels. Christian Slater really has nothing more to do with this so you can stop looking for more clips from Heathers. Kevin Bacon, however, has personified the ‘six degrees’ concept – the concept that everything is interconnected, and not just to Kevin Bacon. There’s a web among us. Elton John said life’s a circle. Of course Elton doesn’t understand what he says: he merely sings what the lyrists write.

So let’s test the principals of inherit interconnectivity on music. We’ll start with something churchy…

Skip Spence once axed down a hotel room door. His tenure with Jefferson Airplane was finished. Skip was recording in New York with Moby Grape when he started hanging out with Syd Barrett, doing the same drugs as Syd Barrett and it all coalesced with a fire axe and a hotel room door. It doesn’t sound churchy yet, I know, but salvation is often a long time coming.

For six months Skip was held in a sanitarium called Bellevue. It was there that he wrote what would become his only solo record. He recorded the songs in Nashville immediately following his release. Oar was released in 1969.

Beck Hansen paid tribute to Oar with his Record Club. The idea of the Record Club is to assimilate a group of musicians and record an album in one day with no prior rehearsal. In this case the musicians were Jamie Liddell, Leslie Feist, Wilco and Beck himself.

Beck’s Record Club – Books of Moses  download

There. We’ve picked our point in the universe. It didn’t matter where, but now that we exist somewhere we can start spinning our web. So Wilco, and even Spencer Tweedy were among the contributors to this edition of Record Club. Let’s follow that tributary to this pearl from A.M.

Wilco – Passenger Side download

Passenger Side is also on the sound track to the eponymous movie. I’m dieing to see this movie so if anyone is good at finding such things post a link. Anyways, the soundtrack is pretty cool with Leonhard Cohen, Dinosaur Jr. and our next point of reference: the Silver Jews.

Silver Jews  – Punks in the Beer Light download

I’m no Pavement historian, but Stephen Malkmus was actually in the Silver Jews before he started Pavement. The project, though, has always belonged more to David Berman. Berman has since retired in effort to quit before he got bad saying that he didn’t want to accidentally write a response to Shiny Happy People.

David Berman’s dad, Richard Berman, is a lobbyist and molester of humanity. Phillip Morris contracted him to fight a movement that would add non-smoking sections in restaurants. He has represented Brinker International (Chili’s anyone?) and among other food and beverage special interests attempted to downplay the level of mercury in certain fish.

That was rant. Anyways, use your imagination as we connect fellow Jew and front-man for the Cramps, Lux Interior, to the Silver Jews.

The Cramps – Fever download

Lux Interior picked up his wife and lifetime collaborator hitchhiking. Together that started their work in north east Ohio and eventually joined the New York punk scene. It’s said that the Cramps were the first to use the term Psychobilly – a term they barrowed from Johnny Cash – to describe their genre.

The Black Key’s Dan Auerbach is proud to join the Cramps in hailing Akron, Ohio. It is connection by proximity alone, but there are no rules to this thing so be your own arbiter. I know this version is biffed so if anyone has the studio version from Dan’s solo album please post it. It’s a beautiful song.

Dan Auerbach – Real Desire (live) download

The Black Keys brought in the estranged Marc Ribot for a few tracks on Attack and Release. My favorite Marc Ribot project is Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Prostizos. Lea once said that you play a hollow body because you got no soul inside. I think Marc Ribot is an exception. This youtube video will have to do for now but the group did cut an amazing album.

This is the final connection for our web. Marc Ribot was one of the session guitarists on Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs (I suspect he has other collaborations with Waits). Waits was among those who contributed tracks to More Oar, a tribute album released just months after Skip Spence’s death in ’99.  The track later ended up on Orphans.

Tom Waits – Books of Moses download

And voi-la, one Sunday’s half-cocked argument for the existence of inherit inconnectivity.

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    • rickstate
    • March 7th, 2010

    best post yet. thanks jon.

    • spoony b
    • March 8th, 2010

    Bacon will always reign supreme for me because of Tremors. Thanks for subsuming “eponymous” into your post Wyall. God bless Ryder.

    • Ben
    • March 10th, 2010

    Get with the program!

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