Pylon – Crazy (live)

“This is for the girls.”

The world seems genuinely crazy right now. Each and every day there’s something else to add to the heap. I keep seeing “dumpster fire” being used to explain it but I feel more like it’s one of those tanker ships full of trash, on fire, giving off toxic fumes, and it’s coming for us. You can see it and smell it long before it crashes into land but can we push it back out to sea in time?

Today was not a good day. The ceiling (do you call it that?) in my car is drooping and feels gross. The on/off button on my iPod is stuck so it’s essentially broken. These are minor annoyances compared to the anxiety-inducing Bernie supporters who are booing and shouting over progressive politicians just because they’re sad their candidate didn’t win. Look, I understand the person you wanted to win, and were really excited to vote for, didn’t get the nomination and that sucks. Really, I do. Do you know how many times the person I wanted to have as the nominee didn’t win? Nearly every time.

Clinton/Kaine is not an exciting ticket. We don’t need exciting though, we need to pack the bench on the Supreme Court and get whatever we can through Congress. Push for more progressive and inclusive policies from the inside. It will be work but it won’t be impossible, like it would be if Trumppence and the orange shirts should come into power. I can’t understand how the prospect of that doesn’t terrify the vast majority of the nation, but especially anyone who claims to believe in what Bernie was preaching, and that you wouldn’t do everything you could to prevent it.

“There are no answers, only reasons to be strong”

I’m not crazy.

(The Pylon live album came out today. Get it here.)


Stop It

Pylon – Stop It

Hey! Kids! I’m in the crunch phase of a project at work and it’s the end of the school year, there’s a lot going on. Still, I did drive to work today and I did listen to a tape in the car so here we go. This Tape Deck Tuesday was just one of the cassettes where you wanted to have some albums on tape for the car or Walkman and not because you were creating some masterpiece.

Side A:
The Replacements
Let It Be/Stink

Side B:
The Replacements – Stink
Pylon – Gyrate

I’ve already written about Let It Be so I’m going with the Pylon track. Also because I just finished reading No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes, an oral history of City Gardens in Trenton, NJ. I was only at City Gardens once, to see Pylon in 1989. It was right before I graduated from college and I think now what lucky timing because if they had come through just a few days later, I would have left the area and missed the tour.

It’s no surprise that I first learned about Pylon because R.E.M. covered Crazy and talked about them a lot back in the mid-80s. I love that song. I had to know more. I can’t remember if I bought Gyrate or Chomp first but I have them both still, complete with the DB Records order form inside to order more great stuff! No matter which album I had first, I became a devoted fan. Some of the songs are just fun. “Precaution” comes to mind. Or “Read a Book.” You should see the way my kids look at me when I sing “Turn off the tv! You can learn more try to do without it.” Others are bit more nuanced, even if Vanessa is kind of shouting the lyrics as much as she is singing. Some of my favorite song lyrics are Pylon lyrics.

Speaking of books again, I really enjoyed the City Gardens book. If you had never been there, or weren’t aware of its legendary status, I’m not sure it has a lot of appeal. There are recollections of shows from band members who performed there as well as staff and club regulars. Since I was only there the one time, I didn’t really have much knowledge of the scene back then but I liked how each chapter/year began with a list of that year’s top 10 hits. Nothing could have been further from those top 10 than the stories that follow the listing. I’m not even a fan of most of the hardcore bands that are featured but I can appreciate how City Gardens was an oasis for kids in the area.

1989 was a period of time when Pylon was active in their on again/off again way. They had yet to put out Chain but a CD had been released that was a selection of songs from their two early albums. I loved the show. It was a small crowd, which always hurts a little, but on the other hand, I had plenty of room for dancing. Now rock & roll now!

My show may not have made the cut for inclusion in the book but I’m very glad that City Gardens existed and that I got to see Pylon there. I still have the t-shirt I bought that night and I consider it to be one of my most prized possessions. Sorry to say I have no idea if Jon Stewart was working the bar back then.



No Clocks

Pylon – No Clocks

Here we are, back to Eastern Standard Time. Boo. Hiss. Bah humbug.

I hate this day. So many people just adore the day we set the clocks back because they think they gain an hour of sleep. Unless you are a childless person who has to set the alarm and be at work somewhere early Sunday morning then no, you do not get an extra hour of sleep. You wake up at whatever time you would wake up and, if you’ve set your clock back before you go to bed, it is whatever time it says it is.

What you lost, however, is an hour of daylight at the end of the day. I guess if you live significantly farther south or at the western edge of your time zone, this isn’t such a big deal. Here in New England we are at the eastern edge of the time zone and from now until after the winter solstice, it’s all down hill. Let’s weigh it up. One hour of sleep, if you actually woke up, looked at the clock and said, “Oh good, I can sleep for another hour!” and then successfully fell back asleep on this one Sunday, or plunging darkness at the end of the work day for the next two to three months. Hmmm.

Overly dramatic, maybe. I think I have undiagnosed (because I’ve never done anything other than bitch about the darkness) Seasonal Affective Disorder and my office is a windowless interior space so to leave at the end of the day and have it already be dark, just depresses the life out of me.

I went to the grocery store late this afternoon and the clouds that had covered the sky for much of the day were breaking apart with the last rays of the sun lighting them up with amazing colors. I stopped to take a picture. It was 4:44 p.m.


The sky at 4:44 p.m. on November 3, 2013

Pretty. But I would find it much prettier if it had been more like 7 p.m. If only we could spring forward in March and then never fall back.