Saturday, February 20, 2010

IEM Training Update- Vol. 13; Issue 9

February 10 status (I will get you caught up with my current status by the end of the weekend):

WEIGHT: 190.2 (Oh shit, this is getting out of control!)

  • Half a tub of spicy hummus purchased from Grocery Outlet eaten with 1+ lb. of baby carrots.
  • 2 homemade low-fat cupcakes (Get a load of this craziness! You get a standard box of cake mix and simply replace the oil, milk, and eggs with a can of pumpkin. They're quite edible, only slightly orange, and with almost no discernable pumpkin taste.)
  • A Pepsi at school
  • A bowl of homemade kettle corn
DEFECATION (what my turd looked like): A HEAPING bowl of Kibbles and Bits served over a crumbled crab cake tinted with soy sauce.

EXERCISE: As usual, I saved my homework for the day of class and couldn't get to the gym, so my only exercise was walking to and from my car at CSUEB.


Billy Swan- 1974- I Can Help- $1

All I knew by this guy was the title track, which I thought was a Ringo Starr solo record, and "Lover Please" (and I only knew the Kinky Friedman version of that song.) Those two songs open this record, but there are even better songs here. There are definitely country elements to this record. There are Jordanaires back-up vocals, some slide guitar, and country-style melodies. However, it doesn't sound like other country records of the time or any time, really. It is obvious that Swan owed a debt to 50's country and rock n' roll, but he was far from a retro artist. He wasn't doing Honky-Tonk or countrypolitan, either. This is more like a pop-rock record with some country overtones. And the whole affair has a very casual, laid-back feel. While Swan is a good singer, he's very understated and doesn't try and blow you away during the heavy emotional passages like country guys did in this period.

There's a cover of "Don't Be Cruel" here, which is usually a bad sign, but he slows the song down and adds a ton of slapback on the vocals. It winds up sounding like a lost Dwight Twilley track. Another great track is "I'm Her Fool," a good-timing number with awesomely goofy backup vocals and a bizarre grunting vocal breakdown at the end. And check out this lyric: I run like a dog when she calls me/'Cause she pets me when I bury my bone. Did this get played on the radio?! Won't somebody think of the children?! Swan's version of "Woman in Love" (Charlie Rich song made famous by Johnny Cash) has kind of an "island" feel a la "Sloop John B" and "P.M.S. (Post Mortem Sickness)" is a cool atmospheric closer- and the earliest reference I can find to pre-menstrual syndrome.

With Swan's mix of fun covers and fun catchy originals with lyrical wordplay, this record was practically made for me. I am now searching for his entire back catalog. I will even pay $3 for the records, if necessary.

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