Tuesday, June 17, 2008
HOUSE OF H2O---SATURATE BEFORE USING
I just returned from a fantastic visit to a great record store. Um, yup, that's right... RECORD STORE!
Amoeba Records (amoebarecords.com for those of you not near Hollywood, Berkeley or San Francisco) is a place to discover music- all kinds of music!
So I pick up JACKSON BROWN'S first album, released in 1971. The cover art with the instruction to 'saturate before using' was designed to make the record look like a water bag. Most assumed that the title was: 'Saturate Before Using' but nope, that's wrong and I'm told that the art director's decision drove Asylum Records executives CRAZY. I love that! So much so, that I am officially adding SATURATE BEFORE USING as directions to how best consume HOUSE OF H2O-get it good & wet. (The album's actual title is... "Los Angeles, California." Check it out for yourself above).
Can you imagine that a young Jackson Browne wrote and performed 'Doctor My Eyes' on his very first album? He said that he wrote it as a kid on a broken piano, and I always listen and smile during the first few repetitive notes on that one.
To write such meaningful lyrics so early in his career? Just think about it--
Over the next couple of years, he'd release the albums "For Everyman" and "Late for The Sky,'' containing such all-time great Pop songs as "Take it Easy," "These Days,'' "Fountain Of Sorrow," and "For A Dancer."
"Take It Easy,'' has that great advice about not letting the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. And me? I'm still lookin' for a lover who won't blow my cover, but she's just a little hard to find, ya know?
I grew up in Southern California, the youngest brother in a house full of music and musicians. Bluegrass and banjos from my oldest brother's room, Country from another, Joe Cocker and Dylan from two more corners. ( I think I was heavy into the Soundtrack from Mary Poppins at the time. I was pretty hip for a 5 year-old). To combine all of the sounds of music in my house, Pop, Rock, Folk and Country, you'd end up with: JACKSON BROWNE
Tonight I'm thinking about those sensitive and introspective (so-called 'confessional') Southern California songs that were composed and performed by a twenty-something Jackson Browne; they came before-and not after- Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks." I think maybe young Jackson influenced (and was not merely influenced by) Dylan.
Little wonder that when my pal Cody texted me some lyric lines from Jason Mraz's "Love For A Child" I immediately got-and got into-what MR A-Z was doing and making me feel. Cody usually makes me pay my respect to his favorite, Brandon Boyd. (And I usually do. I'm kinda into Incubus. After all, BB & the boys grew up close to WW-them in nearby Van Nuys, me in Glendale).
Being surrounded today by all of these great records (and CD's, too) at Amoeba in Hollywood made me think back to when record stores were cool, and cool people recommended records. Tonight I'm driving back, playing Jackson Browne Solo Acoustic (Vol. 1) and hearing him introduce "These Days" as a song he wrote when he was 15. Man, I SO love Jackson Browne!
He wrote what I felt before I felt it. He makes me confront my failures, reminding us that he hasn't forgotten his.
If you want to visit a great record store, give a click on their logo to the left of my blog. And if you ever wanna just rap about music, gimme a shout.
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