Friday, September 25, 2009
Over the Edge Rock and Roll
As a cultural artifact, Jonathan Kaplan's 1979 film "Over the Edge" has far more resonance to me personally in 2009 than the other 1979 music film I love, "Rock n'Roll High School."* The soundtrack is great too. It is a universe where Van Halen and Cheap Trick sit snuggled side by side with the Ramones and the Cars. You can also toss in Devo, Ricky Wilson-era B-52's and the Pretenders even though they are not on the soundtrack. It is all good. I just enjoy the American new wave of the non-post punk variety (although I like that too). Are the Pretenders considered English - they had a single or two in 1979 though their eponymous debut did not come out until January 1980. The kids of New Grenada would have played the heck out of it. Which brings me to the real subject of this post which is the pre-Cars output. Matt meet Ric and Ben.
In 1976, as Roxy Music opened for ELO at various US dates in support of the Siren lp, the pre-Cars band Cap 'n Swing was cutting some of the best Roxy Music/VU/Steely Dan hybrid tracks and getting primed for those arena lights. The first two tracks below are "Come Back Down" (3 demo versions exist) and first lp mainstay, "Bye Bye Love."
Without getting bogged down in lineup changes with various assorted Modern Lovers (including Jonathan Richman suggesting a pre-Cap'n Swing band name), it should be noted that Ric and Ben did record a folky/CSNY-y lp in 1973 "How's the Weather" under the name Milkwood. You can check out Ric on the cover with the 'stache putting him neck and neck with Chuck Negron as the standin for Dusty in Floyd Mutrux's "Dusty and Sweet McGee" (1971). In case you are curious, the third track is "Bring Me Back" from the 1973 lp in all its denim glory.
* NB: "Rust Never Sleeps" is obviously another 1979 favorite though technically it is a concert film.