Monday, April 16, 2012

Say What You Will About Wanking, But At Least You Don't Have to Look Your Best

From the Roxy in Los Angeles in 1979, please enjoy power pop minor deity Bram Tchaikovsky and a way cool (with qualification below) live assault on his incomparable "Girl of My Dreams."

Or as we refer to it around Casa Simels "Pictures of Lily Meets Born to Run and Then Both of Them Go to Spago For Dinner."

The original studio version of "Girl of My Dreams" is one of my favorite records of all time, and I think we can all agree that it ranks among the Top Five Wanking-Themed Songs ever committed to magnetic tape. But of this live version, I must say -- as somebody who's tried to cover it with a considerable lack of success in at least two bands over the years -- that I was gratified to discover Bram and company couldn't quite duplicate it on-stage. I should also add that (to my ears, at least) there are two different bass guitar parts at work in the studio version, but unless I'm very much mistaken, I'm hearing the same thing here, which seems unlikely; not sure whether this is the trio or four-piece incarnation of Bram's touring band when this was recorded, but either way, clearly, there weren't two bass players. If anybody has any idea why I'm hearing what I think I'm hearing, I'd be grateful for their input.

[h/t ASH on the Beat.]


buzzbabyjesus said...

I have a hard time singling out even one bass part from this recording, so what I think you're hearing is the kick drum mixing with bass notes on a guitar playing open chords. An aural illusion, or mirage, if you will.

steve simels said...

You're probably right, but on the record I'm pretty sure there's two basses. One of them is doing the eight-note thing to hold the bottom down, and the other is doing a kind of chordal double-stop thing at appropriate moments.

Or not.

FD13NYC said...

On the studio version it does sound like two basses, one probably overdubbed to give it more punch. To my recollection it wasn't a sharp production, a little muddy. The Live version has a better attempt. A good tune nonetheless, it always takes me back.

I also like some of the songs by The Motors.

steve simels said...

Oops -- just caught the station ID at the end of the song, and this was recorded at the Whiskey in LA, not the Roxy.

I regret the error.

Shriner said...

This was a better live version than I've heard on some other boots, for sure.

But I think it's missing (or mixed way down) the double note guitar solo -- a key ingredient of the song.

I would agree there is double-tracked bass on the album version to give it that punch. Or it's just way up in the mix -- the "single" version showcases the bass more than the album version does, for sure.

And, yes, this is a top-10 (top-5?) PowerPop song of all time. The muddiness just makes it that much better...

buzzbabyjesus said...

It's not power pop per se, but I think Fleetwood Mac's "Rattlesnake Shake" is the best wank ditty.

Alex said...

Not to sound like a geezer, but the real problem with music these days is the lack of songs about inflatable women.

Then again, I could be wrong. :)