Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Random Play: We'll go collecting the days

It's a new season, and time for a new feature. Just like old-school network teevee blithely rolling out comedy pilots chock-full of the forced laughter of tourist audiences--well, this won't be like that.

It's time to exploit my comfortable classic-rock radio listening, the Mr. Rodgers sweater I snuggle into as I work the work-job or continue to unpack the Matterhorn of boxes in my new home. I found a new station last month that has a diversity and homogeneity, all at once, that makes this task a breeze. It's Ireland-based, though most of the bumpers are, inexplicably, voiced in fake American accents. But you sense the source is over there since the station name is pronounced "ZEH-nith Classic Rock."

I'll pick something the radio plays, and treat it well.

(But it is all still a ploy to force me into writing consistently)

This track struck me at first today because I thought it was Carole King's "Jazzman." Then I heard that familiar 70s-radio brogue. "Year of the Cat" and "Time Passages" are two of drop-everything, turn-up-the-radio favorites, so it's no wonder I like this less familiar Al Stewart mellow journey, with its "How Long (Has This Been Going On)" bass line. Then there is the story of a man's sweet, persistent convincing of his love to his love.

Al spins a good yarn, subtly and gently; but in his younger years, when he basically knew or worked with everybody (Yoko to Andy Summers to Jimmy Page) who was anybody, his storytelling was less proportioned. To wit: the 18-minute title track from his second (1969) album, aptly named Love Chronicles, that details his first falling-in-loves and intimate escapades, replete with assignations in English gardens and bemoaning of "the bridge of impotence."

I think this track, though, is more my speed, for its radio length, even though it has the same happy-to-be-oversharing spirit--and is filtered through the cool composure of Alan Parsons.

Story rock managed by prog rock. Now that's true love.

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