Friday, October 1, 2010
Variations of a Theme: Take Thy Beak From Out My Blog!
Yes. It’s that time again! Time for BFtRB’s Halloween Spectacular (Suffer baby)! Normally I’d be eatin’ crow at this point of the day, but I opted to clear my plate for some stately Raven action. Dig. Edgar Allen Poe died much like he lived – Drunk in a gutter in Baltimore with more opium in his system than a Chinese Bangtail. Good on him as I have occasionally drank @ Baltimore’s Side-Bar Tavern and can attest to the fact that if the rats scamperin’ around the back alley don’t get you then the ‘Natty Bo’ will. Still, as far as ways of checkin’ out goes, it ain’t too bad for the legacy…oh, and I guess he also wrote some stuff to.
Dig the Raven, for instance. Not my favorite (That would be Masque of the Red Death), but an obstinate little poem that refuses to die, much like the titular character of Lenore (Tis the wind, and nothing more).
It really is no wonder, given the poems longevity that the Raven would come to perch upon popular music in similar fashion; an expedient way to jibb up a rhythmically sound song with little effort - which leads me to the NJ’s Glass Prism.
Much like the Electric Prune did w/ Psychedelic Mass, the Glass Prism managed to shave some time off their writing schedule by penning a concept album comprised entirely of POEms, of which the Raven naturally finds it way as the title track. Yeah, it’s a little slice o’ melodrama, but the corners are still sharp enough to get bent on. RCA records ‘Poe for Moderns’ pulls much the same trick, though it champions a much more 50's beat feel as opposed to the ‘Prisms’ circa 74' psychedelic chicanery.
The real money in this trifecta, however, is Brooklyn NYs the Yo Yos (yeah, its a stupid name) who manage to crank out a decidedly heavier take on the same Raven narrative, though the flip, ‘Crack In the Wall’ ain’t nothing to sneeze at neither, especially when one considers the thinly veiled references to ‘Fall of the House of Usher’ (Is it just me?).
Far from fallin, I got a bucket full of Halloween junk comin’ your way the entire month of October, cracks and all…and I don’t nary mind all the noise. Until then…
The Raven - Yo Yo's
The Raven - Glass Prism
The Raven - Buddy Morrow Orchestra
Bonus: He's a weird radio promotional spot for Pittsburgh Paints w/ a particular emphasis on POE. Dig.