Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It List: Tuesday

Screening: "Don't Look In The Basement"- Mo Tai aka Devil Fetus/MO aka The Boxer's Omen (J&J's Pizza)

Todd Rundgren (Trees): Todd Rundgren's records were a favorite steal of mine when I raided my parent's collection as a teen, and I've always been envious of my father's claim to have seen Todd at the original Dallas Palladium, the one off of Northwest Highway. Wow, take a second to read over that link. Isn't it weird to read a piece on local music that doesn't sound like a text message convo?

Anyways, since you, and I, and however many people fit into the current incarnation of Trees will get to catch such a legendary talent in a club setting, and though that may not speak so well of where Mr. Rundgren's current perceived or more specifically, his commercial legacy stands, it is a privilege nonetheless.

A lot is made of whether or not Rundgren is at his best when he's all progged out with a group; which is how he got his start, with the overly capable Nazz, or if he's better with the Mesquite School Radio sound of his heavily Carole King-influenced period. And then there's that "other stuff" he did, the "synthesizer crap" that my mom always brings up when she laments his career arc. Which is more often than one would think. That "synthesizer crap" is most likely what has cemented his influence and lasting effect on both mainstream and underground music, particularly the riskier moves he made after scoring AOR gold, to the point where labels actually turned down some of his submitted material, as is the case with his never-released Disco Jets. The album is from 1976 and yet some of it sounds eerily like Ariel Pink's next record.

It's funny to think of all the people throughout pop music's history that were laughed at or rejected by the public and by their employers, for testing uncharted territory; whether it be through technology or composition, style, philosophy and all other conduits of progressive approach and vision. It's a well-beaten cliche, but it's still fun to listen to those almost undetectable tendrils of influence slowly creep through the decades and shelves upon dusty shelves of music both heard and unheard, until it finally stops at your current time, reveals itself through a sample, or a busy keyboard part and in some subtle way, points at you as if to say, "I told you so."


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