Saturday, October 20, 2007


For those who read Economic Principals by David Warsh, every so often Warsh will show in his pieces an ability to construct the semantic connections that show how relevant something can be. I will be honest and say that it is a fancy way of playing the “Degrees of Separation” game.

In order to retain and gain some sort of relevancy with my friends, and acquaintances whom I think should want me to be great friends with them (that’s a joke), I will try and do the same sort of semantic construct that David Warsh does, but instead of economics professors or old newspaper firms, I will be using bands and individual music artists (hey, it’s the weekend). I imagine that this exercise will feel a lot like the lyrics to LCD Soundsystem’s “Losing My Edge.” In fact, as the lyrics of the song go, I will also be stating this knowledge as a show of my relevancy. Whether this attempt at musical elitism will pass or fail however, I think is a matter for Picthfork, or my good friend, Will, to decide (again, joking here).

To start, we’ll leap from the line with The Breeders, whom are probably best known for their album Last Splash, which contained the single “Cannonball.” The Breeders have had lineup changes galore, however, Kim Deal has been the main catalyst of the group and its leader. Now, while Kim herself is famous – even The Dandy Warhols wrote a song about her called “Cool as Kim Deal” – I will go with Tanya Donelly, who apart from having a solo career (I always dug the track “Night You Saved My Life”), was in the group Belly.

Belly was another alternative rock band in the early 90s, which by the way, my favorite track of theirs is “Feed the Tree” from their 1993 album, Star. Donelly left Belly in 1996, after which the band disassembled, as well. Fast forward to 2005, and Tonya Donnelly was working with Mark Eitzel. Eitzel has released many albums with the band American Music Club, as well as some solo albums, his latest being Candy Ass in 2005, which contained one of my favorite tracks, “Make Sure They Hear.” Prior to Eitzel’s 2005 release, in 1998 he worked on an album with the assistance of James McNew from Yo La Tengo.

Yo La Tengo once did a music video for “Sugarcube” that featured comedian, David Cross (you may remember him from the show, Arrested Development). David Cross also worked in a music video with another of my favorite bands, The Black Keys. In 2003, The Black Keys toured with one of my favorite Washington based indie rock bands, Sleater Kinney. Sleater Kinney once toured with the Blues Explosion and were mistaken as groupies, when obviously, in fact, they were one of the acts to perform on stage.

By the way, The Blues Explosion and Sleater Kinney had somewhat similar formats: two guitars, drums, and no bass player.

The Blues Explosion through all their years of releasing albums worked with many people. In their 1998 album, Acme, the track “Blue Green Olga” featured backing vocals from Jon Spencer’s wife, Cristina Martinez, as well as Jill Cunniff, from Luscious Jackson. For those who weren’t living under a rock in the 1990s, we can remember that Luscious Jackson had many hits and transcended a genre or two during their tenure.

And what will finally bring us back to the beginning is that Vivian Trimble, of Luscious Jackson, left the group in 2001 to do an album with Josephine Wiggs, of…you guessed it, The Breeders.

Back to economics and politics next week, enjoy the weekend.
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