Tag Archive | San Francisco

“Sweethearts”–Camper Van Beethoven

Middle East in Cambridge, Massachusetts 2012

One of my all time favorite bands is Camper Van Beethoven. I finally got to see them a couple of times when they made their comeback travelling a short van ride north from Santa Cruz to play in San Francisco in 1999.

This was the band of choice to listen to in 1989 on the tape deck of the beater pickup truck as we would drive with my good ole Syracuse friend, Wendall, through the frozen central New York Winter.

In my mind they set the table for Alt-Rock groups from R.E.M to Wilco and of course when they broke it off, some of the members became Cracker and joined Counting Crows.

This song is a period piece that is pure Americana, set in the five and dime days but also commenting on the psyche of President Ronald Reagan.

‘Cause he’s always living back in Dixon
Circa 1949
And we’re all sitting at the fountain, at the
five and dime
‘Cause he’s living in some B-movie
The lines they are so clearly drawn
In black and white life is so easy
And we’re all coming along on this one
‘Cause he’s on a secret mission
Headquarters just radioed in
He left his baby at the dancehall While the band plays on some sweet song
And on a mission over China
The lady opens up her arms
The flowers bloom where you haved
placed them
And the lady smiles, just like mom
Angels wings are icing over McDonnell-Douglas olive drab
They bear the names of our sweethearts
And the captain smiles, as we crash
‘Cause in the mind of Ronald Reagan Wheels they turn and gears they grind
Buildings collapse in slow motion
And trains collide, everything is fine
Everything is fine
Everything is fine

@ Chelsea (Wien, Austria) 5.6.2013

At the 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA on Friday, March 2 2012 as part of the inaugural Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven mini-festival.

An amazing extra: Camper Van Beethoven play The Clash’s “White Riot” and Black Flag’s “Wasted” live at Sky City Bar, January 2013

“Coyote”–Joni Mitchell

The Last Waltz at Winterland
San Francisco, California
11-25-1976

This voyage of a song is from the amazing 1977 release Hejira with Jazz greats like Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius.

Coyote reveals Joni Mitchell as a pure artist.
She is a painter, poet, musician, and a singular songwriter.

I have to include the complete lyrics, but listen to her vocal delivery in both virtuoso performances.

Cover of "Hejira"

Cover of Hejira

No regrets Coyote
We just come from such different sets of circumstance
I’m up all night in the studios
And you’re up early on your ranch
You’ll be brushing out a brood mare’s tail
While the sun is ascending
And I’ll just be getting home with my reel to reel
There’s no comprehending
Just how close to the bone and the skin and the eyes
And the lips you can get
And still feel so alone
And still feel related

Like stations in some relay
You’re not a hit and run driver no no
Racing away
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines on the freeway

We saw a farmhouse burning down
In the middle of nowhere
In the middle of the night
And we rolled right past that tragedy
Till we turned into some road house lights
Where a local band was playing
Locals were up kicking and shaking on the floor
And the next thing I know
That coyote’s at my door
He pins me in a corner and he won’t take no
He drags me out on the dance floor
And we’re dancing close and slow
Now he’s got a woman at home
He’s got another woman down the hall
He seems to want me anyway
Why’d you have to get so drunk
And lead me on that way
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines on the freeway

I looked a coyote right in the face
On the road to Baljennie near my old home town
He went running thru the whisker wheat
Chasing some prize down
And a hawk was playing with him
Coyote was jumping straight up and making passes
He had those same eyes just like yours
Under your dark glasses
Privately probing the public rooms
And peeking thru keyholes in numbered doors
Where the players lick their wounds
And take their temporary lovers
And their pills and powders to get them thru this passion play
No regrets Coyote
I just get off up aways
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines on the freeway

Coyote’s in the coffee shop
He’s staring a hole in his scrambled eggs
He picks up my scent on his fingers
While he’s watching the waitresses’ legs
He’s too far from the Bay of Fundy
From appaloosas and eagles and tides
And the air conditioned cubicles
And the carbon ribbon rides
Are spelling it out so clear
Either he’s going to have to stand and fight
Or take off out of here
I tried to run away myself
To run away and wrestle with my ego
And with this flame
You put here in this Eskimo
In this hitcher
In this prisoner
Of the fine white lines
Of the white lines on the free free way.

From the Shadows and Light DVD with Joni Mitchell, 
Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Don Alias