Thursday, November 13, 2008

angels' wings are icing over

"'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..."

David Lowery: rhythm guitar, vocals; Victor Krummenacher: bass;
Greg Lisher: guitar; Chris Pedersen: drums.

A small town taste of California Redlands' Camper Van Beethoven prior to their demise in 1990; and their only album not to feature founding member, Jonathan Segel.

Written by Camper Van Beethoven. Produced by Dennis Herring.

"Don't take the third step, that's just the sad lovers' waltz."

CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN: SWEETHEARTS from "Key Lime Pie" LP (Virgin) 1989 (US)




Empire Hancock said...

Love this song. Love the words. Love the feel. Will download it even though I have the cd. :P

Good call on "Pink Napkins" a few days ago. Satisfyin'. I'm in the midst of another big Zappa kick right now, listening to some of the bunch of live shows I've had on my hard drive for ages but not listened to recently or ever, in some cases. Also digging "200 Motels" and the LSO version of "Bogus Pomp" a lot right now.

ib said...

Good to hear from you again, Empire Hancock. I'd feared you'd disappeared never to return!

"200 Motels" is great; you're mentioning it reminds me that I haven't listened to "City Of Tiny Lights" in a long while. "Pink Napkins" felt appropriate. I'd cued "Black Napkins" while rehearsing the post in my head, but switched colours at the last possible moment.

By the same token, I very nearly went with "All Her Favourite Fruit" here. "Sweethearts" won the draw by a cat's whisker.

Empire Hancock said...

Always reading, never commenting. That's me. Ungrateful fucker!

I love Camper Van's first record. Only own a couple things after that, and it's hit-or-miss for me, but "Sweethearts" is one of those right-on tunes that just hits all the right points with me somehow. I might have to slot in the "Key Lime Pie" album a good listen soon.

I could (and sometimes do) go on and on and on about Zappa, but I'll note this, not knowing if it's an album you have or not. There's a great "City of Tiny Lights" on You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5. The second disc of that has gotten a lot of plays this year, especially during the summer. Something about it feels really bright and summer-y and hot to me, probably because it was recorded during a summer tour which saw a lot of outdoor shows. I listened to an audience of one such show from that 1982 tour recently and loved hearing things you don't necessarily hear as much on the official releases, like backing vocals and Steve Vai's rhythm and stunt guitar parts.

ib said...

Hey. Thanks for that tip, EH. I don't have that Zappa album.

You're bang on the money with "Sweethearts" being "right-on". Exactly. I had the first two albums (or was it II and III ?) as a 'two-fer-one' before "Key Lime Pie", and the instrumental playing was superb. Jon from Poetry Is For Assholes told me he saw them live about five years ago. I think they are still gigging.

Steve Vai: "stunt guitar parts".

I like that!

Empire Hancock said...

"stunt guitar" was FZ's term for that type of playing -- the really complex written lines, as well as the crazy widdly-widdly little fills. Apt description!

On the Camper Van tip, sort of, I actually still enjoy Cracker's hit album "Kerosene Hat". I must have been 13 when they had a radio hit in the states with "Low". That's one of only a few (less than ten, I would say) popular "alternative rock" sort of albums I bought back in the day which I still own, and still like to hear once in a while.

Your driver said...

Hey Ib, Just so you know that I'm still contrary, Key Lime Pie is probably my least favorite Camper album. It still has some excellent songs but nothing to equal my fave, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. I also wanted an excuse to say hi. Dude.

ib said...


I remember Cracker stepping into the limelight right around the period 92/3 (?): I was listening to a lot of Teenage Fanclub and Alabama Kids at the time and kind of missed the boat on CVB's metamorphosis. There was a lot of tat around, too.

"Low" was quite good, though.

I'm tempted to go off on a Zappa trip after this exchange. We'll see!

ib said...


Yes, as an album "Key Lime Pie" is not in the same territory as earlier stuff - bar those two tracks mentioned - but that is to be expected with the departure of Segel, and their determination to chart.

Contrariness is fine by me. Complacency is a vice best avoided.

Glad you came by to say hello, brother. When I was fitting one together, I was thinking of that photograph you posted of the club social with the two dancers and those scowling old bastards looking own with envious distaste...

I am not much of a dancer. Unless I am drunk and the song is a mournful waltz.

Even on 'e' I had a habit of chainsmoking away the night. Crutches and addictions!