Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Save Me San Francisco" (Train)

I used to love the tenderloin until I made some tender coin
/Then I met some ladies from Marin/
We took the highway to the one up the coast to catch some sun/
That left me with these blisters on my skin/

Don't know what I was on but I think it grows in Oregon/
So I kept on going, going on right through/
I drove into Seattle rain, fell in love then missed the train/
That could have took me right back home to you/ 

(chorus as such)
I've been high, I've been low
I've been yes and I've been oh, hell no
I've been rock 'n' roll and disco
Won't you save me San Francisco?

Every day so caffeinated, I wish they were Golden Gated
Fillmore couldn't feel more miles away
So wrap me up return to sender, let's forget this five year bender
Take me to my city by the bay

I never knew all that I had, now Alcatraz don't sound so bad
At least they have a hell of a fine Merlot
If I could wish upon a star I would hitch a cable car
To the place that I can always call my own

I've been high, I've been low
I've been up, I've been down
I've been so damn lost since you're not around
I've been reggae and calypso
Won't you save me San Francisco?

So then..
I include this because it has lyrics very specific to the Bay Area, and the tone of said lyrics is quite amusing, to me anyway.

That said, as ROLLING STONE Magazine said so trenchantly when doing a profile of the Stooges in ‘69:
The following article does not constitute an endorsement of current phonographic products.
– Editor (ie Jann Wenner).

These lyrics are specific and joyful and the tune itself is pretty OK. That said, Train is one of the most brown lipsticked combos I have ever had the unfortunate circumstance to experience.

Pat Monahan, who writ and sang the words up there, is the most showboating hambone of a frontman I have ever seen in my life, up there with fellow discredit to Bay Area music S. Hagar.

And what is most annoying about him, is besides his very existence, is that there are so many of these folk. Eddie Vedder is the worst parts of  Morrison, and somewhere DL Roth ends up in that equation, if you think about it. Somehow maybe the least ‘honest’ performers turn out to be the most honest.

For th’ rekkid: My two favorite live performers who punctured the arena rock barrier were Bowie on the STATION TO STATION tour in 76, and Neil Young on the RUST NEVER SLEEPS tour (only ever seen by me on film, dammit).

Anyway, to sum up: a fun tune, great lyrics. Don’t buy TRAIN Wine.
And I hope, in the midst of Google glassholeness, carpetbaggers and stupefied locals, that San Francisco saves me too before I die and/or lose my freakin marbles.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

‘San Francisco’ (Foxygen)

“Up in San Francisco where the forest meets the bridge/I thought I saw you standing there/and then you fell into the world…

But that was many years ago/and I am so much older now/My brother is a soldier now/I can't see them anyhow, I moved up, in the wind/And you, swimming uptide/ or just tuning in radio stations…

And we're restating on this hill/That Jesus came from Israel/Isaac followed the sacred cow/So not to wake a sparrow splashing mud…

But that was many years from now/And I hope from here on now/That I always seem to want to shout/‘Your eyes are like a cup of tea/you're sending to the sun with me’…/You swimming upstream, or just tune into new sensations/I was broken, you were broken…

I left my love in San Francisco (That's okay, I was bored anyway)/I left my love in the room (That's okay, I was born in L.A.)/I left my love in San Francisco (That's okay, I was bored anyway)/ left my love in a field (That's okay, I was born in L.A.)…”

So it’s too long we have tarried, obviously; at least a year since the last SFNS post, in fact.  Apologies.

A lot can and has happened here in town with the passing of such time, both in the City itself and to your humble blogster.  Things in both instances which have a tendency to shake one’s confidence and belief in both to their respective foundations.  So it transpires one seeks out those articles of faith that restore self-confidence as well as confidence to not give up, and stay and strive to maintain what the heck it is that attracted one to such a place as this City That Knows How (Even If It Sometimes Doesn’t Know Why).

So it is with this tune.  I know next to nothing about this group except they are, like the lyric says, from L.A.  Also that their singer, one Sam France, has such a beguilingly androgynous voice - equal bits the dispassion of Nico, the wistfulness of any number of UK female folkrockers (St John, McDonald, Bunyan) with the effortless guile of early Rundgren - that, the first few times I heard it, I was convinced that it was some winsome South Cali nubile. 

And yes, the lyrics are maybe a little too elliptical and imagistic for their own good…yet there’s a real uplift to the music and the tune. Dreamy and hopeful and affirmative.

I’m listening to it as I type this on a gloomy rainy Sunday in the City and it’s like a stream of sunlight break in the clouds, all the better to help one along and through the sometimes ominous changes we locals have to contend with, and confront, on an all too daily basis as of late.

(I also recommend a tune off Foxygen’s latest, ‘How Can You Really’: another melodic pop bouquet that favorably compares to nothing less than classic early Todd Rundgren. And in this clip?  Sam France and band: VERY much informed by the Runt. Check out TR's 'Waiting Game' Letterman performance for comparison and contrast.)