Farewell Again to Mickey Spillane
Spurious Words at 1 John 5:7,8

Alanis Morrisette and New York Rock and Roll

Although the staff of the Carriertom Into-Wishen Research Institute is mainly comprised of eminent theologians, such as Tom Weedsandwheat, best known for his groundbreaking, if plagiarized, research on the exothermic nature of hell, we do have a few slackers. Carriertom doesn’t have the heart to sack them as he should, yet you cannot get them to write about God to save your life. So we have learned to value them for what they are able to contribute, which usually means articles about contemporary music. Mack Slickbottom is an example. Back in the 70’s, you may recall, Mack was lead singer of the group Mack Truck and the Bulldozers, so he really knows his stuff when it comes to music.

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When Alanis Morisette came to town, she didn’t give an interview to the Democrat and Chronicle music critic. It just wasn't what she did, explained her agent.

It was a mistake. The critic savaged both her and her concert. One suspects that the venom was aimed not so much at Alanis the musician as Alanis the upstart snot who dared snub the Music Critic!

Now, Ms Morisette is not the most potent musical force of our time. Her clunky lyrics and utter disregard for syllable accents positively invites ridicule. Nonetheless, she has endured. Her arrangements are gritty, grabbing and original. And how many have played the character she got to play in her first movie role? Even some of her awkwardness must be overlooked, since she achieve stardom at …what…19, or so?…. What were you doing at age 19?

So I wasn’t happy to see her savaged by our critic. She deserved better.

But it’s not Alanis I’m writing about. It’s the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble! They were a favorite second tier group of mine, but nobody’s ever heard of them. I’ve always wondered why. They played a concert at SUNY Potsdam, right there on the back foyer of Merritt Hall. I’m still impressed. The band members were all Juliard trained and their music was a mix of rock and classical. Even mid-song they might switch from, say, electric guitar to oboe or cello. They released two albums: New York Rock & Roll Ensemble and Faithful Friends featuring this unique and pleasing blend of music.

Their third album, Reflections (1969) was a collaboration with Greek classical composer Manos Hadjidakis. The latter wrote the music, the NYR&RE wrote the lyrics and performed. The album tanked in the States, but was popular in Europe. It was re-released in 2005 by the group Raining Pleasure….a hot band in Greece, they tell me, though I’ve not heard of them. (please comment, anyone who can update)

I bought some of their (NYR&RE) records and expected them to catch on, but they never did. Rolling Stone reviewed their album Faithful Friends and savaged it just like our critic savaged Alanis. Did they too, snub the critic? Thankfully, that interview can’t be found via Google anymore.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe they really did stink to high heaven, but being young, I didn’t recognize it. But I replay their music, which I’ve since transferred to tape and then again to CD. No, I still enjoy it a lot. It is still unique.

It must be the name: New York Rock and Roll Ensemble. It’s unwieldy, as if Alanis named them. Had they named themselves an obscenity or some intimate body part, no doubt they’d be in the stratosphere today.

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Oh, and my very own Alanis Morisette song, as returned by my second link?

"I Think"

I Think nerds are really a huge problem
I Think nincompoops are too much on my mind
I Think nutcakes have got a lot to do with why the world sucks
But what can you do?

Like a red rain, beating down on me
Like a Bob Dylan line, which won't let go of my brain
Like Balaam's ass, it is in my head
Blame it on the neurotics
Blame it on the neurotics
Blame it on the neurotics

I Think noises are gonna drive us all crazy
And nonmentionables make me feel like a child
I Think nastigrams will eventually be the downfall of civilization
But what can you do? I said what can you do?

Like a red rain, beating down on me
Like a Bob Dylan line, which won't let go of my brain
Like Balaam's ass, it is in my head
Blame it on the neurotics

Blame it on the neurotics
Blame it on the neurotics

Like a red rain, beating down on me
Like Balaam's smile, cruel and cold
Like a jackass, it is in my head
Blame it on the neurotics
Blame it on the neurotics
Blame it on the neurotics

Warning: Unless you are a trained blogger, do not attempt to use the Alanis lyric generator at home! You will notice for my result that “ass” clearly refers to a donkey. It may not do that for you! The Institute will not be held liable for any earthy returns on your part!

[this site was submitted with the comment of 1/18/07:  http://myplanetb612.blogspot.com/  ]

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Comments

myplanetb612

hi there,
i saw you are interested in receiving more info or Raining Pleasure? or i ma wrong?

anyway, if you wanna know more about them check their myspace: http://www.myspace.com/rainingpleasure

my blog, or last.fm to listen to alla their songs!

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