Friday, May 21, 2010

Song of The Day #025

"The Last Roundup" by The Feelies

I was trying to write some songs 'cause, you know, I like music or whatever, and maybe I could write some songs 'cause I'm creative and stuff and wear cool glasses. Needless to say my results were ignorable at best--except for one song. I started writing this one, and it was actually starting to sound pretty good. Cool guitar lick, fast, good idea for a vocal rhythm/melody (no lyrics yet)--a nice blend of good ol' fashioned rock n' roll and new fashioned minimalism. Anyways, after playing around on it for about fifteen minutes, I realized that, well, it was "The Last Roundup". Bummer.

But I picked a great song to rip off. "The Last Roundup", off of The Feelies' magnificent and slightly overlooked sophomore effort, The Good Earth, does exactly what I was trying to do: mix propulsive rock n' roll with a subversive, minimalist edge found elsewhere in the music of Riley, Reich, et. al. (And it does it much cleaner, more professional, and better than I could ever do.)

Like any other Feelies track, it's characterized by fast, detailed, clean guitars and motorik percussion. (The absence of original drummer Anton Fier is felt, but replacement Stan Demeski does a good enough job combining Liebezeit with Ramone--Tommy, that is.) Lou Reed/Iggy Pop-esque vocals fill in the rest of the mix, and, in accordance with the title of the song, it has a bit of a country-western vibe.

However, "The Last Roundup" is more than just a collage of some of the best rock and experimental music of the '60s and '70s; The Feelies learned from these gods of rock (VU, Can, Stooges, Ramones, etc.) and used their knowledge to take rock n' roll into the '80s and, well, beyond.

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