Monday, February 15, 2021

New Recording: "Firm, The"!

This song was a Yeast? attempt to write a song even dumber than "Belsen Was A Gas" by The Sex Pistols.  I don't know if we succeeded, but it is pretty dumb.  It's also pretty fun to play, which is why it's managed to hang around for almost three decades.  It's all of three chords, so maybe it's just easy to remember.  It first appeared as the bonus track on the Party At Kitty & Stud's cassette.  We left some silence at the end of the cassette and didn't list it as a track, so anyone who was enjoying the silence would be surprised by one more song.  The best add-on track like this is, of course, The Clash's "Train In Vain", which was added to London Calling at the last minute when a flexidisk deal or something fell through.  Another favorite is the end track on Nirvana's Nevermind, which always gave good value on the jukebox at The Town Tavern in Kent, Ohio USA.  I could put on "Something In The Way", then enjoy a few minutes of silence (and confusion from other patrons when no music was playing) before a very obnoxious Nirvana song came on.  This might have also been one of the last songs our original guitarist, Chris, was involved with.  He disappeared before the next recording session, and we became a power trio unexpectedly (I was a much better guitar player at that point, so maybe he knew subconsciously he wasn't really needed anymore).  Lyrically, the song is based on the commercials for the Tom Cruise movie The Firm playing incessantly on television at that time.  Based on the popular John Grisham novel, the film seemed ridiculous, and the commercial seemed especially melodramatic.  To this day, I've never read the book nor seen the movie, but thanks to this song, I certainly remember them.  Most of the lyrics are an absurd reduction of the plot of the book/movie based on what the commercial related, but it also includes some lyrics inspired by the recent Persian Gulf War.  Really, mafia protection rackets and military invasions of other countries aren't that dissimilar.  They're both awful and expose the greed of some humans to bully others up to the point of killing them.  Unfortunately, at this point in my songwriting, the irony was probably lost on some listeners who might think it's a violent punk/metal song instead of a satire of the macho insanity of military recruiting, thriller movies/novels, and gangsterism.  I hope this arrangement makes that aspect of the song's reason for being clearer (though, of course, ultimately, it's still a pretty dumb song, though dumb can be more fun than smart at times).  For the weird instruments, I added some keyboard pipe organ, and a chair as a bass drum.  Other than that, it's the usual guitar, vox, percussion, and fake bass keyboard.  I don't know how long this song will remain in the current set, but it's definitely tenacious, outlasting many more sophisticated songs that I've written.  In some ways, it's the last song of my early songwriting.  The songs that would come after would be a little more complex.

To hear what Yeast? sounded like after this song, check out the first 7"!

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