‘Til Tuesday–Voices Carry LP

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This group’s bass player/vocalist was savagely ridiculed during this band’s brief heyday, mostly for her python-length braided tail and childish histrionics at the opera house in the video for the title track, but it was clearly a great single that even Springsteen-addicted jocks and stoner metalheads appreciated. Dig a little deeper and you will find that as with a lot of 80s bands considered one-hit wonders, the single was merely the tip of the iceberg and was actually part and parcel of a pretty solid LP. For realz!

The stripped-down, catchy songwriting skills that granted group leader Aimee Mann a “second life” as a solo artist in the late 90s-early 00s were already in evidence back then, only glossed over with typical 80s bravura instrumentation and production. But that wasn’t a bad thing. “Looking Over My Shoulder” and “Winning the War” are catchy, driving tunes that easily could have charted. “You Know The Rest” is so pretty, Liberace covered it. And believe it or not, Aimee can really play that bass, pounding on its four strings with wild abandon in just about every song–kinda like a taller, more fuckable Flea.

As mentioned, she had a genuine renaissance about fifteen years back but then gradually slid out of the public consciousness yet again, so far out, in fact, she recently resurfaced as the object of some good-natured joking as a down and out house cleaner on the TV show Portlandia. I really thought she should have become a running character on the show, perhaps having things devolve to the point where she becomes the sex slave of the two yuppie indie-rock characters she works for, but no one in Portland ever listens to me or else the Trail Blazers would have about 9 championship banners hanging in the Rose Garden about now.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, she’s officially the fourth member of Rush!! I don’t see you or me pulling that off!

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Gary Hart

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“Too much monkey business” good ol’ Keith Relf sang, and you can almost picture a young Gary Hart back in 1964, snapping his fingers along to the off beat as one of his law school buddy’s copy of Five Live Yardbirds spun round at a party in some New Haven apartment, a Tom Collins in the other hand and his eyes roaming over every female in the place. With Presidential dreams already metastasizing under that thickly-carpeted scalp.

And by God, only 25 years later, it was all within reach–he had slithered and climbed his way into contention for residence in the biggest and whitest house in the land. Sure, there were some ugly rumors of infidelity floating about, but Gary, like all megalomaniacs with a lust for “high office,” considered himself beyond reproach, so he arrogantly issued a challenge to his adversaries in the press. Now, politicians have always been scumbags, even before Caligula donkey-punched his first 13 year-old concubine, but for centuries there had existed a gentleman’s agreement of sorts between these fellows and the fourth estate. Only the most egregious indiscretions were reported. But Gary ruined it for everyone–the leashes snapped and a little bit of arse-on-lap canoodling on the good yacht Monkey Business put an end to his venal ambitions.

He thankfully disappeared pretty quickly, apparently having learned his lesson, but so many others sure haven’t, from the practitioners of “wide stances” in airport restrooms to that one mentally-diseased creep who ran for New York City mayor (I refuse to type his name, although I always thought his foul-mouthed Communications Director was pretty hot and I encourage her to contact me through this blog if interested) society as a whole is still plagued by irredeemable figures determined to “represent us.”

Would Gary Hart have made a good President? I don’t think such a thing exists, and besides, who cares? Political scandals have a short shelf life (Teapot Dome, anyone?) and the handful of people who even remember this guy most certainly regard him as just another faceless, well-groomed fool.

As for the failed model/actress who ensnared him? A quick check of “Donna Rice” on the search engines reveals that she is currently the CEO of some sort of anti-pornography foundation. So, sadly, it seems she has become just like a politician herself, trying to ruin the world for everyone.

Coors

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A long, long time ago, for persons living east of the Mississippi, the myth of the unobtainable beer called Coors flitted around the heads of drinkers at graduation parties, football tailgating sessions and family reunion picnics like a chimerical butterfly. It was something whispered about in reverent, almost unbelieving tones. Those lucky enough to vacation “out west” would sometimes bring back cases of it, smugly doling it out to a chosen few friends and relatives like each can was a gilded sippy cup brimming with 100 year-old Macallan. It could really bring out the worst in people. I know one kid who had to mow his next door neighbor’s lawn every weekend from April to October due to an arrangement his father had made after said neighbor had returned from a trip to Yellowstone National Park with a trunkful of Coors weighing down the rear end of his Oldsmobile Cutlass. This heartless bastard traded the sweat of his own offspring, his own flesh and blood, in exchange for a lousy six-pack. Of the 8 ounce cans! And the boy, why, he never got so much of a swallow of it, his dad drank all six cans in about 15 minutes and then started bitching about how he “didn’t even feel buzzed.”

Still, the mystique remained and one spring in the early 80s, word started to ricochet around school that this fabled entity the Coors Brewing Company of Golden, Colorado was planning to expand their distribution as far east as Ohio. That the timing for this historic event would roughly coincide with the end of the school year was a sign that God himself most certainly had a soft spot in His infinite heart for teenagers with drinking problems. Yes, this was going to be THE summer of Coors!

No “official” date for the beer’s arrival was ever really announced, so we spent a lot of time sticking our noses into various outlets trying to track down the stuff on a daily basis. And then one day in mid-June, at one of the larger beer and wine outlets, it was there. Since it was about 11 a.m. or so, the man working there had no problem convincing us that the case we were purchasing was the first one he had sold. Ever. So now, not only did we have the contents of these lovely flaxen-hued aluminum vessels to consume, we were also in the history books. The very first ever in Ohio to buy Coors! That is the kind of record that by its very nature can never be broken or taken away and I still mention it to this day to HR personnel and prospective in-laws at the earliest opportunity I can manage.

The taste–well, to our virgin tongues it was delicious, fresh, pure, airy, refreshing, dizzying, crisp–the plaudits fell from our mouths like the silver waterfall on the front of the can, and bear in mind, Coors hadn’t even begun advertising the stuff yet, so it wasn’t like we had already been hypnotized by their high-powered marketing men. It was all in our own minds. Again, the power of myth.

So, it wasn’t exactly Trappistes Rochefort 10 Blue Cap, but it was a damn sight better than Busch.