Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sponge Diving

Hissssssssss…… OK, sorry. This is a crumby tape. I know there is a master tape somewhere, but for today I play a cheap demo with a lot of miles on it. I go so far today, as to play I song I sang with The Sponges, way back in 1979, “Depression Is The Bottom Line (But There’s No Place To Sign). Remember now, these were the days of Punk and New Wave. I remember being terribly glad the Seventies were about to be over. To me there were two parts to the Seventies. The part at the beginning that was still really the Sixties, and then along came this horrible period that involved the creation of some very loathsome clubs. I remember “Dance Your Ass Off” a particularly hideous example in SF. Don’t get me wrong. I love disco. “Bah, bah, bah, bah, stayin’ alive…” Do you know that this song is perfectly timed to give CPR to?

OK, so this is “The Sponges”: Scot Halpin, leader, bass-player, one of two songwriters and vocalists, the other being Joe Belche, who was also responsible for some of the truest rock and rock vocals I ever heard, and killin’ on the Peavy. Drums come down to Leland Monagle. The ‘Garage Band’ track on this piece, looked like a healthy EKG—boom, boom, boom. The vocals are provided by none other than your humble podcaster--moi!

The song is about another financial crisis, which looking back—was another hard time. I remember Scot and I trying to buy a house in San Francisco and the interest rates on loans was like 17%. Scot usually brought me out for three songs in the middle of the set. This was one of my favorites, although I did find it a rather tricky one to come in one time on, and hey, I was almost in tune.

Today’s artwork is another black and white ode to the nature of things. Looking at the drawing, my mind took a lot of turns. I settled in on the words—be happy with what you have. Weird. Not “Let’s tip this thing over.” Not “Let’s escape.” But rather, be happy with what you have. Been feeling very happy these days.

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