The skewed perspective of a conservative Catholic employee-side employment lawyer living in the most exciting city in the Milky Way, Las Vegas, Nevada USA, who listens to a lot of really strange music and who, for some reason, lives and dies St. Louis Cardinal baseball

5/04/2005

Chris Isaak - "Livin' for Your Lover"

What better song o' the day to choose on my birthday than my favorite song off my favorite album?

Chris Isaak released Silvertone in 1985, just as new wave and the new romantics was dying, but before "alternative" had been commercialized into a distinct genre. It sounded like nothing else that was happening in 1985. Truth be told, it sounded like nothing else that had been released since approximately my birth at the dawn of the '60s. The rockabilly "Gone Ridin'" was getting airplay on Washington's then-great WHFS (and, if memory serves, on MTV's 120 Minutes, or (better yet) USA's Night Flight, great video show that I think were still on the air then). I saw Isaak in concert at the 930 Club, wearing what I would later learn was called a "Nudie Suit," with his great supporting band of guitarist James Calvin Wilsey, bassist Rowland Salley, and drummer Kenney Dale Johnson. He looked, as well as sounded, like nothing I was listening to at the time. The concert was great. Not only was the music hot, but he was a riot, with his in-between song monologues.

I became a fan for life. The brief Silvertone -- even with a bonus track on the CD it still clocks in under 40 minutes -- never gets old for me. It is such an exuberant downer of an LP. Yeah, it's stylized, but it's a sincere and loving homage to so much great music from the cusp of the 50s/60s. Despite the blue mood, it never gets tiresome. It's probably my favorite CD I own.

"Livin' for Your Lover" is the closest things get to an update track. Not that that means anything. E.g., two tracks later is "Funeral in the Rain," a great song, but not the quicker-picker-upper, if you know what I mean.

Chris Isaak also is one of my all-time favorite live performers. I definitely would watch his show over and over. And he's coming to Las Vegas: June 2-8 at the MGM Grand. I'll be there for at least one show. Having a grand time.
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