I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS

...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Please don't put your life in the hands / of a rock 'n' roll band / who'll throw it all away

I have to admit that I had waaaay more fun judging this Oasis contest than I ever thought I would.

I was psychoanalyzing the roots of my longstanding distaste of Oasis (to be totally honest here), and I think it springs from the fact that when they first hit the scene, they were such the antithesis of the musicians I was fondest of at the time, namely Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain. Whereas I was passionately in love with music from these bands fronted by the strong, silent (sullen) types who were full of rage, here came these cocky brothers who thought they were the best thing since Lennon himself, and my first impression was just "no thank you" and I went on from there, not really reconsidering.

Slowly I've been giving them a chance, and completely admitting that they've got some great songs that have a place in my musical library. There's room in the world of music for all types, and I guess the Gallagher brothers fill a special little niche that is all their swaggering own. The reason I enjoyed judging this contest is because I actually sought out all the moments that you guys referenced, the specific live versions where possible, and tried to understand those feelings you all so fervently and eloquently referenced. And it really did the music-lover in me good. So thanks for each and every entry, they were truly fantastic.

Picking an actual winner was hard, as always. I tried to extract from your answers not only who cited the best "moment," but also who seemed to me like they would enjoy the prize the most. Pretty abstract, huh? But throughout all the judging, I kept coming back to one of the earliest entries (Brian's, on the ending of "Champagne Supernova" -- which was nicely bookended by Tommy's later comment on the start of that same song, and Kristina's well-spoken dissertation). Brian wrote a weighty tome that not only read like finely crafted liner-notes, or some momentous Hall-of-Fame induction speech, but also showed a pretty obsessive level of knowledge of the band (down to the color & model of Noel's guitar). The clincher was probably the use of vocabulary like epochal, nostalgic soundscape and sonic signpost. I'm a vocab nerd at heart. So congrats Brian! I think you'll enjoy the print.

There were several very close runners up that I wanted to comment on, and post a few related songs for your enjoyment. Start with this one that was so random I just loved it:

۞ dom said...
-->feint cheering of crowd
-->undecipherable liam utterance
-->feedback kicking in

'wassup'

-->crashing guitars, more feedback

'wassup.....dunt matter if it's outta choon.

doesn't matter if it's out of choon.....cos yoor kewl'

-->cymbals
-->guitar intro to one of the best cover versions ever recorded - I Am The Walrus.

I Am The Walrus (Live at Cathouse, June 1994) - Oasis


۞ Then this deliriously grand piece that made me all kinds of happy (mentioning three of my favorite things - In'N'Out, air drumming, and road trips - in the same story):

I'M JUST SAYIN said...
I don't need thirty seconds of an Oasis song.

I don't even need fifteen.

All I need is about three.

Seriously. Three.

Imagine yourself on a sunny Friday afternoon driving a banged up Jeep with top down north up the 15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. As you drive past Barstow, and the In-N -Out begins to settle, the road clears for miles. Your mix has already thrown on Wiser Time, One Big Holiday and MFC, and as you take a moment to exhale and enjoy the beauty around you, the sound of a guitar being plugged in blares through your speakers.

Now you're thinking, ok, this guy's moment is the opening riff of "Cigarettes and Alcohol," right? Nope. It ain't about the riff baby.

It's all about the drum fill!

My moment is that stops my clock every time is that "clacky clack" drum fill that follows the opening riff of one epic road song that Hunter S. Thompson himself would approve of.

I challenge you to listen to it in your car and not attempt to air drum that fill! Go on try it! I dare you. It's physically impossible. Scientists should be doing a study on it.

(You have to air drum that fill, it follows that same musical law that states by just mentioning the song "Tainted Love," it automatically get stuck in your head for the day.)

Report back to me if you used "air sticks" or just pounded your hands right on the damn steering wheel! Also, let me know if you sang out at the top of your lungs the opening line "Is it my imagination, or have I finally found something worth living for?" complete with British accent or not. If you didn't do any sort of these acts, you are inhuman and have no soul.

I'm just sayin.

Cigarettes & Alcohol - Oasis


۞ Christopher said...
Heather....this is an easy one..from their live, double-disc album, "Familiar to Millions"......there is a few seconds towards the end of "Don't Look Back in Anger" when you can actually feel the crowd ready to chant...

SOOOOOOOOO SAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNN WAAAIIIIITTTTTT

...it feels like you're at a european soccer game and the entire arena believes in one team...except at this moment, Wembley Hall believes in Oasis...and maybe more so Rock and Roll.

Don't Look Back In Anger (live at Wembley) - Oasis


۞ Krista wrote a lovely and personally meaningful entry about how "Don't Go Away" was especially important to her during a rough patch with her dad, and I wanted to share with her (and you all too) my favorite version of that song, a live acoustic version that roughly sounds reminiscent of the concert she wrote about:

Don't Go Away (live acoustic) - Oasis


۞ Then Ian pointed out a nice little b-side, and provided the tune:

Ian said...
Hands down, the whistle-solo at 3:12 on "Flashbax" -- okay ... it's actually 41 seconds long, but hey, c'mon...

It's not just the whistling though, it's the way every single instrument interplays with each other during that spot of the song. It is absolutely positively amazing... and it's a side of Oasis we don't really get to see often.

If you haven't heard the song (and just about every Oasis fan I've ever met never even knew it existed), you'll either need to get your hands on the All Around the World single, or .... [here he links to the mp3]. In my opinion, it's the best Oasis B-Side ever recorded... and it has a WHISTLING SOLO!!!

Flashbax (b-side) - Oasis


۞ Finally, Eric said...
Not "a" moment per se, but I love the way Liam, in "Cigarettes & Alcohol," seems to pronounce the word "alcohol" as "alkeehawl".

Yeah Eric, that's exactly why I love hearing the line, "Maybayyyy, I don't really wanna knaaaow how your gaaaaaaahden grows . . ." Never fails to make me smile.

What a great contest -- my favorite so far. Goshdarn it if you guys didn't almost make an Oasis convert out of me.

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6 Comments:

At December 18, 2006 3:10 PM, Anonymous dom said...

I'd just like to say congratulations to Brian, and thanks to Heather for this wonderful thread. I'll be keeping an eye on your blog from now on.

 
At December 18, 2006 4:03 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

dooood...i was listening to definitly maybe te other day thinking about what a powerhouse their first two lps were.

and then i thought, "wha' happened?"

 
At December 18, 2006 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel so sorry for you Heather that when they hit the scene you didn't hear them for what they were. Taste is taste and as the saying goes, there is no accounting for it...it just, but I had the exact opposite reaction and they became the soundtrack to my 20's in all the best ways. I still can't hear their music and not be that 21 year old kid falling in love for the first time and listening to Champagne Supernova over and over and over again. Or hear Don't Look Back in Anger and not think of sitting on a balacony overlooking the sea on Sicily wishing like hell that she was sitting next to me, but just not being able to hate her because I loved her so much and knowing that 10 years on, the good would outweigh the bad.

But hell, that's the beauty of music. There is always more to discover and what you aren't ready for today will be waiting for you tomorrow. The real stuff...the stuff that sticks in the long run, usually lasts and stands the test of time. The first two albums will be on 100 best lists for at least the next 50-100 years.

Your blog rules and I can't believe I missed your original post asking for views on the bros. G. Cheers!

 
At December 18, 2006 6:26 PM, Anonymous Krista said...

Thanks for the live version of Don't Go Away. If I'm crying into my Christmas cookies tonight, it's all your fault.

 
At December 19, 2006 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for covering Oasis. I can't get enough of them recently. I can't believe it took me so many years to really get into them. Noel is an incredible song writer.

 
At June 23, 2007 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool reading some of these,
got me thinking of how liam can make you laugh...cigs & alcohol on familiar to the millions.."all i need is cigarrettes and...footbawl"
or on the crashlanding in L.A bootleg on live forever..."mayby..don't really wanna know..how ya pick ya nose/cus i jus wanna fly"

 

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