Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Daydreaming about ZZ Top

   My youngest child and I were out looking for some big black frames yesterday. We had big fun. Rose didn't know that she was caught in the web of my latest obsession and subject of nightly recurring dreams, ZZ Top.

   Right, Billy, Dusty and Frank have dominated dreamland for a couple months now. I YouTube the boys every night looking for everything ZZ, ..and, at this point I hide it from family and friends. I can't exorcise it. I hate to compare the boys to bad spirits, but lately, I've felt haunted and oddly trapped.

   The dream started out of nowhere. Goes like this, ...a friend and I are front row at a ZZ Top concert circa 1984, arena rocking. We hear two full songs that seem to rotate, they change from one night to the next. Sharp Dressed Man, La Grange, Just Got Paid, Legs, Jailhouse Rock and Tush. There must be more, these I remember. The kicker, and killer, the dream always suddenly ends after the first 10 or so seconds of Cheap Sunglasses. Never do we hear the song. It is painful, really painful. I wake in a panic, sweating, unsatisfied. Nothing helps, so here's a post. I hope you catch this, sorry... but better you than me.

   Three weeks back, I found every ZZ Top cover on YouTube,...some awesome, some pathetic attempts that I watched anyway. I was pathetic, or maybe just lost to a band that put roll back in the rock, saved millions of music fans at least a few times and had to have lip synced through every concert. Can that three piece play a perfect song with every live attempt?

   The bright spot, there's a band, actually a few bands I discovered during my search for ZZ Top covers. Deer Tick, Dawes, Delta Spirit, Middle Brother. Bands are driven by guys like John McCauley, a talent missing in 2000s Indiana rock. It may be the most brutally honest song writing I've heard in years. Just listen to Middle Brother, super hero indie band featuring McCauley of Deer Tick, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit.

   Ken Tucker, from NPR, called Middle Bro the best band of 2011. Great bands, especially great songwriters are almost always underestimated, however. I believe,... I'm sure I am right, this trio isn't getting the credit they deserve. Like ZZ Top, these boys are saving rock music. It's what super hero groups do. Now, save us from music festivals and all will be good in the world. I dreamed of Deer Tick last night. John McCauley belted out Cheap Sunglasses, start to finish, and I woke up, walked to my computer, and listened to Elvis.

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