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the bullhorn crackles,
And the captain crackles,
With the problems and the how?s and why?s.

THe first 4 Boomtown Rats records are all really pretty good. I especially like "A Tonic For The Troops" and the one with I Don't Like Mondays ("Fine Art of Surfacing").

In the midwest of late a couple of bands have been dishing out lip service to songwriters who write narrative lyrics and the only example they ever trot out (besides Springsteen) is Billy Joel. And maybe Thin Lizzy (good call, there). But Boomtown Rats also wrote well in that style and their ability to tell a story didn't hinge on the usage of third person narrative or a frequent use of specific locale names.

The Rats also had a little Nazi thing going on in one of their songs... (I never loved) Eva Braun

"Eva Braun wasn't history... she was just a triumph of my will, oh yeah"

3/10/2005-SD Reader

Brenda Spencer was 16 in January 1979 when she inspired the Boomtown Rats song "I Don't Like Mondays" by opening fire with her father's 0.22 caliber rifle on Grover Elementary School in San Carlos. She appeared before the California Parole Board two days ago to request her release.

Her newest request for parole states she's a "model prisoner who has completed an Alcoholics Anonymous course and had no incidents of drug use. She is the electronics expert at the California Institute for Women and specializes in fixing video players. Spencer believes she is ready to re-enter society."

San Diego Deputy District Attorney Richard Sachs says Spencer is still psychotic, citing an incident four years ago. "When her girlfriend...[was released from jail], she burned the words 'courage' and 'pride' in her own arm like a tattoo. She's still subject to depression.... The District Attorney's office will oppose Spencer's parole application." -- Jay Allen Sanford


the bullhorn crackles,
And the captain TACKLES,
With the problems and the how?s and why?s.


i have to admit to only knowing this one song by the boomtown rats. and i always liked it...i sorta knew it was a "jeremy" type song but not specifically...kk has a lot of nazi imagery in her works too...especially the early stuff i'm not sure what to make of it exactly but the eery thing is that the violence with which she turned "adolescence" in her early work w/the nazi swatiskas....can you say trenchcoat mafia? and here are all these artists of all sort tapping into that "my teenage angst has a body count" undercurrent and yet the world acts surprised when this crap ACTUALLY happens? it is like plain to see that it's there people identify with it...hell punk made it safe to go to school...vent yr aggressions throwing wads of spit at banarama or boo what was left of sex pistols in sf...or i dunno say fuck you a thousand times at an eminem show...

and as far as her still being psychotic from my experience they can make any kind of crap up about someone in a "mentally compromised state" and justify it and so i don't believe a word of it...tho someone who fixes video games is scary. see my opinoion on them is that rather offering a release they pull people into a non-real world where adrenaline and anger become bunkmates of a more "special" kind and instead of relasing the anger people live it ou just w/o consequences but then again i'm sounding really old school pac-man there so maybe i should shut up and post my unitartian action alerts...s


billy joel? really? there's a weird long island thing where billy joel is beyond reproach so i grew up with billy joel without realizing there were better things out there. and billy joel isn't really bad exactly - it's just that if you have a band there are so many others to look to for narrative and from the same era - tom waits, patti smith, elvis costello, laura nyro, clarence carter, jim croce, neil young, janis ian, rickie lee jones. maybe i'm just putting too much stock on billy joel being a seventies artist - which he would be to me. during that era, narrative songwriting dominated, really, didn't it?

the other great storyteller from long island would be harry chapin who i thought was amazing until i turned about 18 or so and realized how hard he seemed to force and work every song - i really liked the idea of the minstral he seemed to represent, but... and i hate to speak ill of the dead, especially when they formed world hunger year... he wasn't that great of a writer. the songs run too long not because of a need to (dire straits in the early days could get away with having a story song run for 10 minutes - so could billy joel actually... scenes from an italian restaurant is not a bad song) but because he didn't seem to know how to edit himself or rely on emotional tugging or big flourishes. his best songs weren't stories ironically - everybody's lonely is a nice little song - but people just kept expecting taxi over and over again.

how did i end up rambling about harry chapin? anyway, my early tween/teen years were all billy and harry. but i always think of them as the teething stage... i dunno how you use the teething stage as your model. then again, maybe that's the best place to work from. who are these bands anyway?

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