Posts Tagged ‘AWB

11
May
19

Average White Band “Cut the Cake”

I like AWB’s 1976 record “Soul Searching” so much I wrote about it twice on this site, so it made perfect sense to me to pick up a copy of this previous record (from 1975), which was the one I no doubt remembered (not with any particular fondness) from high school. So, the first thing I see is a dedication on back, a little photo of Robbie McIntosh—so I was curious how he died at such an early era of this band. According to that internet (and citing Time magazine) he and bandmate Alan Gorrie ODd on heroin that they thought was cocaine at a post-show LA party in 1974. Somehow Gorrie was saved by Cher, who was there at the party, but this McIntosh died. That whole story is bizarre, and at one time I guess I would have thought it was interesting, in a kind of truth that’s stranger than fiction sense, or made some kind of bad joke (Average White Powder), but now, just thinking about this kid from Scotland dying in such a pointless way, just kind of made me sad, even a little depressed. So it was with that frame of mind I put this record on.

The first song, “Cut the Cake,” is maybe their most well-known song—it’s one of those I’ve heard countless times over the years, not really knowing it was AWB (the song is essentially a permanent, annoying monolith). I’ve heard that song accompanying (I’ve tried to redact the exact references from my memory) no doubt heinous products, promotions, sporting events, and other landscape destroying billboards to obscene wealth and soulless consumer greed-culture. I mean, it’s a hot tune—these guys might not be able to dial 911, but they can find a groove. It’s also the most pointless use of a lyric sheet I’ve ever seen. I’d like to interview the person at Atlantic records who had to type with word “gimme” (I’m not going to count) times. The cover, by the way, is not album covers’ finest moment—what’s supposed to look like a cake, from above, looks more like (I don’t know what it looks like)—I don’t want to just say the obvious, and say “shit”—but when you make that ass-rendition with the “W” in AWB, and put it prominently on something that resembles shit more than it resembles a chocolate cake, can one help where one’s mind goes? This whole record is listenable, but it’s not “Soul Searching” (maybe I should listen to that one again and see if it holds up for me?)—I mean, when it comes down to it, it’s the songs that make or doesn’t make something good, great, or ho-hum, and some songs become in-extractable ear-worms, and some dissipate like mist, and some take some time, sometimes many, many, many listenings, and it’s possible some of these are those, but they haven’t, at this point, happened for me. But hey, I’ve gone this far, so I’ll keep trying.

17
Oct
08

Average White Band “Soul Searching”

There are two reasons why I haven’t written about any records for months and months. One is my internet wasn’t working, but I was, in a terrible, terrible job where each day was the equivalent of listening to the Top 14 Radio (“the hottest songs of the 80’s, 90’s, and… Today!”) which I more or less did listen to while working. Also, my vintage 1970s receiver broke, and I moved. That’s more than two reasons. But really, the big, BIG reason I haven’t written anything here is because (after my receiver miraculously fixed itself) I became totally obsessed with the next record in my queue, the 1976 (same year as my receiver) masterpiece, the Average White Band’s “Soul Searching.”

I expected to either hate this record or find it funny, but instead, it became the soundtrack for my life, the album that defined for me the summer of 2008. This record never left my turntable, and therefore I didn’t get around to listening to anything else. So here I am, still stuck on the “A’s” and for that matter, still listening to “Soul Searching” as I write this. My solution finally has been to tape this record on a cassette tape recording device so I can listen to it later while I, meanwhile, hopefully, continue with this project. Because the pressure to write with passion about such a life defining work of art has pretty much rendered me paralyzed, I will put it off until later, and perhaps write something now and then, little by little, until I feel like I’ve exhausted this subject. In the meantime I’ll be able to get on with the “B’s.”




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