monday song #23: first communion


number 23. a mystical number for fans of psychic tv and throbbing gristle. and the chicago bulls.

i realized after i posted last week’s song that that the memory parade of our protagonist had begun in the late 30s with a 30s style song. figured the next milestone should happen in the early 50s, and so i went with a ‘kansas city’ style boogie-woogie early 50s song. a high school memory of his first foray into the world of comingling.

the semi-mocking tone has the scent of elvis costello in a snotty mood. the harmonic structure is somewhat lowbrow, but the modern vintage is given away by the “sophisticated” bridge, with the conversion language that gave me the title.

i was glad for the opportunity for an old style barrelhouse solo. while i was working on the structure it struck me that the insistent rhythm and syncopation is about as close as you can get in music to the sexual act: exciting, off balance, visceral. it’s fun with a price. no wonder the repressed kids went crazy for the boogie-woogie shuffles of that era.

as i built this section, i kept thinking i wanted to end with a nod to ‘tommy’: ‘it’s a boy, mrs walker it’s a boy.’ the foundation of a happy life and the foundation of tragedy. great tastes that taste great together.

next week we’ll enter the next decade, the summer of love, seen through the eyes of a man who missed it altogether.