If Conrad Deletes This

Hey Man.

I’m a little sore that my comment to your Germs post didn’t make it through moderation. Sure it was rambling and not entirely relevant, but I thought the link to Dan Graham’s documentary Rock My Religion was mostly on target since it examines, among other things, the same era (although it does so through a New York camera lens).

In any case, the link is entirely relevant here since Sonic Youth contributed to the film’s soundtrack.

Speaking of Sonic Youth, I saw that a Ciccone Youth track was included on Brand Neu!, a compiliation of tributes and covers to the early 1970s German noise rock band Neu!
Funny story about me and Neu!

Last summer I helped my friend John Scane build 14 plywood recessed spotlight housings. The housings were simple five sided boxes with holes cut in one side for the illumination to escape and attachment points for the light fixtures and the rods from which they would be suspended from the ceiling. The boxes were to be installed at Pharmaka, the Downtown LA arts co-op Scane co-founded.

Here’s the tricky part. Pharmaka had been chosen for one of those Cable TV renovation shows, something green on Planet Green, and the boxes needed to be finished and prepped for paint before the next day’s shoot.

It was a long, long day in the shop. We loaded up the van at 1:00am or so, made the run from Scane’s shop in Long Beach to the gallery in LA, made the delivery and turned for home. We were punchy as hell, halfway into our Red Bull boosters, enjoying the muscle ache and fatigue that comes only after you’ve pushed yourself further than you thought you could go and done more than you set out to do, when, from near the chatter of old tires on cracked freeway and inside the shush of wind on steel and glass, there came a steady driving drum beat, simple and insistent, and a steady driving guitar note, chikk-chikk, chikk-chikk, chikk-chikk, on and on, then another guitar came in from somewhere over the top, soaring near and far, as simple and insistent as the rhythm underneath.

I turned up the volume. The music went on and on and so did we, rolling down the night-vacant freeway under the soaring 105 Freeway overpass and on to the lights of the harbor.

We flew like that for ten minutes or so, the song lifting us off the road and out of our bodies and then the song faded back under the wheel sound and wind noise and another began and it wasn’t the same and I said, “Goddamnit, man. Why don’t the DJs ever tell you the name of the song when you need to know?”

The next morning I visited KCRW‘s website and browsed the playlist and eventually figured out we had heard Neu!’s “Hallo Gallo“. From 1972 or so. How in the world had I missed it for so long?

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