Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lyrics of the Day

The Drive-By Truckers concert Monday night at the Park West was so awesome, I can't even write about it without gushing like a lovestruck schoolgirl. Let's just say they would have blown the doors off a certain band from New Jersey that was playing across town that night (and DBT played acoustic (mostly)).

Instead of carrying on about the show, I will feature some favorite lyrics over the next few days from songs they performed. Anybody who wants to hear the concert can get it free at the Live Music Archive (the band is "taper friendly"). You can even play the streaming version at the top of the page if you don't want to download any files.

The second song in the encore was "Angels and Fuselage." As a special treat, Kelly Hogan, who sang on the studio recording, joined the band onstage for this and one other song*. In addition to being probably the only rock song ever to use fuselage in the title, this song is the climax of DBT's breakthrough double-CD Southern Rock Opera. The album follows a band named Betamax Guillotine** whose career parallels that of Lynyrd Skynyrd. In case you don't know your rock history, three members of Skynyrd were killed when their plane ran out of fuel on the way to Baton Rouge, LA on October 20, 1977. Now the members of Betamax Guillotine are about to meet the same fate...

The engines have stopped now.
We all know we are going down. Last call for alcohol.
Sure wish I could have another round.

And I'm scared shitless of what's coming next.
Scared shitless, these angels I see in the trees are waiting for me.
Waiting for me.
The imagery puts tears in my eyes almost every time I hear it. Angels waiting in the trees below. Powerful stuff.

* Legendary keyboardist Spooner Oldham has been touring with the Truckers this year, and earlier in the show Hogan came on and sang "I'm Your Puppet," which Oldham cowrote with Dan Penn some 40 years ago.

** The name is from a story that Lynyrd Skynyrd bandleader Ronnie Van Zant was decapitated by a video recorder when the plane crashed. From Wikipedia:
[Skynyrd drummer Artimus] Pyle did confirm (from Pyle's interview on the The
Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio, February 12, 2007
) that Van
Zant's cause of death was trauma to the head caused by equipment, such as
Betamax tapes and Trinitrons, flying forward in the plane's cabin.

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