04 February 2008
Wonder if you’ll understand it’s just the touch of your hand behind closed doors….
It’s hard to explain the excitement I felt a few weeks ago when I read on her blog that Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke, collectively known as Yaz, or Yazoo, had decided to reunite for a U.K. tour, entitled Reconnected, (as preceded by In Your Room a four disc box set of their work) that begins in Galsgow on 4 June 2008. I damn near grabbed passport and credit card to book a flight and follow them around like some Grateful Dead hippie only with an Electronica/New Wave bent. It’s something akin to lots of people with interesting haircuts, skinny ties, and lots of black clothing gulping down espresso and dancing like there’s a backboard up their asses. I know – it sounds crazy – afterall – they AREN’T The Dead – but they sure are a hell of a duo who wrote some amazing tunes and would be more than worthy of their cult following following them around.
I don’t actually remember when I started listening to Yaz. I know it wasn’t until either late High School or early College – long after their 1982 debut, Upstairs At Eric’s. I do remember listening to Alison Moyet’s solo work (Alf, and Raindancing in particular) which perhaps caused me to look backwards and investigate her time with Vince Clarke. Either way their effect on me was immediate and powerful as evidenced by the above quoted song, “Only You”. There is something so pained and honest about it – the distance we can feel from someone we love and yet have no power to change. We can’t change our feelings and we can’t change their desire to move away. It’s like a drug – you want more – you can’t get it and yet you can’t walk away. Instead we are left holding a bag of emotions that we have no idea what to do with; still, we keep putting more in the bag and as it gets heavier we stand still because we can no longer carry it. What to do then? The song leaves it open and all we know, quite simply, is that there is only one person – only you. There are no answers sometimes – only feelings.
I woke up the other morning with this song in my head. You could say it’s haunted me ever since. I have no idea why it’s in my brain right now – but I woke up and put The Best of Yaz on (I think my copies of their only two albums, Upstairs At Eric’s, and You and Me Both disappeared in a move) and listened anew with great pleasure and astonishment at how refreshing the songs are and, of course, how timeless. Some say the test of a really great song is how it sounds on an acoustic guitar and an acoustic guitar alone. In it’s more bare form without all the trickery of synthesizers and vocal overdubs a song shows it’s true essence and heart. But I believe that another sign is how a song sounds twenty five years later.
Holy crap! Did I just say that? Yeah – twenty five years later their work sounds as relevant and meaningful as you can ever be. Alison Moyet, with her deep, throaty, soulful, hearty like a great stew voice has one of the best sounds of ANYONE since the beginning of time. You can’t go wrong with either her solo work or with her time within Yaz. With all the bands who have come and gone in these twenty five years their union will be one of the most everlasting. They are like The Eurythmics, time will go on, trends will come and go – but their music will last a lifetime. Oh yeah – if you’re wondering how “Only You” stands up to the acoustic guitar test – believe me – I investigated it and sure as the day is long – the song stands up and holds it’s own. But don’t worry – I won’t be doing a cover of it anytime soon because this is one of those songs that unless you are Yaz , The Flying Pickets, or Joshua Radin you can do more damage than good. www.myspace.com/yazooofficial or www.myspace.com/alisonmoyetofficial or www.alisonmoyet.com
It was a slow week in my world this past one; nothing too great to announce or even discuss so I thought I would toss out some random thoughts and then perhaps turn you on to some cool blogs I’ve started reading of late.
Delightful moment of the week: Joshua Radin on XM Café singing “Only You”. Yep – he’s good!!! Loved his tune, “What If You” on the Catch and Release soundtrack and have been paying attention ever since.
Snoozefest moment of the week: Colby Caillat on David Letterman. No – it wasn’t because it aired at 12.30a – I have tivo - I was wide awake when I put it on. Quickly I was put to sleep wondering – what’s the big deal? BORING. Oh right – your dad’s a music producer – THAT explains it. DELETE!!!!!!
Odd moment of the week: Seeing my uncle on a blog. Or at least seeing a present he gave to a friend. Whether my uncle is on it or not – it’s a cool blog: www.plaidshirt.blogspot.com
Bummer moment: The Patriots loosing the Super Bowl.
Happy but not the happiest moment: The Giants winning the Super Bowl. What can I say? They’re both my teams – I was going to be happy either way.
Happiest moment (despite the outcome): Watching the Super Bowl with two of my favourite people, Abby and Rebecca. Great afternoon, R! Thanks a bunch!
Sad moment: Getting an email from my dear friend Jodi about my 2nd favourite dog, Tigger, letting her peeps know that Tigger has cancer and had to loose a leg. All is good right now and she is doing well but if you want to follow their journey: http://hopalongwithtigger.blogspot.com/
True New Yorker moment of the week: My uncle (a die hard Brooklynite) sending me a link to a smart, biting and funny blog about Hipsters in our beloved city: http://www.diehipster.com/
Alright kiddies – enough of my blather for this week – I hope you all check out Yaz – check out Alison Moyet - and have yourselves a great listen...all of this work is worth your time...and you just can't go wrong!
Thanks for tuning in…Until next week…don't forget to vote.....CHEERS!!!
"Only You" Videos:
The Flying Pickets