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Livin' on Sponge Cake

Plattertudes
posted: 02/28/2001

A look inside the mind of an après-ski crooner.

"Actually, it's 'nibblin'on sponge cake,' you pack a one-piece-wearin', snowplowin', Budget Rent A Car-drivin' drunks. Hell, I should know: Jimmy himself pointed it out to me back in '81. There I was, working through 'Margaritaville' on my six-string down in the Keys when old Jimmy B. sat down right next to me and said, 'Kid, you don't have to sing in key, but at least get the words right. You're not planning on making a living out of this, are you?' Now, not everyone gets the nuances of Jimmy's language. But I do, and that day I knew I was meant to be a singer-songwriter. Which is why I'm sitting here at the Last Run, trying to maintain my dignity while a bunch of Jäger-swiggin' bowling-leaguers try to harmonize. God, does that sound awful! But I guess we've all paid our dues -- Clapton, Dylan, Van, myself -- hell, even Buffett had to do some dives early on. But this is ridiculous. It's a good thing I'm getting a ski pass. That's how I wrote my latest song, anyway: 'Manmade Snow, Snow-made Man.' But do these fools appreciate it? 'Course not. The lyrics are too layered, too metaphorical. All these jokers want to hear is 'Freebird.' But I guess I'll play 'Brown Eyed Girl' one more freakin' time, 'cause that cute waitress asked for it and, 'course, me and Van go way back..."

Disc of the Month
BLUR, THE BEST OF
(Virgin)
The Beatles led the British Invasion of the 1960s; Blur led the British Four-Letter-Noun Invasion (Gene, Ride, et al.) of the 1990s. The latter may have had a less earthshaking impact on this side of the pond, but it did produce a slew of great postgrunge rock songs, many of which can be found on this roundup. Blur's best comprise a wit-driven hodgepodge of styles, from house to gospel; they include the lurching, confessional "Parklife"; the imminently hummable "Coffee and TV"; the pansexual dance anthem "Girls and Boys"; and the flat-out, thunderous rock of "Song 2."

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