Record Company Man

This week brings us Part Two of our Pearly Sweets and the Platonics retrospective. At this point, the band was relocated to Chicago, and the lineup now featured Lance “Chance” Fabuloso (né Carl Lowendorf) on guitar, Stave Davidson (né Ben Schultz) on bass, and the ever-steady Brian Bosworth (né Brian Bosworth) on drums. “Record Company Man” is one of the stronger tracks from our 2002 EP, ostentatiously titled The Hottest White Dance Band in America (a title lifted from Ken Burns’s Jazz documentary… I believe it was a tribute originally given to Benny Goodman’s band).

Listening to such things with a few years’ remove is, as always, enlightening. I do remember, in writing this tune, being reasonably cognizant of how much I was ripping off the old Springsteen classic “Kitty’s Back.” The whole E Street Band sound is very much present here, especially in the background vocals. It’s a song with a pretty strong form, but as usual, I have some quibbles with the rather over-cooked arrangement. Basically, there are too many ideas going on here. Going into the bridge, the tempo suddenly surges forward, only to be pulled right back eight bars later. Probably didn’t need to happen. Similarly, there’s a great background-vocal part that kicks in at the 4:08 mark (“The big talk never ever seemed to last…”). I now wish I had just let that be, rather than trying to layer an even more passionate lead-vocal line on top of it. But hey, if I really let things like that bother me, then I’d never release records at all. And then the world would have less digital content as a result. And where would that leave us?

My singing is done in an extremely “rock” style, with throw-ins like “brothah” and “baby” that I’ve since pulled back from a bit. Highlights include the characteristically awesome drumming of Brian Bosworth, and the group hand-claps, which sound quite powerful. Could that have been the work of engineer Peter Andreadis, whom I met during this session and who would go on to become Baby Teeth’s drummer? Most definitely!

3 Responses to “Record Company Man”
  1. Emilie says:

    This digital content was the perfect start to my Monday morning. Peanut butter and toast and a fine, FINE jam. Thank you.

  2. The Bubble King says:

    Where was this recorded that you perchanced upon a then unfamiliar Peter?

    And why are there like 30 silent seconds at the end?

    I think what you’re calling “too many ideas going on” might be the sort of sweetnesses that separate fun, ordinary songs from great pearls of music championshipping. While they may not always be appropriate, and may need to be cultivated in certain ways, those ideas are vital to a large body of work, if not to every song (and I am saying they aren’t vital to every song). So don’t look back on them with too much criticism.

  3. Abraham says:

    Emilie: Excellent verbal punnery, my friend. So glad you enjoyed this number.

    BB King: At no other than the legendary Shape Shoppe studios. The 30 silent seconds are because the EP had lots of silence before the super-secret hidden track, “Princess of Xmas.” Your advice on not looking back with too much criticism is good advice, my friend. Good advice across the board!

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