top of page

Entry date: 2-7-2024 – We didn’t Lie, but Verizon sure did – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

Don’t believe the hype if Verizon comes to you and says they can provide fast home internet. They can’t. They also won’t do anything to help you. When our current contract with them is up, I will not be going back.

 

We’ve been dealing with Cox for a long time and paying top dollar because Rhondi needs good internet speeds for work. Verizon came along and said they could easily beat Cox. They lied. Their 5G is way worse than Cox.

 

I’m so tired of getting the shaft from companies like them.

 

We use Verizon, though, because the service in Maine is pretty decent. I have looked into other companies and nothing quite matches up. I guess I need to search again.

 

End Verizon rant. Except this: Fuck you, Verizon.

 

***** 

 

I was happy to have a nice long talk with brother Steve yesterday. The circumstances weren’t the best at the start, and my heart goes out to him in so many ways, but it’s always so good to connect with him. He knows me and that is a great thing because I can just be myself with him.

 

I realize a lot, and I need to put it out there, how fortunate I am to have a number of people I can be me with and share what I need to share. People need people and I am really lucky that I have a lot of people in my corner. I’m glad I can be there and be in other people’s corners, too.

 

*****

 

I’m working on some stuff for The Bet. I have an idea I want to run with, but I need to think it through a bit more. I know I try to just crank it out and share the first draft with you here, but I really want to make The Bet into something a little bigger.

 

*****

 

It occurred to me last night when I was writing about a record that everything is so positive and how maybe that seems weird to people. I don’t know. These are all records I love or have shaped my life or both. Don’t expect me to slag on anyone unless it is a certain song, maybe.

 

These are really love letters, in a way, and stories from my life.

 

*****

When the guitar kicks in to start “Between The Eyes,” the title track of Love Battery’s 1991 record, I get a little weak in the knees. It’s been that way since 1991 when I got the CD at Zia on a whim. I didn’t know anything about Love Battery, but it was a SubPop record and I was loving everything there was to love on that label back then.

 

As a song, “Between The Eyes” is just sublime. It’s big and fuzzy and Ron Nine’s vocals are kind of Neil Young-ishly detached from everything in a way that makes you think he’s probably in on something you’re just not cool enough to know about yet or maybe ever. Love Battery skirted a line between grunge and psychedelia and the good pop-garage rock that echoed some of what Pearl Jam, The Fluid, and Superchunk was doing. Super Seattle-y, of course, but they had cool kind vibe that, for me, set them apart.

 

Plus, everyone was going gaga about Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden at the time. Nobody in Phoenix was talking much about Love Battery. I was digging this CD, though, and telling people they were missing out. Some people did catch on by the time Dayglo came out in 1993, but for me, Between The Eyes was the one to latch onto and rock out.

 

As the album progresses after “Between The Eyes,” it doesn’t quite reach the same heights that the opening/title track hits, but it’s still damn good. “Easter” has a great opening riff, as many of their songs do, and kind of seems like it should have been on the soundtrack for Singles like many of their contemporaries were. Taken by itself, it’s a really solid grunge/melancholy pop song.

 

“Highway of Souls” has that same sort of sense of melancholy as it starts, but then soars as the chorus kicks in. I also have to mention here that Chris Finn’s drumming is really sweet on this record. You might remember him from a band called Presidents of the United States of America who had a little success later on, but he pretty much rules here, too. Solid and right in the pocket when he needs to be, but he also pushes a song like “Highway of Souls” to higher heights.

 

As I listen to these songs now, I can’t help but wonder who was influencing who in Seattle in those days. I hear all their contemporaries in this record. “Orange” sounds a bit like a softer, poppier Mudhoney, for example. It’s sloppy, too, like Mudhoney could often be in the best possible way.

 

The way Love Battery used fuzz and tremolo was pretty choice. It’s all through Between The Eyes and Nine and his fellow guitar player, Kevin Whitworth had a really cool vibe between them. I haven’t mentioned Tommy Simpson who played bass on most of the record, but to be honest, there really isn’t anything remarkable about the bass on this record. It’s not bad, by any means, but it’s just sort of there.

 

“Before I crawl” is a pretty fun song and Love Battery’s cover of “Ibiza Bar” by Pink Floyd is nice, too. If Simpson’s bass stands out, it’s definitely on the cover song. Jim Tillman plays bass on the last three songs, which were recorded after the bulk of the tracks. Initially, Between The Eyes came out on a different label, but SubPop picked the band up after the Nirvana money came rolling in.

 

It’s on “67” where you finally notice the bass lines. Tillman drives the song, which is another one that has a big Mudhoney vibe. There is plenty of room for bands to sound a bit (or even a lot) like early Mudhoney, though. I have zero qualms with what Love Battery did on “67.” It’s a rocker.

 

It’s kind of a shame, as I look at these last few tracks on the record on Spotify. They have less than 30,000 plays. People are missing out. “Wings” is a solid, grunge song with some really nice guitar work, and “Shellshock” is also one that I am happy to listen to any time. These songs all kind of ooze 1989-1991. They really take me back.

 

I hope people rediscover this record.

 

*****

 

See you tomorrow.



See the clouds above

look in, peek out, see the truth

rest when you believe

18 views0 comments

Comments


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page