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from a broken land called detroit city (365-85)

Day 86 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Von Bondies, Broken Man

We picked up Pawn Shoppe Heart by the Von Bondies at Amoeba Music in San Francisco on the recommendation of Todd’s friend Nelson. I’d heard of them, but wasn’t sure if I heard anything by them, and we needed something to make tooling around in our rented Ford Escort seem…cooler. While their is definitely more choice in rock radio in California (and I did hear the Circle Jerks on the radio while there, that was a shock), after a while it all blended into the same New York sound of radio puking up the same sound it was chewing on in 1976. Stairway to Heaven? I don’t think so.

We ended up listening to nothing but this CD for the rest of our time in the car, and I’ve been listening to it since I got home. It’s one of those rare CDs I can listen to from start to finish and not get the urge to skip any songs. Not even C’mon, C’mon, which, when it played for the first time, I realized I had heard about 7,000 times (it was only later I found out it’s the theme song to Rescue Me, which I’ve never watched).

If I had to describe this album to someone who never heard it before, I would say – imagine if Danzig and Sleater Kinney morphed into one band. Well, that was my first reaction. At times, like on the bluesy, crooning Maireed, wthey remind me of the Doors, if Jim Morrison had soul, and there are times, most noticeably on Tell Me What You See, when I hear MC5. It’s a bit garage punk, a bit punk, a lot of blues and pure rock and roll. I love that they switch between male and female singing; it makes the album feel continuously fresh, no matter how many times you play it.

When I say that every moment in my life has a song that goes with it, I’m not exaggerating. Music has always been an integral part of my world and for every memory I have, there’s a song, and for every song I hear, there’s a memory. Pawn Shoppe Heart will forever remind me of driving around the streets of Sacramento, windows down, sun shining. It’s a good enough reason in and of itself to enjoy the album; that’s it’s filled with kick ass songs gives me reason to love it, and put it in my “desert island albums” list.

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