No, We Will Not Spare You The Rod
:: One of those ZIP thingies ::
I would never buy a Rod McKuen record. Never wanted to. Except for the fact this was still sealed and only 3 bucks, I wouldn't have. And it was only after having a long argument with myself that I took it to the cashier, giving it a home after nearly 40 years in vinyl purgatory.
When I first put it on, I wondered how much I could take. The first track was a bit of a hoot, but when the 2nd track began with the same monotonous intonation over cocktail hour string-laden lobotomy music, well, I wondered how much I could take. But the more I listened, the more I felt myself seeping into Rod McKuen's world, and the more I wished I could stay.
But how much of this could I inflict on the Robot world? Y'all had to hear of Rod's sexual exploits on "Church Windows (San Francisco)". But without "Morning (San Francisco)" as a lead-in, you wouldn't get the whole picture. The songs that close out each side of the record ("To Watch The Trains" & "Lonesome Cities") feature Rod's attempts at vocal melodies, and are must haves, especially in contrast to the spoken word selections. But without all the other tracks, their impact is lessened.
Many of you will elect to skip this one, and who can blame you? But, if you're ever alone late at night, dicking around the house and enjoying some mellow libations, it might work for you. Personally, I wish I could have taken a house in Manhattan Beach circa 196?, and had felt such ambivalence toward virtually everything for one summer, only to move on to Paris or Gstaad with some unbelievably hot and detached babe, ultimately wishing I were but a small toe-headed boy waving at trains passing my insignificant mid-western hamlet. Fuck yeah.