Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A soul checks out

On Sunday, Father's Day, my son put together an awesome mix tape. Rather than go out and purchase some mass-produced detritus, he put his own personal touch into giving me something that I'm enjoying way-too-much.

I'm amazed that he's paid attention to my music and my moods and like me, who has always put too much thought into tapes I've made for others, created a mix that captures a good portion of the past ten years of musical highlights for me.

One of the bands Mark put on the tape was Soul Asylum. I used to be a huge fan, when they were the darlings of the college radio circuit, before they hit it big with their platinum-selling Gravedancers Union record.

I always appreciated the solid songwriting of Dave Pirner and had recently read an interview he did pertaining to his recent solo release, Faces and Names.

Today, I heard on our local alt-rock station, that bassist Karl Mueller had passed away, after a battle with throat cancer.

I saw Soul Asylum play back in 1985, at a club in Chicago called Caberet Metro. It was on upper Clark Street, not far from Wrigley Field. A typical hangout of the college, indie rock crowd of the time, local faves Precious Wax Drippings opened up. Both my musician friend Leo and I had a great evening hearing Soul Asylum rip through a loud and fast set, with Pirner handing over his guitar mid-song to someone in the front row and the fan didn't miss too many notes. This was a fun time, two decades back. A night when the music was good, the hair was less gray and the St. Pauli Girls (weird link) flowed freely.

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