Monday, March 28, 2011

Misplaced Songs 3/28/11 - "Scratching Circles"

This Misplaced Song is so misplaced it's from the wrong decade.

JD McPherson is from Oklahoma. The music of his early bands focused on groups with punk roots like the Stooges, Ramones and Nirvana. Then he really got into the Rockabilly of artists like Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

He moved to Chicago and released an album that sounds like Jerry Lee Lewis or Little Richard in their prime. Signs and Signifiers takes you back to earlier time. When I first heard today's song, "Scratching Circles", it seemed to be right at home on a scratchy 45. I was fortunate to catch it at the end of Richard Milne's "Local Anesthetic" on 'XRT. I try to make it a rule not to dance while driving but I nearly broke it.* Fortunately the song clocks in at a brisk 2 minutes and 10 seconds so it didn't test my willpower too much.

*Wouldn't want to take heat from Mothers Against Dancing Drivers. Isn't that what MADD stands for?

A lot of the information in this post comes from an interview with McPherson in the No Depression blog. In there it mentions that for this, his debut release, they recorded it live using classic techniques. That couldn't be more obvious.

There's likely no place for a song like this on today's radio which makes sense, in a way. If someone turned on their local version of "The Mix" and heard this song they'd immediately hit the button thinking they put on the wrong station. But it's a shame to think that songs like "Great Balls Of Fire" or "Long Tall Sally" wouldn't be hits if they were released today or would sound completely different due to production techniques. 

And you never know. This is McPherson's first release. Let's give him time to turn the popular music industry sideways.  Or at least time to make more music (and videos for them). And yes, believe it or not, this song was recorded in 2010.

Here's a bonus video, a professionally made one at that, for the song "North Side Gal."

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