Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThose of us who have been coupled up for any length of time more than likely have an album or albums, even, that remind them of their dating days. Mrs. B and I have several such albums, but at left is one of ours, the self-titled 1977 debut album by one Dean Friedman.

If you've heard of him it all, it's most likely for his hit from that album, "Ariel", a goofy, but charming popsong ditty about a date with a free-spirited Jewish girl who looked "mighty fine" and eventually made love like "bombs bursting in ai-ai-aiiiirr-e-ell". It hit the top 30, and I liked it so much it led me to check out the album, which is mostly singer-songwriterly relationship-type songs, piano, strings, a little sax, very late 70s sounding but redeemed a lot by Friedman's charming sense of humor. Another standout track was the forlorn "Solitaire", which is another piano-and-massed-strings song, but with a great melody. Mrs. B and I started dating not long after I got the album, and not long after that I picked up its follow-up, 1978's equally witty and melodic Well Well, Said the Rocking Chair, which in a lot of ways is even better than its predecessor; much more varied in its sound and subject matter, as is borne out by the likes of "S&M" ("My credo and my ism is sado-masochism") and the title cut, a gleefully surreal kind of pick-me-up song, which even rocks in a light fashion, sung by the singer to himself. Both albums are available as a twofer, if you're inclined to check 'em out. He was backed by a number of NYC studio musos of the period, including a pre-King Crimson Tony Levin on bass.

He did one more major-label album after that, 1981's Rumpled Romeo, which I never got around to checking out. Since then, he's kept his hand in playing club dates, doing soundtracks for the odd TV show and underground film, and working on video technology. Of course, I got all this off his website, which I discovered after receiving an email (how I got on the mailing list I'll never know) from "Dean Friedman", and thinking it was spam, prepared to delete it, but curiosity got the best of me and I opened it. It was a link to a new Flash animation, a political satire written by Friedman called "Four More Years", and it's pretty clever. He's no Dan Bern, but hey. From there, I visited his site, and decided to pass it on to you, my deserving readers.

Besides, I haven't done a music post in a dog's age, so here it be! Felt good. I'll try to do more sometime.

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