Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pete Molinari

October ’08 – The singer for October at my house was certainly Pete Molinari (though Sam Baker is still our bread and butter). One evening, I was walking past the almost-corpse of a dying CD shop; its twenty-percent-off-everything offer induced me to do what I had only done once or twice while it was still alive, namely, go in. I hoped there would be a few shreds worth picking off the bones. There were several copies (someone’s fatal over-ordering) of Pete Molinari’s ‘A Virtual Landslide’. His name rang a bell, and his digi-pack was quite nice and featured photos of a very attractive guitar. I had twenty-two dollars in my wallet, so I bought it. Good move! I played it a lot, and, in my enthusiasm, I even unearthed a burn of an earlier album that had been given to me (then promptly forgotten) last year. His lyrics do the job; like power pop, you hear “glove” and know that “love” is coming up next, but you accept the limited parameters as part of the genre, and are perfectly satisfied with the two or three lines per song, generally in the chorus, that actually say something. I love the sound of his guitars, his drums – old-fashioned, raw, full of twang, toughness and sweetness. His voice is probably what I like best. It’s the quality of his voice, the widely-ranging melodies, but mainly his absolutely heartfelt performance. A few of us were sitting in the back garden listening to him, and I said, “Listen to that! He sounds like a woman!” He certainly did. Debbie added, “I suppose Odetta sometimes sounds like a woman.” I said, “Odetta nearly married Gary Shead” [the Sydney painter]. “Odetta IS a woman.” But Debbie is perfectly right, Odetta does sometimes sound like a woman.