Saturday, February 11, 2012

Video Saturday: Propinquity

It was twenty years ago this month (and damned if I can remember the exact date) that Bestest Friend and I saw Michael Nesmith perform in Boston. It was absolutely freaking magical.

Complete aside: If you haven't seen the episode of "The Monkees"
where Nesmith interviews Frank Zappa, you have zero credibility
with me. (Go YouTube it. I'm busy.)
 This is how the mind works: I don't remember the date of the show, or the venue (it was a very small club with a funky vibe, which probably narrows it down to about 300 places in Boston), but I remember that I wore an oversized tweed jacket with shoulder pads, a short blue skirt, tights, and a very Hilary-esque headband. It was 1992, but fashion was still stuck in the 80s.

OMG, slap a headband on the model on the right,
and basically I was wearing the outfit from this
1992 sewing pattern. Wow.
Anyway, the Nez had released two greatest hits CDs - The Newer Stuff and The Older Stuff. And in the bizarre quantum mathematics of time, the stuff on The Newer Stuff is now older than the stuff on The Older Stuff was then. Please tell me that makes sense - all I've had for breakfast is coffee and frosting (don't ask). But he was touring in support of The Older Stuff, which he actually released after The Newer Stuff. That's it, I'm ending this paragraph now.

Part of the reason my memory of the show is so spotty is that I was sick as a dog that weekend. But I had spent some ungodly amount of money on a plane ticket at a time when I was actually unemployed, and I was in the coolest city on the planet (almost) with my Bestest Friend, and I wasn't going to let the fact that it was February in Boston and I had the flu stop me from enjoying myself. I do recall fighting to get a seat at the bar because I could barely stand and then absolutely bitching out some chick who waltzed in at the last moment and stationed herself directly in my line of sight. I don't like confrontation, but I was running a fever and she was blocking my view of Michael Nesmith. Bitch.

Do not mess with me. Srsly.
 One of my all-time favorite songs - not just by Michael Nesmith but by anybody - is "Propinquity (I've Just Begun to Care)." The Nez is a vastly talented and intelligent man, but he's also a bit of a pedant. He once bragged in an interview that he had used the word "impel" in a pop song. A wee bit pretentious in the lyrics department, is what I'm saying. Which is fine, because it's resulted in some amazing songwriting over the years. I mean, "Propinquity"? C'mon, Mike. If you mean "close proximity or kinship," then just say it. Especially since you don't actually use the title word anywhere in the song.

A lyrical affectation we refer to as "Led Zeppelin Syndrome."
However, it's a gorgeous, gorgeous song. I found this absolutely lovely live version of it to share with you today, but by all means seek out the original version he recorded with the First National Band on Nevada Fighter (1971). Beautiful song, great melody, perfect lyrics, and that beautiful, distinctive voice.

Pompous-ass title. But I can work with that. Enjoy.

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