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Zellertry

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Tis the cusp of the weekend, and a young man’s fancy turns to thought of ale and music halls, or so I assume. Mine do, at least, and surely I am just as representative of the species as I was during the halcyon days of the mid 80s.

Certainly the television industry considers me to be–the whole 18 to 49 male demographic being more or less an undifferentiated mass of testosterone when it comes to advertising, so it seems. For that, I thank them. Membership in this most valued of consumer groups assures me that, for the next eleven years at least, I can seriously consider taking up snowboarding and Doing the Dew–something I assume is a euphemism for early morning sex on the front lawn.

Sounds dampish. Should the occasion arise, I shall strive for the apical position. It’s drier, and, as Founding Father Benjamin Franklin pointed out–cleaner.

Early to bed and early to rise.
Making love in the grass,
Leaves stains on the thighs.

Sadly, ale I cannot share with you. Too bad, there’s an out of season saison in the beer fridge that I need to get rid of, as well as a couple of rauchbiers, a type of beer I’ve come to regard as a practical joke in a bottle–good for startling an uneducated palate. Think of an alcoholic Slim Jim mixed with a jigger of Liquid Smoke, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what it tastes like. There’s also a year-old six-pack of Romulan Ale, which I would not drink if my life depended on it–but you would be welcome to it.

Music, on the other hand, is easy to share–a thought that troubles the dreams of record executives everywhere. How are they to afford the upkeep on a second mistress when the proles insist on access to melody without the added value brought to the product by a record label? Those album covers don’t come cheap, you know.

In a decision that surely adds a toss and a turn or two to the troubled rest of the record exec, I swore off buying new material from the record companies ages ago. When I don’t buy directly from the artists, I use EBay as my record store, specifically purchasing only the cds that I can buy with change I pull out of the couch.

It’s worked out great. Yes, I’ve bought some god-awful crap from the one cent cd vendors at EBay, but when the total paid for a cd including shipping is less than two bucks, who cares? And inevitably, amid the dross I receive on a regular basis, there is the musical equivalent of a gold nugget.

Here?s where we get to the sharing part. Take this song by Martin Zellar for instance, Problem Solved (realplayer required), from his cd Born Under.

She is the one who?s always sorry She is the one who’s always wrong
She always felt that she was weak And he caught on
She will bend until she breaks The shit he gives she always takes
She’s not stupid, she’s just scared To be alone
She feels her world grow smaller every day The few dreams that she had have drifted away
She learned long ago the way love works When a coward is involved
Just sail the white flag and there The problem’s solved
Her high school friends have long stopped calling They know exactly what she’ll say
Some other time, some other night Some other day
She feels her world grew smaller every day The few dreams that she had have drifted away
She learned long ago the way love works When a coward is involved
Just sail that white flag and there The problem’s solved
She feels here world grew smaller every day The few dreams that she had have drifted away
She learned long ago the way love works When a coward is involved
Just sail the white flag and there The problem’s solved

What I like about the song is that Zellar manages what is an increasingly rare trick in popular music–his delivery makes the subject’s pathos real enough that the listener can identify emotionally with her, yet never descends into bathos the way Pearl Jam’s Last Kiss or Tim McGraw’s Don’t Take The Girl does–though I must admit just reading the Don’t Take The Girl lyrics causes me a twinge or two.

Getting soft in my old age.

If you liked Problem Solved, there are some other Zellar tunes available here.To my ear, the sound is reminiscent of blogosphere favorite Bob Walkenhorst, he of Rainmakers fame. There are a number of songs just as good if not better on the rest of the cd. I purchased the entire thing from an EBay vendor for the stupendously high price of six cents–a price I’m sure Martin will just be ecstatic about should he ever stumble across this, as he didn’t get anything at all out of the deal. But then, since I’d never heard of him to begin with, he wasn’t going to get anything from me anyway.

Now at least there’s a chance I’ll buy a full price cd from him should he release another, or that I’ll catch one of his sets should he drop by NC.

Which, come to think about it, is another reason to keep the record execs up at night.

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