Monday, May 25, 2009

Couldn't I Just Tell You

I did some spring cleaning last week. I decided to part with a few hundred t-shirts that I have had for years. Shirts that either made me look like Comic Book Guy, had dirty dryer spots on them, or whose band logo no longer fit into my current state of (un)cool. They were all laundered and folded, so I filled 3 or 4 shopping bags and placed them out in front of my house, a comfortable distance from (right next to) the real garbage, hoping someone would take them and use them.

I live in Astoria, Queens, a wonderful neighborhood that mixes the (not so) young with the (frightfully) old. Elderly Europeans, mostly Greeks and Italians (Greeks), mingle politely with the "not hip enough for Williamsburg, Brooklyn" 30 and 40-somethings. (Although, the guy with one eyebrow wearing the stained undershirt, shorts, socks, and sandals, sitting in front of the salon barking, "PED-A-CURE! PED-A-CURE!" isn't really what I'd consider mingling politely.) A day or two after leaving the t-shirts, which were eventually picked up, I was doing some chores in the hood. As I walked home with my laundry, I noticed this woman, probably in her 70s. She was walking toward me, wearing black woolen knee socks, a black skirt, bulky black shoes, hair in a bun protected by a hairnet, and a Wondermints tour t-shirt.


I thought of this today, because as I made my way to the subway this morning, I saw who I thought was the same woman. Today she was wearing a shirt that said, "My Boyfriend Is Out Of Town."

Today's post was originally going to highlight some Todd Rundgren cover versions, but it has taken a bit of turn. I wanted to tell you this story instead.

So here is a ZIP FILE combining both ideas. Here are three version of Todd Rundgren's pop brilliance, "Couldn't I Just Tell You."

The Wondermints version is from a CD called "Mintsmania," an unofficial collection of covers and demos. The Joe Jackson track is from the Japanese edition of his killer rock and roll comeback, "Volume 4," and of course, the classic, original version from Todd Rundgren's pop masterpiece "Something/Anything?"


soundsource said...

ok pardon the ramble but it gets to a point. first of all being a little dense i couldn't find the link to the zip file in today's post. at first (i was looking for it at the end of the post) so i clicked on the Something Anything link which led me to a page offering the album for sale, but what struck me as odd was the fact that next to it in said "Explicit Lyrics" who would have thunk. which leads me to the rest of this ramble, your very thoughtful post last week about musical taste. well while i was reading your post and doing all this stuff just now in the background is playing ABBA (I just downloaded a box set of all their albums from my favorite record store). 10 years ago I wouldn't have been caught dead listening to them (to much of a musical snob) but they make great pop music just like the Toddster. The point well I guess it pays to have an open musical mind. so there you go a Joycian stream of conscious comment. have a nice memorial day

Noam Sane said...

Thanks for the Todd, nice to see him getting some props. Still an extremely vital artist; I'd put "Liars" in the top 10 records released this decade.

Both covers have really lousy guitar solos. That's where Todd's version launches into the stratosphere (no pun intended)...on the covers, the song just suddenly deflates, both times.

But fun to hear, thanks.

Anonymous said...

My search for the Joe Jackson version of CIJTY led me to your blog. There are several other covers of this including a country instrumental and another by Matthew Sweet and Susanah Hoffs. Love the pic of Todd with the Fool guitar. I've been a fan since Nazz, but I've never seen that one before.Thanks!

Runt Fan said...

Sal, your site is AWESOME, man! I really appreciate your writing and personal recollections... and the focus on Todd Rundgren is a real plus for me. I am trolling around finding so much fun stuff here. Thanks for the tip on "Never Get Out Of The Boat" blog ( - another favorite of mine.

Keep up the good work and KEEP ROCKIN'!!!

Sal Nunziato said...

Thanks Runt! Glad to have you aboard and I sincerely appreciate the comments. See you again.

Eddie said...

Loved the wondermints cover of Todd Rundgren. Would love to hear more Wondermints. Can you please upload the rest of "Mintsmania (The Demos)". Thanks.