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?"