Quoting Benjamin

“It’s taken two years for the Cars to come out of their shell — or maybe shell shock is a better expression. But what we’re doing onstage now is as much us as what we were doing two years ago. It’s just that we developed at a pace that felt comfortable, without having to contrive any shows of emotionalism.”

— Rolling StoneOctober 30, 1980

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Episode 38: Album Dissections: Shake It Up

EP38“Dance all night… go go go!”

It’s time for Dave and Donna to pull apart The Cars’ fourth album, Shake it Up. Loved by many and a big success for the band (the title track became their first Top 10 single), this album also represents a departure from the heavier ‘rock’ emphasis of their earlier music — at least, as far as Donna is concerned. The two take a close look at the shifts and nuances that moved The Cars into a new realm of creativity.

There is SO much packed into this episode! Things you never knew about Alberto Vargas’ early career, insights into the odd recording style at Syncro Sound, and Dave’s attempt to answer the “slug” lyric challenge (which is always on the table, by the way). They also wind their way around the ins and outs of the background vocals and the little ‘sneak peek’ threads of Heartbeat City woven through this album.

And then the questions…

  1. Do the underwater sounds of “Since You’re Gone” make for a good album opener?
  2. Would Ben have handled “A Dream Away” better than Ric?
  3. Should “A Dream Away” have meshed with “It Could Be Love”?
  4. What was Benjamin’s true comfort zone during their Friday’s performance of “Think It Over”?
  5. Does anyone have a ‘shaker pin’ available for a reasonable price???

And that’s not even all of it! Tune in to find out how in the world they get to talking about Ben in a leather rabbit suit, recommendations for Dante Tomaselli’s doorbell, line dancing to “Victim of Love,” and Donna pressuring Dave to get a full sleeve of tattoos. Lots of fun and frolic to be found in this episode!

Don’t forget… Find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @TheCarsPodcast  (individually we’re @night_spots  and  @sweetpurplejune ), and subscribe to our audio outlets! You can listen by clicking the Youtube link below, or visit us on iTunes or Soundcloud. Wherever you connect, be sure to subscribe, share and comment. Let us know your thoughts — we’d love to hear from you!

Grab your headphones and dive into Episode 38 — don’t let nothing get in your way!

It reminds me of him.

It’s no secret that some of Benjamin’s songs move me deeply. “Wake Me Up,” “Take Me Now,” “Do You Know What it Feels Like”… The combination of poignant lyrics and the emotion in Ben’s voice somehow reaches in and twists my achy heart until I sob. Crazy, I know, but I am not the only one who has felt this way about a vocalist.

Listening to this terrific version of such a beautiful narration reminds me of the power Benjamin’s gift can have over me.

 

“Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words

Killing me softly with his song, killing me softly with his song

Telling my whole life with his words… killing me softly with his song…”

 

— Fugees, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel)

Episode 37: ORRbots, ORRbs, ORR Not?

ep37If you’ve listened to this show for any length of time, you know that the NiGHT THOUGHTS podcast is all about having fun diving deep into anything and everything ‘The Cars’ and discussing it with a moderate degree of intelligence, a generous helping of humor, and a bit of unavoidable immaturity. This episode is a little different, though…

After careful consideration, Dave and Donna revisit the tough topic of the fanaticism that snakes its way through the Benjamin Orr fanbase. The intent is not to target individuals, but to call out behaviors that cast a pall on fan group dynamics: words and actions that hurt innocent members and dishonor Ben’s legacy.

They make it clear they are not discussing the average fan; it goes beyond that. Dave and Donna take a look at embellished authority and acquaintance, fake romances, and excessive spirit-world experiences. They also examine the possible reasons why this sort of thing is even an issue. While they handle this dark discussion with the respect and sobriety it deserves, they do throw in a little humor here and there to break the tension.

Dave also offers a sincere invitation to anyone who has a struggle with this topic (either good or bad, especially if you feel like it is YOU that is being talked about) to let him know directly. If you’d like, he will arrange for you to come on NiGHT THOUGHTS as a guest to discuss your side of the issues at hand. Use any of the links below to make your thoughts known:

  1. Find us on Facebook.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @TheCarsPodcast  (individually we’re @night_spots  and  @sweetpurplejune ).
  3. Connect with us via our audio outlets: Youtube (at the link below), iTunes or Soundcloud.
  4. Email us at nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com.

As always, wherever you connect with us, be sure to subscribe, share and comment.

The show closes with an optimistic letter on the Midnight Scroll, and Dave and Donna both look forward to returning to their usual ‘podcast shenanigans’ for their next recording: a dissection of The Cars’ fourth album, Shake It Up.

Until then, grab a cup of coffee and brace yourself for a visit to the dark side.

Lyrics: When You’re Gone

When You’re Gone (written by Benjamin Orr and Diane Page ©1985)

Rain keeps pounding without a break
Competing with a heart awake… even now
I can’t imagine what you’re doing when you’re not around
A shaky thought to wrestle down… I need you now

(When you’re gone) You gotta know that everything is turning me upside down
(For so long) You gotta see that confusion’s spinning me around
(When you’re gone) You gotta know that the feeling is that everything is lost, you see
When you’re gone

Shadows reaching long across the floor, wishing you were at the door
You know it’s insanity… you always keep leaving me
Walking around one room to the next, remembering the very best
It’s starting to get to me… you always keep leaving me
(When you’re gone) You gotta know that everything is turning me upside down
(For so long) You gotta see that confusion’s spinning me around
(Can’t imagine, when you’re gone) You gotta know that the feeling is that everything is lost, you see
When you’re gone

And ’cause it’s so strong it’s that much harder
I’m feeling so alone
Well, I need to hold you and feel the magic
You’ve been away so long
Yeah, yeah

Well, if it isn’t enough how can I make it more?

Thought we’d been through this all before… here we go one more time
And rain keeps pounding without a break

Competing with a heart awake… I need you now

(When you’re gone) You gotta know that everything is turning me upside down
(For so long) You gotta see that confusion’s spinning me around
(Can’t imagine, when you’re gone) You gotta know that the feeling is that everything is lost, you see
When you’re gone

So long

(When you’re gone) You gotta know that everything is turning me upside down
(For so long) You gotta see that confusion’s spinning me around
(Can’t imagine, when you’re gone) You gotta know that the feeling is that everything is lost, you see
When you’re gone