Finlandia, Insania, Tasmania

At about the time that Finland and Sweden were welcomed into the NATO follies, YouTube pushed my way a tune by Canadian band Martha and the Muffins, their hit “Echo Beach.” I in turn recalled getting Martha Ladly’s first solo single in 1981, “Finlandia.” It was anthemic, the sleeve graphics imperial.

Oh Lordy.

Skids had done the same two years prior with their album Days of Europe (before lead singer Stuart Adamson went flannel with Big Country). I fell in love with the sound of that LP, Bill Nelson’s fingerprints all over it, especially the opening and closing “Animation” and its backwards-unmasked “Peaceful Times.” But that album art. Which Roxy Music would Re-Hash/Re-Cycle with 1980’s Flesh + Blood (see my Venus in Bling). Oh Lordy.

Other bands were on this bandwagon. Simple Minds (like Skids, from Scotland) could get a little, mm…, nostalgic.

Lest they be misconstrued, they brought it up to date with 1980’s “I Travel”:

Europe has a language problem
In central Europe
Men are marching

Like I said: Oh Lordy.

Insania

Yesterday morning CNN’s Michael Smerconish aired a clip of his interview with Roger Waters. The tabloid Raw Story posted it under a headline that declared the musician was “defending [the] Russian invasion of Ukraine.” Well, he does, kinda, and maybe you should too. Buttons pushed. A liberal pushing Biden’s Insania. Oh Lordy.

Side B: Tasmania

I hadn’t listened to Ladly’s B-side in years, forgetting that’s why I had an affection for the single. “Tasmania” is the the sonic obverse to “Finlandia.”

The similarities and contrasts of these actual lands Ladly appears to have noted. For starters, neither is at the edge of its inhabitable hemisphere, but nearly so. Both have been invaded. I could and should devote another post to these comparisons. What strikes me now is how “Tasmania” may have influenced my austere cover of, of all things, Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” which I worked up with my first band Age of Consent at about this same time.

My rendition of Dolly Parton’s famous ballad “Jolene,” recorded in an early ’80s session by my rap band Age of Consent. Some of the clinks you’ll hear are from a gynecological speculum, which I used as a percussion instrument. The effect was from an Echoplex, which I borrowed from AOC member Thea Other.

See what you think.

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