Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Song of the Week: "Nothing's Changed", Chris Isaak

Listen - Chris Isaak performs Nothing's Changed

Sometimes I have thought I was born in the wrong year. So many of my musical, design and fashion sensibilities seem to have often been stuck in a different time. Maybe a different place too. I should have been standing on the Sunset Strip the first time Arthur Lee and Love performed at the Whiskey. Or maybe I should have been at the Crawdaddy Club in london when the Yardbirds took over a residency from the Rolling Stones. Sometimes those feelings can make for a sad and lonely Mr. Flip. Like when I awoke from a wondrous dream in which I had been at the Monterey Pop Festival only to realize, that, no, I was still in a small apartment in Providence, Rhode Island and Candlebox had a hit on the radio. Then, every once in a blue moon you meet someone for the first time that you think might just feel the same way as you do. You'll never have a friendship with them, and may never see them again, but at least their is someone else out there that thinks like you.

That was what happened the other night when a generous friend of mine introduced me to Chris Isaak. I had long followed Isaak's music (I hadn't realized how long until I really sat down to think about it) and had seen him perform live a few times. It was, however, the first chance I had to make his acquaintance. I'm not going to make too much of our cursory time together (other than to say that it was awkward when he asked for my autograph on his chest and wanted to take his picture with feels so invasive to always have to do that!). But I will say, that I got that feeling of someone else who also felt as if they are of a different time. Chris Isaak exudes it in his dress, his mannerisms and his music. But, and this is a big but, his music is not so rooted in the past that it becomes a song of the past in the instant that it is born. Instead, Isaak seems to walk that beautiful and difficult line that divides tipping his pompadour to the music of Elvis, Roy Orbison and Conway Twitty and putting out fresh, original music. It's not so time out of place as it is timeless. Not everyone can do it.

Today's SOTW comes from Isaak's 1989 breakout album, Heart Shaped World. The album was recorded with the extremely lyrical guitarist, James Wilsey, who would soon leave the band, drummer Kenny Dale Johnson and bassist Rowland Salley. The latter two are still with Isaak, which says a lot about all of the men and the music. The song is the gentle and beautifully restrained Nothing's Changed. The title of which seems rather symbolic of the theme of today's article.

Enjoy Chris Isaak & Silvertone performing Nothing's Changed.

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