Episode 202: Knopfler & The Straits Pat and Co-Host Christy Stratton discuss the music of Mark Knopfler and his band Dire Straits to find out how you get money for nuthin' and chicks for free. From May 28, 2015
With your hosts:
Pat welcomes us to the show. Christy is back! After so long away from our ears, Christy Stratton has returned to grace us with her sunshine. Kyle is wearing a Blue Beetle shirt. Christy has NO desire for superheroes or superhero-related things. Pat's wife Pilar feels the same. It's all one big blur for Christy. She's too busy being a BIG STAR with her webseries private premiere. It went well. She wants this webseries to go right, and hopefully get some money to make more episodes. Stratton wants that green paper and she's gonna smile the whole way through.
When will we see this webseries? Even Christy doesn't know, this isn't her world. In any case, we're all happy that Christy is back on the show. But before we delve into today's topic, something Christy really wants to do, we've got some segments to get out of the way. Including this one:
First up is a duet from two beacons of sophisticated artistry, Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea. It's their single "Pretty Girls". "Iggy Azalea looks like the woman from Mars Attacks," says Kyle. Pat doesn't like the song. Christy doesn't either, but she can see young women cutting a rug on the dance floor to it.
Next Pat plays an artist who doesn't use her tits, ass, or vagina to generate sales. It's Florence + the Machine with "Ship to Wreck" from the new album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Now that is a female artist who deserves respect. Christy doesn't really jam to that kind of music in the car. It's mostly Scissor Sisters, Black Crowes, and some AC/Deece (her pronunciation, not mine).
Pat plays a song from the new solo album by Brandon Flowers of The Killers. It's "I Can Change" from the album The Desired Effect. Kyle likes The Killers' hits, and he likes them a lot more than Maroon 5. Pat feels Maroon 5 is growing on him. Kyle nearly gags. "Top 40 is the worst," he says. Perhaps a Top 40 show is in the works, where Pat and co-host play songs on the Top 40 and try not to burst an eardrum. Christy whines for Mark Knopfler like a regular Veruca Salt. He's coming, Christy, he's coming, hold your horses!
Pat met a guy at the Grammys named Josh Jackson, who has a country band called Yes Dear. He plays "Baby Don't Go" off their self-titled album. Christy is a casual fan of country; she likes the old school players. Pat really likes the album. Is it now time for Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits? NO! Pat has another segment on his hands. The savage beast of Christy's impatience is soothed by her sunny soul and the bottle of wine that she brought to the studio. It's time for Christy to go through her first
Here's how it works: Pat sometimes writes reviews for Pop Culture Beast and he'll get CDs from bands that he's never heard of. So we're gonna hear some songs with completely fresh ears. Today's album is Twice Told Tales by 10,000 Maniacs. It's all British folk songs.
"Carrickfergus" --- It's certainly a different sound than what we're used to.
"Misty Moisty Morning" --- It's not something that they would listen to, but it's very pleasant.
"It's a CD you would get at Hallmark," says Kyle. As someone who buys CDs at Hallmark, Christy Stratton takes partial offense.
"Lady Mary Ramsey I" --- Mary Ramsey replaced Natalie Merchant after she left. And she can play a mean violin.
The album sounds good, it's just that this is not their target audience.
Christy is ready. SHE'S READY!!!! Today's topic is the career of Mark Knopfler, both with his band Dire Straits and his solo career. Dire Straits only put out studio albums from 1978 to 1991, and Knopfler's solo career took over. Christy loves his music so much. He has a very unique style of guitar playing. It's a melodic, fingerpicking flow.
Christy starts us off with a song from solo album Sailing to Philadelphia. It's called "Junkie Doll". The good thing is that it doesn't sound like Dire Straits. Knopfler has a unique singing style as well. And he's not traditionally attractive either. Christy thinks he's kind of cute: It's all in the talent. She also likes how he doesn't explicitly state his feelings in his songs. He expresses them in the tone of his voice when he's singing.
Pat's first pick is from Dire Straits' self-titled debut album. It's a song called "Down to the Waterline".
Christy's next pick is a song that she calls "the unsung hero" of Brothers in Arms. It's "One World". At 15, Christy saw Dire Straits on the Brothers in Arms tour. She camped out for tickets. By herself. At 15. She was a good kid, so her parents trusted her. A guy with red hair, a red mustache, and a black tooth (not making that up) even gave her advice to get to the front of the line when the doors open. Christy once camped out for The Moody Blues... in the 80s. Pat saw them very recently, he had free tickets. They are VERY old. They sound good, but they have very minimal strange presence. Again, VERY OLD.
Anyway, Christy got two separate tickets (because they were cheaper) and asked a boy she liked to the show. He parked in a back alley somewhere and told her to meet him after the show in front of the venue. The concert was amazing. After the show, Christy went to the agreed-upon meeting point and the guy wasn't there. She went to the car, he wasn't there. She went back to the venue, nope. She went back to the car AND THERE WAS NO CAR! Christy was in a quandry: She couldn't call her parents because they wouldn't let her go to concerts anymore. She also couldn't just stand in the middle of downtown Dallas alone; She'd be to sexual predators what cinnamon buns are to the morbidly obese: irresistible. But her salvation was at hand! She found a group of drunk, stoned med students who gave her a ride (whilst drinking and driving) to her house. As they pull up to her house, the car gets pulled over by a cop. Christy got to leave and go into her house. The next day the missing guy called her. He ended up being a drug dealer. What can Christy say? He was a bad boy, a rogue, a rebel. She was putty in his hands.
Pat plays another song from Brother in Arms. It's the big hit "So Far Away".
Christy is utterly enamored. Meanwhile Pat's been listening to a lot of Steely Dan. He discovered that Steely Dan and Dire Straits are very cheap on Amazon, cheaper than iTunes. What did Pat do? He bought all the Steely Dan albums. Because that's what Pat Francis does. Christy turns her attention to the Dire Straits album Making Movies. It's not only the best Dire Straits album, but Christy says it's one of the best albums ever. Even "Les Boys," which is not up to snuff when compared to the other songs, but is at least interesting. She plays "Skateaway". Christy finds Knopfler to have a sexy voice, unlike Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen. Pat follows this up with another song from the album called, appropriately, "Solid Rock".
Christy continues the love for Making Movies with "Romeo and Juliet". Christy is verklempt. "Human beings have the capacity to make something that beautiful," she opines. Some people say that about a Van Gogh painting or a Bach symphony. Christy says that about a 1980 roots rock album. To each their own. She plays her last pick from the album called "Tunnel of Love". It's an 8 minute song that doesn't feel like an 8 minute song. Pat just likes songs about hands going into pockets. You dirty bastard you.
Pat wonders if bands like Dire Straits and The Cars don't get enough credit because there's nothing scandalous about them, unlike Nirvana or The Sex Pistols. Christy thinks when a band gets so big, it turns some people away. Christy puts Making Movies on par with Darkness on the Edge of Town and Damn the Torpedoes. Pat agrees. He also plays his next pick, "Twisting by the Pool" from the EP ExtendedancEPlay.
Christy finds that Knopfler gets inspiration in such wildly specific things. She lists her next song "Coyote" off the solo album The Ragpicker's Dream as an example.
Pat counters with a song by Steely Dan that Mark plays guitar on. It's "Time Out of Mind" off the album Gaucho.
Christy plays a song from the last Dire Straits album On Every Street called "Calling Elvis".
Brothers in Arms went to number one everywhere. Six years later, On Every Street went to number one everywhere except in the US. Pat plays a song from the album "Heavy Fuel". Here's a fun fact: Knopfler wrote the Tina Turner song "Private Dancer." Dire Straits recorded the song, but realized that the song wasn't suitable for male vocals, so he gave it to Tina.
The first time Pat heard "Sultans of Swing," he thought it was Bob Dylan. Christy heard the song at a friend's house, then had her write down the lyrics. Christy didn't really get into the band until Brothers in Arms came out. Speaking of lyrics, when Pat was young he had a typewriter and he would type the lyrics to Cheap Trick songs when the lyrics weren't in the album packaging. And this was vinyl, so he had to keep picking up the needle and dropping it like a goddamn caveman. It seems appropriate to mention writing things because Pat's next pick is "Lady Writer" from the album Communique. Christy loves the song, but doesn't understand the story. It's something about a newswoman or something.
Knopfler was only 30 years old when Dire Straits emerged. He looked old even when he was young. Pat retorts that Springsteen wrote Born to Run at 24. "Yeah, but Making Movies is more mature," re-retorts Christy. It's a real back-and-forth, this debate. The one flaw for Making Movies: It's album cover. They don't get it. At least there is a lot of room for a Mark Knopfler signature. Christy might get one because she is seeing him in concert later this year. She is fairly certain she is going to cry.
Christy's husband Gary isn't really a music fan. It just hasn't been a thing for him. Pat's wife Pilar feels the same way. But Gary has gone with Christy to shows. Gary grew up in New York and his dad was a cab driver, so his thing was Broadway musicals. Maybe Gary and Pilar can take in a performance of Starlight Express and leave the Knopfler goodness to Pat and Christy. Like this next song, "You Can't Beat the House" off the solo album Get Lucky. "Come on!" shouts Christy in joy.
Pat's last pick is from the Dire Straits album Love over Gold. It's the 14-minute opus "Telegraph Road".
Knopfler also produced Infidels by Bob Dylan. Christy thought he did the solo for "Sweetheart Like You", but it was actually Mick Jones... er, Mick Taylor. Christy flubbed it, but we forgive her because she is drinking wine and it's past her bedtime. When Christy goes to sleep depends on how loud her husband is snoring. She doesn't want to bother him, so she plays Words with Friends instead. Pat has an app that tells him his statistics in Words with Friends and it makes him sad to find out how awful he is.
Christy's last pick is a song from the new Mark Knopfler solo album Tracker. It's very dense, there are 16 songs including the bonus tracks, but Christy plays a song that she likes called ".38 Special".
Knopfler also did a duet with Emmylou Harris about being a couple in love for many years. It helped inspire her webseries. Pat couldn't get to the premiere because he had prior commitments with his daughter. Christy's seats for Knopfler are very good. They cost her an arm, a leg, and some rather expensive bone marrow.
Pat feels Christy and him have a connection with this music despite their different ages. Perhaps it has something to do with growing up in a small town wanting to leave. AND they were both on Rock and Roll Jeopardy. Christy won, Pat didn't. Sounds about right.
This was a fun show. Pat takes us home with the song that started it all, "Sultans of Swing" off their self-titled debut album.