Song Of The Day 2/19/2013: Tan Sleeve - "When Lindsey Buckingham Shaved His Beard"

Last Friday I went on a Fleetwood Mac mini-jag, playing the new deluxe edition of Rumours, and exchanging quick remarks with my esteemed colleague Jamie about the band. Jamie and I agree that although Rumours was great, our hearts were really committed to Tusk. There was a huge style gap between the two albums, and a lot of it had to do with what Lindsey Buckingham had started listening to during Tusk's incubation: The Clash's first album, Talking Heads '77, the Pretenders. As such, a lot of Tusk is very primal, and one of very few legit albums by FM rock radio titans (another being Rust Never Sleeps) that succeeded in jumping ahead with the themes or attitudes punk and new wave were stimulating at the time. 

And there's no more succinct statement on how drastically times were a-changin' than the shocking removal of Lindsey Buckingham's facial hair:
It was a radical change. Maybe you had to be there in 1979, opening the Tusk album and seeing a suddenly nouveau chic Lindsey in a leisure suit, instead of the shaggy, peasant-beige Claude Monet staring back from the Rumours sleeve. On one side of the divide the laid-back, woolly ringlets and fuzz of the let-it-all-hang-out-or-at-least-over generation, and on the other side sleek, shorn, new-musik skepticism. Well, it jarred me, anyway. I was impressionable.

By total coincidence (or was it?), yesterday afternoon I came upon a song from New York duo Tan Sleeve (featuring Lane Steinberg), "When Lindsey Buckingham Shaved His Beard" -- which contains not a single lyric about Fleetwood Mac. It's instead a series of mental images about that moment in the late 70's when punk was redefining rock in ways that might have seemed threatening to the sunshine. Finally, someone understands what I was going through. I feel vindicated, if it's possible to be vindicated without leaving one's living room.
Purple Rain

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