Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You Gotta Work--Nathaniel Mayer

For a two and a half year period of my life, I was a yankee living below the Mason-Dixon line.  My wife and I had both lost our jobs after September, 11th and our son was almost a year old.  We needed to find a job and I found one in Memphis, TN.

We didn’t know anyone there.  I quickly realized that I needed a hobby other than going to the local bar.  Our backyard just so happened to have a shed in it.  I immediately started dreaming up my man cave designs.  I decided to take up screenwriting as my hobby and turned the shed into my writing room.  It got hot as Hell down there so I hooked up a window air conditioner.  I brought my old stereo receiver and tape deck out there.  I had a cool lamp and some of my artwork on the walls. 

As I became acquainted with Memphis, I discovered WEVL-FM.  It was an all volunteer community radio station like the one I used to volunteer at in Minneapolis--KFAI-FM.   There were two shows on that station that I could not get enough of.  One was called “It’s Always Something.”  This DJ had the most deadpan voice.  Each utterance sounded like he was so cynically disillusioned with life, that he couldn’t wait for it end.  In the meantime he played quirky and hilarious old recordings on Wednesday afternoons.  He would play Frank Zappa one minute and Groucho Marx the next.

The other show was, “Welcome To The Working Week.”  This guy was my musical soul brother.  He played a wide variety from old 60’s punk rock to Mahavishnu Orchestra.  He added a dose of vintage old blues and country too.

I liked these two shows so much, I would set my tape recorder in the morning to record one show, then come home for lunch and record the other.  Then once or twice a week, I would go out to my man cave and listen to those tapes and write.  I eventually made a “best of” series of CD’s for myself and I still listen to them all the time.

One of the great discoveries courtesy of WEVL was Nathaniel Mayer and this song, “You Gotta Work.”  I wish more bands had this level of smokin’ grooves once in a while.

It just so happens that you too can own this high energy tune.

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