Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Newton, MA vs. the Fixx


As if the Fixx were not already one of the most important rock bands (this is the sixteenth time I’ve mentioned them, and this entry will mark sixteen amazing songs of theirs I’ve linked to, without even delving into the great ones for which there’s no serious video of which I’m aware, such as the eerie, elegant, and somewhat ABC-like “Liner” [“All aboard before the storm/ Crossing swords before the dawn...”]), now they’re at the center of a legal battle in Newton, MA.

My friend Jake Harrison (married, as it happens, to one of my libertarian, alternative-rock-loving college friends, Holly Caldwell, herself now a lawyer but still arguably hip enough to get along with their skateboarding son) informs me that Newton, a Boston suburb not far from where he dwells, was barraged with complaints when Hotel Indigo celebrated its grand opening there last month with a concert by the Fixx. Representatives of the hotel will meet with the town’s Board of License Commissioners on August 19 to try and stave off suggestions that the Indigo be denied a license for further outdoor entertainment.

Perhaps it would help if I showed up to speak as a character witness on behalf of the Fixx, saying something like:

“Inherently ambiguous though noise pollution conflicts are from a libertarian perspective — or indeed, for any political philosophy, even one compatible in spirit with rocking out — I think awesome tunes like ‘Red Skies’ and ‘Sunshine in the Shade’ are clearly beneficial to the community, and if the Hotel Indigo is not yet a pillar of this community, I ask you to consider the possibility that though it doesn’t mean much now, it’s built for the future. Without the Indigo and its shuttered rooms, you would be engaged in mere phantom living, and if it’s foolish for me to say so, well: here stands the fool. If this community cannot embrace public art like a Fixx performance, I ask you, are we ourselves? I say, don’t let people like the Fixx be driven out. Rather, let at least some people perform…outside.”

But I’m sure Fixx singer Cy Curnin could be perfectly articulate if called as a witness. Despite his flagrant greenness — the near-opposite of my own pro-industry, pro-progress, pro-homo-sapiens philosophy in many ways — he sounds intelligent in interviews like this one. (Actually, he sounds a bit like a few vegetarians, vegans, or organic types I know, including my green friend Pagan Kennedy, who lives not far from Newton and who should perhaps be one of the people I try visiting when I head that way for an August 31 political conference that the libertarian quarterly Critical Review is holding in Boston — and she won’t be one of our September debaters here, despite what I said in a previous entry, so that would perhaps be my only dose of Pagan for a while.)

He also mentions in the interview that the band may play the song “Big Wall” in future concerts but hasn’t performed it since it was recorded circa 1987. I can’t imagine having a song that cool in my repertoire and not performing it for two decades. I can’t even resist looking for Fixx songs to perform in karaoke — and indeed, that’s what I plan to do at 9pm next Tuesday (August 5) at Iggy’s on Second Ave. between 75th and 76th, so join me if you will. No noise ordinance problems there, as far as I know.

P.S. While I recalled Fixx songs being used in Fletch (“Letter to Both Sides”), Streets of Fire (“Deeper and Deeper”), and a great Miami Vice opening segment in which a voodoo-cursed funeral was revealed to have a casket containing a goat head instead of a human corpse (“Phantom Living”), I was unaware that “I’m Life” was used in a late, fifth-season Miami Vice episode, “Over the Line” — but here’s the scene. My favorite late Vice moment, though, remains the exchange between Crockett and Tubbs about Crockett becoming an evil drug dealer while suffering from amnesia, which went almost verbatim like this:

TUBBS: You tried to shoot me. Twice.

CROCKETT: I know, Rico.

TUBBS: (Pause.) That’s a problem, Sonny.

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