Darrell Vickers: Sobule, It’s Been Good to Know You

darrell-vickersAny one who knows me will tell you that I am an unapologetic fan of the practitioners of the Sapphic arts.  The thought or sight of two comely lasses holding hands, kissing or working each other up into a lathery state of tribadic ecstasy is one of the true delights of my tortured existence.  To me, a guy banging on a woman like she was the cowbell in a Blue Oyster Cult song is just sex.  Whereas two (or more) intertwined pink angels sans garmentry is a vision so rapturously pure and beguiling it makes the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel look the mural at a Walmart bathhouse.

Be they full-time, part-time or merely bi-delicious, I will remain forever in awe of their concupiscent splendor.   For every young woman, come date night, must choose between sharing the infinite comforts of her cot with a fellow daughter of the stars or an unshaved Neanderthal who’s going to fall asleep the second he tosses one.

painting of two women in bedI know upon which side I would fall, if I were they. People have asked me, “When did you realize that you were attracted to women who were attracted to other women?”  Some are late bloomers and the proclivity doesn’t manifest itself until their teenage years, after they’ve been exposed to some of the world’s greatest paintings or those paradisiacal spring break videos.

But I have always really known, deep down in my heart, who I was.  There comes an inner peace in accepting what nature has given you.  For this is truly not a choice that one can make.   Your individual sexual highway has already been paved and striped long before you are unceremoniously cast from the womb of your creation. And who wouldn’t get a little misty-eyed by these two girls getting betrothed on an ice-rink? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHI_U2eR87A

deneuve kissing sarandonPlus, how about those great scenes with Catherine Deneuve in “The Hunger”.  She was so right to dump Mr. Boring Deadbeat, David Bowie, to join Susan Sarandon in that writhing bucket of yum.

guy who is sexually attracted to his carAnd…there are worse things to be hopelessly obsessed about (souvenir spoon collecting, lip balm, having a face that looks like a cat). Or these: Here’s a guy who is sexually attracted to his car.


And a woman who is slowly eating her dead husband. http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/my-strange-addiction/videos/eating-her-deceased-husband.htm

But enough about me and my borderline psychotic devotion to the brides of heaven and a beauty nonpareil.   The real point of this column is; I went to a Jill Sobule concert last week at McCabe’s Guitar Store.   For those who are unfamiliar with her work, Jill has had a career that has spanned decades but she is possibly best remembered for the song below.

Jill Sobule – I Kissed a Girl

Since penning this brilliant pop tune and starring in the above goofy and titillating video, Jill has struggled to maintain her commercial inertia.  Vexingly, her albums got better and her sales got worse to the point where she was forced to pioneer fan-based financing to keep producing her CD’s. jill-sobule-bioThroughout these frustrating years, she has not shied away from singing about matters of the similar-shaped heart and her own dalliances with the fairer sex.  (Don’t get me wrong, I would be a dedicated supporter of this amazing talent even if she only enjoyed mind-blowing rumpy-pumpy with men or those pointy hats on garden gnomes.) I have had the honor of seeing her perform on at least a dozen occasions (on stage, not with those pointy hats on garden gnomes) and each of these divertissements has been an absolute musical enchantment.  Her playing is phenomenal, her songs are funny or sad or both (but always ridiculously tuneful) and her manner is always cheery and charming.

While sitting in the audience, one cannot help but notice the large number of avid lesbian fans in attendance.  (Especially if that “one” is me.)  For a criminally overlooked artist such as Jill, this community of fans must be vital in sustaining her career. The galling part is, everyone should be flocking to her shows.  But the music-buying public isn’t avoiding Ms. Sobule because she drops the odd Eleanor Roosevelt reference into her songs.  They’re avoiding her because they’ve got fred astaire in The Bandwagonabsolutely no fucking taste.  They couldn’t distinguish between a good song or a brilliant artist and a farting carrot.  Alas, the populace at large has to be led by their uncomprehending noses to get anywhere worthwhile.  We’re talking about that great big lump of crass and indifferent cultural clods who would rather watch “Dancing with the Stars” than “The Band Wagon”.   People who pay more attention to the Kardashians lives than their own.   If it were up to the general public Jill would be a secretary or an executive right now rather than penning gorgeous hunks of pop, like this:

Jill Sobule – Rainy Day People (This was in the movie “Mystery Men”)

The fact is, if you cast aside my borderline fanatical fascination with female delectitioners and their unbridled acts of divinity, I and everyone else owe a two girls about to kisstremendous debt to the lesbian/bi-curious community.  These frolickers in the autumn mist of my dreams are providing society with an invaluable service.  When one contemplates the number of girl pop, rock and blues artists that might have easily fallen by the wayside if it had not been for their championing of the Melissa Etheridges, Joan Armatradings, Nanci Griffiths and Ani DeFrancos of this world…  Especially in those early years. And this inestimable euphonious bestowal is not unique to the sisters of Elysium.

bette midlerWhere would Bette Midler be without her devoted gay male following?  Where would American Jazz be without those stupid European intellectuals?  Where would punk and new wave be without a small group of disaffected youth who saw something in the Sex Pistols and the Clash and popped down to some grimy pub to get spat on?  Where would Bob Dylan be if it hadn’t been for that small group of beatnik folkies in New York who crowded into the coffee houses to smoke Gitanes and see him?  Think of all the maltreatment and derision hippies got in those early years and then behold all the music they helped bring to Classic Rock radio. In the decades before Mop-Topped monkey lovers like Justin Beiber could burst onto the scene almost instantaneously using the internet, music was all about small groups of passionate fans who knew something everyone else didn’t and kept on shouting about it till the rest of the world woke up.  And the rest of us are very, very lucky they did.

jill sobule wide

I know it’s a little late for Jill to scale the treacherous ramparts that keep us from our most ardent aspirations but thanks to her loyal girl-on-girl following, she is still in the game and still putting out albums that enrich our lives.  And who knows, perhaps one day “the great unwashed” will open their bleary peepers and realize what fools they’ve been and she’ll become fabulously rich and sell out the L.A. Coliseum.  Then again, Van Gogh only sold one painting during his entire lifetime.  Sigh. Here is Jill’s Wiki page, should you wish to enlighten yourself further. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Sobule

Below are a few of the wonderful songs she sang at McCabe’s Guitar Store on that magical night.

Jill Sobule – Bitter

Jill Sobule – Somewhere In Mexico

Jill Sobule – Mexican Wrestler (Funny and heartbreaking.  Her trademark.)

Steve B. reminded me that Jill also knows her way around a great cover.

Jill Sobule: Survivor 

Jill Sobule: Don’t Let Us Get Sick


Darrell Vickers appears here every 4th Monday 

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.co

DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com .

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