It's new music, yet it's old music. It's familiar, but
distinctly different. Kids love it, and so do their parents.
liner notes of Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again,
former VVA Veterans Benefits staffer Bonnie Schlegel Frasure
defines her reasoning for assembling this compilation. She
believes classic rock, loosely defined as the music of the
Vietnam era, has been unappreciated by modern post-punk and
indie artists. However, throughout the course of the CD's
twenty tracks, one can easily discern the influence of classic
rock on current music.
Frasure also wanted to produce a compilation album that mixed
modern sounds and methods with traditional, recognizable
classic rock songs. The juxtaposition of old and new in this
CD produces very compelling results, illuminating the overall
strength of the original songs, which emerge as listenable
after being remade. In addition, the compilation identifies
several different genres of modern music back to the Vietnam
to be three reasons bands selected the songs on I Don't
Know When I'll Be Back Again. Many bands chose well-known
protest songs directly about the Vietnam War: "For What It's
Worth" by The Reputation, "Fortunate Son" by Death Cab for
Cutie with Sean Nelson, and "I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die
Rag" by the Panoply Academy Legionnaires. The reason for
these choices is similar; however, the end results vary
widely. "Fortunate Son" is fairly similar to the original
Credence Clearwater Revival version, while "I Feel Like I'm
Fixing to Die Rag" is full of sonic experimentation resulting
in a modern sound unlike Country Joe and the Fish's original.
Throughout the album, there is a wide range of faithfulness to
the original recordings.
songs were chosen because they were seminal to classic rock.
These include "Immigrant Song" by Atombombpocketknife with
Cash Audio plus guest Robert Lowe, "Come Together" by Cable
Car Theory, "White Rabbit" by Enon, and "I Don't Live
Today" by Beauty Pill. Their inclusion invites a
re-examination of their meanings, for all songs from this era
were affected by the events of the Vietnam War purely because
of the time in which they were produced.
groups chose to select songs by artists who directly
influenced their sound. Washington, D.C., band Q and Not U
selected Don't Let It Bring You Down by Neil Young. The
cover demonstrates an understanding of the strength of the
original song, letting the words and melody come through while
creating a powerful song to open the album. Q and Not U put
their own stamp on the song, subtly altering the rhythms and
adding the vocal experimentation that is, in part,
characteristic of Neil Young's own creative songwriting and
cover proto-punk pioneers the Stooges with a sound reminiscent
of the electronic music of the 1980s. While this may seem
surprising, the respect for experimentation can be an
inspiration, crossing genres and influencing differing
artists. Despite the traditional use of guitars and drums in
the original, there is an almost electronic sound. Conversely,
deep down underneath the effects and electronic sounds of the
Gooses cover is the driving punk rock beat, inspired by the
Schlegel Frasure's own band, Rogue, contributes a track to her
compilation. "Happy Together" is a slower, trip-hop-inspired
version of the original Turtles song. The drawn-out tones and
resonant sounds are hauntingly appealing. The addition of
subtle vibes, horns, and accordion establishes an unsettling
mood that continues to build throughout the song. The song
becomes catchier with each listen, and this makes it one of
the album's best cuts.
end, this CD provides an effective introduction to independent
music. The use of familiar songs by less familiar bands helps
ease the transition for those who might not regularly listen
to music of the genres represented on Don't Know When I'll
Be Back Again. The use of familiar words and music is
twisted uniquely in each case in truly postmodern fashion.
recreated the songs of the Vietnam War era; it did not simply
remake them. A lot has happened since these songs were
written: Conventions have been challenged and assumptions
discarded. Modern musicians strive to find a unique approach
and sound, yet still produce great music. The songs of
Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again are precisely this,
great recreations of some truly great music.
benefit: It is a benefit. A portion of the proceeds from
Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again goes to VVA Benefits
Know When I'll Be Back Again is available for purchase
through mail order.
Send a $10 check or money order
EXF Mail Order
P.O. Box 297
College Park, MD 20741-0297
Specify that you want to order the
Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again Vietnam veterans
benefit CD. Please allow 4-6 weeks shipping.