The Greatest Show On WordPress

EVIL SQUIRREL: So Scratchy, what did you get for Christmas?

SCRATCHY: Grumble….

ES: Oh, come on… you can tell me!

SCRATCHY: I got underwear, OK?

ES: Well….. that’s normal….

SCRATCHY: And not the kind of underwear I like to show off with my rave outfit, but underwear I could use as a tarp for my motor scooter in an emergency!

ES: Oh…….. THAT kind.

SCRATCHY: Next time I ride down to the park to blast my Disturbed records, I won’t have to worry about sitting in birdshit on the way back home.

ES: Well see, that’s a pretty practical gift then!

SCRATCHY: Fuck you!  Sponkies, what’s the next goddamned song?

SPONKIE 1: Number 9 is…

SPONKIE 2: It’s…. Evil Squirrel!

ES: Yay!

ES: I guess I get to stand on this side of the turntable now!

SCRATCHY: Shut it!  As much as I can’t believe you didn’t put your piece of garbage at #1, I’m still not prepared to play one of your lame ass songs you like so much!

ES: You might be surprised!  Just go ahead and open my envelope there….

SCRATCHY: (Pulls out ES’s song request) OK, so maybe it isn’t that bad…. actually, this is kinda cool.

ES: See!  Now you owe me an apology!

SCRATCHY: How about a motor scooter tarp instead?  Slightly used…..

One of the bands best known for dabbling in the early 70’s phenomenon known as prog rock was the British trio of Emerson, Lake and Palmer… not to be confused with a law firm.  One of ELP’s better known works pretty much defines what prog rock was all about, and stands as one of the main reasons it’s easily one of my least favorite rock subgenres.  And it comes from the album with one of the most fucked up titles ever, 1973’s Brain Salad Surgery

Dr. John received no royalties for coming up with the phrase first.

Greg Lake and Keith Emerson spent almost two-thirds (!!!) of that album on what was technically just one track they wrote… their epic “Karn Evil 9.”  Karn Evil 9 was split into three “impressions” (because that sounds cooler than just calling them parts), and that first impression was split into two parts because it literally went from Side A to Side B of the record because one side of the vinyl wouldn’t even hold the whole damned thing!

What? Flip to Side B for the rest? How about I just do this instead!

That bizarre treatment of the First Impression actually turned into kind of a saving grace for Karn Evil 9, which if you’re not an album guy like I’m not, you’re probably still familiar with because you most associate that title with the second part of the First Impression, which has become a classic rock staple because, on its own and at a much more tolerable four minutes-plus, it’s really fucking good!!!

Now that could have been a hit on its own had it been released as a single, which it was not.  Karn Evil 9 tells the epic tale (as so many other bad prog rock songs did) of some futuristic, post-apocalyptic society decimated by war.  FI:Part 2 is the actual “Karn Evil (carnival) show” featuring oddities and relics from the world that no longer is such as real blades of grass and gypsy queens glazed in Vaseline…

Mitzi has volunteered to be one of the seven virgins with a mule.

And while I do like this track on its own, it’s maybe the best fit between critter and request of any song in this countdown.  Because as my alter ego Evil Squirrel, I’ve been running my own “Karn Evil” here for a decade now, with my own strange exhibits and sideshows, and when you read The Nest, you can always rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth…

Because, you know, the admission here is free.

The SCT Request countdown is the show that only seems like it will never end.  I’ll have another song hand picked by a Shelf critter next Monday…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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14 Responses to The Greatest Show On WordPress

  1. Juliette says:

    Fun choice. Who doesn’t like a good freak show?

  2. Oh yeah…..I definitely remember Emerson, Lake and Palmer……..long live Karn Evil……One of the best headphone bands ever. No doubt why I have hearing loss.


  3. And to think record execs gave Freddie Mercury a hard time for Bohemian Rhapsody. Hmph!

  4. franhunne4u says:

    I am more of the Genesis prog rock kind of person.

    • Thanks to the era in which I grew up, Genesis will always be that quirky and very commercially successful trio to me…. and Peter Gabriel a solo artist who mastered the art of the music video.

      • franhunne4u says:

        Oh, at their prog rock time I was a toddler. No, I discovered Genesis with “Mama”. But then I found out about their earlier works. Loved the storytelling album of Wind and Wuthering. Sang along to those story inspiring songs of “A Trick of the Tale”. At 17/18, (85/86) when Genesis was only one of many pop bands, a +Version of Phil Collins, I knew the songs of “Wind and Wuthering” by heart. Not that I dislike Phil Collins, I think he’s one of the great drummers in music. Which can still be heard in the later Genesis albums. But Genesis lost part of their soul after 1978’s “… and then there were three”. Loved that album though. One if their officially “lesser” ones it was still a storytelling one. That was lacking in their later work.

  5. draliman says:

    I bet the keyboard player loved that one. It sounds like they were just told to let rip, no music score to follow, just hammer those keys!

    • Way back the first time I featured ELP in a music post, the video showed Keith Emerson surrounded by about 15 keyboards, playing several of them at once. He seems to enjoy playing his keyboards… and surprise, he wrote the music for this song!

  6. Kismet says:

    Bring back regressive rock.

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