A Well-Balanced Breakfast With Supertramp*

June 18, 2011

I’ve been hoping for a Supertramp revival since the use of Goodbye Stranger in the movie Magnolia.

Oh, my devotion to them isn’t slavish. In truth, it’s rather limited. Their more progressive stuff doesn’t move me and it’s not simply because it’s progressive.

(I fully admit to having dabbled in progressive rock, but that flirtation was mostly limited to Marillion in the early ’80s. I’ve had the chance to drink with their former lead singer Fish on a handful of occasions and, I assure you, to walk into a pub in Edinburgh with the man is akin to walking into Cheers with Norm…I digress)

My meager devotion to Supertramp is to about a half-dozen songs and the Breakfast In America album. When that band worked, they were capable of producing a nearly perfect pop song and almost every track on Breakfast In America works.

(I seem to recall Oh Darling being the only song which I ever skipped).

Not only is the music worth the price of admission, Breakfast In America has an album cover that always makes me smile – a jovial waitress, menu in hand and orange juice at the ready.

(her name has to be Bev)

Bev simply looks like someone that would deliver a well-balanced breakfast.

Remember the commercials during Saturday morning cartoons in the ’70s for cereals when they would conclude with a shot of the “balanced breakfast” consisting of said cereal, juice, milk, bacon, eggs, sausage, pancakes, waffles, fruit, and an entire pot roast?

Did that ever strike anyone else as a lot of food?

Pop Tarts, in their commercials, were touted as something to accompany a “balanced breakfast.”

Personally, I have long been a fan of Pop Tarts. They’re magically delicious and their simplicity is a stroke of genius. When traveling abroad or even ‘cross town, I always keep Pop Tarts in my backpack for those unexpected twists in the road.

I also admire the way that Kellogg’s has steadfastly unveiled new flavors to a salivating public.

Remember the early days of Pop Tarts when they only came with fruit fillings? You could kind of pretend that they were healthy.

Well, somewhere along the line they just said to hell with that.

Hot Fudge Sundae Pop Tarts?

Yeah, who doesn’t love sundaes?

Fudge Chocolate, Chocolate-Filled, Chocolate Chip Pop Tarts?

Why not?

Frosted Cookies And Creme With Bacon Bits Pop Tarts?

We’ve almost reached a pre-fabricated food moment of such goodness as I know that there is now Cake Batter Pop Tarts.

Sometimes I get concerned that I don’t take things seriously enough. You know, stuff like God, evolution, evil neo-cons, evil liberals, paper or plastic, and such.

Then, I realized that Pop Tarts are something that I truly feel passionate about.

And sometimes Supertramp.

Here are four songs from Supertramp…

Supertramp – Give A Little Bit
from Classics

Not even incessant commercials for The Gap (wasn’t it The Gap?), could make me sick of Give A Little Bit.

Like so many Supertramp songs, it sounds like a nursery rhyme and it does have a lovely sentiment. Of course, my fairly staunch anti-human stance keeps me from getting carried away by the lovely sentiment and, then, I simply space out and bob my head to the pretty melody and music.

Supertramp – The Logical Song
from Breakfast In America

Effortlessly, Supertramp manages to sound positively giddy (I suppose it is a giddy tinged with melancholy) as they sing of conscription into a lifetime of conformity where banality can be a ticket to success.

Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home
from Classics

Sadly, after singing its praises, I realize that I do not have several tracks from Breakfast In America ripped individually (and I’m jonesing to hear Gone Hollywood, Lord Is It Mine and Child Of Vision) and, unfortunately, the only version of Take The Long Way Home I own is the single version with the edited intro.

Supertramp – Breakfast In America
from Breakfast In America

Apparently, Roger Hodgson feels his girlfriend has less than fulfilled her girlfriend potential, but God help you if he catches you checking her out. However, he seems to be quite fond of kippers (add kippers to the well-balanced breakfast, Bev), so the mind boggles at what hell might rain down on the scoundrel who takes his kippers.

Supertramp – Cannonball
from Brother Where You Bound

I had to include a fifth song today (Paloma encouraged me – “It’s Supertramp”) and that fifth song had to be Cannonball.

Sure, it’s a snappy tune with quite a bit of pep, but it also earns my appreciation for…you really need to see the song’s video and, I assure you that, unless you are feeding starving children, negotiating peace in the Middle East, or napping, you will not use four minutes and fifty-seven seconds more productively today…

Supertramp – Cannonball

Cannonball is simply the greatest caveman music video I have ever seen.

I find his determination as he runs down the interstate inspiring.


But what the hell am I meant to take from this video?

I think it’s that our ancient ancestors gave us art, fire, an inborn protectiveness toward crockery rivaled only by the protectiveness Roger Hodgson has toward his kippers, and a primordial affection for Supertramp that lives on in our DNA.

If so, there might be hope for the humans, yet.

*originally posted on June 26, 2008 and regurgitated for your pleasure

The King Is The Man

September 16, 2010

There’s joyous news for a hope-starved world as Burger King is introducing a glorious buffet of new breakfast items – pancakes, muffins, ciabatta club sandwiches…pancakes.

I just know it’s all going to be flame-broiled and life-altering.

And the restaurant already offers the Croissan’Wich which trumps all other possible breakfast sandwiches if only because the egg, cheese, and breakfast meat rests delicately on the buttery, flakey brilliance that is a croissant.

I don’t usually spend so much time pondering fast food. I usually eat it less than a few times a month.

This episode of reflection was prompted by a barrage of commercials the other night.

Sure, you might declare that such enthusiasm for Burger King is misguided as it could be argued that the foodstuff whose praises I sing so deliriously represents the final link in a chain of events that has ruinous consequences to the people and the planet at each and every juncture.

(including the consumption)

I would likely agree.

But I can’t fret about such matters on an empty stomach.

I think I’ll have breakfast first.

Here are four songs that I stopped on while shuffling…

Queens Of The Stone Age – Better Living Through Chemistry
from Rated R

I can’t help thinking of Sympathy For The Devil when I hear the congas that open Queen Of The Stone Age’s Better Living Through Chemistry. The song then proceeds to plow forward, sometimes dreamy, sometimes trippy, yet always heavy.

I’ve definitely not followed music the past ten years as I had before, but of the bands I have heard, few have impressed me during that time as much as Queens Of The Stone Age.

Eve’s Plum – If I Can’t Have You
from Spirit Of ’73: Rock For Choice

With a name inspired by the actress who portrayed Jan Brady on The Brady Bunch, Eve’s Plum released two albums of delightful alternative-tinged power pop in the early/mid-’90s that were sadly ignored before calling it a day. Lead singer Colleen Fitzpatrick would have a bit more commercial success later in the decade under the name Vitamin C.

As for If I Can’t Have You, it is indeed a groovy cover of Yvonne Elliman’s smash hit from the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. The song appeared on the compilation Spirit Of ’73: Rock For Choice which gathered an album’s worth of ’70s pop hits interpreted by ’90s alternative acts.

Concrete Blonde – Beware Of Darkness
from Concrete Blonde

There’s a review of Concrete Blonde’s debut that has stuck in my mind for twenty years as the reviewer – in some hipper-than-thou rag – stated that there was no reason for anyone with two ears to ever listen to it more than once.

Personally, I was a huge fan of the L.A. trio’s punk-infused alternative rock and would argue that the group was one of the more underappreciated acts of the ’90s. Their version of George Harrison’s Beware Of Darkness – and I have to admit, I don’t believe I’ve heard his – is a good fit for the band which often incorporated a bit of a gothic vibe to their sound.

The Future Sound Of London – Osho
from The Isness

I know relatively little about dance music, but the duo The Future Sound Of London hooked me the night I stumbled across the über-cool video for their song My Kingdom

In 2002, the act issued The Isness which found the duo incorporating a heavy dose of psychedelic rock into their post-modern sound. Apparently it left many long-time fans baffled and displeased, but I thought the album was stunning.

Osho, though, has a light ’70s funk feel to it, along with sitar, tabla, and some operatic vocals in the background.

Et Tu, Cheerios?

September 8, 2008

Details and small things fascinate me. This allows me to space out for twenty minutes pondering breakfast cereals, specifically Cheerios.

I love Cheerios. Their simplicity is a thing of wonder to me and I find them to be the most diplomatic of all breakfast cereals. If I were a head of state, I would serve Cheerios at all state functions (but those thoughts are for another time).

I do have to consider the possibility that Cheerios is following the slippery path trail blazed by the folks who make Pop Tarts.

Not long ago, I noted how Pop Tarts started out as something that at least pretended to be somewhat good for you only to introduce flavors like Cake Batter with Double Chocolate Frosting and Pepperoni.

Now I find that there are Frosted Cheerios – tiny o’s of super-sugarized goodness. Has Cheerios sold out?

They are magically delicious, but I doubt they are as effective at lowering cholesterol, helping your heart, or making your bowels move with the precision of a Swiss clock as classic Cheerios.

I’ve also seen boxes of Fruit Cheerios which seems to be some cereal identity theft thing with Fruit Loops as the victim. And Fruit Loops which – if I recall – were pretty much sugar and colored dye probably wouldn’t be considered nutritional.

So much for a healthy breakfast. Soon, we’ll be topping our heaping bowls of Frosted Cheerios with piping hot chocolate pudding instead of milk.

I have no songs with Cheerios (or cereal, for that matter) in the title. A search for breakfast yielded a half dozen tracks – two of which I’ve already posted. The quintet which remained have not one song of which I am readily acquainted, so proceed at your own risk.

The Replacements – Beer For Breakfast

Van Halen – Up For Breakfast

Bijou Phillips- Breakfast

Stretch Princess – Breakfast For Champions