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Weekend Songs: David Lindley, ‘Tiki Torches at Twilight’

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Classic rock is about heavy hooks, power chords, and tight harmonies, but it’s also about letting loose and enjoying the good times — and there’s no better time than Friday evening, when we pick up our paycheck, punch out of work, and enjoy a couple days of much-needed rest and relaxation.

This Friday, with a long Memorial Day weekend upon us, our thoughts turn to those who have made the greatest sacrifice for the continued preservation of our way of life — and then they turn to the neighborhood barbecues that always tend to accompany a three-day work holiday, as well as the small talk and beer-attenuated awkwardness that goes along with them. All of which is a rather roundabout explanation of why this weekend’s Weekend Song is ‘Tiki Torches at Twilight,’ the closing track from David Lindley’s 1988 album ‘Very Greasy.’

Arguably best known for his work as a longtime sideman/stage foil for Jackson Browne, Lindley is also a prolific session player who made a name for himself in discerning circles as a versatile performer with an eye for unusual and/or exotic instruments. During the ’70s and ’80s, he was particularly active among the artists of Browne’s peer group, popping up repeatedly on albums by Warren Zevon, Graham Nash, Linda Ronstadt, and others — all of which helped earn him a solo contract in his own right, starting with 1981’s ‘El Rayo-X,’ named for his band at the time.

Lindley’s solo records weren’t particularly big sellers, but they did give him a little extra room to display his stellar musicianship, impeccable taste in cover songs, and wicked sense of humor. Case in point: ‘Tiki Torches at Twilight,’ which takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the superficial nonsense surrounding grown-up get-togethers with lines like “Tiki torches at twilight / Hula girls at the bar / All the guys from the office / Are throwing up their cars” and “Standing round at poolside / Talking shop with the boss / If you are a cool talker / You’ll get your message across.”

Most of us have been there, and more than a few of us will find ourselves in similar situations over the holiday. So before we raise our umbrella-festooned coconut cups, let’s raise a grin for the talented Mr. Lindley — and before we file off to our barbecues, let’s hit play on the video embedded above, turn up the volume, and let the weekend…start…now.

Next: Got Us a Pocket Full of Change

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