My Top 1000 Songs #198: Point That Thing Somewhere Else

This cut from a 1981 EP by New Zealand indie rockers The Clean is admittedly a left-field pick. It's a garage-rocking Velvets/Stooges-inspired extended guitar vamp, a basic three-chord guitar groove with some drony (and kinda spooky) (and deliriously sloppy) jamming, the understated, opaque lyrics occasionally asserting themselves into the mix (that kinda creepy title refrain perfectly meshing with the antagonism of the guitar and the insistent rhythm section. Not exactly the makings of a stand-out song so much as a striking, unforgettable vibe. Indeed, there's an argument to make that it formed an early blueprint for the work of Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan, a license for post-punk trios to become noisy-ass jam bands.

It's the kind of glorious guitar workout I hear in my head when I imagine what it might sound like if I were going to form a band and were a slightly better guitarist, more mood and sonic splash than virtuosity.

Live in 1989:
Speaking of Yo La Tengo, here they are playing it at one of last year's Hanukkah shows (joined by Pavement's Mark Ibold):