Squeeze is one of those bands hailing from the late 70’s and early 80’s that were far too kitschy to gain major success in the U.S. market. Call us Americans simple, go ahead, but digesting soul music has always been difficult post-60’s. While Hall & Oates steamrolled the competition in the new-soul market during the 80’s, other really intelligent bands existed during the same era, were completely ignored stateside, and that would be a shame.
Indeed, when you think of Squeeze you don’t instantly think of the dynamo lyric and composition tandem of Difford and Tilbrook like you do Hall and Oates, but you certainly should. Their ability to place soul, Motown, and sophistication high on a pedestal without making it entirely cheesy is perhaps their most endearing quality.
The bands biggest single, “Tempted” just might have been a Smokey Robinson classic twenty years prior. Instead it would be the keystone to the Squeeze’s success, and a fine example of their conceptual quality.
In 1981, “Tempted” was a lazy top forty hit that barely made its way to airwaves despite a few bars actually sung by Elvis Costello. Perhaps it felt too familiar, or moreso stale, but the song would be a slow burner in the ears of many for decades to come. Its initial lack of success only makes its latter day success that much more baffling. It’s a great song. Performed with conviction, smart wordplay, and a sing-songy chorus, it is a track, like many in the early 80’s, that would become a cult hit far past its expiration date.
This song is simply about, well, temptation. Wanting more than you have, failing to be content, and regretting it in the end. It is the human condition – wanting what we don’t have – and it works so well in this poetic telling through music.
Like this track, a blue-eyed soul sensation, let’s not be tempted by the fruit of another because eventually truth is discovered.
We, as fans, could certainly ask for more from our Barons. Penalty killing, better consistent defense, fewer penalties, more scoring, but the truth is that this team is good. They are still trying to find their way, but they aren’t looking too shabby in the Western Conference lineup. With a big week ahead, the Barons need to focus on the good stuff, and not be tempted by the bad.
Toronto is a team that is unfamiliar to Oklahoma City, and distance is mostly to blame for that. However, games against the Marlies are almost always entertaining, and always leave you wanting more.
The Marlies are a bunch sitting at .500 as they make their way around the South. A two goal loss to the Stars two nights ago, and a one goal victory against the cranky Rampage were two games that perfectly pegged the Marlies’ season thus far. In the first game they played hard, probably deserved a win, but came up short. The other an awkward officiated game where both teams had more penalties than they cared to admit, yet the Marlies persevered. Sitting at the eighth in the West, but third in the North, the Marlies are a team better than they appear.
Rookie Connor Brown leads in team scoring with eight points in ten games, and usual mainstays Spencer Abbot and Greg McKegg not too far behind. Defensively two rookies also aid in the scoring and chances department, and those fellas to watch are Viktor Loov and Tom Nilsson.
Some okay sophomore goaltending from Christopher Gibson has been dicey at best, but the Marlies recently signed Buckeye (Go Bucks!) Cal Heeter to give Gibson a cushion.
Saturday night’s game begins at 7:00pm in OKC.
On Sunday evening at 4:00pm, the Barons welcome the Rampage back to the Cox Center. Unlike the Marlies, the Rampage are cousins that you know all too well, but somehow are always happy when they leave. Despite having beaten the Barons twice this season, with both games favoring the Rampage by a goal, the team from San Antonio has hit the skids just a bit after a fine start. Last night’s loss to Toronto handed San Antonio its fourth straight loss. Meanwhile the Barons are heading the other direction having earned at least a standing point in five straight games.
The loss of Vincent Trocheck and Rocco Grimaldi after only eight games might have thrown a wrench in the Rampage’s plan, there is no doubt, but they remain a team that puts a ton of pressure on defenses almost nightly. Bobby Butler leads the team with ten points, and he is an offensive gamer. Yet players like Mark Mancari and Brett Olson remain important “steadying” forces.
The Rampage are just behind the Marlies in the Western Conference, but third in the division behind Texas and Oklahoma City. A highly penalized, but quality scoring team, the Rampage can bite when you least expect them. A decent goaltender like Michael Houser or Dan Ellis gets good on a given night, and you might be in trouble.
With both teams being “less than the Barons” early on, expect fireworks. Toronto a distant, rarely seen opponent, and San Antonio a team hungry to win – the weekend might be wild and wooly.
Oklahoma City is without Oscar Klefbom, Keith Aulie and Iiro Pakarinen, both in Edmonton. The loss of Iiro being the most widely interesting, Todd Nelson will concoct a different lineup than he’s had for much of the season. One player doesn’t make a huge difference, but when that player is headstrong in ways that Pakarinen typically can be, he is indeed going to leave a hole.
Will Acton will draw in. Keith Aulie won’t. Acton starting against his former Marlies team is kinda sweet.
Keep your eyes peeled on face-offs and penalty killing – two things that Todd Nelson has worked on in practice.