Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Here Is What I Know (or Vacation Rant)

Vacation thoughts: I'm having a good time relaxing(when we can) with my wife and 3 yr. old son while on vacation. Luckily the ocean is big and the pool serves drinks.

Here is what I know.

Most everyone in the USA are easily pleased lowest common denominator grease engulfing sheep who drink coke in buckets, coors light in one hand, poker chips or vouchers sopping in armpit grease in the other, possible chicken wings between their chubby toes, sitting like gelatinous jabbas in front of quarter slots with their SS checks converted into quarters in big Slushee cups mixed with Marlboro ash to feed the need to try and win enough filthy lucre to save up and come back to the very seat they've melded their cheesburger asses into within the smokey cancer caves of the casino. The circle will never be unbroken in the church, casino, boardwalk,strip mall, swap meet, AA meeting,Boat Show, Monster Truck Ralley, Bingo Hall, White Castle, Cracker Barrel, Subway, Applebees, tanning booth, Daytona 500, Creflo Dollar- Tony Robbins-Carlton Sheets convention Atlantic City boardwalk way of life.

Most everyone in the USA are pathetically self loathing enough to want to tan themselves raw and rusty orange as they glow even at dusk and carcinoma throws a party in their melanin. They want tits bigger than their heads so illogically placed on anorexic chests that they look like Biodomes on a desert floor. They want flounder lips and ass implants and big blotchy blue tattoos of obscenely gaudy crosses on their biceps to remind everyone that they worship "him" as much as the gym. Vericose veins under a 69 year old's petrified and bruised orange thighs are highlighted by white bikini bottoms with fringe, you know... Most everyone could give a shit about the ozone as long as their hair spikes and teases perfectly and they got the right Ed Hardy party to be at. Their teeth are capped, their texts are tight and their IQs are off the charts(meaning they never got on).

Most people could be entertained by a tone deaf organ grinder/serial killer with 11 children if he had rock hard abs and had his own reality show where he was trying to find love among bloodsucking dirty jersey girls who were fashion school ugly ducklings now trash talking in broken ebonic swans who pick fights with people in fat suits on an obstacle courses made of rubber facades and things found on an island if you waved a 100 dollar bill in their face or promised them a spin off season right after the tribe spoke while moving that bus.

Most people buy Daughtry/Kenny Chesney/Jimmy Buffet/David Cook/Doobie Brother/Steve Miller/Dave Matthews/Boyz II Men/Big and Rich/Poison/Sponge/Nickelback/Harry Connick/Creedence Clearwater Revisited/Linkin Park/Black Eyed Peas/Tribute to Sublime/George Thoroughgood/Blink 182/Manhattan Transfer/Temptations/Good Charlotte/yellowcard/Featuring members of Bachman Turner Overdrive/Kid Rock/Bon Jovi/Jonas Brothers/George Strait/Hinder/Lyle Lovett/Saliva/Incubus and 3 Doors Down tickets and know it as music and laugh at Carrot Top/Dane Cook/the Wayans Brothers/Louie Anderson/ Bill Engvall/Ron White/Jim Belushi/George Lopez/Paula Poundstone/Ellen deGeneres/Jay Leno/Sinbad/Larry The Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy and know it as comedy.

Most people trust Ryan Seacrest, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, The Sham Wow Guy, Ron Popeil, Emeril Lagasse, Bill O Reilly, Terry Bradshaw, Rick Dees, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Shaquille O Neal, Tom Brady, Casey Kasem, Billy Bush, Lauren Conrad, Tyra Banks, Rob Sheffield, Jimmy Johnson,Wayne Brady, Heidi Klum, Maury Povich,Frank Rich,Pete Hammond, Heidi Montag and the Gosselins to make their decisions for them.

Most people in the USA smoke while they eat, smoke in the rain, smoke at the pool, smoke between train cars, smoke at the beach(one huge ashtray) smoke after working out, smoke at my sister's calling hours(she died of lung cancer) smoke on motorcycles, while mowing the lawn, while taking a shit, while leaving a shit, smoke before and after church, smoke before, during and after pregnancy, smoke while hooked up to a breathe machine, smoke through blowholes, smoke with wrinkly elephantine grey skin and curdled up fingers through nicotine stained mustaches and fogged up glasses on park benches, around campfires and candy stores, while hunting and bowling and walking and laughing and coughing and hurling and dancing and dying in line for lotto tickets, or at OTB.

My neck hurts from shaking my head, my brain hurts from dreaming up plans for elimination, my eyes hurt from staring in disbelief, my throat hurts for cursing under my breath. My shoulders hurt from either shrugging in excess or because I missed a spot with the SPF 15.

And now my fingers hurt from typing.

Some people are good.
Show me where to find them.
Let me bring my family, a good book, an 80 gig ipod, a pen and some anti-depressants.
I wouldn't mind access to pale ales, an animal sanctuary and some balmy, boogie- board free water, either.

Thank You...I must go now. The men in the white uniforms are coming.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Heartless Bastards- The Mountain

I haven't given any lady rockers props in a long time. I guess I'm just as hard on female vocalists as I am for the males. I look for vocalists who stand many female chick rock vocalists sound the same (sorry, in my opinion I see no difference between Amy Mann,Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega, Meredith Brooks,Kristen Hersh,Juliana Hatfield and Ani Difranco. Even much hyped ladies Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) or St. Vincent have voices that are very strong, but just don't take me anywhere. I'm talking VOICES. One of a kind voices like Aretha, Stevie Nicks, Janis, Joni...even Bjork are very hard to find..but I found one in Erika Wennerstrom from the band Heartless Bastards. She has an amazing voice that teeters in and out of decipherability blossoming with wear and tear, shaky depth and sadness that just hooked me when I heard this album recently. Here is a video of a live session featuring the title track to their latest album "The Mountain" :

Let me know what you think and give me any suggestions you may have on where to look for more one of a kind female voices.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Soundgarden Guitarist Comes Out Of His Rusty Cage

Kim Thayil, guitarist for the decade defunct Soundgarden, has resurfaced to grant Rolling Stone an interview. He talks about a long awaited box set and the possibility of a reunion. Soundgarden was my tour guide with a flashlight through the dark 90s. Maybe Kim, Ben and Matt can do a drive by sucker punch at Timbaland's house and drag Cornell out of there to make this I can give my flannel some purpose again. here are some excerpts :

What have you been up to since Soundgarden's split?

Mostly I've done session stuff with friends now and then. Most of the time, I've declined opportunities to play live, record or form bands. Just keeping it a little bit "lower," so I have time to do other things besides be on the road [laughs]. I think the one I've enjoyed the most is sitting in on the Altar sessions with Sunn O))) and Boris. There's a sort of pop-grunge singer from Japan, a woman named Aya, that was being produced by Adam Kasper. Matt Cameron and Krist Novoselic also played on that record, and I played solos on five songs. The album [titled Senjou no Hana] was only released in Japan. Spent a long time mixing that No WTO Combo record [Live from the Battle in Seattle, with Novoselic and ex-Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra]. Also, the work I did with Steve Fisk — both with Pigeonhed and the last solo Steve Fisk record, 999 Levels of Undo, I wrote some parts and came up with some leads. Besides working with the guys from Sunn O))) and Boris, I really like the work I've done with Steve Fisk. Believe it or not, in the early '90s, I did some TV commercial soundtrack with Steve! It was a Christmas spot — lots of weird, chaotic noise — for a retail store.

Looking back, what's your favorite Soundgarden album and why?

I think I have three albums that stand out for different reasons. Screaming Life is distinctly different with Jack Endino's production and our original songs from that period that Hiro [Yamamoto, original bassist] played on. I just like those songs, and the sound of the production — the ambience and the feel. Just the way the room sounds. We recorded that at Reciprocal Studios, which a lot of early Sub Pop records were recorded at, including Nirvana, Mudhoney and Tad.
And Superunknown. Once again, it's the ambience — the implied and created room. And I like the material and the performances very much. There's a dark feel to it that is powerful, and is great with headphones on. Badmotorfinger I love because it sounds great in a car. It's got a lot of weird quirks in it — as is typical with Soundgarden. We always added that element of crazy and weird. We had an ability to not take ourselves too seriously, while committing to the heaviness. Sort of like laughing while kicking your ass.

What exactly is the status of the much talked about Soundgarden box set of B sides and unreleased material?

It's a matter of just working with the record company. Y'know, a year or two after we disbanded, A&M Records disbanded — it got bought, and all of our friends there got fired. The record company dissolving and our management company dissolving put a big hit on Soundgarden's catalog and merchandise. I think our merchandising catalog suffered quite a bit due to neglect from the record company and management. Which wasn't intentional, it's just the record company was gone and the management company wound up being a P.O. Box and a voicemail.

Basically, a box set slowly and surely will happen. We need communication with the band, our record label and management. I really cannot emphasis my apologies to all our fans worldwide — it pisses me off to no end that you can't walk into a mall, go to the local head shop or record store, and find a Soundgarden T-shirt or poster. It bugs the hell out of me, and everyone in the band. Just be patient — nobody's more bugged about it than I am. It's all inertia, if it's a big giant stone wheel, it comes down a hill really fast. But it goes up a hill very slow. Right now, it's at the bottom of the hill, and we've got to push it back up.

What will be on the box set?

Stuff that was released only in Europe, Australia, and Japan, on movie soundtracks, sessions we did for John Peel in England, and then stuff that was never released — demo versions of things, alternate versions of songs, and songs that were recorded, but never released in any form, that we would simply have to mix and maybe re-edit, which would be like brand new Soundgarden songs. Songs that no one's heard, except for maybe a few people close to Soundgarden's circle.

What are some titles of these unreleased tracks?

"Dirty Candy," "Ocean Fronts," "Open Up," "Summation" — that was a pretty heavy song, in 5/4 time. "Ocean Fronts" is a little bit more of a trippy, arpeggiated song. A song called "Beast," which is going to sound exactly like the title. "Beast" and "Summation" were really strong songs live — from the mid-late '80s. I cannot believe those two songs have never been released. "No Shame" is another title. There's enough stuff out there to fill up three or four albums. There's enough original stuff that's been released but hasn't been compiled — B sides — to make an album. There's enough covers to make an album. There's enough remixes that Moby, Steve Fisk and Bill Rieflin did, that could constitute a pretty interesting EP. There's enough unreleased stuff to make an album. It's just getting the business and creative machine on the same page.

Ben told me he thinks that if Soundgarden were to get back together, you guys could pick up exactly where you left off.

I think he's right. We all play enough and are acquainted with the material enough that I think it would take a few rehearsals. When Ben, Matt, and I got together with Tad, it was like falling off our bike and getting back on.

That said, could Soundgarden ever reunite?

People would have to want to. I think more importantly, tending to the merchandising catalog is something that would be satisfying for the band members and for the fans. I never say never ... but I'm not losing too much sleep over it, either.

I've been losing sleep over it since 1997. Help a grunge brutha out, Kim.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reviewing An Instrumental Band

The other night I had to review a show. My dream job is to actually get paid to review shows, befriend bands or make them pariahs of the scene. That comes later. But for now, I am the east coast concert reviewer for I get to see shows for free(that is how I'm paid) and review them(works for me). The band I went to see was instrumental rock/funk/, jazzy/electronica/ free form/indie/math based band. A very good band whose been around since the 80s and many may say are responsible for the term "post-rock".

There was a slight problem. Trivial as it may be. They are an instrumental band and mood is conveyed with conviction through their songs and the lack of words such songs tend to have. I take notes at shows with my Moleskine pad. Its small enough to fit in my back pocket. I usually rely on song lyrics and structure to set up my framework for the review. I have to burn off wordy calories and get my review down to a fighting weight of 275 words or so. Let me get to the point. How do you review a show FOR THE MASSES when the show is instrumental and you don't know the titles of the songs???

I thought of reviewers everywhere who cover jazz and classical and what their plan of attack was....with no words, no frontman and no real verbal interaction with the paying public to use as a foundation for their review. But those reviewers are usually academics who research hours of taped performances beforehand and know one movement from another. I'm a moody rock singer who loves to criticize everything. I could only come up with one method of getting this assignment done, and lets just say I'm gonna need a Plan B.

I went the free thought route and just wrote what I "saw" as I listened to Tortoise plow throw an unclassifiable set. I will now share with you what I wrote for "songs" #4 and #6 as they happened in real time.

#4 : huge crowd response
2112 alarm : HAL in a panic
pod doors close
Medeski Martin and Wood introduces to Keir Dullea
geiger counter of twin xylophones
bossa nova bee bite
metal detectors going off as tsunami waves crash the beach

#6: amphetamined high hat
Steely Dan Gaucho Rhodes intro
onward to SantanaDan
timbale turrets blasting beats over hipster headspace.
Breaks out and back into
souled out sacrifice asymmetrical
hair bobs and sways
THEN Heavy Beat Steady Bass
straight into LIVE EVIL guitar
Keys sound-asylum break
rhythm is beat of running inmates
heartbeat lulls-we're in hiding
night is a blanket
we are out of sight
until the morning
we crawl out of the forest
re-live the pace- run toward freedom.

WOW... it just exhales off of the page(maybe not the screen) and I like it.

I'm a huge fan of Lester Bangs, the late great most awesomest rock critic of all time...most of you don't know who I'm talking about so go watch Almost Famous where Lester is portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman...or go read Let It Blurt by Jim Derogatis to get yerself up to speed if you care to.

Lester just "Let it Blurt" out of him as he wrote. Like a tape worm of quotes, vignettes, idol worship, Rock case studies and fascinating verbal diarrhea... Stream of Conciousness refined a little bit. You either loved him, hated him or misunderstood him.

I could never be Lester Bangs....but I like where I'm going with this. a review of an instrumental not quite jazz and not quite rock band whose latest album is called Beacons of Ancestorship and I don't know the song titles but I really like them anyhow and I let it loose as best I could.

If after one reads a review, they do not wish they were at that show, then I have not done my job.

Let me know if I've done my job.

I am up to 26 public followers now. Thank you make my work and fun worthwhile. Please comment once in a while. For anyone else ...FOLLOW ME in the far right column at the top. Love You Mean It.

Monday, July 20, 2009

2 Stories= Unbelievable.

From Blabbermouth comes this:

According to The Pulse of Radio, John Bonham's gong sold for $64,000 on July 6 to an anonymous buyer after failing to sell at auction. reported that the gong was consigned by Bonham's sister, singer Deborah Bonham, and their mother, Joan Bonham. The instrument which was used by Bonham onstage, was purchased on July 6 by a buyer who wished to remain anonymous during an "after-sale" when the gong failed to sell as part of Bonhams and Butterfields Entertainment Memorabilia auction. The gong was originally thought to bring in a price as high as $120,000.

You mean to tell me the most famous GONG in history FAILED to sell at auction? Where was the auction, at a gong factory where all the gong makers are poor, blind asian day laborers? The first time I ever saw a gong was when Bonzo whalloped it into Submission during repeated viewings of The Song Remains The Same. This gong made hundreds of Hacky heavy metal drummers light theirs on fire before they hit it during the 25 minute drum solo that allowed the frontman to change into new spandex and snort a line or two backstage before coming out and doing the power ballad that made them famous!

And why do the Bonhams need to get rid of it? They surely don't need money do they? They can live comfortably off royalties from "When the Levee Breaks" alone, right? Was it taking up space in the garage where a new Beamer needed to go? How about donating it to a museum you bloodsuckers!

Here it is:

Here it was:

The second story is another one to file in the "Please let the dead guitar God rest dept.". Earlier this year I reported on an alleged confession from the shady manager of Jimi Hendrix named Mike Jeffrey in a new book by former roadie James "Tappy" Wright that says Jeffrey had the guitar icon murdered for the insurance money . Now comes claims from a UK website stating that the doctor who treated Hendrix after his "overdose" says the "murder" part may be true. Here is the story courtesy of Nightwatcher's House of Rock....

Doctor Who Tried To Save Hendrix Says Murder Claim Plausible

The UK's Times Online is reporting that the doctor who attempted to revive Jimi Hendrix on the night that the guitarist died believes that it is “plausible” that he was murdered.

John Bannister said that medical evidence was consistent with claims in a book that Hendrix was killed on the orders of his manager, Mike Jeffery.

James “Tappy” Wright, a former road manager who worked for Jeffery, as previously reported writes in his new memoir, Rock Roadie, that in the early hours of September 18, 1970, a gang hired by Jeffery broke into the London hotel room where Hendrix was staying with his girlfriend, Monika Dannemann, and forced sleeping pills and wine down his throat until he drowned.

Mr Bannister was the on-call registrar at the now defunct St Mary Abbots Hospital in Kensington on the morning that Hendrix was brought in. He had no idea who the famous patient was but remembers that he was “very long”. Mr Bannister, 67, speaking at his home in Sydney, said: “He was hanging over the table we had him on by about ten inches.”

t was apparent from the start that Hendrix had probably arrived too late for the medical staff to save him. “When you are in casualty, one always tries very hard to resuscitate people. There’s always a hope. We worked very hard for about half an hour but there was no response at all. It really was an exercise in futility,” said Mr Bannister. “Somebody said to me ‘You know who that was?. That was Jimi Hendrix’ and, of course, I said, ‘Who’s Jimi Hendrix?’.”

Mr Wright’s description of what had happened to Hendrix “sounded plausible because of the volume of wine”, Mr Bannister said. What struck him most about the unusually tall patient was that he was drenched in alcohol. “The amount of wine that was over him was just extraordinary. Not only was it saturated right through his hair and shirt but his lungs and stomach were absolutely full of wine. I have never seen so much wine. We had a sucker that you put down into his trachea, the entrance to his lungs and to the whole of the back of his throat.

We kept sucking him out and it kept surging and surging. He had already vomited up masses of red wine and I would have thought there was half a bottle of wine in his hair. He had really drowned in a massive amount of red wine.” According to the conventional account, Hendrix — one of the most charismatic guitarists in the history of rock — died at the age of 27 from choking on vomit after a drugs overdose. Wright, now 65, has stirred conspiracy theorists and Hendrix obsessives around the world with his alternative account of the guitarist’s demise. He claims that Jeffery confessed the murder to him a month before he died in an aircraft collision.

Dannemann, an ice-skating instructor-turned-drug addict, who many people suspected knew more about Hendrix’s death than she let on, committed suicide in 1996.

Wright contends that Jeffery, his old boss, was “a dangerous man” who had been in the Secret Service and flaunted his connections with organized crime. By 1970 he was heavily in debt and had fallen out with his star act who may have been looking to change management and whose behavior had become increasingly erratic as his drug taking reached uncontrolled levels.

In response Jeffery allegedly took out a $2 million life insurance policy on the guitarist. According to Wright, Jeffery told him that Hendrix was “worth more to him dead than alive”.

Mr Bannister returned to Australia in 1972 and practised as an orthopaedic surgeon until 1992, when he was deregistered in New South Wales for fraudulent conduct.

I love the british press....even a slow news day turn out tabloidish pablum. And check out the last sentence....this doc was deregistered for quackiness and wackiness. Quack is wack.

Hendrix died in 1970..he drank too much wine to wash down his barbituates. The strum stops there. If this story was true...wouldn't there be scratches or signs of a struggle? Or did Jimi just lay there while wine and pills were forced down his gullet? How does a sleeping man swallow? Allrighty that we've cleared that up..

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Paul Stanley : Fruit and Nuts

If you have seven minutes and you hate kiss...then I have the video for you. Paul Stanley and some of the most obnoxious stage banter you have ever heard..and some great youtube editing as well. I've got news for you..kiss was not an influence on anything(not even make up,Alice Cooper beat them to it) except for endless greed and limp dick rock. If you have every kiss greatest hits album (There are 6 or 7), think Gene Simmons is talented and humble, and know the tracklist for the Peter Criss solo LP...maybe you ought to sit this one out. This one should make you SSIK!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Anger Management and Patience Maintenance

I'll admit it. I've been a tad perturbed lately, grumpy..punching the air and mincing no words. Funny thing is ok. I've found an interest in keeping our garden well tended and I don't even like the veggies my wife grows....writing is kicking into gear....and today I hit some notes while singing P.Y.T. by Michael Jackson song that would make the hair on a cats balls stand at end(it came up on ipod shuffle, ok? Right after Freedom Rider by Traffic and right before Had A Dad by Janes Addiction). Life is good. I ate a fucking salad for lunch, for christs sake.

So yeah, I'm enjoying the summer but this past weekend was a shitstorm of emotion.

But the part that made me most angry is this part..I went to see Wilco in Delaware for free(as I was reviewing the show)and I was given a press photo pass as well. I thought this meant I could bring in my camera and take pics of the show from my seats....boy was I wrong..and UNPREPARED. It turns out a press photo pass puts you at Wilco's feet for the first three songs. Thats right. Front row...actually in FRONT of front row.(and the barricades and the security)
Holy Shit! They break into Wilco(The Song)as their opener which is from the stellar new album Wilco The Album and I'm standing dead center at Tweedy's feet taking one picture..trying to look professional while bopping head and singing along....snap second pic..another of Tweedy with bassist John Stirrat in the back ground, then another and another and...the battery dies. 30 seconds in to a 3 song photo op on my first photo assignment. Awesome! And now...I can't just stand there with Delaware's finest press corps photographers snapping furiously all around me...I have to FAKE taking pictures(looking down at my viewfinder, adjusting focus, moving around,etc.) for the next two songs until we are escorted out of the sanctioned photo area.

You know that music on a game show when somebody gets a wrong answer, underbids on the Showcase Showdown and is escorted out with a years supply of Turtle Wax....? That is the sound I heard in my head as I went back to my seat like a three legged wet dog. Four pictures taken....175 faked.

Do I seem angry to you?

Jeff Tweedy gets angry too. Here is a prime example of him calling out some chatty Cathys at one of his shows........deep breaths.....count to ten....repeat.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hairline Fractures

Broke an emotional curfew
got punished all weekend
decided to punish back
blitzkrieg anger attack,
forced repeat no retract
Jeckyl cringes through first act
Hyde expands and contracts...

Reviewed a Wilco show in Delaware
with a photo press pass to boot.
I was taking pictures at Tweedy's feet and the camera battery died after 4 shots.
Had to stand there and fake it while the anger slugged me from the inside out.
My first photo assignment a laugh riot
more riot no laughs.
massive professional gaff.

Saturday, up early, the blood on the rise.
wife wanted healthy breakfast and then exercise
lashed out complaining like a rabid machine
having to watch my son in between.
His whining connects with a cruel little switch
that turns me quick into a psychopathic bitch...
He's three and I'm forty so I'm going to win.
And the rage pins him back to the seat he is in.

Voices raise sharp
filing knives to the tip.
Conversation is shredded
as the sanity slips.

Sunday is a bully that bludgeons my face.
My son wakes me up as the dream was erased.
Had a breakfast of stones
washed it down with some fire
Had to go to a birthday party as I drained all desire
and I cried on the way to a gathering of smiles.
the weather was gorgeous as I gargled my bile.
This is harshest of harsh
I relinquish control
to the elegant demons who shoot you up with vitriol.

Later the chores laid the mines in the yard.
I punched a few doors to remain over-scarred.
I made my son cry and I made my wife run
under bright summer air setting my world to stun.
I ran over a bird on my way to buy beer.
bashed my head on the wheel in disgust and sans steer.
medicated my way to a normal pulse rate
and washed away the weekend so dim and irate.

Some days you come up empty and you wait for the night.
where its closer to sleep and ok to lose sight
lose fight
lose light.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Best Albums of 2009 (at the Half)

Its Halftime....the first half of 2009 has the new me winning against the old me of 2008 by a score of Shit, yea! to Fuck That! From Jan. to now I've toured the country and rocked extremely hard with Bang Camaro, I graced the stages with them at SXSW, The First Avenue in Minneapolis and Jimmy Kimmel Live. I saw an assload of shows for free and reviewed them. My wife and I are finally enjoying our house and the joy it brings us after hitting several walls last year. I'm having a fight with carbs and I'm taking them down like a bully on a bloated playground. My son knows the words to "Blackbird" and "All You Need Is Love" by heart(he's 3)...and blah blah blah....toot that fuckin' horn a little louder, why dontcha Seano, I couldn't hear ya the first time.!!

This half has also introduced me to some excellent music on some stellar releases. So here is my list of the Best Albums(you vinyl freaks call 'em that) or cds or downloads that I've heard so far this year. There is only one that was not released this year(but I like it and didn't hear it until this past May) with no further BS.....

9) U2- No Line On The Horizon- Yeah, it holds up after marinating this long and is a return to form and a departure as well. Lets hope Bono and the Edge change their mind about the soundtrack to the Spider Man Musical and stick with being U2

8)Wilco- Wilco(the Album)I truly believe this album is a thank you to fans from every era because it delves into every era they have ever ventured into. From the free and high spirited standout Wilco(The Song), to the weary defensive/dreamy pop of I'll Fight to the screaming bloody murder of Bull Black Nova. Grows on anyone who loves them back.

7)The Parlor Mob-And You Were A Crow- This Jersey quintet opened up for Bang Camaro when we played the Viper Room in LA...and smoked through a set that leaned heavy on progressive blues/retro rock..but there was something missing. The sound had buried singer Mark Melicia's voice in the din of it all. The album changed all of that. Melicia's voice is clear here and HIGHHHH! tighty whitey high!...a soaring and glorious compliment to the throwback sound that I crave most every day. "Dead Wrong", "The Kids" and "When I Was An Orphan" are standouts.Released in 2008...yep, behind the ball on this one.

6) Leslie- Rebel Souls EP- South Carolina's own Leslie are young, wild and want to be free and it's all ringing rebelliously true on this EP. I became fast friends with these immensely talented southern boys with their "devil may care" and Skynyrd hair as we traversed across America together in a big white van. Leslie shared the bill with Bang Camaro on many a night in April and I was entranced with their set from day one. With a median age of 24, this trio of best buds led by the infectuously charismatic Sadler Vaden pulls from the best combination of southern tinged rock and soul but let loose Big Star blasts of power pop and hot roots rock hiding in between scrumptious power chords. Every song on this EP is a winner but I have a solid soft spot for "End Of the Road" a perfect driving love song and an appropriate homage to family and freedom. Leslie are coming on strong with a full length release to be unleashed later this year so hook up your speakers and lock up your daughters. For all Leslie all the time go to www.myspace/leslierocks

5) Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit- Jason Isbell was one of three strong singer songwriters in the Drive By Truckers until he left several years back. on this second release, I was pulled in deep to the energy of the cuts,yes, but Jason's lyrics are some of the best I've heard in years...check out Seven Mile Island or Cigarettes and Wine for pure poetry set to struggle and shuffle.

4) Clutch- Strange Cousins From The West- You know why I like Clutch so mutch? Yes, because they rock so hard and fine that my balls twitch from the thunder...but really because they're smart...really smart. Singer Neil Fallon reads more than you..shit I bet his tourbus could double as a bookmobile...Best thought lyrics of ANY heavy band put to the task. Minotaur and Freakonomics are two examples here. Put your hand up in that mosh pit..if you have questions, Neil may answer them.

3)The House Harkonnen- Demo- An unbelievable surprise while on tour was this band who opened the show in Denton TX of all places, and proceeded to wake the dead from several centuries with their ferocious mix of heavy and fast and heavy again. Frontman Alex has a scream that makes bats swarm in a frenzy outside the venue..and a croon that melts speaker cabinets. These guys are too good for Denton. Somebody sign them.

2)Heartless Bastards- The Mountain- I heard this album once two weeks ago and it shook me to my marrow. All I can say about singer Erika Wennerstrom's voice is that I've never heard anything like it in a laid bare and split wide open heartbreaking way. The Mountain and Out at Sea are two songs that puncture your happy but plateaued soul and let it spill out onto the sidewalk or seep down into the canyon. I'm still haunted by it and have found it hard to give it a second listen, but when the wind is right, I will.

1)Mastodon-Crack the Skye- I've said it before, I'll say it again. Prepare to be conquered.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Guiltless Pleasures

I was hoping for a great music news day after the holiday weekend...maybe a story like Billy Ray Armstrong losing most of his riffing hand in a fireworks accident or breaking news of Michael Jackson's kids having their skin bleached.....but no.

I'm left with fumes, yawning through more of the ugly main mainstream, and ultimately deciding on coming up with another list. The idea for this list was given to me by fellow blogger Isorski from Isorski's Musings...He wanted to do a list of albums we like but probably shouldn't, that's rad enough, but I'm going to expand it to ANYTHING music related.
You could call these guilty pleasures....I like "guiltless" better.

1)Steely Dan- Most hard ass rockers think Steely Dan reek of pretention and are completely soulless perfectionists who were too "above" touring in their heyday to care. Yeah! But the songs are great! And Donald Fagan was an awesome lyricist! He wrote most of his songs about drugs, sex, using drugs to get sex, dirty work, bad business practices and shady characters. Christ! The band is named after a dildo! Babylon Sisters, Hey Nineteen, Haitian Divorce, Black Cow, Kid Charlemagne, Don't Take Me Alive, Bad Sneakers, Katy Lied.....all brilliant. Ever wonder why you never see a cover band do the Dan? Because they can't.

Steely Dan also had the best studio musicians known to man to compliment the awesome skillz of Becker/Fagan....Larry Carlton, Skunk Baxter, Steve Gadd..and so on and so forth. It was geek music before indie existed and it still holds up. Try Aja or The Royal Scam on for size.

2)Disco- The genre was reviled in the 70s. They blew up thousands of disco LPs in Comiskey Park in 1979..the outfits were the most outrageously bad examples of fashion from any century(worse than powdered wigs, worse than togas, worse than burkas). I hated it too, because I was supposed to. You cannot rock a Highway to Hell baseball jersey and claim to know all the words to "Night Fever" as well. At least you couldn't back then. I would have been strung up by my yarbles from the gym rafters... But there was a time when I loved to dance..we all danced at a place called 747 on the weekends during the high school years...and although it was the mid '80s...the true disco era hits were played and everybody shook what mama gave 'em.
Last week after MJ passed....I "found" over 250 disco songs from '76-'81.The memories came back(they had never really left, but were buried under Sabbath Bloody Sabbath for all these years)...The one thing you cannot deny about disco MORE than any other genre was that it was perfectly tailored for DANCING. You have to move somehow when you hear "I Feel Love" By Donna Summer or "Good Times" by Chic or "Jive Talkin" by the Bee Gees You can't NOT move. The disco Bass that met the disco drum beat usually fell between 115-140 Beats per Minute(BPM)...simply put...the asses left the seats.
I'm not going to break out the parachute pants and hit the Disco Saturdays at the local Lions Club anytime soon. But you may see me belting out Boogie Nights in a traffic jam now more than ever...if I can't move...I'm gonna THINK move.

3) Yacht Rock- For those not in the know...Yacht Rock is, according to WIKIPEDIA:

The popular soft rock that peaked between the years of 1976 and 1984. Significant "yacht rockers" include Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross, and Toto. In the musical sense, yacht rock refers to the highly polished brand of soft rock that emanated from Southern California during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In part, the term relates to the stereotype of the yuppie yacht owner, enjoying champagne and smooth music while out for a sail. Additionally, since sailing was a popular leisure activity in Southern California, many "yacht rockers" made nautical references in their lyrics, videos, and album artwork, particularly the anthemic track "Sailing" by Christopher Cross. Yacht Rock music is commonly described as, "A little bit better than elevator music!"

Lets add the Doobie Brothers, Hall and Oates, Steve Miller, Ambrosia, Seals and Crofts, The Little River Band, Bread, Pablo Cruise, Ace, Player, Orleans, Looking Glass, England Dan and John Ford Coley,Styx and REO Speedwagon(give or take a few songs)

Yacht Rock is the term..there was also an online video series following the fictionalized lives and careers of American soft rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s....called Yacht Rock which is where journalists stole the name.

Who doesn't like "Kiss On My List", "Brandy" or "Black Water"? Who doesn't know every word to "The Pina Colada Song"? Who won a Grammy for Best New Artist and for Album of the Year in 1981?!!??? Christopher Cross, that's who! BAM!

Yacht Rock makes me want to find my own Tenille and make sweet Muskrat Love to Her.
Yacht Rock makes me want to take a walk in a windy park, take a drive down on the beach, stay at home and watch tv, you know it really doesn't matter that much to me. I just Really Want To See You Tonight.

Those are my first three Guiltless pleasures and there will be much more to come...

Why does someone who hates hip hop so much have 4 Beastie Boy Albums? Guilty of that Pleasure too.....

I hope to hear some of your takes as always.....and thank you for reading and giving a shit enough to reply.

Friday, July 03, 2009

I Want This To Come Out Yesterday

That crazy Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age is working on a super top secret project. It appears he's gotten some lightweight wanna- be sidemen to help him out. His wife Brody Dalle(also known as the hottest woman in rock since Christ was a kid) let it slip a little bit during an interview.....Here's what I found...courtesy of Blabbermouth...

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE frontman Josh Homme's wife Brody Dalle has commented on Homme's rumored new project with John Paul Jones (LED ZEPPELIN) and Dave Grohl (FOO FIGHTERS). The trio is said to be currently holed up in a Los Angeles recording studio working on an album that's been the biggest secret in rock for what seems like years now.

Dalle told, "I'm not at liberty to talk about it… but I think [the project] is pretty fucking amazing. Just beats and sounds like you've never heard before."

According to Lemon Squeezings, Jones wrote in an online post in April that he hoped "to be everywhere this summer" with "a couple of other people" who've been "working [with him] on some other music, which is more rock-based."

Jones in recent years has sat in with FOO FIGHTERS onstage and in the studio, and conducted an orchestra for Grohl's band at the Grammy Awards. Homme, who is the only consistent member of QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, allowed Grohl to guest on that outfit's breakthrough single.

When Jones first hinted of a summer project, he gave few details — and intentionally so, it appears, due to an expressed secrecy revolving around the collaboration. After dropping his sole hint in an interview with Women's Wear Daily, Jones added, "It's a secret, actually. I shouldn't have even said that, you know? There are some exciting projects coming up, let's put it that way."

First of all....HOLY SHIT! I hear he's trying to recruit master yelper Mike Patton(Faith No More,Tomahawk)as well...
Secondly...Why the fuck is JPJ giving an interview to Womens Wear Daily? Is he auctioning off some of his frilliest frocks from Zep eras '69-'72? Or do chicks like bass?

I'm confused.

I'm thrilled.

I want to sweep the floor in that studio.

I'll clean toilets..make out for Vicodin, whatever.

Anyone listening?