Thursday, January 28, 2010

People in My "Go Away" Department Part 756

Yeah, its a good day for another rant. Why does this differ from any other day, those who are familiar with COF may ask? Because I'm blogging from a library. I'm now likened to one of those stumblebums who dig in ashtrays for spent butts, survive on a diet of happy meals and ripple...and spend most of their winter days in libraries...where they loaf around, pretending to read the paper(cmon, we all know they can't read) and magazines like Road and Track and Jet...but really they're just staying warm.

Look at all of the judging and profiling I just spewed out in that first paragraph..I should be ashamed of myself...Well, I would be..I would have more time to think about writing before I speak..1) If I was in my own home(which presently has no internet)  2) If I had my own laptop..which sadly, I no longer do because my 4 year old Toshiba finally shit the bed,chock full of virus,crackware and bloated with files I'll never use. So here I am, next to a fermenting bocephus with an orange smoke stained mustache and the sweat soaked rotting overcoat he lives in...

Cool...I just got "timed out" after forty five minutes of two- fingered tapping at one library, and now I am at my second library...I am draped in awesomeness today! Awesome! The scenery here is different, but the characters are similar...I love that the guy across from me is keeping time with his phlegm -hawking. Just about every minute and a half..his throat gets re- cleared and I lose further faith in humanity.....I should have sprayed hand sanitizer all over my body or donned a Hazmat suit....but I was too busy rushing to this library to get on a computer before Clem Clamshooter.

Forgive me if I'm off my game and years away from getting one of those fancy Tablets all of the geek squad is squabbling about. The only tablet I need has to be smuggled into the US via someone's low low lower intestine or bought in the same alley that my man to the right crawled out of this morning.
So let's RANT.  How about a continuation of a lifelong thread I keep called "People in my Go-Away Dept."????

Today I'm all about that hollow headed non -entity, blank slate of a human called "Will I Am" from the "Black Eyed Peas".  First he had the nerve to be expelled from his mother's uterus..and then he deemed himself an artist and found Stacy Ferguson(Fergie!??...Anyone more than 20 years old ever heard of  The Duchess of York..Sarah Ferguson..the first and only Fergie? Couldn't come up with anything original, Stace? She's royalty motherfucker!) snorting unpure meth in an LA Red Roof Inn  room somewhere and blubbering about her failed foray into Pop with Wild Orchid (or Bloody Rose or whatever the fuck it was) and asks her to join his "band"..gets two other individuals with fresh grooves and fauhawks , who are wasting space just poppin' and lockin' and doin' nothin' else... Then Mr. I AM writes a bevvy of awful, soul-less, lowest common denominator "hits" that people sing and ringtone to death during  stressless times in life like these...which are apparently symmetrical with  Pepsi commercials.

......and all of the sudden this fool has the "respect" of the legitimate "rock" community. He says no to nothing.  He has fucked with Dylan's "Forever Young" in an ad for soda. He co-wrote(that's fucking hilarious)a song on the latest U2 album( c'mon Bono, are you that desperate to stay relevant? This guy writes lyrics that come to him while he's tweeting on the toilet. He can poop out two songs with every trip to the bowl).
And I read  here  that he's now working with Slash( Slash, please say no to something...stop it already..we don't care about a GnR reunion, we don't give a flying puke about Velvet Revulva..don't be sad..but are you really this bored and worried about keeping your name out there waiting for the next call from a "producer"  to remix.....wait for it...The Who's- My Generation.

Let me guess..this song was "broken" very dated...and somebody chose Wil I Am to revamp and update it for a new generation.of Pepsi drinkin', poppin and lockin'. textin tweens..yea,yea yea..thats what I'm talkin' 'bout.!!!! He even says in the article that he altered the lyric to fit his generation now. Who the fuck knew that he was the poster child for taste and substance and music for me and my tweetin' poppin', lockin' peeps? OR ANY GENERATION. He writes songs that roll around peoples heads like superballs...just bouncing endlessly into stray thoughts while they hop around a club hyped up on red bull and vodka, fist pumping until their spray on tans get sweated off and they look like vitilago victims...I picture Mr. I Am busting out his genius as a knob twiddler "Yo..Slash we need a hot solo with way too many notes right about here, yo."

This song is about saying FUCK YOU to all of the people who may disagree with your beliefs, preferences,dress,music, etc. It's about taking pride in rebelling against the MASSES....and Pete Townshend knows it.(another guy who says no to nothing) And he picked Wil I AM to softball it up to the mall shopping lemmings at the fucking Super Bowl....???!!!  With 50 million drunk and bloated sheep watching from home? Am I fucking dreaming??? Cue the fireworks during Slashes solo. Drink your sugary drink..cue the cheerleaders juxtaposed with Roger Daltrey's mic swirl..and scene.. I don't care if the money goes to Haiti...pick a fucking Mariah Carey hackjob ballad and lay off my WHO.

This is one of those songs that SHOULD NEVER BE TOUCHED.....ever. No remix, retouch, re-do, NOTHING.  And  Will I Am is a purveyor of NOTHING. He's like a substitute for saccharine..flipping the peace sign from behind that another dead air anthem.

And my time is up at the library again......where people do everything but read books.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another day, another doomsday

Well... Start burning your old cassettes for fire. Start recording/transferring your heavy metal parking lot memories to disc for your children's children. Take the flash drives you put them on and gently drop them in a time capsule that will be buried under the foundations of Madison Square Garden and The Fillmore out west. Start converting all of your VHS of any concert footage you may have to tiny digital formats..and then hide them in a hole in the foundation of your bomb shelter...because the live music apocalypse is upon us.

The Live Nation-Ticketmaster Merger Has been approved. A healthy tsunami of receipts and 360 deals will now bury the average concert go-er and music lover who has just barely made it thru a recession with deep bruises,  forced disillusionment  and  deep, slow to bleed unemployment scars. The greed has seeped into the minds of the ticket makers and the ticket takers. The dirty angels who hold the mystery of dubious extra fees as a sealed document between their flaming talons will continue to laughingly hover over the weary weekend warriors.

The wealthy will get the seats. The scalpers will be the new cosa nostra...selling the 100 cheap seats off to the desperate street dealers, who in turn, will wave them in front of the last minute fanatic. Like a drug. But you have to be there....or you won't be able to tweet about it in the morning.

You and I will stay home, stealing music we can no longer realistically experience, and sharing generational stories of "shows" we attended back in the day, in a carefree realm of being in the audience...singing along with 10000 others.... when a music community meant something real, like a fireside chat with the radio turned off....with our children's children.

I Am Ozzy: Ozzy on the Today Show

Ozzy came out of the caves of "Darkness" (his and Sharon's Malibu beach house ) to start promotion on his new book I Am Ozzy. This morning he was interviewed by rock historian Meredith Viera on the Today Show.
You gotta love her first question, following an intro of  druggy, seedy bullet points and quotes from his life and the book: "How are you alive?"  What an excellent journalistic approach! Hurray ratings! Yes we all know the stories, but I am still amazed that sensationalist interviews like this one still cater to the masses who know Ozzy for his bat biting, his incoherent mumbling and his reality show. Wouldn't it have been cool for Meredith to whip out a copy of  Masters of Reality and ask him to sign it?! Or maybe ask him whom he liked better, Randy or Tony? Yeah, but that isn't giving the people what they want, right?  They want the drugs and the sex...but not the rock and roll.

I am also perplexed as to why Ozzy felt it was time for his tell all? Believe me, after seeing this interview(which does him no favors..stumble. mumble. no clue, etc.)I'll have to read it just to get some sort of answer out of him. Maybe, at this time in his life, as clean and clear headed? as he is, it was the first time he could detail his escapades and excess with clarity, albeit with a ghost writer who doubled as a translator. He certainly doesn't need the money. But we all know that redheaded puppetmaster who shares 5 houses with him DOES.

Is it promotion for something else? Another round of Ozzfest? A new album(his first w/o Zakk Wylde in many years). Neither were mentioned. But they have a second camera on Sharon (of course) who looks like a  plasticine carnival barker wherever she goes..

But what about the music??????

Not Today...Not tomorrow either.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tonight's Show: Nick Oliveri

I plan on leaving the house this evening for the first time in almost a week to see a show. No it's not a local dinner theater production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown or an anger management support group...and yes, I know there's football on. But Nick Oliveri is coming to Philly and I'm going to review the show and kiss his ass.
Nick Oliveri is a badass bass player and one of the most crazed and colorful characters in rock. For those of you who don't know..he was in the best(and one of the first) stoner rock bands of all time, Kyuss.He left in 1992 Then he shaved his head, grew an award winning billy goat beard and followed fellow Kyuss-er Josh Homme into a little band called Queens of the Stone Age. His reckless attitude, bottom end and very physical bass playing contributed to spectacular Queens songs like "Autopilot", "Gonna Leave You" and "Tension Head", all of which he had a hand or more in writing. He stayed on thru the Songs for the Deaf album. Josh kicked him out for rumored reasons that span from drug abuse to physical abuse.  In my opinion(and a shitload of purists as well) QOTSA, has never been the same.
The dude keeps busy, though. He started his own band Mondo Generator, played/plays bass in the Dwarves, Moistboyz(great Ween side project) and another LA band called the Knives.  Nick has also been on a couple "solo/acoustic" tours where he plays guitar and croons his way through his catalog. Tonight he again plays wicked troubador in support of his latest album in a label jumping career called Death Acoustic.

I will be swaying along to his tender jams with all of the other temper and alcohol fueled fans up front. With a little liquid courage, I might have him autograph my boob.

Here's Nick teaching us how to play the great druggie anthem "Autopilot"..

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bye Bye Conan, Its Been a Sweet Love

Conan's 'Freebird' Farewell - A funny movie is a click away
A fitting end to the late night debacle. Thanks to Billy, Beck and Ben 'fer showin' up, too.
If you're a fan of Jay ain't no fan 'a mine. If you want to talk of fishin', well I guess that'll be OK.
Thanks to whoever told Will to wear the Tonight's the Night shirt,  now that's some authenticity for  y'all.
Thanks Conan, 'fer the laughter and the tears and that great solo at the end, let 'er rip!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

The lack of beer on the premises and the shooting pain down the back of my neck sure make a blogger surly.
Crank City,man.
Corn Flakes done been pissed in.
All bunged up with no place to go. 
Powder Keg with a wet wick, I am.
Yet in the world that turns on a spit above flames around me...there is so much to look forward to and think about...Like:
I just read an article that sitting too much may lead to cancer...

Lilith Fair is returning..maybe Ellen can host that too w/hecklers yelling "Closer to Fine!!" instead of "Freebird!!"

In Massachussetts, they now have a new excuse to hunt for witches..errr voters.

Yoko Ono is putting the Plastic Ono Band back together...that's a great idea...nothing missing there....

Joe Perry is a restless idiot who should make that shitty hot sauce of his taste better than burnt leather rather than "audition new singers for Aerosmith". Go sit on your pile of money and noodle the blues until that hip heals, Joe.

Beyonce farts Black Eyed Peas and gets nominated for a Grammy......

Ronnie James Dio still has cancer and  Vampire Weekend are healthy with a #1 album.....

Peter Gabriel's so busy being dull, irrelevant and solipsistic that he wont join Genesis at their RRHOF induction..

There are millions of  lemmings in connection cities who don't know what comedy is that made the Tonight Show's ratings so high when Jay was there.....who laugh when a cow moos or a kitten jumps.

What the fuck is "fist bumping" doing in my universe......

Nobody is taking "Pants on the Ground" seriously...we're tired of seeing your whole underwear-ed ass hanging out while you walk, you dumb does make it easier for the police to catch you,though...

I heard a U2 song about heroin addiction used for a Nascar ad...those ad guys don't read lyrics and those U2 guys don't care...Next up they'll use "Beautiful Day" for a Donate to Haiti  Red Cross commercial.

There's an empty head named Kardashian on every magazine cover but nobody knows who Carey Mulligan or Saoirse Ronan are...

and finally, a federal judge reduced a fine levied on an "illegal downloader" by the RIAA from 1.92 million to 54,000 dollars. Meanwhile...ringtone sales keep going up with killer songs like "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" by the genius known as Soulja Boy....but stop downloading, kids!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

That Settles It, I'm THERE!

I just pinched myself, and I ain't dreamin! It seems that Coachella line up that I blogged about was all farcical...tomfoolery I tell you! Complete B.S! This one is the real deal, good people.... and my flight is booked. Hell...I would walk across a post apocalyptic wasteland of a country in high heels with a target spray painted on my chest..I would do cartwheels all the way from here to the left coast with rusty razorblades between my toes and leeches in my speedo just for the chance to see Marky Mark! Hell, he's the one remaining person I still like that's from Massachussetts! 
And I've been saving my diamond studded doo- rag to wear in hopes of seeing Gerardo again one day. Dios Mios mis suaves! My dreams have been answered!
Ashley Simpson AND Enya on the same weekend.? Shit damn...lets sail away right now, friends! Who needs Ambien?!
Break out the glow sticks, the tie dies, the fanny packs, the "mandals " and the wine coolers....let's hit the road!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No Shame in Begging Politely

Friends, Strangers and Lurkers,

I have moved ahead with my idea of a Fund Drive for : Sending Seano to SXSW. With desperate dark times comes desperate dark measures... I am scrounging for work right now, grappled by the ebb and flow of this economy like all of you.... but feeling a strange and somewhat selfish need to represent myself at the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference in Austin, TX coming up in March.

If you feel so inspired to reach deep down into the crevices of your comfy couch and donate whatever you find there (ABC gum, coins, crumbs, petrified snot, objects that resemble children's toys, trail mix, Crunch Berries, or crisp dollar bills) to me....Please click on the new Pay Pal link over there in the upper right hand column of Circle of Fits and do what you gotta do.  I am not looking for charity. But with 400-500 visits a week, most of you love or hate what I'm doing....either way,  you lurk/link/love and plain and simple...I need your help right now. I love you all and will offer my shoulder as a space for you to cry/celebrate on from here on out.

You will be able to live vicariously thru me at SXSW 2010 as many of you did via my posts as a performer at SXSW 2009.  And I will paint any room, review any show/DVD/CD, or just be a good listener for you in return.

Nuff said.  We rock together...even separate, don't we?

Coachella Line-Up revealed/ Send me to SXSW

I've never been to Coachella. Its a shame. Never been to Bonneroo, Burning Man, Download, Mardi Gras, Outside Lands, All Tomorrows Parties, Pitchfork, Glastonbury, Reading, Roskilde, Rocklahoma, Carnivale, All Points West, Big Day Out, Isle of Wight, Bumbershoot, Sasquatch, Sturgis, Folsom Street Fair, Summerfest, Cannes, The Mummers, the Cannabis Cup, Tunarama in Australia, La Tomatina in Spain, Comic Con, The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, The Cheese Rolling Festival in Gloucestershire or the annual Gathering of the Juggaloes, either.  What a bore I am...trying to pass as some rock afficionado...yet I rarely leave the house...except for when I went to  Lollapalooza 6x, SXSW, Woodstock '94 & '99, Siren Music Fest, Austin City Limits 2x, and a couple Rainbow Gatherings in my acid eating days.

But I freaking LIVED in California..I had three chances to shuffle off to Indio and go to Coachella and blew it for really dumb reasons like taking care of a pregnant wife, not having a tent, being overcome by crippling headaches and keeping my appointment for a long overdue exorcism of a pesky Azazel demon.  I blew it. I wont be going this year, either...but in the interests of my readers/trollers/lurkers, here is their just released schedule.

By Link:                                             
Or Poster: Below (which you MUST CLICK ON to expand)

Sly and the Family Stone
Them Crooked Vultures
Thom Yorke
Dead Weather
the Gossip
The Avett Bros.
Faith No More
Gary Numan

Jay-Z                     (one of the banes of my existence)
Pavement               (one of the worst bands ever)
Vampire Weekend      ''                             ''
Dirty Projectors           ''                             ''
Grizzly Bear                 ''                             ''
Hot Chip                     ''                             ''
Passion Pit                  ''                              ''
Ra Ra Riot                  ''                              ''
GorillasZ                     ''                              ''
Deerhunter                  ''                              ''
She and Him               "                              "
Girls                           ''                              ''

Its dead even...positive to negative.........why are Gorillaz a fucking headliner...haven't been relevant in half a decade.
Why not have a Brooklyn Day...just ask almost everyone from my Nayyy list and their opening bands to move to a 4th day, charter a jet from Williamsburg...they can all share the same couple stage laptops, thrift shop guitars tuned to an inexplicable style and feast on catered veggie burgers and "not dogs".

Ugh. Cool.   but more ugh than cool.....oh well there's always   SXSW a month before.

I should start a "Send Seano to SXSW" drive....cause I really want to go to just one festival and that would be the one.........would anyone donate though? Wouldn't you want my scintillating and uber informative numerous updates from the three/four days I would be there?   I could tell you what not to listen to in 2010.   Its a win win for me and you.......think about it and let me know

Friday, January 15, 2010

Links that Dont Stink: Vice and Mojo

Its time for my Friday: Links That Don't Stink posting.(which often is not on Friday)

Ahhh..Yesss.. Vice Magazine...For the entirety of my 6 years in NYC..I lived in the world's most famous hipster enclave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In 2000 when I moved there..(.which had nothing to do with being trust funded and bored, calling myself an artist and wanting to start a band that went out of their way to make music that most of the continent would find unlistenable). I just found an apartment with friends of friends who had a yard and I had a dog (RIP, Blarney) and it happened to be there..on Broadway under the JMZ train...I was 2nd wave all changed in 2004 after I left...the pretension tripled in size, and the hipsters I saw back then are now running the music industry with their blogs......In the Hipster World circa 2003.....and according to the awesome Hipster Handbook written by Robert Lanham..I was known as a "Bipster"which is defined as "a blue-collar hipster who shuns art-school pretension and has little patience with leisure-class Hipsters. Hell, I wasn't even that cool..I just knew my rock and had an awesome set of tools. I liked thrift stores and PBR, too but that's because I was poor and I drank so much that I had to buy bigger jeans more often. Burp. Rock. Repeat.

But every chance I got, I would pick up my monthly FREE Vice magazine, either at a Brooklyn Industry location or Bedford Ave vestibule.It is written and published by hipsters, yet poking fun at anything and everything culturally relevant...and equally hyping or dissing all types of music and art in an extremely witty, biting and non preachy style, and often including excellent odd and taboo photography from the likes of Terry Richardson and Ryan McGinley. They are still around. But I can't get the mag here in Philly. I like the mag more than the website.. If you are in NY..send me some copies and I'll say really nice things about you for a week or so.

Here is a sample from December(and be sure to read the fucking funny) An article called How to Ruin Music

Mojo Magazine is quite simply, the best music magazine on the planet, as I've probably said here before. The best writers bring exhaustive research and an educated opinion to their articles and interviews covering current as well as obscure artists and topics.Every monthly issue will take you a week to read. I feel smarter when I read it and it is a nice change of pace from my usual Teen Beat and Christian Science Monitor. It is UK based..and costs around 10 dollars at any newsstand here in the states. Steep yes, but every issue is like a novel. They have a website which is not nearly as thorough as the magazine, but you can subscribe to the newsletter, to get a quick fix.

Here's a very British take on the worst album covers from 2009

Finally for today, The Fleshmap (for music)
A visual chart on how often certain body parts are mentioned in songs from different genres of music.
Brilliant...and very informative...  I would have added  Punk, Pop and Crab Core, though.
Here's the link:

Enjoy your weekend...and always remember...Burp. Rock. Repeat.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Origins of "Cookie Monster" Vocals

Downtime allows a hollow mind to wander deeper into the still seas of useless information, picking away at thoughts, ideas and questions that float meaningless like plankton in an aimless school. This unwelcome guest has yours truly deep sea diving into calm oceans of music minutia, peeking into oceanic caves of unwanted bottom fed factoids....

Recently I've been on a very heavy music cruise through somewhat uncharted territory. My fists and teeth remain clenched most of the day to choke out the stress in hopes of safely erupting in release, and even though I have no real stereo system in place( wouldn't work with a 3 1/2 year old and a wife who prefers everything "music" without distortion) I get my kicks and metal licks on in the car and the trusty ipod...and through my metal research which may or may not make me look like a purist or a fogey, I see how time turns a page..The heavy I grew up with (AC/DC, Motorhead, Sabbath, Maiden) remain cornerstones to my interstate steering wheel drum solos..but there is so much out there that makes the sheer volume created by those bands seem like waiting room easy listening, like frat boy/token karaoke choice hard rock...So many genres to explore....and so much time. Grindcore, Death, Speed, Sludge, Progressive, Industrial, Black, Thrash, Drone, Doom and Stoner....and the splintered hybrids that that make grunge and post punk look downright passe, and blissfully hopeful.

There are a few common threads that weave their way into and settle roughly into the blueprint and spirit of the bulk of the genres of metal and their capillaric t-shirts, furrowed brows and "cookie monster vocals". 

You might have heard them by accident if you happened to be around a young boy with a cheap walkman, earbuds bleeding, who was rocking a Cattle Decapitation t- shirt and on his way to school with some mysterious bulk in his trenchcoat.  You might have wondered how anyone could interpret something that sounded like a muppet getting choked out......and so did I. 

I'm a vocalist. I know how hard it is to "find your voice" in a style and key one is comfortable with. It takes years of practice, mimicry..and focus. I know that the rest of you gravitate toward some kind of melody that makes you want to get off of that bar stool and do your best Bad Company white man dance.  But there are millions of people out there who couldn't care less about anything that came out of a singers throat that didn't sound like a dog coughing up blood.
 I have always been intrigued with the meaning and the message of vocals and lyrics. As a lyricist, I know that it is much harder to tell stories, create characters and soul search as one who writes lyrics, than it is to just sing them. You have to make your words fit with the way you intend to interpret the melody you have created. You have to find melodic ways to accentuate your words, through phrasing and emotion.
With so many genres using a vocal style that sounds like black static, I wondered if so many metal fans even cared about lyrics at all. I needed to find out the origin of the "death growl" as it is properly known order to appreciate it more....Here is what I found:

Death growls are sometimes criticised for their "ugliness". However, death growls are just as much an aesthetic to death metal as an instrument, particularly due to the percussive nature of this kind of singing; its harsh, brutal nature is in keeping with death metal's often dark and disturbing subject matter.

OK..makes sense.. alot of what I heard sounds like Captain Caveman beating his chest at last call..which is very percussive.

Most "correct" growls use either a variation of vocal fry or false vocal chords. Death growls are often referred to as an overtone style of screaming, and while tonally very different, the majority of "good" growling techniques apply the same principles that are witnessed in "clean" vocals. These principles include timing and cues, holding a note (or gurgle) for a certain amount of time without it fraying, and being able to scream rhythmically underneath the growl while alternating between different pitches if necessary. The changes in pitch are more prevalent in the less  styles. Some notable examples of vocalists who use alternating pitches in their vocalisation are Mikael Ackerfeldt of Opeth, Mille Petrozza of Kreator, Chuck Billy of Testament, Jason Mendonca of Ackercocke and Chuck Schuldiner of Death.

Apparently, its a science like any other style of singing. Which is head scratchingly cool, I guess. do you warm up for a show? Bleach instead of salt water? Cold mead instead of warm tea? Is there a growl scale? Do growlers ask a roadie to punch them in the throat right before the lights go down?

The advent of the growl as it is used today coincided roughly with the gradual emergence of death metal, and it is thus difficult to pinpoint a specific individual as the inventor of the technique. Different vocalists likely developed the style over time. The band Death (and its precursor Mantas) with its two vocalists — initially Kam Lee and subsequently Chuck Schuldiner — have been cited as among the first (although Schuldiner would eventually switch to a more high-pitched screeching). Possessed are also considered by some to be one of the earliest bands to employ growls, as are Necrophagia and Master. Around the same time, bands such as Hellhammer, with Tom G. Warrior on vocals, and seminal act Massacre also employed a variation of the growl. The vocalists from the British grindcore band Napalm Death — consecutively Nic Bullen, Lee Dorrian and Mark "Barney" Greenway — further developed the style in the late 1980s, adding more aggression and deeper guttural elements to it, while also speeding up delivery of the lyrics. Another singer who gradually deepened his voice into the growling used today ondeath metal and grindcore was Chris Barnes, original singer of Cannibal Corpse. On the band's video biography, he says that he wanted to sing as high as Rob Halford, but his voice was too low pitched for that. So he started trying to blend it with the other instruments, coming up with a dark and really low guttural voice that became his signature.

This is fascinating! Just as rock has its vocal stars like Plant, Mercury, Daltrey who sing and metal has its stars as well..Dickinson, Halford and King Diamond......who sing really high......death, black, grind has its superstars as well...Schuldiner, Warrior, Dorrian and Barnes who essentially became growlers to become an extension of the low crushing(and sometimes speeding) instrumentation around them.

And that was just the first wave that set sail from the low point of commercial metal in the 80s...separating itself from the pitiful playfulness and the prettiness of Hair Metal and faux glam..with an answer and promise of darkness,death, speed and seriousness. The growler was the absolute antithesis of the ridiculous money grabbing spandex crooner. Chris Barnes was the devious dark lord to Vince Neil's "heavy metal" angel. I get it now!

With some the modern metal bands I'm getting into today..Baroness, Kylesa, High On Fire, Saviours, Coalesce, Mastodon, Black Cobra, Bison B.C., Dethklok,....the grunt can sometimes be raised or lowered to a gutteral gargling glass...and I can pick out some bits of lyric here and there beneath the magma splattering riffage that may accompany it. Some of the newer heavy bands making my scene have singers and brave attempts at melodic delivery like Early Man, The Sword, Three Inches of Blood, Priestess, Red Fang, Valient Thorr and Naam. Either way,I'm enjoying the built out neck muscles of a man half my age with the sweaty succession of headbanging sessions.(great lyric).  Sometimes, even as I've lived as a hard working vocalist/lyricist....that is all that matters........

And that is your useless piece of rock lore to ponder on today.  Cheers and beers!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Again, We Will Drink From the Lovin'Cup

From the fine people at Glorious Noise comes news that the legendary Rolling Stones album Exile On Main Street, will be completely reissued in May of this year.
With no plans to tour, (thank God, give Charlie a break..he's 68..his wrists are so brittle they could break during that short roll at the beginning of "Hang Fire"....and Ronny Rehab needs to work on his uppercut, Keef has coconuts to find and Mick has money to dole out to ex- wives and children)...

"The Stones reportedly plan to release a reissue of the 1972 album "Exile On Main Street" in May. The reissue is expected to contain a number of unreleased songs including "Plunder My Soul," "Following The River" and "Sophia Loren."

Man, this is great news. EOMS is by far the best Stones album, put out smack dab(pun intended) in the middle of their great 6 album run in 1972. It is almost cliche to say how "classic" this album is at this point, but it seems critics and many fans agree..Exile was the pinnacle ...a gritty blend of smoky basement rock,blues,gospel and soul bringing up roots and shining through the darkness that hovered over the sessions.  Patched together at first from outtakes and ideas dating as far back as 1968, recording started in a rented mansion in Nellcote, France where the Glimmer twins and Co. had escaped to from Britain to avoid being taxed to death. The sessions started rough, with Mick's attendance being spotty and because of the very new and unpleasant distractions of Keith's heroin abuse and a bevvy of hangers- on(including Gram Parsons). Overdubs and vocals were added to many songs when the Stones reconvened in LA, where Mick finally showed up and steered the ship right. Here is a brief feel for the sessions in both locations(provided by Wikipedia).....


Recording began in earnest sometime near the middle of June. Bassist Bill Wyman recalls the band working all night, every night, from eight in the evening until three the following morning for the rest of the month. Wyman said of the times, "...not everyone turned up every night. This was, for me, one of the major frustrations of this whole period. For our previous two albums we had worked well and listened to producer Jimmy Miller. At Nellcote, things were very different and it took me a while to understand why..." By this time Richards had begun a daily habit of using heroin. Thousands of dollars of heroin flowed through the mansion each week in addition to a contingent of visitors that included the likes of William S. Burroughs, Terry Southern,Gram Parsons, and Marshall Chess (who was running the Stones' new label). Parsons was asked to leave Nellcôte in early July 1971, the result of both his obnoxious behaviour and an attempt by Richards to clean the house of drug users as the result of pressure from the French police.
Richards' steadily-growing addiction began to inhibit him from attending the sessions ongoing in his basement, while Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman were often unable to attend sessions for other reasons. This often left the band in the position of having to record in altered forms without every member present. A notable instance was the recording of one of Richards' most famous songs, "Happy". Recorded in the basement, Richards said in 1982, "'Happy' was something I did because I was for one time EARLY for a session. There was Bobby Keys and Jimmy Miller... We had nothing to do and had suddenly picked up the guitar and played this riff. So we cut it and it's the record, it's the same. We cut the original track with a baritone sax, a guitar and Jimmy Miller on drums. And the rest of it is built up over that track. It was just an afternoon jam that everybody said, 'Wow, yeah, work on it'".
The basic band for the Nellcôte sessions is believed to have consisted of Richards, Bobby Keys, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, Miller (a skilled drummer in his own right who covered for an absentee Watts on the aforementioned "Happy" and "Shine a Light"), and Jagger when he was available. Wyman did not like the ambience of the Richards' villa and sat out many of the French sessions. As Wyman appeared on only eight songs of the released album, the other bass parts were played by Taylor, Richards, and, on four tracks, upright bassist Bill Plummer. Wyman noted in his memoir Stone Alone that there was a clear dichotomy between the band members who freely indulged in drugs (Richards, Miller, Keys, Taylor, engineer Andy Johns and those of whom abstained to varying degrees (Wyman, Watts, and Jagger)

Los Angeles(Sunset Sound Recorders Studios)

Additional basic tracks (most probably only "Rip this Joint", "Shake Your Hips", "Casino Boogie", "Happy", "Rocks Off", "Turd on the Run", and "Ventilator Blues") were begun in the basement of Nellcôte and taken to Sunset Sound Recorders in LA where numerous overdubs (all piano and keyboard parts, all lead and backing vocals, all guitar and bass overdubs) were added during sessions that meandered from December 1971 until May 1972. Some tracks (such as "Torn and Frayed" and "Loving Cup") were freshly recorded in Los Angeles. Although Jagger (who had recently wed Bianca) was frequently missing from Nellcôte, he immediately took charge during the second stage of recording in Los Angeles, arranging for keyboardistsBilly Preston and Dr. John and the cream of the city's session backup vocalists to record layers of overdubs.The final gospel-inflected arrangements of "Tumbling Dice", "Loving Cup", "Let It Loose" and "Shine a Light" were inspired by Jagger and Preston's visit to a local evangelical church.
The elongated recording sessions and differing methodologies on the part of Jagger and Richards reflected the growing disparity in their personal lives During the making of the album, Jagger had married, which was followed by the birth of their only child, Jade, in October 1971. Richards was firmly ensconced with partner Anita Pallenberg, yet both were in the throes of heroin addiction which Richards would not overcome until the turn of the decade. Even though the album is often described as being Richards' finest moment, as Exile is often thought to reflect his vision for a raw, rootsy rock sound, Jagger was already expressing his boredom with rock and roll in several interviews at the time of the album's release.With Richards largely beholden to heroin, the group's subsequent 1970s releases—directed largely by Jagger—would experiment in varying degrees with other musical genres, moving away from the thoroughly roots-based sound of Exile On Main Street.

Nuff Said. I'm going to camp out in my basement with some French bread and cigarrettes(smoke machine) strum an acoustic while sleep deprived(feigning being nodded out), mumbling incoherently to a fake Anita or Mick while listening to Mahalia Jackson, the Memphis Horns, and Leadbelly to set the mood until May.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Got a Feelin' 2010 is Gonna Be a Good Year"

I have The Who on the brain after being bludgeoned with their Super Bowl halftime promos all Wild Card Weekend while nursing a hangover brought on by a blurry line of basement bourbon shots. Thus, I am using their song "21" from Tommy in the title to this post...which is about the most anticipated releases of 2010 at Circle of Fits.
Usually I write and I drink to forget. But today I write in anticipation of these offerings coming out sometime  this year:


Spoon switches it up with Transference (1/19)

Midlake gives us a cold can of The Courage of Others (2/2)
Yeasayer lays out pints of Odd Blood (2/9)
Peter Gabriel comes out of his cave to present Scratch My Back (2/19)
Fang Island whom I've never heard of but their name kicks ass puts out their debut (2/23)

Rogue Wave rides into shore with Permalight (3/2)
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists project  punk pop prophecies with  The Brutalist Bricks (3/9)
Liars indulge us in fibbery with their Sisterworld (3/9)
The Drive By Truckers rock the rest stop with The Big To-Do (3/16)
The White Stripes "will do it live!!" with Under Great White Northern Lights (3/16)
Blues Explosion strip down to their skins with Dirty Shirt Rock and Roll (3/30)


Deftones without their severely injured bassist Chi Cheng will move on with a TBA title.(4/27)

And for the rest of the year, look for these releases, which may or may not be talked about in a warm, comfy style that allows fans to hug it out and rejoice here at Circle of Fits :

Beastie Boys get tongues wagging with Hot Sauce Committee Part. 1
Blitzen Trapper tear out of another woodshed with another album not yet titled.
Cake burn the bread with a new cd in the Spring.
The Dead Weather can keep Jack White sitting still long enough to release a second album.
Deer Tick dig under your skin with More Fuel for the Fire (EP).
Devo keep it pseudo real with Fresh( sometime in 2010).
Brian Ferry puts on another suit and puts out another album of the smooth, soothing croonish type.
Courtney Love opens up her Hole again for everyone to see Nobody's Daughter this year.
The New Pornographers keep it clean with a cd to be heard in the coming months.
R.E.M. dust off their indie bones with something to offer this year.
U2 sell it hard and suck us in with some Line on the Horizon leftovers called Songs of Ascent.
Smashing Pumpkins dole out a song at a time with their Teargarden by Kaliedyscope project.
Radiohead could do the same or give it all away again with a new album by year's end.
Ron Wood puts his fists and his smokes down long enough to release More Good News.

ZZ Top, with beards back in style aim to capitalize with new blues in 2010.
Ozzy shakes and shouts his way through a Zakk Wylde-less album this year.
High on Fire blow the doors off of this closed up vacant world with Snakes For the Divine
The National turn Brooklyn on its ear again with an album already on Pitchforks best of 2010 list
Joanna Newsom trades in the Harp and Fairie Dust for the fashion runway with her new album in 2010.
Dr. Dog eek their way into more hip festivals and soundbites with their new album.
Red Fang soon to steamroll over your soul with a highly anticipated, sleeping God- awakening new album.

If you want to add to the list and don't care about the stream of reeking shit that is Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, Panic at the Disco, Good Charlotte, Linkin Park, Blink 182, Usher and Big Boi. who also happen to have unanticipated, retreaded, overhyped new material to poop out....feel free to let me know. My bite is only every so often worse than my bark, and I look forward to your own submissions...and be as indie/obscure as you want to be! I love all music and all people.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Happy 75th Birthday, Mr. Presley

Yes, the king would have been 75...or is 75 working as a line cook at a Waffle House in Little Rock. I miss him....It is because of him that I never combine my happy pills with pain killers, I never push too hard on the bowl, never keep a gun handy while watching the Grammys and never trust anyone with the first name "Colonel".(I haven't been to a KFC since the 70s).

I never wear my blue suede boots while shoveling the driveway,I always wear shades when rocking rhinestones to reduce the glare, and I always TCB,baby (Talk Crap about Bands).

Happy Birthday, EAP..tonight I'll have a PBS(peanutbutterbananasandwich) with my PBR, in your honor....

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I am in a lazy linking livin' lovin' mood today so I'm going to do what any good covert informant would do and link you up to new manifestos, words of wisdom and articles which may steer you wrong or right. The choice is yours on the internets..the wURLd is yer oyster...

First up: A link to Krist Novacelic's response to Bono's  recent Twitter regarding file sharing: infuriating and invigorating...make sure you read the responses as well...

Next: Another Best/Worst of 2009 list from the folks at Buddyhead....The list of best of's is so obscure that it makes Pitchfork's perception of indie rock look like their site was run by Simon Cowell....BUT their worst of's is right on the schnozz and hilarious.!

How about a recreation of various Album Covers from the 80s using comic book superheroes? I would have liked to see the Hulk instead of Elektra on the Flashdance cover..since Hulk was always comfortable with ripped clothes and that gray sweatshirt would have looked great hanging off of one of his massive shoulders.

The awesome band Valient Thorr linked to this site, as I listed their album Immortalizer in my  Top 50 of the decade..and now I will return the favor. Do yourself a favor, become a Thorrior!

And Finally: For those of you who don't know what The Onion is: it happens to be one of the best hernia- by- laughter publications of all time: Find it now...sometimes the headlines are all you need to read to bust a chuckle out. Here is their take on The Year In Band Names....,36204/

And now...back to your regularly scheduled cripplingly slow news week.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Fascinating Article by John Pareles

I must link to this article by NY Times pop critic John Pareles which is an incredible blow by blow on the decade in music of 2000-2009. The scope of changes in the industry,trends and acquiring and listening to music in the last ten years is astounding. Sometimes when you are just living your life the changes don't surprise you as much as they do when you have a minute to look back on them....

Thanks John for this excellent piece.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year from Chris, Kim ,Matt and Ben!

   In the Holy Shit Dept. on this very first day of 2010:


Soundgarden fans woke up to incredible news this New Year’s morning: the band, which split in 1997, is officially reuniting. Frontman Chris Cornell confirmed the reconciliation via Twitter, writing, “The 12 year break is over & school is back in session. Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!” and linking to a new Website,Soundgarden World. As of now, the site only offers fans a place to provide their contact information for updates on the reunion.

Cornell and other members of Soundgarden spent most of 2009 hinting that the long-awaited reformation was on the way. In March, all of the band but Cornell rocked together onstage during a Seattle stop on Tom Morello’s Justice Tour. Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron were joined by Tad’s Tad Doyle for a run-through of “Nothing to Say,” “Spoonman” and “Hunted Down.” The following month,Cornell said to a reporter, “If I was there, I probably would’ve gotten up onstage.” As for reunion prospects, he added, “You never know.” Thayil revealed the genesis of that special set in an exclusive Rolling Stone Interview, where he said, “It was a blast. Playing with Ben and Matt carried a lot of sentimental weight.”
In July, Cornell stated that the band was talking about putting together a release of Soundgarden B sides and a box set of unreleased songs. “We all feel it’s time to do that, and we have a lot of fans out there, and we have a lot of new fans discovering our music, and I think the catalog and the legacy of the band has been ignored by the record label and previous management, so we decided to get together, and start working towards putting something like that out,” he said.
And in October, Cornell was clearly in the Seattle-legends-of-the-’90s spirit when he participated in a Temple of the Dog reunion at Pearl Jam’s Los Angeles gig. He joined the band for a rendition of their 1991 hit “Hunger Strike,” and RS learned Thayil and Shepherd were in the house to check out Cornell back onstage with drummer Cameron. As of now, it’s unclear how Cameron’s duties in Pearl Jam will be affected by the Soundgarden news.

In July, Thayil said a reunion would happen if there was a real demand: “People would have to want to.” He added, “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.”

Hot Damn! I guess I'm excited..but it will only be real if there is no desperation on Cornell's part. It almost seems like this was the ONLY thing he could do after the tragic "Limo Wreck"(pun intended) of the Scream debacle. Scream we did...for his head on a stick! I am looking forward to the scuffs of ten thousand dusted off Doc Martens racing for the front of the stage at a theatre near me. Lets hope the pipes are still there Chris, there's a lot of notes in there that you haven't hit since Christ was a kid.