Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The 2012 Nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

If you have not heard,( and until yesterday while plowing through a third Advil, I had not), the 2012 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced. To be eligible, an artist must have either released their first album no sooner than 1987, been on the masthead at Rolling Stone or have been consistently passed over for people like Percy Sledge and Madonna. Let the teet suckling begin......

Here are the 15 Nominees with my comments following in Bold Type.

The Beastie Boys: No. See the nominees for Hip Hop Hall of Fame..right after Russell Simmons establishes it and names it after himself.

The Cure: The influence is there, as Mr. Smith inspired a "look" that got lifted and used by everyone from Ed Scissorhands to Ledger's Joker...but that's not in the music category...that's in the Slightly chubby ambiguous goth boy Hall of Fame category.... besides Love Song or even Love Cats...whaddaya got?

Donovan: Great choice, as far as folkies with a slight lisp and a penchant for smoking banana peels go, but methinks he'll get passed over. 

Erik B. and Rakim- See number one, then add my rule. Nobody with One letter for a surname gets in. Ever. This includes titans like Kenny G, Jay Z, Ice-T, and Sheila E.

Guns N Roses- Yes. A no brainer. Even with only 4 albums and the one Mr. Rose blew a 13 million dollar wad on, they made hard rock, top hats and bloated videos with wind and white pianos cool again in the 80s. Besides, I'd like to see Izzy Stradlin have to leave the house for something. And Hey show producers! When you send Axl the invite, tell him the show tapes at 4, so when he shows up at 8, he'll be right on time.

Heart-Absolutely. An unstoppable female force, a shitload of hits, and the unmistakeable one of a kind voice of Ann Wilson. They always had a fantastic band. Just listen to the drums on Barracuda, that shit still holds up. Ok, so we'll let the aqua net schlock like" Alone and Never" slide, but they're in for being two bad ass babes bigger than just their boobs. I'm crazy on 'em.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts- Hmmm. You want to induct Joan Jett and the Blackhearts before you induct the Runaways? Or even Suzi Quatro? Yeah, Joan was in both, but there's no "Blackhearts" without the all female, completely groundbreaking Runaways. Joan's biggest hit is a cover...Joan should get in, but if they give this to her and the Blackhearts(whose line up has changed a fuck of a lot since 1981)...i feel the Runaways will not get their due.

Freddie King- A monumental blues picker and fantastic showman, I say yes. But he'll get in as the token "old, lost in the shuffle" category.

Laura Nyro- Well, I'll be the first one to admit I know very little about Laura Nyro. So I have no opinion. I should offer her fans an idea. Enlist someone(in the music biz) with a high profile who really really gives a shit about her. Have that person gush over her in concert and in worked for Kid Rock having a hard on for Bob Seger and it will most likely work for Elton and his current raging one for Leon Russell.

Red Hot Chili Peppers- No.The Chilis are an amalgam of their influences..Fishbone, Funkadelic, Fear...but I don't think they've influenced anyone who didn't want to play anywhere but in a Fraternity basement in the Northeast.  I think the high points of their legacy will include many references to socks, heroin and tattoos. Not much beyond Under the Bridge and Give it Away, really. Sure they've sold millions and have one of the best rhythm sections in modern rock history(when Flea isn't doing all of that white boy slapping). Sure they've stumbled onto a smattering of genius in the Frusciante years, I just don't think its time yet.

Rufus with Chaka Khan-Tell me something good besides "Tell Me Something Good".

The Small Faces/The Faces-Yes. Ron Wood. Ian Maclagan. Kenny Jones and fucking Steve Marriott. ....errr, and Rod Stewart. The Faces are responsible for everybody else that the Stones weren't responsible for. Immense influence and great hair that that pesky tool Liam Gallagher has been plucking for years. Steve Marriott is never going to get in on his own or with Humble Pie. Tragic. Steve Marriott is in the top five rock singers of all time. Steve Marriott makes Rod "soccer sperm and standards" look like a rank amateur. Plus he probably died passing out with a lit cigarette in his mouth and a guitar in his hand. That's hall of fame material right there. This is his one and only chance. For all of you idiot dreamers who keep thinking that those rock actors Kiss are ever going to make it in...put your energy here.

The Spinners-  From the desk of Jann Wenner: Guys, who's left in the well dressed, uniformed soul groups with choreographed dance moves from the 70s category.?   The Spinners.   Ok lets put them in. Then we're done with that and we can finally start getting all of those festering prog rock fans off my back.

Donna Summer-No. Bad Girl. Bad Music. Bad choice. Don't Love to Love You Baby.

War-" What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again ."

So Five Will get in. I say The Faces, Heart, Freddy King, G and R, and The Spinners.

But the Chili Peppers have been on the cover of the rolling stone at least five times and will bump the Faces or Freddy King. Blood Sucking Suck Magnet.

Glaring omissions:   Yes...cmon already. Cheap Trick..sure.  The Smiths...hate them, but immensely influential. Thin Lizzy ...for the twin lead guitar harmonies alone. Gram Parsons.This guy was in the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Bros. and Keith Richards invited him everywhere. Oh yeah.. he was pretty much single-handedly responsible for country rock. All before his druggy death at AGE 26! Devo-massive influence and great hats.  and Jethro Tull- because bringing the flute to rock and roll is an outstanding achievement.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

At a loss for words will get me through...always does.......The new Mastodon album "The Hunter" comes out next week. ..If you want to start a militia or headbutt a blonde, this is the album for you. Gonna make my top ten for sure.

Here is their video for "Curl of the Burl".....but check out "Blasteroid", " Thickening " and "Spectrelight" if you wanna get all John Henry w/o a steam drill in some cave somewhere. As a matter of fact, I'm typing this with one hand. The album is in my headphones and I'm uppercutting a cinderblock wall with the other one. Have a great day.

Friday, September 09, 2011

George Harrison "It Don't Come Easy" Demo For Ringo Starr

I just got my new Rolling Stone with George Harrison on the cover. Was digging around on the internetin super fanboy mode and found this. I had never heard George sing this nor did I know he wrote it. Wow.

Reflections on 9/11

I plow the muddy run of a ten year retrospective of life packaged in a box set.
Covered in ash, pungent and flailing. Coughing through headphones
Battling ridiculous drums and bass in a coffee shop in this wretched city.
Not the city of my amorous arrows, not the daily thrill of the sleepless rush via girdered canyons of the behemoth 90 miles north.

The soundtrack has to spurn the words, the words have to come through the sounds.
Listening to the past and comparing it to life below 14th street
before a September morning that nudged the behemoth into a slumber of sadness.

Screwing zip screws into aluminum on a Guggenheim ramp, spiraled in angles, cacophony of hammer hits.
Rob the foreman whirling up the ramp in a blur of lanky, work belt red hair, protruding Adam's apple undulating
out the words.."Guysaplanejusthittheworldtradecenter".

Hammer stall, elders kept pounding having heard it all in Gotham within rent controlled tenement bubbles while they etch away at unseen art for a quarter century.
But the others pause, heads cocked like spaniels spying squirrels, huh,really? Rob careens up the ramp again repeating the phrase but adding "another" to the sequence. Terrorism. Silence. Echoes on marble. Work boots scatter bursting out the fifth avenue entrance on museum row. Straight sight shot to the rising tendrils of smokedustash 80blocks away.

Collapse. Chaos. Traffic subtle screech. Taxi clustered in capillaries.Cloud spreads shadows through the keyhole of the viewed valley of high rise.
Suddenly. Art doesn't matter. Tools left in a trail of chaos. Some have loved ones downtown and blitz the subways in vain. Down to the Guggenheim basement, viewing helicopter video of one trade center events. Tower down. Stick figures waving white flags from 90 stories up. Then screen falls out, no its the other tower, dropping from view, smoke swallowing widows, glass, concrete, people. Firemen climbing thousands of stairs elevator cables melted through, can' Won't return.

Everything stops. hearts bleed like syrup. nothing pumps. Air fails to move. Thousands on Fifth avenue. Blind rats in a shut down maze. Got to get to where I need to be. Walking in a cauldron of tears, stunned silence, anxious, hurried. Subways down. We walk so many blocks to the Queensboro bridge. Looks like a marathon photo. No cars, no horns bleating or rush of truck wheel..50 thousand souls walking blindly into Queens, then Brooklyn, like a melting pot of bleached out zombies to destinations, comfort, huddles of struggle.

Sitting in my apartment on Broadway in Williamsburg, steady flow of CNN, repeated videos, stories trickling in, statements from Bush/Guiliani, Osama finally chimes in from a dirt hole of a mansion somewhere claiming responsibility. His bullseyed face on the Post in the morning. We learn the scope, the pentagon, flight 93....the other half to this fearsome foursome. We rush to war rooms while families start posting fliers on every square inch of flat open surface in lower Manhattan over the next few days, pixilated faces of the disappeared....then, that burnt rubber, dust and gasoline...flakes of ash fall for days, Union Square a shrine of questions, pictures, candles sequestered on the front line of 14th street beyond and south quarantined, caution tape, cones and cops.

Why. it is always Why? The mix of a " death to infidels" battle cry from religious extremists, the symbols of the center of the financial universe, in a boastful 102 story stance for all to see , the perpetual superpower meddling in everyone's everything. The oil, the greed, the power, the money, the religion, the death, the hatred.

Not much has changed. There will always be greed, power, hatred, religion and FEAR.

We're building another.

Taller. Stronger. So full of determination, pride. Millions overbudget. Raise the tolls to pay for it. Responders dying from cancerous dust 10 years on. Never properly equipped for safety. Financial crisis of the century. Nobody responsible ever prosecuted. Bail outs. Tea parties. Stalemates. Death of the middle class. Foreclosures. And two parties that hate each other so much that a red/blue civil war is imminent. People building militias in their back yards. Middle management men working on landscaping crews. Racial/religious tension at an all time high. Two new wars that did nothing but cost billions and raise oil prices. Thousands more soldiers dead than the number of civilians that initially perished that day. Thousands of innocent civilians dead in countries of war.

Let's build it higher.


Quite simply: Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, one of the great lyricists/songwriters of our time, jams on one of the worst songs of all time. I wasn't around long enough at this literary poetry jam, but I heard Dylan stopped by after getting a moustache wax to do "California Gurls" to rousing applause. Tom Waits, promoting a new album, dressed in drag, to look like a 14 year old girl with absolutely no talent, snuck in at the end and just killed it with his version of Rebecca Black's "Friday". Good times!