Friday, November 28, 2008
Here's another example of an amazing shout out for an amazing band. This young lady was rocking a "whatever's cool with me" D. Jr. tee while the officer on COPS was telling her that her boyfriend shot himself upon his capture and arrest.. "He'll be alright, they can sew people up real good at the hospital he's going to" - Officer. "I'm gonna git her back in therapy, I'm always tryin' to git her back in therapy where she belongs" - D. Jr. fan's mother. (not shown).
Friday, November 21, 2008
I remember buying Guns N’ Roses “Lies” from Sam Goody right around the time it came out. It had one of those Parental Advisories on the front of the cassette, so I had to cover it with my thumb when paying for it. When I got to the counter the clerk ripped it out of my hands and said “Fuck yeah!”.He sold it to me, I took it home, and I learned every single word start to finish.
In 1988-1990 I lived in a trailer home on my family’s lawn while my house (which had recently burned) was being rebuilt. My younger brother and I shared a small room, covered wall to wall with fake paneling and a steel bunk bed. It had an Iron Maiden “Somewhere in Time” poster on one wall and a Megadeth “Peace sells but who’s buying” poster on the adjacent wall. It was perfect trailer home décor. I remember blasting “Lies” with my younger brother singing along one night. My brother yelled “Muthafuckkka!!” and my mom ran in immediately. She took my Lies tape and told me that I was never to listen to anything like it again. A month later, I opened a shoe box in her closet and there it was. I sneaked the tape back into my room and made a little hiding place for it. I shared it with my neighbor Jay, a kid my age who had older grease monkey brothers who regularly blasted things like “Dr. Feelgood” or “Ride The Lightning”. It wasn’t long before I heard the album “Appetite for Destruction”, and knew right then that I needed to backfill my GNR cassette “collection”.
Jay and I were hanging out in our tree house one summer afternoon when we came up with a bad idea. “Let’s see what’s in those cars”. So we sneaked back into the garden center behind the tree house and started opening up cars. I found a bunch of change, a copy of Judas Priest’s “British Steel”, AND a copy of “Appetite for Destruction.” YES. I took it all home, along with a giant primitive car phone and hid them all in my 1988 Topps baseball card complete set box .
Over the next few days we rocked out to more GNR and I started playing Jay’s brother’s guitar. I tried over and over again to mimic the sound of the “Sweet Child O’ Mine” intro. No luck, just some bad notes that ultimately made me think guitar was too difficult. One day after school I came home to a very disappointed mother. “Someone at the Hillsborough police station wants to see you. What’s going on Jeffrey?” I shrugged my shoulders and said “I dunno” . She shook her head and the next thing I knew we were on our way to police headquarters.
The officer asked me questions about the cars we had broken into. “I’m recording everything you say Jeffrey so be honest” he said. Then he asked me if I believed in God.
“Umm…yeah?” I awkwardly responded thinking “wait, I believe in metal now”.
It tuned out I had dropped my pocket knife at the scene of the crime. It had my initials on it and it didn’t take long for the authorities to make the connection. I was let off the hook for being so young but they told me if I got into anymore trouble I’d score a permanent record out of the deal. The officer came to my house and I returned all the stolen goods…well, except the Appetite tape. I wasn’t allowed to hang with Jay for awhile either.
Over the next few years I grew up a bit, but not much. I got into my first Rated R movie: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”. It during this movie that I fell in love with this brand new song by GNR called “You could be mine”. I needed this song. This song need to be MINE. So being the younger sucker consumer I was, I ended up both “Use Your Illusion” cassettes. I never favored one over the other though. Everyone I knew was either like: “Dude, UYI 1 is so much more killer than 2 – 2 has all the lame songs” and vice versa. I found something special in both of them.
My girlfriend at the time ended up dumping me at some point during the UYI era. I have a distinct memory of showering before school one morning and blasting “So Fine” off of UYI 2. I remember it being a song that spoke directly to me and my feelings at the time.
The song was so powerful that it transcended all the years between then and just a few years ago when a new girl in my life gave it an all new meaning. When I realized that it was a Duff McKagan song, he quickly became my favorite member.
“The Spaghetti Incident?” turned me off instantly simply because of the album’s name and food imagery on the album’s cover. When I finally mustered up the courage to give it a listen, I heard and understood why the public couldn’t care less about the release: They simply did not understand. There are two simple reasons why this album rocks. Number one: Duff sings on many of the tracks. Number two: Every band they cover is amazing. They really show you exactly where they came from with the songs ranging from Dead Boys “Ain’t it Fun” (actually including guest vocals by Hanoi Rocks front man Michael Monroe) to the J.Thunders great “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” (arguably one of the saddest songs in semi-popular glam rock history). An amazing album to end the era of what I consider GNR.
Today I heard the new one: “Chinese Democracy”. First let me say that it is hard enough to consider it new or to get excited about something I’ve been hearing so much about for so long. This record seriously murders me. It feels like the time I ran into my childhood best friend after not seeing him for 15 years. I still knew it was him but his life had changed so much without me that when we finally reunited it was like we never met.
There are songs that have their parts such as “Better” shows some of Axl’s sensitive side which is tolerable and perhaps his only successful skill that has survived over the years. Am I still seeing the dreadlocks and the football jersey from the 2002 VMAs in the back of my head? Am I thinking of the stories of the ridiculous fights and trashy attitudes Axl has dished out in the last decade and a half, or am I simply coming to terms with the fact that GNR died long ago? Fact is that the new heavier songs sound like newer heavier popular bands and that makes me a bit ill. Somehow the leads and the bass sound amazing. Axl’s voice sounds sonically amazing. The effects on some of the rhythm guitars and the newer more modern tricks they use are corny, weak, and really have nothing to do with GNR. The drum effects? Shoot me. I guess that’s what comes with a band that loses everything except its front man. And the new lineup? I don’t care about a single new member with the exception of Tommy “Take your money and get the hell out of there dude” Stinson. The new record is as much of a mess as Axl’s life has been.
Every mistake Axl has made can be summed up in one decision he made awhile back when tattooed a big ugly black cross over the AFD logo he had on his forearm. It speaks for everything. It’s over. Chinese Democracy should have been called American Capitalism, because that’s pretty much all it is to me. Next time you pick a band to back you up Axl, make sure they like rock music that predates crappy 90’s rap-rock.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Next up was Hunchback. I really like these guys (and gal) when they play their more serious stuff. The singer nails a Gibby Haynes from Butthole Surfers here and there, but influences are across the board. A few of their songs sound like a completely different band, which isn't necessarily bad, but again I am a fan of the darker more serious stuff. Their humorous Beavis and Butthead, and 80's SNL clips were funny but distracting and irrelevant. Their cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" was good but not their best cover. I'd have to say the "Statue of Liberty"
by Descendents was their ballsiest and most successful cover to date. I will miss this band but will not miss the Ghostbusters theme song. And if you were there you know EXACTLY what i speak of. Kill me.
The Ergs were solid. Played pretty much what everyone wanted to hear, demonstrated some serious energy on stage and did very well. Unfortunately for me it was another last show by a band I should have paid more attention to. It felt like my girlfriend had finally left me after years of neglect and disinterest on my part. As she waved goodbye I simply thought: "fuck".
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Ok, so my roommates and I have had the dilemma of two broken household stereos. This means that the living area in our loft apartment is dead quiet unless we are watching television. I never really watch T.V. and this year was the first year I've ever paid to have cable. I just don't have time to watch it. Anyway, there are these silly music channels that we put on when we are hanging out sometimes. One of the rock channels was playing Iggy Pop's Lust For Life. When they showed the info for the song it said: "Iggy Pop Lust For Life From: Songs For Television Commercials Vol. 1". My roommate was like "WTF?! Are they talking about the Carnival Cruise line commercial?" How lazy can you possibly be, not to mention misleading and down right wrong?! They also scroll these little trivia facts that are sometimes interesting but generally boring. Goodbye To You by Scandal was on and a fact flashed on the screen: "Scandal was formed in the 1980's in NYC". A few minutes later another fact flashed on the screen: "Scandal formed in NYC in the 1980's". Wow. Great facts guys. Keep up the good work.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I've met Ian about eight or nine times. Several times at Fugazi shows down in Fort Reno DC, and several times at Inner Ear studio in Alexandria, VA. Before Saturday I had seen him as recently as September 12th Grey Matter reunion show at the Black Cat in DC. Every single time I have seen, run into, or talked to Ian, he has been a real person to me. I never felt anything but honesty and integrity when encountering him. I hope one day to feel the success of living into my 40's as a real punk, rocking my black zip up hoodie and jeans.
The Beatles - Introducing The Beatles - 1964 Vee Jay Records
Found: At a record store in central New Jersey.
The Method Actors - This is it (45) - 1980 Armageddon Records
Found: In a crate of records in my apartment that was initially thought to be 100% trashed records.
"The music of psychedelic despair." - Tip, Berlin
The Decorators - Test Pressing
Found: Other Music, NYC.
The Bigtime Syndrome - (in one eye and out the other) - 1987 Bigtime Records (America) Inc.I saw the name "Bigtime" in the title of this record and knew I needed to scoop this one up. When I checked out the track listing, it was an instant sale. A slow version of Mirror People by Love and Rockets starts the compilation off followed by a remix of Redd Kross's Play My Song. That's just the beginning. The Dream Syndicate, The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy, Exploding White Mice, Love Tractor, Alex Chilton and Dumptruck were some more selling points. This record is 80% genius and 20% 80's fluff. I'm super stoked to have grabbed this up and for a mere $2.99 I think it's safe to say it was worth it.
Found: The Princeton Record Exchange, Princeton, NJ.
Droogs - stone cold world -1984 Plug N Socket Records
Found: My friend's mother scored this (and others) at an auction at a VFW in Neptune, NJ.
Marginal Man - Double Image - "1985" Double A Records
Found: Double Decker Records Allentown, PA.
A friend of mine recently found some music by these guys, so when Close Lobsters appeared in ROCK C at a record store I visited this past weekend, the album nearly jumped into my hands. I went into listening to them with a bit of a biased opinion, but after hearing the praise my friend gave them, I really wanted to sit back and hear them for myself. When I threw the record on, my first thought was as follows: "These guys would have played THEE perfect set with a band like The Jesus and Mary Chain". A bit to my surprise, I found out later that they had in fact supported The Jesus and Mary Chain on a 1986 tour. Not bad dude. Something about their clean distinct sound would have given fans the perfect, breathable set before experiencing TJAMC. Close Lobsters are Scottish indie pop that sound like The Stone Roses if they laid off the chorus and distortion and had Steve Kilbey of The Church do some (more) masterfully melodic vocals for them. Poppy and hooky, It's quite great stuff. "Feel-good contemplating feeling bad".
Close Lobsters - Foxheads Stalk This Land - 1986/87 Enigma/Fire
Found: Generation Records, NYC.
Pretty interesting early 80’s reggae dub mixed by Sogie and Maxie in the ever so famous Channel 1 Studios. Sounds like early hip hop vocals over some classic hooky reggae jams. Very energetic feel-good stuff. This record was pressed and distro’d in Kingston, Jamaica.
Lone Ranger - Dee Jay Daddy - 1984 Techniques
Found: At a record store in central New Jersey.
Moving Targets - Burning in Water - 1986 Taang
Mid 80’s post hardcore at it’s finest. A melodic
Found: At a record store in
Friday, November 7, 2008
Early Industrial/Funk/Tribal freakout. Think Cabaret Voltaire meets A Certain Ratio.
This has got to be the most industrial thing I've ever seen... Also, Gustav's favorite band.
30 Frames a Second (Live 1997)
Total hypnotic rocker from Simple Minds' much underrated 1980 album Empires And Dance.
No Escape (1979)
The Cabs' creeptastic reimagining of the Seeds' classic.
Kraftwerk back in their cosmic days. Note the handmade electronic drums.
Spoon Live (1972)
Straight Kraut Freakin' - Now With Jugglers!
Brian Eno and Nitin Sawhney
Come freak out with the Godfather.
A Certain Ratio
Funky post-punk on Factory Records. If Ian Curtis knew how to dance.
Little-known Krautrock originators. If you watch this you'll probably break through.
Intense neo-psych video from rhythmic noise wunderkinds Black Dice. Hit the bong.
Come for the star shaped sunglasses, stay for Eno's knob twiddling goodness.
Moog Modular + Bongos = the perfect recipe to reach the cosmic infinity.
Live on Chorus TV 1979
Includes a rare early version of "A Forest," when it was still known as "At Night," which had completely different lyrics.
Making Plans for Nigel
Quintessential XTC single. You gotta love that break at 3:36: Steee-eee-ooooo! Steee-eee-ooooo!
Real Industrial, yo.
Nude (live 04-02-98)
Original live version from a decade ago, before they butchered it for their latest album In Rainbows. One of the best Radiohead songs ever! Total psych style.
Corrosion In The Pink Room
Rare, unreleased Floyd cut from their prime period. Nick Mason plays the inside of a piano, wigged out binson echorec style on the voices... crazy man!