My apologies as I have been away from the blogosphere for some time now. I have been in the studio generally, working on the 4th album for my band The Bitter Roots. I will be writing a lengthy piece on the new album here in the next few months. This is the 10th full length album I have made in 17 years, counting previous works by the once mighty Chiseler and manSaveman (pats himself on the back). Despite little commercial success over the years, and “friends” comments to the contrary, this is not a fucking hobby for me, natch!, thank you very much. I can assure you I have been All In for some time now. Consummate professional that I be, I really do always set out to make a better album than the previous one, and I am happy to say I think I have done that once again. Recording for the new record is winding down, so I have some time now to share some thoughts with you, if it do ya fine.
I have indeed listened to quite a bit of new music or music that is generally new to me over the course of the year. I would also like to address one other rock turd floating out there in the modern day entertainment toilet bowl, so lets get down to Brass Punk Rock Tax as I like to say.
First off, what the fuck is the deal with U2? I am, or more accurately was, a huge fan of theirs. The live at Red Rocks Under a Blood Red Sky is just such an awesomely real and passionate performance. I played the War LP so many many times when I was kid, I love that album, it had a huge influence that has never left me, and that is that music can be an agent for positive change. Songs can inspire, make you think about real and tragic experiences, and help try to make things better. Is that really so naive of me?
As U2 drifted on into the 90s on the coattails of the brilliant Joshua Tree album it became clear that they were making insane amounts of money living high and wide, and writing songs in a completely different space, and I think that is fine, it happens. Right MacPhisto? However, having seen the 360 tour, 4 stages that took 90 semi trailers each to haul around, wow dude, not, which I thought was just ridiculous and excessive, the set played “live” to computer backing tracks btw, I can say now for sure: I think the fellas have lost their collective fucking minds. Once the shining band on the hill, voice of the down trodden, they have become bloated megalomaniacs, cartoon caricatures of their former selves. They really have no connection with real people or real people’s problems as they once did, and that is the hard truth. Yes, “The Edge" really is trying to remove the top of a mountain in Malibu and build mansions for all his new rich friends. Sad. Mad.
People should take note that commercial success really has no direct correlation with actual talent. Certainly, being paid 100 Million dollars, yes that figure is indeed accurate, for the privilege of having Apple literally spam out your new album for free to anyone with an Apple product, whether they wanted it or not, is not Punk Rock in the slightest as Saint Bono claims. So what is it all about then? I wonder…
Note to Paul Hewson: I am So glad you were inspired by Joey Ramone but I don’t think he sang like a girl, and quite frankly I have no idea what the fuck that even means. What we really have here instead my friends is a terrible business decision between multinational conglomerates, that perpetuates a business model where the haves have it all and all other artists get paid little or nothing. You can look it up for yourself but the truth is, the top 5% musicians really do make 97% of all music revenues, and that is a recipe for the death of original thought, art and culture.
U2 I am done with you.
Earlier in the year I was very much smitten with the new St. Vincent album. I think Annie is one of the most talented musicians I have ever seen, fuckanaye can she play guitar. She did a record with David Byrne that is just too David Byrne for my tastes, if you know what I mean. Her new self titled record is very good though. Annie’s lyrics are Gold Jerry, Gold! Beautiful poetry the lady doth write. I would say a few more things about this album however. A bass player is always a good idea, and I think she should get a really good one, someone who plays a mean 5 string perhaps. Also, just because you have one killer hook, that does not necessarily mean you have a really good song, so I would encourage her to maybe slow down a bit, revise and add bit more to her compositions next time.
The record so far this year that has impressed me the most:
The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams
If you are not familiar with them, I believe they live in Brooklyn, they have been out making the scene for some time now, ten years at least. Craig Finn the singer is from Minneapolis. He does more beat poetry over the music than singing in all fairness, and some people may be turned off by that, but if you like Primus, I love Primus, you can look past that. His poetry is very good, lots of personal relationship type stuff, nothing to heavy that I can tell. Craig likes to keep it “Positive”. So, as you can imagine they are very popular with the escapist millenials and 20 somethings who seem to have a real aversion to anything too serious.
I have seen The Hold Steady a few times here in Seattle, including just a few months ago in fact. I really like this band, I think they have a tremendous sound and energy to them. If you took Hüsker Du, The Replacements and mixed it with The Del Fuegos, you would get the drift. Big guitar sound, big sound all the way around. Craig Finn is a character and people seem to love him, so there you are, Album of the Week, give it a listen, you never know, you just might like it!
Rock The Fuck Out People,
p.s. Gene Simmons can kiss my ass, Rock is not dead as he keeps saying in the press over and over again in a shallow transparent attempt to move more Kiss back catalog. Don’t you stick your tongue out at me fucker.