Monday, March 3rd, 2014 | musiX, pdX, vinylZ | No Comments
I’ve discovered that those who are really into early Genesis are an interesting breed. Then again that era of the band is pretty ridiculous in the best/worst possible way. I’m really not much of a prog head—I can appreciate it on a certain level, and I do like me some King Crimson—but the snootiness of it all kind of stinks. But I couldn’t turn down a recent opportunity to see The Musical Box, the longtime French-Canadian tribute to early-’70s Genesis. I’ve always been a little curious about that era, and I became even more intrigued upon reading Andy Zax’s recent Tweet-by-Tweet of the band’s Los Angeles performance.
I went in knowing nothing, owning only a copy of the band’s post-Gabriel-Hackett record Duke (which I love). Actually, the closest I’d come to hearing Genesis’ old stuff was when my brother—who as a young whippersnapper loved the poppy pap of Abacab and Invisible Touch—unknowingly bought an early live cassette from the dollar bin. Needless to say, we put it on and stared blankly at each other.
But, I have to admit, The Musical Box’s performance was pretty damn impressive, this time focusing on the band’s 1972 LP Foxtrot. It should be pointed out that The Musical Box has been at it 20 years, and that the members of Genesis have praised these guys. Steve Hackett and Phil Collins have even sat in with them. The stage set, costumes, even the instruments were to specs … although the drummer playing Collins played right-handed, and I really would have liked to see a more robust mustache on the guitarist doing Hackett (what he lacked in ‘stache he more than made up for in guitarness). And it confirmed my thoughts on Genesis fans, who treated this performance by these Canadians playing the parts of this old band as a religious experience. And I was into it—even the music. Genesis doesn’t seem as stale and sterile as Yes or Emerson Lake & Palmer. Definitely more bloated. But I’m a sucker for theatrics. If I saw a band that looked like this on stage in 2014 I’d go apeshit.
Over the last couple of days I’ve picked up Foxtrot and Selling England By the Pound. I’m still deciding how much I like them. Although, I’ve gotta say “Supper’s Ready” is goddamn incredible in its epic, overwrought eccentricity. Yeah, that about sums it up. That said, if you make it all the way through this song I’ll give you a hundred bitcoin.
“Supper’s Ready” – Genesis
Friday, February 21st, 2014 | musiX | No Comments
I recently interviewed Neil Finn, who revealed that his son Liam was working on some new material. Noisey posted an interview and the new vid/single “Snug As Fuck” today, which will appear on the young Finn’s forthcoming third full-length The Nihilist on May 6 via Yep Roc. I actually love Liam’s work as much as I do his pops’, and I interviewed him a few years ago as well (you’re next, Tim!) about his songwriting process.
“Snug As Fuck” is a great pop nugget, on which Finn plays all the instruments. He also produced the new record, about which his dad told me: “In terms of production, his work is going to be pretty impressive to watch in the next few years.” I can’t argue. And this video is impressively strange. Like tomatoes, rubber mice and Beatles?
Steve Young‘s name is not immediately recognizable, but those who know, know. And know better. The singer-songwriter released a couple of absolutely immaculate country and folk records at a time when the genre was enjoying a bit of a renaissance in the late-’60s and early-’70s. Young’s 1969 debut Rock Salt & Nails, and his 1972 followup Seven Bridges Road are just as important to country (and more specifically, outlaw country) as anything put out by Willie or Waylon.
While many people tend to reach for the slightly rowdier Seven Bridges Road—whose “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” was later covered by one Waylon Jennings—for me Salt Rock & Nails is the true gem. It could have something to do with the personnel (Gene Clark, Gram Parsons, and fellow Burrito Brother Chris Ethridge all make appearances), which has also led to the record’s cult following. But on this LP Young strikes a perfect balance of country, folk and soul, which not only makes it stand out among his own body of work, but anything in its day.
Parsons contributes organ to Young’s cover of Roosevelt Jamieson‘s “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” which, of course, was a hit for Otis Redding in 1965. It adds just the right touch, however it’s Young’s soulful upper register that is untouchable. Actually, his version is goddamn chilling, and Young’s own haunting and subdued numbers “Coyote” and “Holler In the Swamp” are equally goosebump-inducing. You might want to take it in with some whiskey. Trust me.
“Holler In the Swamp” - Steve Young
“Coyote” - Steve Young
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 | musiX | No Comments
I like it when a band attacks you from all angles—ya know, jab you with a hook, beat you over the head with a riff, leave you mentally incapacitated by sheer weirdness. Grass Is Green is all of that. The Boston four-piece slices and dices on their latest album Vacation Vinny, which sounds a little bigger than previous efforts but still remains in slapdash slacker mode. You best pay attention to “Vacation 2.0″ and “I’m From Dot Too.” Ah, hell with it, pick up the entire record here, and on Exploding In Sound Records.
Friday, February 14th, 2014 | musiX | No Comments
According to me.
KISS’s Alive! still explodes from my speakers with all the blood, fire and volume it did the first time I heard it. Even the album cover still makes me giddy. I used to come home after a night of rocking and rolling all nite and throw this on my Walkman, and years later, my Discman, and just lay there in the dark and let it take over. The live versions of “Deuce” and “Strutter” still give me goosebumps (as do “C’mon and Love Me,” “Parasite” and “Cold Gin”). I will even sit through Peter Criss’ drum solo (because it rules). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you fancy yourself a connoisseur of rock, you best own this record. Because … say it with me—you wanted the best, and you got the best.
And you wanted the rest, and you got the rest. Behold how uncool and unsophisticated I really am. Read ‘em and weep for me.
The TDoL 50 All-time Favorite Albums
1. KISS – Alive! (1975)
2. Camper Van Beethoven – Telephone Free Landslide Victory (1985)
3. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
4. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977)
5. Old 97’s – Wreck Your Life (1995)
6. Metallica – Master of Puppets (1986)
7. Willie Nelson – Phases and Stages (1974)
8. The Saints – Eternally Yours (1978)
9. Nirvana – In Utero (1993)
10. Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)
11. Skid Row – Slave To the Grind (1991)
12. Mother Hips – Later Days (1998)
13. KISS – Destroyer (1976)
14. Old 97’s – Fight Songs (1999)
15. Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (1979)
16. RATT – Out of the Cellar (1984)
17. Far – Water & Solutions (1998)
18. Reigning Sound – Time Bomb High School (2002)
19. Clutch – Clutch (1995)
20. Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady (1979)
21. John Coltrane – Blue Train (1957)
22. Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R (2000)
23. Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground (1969)
24. Kuraia – Illuntasunari Barre (2003)
25. The Stooges – Fun House (1970)
26. The Smiths – Strangeways Here We Come (1987)
27. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (1981)
28. T. Rex – The Slider (1972)
29. Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)
30. KISS – Music From “The Elder” (1981)
31. Dwight Twilley Band – Twilley Don’t Mind (1977)
32. Helmet – Betty (1994)
33. Love – Love (1966)
34. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
35. The Kinks – The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
36. Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power (1992)
37. The Ramones – Ramones (1976)
38. Grateful Dead – American Beauty (1970)
39. The Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine (2006)
40. Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle (1979)
41. Mötley Crüe – Too Fast For Love (1982)
42. Slayer - Divine Intervention (1994)
43. Iron Maiden – Live After Death (1985)
44. Green Day – Insomniac (1995)
45. Alice Cooper – Love It to Death (1971)
46. Pavement – Brighten the Corners (1997)
47. Weezer – Green Album (2001)
48. Split Enz – True Colours (1980)
49. Madonna – Madonna (1983)
50. L7 – Hungry For Stink (1994)
- It’s a prog eat prog world
- Sweet as. Liam Finn gets snug as …
- Steve Young: Rock salt, nails, whiskey
- Grass Is Green is a mean machine
- All-time favorite albums #1. KISS – Alive!
- All-time favorite albums #2. Camper Van Beethoven – Telephone Free Landslide Victory
- All-time favorite albums #3. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
- All-time favorite albums #4. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
- All-time favorite albums #5. Old 97′s – Wreck Your Life
- All-time favorite albums #6. Metallica – Master of Puppets