Sunday, 20 June 2010

Listen and Learn

I'm pretty sure no-one ever reads this rubbish I sporadically spout, but I'm not really that concerned. I'm not even sure why I do it, but for anyone who stumbles upon this, I'm going to share some thoughts about Jane's Addiction.

You know that there's something tragically wrong with the general public's consciousness when a group as woefully bland as the Red Hot Chili Peppers have somehow managed to become one of the largest bands in the world, and an outfit such as Jane's Addiction couldn't quite reach those heights. There are reasons behind this of course. Jane's Addiction were a popular band in the late-80's and early-90's. They sold a few million records, toured extensively and singer Perry Farrell realised the potential and founded the massively successful US touring festival Lollapalooza. Fuck, even guitarist Dave Navarro ended up joining the aforementioned RHCP in 1995. They also sadly split up in their prime, succumbing to the usual trappings - drugs, drugs, and more drugs.

My problem with this situation is not that they didn't get the recognition that they deserved, as they have this in spades. My problem is with that of the RHCP fan. I have unfortunately met over the course of my life a few very misguided people who wholeheartedly believe that music starts and ends with the overly-macho testosterone fuelled shit-fest that is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I have had arguments/discussions with these people about the merits of bands like Jane's Addiction and Faith No More, both groundbreaking bands who I feel were unfairly lumped in with the early-90's 'funk-rap-rock' of the Chili Peppers, but for most of the RHCP fans out there seem to pale in comparison.

Whereas RHCP have songs like 'Sir Psycho Sexy' and 'Catholic Schoolgirls Rule', songs which deal with base-level degrading of women, Jane's had songs that were more heartfelt, spiritual and thought-provoking. This is not to say that they haven't had their share of frivolity either - witness 'Been Caught Stealing' and 'Idiots Rule' for example.

The first two studio albums, 'Nothing's Shocking' and 'Ritual De Lo Habitual' are essential listening for anyone with even a passing interest in alternative rock, but 'Strays', released upon their reformation in 2003, should be approached with caution. It's not a terrible album, but compared to the first two it really doesn't compare. If you've got the time, listen below to 'Three Days'.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Time For Sleep, part 1.

I like to fall asleep to music, which should come as no surprise as most of the time I tend to have some form of music playing or another. I have been known to spend upwards of half an hour in the past debating what to listen to. My current Hi-Fi set-up doesn't help much, as I have literally tens of thousands of songs at my fingertips. I have tried to compile a 'stock' list of songs I know will aid me in drifting off to the Land of Nod, but I'm so indecisive at the best of times that the list is rendered useless. I have also been known to put songs on, attempt sleep, only to get up again and change it.

The only time this ever works for me is if I am feeling particularly 'relaxed', aided by some type of alcohol or another. This is the best time, as it's not uncommon for Every Time I Die or someone of a similar ilk to scream for me a discordant lullaby. Of course, all this could be avoided by simply not listening to music in the first place, but where's the fun in that?

This song below is by Kyuss, the stoner/desert rock band featuring Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri before they went on to form Queens Of The Stone Age. This is a nice, mellow tune which evokes the Californian desert, Monument Valley, sunsets and endless stretches of highway. Not a bad image for one to drift off to. It's from their acclaimed album 'Welcome To Sky Valley'.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Crisps in Sandwiches

I want to meet whoever was the first person to come up with this concept. The person for whom this was an entirely original thought. It's so simple, yet the rewards are immeasurable. The potential so far-reaching. Think about how many possibilities there are within the realm of the sandwich, and then have that completely blown apart with the introduction of a simple thinly-sliced portion of deep fried potato.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Blast from the Past

This doesn't refer to the terrible film starring Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone, but rather a particular favourite band of mine, the Replacements.

I've had a rare evening in by myself, accompanied by my good friends red wine, chicken and potatoes. Lately I've been revisiting the Replacements' back catalogue, particularly the song 'Left Of The Dial'. It's somewhat of a paean to the US indie scene of the mid-80's, mixed in with Paul Westerberg's trademark songs of loss and regret. The title refers to the college radio scene where the more 'alternative' stations were (hopefully still are) located in the upper register of FM frequencies, and the act of turning the tuning dial to left to reach them. The song is allegedly about a particular female from another 80's indie band that Westerberg had a 'thing' with whilst playing the college circuit, and during the long drives between shows he would often try and find stations that could have possibly been playing her songs at any given time. The final lyric from this song is particularly poignant -

'And if I don't see ya, in a long, long while
I'll try to find you
Left of the dial'

It's a song that bands like the Gaslight Anthem have admitted that had it never been committed to tape, their current existence may not be so. But anyway, I thought I'd share it as it's one of my favourite songs, possibly even in my top ten of all time. Listen and enjoy, and please excuse the visuals. Not quite sure what that's about.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Boner time part 1

Guess who's back in the motherfucking house, which a fat dick for your motherfucking mouth? Sunny Day Real Estate, that's who. It's the original line-up! That means Jeremy Enigk! Dan Hoerner! Those two dudes from the Foo Fighters!

The real good news here is that they are playing London on April 22nd, for the first teim ever. My buddy is promoting it so hopefully I can blag my way in. The next two months can't go by quick enough

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Take heed, Good Sir!

A while ago, I called Chris Cornell a 'knob' and suggested that he reform Soundgarden. I guess he heard about it, as the silly fucker has only gone and done it. This is good news, as long as they don't fuck it up, and as long as they play Brixton and I get to go. A rendition of this wouldn't go amiss either

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Simply incredible

Young Widows - Old Skin. This band, quite simply, RULE.