Have a confession of sorts. I didn’t listen to any Cult music in the weeks leading up to seeing the band play in Chicago recently. This tour was focused on playing their album Electric which I was really looking forward to, but didn’t want to think too much about it – if you know what I mean. I’ve seen them so many times that I just want to “live” the experience in the moment. Musically, the last couple of months I’ve been aching to hear some rock and roll. I’d been listening to Songza playlists featuring metal standards of the past few decades. Not exactly my usual early alternative fare, huh?
So I found it coincidental to read a Chris Wyse (The Cult’s bass player on their tours since about ’06) interview as he had been doing more press for this tour than Ian and Billy. And while reading I was reminded that he’d actually played bass on the 2001 album, Beyond Good and Evil (which to say I adore wouldn’t even come close to being accurate). Just then it dawned on me I should check out his other band, OWL. And guess what? It was exactly the type of ear candy I’ve been jonesing for – good rock and roll; a little heavy on the side. BAM! as some of my friends would say.
You should give them a listen. Stream tunes directly from their site and then go out and buy it. A few suggestions from their latest release, The Right Thing: “Taking Over”, “The Right Thing” and a Kinks’ cover, “Destroyer,” all fun tracks.
And side note: Yes, The Cult were in top form. Wish I could hear them again on this tour. Hearing one of my favorite lines “We are not chained to the wheel” always hits the right spot with me!
While I was roaming around the net checking out missed releases I came across a release from Starship’s Mickey Thomas from 2011. Marauder is a wide-ranging collection of cover songs; originals from such artists as The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, Snow Patrol and even AC/DC. Yes, it’s scattered, but who doesn’t enjoy the odd cover now and then? You can listen to samples at AllMusic.com or Spotify.
I have to say Thomas still has his chops (check the video below). But you really should at least track through the samples – I just don’t see where a Beatles’ track, Muse and AC/DC fit together. You gotta check it out!
Gimme Shelter – Bluesy rendition of the Stones’ tune
Now’s the time to be prepping those year-end album lists. Or at the very least, reviewing the dozens posted all over the place. Tis the season. But as I began to look over other lists and my own favorites I felt compelled to share a few that probably won’t be as widely listed:
First up is Blonde Redhead’s Penny Sparkle. It may not be 23 but it’s still a solid effort. In case you missed this one and like Blonde Redhead, you owe it to yourself to listen to it…or give it a second try. Honestly I would say it’s a better followup than many indie artists of late. Maybe it’s just too understated to get much buzz from the music press and bloggers.
This is simply the best indie debut I’ve heard this year. Seabellies consists of 6 Aussies who I hope have a bright future. Wayne Connolly (Youth Group, The Vines) produced the album, By Limbo Lake, and it’s masterful. Great tracks that do not get tiresome or hard to track through. You’ll enjoy this from the opening notes.
If you’re into Hot Chip you probably know about Silver Columns, but they aren’t a big name yet. Yes and Dance is a fun album to put on while you’re working or just want to chill. It’s not earth-shattering; just a solid corker for those who enjoy happy, upbeat electronic sounds.
Here’s my surprise of the year. The record company must have decided to release “Run With The Boys” as the first single because it’s about the only thing that could go hand-in-hand with The Libertines’ catalogue. This is Carl 2.0 and he’s out to make some noise. It’s a great experiment. Not a perfect album, but really shows growth. Want proof? “Death Fires Burn At Night” – our Carl is growing up!
Who knew Adam Ant was back to playing gigs? Last I heard he’d been in some disputes here and there. When I noticed a live review from The Telegraph I was pleasantly surprised today. It’s a pretty good review. I did a bit of digging and found out that just this spring Adam played some shows but once again had been sidelined. He was under psychiatric care for a period in May. He addressed his fans through his website at that time:
Ant fans – please send me postcards at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, Fulham Road. Please dont come down here as it may upset the staff who have been really pleasant. I am having a well earn rest at Her Majesty’s pleasure and am painting and continuing being an art student. I have a great view and am considering gigs later in the year.
And he has delivered with this latest gig. Good job, Adam. Hope we hear more from you. Footage from a Spring 2010 show can be found here.
I ran across some info on this band last night and HAD to share the videos they’ve made. They are just of the guys in the band talking, but they are too funny. I’m not quite sure where their references to Phil Collins/Genesis come from, but as some of my friends also have inside jokes about them it made it even better. Enjoy!
And find out just who won’t be attending their album launch-thingy:
For more on the band and their music, go to: http://weareoverthewall.com
I see where Charlies drummer, Jon Brookes, will be treated for a brain tumor. I missed the news that he had to be resuscitated shortly after kicking off their Philly show last week. Poor guy. What a shocker!
According to NME he’ll be undergoing treatment while the lads wrap up the short US tour. I feel for Brookes, his family and the band. I give the band a hard time, but it’s only because I love most of the music sooo much and want everything to be aces all the time. I know in real life that isn’t always possible. Jon’s my fav and I wish him the best of luck in beating this!
At the same time I’m waiting to hear how my own Dad’s tests will come out today. Send him some vibes if you can – it’s appreciated! It hasn’t been the best year in our household either.
In more uplifting news I see where Tim is working on a new solo album and it sounds intriguing. He’s working with folks from The Horrors and Klaxons among others. I hope it’s as fun as his first album!
These are 3 tracks I’ve had on repeat this weekend.
Them:Youth with “Fever Rising”
A very promising single which is making me look forward to their album this fall.
UNKLE Feat. Big In Japan with “The Answer (Baltimore)”
I really love UNKLE, but it’s a little hit and miss with me. That being said this track is exactly why I continue to stay on the mailing list and keep up on new releases. This is a great song!
Robert Plant with “Angel Dance”
I wasn’t prepared to do anything more than give it a listen out of curiosity as I figured it would be too folky sounding. But it’s a great song that sticks with you. Gives a nice nod to his previous work on Raising Sand.
Not the kind of news you want to wake up and read, but thanks to one of my FB friends I saw this headline this morning. It seems that former frontman of The Call and most recently soundman for his son’s outfit, BRMC, passed away yesterday. The band was to play Belgium’s Pukkelpop Fest and Michael apparently had a heart attack backstage. Just awful.
I always thought it was such a great story how he traveled with BRMC. That had to have been a very special bond he had with both his son and Pete, who I’m sure was like a son as well. The Call often ran under the radar, but built a solid reputation and you could see his dedication when you saw him work with BRMC at the sound board.
The best article I found this morning is from The Oklahoman – did you know Been was from Oklahoma? Last year The Oklahoma History Center hosted a special musical exhibit which included The Call. Jeff Moore, director of exhibits:
“Michael Been was my inspiration for the rock ‘n’ roll exhibit,” Moore said. While I knew about the Wanda Jacksons and Leon Russells, they weren’t part of my generation. The Call was my generation, and I will always be a fan. Personally, it was a dream come true to meet Michael, interview him and include The Call in our exhibit. He will be greatly missed by his family, bandmates and fans around the world.”
Wow, no matter what BRMC does with the rest of their tour I know it’s going to be a hard one for the guys and crew. Keep them and the Been family in your thoughts and prayers. I’ve posted a live version of The Call’s “Everywhere You Go” below. When Black Rebel Motorcycle Club first came out I hadn’t seen Robert play live; now that I’ve seen them so many times it’s very cool to see the similarities between father and son!
I’ve been browsing the interwebs reading about upcoming releases and was struck by a couple of headlines by artists who’ve been around the block more than once. Both stake claims about their upcoming albums. And both take liberties with the word ‘Pop” – see for yourself.
The Modfather himself releases new material early this summer. ‘Wake Up The Nation’ has a good ring to it. Weller says the inspiration revolved around wanting to make the type of music he feels is lacking in the current climate.
Expect more noise than his last. He explained he “wanted it to have a more metallic and harder sound.” From the Spinner article it sounds as though he’s listening to more American music these days like Kings of Leon and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Also note who makes an appearance on the album…one Kevin Shields. Release date is June 1.
Then we have the Pop Princess, Kylie Minogue, whose umpteenth album ‘Aphrodite’ hits stores late July. She mentions in this short article how she’s hit her stride and I’m sure she’s right.
What I found amusing was the artist calling the new album “emotional pop” or in other words, “girls getting ready to go out, putting their make-up on.” Now, I know Kylie is brilliant for her type of music and I’ll probably enjoy the new album, but this just made me giggle.
Helping with songwriting and producing will be Calvin Harris and Scissor Sisters (did Jake just give up recording himself?)
I’m starting to feel like my blog is becoming “the blog of doom.” I need to start posting more upbeat news on artists. But in case you hadn’t heard, Malcolm McLaren passed away. I haven’t seen any remarks from Lydon on his death yet, but he’s going to be on a show tonight and I’m sure there will be plenty of quotes by tomorrow morning.
I’m from the Midwest and as with most trends as I grew up (before the internet…gasp), Punk got here a little late. But that’s OK as I wasn’t old enough to really appreciate it at its short-lived peak. Now I feel like Punk is something inside me – a part of my make-up so to speak. So it hits home as we lose some of the architects of the genre.
As I read comments on the net here and there I was reminded of an interview Steve Jones did with Malcolm on Jonesy’s Jukebox. (Man, I miss that show!!) Steve being Steve asked his first question: ”Where’s The Money Bugger?”
Drowned in Sound has comments from both Lydon and Vivienne Westwood plus lots of other goodies including video of McLaren.