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!
Here are the latest tracks I’ve purchased during the last week:
Pete MacLeod’s “The Truth About Me And You”
MacLeod has a new EP out called Lost and Found. This track is particularly my fav. It’s very retro. I can’t quite peg what British 60’s band it’s ripping off…maybe Steve/CR can shed some light on that. 😉 And there is an element to the song that reminds me of Crowded House. Interesting combination. You can listen to it via his website.
Best Coast album, Crazy For You
Another retro feel. I wasn’t planning a theme, but these do fit well together. And I think it’s pretty amusing to see nearly every album review mention Snacks the cat who appears on the cover. Cuteness aside, the album is cohesive and is a great summer soundtrack. Streaming here.
The Cult – “Everyman and Woman is a Star” (single)
Hmm. Hasn’t Ian sung about “stars” before? Outside of that I think the song is awesdome. It has the signature swagger required to be considered a good Cult song and it’s on repeat. What more do you need to know?
What’s everyone else digging on lately?
Belated B-day wishes go out to Mr. Astbury. Keep rockin’, Ian!
Latest word has it that their one-album deal on Roadrunner is kaput. Not really surprised by that. The last album, Born Into This, was far from inspiring. Wish they would have admitted from the start that it was a rushed project. I realize it’s their art and they have the right to put out what they like, but I’ll stick to their live shows. Nothing like them! I hope they keep playing live to a very long time.
Ian’s always been touch-and-go, but I really miss when he would visit the boards weekly (back when Atlantic was their label for Beyond Good and Evil). He was the ‘chaos instigator’. Sometimes he’d get on a rant and yet he’d still take some time to answer some questions about old recording sessions or something. It was a fun time.
Happy Birthday, Billy!!
Found an apt photo of taken just within the last two months during The Cult’s current set of dates. Cornershopstudios.com took the photos and there are several more located here – particularly good of Duffy.
Hope you have a stellar day, Billy!
The Cult are trekking thru Europe for the next week before heading back to play Canada. (They’ll play a few dates in the States as well.) The Guardian posted a review of their show at the London Forum this week. I’ve seen them enough to read between the lines of a review – I take them with a grain of salt. As Ian’s said time and time again “you get us or you don’t.”
But I smiled a couple times reading this particular interview and decided to post about it. The reviewer starts out talking about their history and how the guys have held up pretty well. Quote: “Duffy retains the rugged charm of a heavy metal Sean Bean” – too funny.
He also calls them “rock’s odd couple” and mentions Duffy’s mild reaction when Astbury tries to rile up the crowd. Umm. Yeah, I’ve seen that look a few times before! Though they have slid down my list of favorite bands (still in 2nd place) I’ll continue to go to their shows as long as they keep playing. One of these days maybe Ian will dust off “Big Neon Glitter” for me.
Oh and one last thing – people have been talking about that guy on American Idol, Michael Johns…I swear he could be Ian’s nephew. Take the stubble off of the pic above, make him about 15 years younger and *poof*! People were comparing him to Michael Hutchence, but I think he’s closer to Ian. Vocally he might be closer to Hutchence. I guess time will tell.
Here’s a youtube clip from the London show earlier this week. And guess what? It starts out with one of Ian’s mini-sermons (something about not letting people count you out)! Side note: One of my fav IA tirades was at Reading fest (2000 or 2001) and he was just pacing back and forth. He said “All the crap they’ve written about me. That I’m mental…it’s all f’ing true!”
Ha, ha!! I don’t know whether to give him the devil horns or just a big hug! 🙂
Tomorrow is a big day. Tuesday: album release day in the U.S. Been waiting months for the latest Cult release, “Born Into This“. Some of you know just how major of a Cult fan I am. And that being said it makes me sad to say I will totally confess that my rabid Cult tastes have been waning while waiting for this release. Call me miffed. The band gets a nice deal going with Roadrunner and the label seems to be doing everything that we, as fans, have been hoping for: there are contests to see the band in London, oodles of press coverage and a fall tour.
…but hold on a minute. Though some rocking songs are on the disc, the rocking isn’t confined solely to the recording. Remember a lot of the Cult faithful have been staunch fans since the 80s and really stuck with the band during all those hiatus periods (c’mon…they only broke up once and that was disasterous on so many levels). Back around 2000 when Atlantic signed them, the label created a terrific website that had a super-active board. I know a lot of people had an opportunity to meet one another during those 2001 concerts. I met boarders from Ill. and Texas that I had talked to on the board and there was a real immediacy and frenzy among everyone. Ian even chimed in (taking on a few different personas when the feeling struck him). That particularly made for some interesting mayhem! It was a great time in Cultland and there were many happy Cult children.
But things have slowly changed. The new site remains updated, but there seems to be a lack of soul this time around. And what’s so disheartening is that “soul” is the very element that has always drawn me to the band. Over the past couple weeks the concert dates have dribbled in. Having some exposure in the business I can totally understand how obstacles crop up. Things happen, you have to find the right dates and the right size of venue for the artist. But it all felt a little late for a band that has a fanbase that likes to travel. Let’s face it-we’re all getting older and need time to plan. Booking flights with little more than a month (and in some cases less) is not easy. I’ve had experience booking my travel around Cult shows – I think I’ve seen them in 6 different states.
But the final blow came when moderators on the band’s website announced that only points of interest from the new album and forward would be allowed on the board. Wow, that was a shocker. And what’s really surprising is that this is a group of fans that already lean heavily on the here-and-now as opposed to re-hashing days gone by. I’m not saying that never happened, but it by far wasn’t the majority of talk before (unless we were nowhere near close to hearing new material). I don’t know – it feels pretty cold over in Cultland to me.
I’ll be tracking through the album stream tonight over on AOL and buy the album tomorrow when it comes out, but my expectations have diminished along with what seems to be the band’s former DIY ethic.