Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Ongoing Fraud That is The Beach Boys


So, it's Mike Love and some guys he doesn't have to split the money with? Okay then.

The Beach Boys are a fraud. They've been a fraud for decades. Why anyone would pay money to go see this schlock is beyond me.

How is it that Mike Love can kick Brian Wilson--Brian Wilson--out of his own band along with Al Jardine and still expect people to come see him is one for the ages.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another Artist Tells the Fans to Stuff It


This must be the new thing--morose, miserable people who make music that people want to listen to are all rushing for the exits, trying to find a way out of the music business, which is collapsing all around them.

If you were thinking of getting into Bon Iver, or if you were hoping that they might have a future, forget it. They're still on tour--and they're telling their fans that it's over. And Justin Vernon just wants to move on and walk away.

God, I hate music these days. I really, really do.

I mean, honestly. Get over yourself. Be thankful that anyone shows up and that you still make money from making music. Jeebus.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Problem Separate From Everything Else?


This is an unfortunate development for the band, but I really don't think they care about anything other than Billie Joe getting the help he needs so he can get this behind him.

Separate from that, I think his meltdown was entirely justified. He had twenty minutes cut from his set--he got angry and that's okay. Why do rock stars have to be polite and understanding?

This is something that came from another place entirely, and whether that was from the stress of writing and recording three brand new albums at once or his personal life, that's nobody's business.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Last American Band With Any Credibility


You may think this man has a point, but he does not:
And it's sad to see Armstrong claim credibility on the back of longevity and the fact that he's "not fucking Justin Bieber"—in other words, a rock star, not a pop star. Of course, for a band like Green Day—pop-punks, right?—there's not much difference. This is a corporate rock band, and I don't mean that pejoratively but rather as a point of fact: They've allied with and profited from the commercial forces that lead, among other things, to independent and alternative radio stations being killed and local DJs being replaced with automated playlists. That's fine. It's allowed a lot of their very-good music to find a very-big audience. But in Vegas, he made a spectacle of acting like he's been playing a different game than that. 
Of course, Armstrong knows all this. He's a self-aware master of staging: American Idiot, after all, is now a Broadway production. He may have even scripted this whole meltdown before singing a word. Quietly submitting to a quick set sandwiched between dance-pop superstars might not have played well with the Green Day diehards tuning in. Those diehards almost certainly made up a minority of the audience paying attention to the festival, but for them, a couple "Fuck this shit"s and a smashed guitar may help keep some myth of punk nobility alive. For most anyone else, it's just kind of embarrassing to watch.
Spencer Kornhaber's analysis of the radio industry is laughable. Greed killed radio, not Green Day. The radio industry is failing because someone (Randy Michaels, actually) got the idea to turn it into an overhead-free turnkey industry where radio station licenses were used to create places where satellite-oriented local radio stations could replace radio stations that had fifty or sixty people creating local programming and become nothing more than a closet with broadcast equipment producing exactly no original local programming in exchange for ad revenue. The radio industry is failing because there is no talent, no locality, no originality, no regional flavor and no attention paid to artists and the creation of a viable pool of talent. It is dying because people think Green Day is something to sell rather than a great band with three great albums coming out soon.

His embarrassment comes entirely from the fact that he's not used to seeing an American rock and roll band act like a rock and roll band. This is not an existentialist temper tantrum and this is anything but a sad display of emotion--this is the way a rock and roll band is supposed to act when they've had twenty minutes subtracted from their set.

If Billie Joe Armstrong had ended the song early, waved, and given an aw shucks grin, you could rightly call him a sellout and a candy ass. He didn't do that. He acted up in public precisely because he and his band had just been screwed. You didn't see the drummer or the bass player object. You didn't see Armstrong roll over and accept being treated like he had just been given another Grammy and another million dollars. You saw three men who can actually play their instruments live in front of people react the way that countless others who had gone before them would have reacted.

Do you think The Police would have smiled and waved after being ordered off twenty minutes early? Do you think Pearl Jam would have taken that? What would the Foo Fighters or the Red Hot Chili Peppers have done with that message to get off the stage in one minute? Insert your own band here--especially one with integrity and skill.

This is the sad result of so many sad emo bands. Rock and roll acts are supposed to shuffle up there, play their songs, and wander off, sheepishly confused about being adored. Armstrong doesn't want your adoration. He wants to blow the goddamned roof off the joint.

We need more of this passion, not less.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Amy Lee Wants to Make Different Music


In what must be the most blatant kiss off to the fans of Evanescence, Amy Lee now wants to go make quieter music that doesn't involve guitars. The question is, what's wrong with guitar music? And why are you touring arenas behind that sound if that's not what you want to do?

The question is, why not go do that and not make it part of an extended break? Why not go make the music you want to make and then either return to the current sound or leave it behind entirely?

Amy Lee has a great voice. She could make an album very similar to Adele's 21. Or she could go do an album of folk music. Either way, everything she and her band are doing it a well-telegraphed slap in the face to the people who are digging what she's doing now.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Coldplay God Put a Smile on Your Face Single



Coldplay put out a slew of great singles in the early 2000s due in large part to the fact that, as the band was blowing up, demand for their music coincided with the explosion of music file sharing and downloading.

On the back of this particular single is a paragraph warning consumers about illegally sharing and downloading music--fat load of good it did, but the outcome was the destruction of sites like Napster.

This is an interesting cover--I believe that they were all done in sequence and show an image being blown up. A fitting metaphor of their career at this point.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Smiths Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now EP



This is yet another example of Morrissey's brilliant decisions in the 1980s. While everyone else was touting plastic, color, and throwaway nonsense, his sleeves and concepts were timeless.

I chose this particular one because it is very apt; the art matches the song, the concept matches the single, and the ideas resonate nearly thirty years on.

My, my. 1984 seems like a long, long time ago.