Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Charm Assault

A few days ago, I checked Ride's Facebook and website--nothing on there about a new song or new album.

Ride have released their first new music in 20 years, returning with new track ‘Charm Assault’.

The four-piece, considered to be pioneers of shoegaze, last released a full-length record, ‘Tarantula’, back in March 1996. The band broke up later that year. After a brief reconciliation in 2001 for a live televised performance, Ride officially reunited in 2014, with guitarist Andy Bell telling NME at the time that: “As we were all still friends, we always thought when the time was right we’d [reform]. And now the time is right.”

The band have now signed to Wichita Records for a new album, their fifth to date, out this summer. The LP has been produced by Erol Alkan and mixed by Alan Moulder.

I check out the NME today, and here it is. Charm Assault.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Jello Biafra Personifies Integrity

East Bay Ray can't help himself. There's money to be wrung out of the old, dry teat but Jello says no way, Jose:

Dead Kennedys have turned down an opportunity to reunite, after Riot Fest asked the band to get back together.

The band initially broke up in 1986. The band’s former members sued Jello Biafra over unpaid royalties.

A judge ruled in their favor, ordering Biafra to pay $200,00 in outstanding royalties and damages. He was also forced to hand over the rights to a majority of Dead Kennedys’ back catalogue.

According to Dead Kennedys co-founder East Bay Ray, Riot Fest sought to reunite the band. The guitarist claims he was interested in doing the show, but original frontman Jello Biafra turned down the offer.

That's what integrity looks like. Isn't it shocking? Nobody has it anymore. And while I have no problem with people who want to work in music and make a good living, it's pretty clear to me that Jello has his own thing going on and riding the nostalgia wave isn't in the cards anymore. Spend five minutes on Jello's facebook page and even an NME journalist could figure this out. We all need to be leaning forward because we're faced with an unprecedented onslaught of fascism and insanity.

Wanna know how to survive it? Maintain your integrity at all costs.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bono Will Do Anything to Save Lives

He's the most pragmatic rocker on the planet:

U2 frontman and human-rights activist Bono met with Vice President Mike Pence in Munich on Saturday to thank him for his past work in securing funding for HIV/AIDS assistance efforts in developing nations, telling the vice president that "we really appreciate" past efforts in support of the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. "You're the second-busiest man on earth," Bono said of Pence, before noting that "twice on the House floor you defended [PEPFAR] - that's how we know you." Pence, for his part, remembered Bono's appearance in support of the initiative, which has provided anti-retroviral treatment for tens of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa since it was created under President George W. Bush. "You played a leading role in carrying it forward," Pence recalled. Despite the apparent friendliness of the chat, Bono has been critical in the past of Pence's boss, calling President Donald Trump "potentially the worst idea that has ever happened to America."

I can appreciate what Bono is doing here. He's operating from a safe place as an Irish citizen. He knows more about America than a lot of Americans do, but he can maintain that distance from our politics and wring money out of Republicans and Democrats alike. The genius of this is that he is willing to look naive and foolish in order to get the money needed to keep people alive.

There isn't anybody out there who is better at charming people who would otherwise tell people dying of AIDS to go pound sand. The fact that he's been doing this for years is proof that there will always be a place where Bono can go and schmooze people, pick their pockets, and deliver that money to the folks who need it. You can be cynical, or you can applaud the fact that the most virulently anti-gay politician in power right now is going to go out and convince Congress to give money to provide anti-retroviral drugs to those who need them. He's going to do that because Bono went to him with his hat in his hand and delivered an irresistible sales pitch. Yes, Pence will use it to prove his humanity. No, Bono won't get credit for making it happen. But people in need will get the drugs. At the end of the day. that's all Mr. Paul Hewson really gives two shits about, and that's all right.

This does not redeem Pence in any way. It does validate the idea that only a mega-celebrity with no other agenda beyond getting blood from stones can pull something like this off and keep his day job. Anyone willing to entertain the inanities of a Mike Pence in order to save lives is fast-tracked for sainthood.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Stone Roses Standing Here

Sometime during the miserable years between 1991 and 1994, the Stone Roses were trying to make their second (ha! third!) album and get out from under their contract with Silvertone records. What did Silvertone do? They put this thing out (it says 1992 on the label, which doesn't have a cover or insert).

What's baffling about it is that the courts freed the Roses by May of 1991, and this came out the following year while Silvertone were appealing the verdict that saw the band sign with Geffen records for 20 million pounds. This of this as Silvertone's desperate attempt to cash in on a single the band wasn't about to support.

I had no idea this existed.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Always Sad

If the Jesus & Mary Chain can get back together, anyone can:

The Jesus and Mary Chain have shared ‘Always Sad’, a new song from their upcoming album.

‘Damage And Joy’, the band’s first full-length release in over 18 years, is due for release on March 23. The band previously shared the song ‘Amputation’ from the album.

You'll have to follow the link to hear the song. I personally would not choose Spotify for anything like that, but I respect the band's decision.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Gutless and Meaningless

I guess Lady Gaga went with this guy's pleas for civility:

Lady Gaga will be the performer at the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday (February 5) and some people think she should leave politics out of her appearance at the event.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) urged the pop star to keep things fun during her performance via their own TV network, NRA TV.
Conservative political commentator Bill Whittle said Super Bowl organisers had “once again” “chosen a gigantic progressive mouthpiece for their Super Bowl halftime” in booking Gaga. As well as referring to Beyoncé’s politically-charged performance of ‘Formation’ last year, he recalled past performances from which he thought Gaga should take her lead.
“I can remember days when Michael Jackson or somebody would do the Super Bowl and politics didn’t enter into it because they understood that they’re performing for the entire nation and not for the staff at MSNBC,” he said.

That's funny. I can remember when we didn't have Nazis in the White House and Russians in control of our elections.

Her performance was a slap in the face for everyone standing up to Trump. Think of the millions who would have been angered if she had said something--their anger would have been confirmation that they like what's being done in their name. Think of the vast majority of Americans who have been protesting and calling their elected officials. They weren't encouraged, validated, or affirmed. It was just another pop singer making a lot of money to toe the corporate line. Another sellout and another nod to the money men. A wasted opportunity to rally those fighting to uphold the rule of law, protect the defenseless, and stand against hate.

It was gutless.

Every kid that goes hungry, everyone who dies from a lack of health care access, every refugee turned away, every family bankrupted, and every soldier who dies because the president can't control his anger is more than reason enough to risk losing a few album sales.

If you don't stand up to Trump, and Trumpism as a whole, you are normalizing what is happening in America.

If you don't use your platform to speak out, you are giving your consent to be governed in this manner.

If you don't make your voice heard, you are joining the silent millions who are pleased with what Trump has done.

When we look back on this era, I think one thing is going to be evident. Those who spoke against Trump will be on the right side of history. Those who had the chance but didn't because they didn't want to offend anyone are going to be forgotten and irrelevant.

This thing we used to call America dies a little more every time we shrug and do nothing.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Coachella is the Worst Music Festival on the Planet

Douchebaggery abounds at Coachella:

We were all shocked—*shook—by Beyoncé’s well-timed prenatal news. But perhaps no one was more shocked by the pop star’s big announcement than the top executives behind Coachella. According to TMZ, Goldenvoice—the AEG Live subsidiary that produces the annual music festival—had no idea that their April headliner was knocked up. Goldenvoice bigwigs allegedly heard about the insemination the same way we did—via the most-liked Instagram of all time. Given the fact that Beyoncé is a 35-year-old woman who’s pregnant with twins, fans are already starting to question if she’ll honor her commitment to perform at the upcoming event. According to one TMZ source, Goldenvoice tried to reach out to Bey’s representatives on Thursday, but didn’t hear back. That being said, a separate source claimed that Beyoncé “still plans to perform, assuming her pregnancy goes well.”
One man’s advent of the double messiah is another man’s Coachella catastrophe. While the festival likely would have sold out sans Bey, members of the Beyhive weren’t pleased to hear that their $399 three-day passes may not buy them a night with the fertile phenomenon. You try telling a Beyoncé stan to stand around in the desert and listen to Radiohead.

Since it's one of the few festivals available in the "off season" for the European festivals, bands come and play Coachella and receive underwhelming appreciation. It's an awful festival for awful people. If you have to play, fine--I understand the business. But there should be other options out there. America has plenty of good festivals. Not great ones, but good enough to justify the trip. 

Given that bands break up or cancel tours all the time, I don't know why you'd go into a situation like Coachella and expect perfection in the lineup. These things happen, and if people can't handle it, they need to grow up.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Stevie Ray Vaughan

This is a must-see attraction in Austin, Texas. The Stevie Ray Vaughan statue is located near the river, and I was able to get a few shots before the sun went down. I really love this area of town and I am especially glad I took the time to acquire a really good lens flare shot like this. My photography is amateurish, but I know what I like.

Doug Sahm

There is an Austin, Texas music hall of fame, and it's as cool as it sounds. It's much, much better than that phony one in Cleveland. The real people who made real rock and roll are in the Austin one, and that's all right by me.

Doug Sahm was one of the coolest people ever. This is his plaque, and I had a blast reading all of these outside of the Long Center.