Wednesday, January 30, 2019

NME Still Handing Out Shitty Reviews

I don’t think a two star review for Ian Brown’s new album is going to hurt it a bit. In fact, this criticism will probably be forgotten, and soon because his records don’t seem to age a bit. The old NME doesn’t have the reach that it used to.

A new Ian Brown album is the arrival of something challenging and thought out, and it usually takes a while to hear what he’s cooked up. I remember when his first and third records dropped, and I really had to work at getting where he was at and what he was bringing into the fold. I’m glad I never gave up on him because his body of work is superb, it really is.

From what I’ve heard so far, Ripples is going to be a challenging album for the times, and that’s a damned good thing. Brown has incorporated his offspring and new grooves and new beats into what he wants you to have. First World Problems is a killer track, so I automatically don’t trust what the fucking NME have to say, as per usual. Listen to them and none of your favorite records make sense, do they?


Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Brian Jonestown Massacre Will Never Let You Down

How the hell do they keep doing it?

Fresh off the back of a world tour, Brian Jonestown Massacre have announced the release date of their 18th full-length album, Getintothis’ Mostyn Jones reports.

Coming just 7 months after 2018’s Something Else, the self-titled record was recorded in frontman Anton Newcombe’s own Berlin studio early last year, and will be available on March 15 on A Recordings.

The band have teased the album with a full track list and lead single, Cannot Be Saved, a rumbling psych-rock tune with a belter guitar solo and fuzzy production that hints at their early shoegaze-inspired work.

Having been based in Berlin for over a decade now, it’s no surprise that Newcombe has put together a roster of international talent for this iteration of the band’s ever-evolving line up.

The album features Scandinavian bassist Heike Marie Radeker, of noise rockers LeVent; the Icelandic guitarist Hakon Adalsteinsson, of Singapore Sling and Third Sound; along with fellow US expat Sara Neidorf on drums; and guest vocals from Rike Bienert, who has appeared on previous BJM releases.

I’m telling you, if all of your old bands are disappointing you, find a way to acquire some BJM and have your mind blown. They are always recording, always releasing exciting, vital music and they seem to always be on the way to your town.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

When Your Heroes Turn Out to Be Awful People

When you gradually apply today’s standards to people who lived forty or fifty years ago, you come away with a sense that they were awful in more than just a few ways:

Led Zeppelin’s peak epitomized rock’s most egregiously excess-driven period, and while it has been romanticized in pop culture via movies like Almost Famous, that period represented just how normalized fans, media and enablers were when it came to some of music’s most depraved personalities. Sex, drugs and rock & roll became a mantra, and groupie culture became chic, but it wasn’t just a big post-‘60s party. Looking back now, the ‘70s classic rock era looks like libido run amok—with some glaring examples of just how dark the public would allow its favorite rockers to be without ever calling them into question. Zeppelin stories were often fictional, but made them heroes to teenage boys who wanted to be rock stars and, much like Zeppelin’s actual music, proved to be a template for what would become depressingly clich├ęd by the time hair metal hit the ‘80s.

With Led Zeppelin, it all comes down to the theft of songs that has been swept under the rug. They most likely did not steal Stairway to Heaven, but they nicked more than a few pieces of music that they should not have taken. And when a band is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars, the lawyers are going to come for that money. If Zeppelin were broke, no one would be suing them on a regular basis.

Everything that went on with young girls and groupies is appalling and wrong. There is no way of knowing how many underaged females were abused in the 1970s by people who should have known better, whether we’re talking about Zeppelin, David Bowie, virtually everyone who was active in music at that time, or in film, like Roman Polanski and Woody Allen. But they were abused.

It was wrong!

It was awful. It should have been criminal behavior that was not tolerated at the time, but, for some reason, it was and far too many people got away with it. Somewhere, basic parenting broke down and young girls who should have been protected and taken care of were allowed to become the playthings of adult men. It went the other way too - far too many young men were the victims of pedophiles and amoral individuals as well. If anyone tells you that it wasn’t like that in the “good old days,” then they’re lying.

I don’t know how we can reconcile all of this in a fair and equitable way, but you can’t deny it happened.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Who is Desperate to Have This?

Please ignore my vacant stare, but who in the name of all that is holy has been screaming for this to come out?

Recorded between Fez in Morocco, Dublin (HQ), New York (Platinum Sound Recording Studios) and London (Olympic Studios) and produced by Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and Steve Lillywhite, No Line On The Horizon debuted at number 1 in 30 countries across the globe in 2009.

Lead single ‘Get On Your Boots’ was followed by ‘Magnificent’ and ‘I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight’. The album has been fully remastered with two additional remixes added to celebrate its 10th Anniversary – ‘Magnificent (Wonderland Remix)’ by Pete Tong and Paul Rogers and ‘I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight’ (Redanka’s ‘Kick the Darkness’ Vocal Version).

I can’t think of a less interesting U2 album than No Line on the Horizon. It is the dishwater cafe of U2 albums, the one I think no one would miss (apart from that whole Lemon thing where they put out seven or eight versions of it and the running time equaled an album, basically). There’s nothing on this album I would miss, but that’s just me, I guess.

Since it has been a decade, is there anything U2 have done in this century that rises to the level of being essential as far as their catalog is concerned? I would put Achtung Baby at the top of it all, and everything sort of winds itself down from there. I guess I just don’t like any of the new stuff, so take this all with a grain of salt.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Music From 2009 Means Nothing to Me

I honestly can’t figure out what this article is supposed to accomplish, other than making me feel a decade older and more out of touch with things in the world of music.

There isn’t anything about the bands listed here that I find remarkable, other than the fact that I don’t know the Arctic Monkeys song that was such a “banger” from 2009. I like a pair of their albums - the first one and the second to the last one. I like the band as a whole, but I’m not obsessed with them.

There are some really fallow periods in music for me, I guess. That whole Neutral Milk Hotel thing? I missed all of that. I didn’t get to enjoy Wilco when they were making their best albums and now I have to catch up with that stuff. I can’t get very excited about any of the other bands listed here:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Zero’

Kickstarted by a neon synth line straight out of the year 3009, NME voted the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ stomping single the best track of 2009.

The Horrors – ‘Who Can Say’

The lead single from their game-changing ‘Primary Colours’ LP, ‘Who Can Say’ established The Horrors as one of the country’s most idiosyncratic groups, the fusion of blown-out guitar work and buoyant melody making for a confusing-but-captivating concoction.

Phoenix – ‘1901’

Still an indie disco classic, ‘1901’ is Phoenix at their most high-spirited – a combo of crisp percussion, chirpy melody and effortless Parisian cool.

The xx – ‘Crystalised’

They’ve become such a musical mainstay, it’s easy to forget The xx haven’t been around for millennia. A decade ago, they dropped this game-changing fusion of gothic post-punk and underground UK dance music on an unsuspecting public. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Maccabees – ‘No Kind Words’

2009 also brought ‘Wall Of Arms’, another British indie classic. From that LP came ‘No Kind Words’, a track that captured the moodier side of one-time frivolous bunch The Maccabees for the first time – a side which would soon become their calling card

Jamie T – ‘Sticks N’ Stones’

Another one that’s still filling dancefloors to this day, Jamie T’s boisterous sound became household fodder in 2009, his ‘Kings & Queens’ LP still held up as the gold standard of cheeky-chappy indie.

Wild Beasts – ‘Hooting and Howling’

Another intellectual prospect here, Wild Beasts’ most poppy endeavour (at least until ‘Boy King’ came along) was another track that made 2009 one of British indie’s very best years.

Biffy Clyro – ‘That Golden Rule’

Mumford & Sons – ‘Little Lion Man’

The stompy-stompy folk-pop bunch exploded in 2009; ‘Little Lion Man’ and it’s yelp-along chorus was integral to that breakthrough.

Swear to God - I’ve never heard any of these songs, and I barely know who Mumford & Sons were. I’m sure they’re all great artists and that this is a gold mine of amazing, unheard gems, but I am completely in the dark and have no idea if this is a prank on me or not.

If you were to run a list of fake songs by fake bands by me, this would convince me that everything was real and that I was just an idiot who didn’t know what any of it meant.