Oct 122007

Last year I wrote a Flashback Friday piece about how I first came to know The Cult. You can read it here if you wish. Last week saw the release of The Cults’ eighth studio album (and first in six years), Born Into This. Since I am and admitted Cult fanatic, I decided to go grab it during that first week and after reading bad review after bad review I decided to write something about it. Hell, the kids over on Blabbermouth were so down on it that I started to question if I really liked it or if I liked the band so much I was forcing myself to like it. I only had to think about how much I hated the Drive-By Trucker’s (my favorite band) last effort, A Blessing and A Curse, to know that probably wasn’t the case. Besides, Blabbermouth is a lot like Pitchfork, it is entertaining in small doses and most everything I like is completely reviled over there.

Now, I am not gonna sit here and tell you this is the best album The Cult has ever done, it simply doesn’t compare to anything circa Sonic Temple and before. However, it is the best thing they’ve done since Sonic Temple, IMO. The fact that it is their most rock album since Sonic Temple probably has a little to do with that. There, just one old time Cult fan’s opinion.

The Cult – Born Into This
The Cult – Diamonds
The Cult – Dirty Little Rock Star

The Cult’s Official Site, The Cult on MySpace, Buy Born Into This

Jul 272007

It was the summer of 1982. I was 11 years old and was either gonna be an NFL football player or a professional fisherman when I grew up. I spent Monday thru Friday working for hours at my Grandmother’s, where I shoveled horse stalls, fed calves and mowed/raked the yard for spare monies. In my downtime I would head out into the pasture that was their backyard with my tackle box, fishing rod and my best Bill Dance swagger.
Those were good times. Taking a puff off a cigarette would be one of my firsts that summer, which would also include my first taste of Jack Daniels, my first (and only) attempt to dip Copenhagen, and also my first memorable encounter with Hank Williams Jr. It happened on rainy morning while I was reorganizing my tackle box. There it was on the table, Hank Williams Jr.’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1. I stuck it in the tape player, pressed play, and I went back to my tackle box. The moment I heard “A Country Boy Can Survive,” I was obsessed. Fuck the tackle box, I wanna hear that again.

[Rewind] [Stop] [Play] more [Rewind] [Stop] [Play] more [Reeeeeewind] [Stop] [Play] oops [Fast Forward] [Stop] [Play] shit! [Rewstop] [Play] close enough.

That acoustic guitar…the Mississippi river…something called a stock market…a woman! dogs! GUNS AND TRUCKS! Country folks can Survive! We grew good ol’ tomatoes and homemade wine (hey, my family does that!)….here comes the chorusCause you can’t stomp us out and you can’t make us run cause one of them ol’ boys raisin’ his old shotgun…we say grace and we say ma’am and if you ain’t into that we don’t give a damn….oh shit! he said damn!...then a dead friend from that Yankee New York city….

Done. After repeated listens I moved on. “Dixie On My Mind”! More shit talk about New York! “Family Tradition”, “Whiskey Bent”, “Old Habits” and “All My Rowdy Friends”. I begged my Grandmother to take me to buy a blank tape so I could record this….this, the GREATEST TAPE EVER!

Over time, I’ve come to realize that this isn’t “the greatest tape ever,” but it probably is the best Hank Jr. album ever. Through my rock phase, punk phase, metal phase, new wave phase, goth/industrial phase and every other phase a person goes through growing up, I always had a copy of this album. When I finally got my first CD player it was one of the first cd’s I bought…it and Skatenigs, Stupid People Shouldn’t Breed.

Autopsy IV fact: I’ve performed Karaoke exactly one time in my life. I was drunk and I did “Family Tradition” at my local drinkers’ bar….Hank, why do ya drink? TO GET DRUNK! Why do you roll smoke? TO GET STONED! Why must you live out the songs that you wrote? TO GET PAID!…yup, it was a total sing-along.

And if you think I ain’t listening to this on my way home today, then you are just plum silly.

Hank Jr. – A Country Boy Can Survive
Hank Jr. – Family Tradition
Hank Jr. – Dixie on My Mind

In case you were wondering: Kid Rock is not related to Hank Williams in any fashion what so ever. As Hank III says in Not Everybody Likes Us:

Just so you know, so it’s it’s set in stone, Kid Rock don’t come from where I come from:
Yeah, it’s true, he’s a Yank, he ain’t no son of Hank:
If you even thought so, god-damn, you’re fucking dumb.

Hank Williams III – Not Everybody Likes Us

Jul 132007

Do any of you remember Friday Night Videos? That’s where this tale begins. I was spending the night at my grandmothers one night watching Friday Night Videos with my aunt when “What I Am” by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians came on.

I was in love.

Oh yeah, I also really dug the song but this 14 year old was totally into Mrs. Brickell. One of the super cool things about staying at my grandparents house was that they had a VCR and anytime I was there I was taping music videos so I had the song preserved in all it’s SLP glory to play….over and over and over and over and over….and I did. For a couple of months there Edie Brickell was the only woman for me. It took a while but I eventually got the “Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars” cassette but I never really got into it. Time passed and my taste in women grew sleazier as my awareness of sex increased and my infatuation for Edie passed.

I did not hear anything else of hers until I got Windows95 and the video, Good Times, from her solo debut, Perfect Picture Morning was included on the disc. I really liked the track and decided to pick up the disc. I liked Perfect Picture Morning much more than the material I had heard before and still listen to the cd from time to time. It was also at that time I learned that she had married Al Paul Simon. I had to deal with a few demons from my youth and come to some degree of closure regarding our brief but torrid love affair but I came through.

Last year Edie & the New Bohemians released the cd Stranger Things and to be honest, it was pretty boring. Nothing on it was the awesomeness of What I Am. Edie is scheduled to release a new solo cd later this year. For better or worse I’ll be checking it out.

Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians – What I Am
Edie Brickell – Good Times
Edie Brickell – Tomorrow Comes

The video that launched a 14 year olds love affair:

from the Win95 cd comes the Good Times video:

Who the fuck is Emma Bunton? I dunno either but she did a cover of What I Am that has left me wondering why she bothered:

Jul 112007

As I have mentioned before. I spent a great portion of my 20′s lurking about in goth clubs. One thing is for sure no matter if the club is in Tampa, New Orleans or Baltimore, Siouxsie Sioux will get some ear time and if your friends are from the goth scene then every cd case in every car will have a Siouxsie and the Banshees cd in it. I never minded. Hell, I’d rather hear her over The Bauhaus anytime.

To my surprise this morning I see that Siouxsie is about to release a new cd:

New Mantaray Album 25.06.07

Siouxsie’s new album is to be called “Mantaray” and is released on September 10th 2007, it features the new single “Into A Swan” (which is released digitally on 13th August and on CD, 7″ and other formats on August 27th).

Other track titles include About To Happen, Here Comes That Day, and Drone Zone.

It also seems that the video for “Into a Swan” has already showed up on YouTube. I’m surprised that it doesn’t sound dated. Heck, I like it!

The Classics:

Siouxsie & the Banshees – Peek A Boo
Siouxsie & the Banshees – Cities in Dust
Siouxsie & the Banshees – Kiss them for Me

Jun 292007

Long before Thrall made “Mother” a rock radio hit, and long before some random fat dude knocked Glenn Danzig out on youtube, I thought Danzig’s self-titled release was the greatest thing in rock music. From 1988 to 1994 they could do no wrong as far as I was concerned. Right around 1994/1995 Chuck Biscuits (drums), Eerie Von (bass) and John Christ (guitar) all left the band (or got fired) and, in turn, my interest waned and I have not heard anything Glenn has done since. However, for those formative years of 15 to 21 the band takes up an enormous portion of my soundtrack. Though I had not listened to any Danzig in years, I found myself thinking about all of this the other day holding a used copy of the self-titled disc in my hands at my local record store. I decided to pick it up for at least one listen, if nothing else. The second the opening riffs of “Twist of Cain” started, I was right back in my teens. Windows down. Stereo cranked. Devil Fists in the air and a ‘fuck you I’m evil‘ look for the old lady beside me in traffic. I do not care what sort of a caricature Danzig has become over the years. For my youth, Danzig was dangerous and that made him cool.

Danzig – Twist of Cain (from Danzig I)
Danzig – Mother (from Danzig I)
Danzig – Long Way Back From Hell (from Danzig II: Lucifuge)
Danzig – I’m the One (from Danzig II: Lucifuge)
Danzig – Heart of the Devil (from Danzig III: How the Gods Kill)
Danzig – How the Gods Kill (from Danzig III: How the Gods Kill)
Danzig – cantspeak (from Danzig IV)
Danzig – I Don’t Mind the Pain (from Danzig IV)

original lineup