Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wendy O. Williams - My Life

One of my favorite Wendy O Williams songs.

As always, exploding cars, extended middle fingers, minimal clothing, and crazy stunts from the god-queen of metal. I miss this woman.

What I want to do is go on vacation, so this blog will be silent for a little while. See you in a week or two.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I Like the Cover Better: Substitute

This one is for Ed, who mentioned The Ramones cover of Substitute from "Acid Eaters" the other day.

I like The Who song "Substitute." Great lyrics, catchy guitar hooks.

But nothing compares to this studio performance of it by Sex Pistols. As far as I can tell, this is all of them live in the studio, much like their performance of The Modern Lovers song "Road Runner."

What I like is how apologetic the original song is - it's really a shrug and sorry, I'm not the real thing or I'm not what you were hoping for, and you aren't either. But the Sex Pistols version is extremely aggressive and in your face angry. It's, basically, too bad, this is what you get. It's got that aggressive guitar sawing of Steve Jones, too, off of simple and sharp Paul Cook drumming. All that "Sex Pistols couldn't play their instruments" stuff is utter marketing broadsheet crap, and if this performance doesn't show you that nothing will.

There is also this mix, which is pretty interesting in an of itself.
Sex Pistols: Substitute Monitor Mix

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Run Run Rudolph by Lemmy

Oh sure, some will prefer Chuck Berry, but in case that doesn't do it for you, Lemmy has done it, too.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Walk Before They Make Me Run

I was looking back on my fantasy gaming blog for something and found this heading:

"Walk Before They Make You Run"

That's one of my favorite Stones songs. It's got a classic guitar riff, good refrain, line like:

"Gotta find my way to heaven, cause I've done my time in hell" and "I wasn't looking too good but I was feeling real well."

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Metallica covering Linus and Lucy

One of my friends gave me a little mp3 snippet of this years ago. So this is for those of you who find Vince Guaraldi's theme, Linus and Lucy, from the Peanuts Christmas Special to be part of the holiday tradition . . . but who also like Metallica.

Metallica Linus and Lucy

It's short - and coupled with a bit of "Burn" by Deep Purple and "Run to the Hills" by Iron Maiden - but it's clear they watched the Peanuts Christmas Special too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dictators: Stay With Me

One of these days, I'm going to do an "11 Songs" list for The Dictators.

They've got a show on 12/31 in NYC, actually. These days they seem to be going by Dictators NYC, possibly because it's not entirely the original lineup (no Andy Shernoff, for one.) I only did ever see these guys live once, but it was a hell of a show. The dive bar of dive bars in New Brunswick, NJ - The Court Tavern. If we were 15 feet from the furthest member of the band I'd be surprised. $10 for the show, too, which was a fortune by Court standards. I went based on hearing how good they were live and playing "The Dictators Go Girl Crazy" too many times.

My friend picked up all of the CDs I was missing from the merch booth and loaned them to me.

Out of all of the Dictators songs, this one really stands out to me:

From the "s" at the end of "shuffles" to that distinctive guitar hook and the final fade-out distortion ending with a sudden chord, it's a classic garage-rock pre-punk song. It could be a song by The Ramones except that it's twice too long and too lyrically deep for the early albums by that band. It's smart and like few other breakup songs it feels both angry and desperate.

I could play this song every day, and I regret that it took so long for me to discover it. I have a distinct memory of listening to this in Japan and having it stuck in my head earworm style while I was riding around my town. To this day I hear it and picture a certain street in Niigata. Weird but true. Give it a spin or ten.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Not Music: Hunter S. Thompson

I recently re-heard a great broadcast of "Selected Shorts" doing bits of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson. I won't go into HST and how I got into him here (the first thing I read was Gonzo Papers II, actually) but suffice it to say he's one of my favorites.

This hour-long program has some good reads of his work, and an old colleague doing a spot-on impersonation of Hunter's snappy speaking style.

Selected Shorts: Hunter S. Thompson

The only music I can put with this, is, of course, Sympathy For the Devil. I'd get it on maximum volume on an endless loop if I could.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

11 Songs: Green Day

The first time I heard Green Day was on the radio, driving up to NY State to see a girl. It was a stopped-in-my-tracks moment. I remember Longview coming on, turning it up, and being really grabbed by the song.

So I've liked Green Day since then. I went out and got Dookie and my cousin passed me a copy of Kerplunk! and I taped them back-to-back on a cassette. I listened to that enough that when I hear the songs I can picture myself where I was living at the time - Maryland/DC - and driving around.

I didn't always follow them closely - I skipped most of their albums between Dookie and American Idiot - but kept listening to what I had and always cranking them up when their songs came on. Well, all except the (to me) inexplicably popular "When I Come Around." Yeah, it's good, but it never really connected with me.

I did pick up International Superhits, though, in between. As a Green Day mix goes, it is awesome. I keep that in mp3 form in my car and periodically just let it roll from "Maria" all the way to "Macy's Day Parade."

I will say that there is nothing from Foxboro Hot Tubs on here, but that seems fair. I like FHT, but Green Day playing as FHT feels different enough that I didn't want to mix them here.

So without much further ado, here are my 11 Green Day songs.

1) Longview.

The song that got me in the first place. I love the speed changes.

2) Basket Case.

If I had to play one song for someone to explain Green Day to them, it would be this. Minority would be a strong second, but this one is . . . the band in a nutshell in the same way Whole Lotta Love will tell you everything you need to know about Zep.

I stayed up late to see them on Letterman and give the performance linked here. No, I don't know what's with the video cut away in it, and I can't find my VHS tape of the original to check it. I love the raw but sharp sound they get here, complete with some distortion but just enough of it to add to the performance.

3) Burnout

Amazing drums at the start - brump, brump, brump. It's even better on the album, when it feeds into Having a Blast/Chump/Longview in what feels like one long song.

4) J.A.R.

Memorial/Story song. I like story songs. I also like clear emotional connections between the band and the content. This song really conveys loss without getting maudlin.

5) Minority

Yeah. Free for all, fuck 'em all. One of the smartest and most eloquently smart songs I know.

6) 2000 Light Years

The standout track for me on Kerplunk!, although their cover of The Who's My Generation is excellent and so is Who Wrote Holden Caufield?

7) American Idiot.

I'll admit I'd kind of lost track of newer Green Day stuff a little before this came out. Then I heard this track on WFMU and that prompted me to get the album immediately.

8) 21st Century Breakdown.

On the CD of the same name, this is a pretty good song. Live, such as on Awesome as F**k, it's really outstanding. They take it and run with it in a way that retroactively improves the album track. Much like the Rancid song "Radio, Radio" (which Billy Joe co-wrote, actually), live, it has some amazing kick to it.

9) Walking Contradiction.

Lyrically entertaining and really good musically. I'm always in the mood for this song if I'm in the mood for Green Day. "A smart ass but I'm playing dumb." That's pretty much this band, right there.

10) She

Another Dookie track I just couldn't stop listening to - and that's on a CD that really has no bad or skippable tracks, even the one I mentioned about not actually liking very much.

11) Static Age

I can't tell you what it exactly about this song for me, but I really enjoy it. It's on a CD that works better as a whole than in parts, but this is the second of two parts I liked enough from that CD to put on this list. Take that for whatever it could mean.

Really good band. So much I could have listed, but those really feel like a solid list of songs that have some meaning to me. Did I miss any of your favorites? If so, let me know in the comments.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rancid at Terminal 5, 6/20/13

I posted this once before, elsewhere.

Here is a (nearly) complete Rancid show I was at, including the second "opening act" - The Transplants (Tim's other band).

The Transplants 6/20/2013 @ Terminal 5

Rancid 6/20/2013 @ Terminal 5

Watch for the guy crowd surfing in a wheelchair during the intro to the song "Fuck You."

This was my umpteenth Rancid show, but my first Transplants show. They were excellent live.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fountains of Wayne: Stacy's Mom

Someone say I "got it going on" today, and this instantly popped into my head:

Great band. I got into them with Utopia Parkway, which I've had people tell me was a weak album. Not so weak that I didn't buy their earlier and older stuff.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Ramones - CBGB's, July 31st 1975

Here's what I'm listening to right now as I cook:

I'm not sure I've heard a lot of live versions of "Swallow My Pride."

You can hear them still working the kinks out in their show, too - not quite the buzzsaw of song into song into song that you get in later shows, like the one recorded for "It's Alive."

I'm glad I got to see them live, even if it wasn't at CBGBs.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sex Pistols: Live at the Longhorn Ballroom, 1978

This is why Youtube is awesome.

Back in the mid-90s a senior co-worker of mine passed a bootleg tape of the Sex Pistols live, in Texas, during their short and infamous (and final) US tour.

It wasn't a great copy, and my 2nd generation copy of it wasn't even that good. But I played that tape nearly to death. I can tell you about it note for note, line for line.

Fast-forward to years later, and the official Youtube Sex Pistols channel comes along, and puts the show up:

The Sex Pistols Live - The Longhorn, Dallas, TX (USA) - 10.01.1978

That's January 10th, for us in the US.

It's not the best Sex Pistols show ever. It's not even that great (although the version of No Fun rocks.) But for years it was the only complete show I had (instead of pieces of live shows, like Original Pistols Live). It was a real treat to finally see the show I'd heard so often.

I love the internet. It's only too bad there doesn't seem to be complete video of either Huddersfield Christmas benefit show.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WTF interview with Rivers Cuomo

I stumbled across this tonight, trying to find a different interview on the Mark Marron podcast WTF.

Episode 537 - Rivers Cuomo
Mon, September 29, 2014

It's mostly about life, not exactly music, but it's interesting if you're a Weezer fan. I wasn't until after their "comeback" in the early 2000s. I pretty much caught on to them after Hash Pipe, and then I met a woman in Japan who was a huge Weezer fan. While I was visiting her she played Weezer non-stop in her car, and that sealed the deal for me.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Joe Walsh playing tonight

Sadly, I only heard today that this guy is playing a show about 90 minutes from here. It's too far, and I have work late, so I can't get tickets and go see him:

Joe Walsh

But I wish I could. That can can sure play that rock and roll. And it's been a while since I saw him live, and he's still got the licks.

I need to do an "11 Songs" for Joe Walsh. This one might not make it, but it's co-written with Tim Armstrong of Rancid.